#leggeri

  • Le #rapport qui accable #Frontex, l’agence européenne de gardes-#frontières, et sa pratique de refouler illégalement les migrants en #Grèce

    Ce document, que « Le Monde » et ses partenaires de Lighthouse Reports et l’hebdomadaire allemand « Der Spiegel » ont pu consulter, accuse l’ancienne direction. A Bruxelles, le rapport est réputé si toxique que personne ne voudrait le lire

    Le 15 février, l’Office européen de lutte antifraude (#OLAF) rendait ses conclusions, au terme d’un an d’enquête, sur la gestion au sein de Frontex de l’épineuse question des « #pushbacks ». Voilà des années que les gardes-côtes grecs sont accusés de pratiquer ces refoulements de migrants, contraires à la convention de Genève, sous l’œil, complice, de l’agence la plus riche de l’Union européenne.

    Le rapport, qui a en partie provoqué la chute de l’ancien directeur Fabrice Leggeri, est depuis au centre d’une bataille entre la Commission et les parlementaires européens, qui font feu de tout bois pour obtenir sa publication. A Bruxelles, le document, connu d’un nombre restreint de fonctionnaires et d’élus, est réputé si toxique que personne ne voudrait le lire. La nouvelle directrice de Frontex, la Lettonne Aija Kalnaja, a assuré ne pas en avoir pris connaissance. Et le vice-président de la Commission, le Grec Margaritis Schinas, un soutien historique de Fabrice Leggeri, a refusé de dire en séance s’il l’avait lu ou non.

    Ce rapport, que Le Monde et ses partenaires de Lighthouse Reports, ainsi que l’hebdomadaire allemand Der Spiegel, ont pu consulter, détaille par le menu les péchés de la super-agence européenne de gardes-côtes et de gardes-frontières ainsi que les excès de sa précédente direction. Il confirme également l’utilisation massive de la technique illégale du « pushback » par les autorités grecques pour décourager les migrants de pénétrer sur le sol européen. Ainsi que la connaissance détaillée qu’avait Frontex du phénomène.

    « Ces #expulsions doivent cesser »

    Face à ces révélations, difficile de ne pas s’interroger sur la position de la #Commission_européenne. Cette dernière, qui a pris connaissance des conclusions de l’OLAF fin février, n’a mis que récemment en garde la Grèce face à la fréquence des accusations de violation des droits de l’homme dont elle fait l’objet. Sans remettre en cause, pour l’heure, le déploiement de Frontex sur la péninsule. « La protection de la frontière extérieure de l’UE contre les entrées illégales est une obligation. Mais les expulsions violentes et illégales de migrants doivent cesser, maintenant », a tonné Ylva Johansson, commissaire européenne chargée des affaires intérieures, à l’issue d’un appel avec trois membres de l’exécutif grec, dont le ministre de la police, le 30 juin. Cinq jours plus tard, face aux parlementaires européens, le premier ministre grec, #Kyriakos_Mitsotakis, a quant à lui balayé la plupart de ces accusations, les qualifiant de « propagande turque ».

    Dans les médias, voilà des mois que l’homme et son camp s’évertuent à nier l’importance du cas grec dans les turbulences que traverse Frontex, après la démission de son ancien directeur exécutif, le 29 avril. « L’opposition essaie, sans succès, de lier son départ avec ces prétendus “pushbacks” », a ainsi déclaré le ministre de l’intérieur, Notis Mitarachi, devant son propre Parlement. La situation en Grèce est pourtant le fil rouge des enquêteurs de l’OLAF. Dans leur rapport de 129 pages, ces derniers confirment tout ce que les médias, dont Le Monde, ont écrit sur le sujet depuis plus de deux ans. Pis, ils révèlent que les faits étaient largement connus, et même dénoncés au sein de Frontex.

    Ainsi, dès avril 2020, deux divisions de l’agence jugeaient « crédibles » les #accusations fréquentes de traitements violents de la part des policiers grecs infligés aux migrants qui tentaient de rejoindre leurs côtes. « Le fait que les Grecs tolèrent et pratiquent les “pushbacks” est très probable », jugeait la division d’évaluation de la vulnérabilité de Frontex dans un rapport daté du 18 avril 2020, cité par l’OLAF.

    Un an plus tard, le centre de situation de Frontex, sa tour de contrôle, chargée de surveiller en direct les frontières extérieures de l’Union européenne grâce à sa batterie de caméras, suggérait même l’ouverture d’une enquête interne sur la base de nouvelles images transmises par l’ambassadeur de Turquie en Pologne, directement au siège de l’agence.

    Face à ces conclusions, émanant de ses propres services, la réponse de la direction de l’agence est toujours la même, assure l’OLAF. Cantonner les découvertes au plus petit cercle possible. Eviter la contagion. « Il y avait un schéma récurrent [de la part de la direction] dans le fait de vouloir cacher des informations et éviter toute #responsabilité », note un agent de Frontex. « Je pense qu’à l’époque #Fabrice_Leggeri voulait protéger la Grèce. C’est le pays que l’agence soutient le plus. Mais personne ne comprend pourquoi il a pris ce risque », se souvient l’un de ses proches.

    Volonté de « couvrir » la Grèce

    Le 5 août 2020, à 1 h 41 du matin, un avion de Frontex est ainsi témoin d’un « pushback ». Ce qu’il filme est troublant : un navire grec traîne un canot pneumatique, trente migrants à son bord, en direction des eaux territoriales turques, au lieu de les ramener à terre. « La manœuvre n’a aucun sens en matière de sauvetage », se lamente l’un des agents de Frontex dans un rapport d’incident adressé à son supérieur dans la matinée qui suit les faits.

    L’avion de Frontex est finalement sommé de quitter les lieux par les autorités hellènes, envoyé dans une zone « où il ne détecte plus aucune activité ». « Je considérais ces événements comme des “pushbacks” », se souvient un des agents interrogés par l’OLAF, avant de confesser l’interdiction formelle d’enquêter en interne et la volonté ferme de la direction de « couvrir » la Grèce « en raison du contexte international ». « La répétition de ces événements est de plus en plus difficile à gérer », renchérit le premier.

    Deux options s’offrent à Frontex, opine un autre, à la suite de l’incident. « Parler aux Grecs » ou retirer les avions de Frontex pour ne plus être témoin de telles manœuvres. Une solution « cynique », reconnaît un agent, mais qui préserve Frontex de futures turbulences ou autres « risques en matière de réputation ». Varsovie choisira la seconde option. Plusieurs témoins assurent que la manœuvre avait pour but de ne plus être témoin de l’intolérable.

    Selon les enquêteurs européens, il ne s’agit pourtant pas de la seule alerte reçue par la direction. Ni de la première. Le 5 juillet 2019, un message informe le management que certains agents, déployés dans des Etats membres, rechignent à faire remonter les comportements problématiques dont ils sont les témoins sur le terrain, en raison « des répercussions que cela pourrait avoir pour eux ». C’est particulièrement le cas en Grèce. Fin avril 2020, un agent déployé par Frontex sur place demande l’anonymat au moment de rapporter des faits dont il a été témoin. « Les menaces des autorités grecques ont fini par porter leurs fruits », se lamente l’un de ses supérieurs par écrit.

    La conclusion la plus destructrice pour Frontex porte probablement sur son implication financière dans les opérations hellènes. L’OLAF note ainsi qu’au moins six bateaux grecs, cofinancés par l’agence, auraient été impliqués dans plus d’une dizaine de refoulements entre avril et décembre 2020. « Nous n’avons trouvé aucune preuve de la participation directe ou indirecte de Frontex dans ces renvois », déclarait Fabrice #Leggeri en janvier 2021. Une ligne qu’il a défendue coûte que coûte jusqu’au bout de son mandat. A tort.

    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2022/07/28/refoulement-de-migrants-en-grece-l-enquete-qui-accuse-frontex_6136445_3210.h
    #migrations #asile #réfugiés #refoulements #push-backs #de_la_Haye_Jousselin

    • La direction de Frontex « a considéré que la Commission européenne était trop centrée sur les droits de l’homme »
      https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2022/07/28/la-direction-de-frontex-a-considere-que-la-commission-europeenne-etait-trop-

      Dans un rapport de l’OLAF, les enquêteurs accusent trois dirigeants placés à la tête de l’agence européenne d’avoir « basé leur décision sur des préjugés ».

      C’est la chronique d’un naufrage. L’histoire d’une dissimulation à grande échelle perpétrée par trois fonctionnaires européens placés à la tête de Frontex : Fabrice Leggeri, son directeur, Thibauld de La Haye Jousselin, son bras droit, et le Belge Dirk Vanden Ryse, directeur de la division chargé de la surveillance des frontières. Les deux premiers ont été poussés à la démission. Le troisième est toujours en poste à Varsovie. Aucun des trois n’a donné suite aux demandes d’interview du Monde et de ses partenaires.

      Tous les trois ont laissé leurs « opinions personnelles » interférer avec la conduite de Frontex, notent les enquêteurs l’Office européen de lutte antifraude (OLAF). Partisans d’une ligne dure en matière de gestion des frontières extérieures de l’Union européenne, ils ont enfermé l’agence dans un mensonge : les refoulements de migrants en mer Egée n’existent pas. Ils seraient une invention d’ONG « soutenues par les Turcs ». Une position proche de celle défendue par l’exécutif grec, mais aussi par l’extrême droite européenne.

      Pour les enquêteurs, c’est la circulation de cette idée, empoisonnée, qui explique en partie la dérive de l’agence. Plusieurs mis en cause « ont basé leur décision sur des préjugés (…). Ils ont considéré que la Commission européenne était trop centrée sur les questions de droits de l’homme, écrivent-ils en guise de conclusion à leur rapport de 129 pages. En agissant ainsi, ils ont rendu impossible pour l’agence de répondre à ses responsabilités. » « Le contexte géopolitique, qui prévalait à l’époque, a affecté ma perception des situations opérationnelles », s’est défendu Fabrice Leggeri, face aux fonctionnaires européens, à propos de l’une des situations litigieuse identifiées par l’OLAF.

      #paywall

    • «  La Commission était trop centrée sur les droits de l’homme  »

      Dans un rapport de l’OLAF, les enquêteurs accusent trois dirigeants placés à la tête de Frontex d’avoir «  basé leur décision sur des préjugés  »

      C’est la chronique d’un naufrage. L’histoire d’une dissimulation à grande échelle perpétrée par trois fonctionnaires européens placés à la tête de Frontex ? : Fabrice Leggeri, son directeur, #Thibauld_de_La_Haye_Jousselin, son bras droit, et le Belge #Dirk_Vanden_Ryse, directeur de la division chargé de la surveillance des frontières. Les deux premiers ont été poussés à la #démission. Le troisième est toujours en poste à Varsovie. Aucun des trois n’a donné suite aux demandes d’interview du Monde et de ses partenaires.

      Tous les trois ont laissé leurs «  opinions personnelles  » interférer avec la conduite de Frontex, notent les enquêteurs de l’Office européen de lutte antifraude (OLAF). Partisans d’une ligne dure en matière de gestion des frontières extérieures de l’Union européenne, ils ont enfermé l’agence dans un mensonge : les refoulements de migrants en mer Egée n’existent pas. Ils seraient une invention d’ONG «  soutenues par les Turcs  ». Une position proche de celle défendue par l’exécutif grec, mais aussi par l’extrême droite européenne.

      Pour les enquêteurs, c’est la circulation de cette idée, empoisonnée, qui explique en partie la #dérive de l’agence. Plusieurs mis en cause «   ont basé leur décision sur des préjugés (…). Ils ont considéré que la Commission européenne était trop centrée sur les questions de droits de l’homme, écrivent-ils en guise de conclusion à leur rapport de 129 pages. En agissant ainsi, ils ont rendu impossible pour l’agence de répondre à ses #responsabilités.  » «  Le contexte géopolitique, qui prévalait à l’époque, a affecté ma perception des situations opérationnelles  » , s’est défendu Fabrice Leggeri, face aux fonctionnaires européens, à propos de l’une des situations litigieuse identifiées par l’OLAF.

      Au cours de l’enquête, ils sont des dizaines à témoigner de la circulation de ce « narratif » dans les couloirs de l’agence européenne. Et de l’impérieuse nécessité, revendiquée par la direction, de soutenir la Grèce, quitte à couvrir les violences perpétrées par ses policiers. « Les pushbacks n’existent pas et ne peuvent être jugés selon des critères objectifs » , écrivait ainsi un des trois mis en cause, dans un message du 25 novembre 2020. « Je dois bien admettre qu’à l’époque j’avais de la sympathie pour la position selon laquelle Frontex devait soutenir la Grèce dans sa “guerre” contre la Turquie » , s’explique-t-il, interrogé par l’OLAF.

      Les critiques du trio à la tête de l’agence visent particulièrement la directrice du bureau des #droits_fondamentaux, l’Espagnole #Immaculada_Arnaez, chargée d’enquêter sur les cas de violences dont les agents de Frontex pourraient être témoins. Deux ans durant, les trois hommes se sont employés à limiter sa marge d’action, en la marginalisant et en la traitant comme un agent hostile.

      S’affranchir de tout contrôle

      Elle est surnommée «  Pol Pot  », soupçonnée de faire régner «  une terreur de Khmer rouge dans l’agence  »… L’opprobre dont elle fait l’objet s’étend aux employés de son département, «  des gauchistes  » qui balancent tout «  aux ONG ou aux membres du consultative forum [un organe paritaire chargé de suivre l’évolution de l’agence]   ». Au fil des pages apparaît l’image d’une direction qui désirait s’affranchir de tout contrôle extérieur, notamment de celui de la Commission européenne, pourtant responsable de son mandat. Cette dernière «  ne comprend pas le rôle de Frontex  » . Imperméable aux «  problématiques sécuritaires  » , aveugle face au rôle que l’agence «  commence à jouer  » , loin de celui de «  taxi légal  » ou de «  passeur  » où on voudrait la cantonner.

      Pire, la Commission serait une menace pour sa survie. «  [Elle] se fait le relais des ONG pour qu’il y ait une sorte de mécanisme automatique qui t’impose de suspendre toute opération sur la base d’allégations (…). Dans un contexte de menace hybride, c’est donner les clés de nos opérations à toute puissance étrangère capable de diffuser des “fake news” » , écrit l’un des trois hommes, le 10 novembre 2020. Réponse immédiate de son interlocuteur, qui suggère de « sortir de la nasse où ils veulent nous mettre pour servir les visées de certaines ONG, de certains groupes criminels et de certaines puissances non européennes » .

      Dans leurs échanges, les cadres de Frontex critiquent le «  crétinisme bureaucratique  » ou la «  bêtise  » de certains des représentants de la Commission, qui seraient «  une insulte  » . A propos d’un tweet posté par Ylva Johansson, la commissaire aux affaires intérieures, le 26 novembre 2020, et repartagé par #Monique_Pariat, la directrice générale des affaires intérieures, qui se réjouit de la tenue d’une journée de l’intégration au sein de l’Union européenne à destination des migrants, l’un des trois mis en cause commente : «  Tout est dit.  » Réponse immédiate d’un collègue  : «  Nous ne sommes pas de leur bande… Et elles ne sont pas de la nôtre.  »

      https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2022/07/28/la-direction-de-frontex-a-considere-que-la-commission-europeenne-etait-trop-

    • Classified Report Reveals Full Extent of Frontex Scandal

      The EU’s anti-fraud office has found that the European border agency covered up and helped to finance illegal pushbacks of asylum-seekers in Greece. The report, which DER SPIEGEL has obtained, puts pressure on the EU Commission – and could also spell trouble for Frontex’s new leadership.

      The contents of the investigative report from OLAF, the European Union’s anti-fraud agency, are classified. Members of the European Parliament are only granted access under strict security measures, and normal citizens are not allowed to see it. But Margaritis Schinas, the vice president of the European Commission, who is responsible, among other things, for migration, is allowed to. And perhaps he ought to do so as well. At the end of the day, it relates to a sensitive issue that also happens to fall within his area of responsibility.

      Investigators have taken 129 pages to document the involvement of Frontex, the EU’s border agency, in the illegal activities of the Greek Coast Guard. Border guards systematically dump asylum-seekers adrift at sea

      in the Aegean – either in rickety boats or on inflatable life rafts. The investigators reviewed private emails and WhatsApp messages from Fabrice Leggeri, the former head of Frontex, and his team. They interviewed witnesses and seized documents and videos.

      But Schinas has so far shown very little interest in the report. When a member of the European Parliament recently asked him if he had read it, he simply changed the subject.
      Frontex Finances Greek Pushbacks

      The report from OLAF has the potential to destroy careers. One, that of former border guard agency head Leggeri, is already over . After reading the report from the investigation, Frontex’s board of directors had no choice but to urge him to step down. What investigators have pieced together, though, is so explosive that it reaches far beyond Leggeri. As such, the EU has been trying to keep the report under wraps for months now. However, DER SPIEGEL, Le Monde and Lighthouse Reports have all obtained copies of the report.

      In their findings, the EU investigators provide detailed evidence of Greek human rights violations. And they prove that Frontex knew about them early on. Instead of preventing pushbacks, Leggeri and his people covered them up. They lied to the European Parliament and concealed the fact that the agency even provided support for some pushbacks using European taxpayer money.

      DER SPIEGEL has already revealed most of these transgressions in joint research conducted together with Lighthouse Reports. With its report, however, OLAF, an EU authority, is now officially establishing the breaches of law and misconduct, documenting some pretty shocking details along the way. The 129 pages read like an indictment of the Greek government, which still claims it didn’t break any laws. It also creates pressure for Frontex interim director Aija Kalnaja and the European Commission. They will have to act quickly now if they want to remain free of guilt.
      Left adrift on the high seas: A Turkish coast guard officer rescues a child from a life raft on the Aegean.

      A single pushback case does a good job of illustrating almost all of the misdeeds of which OLAF investigators are now accusing Frontex. During the early morning hours of August 5, 2020, the Greek Coast Guard towed an inflatable refugee boat behind it. About 30 refugees had been sitting on the vessel. The Greeks actually should have brought the asylum-seekers safely to shore and provided them with the chance to apply for asylum. Instead, they dragged them back toward Turkey.

      Officials at Frontex were able to follow the pushback live. A Frontex aircraft had streamed what was happening back to headquarters in Warsaw. By that point, though, the people at Frontex had long since known what was going to happen. They were familiar with the images of refugees left abandoned in the Aegean Sea, and an internal report had explicitly warned of the Greek pushbacks. One official had noted that the Coast Guard had put the migrants in a situation “that can seriously endanger” their lives. “The repetition of such kind of events (sic) becomes more and more difficult to deal with.” The pushbacks posed a “huge reputational risk” to the agency, the official wrote.
      Aircraft Withdrawn To Prevent Recording of Human Rights Violations

      Investigators claim that the Frontex heads prevented the proper investigation of the pushback. Instead, they withdrew a plane that had been patrolling the Aegean Sea on behalf of Frontex. Officially, it was said, the aircraft was needed in the central Mediterranean. The truth, though, was that Frontex wanted to avoid recording further human rights violations.

      The OLAF investigators have gathered considerable evidence of this. They quote Frontex employees who provide statements that are incriminating of Leggeri. They also uncovered a handwritten note dating from Nov. 16, 2020. “We have withdrawn our FSA some time ago, so not to witness (sic)…,” it states. FSA is short for “Frontex Surveillance Aircraft.” The EU agency, which is obliged to prevent violations of fundamental rights, deliberately looked the other way.

      The investigators also detail how Frontex used European taxpayer money to fund pushbacks in at least six instances. The incident on August 5, for example, involved the Greek Coast Guard vessel “CPB 137.” The agency had co-funded the boat’s mission. The agency’s leadership knew exactly how delicate the matter was – and concealed this from all subsequent inquiries made by the European Parliament and Frontex’s Management Board.

      Former Frontex Director Leggeri is responsible for many of these lapses. He systematically prevented more detailed investigations – taking steps like withholding crucial videos and documents from the agency’s fundamental rights commissioner at the time, Spanish lawyer Inmaculada Arnaez, as revealed in previous reporting from DER SPIEGEL. The OLAF report now provides additional corroboration of revelations previously reported in DER SPIEGEL, and also gives clues about Leggeri’s motives through private WhatsApp messages.

      Reading the messages, one has no choice but to conclude that, for years, the EU tolerated a man with right-wing populist leanings at the helm of its border management agency. As early as 2018, the agency’s leadership had feared that Frontex would be turned into something akin to a “taxi” service for ferrying refugees. Leggeri and his team had also been suspicious of the current European Commission, the EU’s executive branch. The messages reveal their belief that the Commission is on the side of NGOs that are advocates of asylum-seekers. Later, the agency leadership team rails against the “stupidity” of certain Commission officials. At one point, when Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson promoted the integration of immigrants in the EU on Twitter, a message stated: “Everything is said.”

      But fundamental rights officer Arnaez has been Frontex management’s favorite bogeyman. She is compared in the messages to dictator Pol Pot, the communist mass murderer. They claim the fundamental rights officer is bringing a “Khmer Rouge”-style regime of terror to the agency. Leggeri isn’t the only official who appeared to be hindering Arnaez’s work, either. In one meeting, a Frontex staffer warned: The fundamental rights officers are “not real Frontex colleagues.”

      Neither Leggeri, nor the two other Frontex employees who are the subjects of serious accusations in the OLAF report, wanted to comment when contacted by DER SPIEGEL for a response. They include Thibauld de La Haye Jousselin, Leggeri’s right-hand man, who has also since left the agency, and Dirk Vande Ryse, formerly head of Frontex’s Situational Awareness and Monitoring Division, who has been assigned to another post.
      Frontex Interim Head Wants To Send Even More Officers to Aegean

      The new Frontex interim head, Aija Kalnaja, would like to get all this behind her as soon as possible. She says the crucial thing is that the border agency never gets into a situation like that again. And yet it already finds itself in a similar predicament: Videos and testimonies show that new pushbacks happen in the Aegean Sea almost every day. And Frontex continues to work closely with the Greek border guards.

      Kalnaja has herself stated that she has not read the OLAF report – this despite the fact that the it reveals a whole series of structural problems that don’t have anything to do with Leggeri. For example, it states that Greek border guards apparently place pressure on Frontex officials if they try to report pushbacks, as previously reported by DER SPIEGEL. The Greeks often conceal arriving refugee boats by not recording these “ghost landings” in the corresponding Frontex database.

      Under Frontex’s own regulations, Kalnaja would be required to end an operation if there are “serious and persistent violations of fundamental rights.” The OLAF report leaves no doubt that this is the case in the Aegean. But Kalnaja isn’t even thinking about withdrawing her officials – in fact, she wants to send more staff to the Aegean. In response to a question from DER SPIEGEL, Frontex management said it “strongly believes” that the agency should strengthen its presence in the country. Greece, Frontex wrote, operates in a “very complex geopolitical environment.”
      Pressure on European Commission Grows

      The Olaf report also raises questions about the European Commission, which each year transfers millions of euros to Athens. The money is earmarked to help the Greeks manage migration according to EU law – not for abandoning people in life rafts without motors on the open sea.

      Home Affairs Commissioner Johansson is politically responsible for Frontex. The social democratic politician will have to live with the fact that the use of force at the EU’s external borders has escalated under her watch. Johansson has publicly called on the Greek government to halt the pushbacks. But that hasn’t changed anything. So far, the Commission has balked at calls to cut the funding to Athens. Nor has the Commission initiated any infringement proceedings against Greece.

      In Brussels, it is considered an open secret that this could be related to European Commission Vice President Schinas. The Greek politician’s Twitter profile is adorned with his country’s flag. The conservative politician is a member of the same political party as Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. When it comes to politically sensitive matters, Schinas isn’t shy about asserting his influence, one insider reports. In a recent interview , Schinas said there was no solid evidence that the Coast Guard conducted pushbacks. He claimed the accusations have been lodged exclusively by “NGOs, the press and the authoritarian regime in Ankara.” What the commissioner didn’t mention is the OLAF report, which he has had access to since late February.

      https://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/frontex-scandal-classified-report-reveals-full-extent-of-cover-up-a-cd749d04

    • « Pushback » de migrants en Grèce : Frontex accablé par un rapport

      L’ancienne direction de l’agence de surveillance des frontières Frontex avait connaissance des renvois illégaux de migrants en Grèce et aurait même co-financé des refoulements, selon un rapport accablant dont Der Spiegel publie ce jeudi des extraits.

      Un rapport accablant. Un document confidentiel de l’Office européen de la lutte contre la fraude (Olaf) consulté par le magazine allemand Der Spiegel, accuse l’ancienne direction de Frontex - agence européenne de gardes-frontières et de gardes-côtes- d’avoir eu connaissance des renvois illégaux de migrants en Grèce et d’avoir même co-financé des refoulements.

      Frontex était au courant très tôt de ces renvois illégaux, parfois brutaux, de demandeurs d’asile vers la Turquie, affirment les auteurs de ce rapport. « Au lieu d’empêcher les « pushbacks », l’ancien patron Fabrice Leggeri et ses collaborateurs les ont dissimulés. Ils ont menti au Parlement européen et ont masqué le fait que l’agence a soutenu certains refoulements avec de l’argent des contribuables européens », résume le magazine allemand. Les conclusions des enquêteurs avaient provoqué la démission de Fabrice Leggeri.

      Le rapport dévoile de nombreux détails. Comme quand les garde-côtes grecs ont, le 5 août 2020, traîné un canot pneumatique avec 30 migrants à son bord non vers la Grèce, mais vers la Turquie. Un avion de Frontex qui patrouillait a filmé la scène.

      Au lieu de s’adresser aux autorités grecques, Frontex a arrêté de faire patrouiller des avions au-dessus de la mer Egée, au motif que l’agence en avait besoin ailleurs.

      Les enquêteurs citent des témoignages de collaborateurs de Frontex mettant en cause Fabrice Leggeri pour avoir fermé les yeux sur ces actes illégaux. Et ils ont trouvé une note écrite évoquant le retrait des avions de surveillance « pour ne pas être témoin ».
      Un Pushback co-financé par Frontex

      Ce n’est pas tout. L’Olaf rapporte aussi qu’au moins six bateaux grecs, co-financés par Frontex, auraient été impliqués dans plus d’une dizaine de refoulements entre avril et décembre 2020. L’ancien directeur a toujours rejeté ces accusations. Interrogée, une porte-parole de la Commission européenne a annoncé qu’ « une série de mesures » avaient déjà été mises en place pour régler la question de la gouvernance de l’agence, dirigée depuis début juillet par la Lettonne Aija Kalnaja.

      Anitta Hipper affime qu’ « en terme de travail sur place avec les autorités grecques, il y a des progrès sur le terrain », elle pointe aussi « une nouvelle proposition de loi pour garantir un système de surveillance solide » du traitement des demandeurs d’asile en Grèce.

      En sept ans à la tête de Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri avait accompagné le renforcement de l’agence, qui a été considérablement musclée et dont les effectifs - avec des agents désormais armés - doivent atteindre 10 000 garde-côtes et garde-frontières d’ici 2 027.

      https://www.liberation.fr/international/europe/pushback-de-migrants-en-grece-frontex-accable-par-un-rapport-20220728_UGI

    • "Pushbacks" de migrants en Grèce : Frontex avait bien connaissance des renvois illégaux vers la Turquie

      Un rapport accablant, consulté par plusieurs médias européens, démontre que l’ancienne direction de l’agence de surveillance des frontières avait connaissance des renvois illégaux de migrants en Grèce vers la Turquie. Frontex aurait même co-financé certains de ces refoulements en mer.

      Frontex avait bel et bien connaissance des renvois illégaux de migrants pratiqués en Grèce vers la Turquie. C’est ce que révèle un rapport accablant, et encore confidentiel, établi par l’Office européen de la lutte contre la fraude (Olaf), qui a enquêté sur le sujet depuis janvier 2021.

      L’ancienne direction de l’agence européenne de surveillance des frontières était même au courant très tôt de ces pratiques, parfois brutales, affirme ce rapport, dont le journal allemand Der Spiegel a publié jeudi 28 juillet des extraits.

      "Au lieu d’empêcher les ‘pushbacks’, l’ancien patron Fabrice Leggeri et ses collaborateurs les ont dissimulés. Ils ont menti au Parlement européen et ont masqué le fait que l’agence a soutenu certains refoulements avec de l’argent des contribuables européens", résume le magazine allemand.

      Si les conclusions des enquêteurs avaient déjà provoqué la démission de Fabrice Leggeri fin avril, ce rapport dévoile désormais de nombreux détails quant à ces pratiques illégales.
      Frontex a arrêté les patrouilles aériennes "pour ne pas être témoin"

      L’Olaf affirme ainsi que, le 5 août 2020, les garde-côtes grecs ont remorqué un canot pneumatique avec 30 migrants à son bord non vers la Grèce mais vers la Turquie. Un avion de Frontex qui patrouillait a filmé la scène.

      Mais, au lieu de s’adresser aux autorités grecques, Frontex a alors arrêté de faire patrouiller des avions au-dessus de la mer Égée, au motif qu’elle en avait besoin ailleurs.

      Fabrice Leggeri aurait ainsi sciemment fermé les yeux sur ces actes illégaux, accusent des collaborateurs de Frontex cités par les enquêteurs. Ces derniers ont par ailleurs trouvé une note écrite évoquant le retrait des avions de surveillance "pour ne pas être témoin" de ce qui se passait en mer.

      Plus grave encore, Frontex aurait co-financé certains de ces refoulements. L’Olaf rapporte en effet qu’au moins six bateaux grecs, cofinancés par l’agence européenne, auraient été impliqués dans plus d’une dizaine de "pushbacks" entre avril et décembre 2020, ce que l’ancien directeur a toujours rejeté.
      Nombreux témoignages

      La mer Égée est le théâtre de nombreux refoulements, alertent les associations et les migrants eux-mêmes depuis des années. InfoMigrants reçoit régulièrement des témoignages d’exilés allant dans ce sens.

      À l’été 2021, une Congolaise avait expliqué comment les garde-côtes grecs avaient refoulé son embarcation en mer, mettant les passagers en danger. "Ils nous ont menacé avec leur armes (…) Ils ont tourné autour de nous, ce qui a fait de grandes vagues et du courant", avait-elle rapporté.

      Au mois de mai 2021, Samuel, un autre migrant d’Afrique subsaharienne, avait raconté comment son embarcation avait été renvoyée vers les côtes turques. Fin 2020, Slimane, un Guinéen avait expliqué à la rédaction comment des hommes en uniforme avaient percé le canot dans lequel il se trouvait pour l’empêcher d’atteindre les îles.

      Sur terre, la situation n’est pas meilleure : en 2021, l’ONG norvégienne Aegean Boat Report a comptabilisé pas moins de 629 cas de refoulements illégaux de migrants menés dans les îles de la mer Égée.
      “Il y a des progrès sur le terrain"

      Lors d’une visite aux bureaux de Frontex, à Athènes, la ministre allemande des Affaires étrangères Annalena Baerbock a réagi à ces révélations. "Même si je ne peux évidemment pas vérifier en détail ce qu’il en est de chaque cas individuel", "il y a eu des ’pushbacks’ incompatibles avec le droit européen", a-t-elle affirmé.

      Elle a souligné que "des mesures ont été prises immédiatement (...), nous en avons tous parlé aujourd’hui, pour que davantage d’observateurs des droits de l’Homme soient sur place", a-t-elle ajouté.

      Interrogée sur la publication, une porte-parole de la Commission européenne, Anitta Hipper, a, elle, souligné qu’"une série de mesures" avaient déjà été mises en place pour régler la question de la gouvernance de l’agence, dirigée depuis début juillet par la Lettonne Aija Kalnaja.

      "En termes de travail sur place avec les autorités grecques, il y a des progrès sur le terrain", a ajouté Anitta Hipper, pointant aussi "une nouvelle proposition de loi pour garantir un système de surveillance solide" du traitement des demandeurs d’asile en Grèce.

      Durant les sept ans passés à la tête de Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri a considérablement renforcé l’agence, dont les effectifs - avec des agents désormais armés - doivent atteindre 10 000 garde-côtes et garde-frontières d’ici 2027.

      La Grèce, de son côté, a toujours démenti tout refoulement illégal à ses frontières. Le ministre grec des Migrations Notis Mitarachi a indiqué jeudi qu’il n’avait lu que "le résumé" du rapport de l’Olaf, qui, selon lui, "ne blâme pas directement la Grèce". "Nous avons le droit de protéger nos frontières", a-t-il répondu aux médias.

      http://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/42249/pushbacks-de-migrants-en-grece--frontex-avait-bien-connaissance-des-re

  • EU’s Frontex Tripped in Its Plan for ‘Intrusive’ Surveillance of Migrants

    Frontex and the European Commission sidelined their own data protection watchdogs in pursuing a much-criticised expansion of “intrusive” data collection from migrants and refugees to feed into Europol’s vast criminal databases, BIRN can reveal.

    On November 17 last year, when Hervé Yves Caniard entered the 14-floor conference room of the European Union border agency Frontex in Warsaw, European newspapers were flooded with stories of refugees a few hundreds kilometres away, braving the cold at the Belarusian border with Poland.

    A 14-year-old Kurd had died from hypothermia a few days earlier; Polish security forces were firing teargas and water cannon to push people back.

    The unfolding crisis was likely a topic of discussion at the Frontex Management Board meeting, but so too was a longer-term policy goal concerning migrants and refugees: the expansion of a mass surveillance programme at Europe’s external borders.

    PeDRA, or ‘Processing of Personal Data for Risk Analysis,’ had begun in 2016 as a way for Frontex and the EU police body Europol to exchange data in the wake of the November 2015 Paris attacks by Islamist militants that French authorities had linked to Europe’s then snowballing refugee crisis.

    At the November 2021 meeting, Caniard and his boss, Frontex’s then executive director, Fabrice Leggeri, were proposing to ramp it up dramatically, allowing Frontex border guards to collect what some legal experts have called ‘intrusive’ personal data from migrants and asylum seekers, including genetic data and sexual orientation; to store, analyse and share that data with Europol and security agencies of member states; and to scrape social media profiles, all on the premise of cracking down on ‘illegal’ migration and terrorism.

    The expanded PeDRA programme would target not just individuals suspected of cross-border crimes such as human trafficking but also the witnesses and victims.

    Caniard, the veteran head of the Frontex Legal Unit, had been appointed that August by fellow Frenchman Leggeri to lead the drafting of the new set of internal PeDRA rules. Caniard was also interim director of the agency’s Governance Support Centre, which reported directly to Leggeri, and as such was in a position to control internal vetting of the new PeDRA plan.

    That vetting was seriously undermined, according minutes of board meetings leaked by insiders and internal documents obtained via Freedom of Information requests submitted by BIRN.

    The evidence gathered by BIRN point to an effort by the Frontex leadership under Leggeri, backed by the European Commission, to sideline EU data protection watchdogs in order to push through the plan, regardless of warnings of institutional overreach, threats to privacy and the criminalisation of migrants.

    Nayra Perez, Frontex’s own Data Protection Officer, DPO, warned repeatedly that the PeDRA expansion “cannot be achieved by breaching compliance with EU legislation” and that the programme posed “a serious risk of function creep in relation to the Agency’s mandate.” But her input was largely ignored, documents reveal.

    The DPO warned of the possibility of Frontex data being transmitted in bulk, “carte blanche”, to Europol, a body which this year was ordered to delete much of a vast store of personal data that it was found to have amassed unlawfully by the EU’s top data protection watchdog, the European Data Protection Supervisor, EDPS.

    Backed by the Commission, Frontex ignored a DPO recommendation that it consult the EDPS, currently led by Polish Wojciech Wiewiórowski, over the new PeDRA rules. In a response for this story, the EDPS warned of the possibility of “unlawful” processing of data by Frontex.

    Having initially told BIRN that the DPO’s “advisory and auditing role” had been respected throughout the process, shortly before publication of this story Frontex conceded that Perez’s office “could have been involved more closely to the drafting and entrusted with the role of the chair of the Board”, an ad hoc body tasked with drafting the PeDRA rules.

    In June, the EDPS asked Frontex to make multiple amendments to the expanded surveillance programme in order to bring it into line with EU data protection standards; Frontex told BIRN it had now entrusted the DPO to redraft “relevant MB [Management Board] decisions in line with the EDPS recommendations and lessons learned.”

    Dr Niovi Vavoula, an expert in EU privacy and criminal law at Queen Mary University of London, said that the expanded PeDRA programme risked the “discriminatory criminalisation” of innocent people, prejudicing the outcomes of criminal proceedings against those flagged as “suspects” by Frontex border guards.

    As written, the revamped PeDRA “is another piece of the puzzle of the emerging surveillance and criminalisation of migrants and refugees,” she said.

    Religious beliefs, sexual orientation

    Leggeri had long held a vision of Frontex as more than simply a ‘border management’ body, one that would see it working in tandem with Europol in matters of law enforcement; to this end, both agencies have been keen to loosen restrictions on the exchange of personal data between them.

    Almost six years to the day before the Warsaw PeDRA meeting, a gun and bomb attack by Islamist militants killed 130 people in Paris. It was November 13, 2015, at the height of the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas.

    The following month, Leggeri signed a deal with the then head of Europol, Briton Richard Wainwright, which opened the door to the exchange of personal data between the two agencies. Addressing the UK parliament, Wainwright described a “symbiotic” relationship between the agencies in protecting the EU’s borders. In early 2016, a PeDRA pilot project launched in Italy, quickly followed by Greece and Spain.

    At the same time, Europol launched its own parallel programme of so-called Secondary Security Checks on migrants and refugees in often cramped, squalid camps in Italy and Greece using facial recognition technology. The checks, most recently expanded to refugees from Ukraine in Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Moldova, were introduced “in order to identify suspected terrorists and criminals” but Europol is tight-lipped about the criteria determining who gets checked and what happens with the data obtained.

    Since the launch of PeDRA, Frontex officers have been gathering information from newly-arrived migrants concerning individuals suspected of involvement in smuggling, trafficking or terrorism and transmitting the data to Europol in the form of “personal data packages,” which are then cross-checked against and stored within its criminal databases.

    According to its figures, under the PeDRA programme, Frontex has shared the personal data – e.g. names, personal descriptions and phone numbers – of 11,254 people with Europol between 2016 and 2021.

    But the 2015 version of the PEDRA programme was only its first incarnation.

    Until 2019, rules governing Frontex meant that its capacity to collect and exchange the personal data of migrants had been strictly limited.

    In December 2021, after years of acrimonious legal wrangling, the Frontex Management Board – comprising representatives of the 27 EU member states and the European Commission – gave the green light to the expansion of PeDRA.

    Under the new rules, which have yet to enter into force, Frontex border guards will be able to collect a much wider range of sensitive personal data from all migrants, including genetic and biometric data, such as DNA, fingerprints or photographs, information on their political and religious beliefs, and sexual orientation.

    The agency told BIRN it had not yet started processing personal data “related to sexual orientation” but that the collection of such information may be necessary to “determine whether suspects who appear to be similar are in fact the same.”

    In terms of social media monitoring, Frontex said it had not decided yet whether to take advantage of such a tool; minutes of a joint meeting in April, however, show that Frontex and Europol agreed on “strengthening cooperation on social media monitoring”.

    Indeed, in 2019, Frontex published plans to pay a surveillance company 400,000 euros to track people on social media, including “civil society and diaspora communities” within the EU, but abandoned it in November of that year after Privacy International questioned the legality of the plan.

    Yet, under the expanded PeDRA, Vavoula, of Queen Mary University, said Frontex officers could be tasked without scraping social media profiles “without restrictions”.

    Commenting on the entire programme, she added that PeDRA “could not have been drafted by someone with a deep knowledge of data protection law”. She cited numerous violations of elementary data protection safeguards, especially for children, the elderly and other vulnerable individuals, who should generally be treated differently from other subjects.

    “Sufficient procedural safeguards should be introduced to ensure the protection of fundamental rights of children to the fullest possible extent including the requirement of justified reasons of such a processing of personal data,” Vavoula said. “Genetic data is much more sensitive than biometric data,” and therefore requires “specific safeguards” not present in the text.

    Vavoula also noted the absence of a “maximum retention period,” warning, “Frontex may retain the data forever.”
    Internal dissent swept aside

    Internal documents seen by BIRN show that the man tasked by Leggeri to oversee the drafting of the new PeDRA rules, Caniard, ignored objections raised by the agency’s own data protection watchdog.

    Perez, a Spanish lawyer and Frontex’s DPO, has the task of monitoring the agency’s compliance with EU data protection laws not only concerning the thousands of migrants whose data will be stored in its databases but also of the agency’s rapidly expanding staff base, currently numbering more than 1,900 but soon to include a ‘standing corps’ of up to 10,000 border guards.

    She had also been working on earlier drafts of the new PeDRA rules since 2018, only to be leapfrogged by Caniard when he was appointed by Leggeri in August 2021.

    When she was shown an advanced draft of the new PeDRA rules in October 2021, Perez did not mince her words. “The process of drafting the new rules de facto encroaches on the tasks legally assigned to the DPO,” she said in an internal Frontex document obtained by BIRN. “When the DPO issues an opinion, such advice cannot be overruled or amended.”

    The DPO proposed more than a hundred changes to the draft; she warned that, under the proposed rules, Frontex “seems to arrogate the capacity to police the internet” through monitoring of social media and that victims and witnesses of crime whose data is shared with Europol face “undesirable consequences” of being part of a “pan-European criminal database.”

    During intense internal discussions in late 2021, as the deadline for approving the new rules was fast approaching, the DPO said that Frontex had failed to make a compelling case for the collection of sensitive data such as ethnicity or sexual orientation.

    “…the legal threshold to be met is not a ‘nice to have’ but a strict necessity,” Perez wrote.

    When the final draft landed on the desk of the Frontex Management Board in November 2021, it was clear that many of the DPO’s recommendations had been disregarded.

    At this point, Frontex was already the target of a probe by the European Anti-Fraud Office into its role in so-called ‘pushbacks’ in which migrants are illegally turned away at the EU’s borders, the findings of which would eventually force Leggeri’s resignation in April this year.

    In an initial written response for this story, Frontex said that the DPO “had an active, pivotal role in the deliberations” concerning the new rules and that the watchdog’s “advisory and auditing role was respected” throughout the process.

    Minutes of the November board meeting appeared to contradict this, however. Written in English and partially disclosed following an ‘access to documents request’, they cite Caniard conceding that the DPO was “consulted twice with a very short notice” and that, since Perez issued her opinion only the day before the meeting, there “was no possibility to take stock of it”. Perez submitted her opinion on November 16 and the board meeting was held on November 17 and 18.

    The DPO, for its part, urged the management board to “work on the current draft to eliminate inconsistencies” and, though not legally obliged, “to consult the EDPS prior to adoption”.

    Prior to publication of this story, BIRN asked Frontex again whether the DPO’s mandate had been respected during the drafting of the new PeDRA rules. The agency backtracked, saying it should have involved Perez’s office more closely and that the DPO would rewrite the programme.

    Dissent was not confined to the DPO. Danish and Dutch representatives in the meeting urged the board to delay voting on the rules given that the DPO’s opinions had not been taken on board and to “do its utmost to avoid any situation where it is necessary to amend rules just adopted just because an EDPS’ conflicting opinion is issued.”

    According to the minutes of the November meeting, the Commission representative, however, dismissed this, declaring that it considered the text “more than mature for adoption” and that there was no need to consult the EDPS because “it is not mandatory”.

    Email exchanges between the Commission and Frontex reveal the urgency with which the Commission wanted the new rules adopted, even at the cost of foregoing EDPS participation.

    One, from the Commission to Frontex on November 14, 2021, just days before the Board meeting said that, “while it would have been good to consult the EDPS on everything, it is more important now to get at least the two first decisions adopted.” An earlier mail, from July 2021 and sent directly to Leggeri, said it was “an absolute political priority to put in place the data protection framework of the Agency without any further delays.” That framework included the processing of personal data under PeDRA.

    Asked why it supported the expansion of the Frontex surveillance programme without first having the proposal checked by EDPS, the Commission told BIRN it would not comment on “discussion held in the management board or other internal meetings.”

    The EDPS, the EU’s top data protection authority, was only shown a copy of the new rules in late January 2022.

    Asked for its opinion, the EDPS told BIRN it is “concerned that the rules adopted do not specify with sufficient clarity how the intended processing will be carried out, nor define precisely how safeguards on data protection will be implemented.”

    The processing of highly vulnerable categories of individuals, including asylum seekers, could pose “severe risks for fundamental rights and freedoms,” such as the right to asylum, it said. It further stressed that “routine”, i.e. systematic, exchange of personal data between Frontex and Europol is not permitted and that such exchange can only take place “on a case-by-case basis.”
    Collecting data with ‘religious’ fervour

    Experts question the effectiveness of such extensive data collection in combating serious crime.

    Douwe Korff, Emeritus Professor of international law at London Metropolitan University, decried the apparent lack of results and accountability.

    “There isn’t even the absolute minimum requirement for law enforcement authorities to provide serious proof that the expansion of surveillance powers will be effective and proportionate,” said Korff, who has contributed to research on mass surveillance for EU institutions for years.

    “If you ask how many people have you arrested using this data that are completely innocent, they don’t even want to know about this. They pursue this policy of mass data collection with a religious belief.”

    Indeed, when the EDPS ordered Europol in January to delete data amassed unlawfully concerning individuals with no link to criminal activity, member states and the Commission came to the rescue with legal amendments enabling the agency to sidestep the order.

    In May, Frontex and Europol put forward a proposal, drafted by a joint working group named ‘The Future Group’, for a new surveillance programme at the bloc’s external borders that would implement large-scale profiling of EU and third-country nationals using Artificial Intelligence.

    https://balkaninsight.com/2022/07/07/eus-frontex-tripped-in-plan-for-intrusive-surveillance-of-migrants
    #surveillance #migrations #asile #réfugiés #frontières #Frontex #données #Europol #PeDRA #Processing_of_Personal_Data_for_Risk_Analysis #Caniard #Hervé_Yves_Caniard #Leggeri #Fabrice_Leggeri #Nayra_Perez #Italie #Grèce #Espagne #Secondary_Security_Checks #données_personnelles

  • (#frontex)
    New director, same tragedy

    On Monday 4 July Frontex announced that its Management Board, made up of representatives of EU countries’ border authorities – mostly police officers active at national level -, has appointed #Aija_Kalnaja as Executive Director ad interim for the agency. This follows the resignation of former director Fabrice Leggeri in April 2022, amidst ongoing investigations by EU’s anti-fraud watchdog OLAF into Frontex‘s role concerning allegations of harassment, misconduct and illegal pushbacks. Kalnaja was already acting Executive Director since the departure of Leggeri.
    The change in leadership is meant to appease the intense and growing criticism Frontex is facing. Over the past years – and thanks to the tireless work and testimonies from people on the move, support workers, journalists and civil society – the public has seen and been confronted with Frontex’s unacceptable behaviour and violent nature. The OLAF investigation is a direct result from this and its secret report on Frontex of February 2022 should be made public.

    Pictures of wounded people after being attacked and beaten by border guards for attempting to cross a border; footage of boats purposefully being left adrift at sea, assistance being denied; minute-by-minute reconstructions of illegal pushbacks… The evidence is by now overwhelming and undeniable. And so the demands for change became unavoidable.
    It is in this context that a new leader for the EU’s most powerful agency is being appointed. But appointing a new face while the structure and the system remain unaltered will not bring drastic and necessary change; it’s nothing but a new chapter of the same book, it’s continuation.
    Frontex will remain Frontex – something that Kalnaja has evidenced herself. At the end of May Kalnaja told the European Parliament that Frontex is “traumatized” from all the criticism it received about the human rights violations it is responsible for.
    This feeble attempt to put the agency and its employees in a victim role shows that Frontex lacks any recognition or repentence over the fact that it is not Frontex employees, but countless people on the move who suffer real trauma and injury from their treatment by the agency and other actors in the EU’s militarised border regime, nor that the violations are unacceptable and will stop in the future. It is also a clear signal from Frontex itself that we must expect business as usual under the leadership of the new Director.
    And what #business_as_usual means is actually repeated and widespread forms of violence at and beyond Europe’s borders: people on the move being shot at, pushed back, left to drown, handed over to torturers, jailed and deported. It means an agency with its doors widely open for the lobby of the military and security industry, cooperating with authoritarian regimes in non-EU-countries, and building its own paramilitary border police force.
    The fact is, a change of leadership is a solution that flagrantly fails to match the extent and nature of the problem. Frontex is a border police force whose mere existence inherently creates and perpetuates violence and death; substituting one director for another isn’t aimed at ending this violence or even addressing it – it simply seeks to put someone new in charge who will keep it running smoothly. Meanwhile, the European Commission, the European Parliament and Member states’ governments have firmly stood on the side of Frontex and chosen to expand its powers even more.
    We are certain Kalnaja will continue to try to give Frontex a more humanitarian face, talking about fundamental rights and about rebuilding trust. We are also certain these are nothing but hollow words and an act of windowdressing, as the sole mission of Frontex is to keep or get people on the move out of the EU. As such, Frontex cannot be reformed or turned into a kinder version of itself. It is and will remain the figurehead of the EU’s deadly militarised and racist border and migration policies and therefore must be abolished.
    Abolish Frontex, a network of over 130 groups and organisations in and beyond the EU, can assure Kalnaja that there will never be any trust in her and the agency. As we continue to campaign and take action to ABOLISH FRONTEX and end the EU border regime, we look forward to making Kalnaja‘s mandate a brief one and the last of its kind, coming to an end amidst the ruins of an agency that has been dismantled to the ground.

    https://abolishfrontex.org/blog/2022/07/05/new-director-same-tragedy

    #Kalnaja #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers

    –—

    sur la #démission de #Fabrice_Leggeri, voir ce fil de discussion :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/958737

    #Leggeri

    ping @isskein @karine4 @_kg_

    • ... “At the end of May Kalnaja told the European Parliament that Frontex is “traumatized” from all the criticism it received about the human rights violations it is responsible for.” ...

  • Démission de Leggeri à la tête de Frontex

    BREAKING OVERNIGHT: Frontex Director Fabrice Leggeri is quitting, POLITICO hears. The head of the EU border agency has tendered his resignation, several people in the know told us, with further details expected today. Frontex did not respond to a request for comment. Leggeri has led the agency, which has come under scrutiny for its alleged role in so-called pushbacks of migrants, since 2015. The development comes as the EU’s anti-fraud watchdog, #OLAF, is poised to present the full findings of its long-running probe into Frontex.

    https://www.politico.eu/newsletter/brussels-playbook/trouble-at-frontex-ruble-roulette-jeppes-replacement
    #Leggeri #Fabrice_Leggeri #Frontex #démission #frontières #migrations #réfugiés

    • Démission du Directeur de Frontex : une occasion à prendre pour une réorientation radicale

      Suite aux nombreuses enquêtes et rapports émanant de la société civile et d’institutions officielles européennes, tel le tout récent et explosif rapport de l’Office européen de la lutte anti-fraude (OLAF), qui mettent en cause l’agence Frontex pour ses agissements complices en matière de refoulements et de violences en vers des personnes exilées ainsi que pour sa mauvaise gestion interne (pour plus de détails, lire la récente Note politique #28 du CNCD-11.11.11 « Frontex : droits humains en danger »), le directeur de Frontex, s’est vu dans l’obligation de donner sa démission le 28 avril 2022. Cette démission a été acceptée ce 29 avril par le CA de l’agence.


      https://twitter.com/g_christides/status/1519967913066782720

      Ce 4 mai, tirant les leçons de cet épisode, le CNCD-11.11.11 encourage les membres du Parlement européen à refuser à Frontex la décharge de ses comptes pour l’exercice 2020 lors du vote en séance plénière. En effet, bloquer la décharge budgétaire est un bon levier pour exiger la réforme en profondeur de l’orientation et du fonctionnement de Frontex pour plus de transparence, de contrôle démocratique et de responsabilisation en cas de non-respect des droits humains. Les faits ayant amené à la démission du directeur doivent maintenant être analysés posément et des engagements formels pris pour garantir le respect des lois et des traités internationaux. C’est pourquoi il importe de reporter la décharge jusqu’à la démonstration de la mise en œuvre effective de mesures correctrices. Plus globalement, ce vote est l’occasion d’un signal fort pour exiger une réorientation radicale du pacte européen pour l’asile et la migration vers le respect des droits humains, la mobilité et la solidarité (pour plus de détails, lire notre récente étude « Migration et asile : analyse du pacte européen » : https://www.cncd.be/point-sud-22-migration-asile-pacte-europeen).

      https://www.cncd.be/Demission-du-Directeur-de-Frontex

    • Frontex | Faire sauter la tête ne suffira pas

      L’annonce de la démission du directeur de Frontex, Fabrizio Leggeri, vendredi 29 avril, ne représente que la première fissure dans l’édifice opaque qui s’est constitué depuis la création de l’Agence européenne des garde-frontières. Mais suffira-t-elle ? Semaine après semaine, les révélations se succèdent. D’autres membres du Conseil d’administration seraient impliqués dans la falsification de preuves de refoulements illégaux de personnes exilées. Des refoulements qui auraient conduit à la noyade de personnes migrantes, documentée par une équipe de journalistes. [1]

      Il faut rappeler que la Suisse a deux représentant·es au sein de ce conseil d’administration. L’un ou l’autre étaient-ils impliqués dans les faits reprochés à Leggeri ? Qu’en savaient-ils et qu’ont-ils communiqué au Conseil fédéral ? Alors que la Suisse est en pleine campagne de votation sur un arrêté fédéral visant à octroyer davantage de moyens financiers et de personnel à cette agence, les conseillers fédéraux concerné·es Karin Keller-Sutter et Ueli Maurer devraient répondre à cette question avant le jour du scrutin. C’est ce que demande depuis fin mars 2022 une Lettre ouverte publiée par Frontex-leaks.ch et relayée sur le site asile.ch. Une exigence de transparence légitime dans le cadre du débat démocratique.

      Au lieu de cela, c’est une crispation voire une censure que cherchent à imposer les autorités fédérales aux journalistes qui tentent de faire leur travail d’information. La RTS s’en est fait écho le 28 avril [2], évoquant même la possible intervention de Frontex dans cette interférence, alors que Le Temps dénonçait 4 jours plus tôt une censure de la part de l’Administration fédérale des douanes. Son vice-directeur Marco Benz est justement membre du conseil d’administration de Frontex.

      L’information est un outil essentiel de notre démocratie. Ce n’est que grâce au travail acharné de journalistes et d’ONG que les actes de Frontex commencent à voir le jour. L’agence a tenté par tous les moyens -y compris par des poursuites financières- d’empêcher leurs investigations. Celles-ci ont contribué au lancement de certaines enquêtes par des organes européens, notamment celle de l’Organe de lutte antifraude de l’Union européenne, dont le rapport a conduit à la démission de Leggeri. Pas plus tard que le 28 avril, l’enquête conjuguée du Monde, SRF, Republik, en collaboration avec Lighthouse report, a montré combien les refoulements illégaux pratiqués par l’agence sont « normalisés ». La question de savoir si les pushback font partie de l’ADN de Frontex reste entière.

      La justice internationale est également en train d’être activée par des ONG. Une autre façon de demander des comptes sur les pratiques de l’Agence et des États européens à leurs frontières extérieures. La dernière en date a été déposée par Sea-Watch, suite au refoulement d’un bateau vers la Libye, pays où, selon l’ONU, « ils seront placés dans des centres de détention inhumains et seront exposés à la famine, aux abus sexuels et à la torture. » [3]

      Est-ce cela que nous voulons ? Refuser aux personnes fuyant les guerres et la persécution le droit de déposer une demande de protection internationale ? Veut-on tripler les moyens financiers d’une agence qui renvoie vers la mort et la torture plusieurs milliers de personnes, ceci sans demander de comptes ?

      Refuser le 15 mai l’arrêté fédéral proposé par le Conseil fédéral et le Parlement ne met de loin pas en danger notre démocratie. Celle-ci a besoin de contre-pouvoirs forts.

      Un refus ne mettra pas davantage en danger notre participation à Schengen. Cet argument est de la poudre aux yeux. [4] Un rejet permettra de relégiférer, à la lumière des éléments qui se font jour aujourd’hui. D’ajouter des mesures d’accompagnement humanitaires qui avaient initialement été proposées lors des travaux parlementaires, pour assurer la sécurité des personnes qui sont elles-mêmes en danger et doivent être protégées.

      Le 15 mai, nous avons l’occasion de refuser d’adouber des pratiques antidémocratiques et illégales qui foulent au pied les valeurs que l’Europe essaie aujourd’hui de défendre face à la Russie de Poutine. Et de renforcer les voix européennes qui demandent un monitoring véritablement indépendant des pratiques de Frontex.

      https://asile.ch/2022/04/29/frontex-faire-sauter-la-tete-ne-suffira-pas

    • Le patron de Frontex Fabrice Leggeri démissionne sur fond d’accusations

      Le patron de Frontex, le Français Fabrice Leggeri, a présenté jeudi sa démission. Son départ fait suite à une enquête sur sa gestion de l’agence européenne de garde-côtes et de gardes-frontières.

      Directeur exécutif de Frontex depuis 2015, Fabrice Leggeri a été visé par un rapport de l’Office européen de lutte antifraude (Olaf) qui, selon Le Point, lui reproche en substance de « ne pas avoir respecté les procédures, s’être démontré déloyal vis-à-vis de l’Union européenne et un mauvais management personnel ».

      Cette enquête intervient sur fond d’accusations régulières, notamment de la part d’ONG ces dernières années, de pratiques de refoulements illégaux de migrants (dits « pushbacks ») et de complaisance envers les autorités grecques, par exemple, sur des renvois brutaux vers la Turquie.

      Mercredi encore, une enquête publiée par le quotidien Le Monde et Lighthouse Reports a démontré qu’entre mars 2020 et septembre 2021, Frontex a répertorié des renvois illégaux de migrants, parvenus dans les eaux grecques, comme de simples « opérations de prévention au départ, menées dans les eaux turques ».

      Enquête internationale

      En sept ans à la tête de Frontex, qui doit surveiller les frontières extérieures de l’UE, Fabrice Leggeri a accompagné le renforcement de l’agence qui a été considérablement musclée et dont les effectifs doivent atteindre 10’000 garde-côtes et gardes-frontières d’ici 2027 (voir encadré).

      Dans le courrier où il annonce remettre son mandat au comité de gestion de l’agence, Fabrice Leggeri affirme que depuis son élection et sa reconduction en 2019, le mandat de Frontex a été modifié « tacitement mais effectivement », ce qu’a réfuté la Commission européenne.

      La gauche du Parlement européen, en particulier, réclamait la démission de Fabrice Leggeri depuis l’automne 2020, à la suite d’une enquête journalistique internationale qui impliquait Frontex dans plusieurs refoulements en mer Egée.

      https://www.rts.ch/info/monde/13056010-le-patron-de-frontex-fabrice-leggeri-demissionne-sur-fond-daccusations.

    • Commission statement on the resignation of Fabrice Leggeri

      The Commission takes note of the resignation with immediate effect of the Executive Director of the European Border and Coastguard Agency (Frontex), Fabrice Leggeri.

      As the most senior Deputy Executive Director of Frontex, Aija Kalnaja will deputise and assume the lead of the Agency with immediate effect. To ensure full continuity of the agency, the Commission will proceed quickly with recruitment and appointment of a new Executive Director.

      It is a priority for the Commission to have in place a strong, effective, and well-functioning European Border and Coast Guard.

      Frontex fulfils a critically important task to support Member States manage common European Union external borders, and to uphold fundamental rights in doing so. For that purpose, Frontex must be a robust and well-functioning agency. The Commission will continue to fully support Frontex in this mission.

      Over the past year, the Commission has stepped up significantly its support and advice to Frontex to ensure the full implementation of its mandate. To this end, the Commission initiated several extraordinary Management Board meetings dedicated to governance issues and fundamental rights. The Commission is committed to the continuous improvement of the agency.

      https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/statement_22_2751

    • Refoulement de migrants aux frontières : Fabrice Leggeri, directeur de Frontex, démissionne

      Les accusations de renvois illégaux de migrants aux frontières de l’Union européenne se succèdent depuis plusieurs années à l’égard de l’agence européenne de gardes-côtes. La teneur d’une enquête de l’Office européen de lutte anti-fraude, pas encore rendue publique, a poussé Fabrice Leggeri, directeur controversé de l’institution, à démissionner.

      Fabrice Leggeri, directeur exécutif de l’agence de gardes-frontières et de gardes-côtes Frontex, a finalement jeté l’éponge. La pression qui s’exerce sur ses épaules n’a cessé de croître à mesure que les allégations de refoulements de demandeurs d’asile, couverts ou effectués par Frontex, se sont multipliées ces dernières années.

      Dernier scandale en date, révélé le 27 avril par Lighthouse Report, Der Spiegel et Le Monde : Frontex aurait volontairement « maquillé » des renvois illégaux de migrants vers la Turquie, à partir de la Grèce, les privant ainsi de leur droit à demander l’asile.

      Les nombreux rapports compilant les violations de droits fondamentaux de migrants aux frontières de l’Europe ont toujours été reçus par le silence ou les dénégations de Fabrice Leggeri, dont les arrières ont été protégés au Conseil d’administration de Frontex, composé de représentants des États membres.

      Les manquements organisationnels de Frontex – l’inefficacité des mécanismes de plaintes, de rapport d’incidents et de contrôle interne des violations des droits fondamentaux – sont pourtant dans le collimateur de nombreuses institutions. La médiatrice européenne et le Parlement ont publié des rapports pointant des #dysfonctionnements_majeurs. Même la Commission européenne s’y est mise. Le 18 décembre 2020, Monique Pariat, directrice générale chargée des migrations et des affaires intérieures pointait, dans une lettre envoyée à Fabrice Leggeri, la manière « trompeuse » dont le directeur de Frontex présentait les faits au Parlement européen.

      L’enquête de l’Olaf et la « gravité des faits »

      C’est surtout l’enquête menée par l’Office européen de lutte anti-fraude (Olaf) qui a fait vaciller Fabrice Leggeri et l’a poussé à la démission.

      Cela fait plus d’un an que l’Olaf scrute les agissements de la direction de Frontex. Deux enquêtes sont menées en parallèle et touchent trois personnalités de haut rang, dont le directeur exécutif. La première enquête, clôturée le 15 février dernier, porte sur les allégations de refoulement aux frontières extérieures de l’Union européenne et de violations des droits fondamentaux, notamment à la frontière gréco-turque.

      Frontex a-t-elle couvert des actions illégales de la part des gardes-côtes grecs ? Dans quelle mesure Frontex est-elle impliquée dans ces refoulements ? Comment l’agence et ses dirigeants ont-ils réagi face aux incidents qui leur étaient rapportés ? La seconde enquête, dont les conclusions sont attendues avant l’été, devrait faire la lumière sur des cas supposés de #harcèlement de travailleurs de l’agence.

      Ces enquêtes sont encore confidentielles. Mais quelques députés de la commission du contrôle budgétaire du Parlement européen ont pu prendre connaissance de leurs grandes lignes, lors d’une audition à huis clos du directeur général de l’Olaf, en mars dernier. Ils ont été convaincus, le 31 mars, « au vu de la gravité des faits », de suspendre la décharge budgétaire de Frontex. « Entre le rapport de l’Olaf et les dernières allégations de refoulement, la position de Fabrice Leggeri devenait intenable. Il était jusqu’à présent protégé par des États membres, dont la France, mais l’image de Frontex devenait trop abîmée », commente Tineke Strik, eurodéputée écologiste néerlandaise membre du groupe de contrôle de Frontex au Parlement européen. Pour la députée, le départ de Fabrice Leggeri est « un premier pas. L’organisation, la structure, la culture de Frontex devront changer ». Dans sa lettre de démission, Fabrice Leggeri, amer, regrettait que le mandat de Frontex ait « silencieusement, mais effectivement changé ».

      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/290422/refoulement-de-migrants-aux-frontieres-fabrice-leggeri-directeur-de-fronte

    • Leggeri est parti, mais c’est Frontex qu’il faut renvoyer !

      Le directeur exécutif de l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes vient de démissionner suite à des accusations de refoulements illégaux. Il est temps d’en finir avec l’approche restrictive et militarisée de l’UE envers les migrants.

      Fabrice Leggeri vient de présenter sa démission en tant que directeur exécutif de Frontex, l’agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes. Cette démission survient après des mois de révélations successives concernant l’implication de Frontex dans les violations des droits humains, en particulier dans le cadre de ses opérations aux frontières de l’Europe de l’Est et en Grèce. Ayant focalisé mes recherches sur la Méditerranée centrale pendant plus de dix ans, ces révélations ne me surprennent absolument pas. Dans le cadre d’une des enquêtes que j’ai menées au sein du projet Forensic Oceanography (Death by Rescue, 2016), j’ai démontré qu’au cours de l’été 2014 Frontex a mené une véritable campagne pour que l’opération militaire et humanitaire italienne Mare Nostrum soit stoppée. Alors que l’opération déployée en 2013-2014 avait permis de secourir de manière proactive un grand nombre de migrant·e·s fuyant la Libye dans des conditions dramatiques, Frontex l’a accusée de constituer un « appel d’air » menant à plus de traversées.

      Dans le but de dissuader les migrant·e·s de rejoindre le continent européen, l’agence a mis tout en œuvre pour que soit mis fin à l’opération Mare Nostrum et que celle-ci soit remplacée par une opération de Frontex, Triton, bien plus éloignée des côtes libyennes, et dont l’objectif était le contrôle des frontières et non le secours en mer. Ce changement opérationnel a été mis en place malgré l’unanimité des acteurs défendant les droits des migrant·e·s, et même des évaluations internes à Frontex qui prévoyaient que la fin de Mare Nostrum ne mènerait pas à moins de traversées mais à plus de morts en mer.

      C’est bien cette réalité qui s’est tragiquement matérialisée, notamment avec le naufrage du 18 avril 2015, le plus meurtrier de l’histoire récente de la Méditerranée avec plus de 950 morts. A la suite de cette catastrophe, le président de la Commission européenne, Jean-Claude Juncker, a admis que « cela a été une sérieuse erreur que de mettre fin à Mare Nostrum. Cela a coûté des vies » (1). On aurait pu s’attendre à ce qu’à la suite de cette reconnaissance, Frontex soit sanctionnée pour son rôle dans ce changement opérationnel meurtrier. Il n’en a rien été : l’opération de Frontex fut renforcée et son budget augmenté. Et le vide de secours mortel laissé par la fin de Mare Nostrum n’a jamais été comblé.

      Du dédain à l’#impunité

      Tout cela peut sembler lointain. Mais aujourd’hui, des avions et drones de Frontex informent les garde-côtes libyens de la présence de migrant·e·s pour qu’ils et elles soient intercepté·e·s et ramené·e·s en Libye, et ce malgré tout ce que nous savons des conditions inhumaines qui leur sont réservées. Pourtant, cet épisode plus ancien mérite d’être rappelé car il démontre clairement le rôle de Frontex dans la construction des migrant·e·s comme une menace, la mise en place d’opérations de contrôle des frontières toujours plus coûteuses et militarisées, le dédain pour les vies et des droits des migrant·e·s qui anime l’agence, et l’impunité qui a été organisée autour de ses activités. Malgré la pression publique et politique dont Frontex fait aujourd’hui l’objet, cet état de fait n’est pas fondamentalement remis en cause, et le départ de Fabrice Leggeri ne changera pas significativement la donne.

      Mais il y a plus. L’Union européenne applique depuis deux mois une politique d’ouverture sélective face aux migrant·e·s fuyant l’Ukraine. Pour un groupe de personnes (trop) limité, un changement de paradigme a été opéré : celui de permettre la mobilité des personnes en quête de refuge et de reconnaître leurs droits plutôt que de chercher à les bloquer à tout prix. Cette brèche ouverte rend aujourd’hui évident pour le plus grand nombre ce qui l’a été depuis longtemps pour nombre de chercheurs, chercheuses, acteurs et actrices de la société civile : l’approche restrictive et militarisée de l’UE n’est pas une fatalité, une politique plus ouverte et respectueuse des droits est possible, et celle-ci rendrait des acteurs comme Frontex superflus.

      Le 15 mai, les citoyen·ne·s suisses se prononceront concernant le financement de Frontex. Ce référendum donne une opportunité à la population suisse de cesser d’être complice d’une agence dont les activités de plus en plus coûteuses n’ont jamais mis fin à la « menace migratoire » que Frontex a contribué à construire, et qui se soldent par la violation des droits des migrant·e·s et des milliers de morts en toute impunité. Un « non » des Suisse·sse·s au financement de Frontex pourrait avoir une résonance européenne et contribuer non seulement à une remise en cause de l’agence mais à une réorientation fondamentale des politiques migratoires européennes.

      (1) European Commission, « Speech by President Jean-Claude Juncker at the debate in the European Parliament on the conclusions of the Special European Council on 23 April : Tackling the migration crisis », 29 avril 2015, http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-15-4896_en.htm (dernier accès le 12 April 2016).

      https://www.liberation.fr/idees-et-debats/tribunes/leggeri-est-parti-mais-cest-frontex-quil-faut-renvoyer-20220503_P4AJ6XWWU

    • Frontex’s evolution from the undisputable to the untenable EU border agency

      Fabrice Leggeri, the Executive Director of the European Union border agency “Frontex”, resigned on 29th April 2022 following the release of the initial findings of an anti-fraud investigation. Last February the EU anti-fraud watchdog “OLAF” closed a year-long probe into Leggeri’s management over allegations of harassment, misconduct and migrant pushbacks. The investigation reveals how the agency’s own reporting system is used to cover-up pushbacks in the Aegean and its direct involvement. The resignations came after constant scrutiny by NGOs, journalists and the European Parliament in 2020 and 2021, claiming that the massive expansion of the EU border agency had not been matched by a corresponding increase in transparency and accountability. At the end of 2019, Leggeri, a 51-year-old French official who hails from the Alsace region, declared that his organization would not face the same troubles as the European Asylum Support Office (EASO). In June 2018, EASO’s executive director had resigned after an investigation by the same OLAF over alleged misconduct in procurement procedures, irregularities in management of human resources and possible breaches of data protection. 17 years after its foundation, Frontex faced the same process. How did it come to this?

      Frontex and the accountability problem

      The European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (from the french Frontières extérieures, Frontex) was established by Council Regulation (EC) 2007/2004 in 2004, expanded with Regulation (EU) No 1168/2011. In September 2016, the founding regulation was amended and expanded by Regulation 2016/1624/EU creating the ‘European Border and Coast Guard Agency’. Less than two years after, the fourth revision of Frontex regulation was launched, and the new Regulation 2019/1896 entered into force on 4 December 2019. The new Frontex mandate stipulated that the number of EU border guards should double from 1,500 to 3,000 following an evaluation in 2024. Together with the forces of the Member States, Frontex is to reach its full strength of 10,000 border guards by 2027 (Bossong 2019). At the same time, Frontex has experienced a particularly significant growth in its budget, which has risen from merely 6.2 million euros (2005) to 395.6 million euros (2020) (Loschi, Slominski 2022).

      The Regulation 2019/1896 and all the narratives that led to its approval granted Frontex the power of resorting to crisis and securitisation narrative to justify the lack of transparency in its work. Since 2015, crises and security rationales have been often exploited by Frontex Executive Director to hamper access to documents, personnel and premises. Often, addressing requests of access by members of the European Parliament during the hearings, Frontex avoided commitments and cooperation, or, if put under pressure, it released documents that were extensively redacted on the ground of exceptions permitted on the basis of public security concerns.

      While according to Regulation 2019/1896 Frontex would be subjected to more oversight and legal obligations to uphold fundamental rights, holding Frontex accountable, in particular on grounds of fundamental rights, is the actual issue at stake. While European Member States can be held accountable before their own national courts and before international courts, in particular the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), this does not apply with Frontex. As an EU body, neither of these options is viable. It can be brought before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to account for the conformity of its conduct with EU law (Fink 2020). The nature of Frontex’s activities, however, poses a particular challenge. The operational support in border management provided by the Agency occurs in the form of “factual” conduct, coordination, and under formal request by Member States, which are the first responsible and does not entail the adoption of legally binding texts. In other terms, legal responsibility is often shared between several member states as well as Frontex, which makes it difficult for individuals to lodge a complaint before a court. Hence, until 2021, cases that have been handled by the Court of Justice of the EU do not deal with Frontex operations but with refusals of access to documents or procurement actions and public services. Academics, in particular legal scholars, as well as members of the European parliament have advocated for the establishment of stronger accountability mechanisms, for example specific mechanism that allows individuals to hold Frontex to account (Fink 2020; Gkliati 2021).

      Frontex: from undisputable to untenable border agency

      Frontex’s expansion of financial and operational resources over the years and especially the increasing operational profile introduced with Regulations 2016/1624 and 2019/1896 set the clock in motion for a long tug of war between Frontex on one side and European parliament, NGOs, and watchdogs on the other side, leading to Leggeri’s resignation. Especially after the 2015 so-called migration crisis, the operational profile of the agency has been under strict scrutiny by humanitarian organizations and in particular from members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE).

      In 2015, against increasing migrations flows at the EU external borders and the reinstitution of border checks by member states throughout 2015 (Guild et alii), Frontex became the main instrument of the European Commission to avoid the collapse of the entire Schengen acquis. Frontex missions already deployed in Italy and Greece were expanded in both mandates and resources. As a leading agency of hotspots operations established with the European agenda in migration in 2015, Frontex monitored that frontline member states authorities were adequately implementing EURODAC regulation and fingerprinting third-country nationals, to ensure compliance with the Dublin regime and avoid uncontrolled secondary movements (Loschi, Slominski 2022). In this frame, the agency served not only as an operational device but also as the legal instrument through which introducing sensitive reform in national administrative and police procedures at the borders. The EU Commission included the legal definition of hotspots in Frontex Regulation 2016/1624, an act that allowed the European Commission to avoid parliamentary scrutiny on the establishment of hotspot operations. However, this strict cooperation and indirect protection from Commission to the agency had an expiration date.

      Indeed, Leggeri’s resignation comes after a series of important processes toward Frontex accountability. Especially after Regulation 2019/1896, Frontex has been under intense and constant scrutiny. Back in 2016, several human rights groups as well as the internal body of Frontex the Consultative Forum for human rights, flagged the risks and unclear support by Frontex at the Hungarian Serbian border. Hungary passed new border control measures in 2016 which, amongst others, obliged officers to return migrants apprehended within 8 km of the border back to the fence with Serbia. The new restrictive border measures along with Hungarian asylum laws passed on 2015 deterring access to asylum, raised several concerns with regard to the compatibility of Frontex operations with international and European law on fundamental rights. Frontex, despite increasing requests to revise and suspend activities to avoid complicity, decided to continue with operational support. It suspended its activities only in 2021, in the context of strong criticism emerging against the agency. Moreover, the first lawsuit against Frontex brought in 2018 by two activists to the Court of Justice of the EU did not deal with Frontex operations but with refusals of access to documents related to Search and Rescue operations in the Mediterranean, and was not successful (Case T-31/88 Izuzquiza and Semsrott v. Frontex). Frontex indeed claimed that “disclosure of details related to technical equipment deployed in the current and ongoing operations would undermine public security”.

      However, since 2020, a number of investigations and accountability actions had created the background for OLAF probe and Leggeri’s quitting. Here follows a list of most the relevant steps of this process.

      In March 2020, attention has particularly been focused on the modus operandi of the Greek authorities. According to reports related to Greece, pushbacks, sometimes undertaken by unidentified forces wearing uniforms and masks and carrying weapons, have expanded to migrants after arrival on the islands or the mainland. However, direct participation by Frontex in these alleged actions could not be proven. In late 2020, a joint investigation by Bellingcat, Lighthouse Reports, Der Spiegel, ARD and TV Asahi (also known as the Bellingcat report) stated that Frontex planes were near the maritime Greek-Turkish border where alleged pushback operations were ongoing. The reporters claimed to have found evidence that Frontex had knowledge of the pushbacks, did nothing to ensure compliance with legal obligations, and in some cases even cooperated with the authorities carrying out the illegal pushbacks and collective expulsions.

      In December 2020, the watchdog Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) compiled a 1,500-page “black book” documenting hundreds of illegal pushbacks by authorities on Europe’s external borders. The same month, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that Hungary’s legislation on the rules and practice in the transit zones situated at the Serbian-Hungarian border was contrary to EU law. And that the procedure for granting international protection in so far as third-country nationals […] were in practice confronted with the virtual impossibility of making their application” (Case C-808/18, Commission v Hungary).

      Against this context, in late 2020 the Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) decided to investigate the allegations and in January 2021 established the Frontex Scrutiny Working Group (FSWG) to monitor all aspects of the functioning of the agency, including compliance with fundamental rights and accountability towards Parliament. In its first hearing on 4 March, the Working Group questioned Commissioner for Home Affairs Johansson and Leggeri about the implementation of the fundamental rights provisions included in the Regulation 2019/1896 (among which the obligations to appoint fundamental rights monitors); the investigation related to the agency’s activities in the Aegean Sea; the interpretation of applicable rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders and inquired about the political scrutiny role of the European Commission over the agency. According to the Working Group, Commissioner Johansson appeared eager to listen to the scrutiny activity and criticized the ‘reluctance of compliance’ with the fundamental rights mandate from Leggeri. A preliminary report flagged out that five push-back incidents have not been clarified due to unclear data provided by Frontex, and stressed the general unsatisfactory attitude and documents provided by the Agency. On Wednesday 28 April 2021, the European Parliament decided to postpone the discharge to the 2019 budget of Frontex, as long as the OLAF investigation and the parliamentary inquiry were still ongoing.

      Meanwhile, other investigations were pending or concluded. In April 2021, der Spiegel claimed that Frontex was coordinating with the Libyan Coast Guard to engage in illegal pullbacks. Albeit ED Leggeri claimed during EP hearings Frontex does not work with the Libyan Coast Guard and only informs sea rescue control centres about sea rescue cases, a joint investigation by Lighthouse-Report, Der Spiegel, Libération, and ARD claimed the contrary. Drawing on a variety of data, including available sources from flight and vessel trackers, data from international and NGOs, eyewitness accounts and testimonies from survivors, the reporting parties concluded that Frontex plays a crucial role in the interceptions and return of people fleeing Libya by the Libyan coastguard. The report identified a number of cases in which Frontex planes were present in the vicinity, and likely aware, of boats in distress that were later incepted by Libyan patrol boats, despite data showing that commercial or NGO vessels were present in the area.

      Establishment of first accountability procedures against Frontex

      Under an administrative accountability action, in November 2020, the European Ombudsman started an own-initiative inquiry on the functioning of the complaint mechanism, which was released on 15 June 2021 and which recommended the creation of an independent mechanism for handling complaints about Frontex operations, while the system established with Regulation (EU) 2016/1624 is an internal mechanism (European Ombudsman, Case OI/5/2020/MHZ). On 7 June 2021, the European Court of Auditors, released its report on the limited effectiveness of Frontex’s support to external border management.

      The agency reacted by trying to dissimulate cooperation. To address investigations by journalists regarding the alleged involvement of Frontex with pushbacks in the Eastern Mediterranean, in November 2020, Frontex Management Board established a Working Group on Fundamental Rights and Legal Operational Aspects of Operations (WG FRaLO). In its final report of 1 March 2021, the Management Board concluded that out of the 13 incidents put forward by the Bellingcat report, eight cases had not caused a violation of the Frontex Regulation, and five examined incidents were not yet, or could not yet be clarified. At its extraordinary meeting in May 2021, the Management Board concluded that “the strong belief that the presented facts support an allegation of possible violation of fundamental rights or international protection obligations such as the principle of non-refoulement, and that it cannot be excluded that the incident has characteristics of a case of unprocessed return and violation of the principle of non-refoulement”.

      At the level of legal accountability, in May 2021, a relevant change occurred. In the first human rights case against Frontex, two applicants brought an action against the agency to the European Court of Justice (CJEU), on the grounds that the agency had ’failed to act’ in accordance with Article 265 TFEU (Case T-282/21). This represented a legal precedent with relevant implications. The action is supported by three pleas in law. The first is about ‘serious or persisting violations of fundamental rights and international protection obligations in the Aegean Sea Region’, which resulted in a ‘policy of systematic and widespread attack directed against civilian populations seeking asylum in the EU’. The second is about the agency’s failure to fulfil ‘its positive obligations under the Charter of Fundamental Rights’ or take any action to prevent fundamental rights violations in the context of its operation. The third involves the applicants’ claim of having been directly and individually affected by Frontex operations, which resulted in ‘unlawful refoulement, collective expulsion, and prevention of access to asylum’ (EPRS Study 2021). The case is still under evaluation.

      At the level of political accountability, in July 2021, the Frontex Scrutiny Working Group (FSWG) of the European Parliament’s LIBE Committee delivered its final report with recommendations. These were focusing mainly on ED responsibilities; division of responsibilities between the Agency and Member States in relation to fundamental rights; the importance of strengthening internal mechanisms already existing, namely the Fundamental Rights Officer and the Consultative Forum for fundamental rights; the role of the Management board which has been weak supporter of fundamental rights protection in agency’s activities; and finally recommending to the European Commission to engage more proactively to ensure adequate compliance with fundamental rights principles, vis-à-vis the management board, member states, and to apply conditional financial support on bases of humanitarian principles compliance. The report allows for the comprehensive steps for the judicial and non-judicial accountability of the agency and set the framework for the definition of agency’s responsility. This responsibility can be indirect, through assisting Greece or Hungary in the commission of violations, either actively (e.g., technical and financial support) or by omission due to the agency’s positive obligations (e.g., failure to suspend or terminate an operation).

      All these processes, together with the OLAF probe, created the conditions for Fabrice Leggeri’s resignation and the formal and informal condemnation of his management.

      What’s next?
      In a press release on 29th April, Frontex confirmed Leggeri’s departure, adding that since he had already stepped down, it “is not necessary anymore” to launch further disciplinary procedures. Aija Kalnaja, Deputy Executive Director for Standing Corps Management will lead the Agency until the Frontex Management Board appoints the Executive Director ad interim in June 2022. However, the question emerging now is: what happens next? Frontex is still under scrutiny, but the Ukrainian crisis will keep the attention of the European Commission and the Parliament elsewhere than a new legislative initiative to reorganize Frontex profile. At the same time, Leggeri’s resignation comes not only after OLAF probe ended, but also during the French presidency of the European Union (ending on 30th June) and Macron re-election last 22nd April. Beginning of February, Macron, shortly before the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the reformulation of the international political agenda, was advancing the idea of a more operational “Schengen Council” which would evaluate how the border-free area was working but would also take joint decisions and facilitate coordination in times of crisis. One may speculate on the forthcoming political destiny of Leggeri, which could also be considered by the French administration. Leggeri comes from France’s ministry of the interior where he has been heading the division on irregular migration. At the same time, Macron has a history of grandiose statements in denial of reality, from being a supporter of Libyan political reconciliation while violating the UN arms embargo, to peace talks with Putin right before the latter launched the invasion of Ukraine. It would be wise to wait before advancing any speculation. However, French representatives in Brussels do not hide their aspiration for a practical and operational solution to long-standing issues in European Justice and Home Affairs, including the creation of external border buffer zones that should allow for ’third-country nationals processing’ without being paralyzed by NGOs or civil society actors (phone interview with French representative of Justice and Home Affairs, Vienna, March 2019). Leggeri himself declared to Die Welt in 2017 that ’By rescuing migrants off the North African coasts, non-governmental organisations are playing into the hands of human traffickers’.

      The first comprehensive steps for the judicial and non-judicial accountability of the agency have been taken. Frontex cannot ignore new and unprecedented legal, political and administrative accountability procedures now set in motion. The risk for their repeal and weakening may come from new and urgent needs and rationales linked to the war in Ukraine.

      https://securitypraxis.eu/frontex-evolution-from-the-undisputable-to-the-untenable-border-agenc

    • Frontex, la chute d’une « affaire française »

      D’après une note du ministère de l’intérieur, récupérée par « Le Monde » et le média collaboratif « Lighthouse Reports », un rapport accuse le directeur de Frontex, le Français Fabrice Leggeri, d’avoir « fermé les yeux » sur des refoulements illégaux de migrants en mer Egée, de s’être entendu avec les autorités grecques pour fournir une version concordante à la Commission européenne et d’avoir « commis un parjure » devant le Parlement européen.

      Dans les couloirs du Parlement européen, à Strasbourg, Fabrice Leggeri est venu prendre un café, mercredi 4 mai. Certains croient savoir qu’il se trouvait dans la région pour des raisons personnelles, lui qui est natif de Mulhouse (Haut-Rhin). Celui qui a dirigé l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes, Frontex, jusqu’au 29 avril aurait saisi l’occasion pour échanger avec des eurodéputés, notamment les anciens ministres de Nicolas Sarkozy, Nadine Morano et Brice Hortefeux (Les Républicains), mais aussi le porte-parole de Reconquête ! et transfuge du Rassemblement national (RN), Nicolas Bay. Des figures parmi celles qui l’ont publiquement soutenu depuis qu’il a été poussé à la démission, après sept ans à la tête de la plus riche agence européenne.

      « Il a un raisonnement assez solide même s’il n’est pas très satisfait d’être contraint à la démission », rapporte #Brice_Hortefeux. « Je l’ai croisé rapidement dans les couloirs », témoigne, à son tour, #Nicolas_Bay, qui se dit convaincu que M. Leggeri est « l’objet d’une cabale très politique ». Le patron de Frontex est « persécuté », avait aussi twitté, le 29 avril, l’eurodéputé et président par intérim du RN, #Jordan_Bardella. « Cette crise doit être l’occasion de lever certaines ambiguïtés sur le rôle de Frontex, ajoute M. Hortefeux. Est-ce que son rôle est de protéger les frontières ou ceux qui veulent venir ? »

      Tous reprennent à leur compte la défense de M. Leggeri, détaillée dans un courrier adressé à ses équipes, le 29 avril : « Au cours des deux dernières années, discrètement mais efficacement, une narration a pris le dessus [selon laquelle] Frontex devrait être transformée en une sorte d’organisme de défense des droits fondamentaux contrôlant ce que les Etats membres font à leurs frontières extérieures (…). Ma vision est et a toujours été que Frontex est, au travers de son corps opérationnel de gardes-frontières, une agence qui soutient les Etats membres. (…) Cette vision n’est plus soutenue au niveau politique. C’est pourquoi j’ai pris hier la décision de démissionner. »

      Un récit qui heurte certains observateurs. « M. Leggeri présente les choses comme une espèce de lutte philosophique sur le rôle de l’agence et on peut difficilement l’entendre », estime une source gouvernementale française. « A Frontex, on ne peut choisir entre les droits fondamentaux et la protection des frontières », affirme, de son côté, Anna Garphult, représentante suédoise au conseil d’administration de l’agence.

      « Manque de loyauté »

      Cela fait déjà de nombreux mois que des enquêtes journalistiques ou des ONG, et même la gauche parlementaire européenne, accusent le patron de Frontex de fermer les yeux sur des refoulements illégaux de migrants aux frontières de l’Union européenne (UE), voire d’en être complice. Pas de quoi entamer jusque-là le soutien de Paris, qui estimait qu’« il n’y avait pas de responsabilité avérée de l’agence ».

      La bascule aurait eu lieu à l’issue d’une enquête de l’Office européen de lutte antifraude (OLAF), lancée en novembre 2020. Pendant plus d’un an, ses agents ont entendu près d’une vingtaine de personnes, perquisitionné les bureaux de Fabrice Leggeri et de son directeur de cabinet, le 7 décembre 2020, saisi des téléphones et des ordinateurs… Un premier rapport est clôturé le 15 février 2022. Communiqué aussitôt au conseil d’administration de Frontex et à la Commission européenne, il « porte sur la façon dont la direction exécutive a géré [en mer Egée, à la frontière gréco-turque] les “pushbacks” [les refoulements illégaux de migrants], indique la source gouvernementale française. Il évoque notamment le manque de loyauté et de transparence vis-à-vis de la Commission et du Parlement, un style de management opaque et le manquement à certaines procédures de signalement sur les droits fondamentaux ».

      « Fabrice Leggeri a voulu de façon notable concentrer entre ses mains le pouvoir de décision », selon Gil Arias-Fernandez, directeur adjoint de Frontex

      Le 28 février, lors d’une présentation orale de l’enquête devant des parlementaires européens, le patron de l’OLAF, le Finlandais Ville Itälä prévient : « Nous avons beaucoup de preuves. » « Il était évident pour tout le monde que Fabrice Leggeri ne pouvait pas rester », avance un ancien membre du conseil d’administration. La France estime qu’« il n’y a plus de confiance ». La Commission européenne adopte la même ligne.

      Une note du ministère de l’intérieur français, datée du 29 avril, que Le Monde et ses partenaires – le média à but non lucratif Lighthouse Reports et l’hebdomadaire allemand Der Spiegel – ont pu consulter, rapporte que l’OLAF reproche au directeur « d’avoir fermé les yeux sur des “pushbacks” commis par les gardes-frontières grecs en 2019 sur les îles de Samos et Lesbos » et de « s’être accordé avec les autorités grecques, dont le représentant au conseil d’administration de l’agence, pour rendre les mêmes conclusions sur les demandes d’explication de la Commission européenne ». M. Leggeri aurait même « commis un parjure lors de son audition devant le Parlement européen en niant les accusations de manière formelle ». Interrogé à ce sujet, ce dernier n’a pas répondu à nos questions.

      Deux autres volets d’investigation sont toujours ouverts, indiquent des sources concordantes au sein du conseil d’administration de l’agence et au ministère de l’intérieur français. L’une porterait sur des faits de harcèlement moral visant la direction de Frontex et le cabinet du directeur exécutif, l’autre sur des irrégularités financières.

      « Il ne rendait de compte à personne »

      Malgré cela, M. Leggeri aurait « tout fait pour éviter la démission », rapporte la source gouvernementale française. Le 28 avril, au cours d’une audition organisée par le conseil d’administration de l’agence, une heure durant, il tente de défendre son bilan face aux représentants des Etats membres, mais sa stratégie n’opère pas. Il se résout à présenter sa démission dans la foulée, afin d’éviter l’ouverture d’une procédure disciplinaire à son encontre. Son directeur de cabinet, Thibauld de la Haye Jousselin, l’a précédé dans cette démarche dès le 22 avril.

      C’est ainsi que s’achèvent sept années pendant lesquelles Frontex a été considérée aux yeux de beaucoup comme une « affaire française ». En obtenant la nomination de M. Leggeri à la tête de l’institution, dont le siège se situe à Varsovie, fin 2014, la France décroche un poste stratégique au sein des institutions européennes à un moment où son influence décroît. Polyglotte, normalien, énarque, rattaché au ministère de l’intérieur tout en étant passé par celui de la défense, puis détaché à la Commission européenne, M. Leggeri « remplissait toutes les cases » : « C’est un type brillant », estime un haut fonctionnaire à l’époque en poste au cabinet de Manuel Valls, alors ministre de l’intérieur.

      M. Leggeri arrive à Frontex avec un mandat : renforcer les pouvoirs de l’agence. « Face à la crise des réfugiés, il y avait une pression politique élevée, de la Commission, du Conseil et du Parlement, pour donner à l’agence beaucoup d’argent et de moyens humains », se souvient l’Espagnol Gil Arias-Fernandez, directeur adjoint de Frontex entre 2014 et 2015.

      Le budget explose, 10 000 gardes-frontières doivent être recrutés. Frontex est sommée de se transformer en machine à protéger les frontières extérieures de l’UE. Nombreux sont ceux qui estiment que la montée en puissance a été trop rapide. Même la Cour des comptes européenne s’étonne, dans un rapport de juin 2021, que le budget soit planifié à 900 millions d’euros par an « sans même chercher à déterminer les besoins de Frontex » et « sans aucune évaluation de son impact sur les Etats membres ».

      « En externe, [M. Leggeri] pouvait donner l’impression que Frontex était une agence indépendante de la Commission. Il ne rendait compte à personne, négociait en bilatéral avec les Etats membres », dit un haut fonctionnaire français qui a beaucoup œuvré au sein des institutions européennes.

      Voix dissonantes ignorées

      « Il a voulu de façon notable concentrer entre ses mains le pouvoir de décision, ajoute Gil Arias-Fernandez. Par exemple, les compétences qui m’avaient été déléguées par son prédécesseur, comme l’évaluation des directeurs, m’ont été retirées. » Il s’appuie sur une équipe restreinte, composée en grande partie de francophones, dont son directeur de cabinet Thibauld de la Haye Jousselin. Ce dernier est membre de la préfectorale, passé notamment par le cabinet de Brice Hortefeux, place Beauvau, et officier de réserve. « Il est travailleur, organisé et il a le sens de l’autorité, ajoute l’ancien ministre sarkozyste. Il est clair que ce n’est pas un écolo-libertaire ».

      En 2019, malgré des réticences au sein de la Commission, le mandat de M. Leggeri est renouvelé. Les voix dissonantes auraient été ignorées. Inmaculada Arnaez Fernandez, la responsable des droits fondamentaux de l’époque, censée contrôler l’action de l’agence et son respect des traités, en fait l’amère expérience. Gil Arias-Fernandez se souvient de la « marginalisation » de cette avocate espagnole, arrivée en 2012. « Dès le début, Fabrice Leggeri n’a pas considéré ses tâches comme importantes, dit-il. Nombre de ses rapports sur des violations potentielles des droits fondamentaux n’ont pas été pris en compte. »

      En 2019, à la suite d’un congé maladie de Mme Arnaez, le directeur annonce l’ouverture de son poste et tente de la remplacer, en vain. La même année, le recrutement de quarante observateurs des droits de l’homme prend du retard, au point que, fin 2021, il n’a toujours pas été finalisé.

      M. Leggeri quitte l’agence dans une crise profonde, politique mais aussi opérationnelle. C’est la Lettone Aija Kalnaja, directrice adjointe avec le plus d’ancienneté, qui a été nommée à la tête de l’agence jusqu’au conseil d’administration des 7 et 8 juin, à Paris. Affable, pratiquant un anglais parfait, cette ancienne fonctionnaire de police présente un profil idoine. « [Sa] désignation n’est pas forcément très réjouissante », estime pourtant une note diplomatique française du jour de son arrivée.

      Le document épingle notamment sa gestion d’une « situation dramatique » dans laquelle des dizaines d’agents de Frontex déployés aux frontières se trouvent actuellement. Certains ont dû avancer plusieurs milliers d’euros pour leurs frais de déplacement et d’hébergement. Sur ce dossier, Mme Kalnaja « n’a pris aucune décision forte », poursuit la note. A Varsovie, le temps des tempêtes n’est pas encore passé. Mercredi 4 mai, le Parlement européen a décidé de suspendre le vote du budget de l’agence, « jusqu’à la publication complète du rapport d’enquête de l’OLAF ».

      https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2022/05/06/frontex-la-chute-d-une-affaire-francaise_6125052_3210.html

    • Il ne suffit pas de changer le Directeur, c’est Frontex qu’il faut supprimer !

      L’UE et ses Etats membres doivent sanctionner les pratiques illégales de Frontex et mettre fin à l’#impunité !

      Le 29 avril 2022, Le Directeur exécutif de l’agence de garde-côtes et garde-frontières européens Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri (en poste depuis 2015) a remis sa démission.

      Depuis octobre 2020 [1], Frontex fait face à de nombreuses accusations de complaisance ou de complicité dans des opérations de refoulements en mer Egée et en Europe de l’Est, mais aussi de graves #dysfonctionnements et de #mauvaise_gouvernance. Au point que de nombreuses enquêtes ont été menées par les institutions européennes (Parlement européen, médiatrice européenne, Cour des comptes de l’UE, Office européen anti-fraude OLAF), et que la décharge budgétaire de Frontex pour l’année 2020 a été bloquée par le Parlement européen, le 4 mai 2022, signe évident de défiance [2] . Les conclusions du rapport de l’OLAF [3], et les dernières révélations de refoulements maquillés en « préventions au départ » en mer Egée dans les rapports de Frontex [4], ont sans doute accéléré la chute de son Directeur, qui paraissait jusqu’ici intouchable.

      Mais Leggeri n’a pas été licencié, il a démissionné. Non pas car il assume sa responsabilité dans les violations avérées des droits commises ou couvertes par Frontex aux frontières [5], mais car le rôle de l’agence prend selon lui une orientation qu’il désapprouve. Son mandat et la vision politique des institutions auraient ainsi « silencieusement mais effectivement été modifiés » durant les deux dernières années, et il existerait selon lui une contradiction manifeste entre le mandat de contrôle et de protection des frontières européennes qui lui a été confié en 2015, et le respect des droits des personnes tentant d’atteindre ces frontières, les deux n’étant pas compatibles. Il démissionne donc car « il ne peut rester pour mettre en œuvre ce qui n’est pas le mandat de l’Agence » [6]. Dans son communiqué du 29 avril, le Conseil d’administration de Frontex a, lui, balayé tout dilemme en affirmant au contraire « qu’un contrôle efficace des frontières et la protection des droits fondamentaux sont pleinement compatibles » … Ce que la société civile réfute, documents à l’appui, depuis plus de dix ans [7].

      Et de fait, Leggeri évincé, rien ne change. Ni l’incompatibilité effective du mandat et des activités de Frontex avec le respect des droits fondamentaux, ni l’impunité structurelle dont elle jouit. Car il ne s’agit pas de la responsabilité d’un (seul) homme, mais bien de celle d’un système à l’échelle européenne qui a permis depuis des décennies la multiplication en toute impunité des violations des droits des personnes exilées aux frontières maritimes et terrestres de l’Europe.

      Car le mandat de Frontex et ses activités, tout comme la politique sécuritaire et mortifère de lutte contre l’immigration de l’Union, demeurent. Frontex continuera de « sécuriser » les frontières européennes, avec violence et au mépris des droits et de la vie des personnes [8], en procédant à des vols collectifs d’expulsion [9], en entravant le droit d’asile, en prévenant les pseudo garde-côtes libyens (qu’elle forme par ailleurs) de venir intercepter les bateaux d’exilé.e.s avant qu’ils ne franchissement les eaux territoriales européennes [10], et continuera d’ériger les personnes désireuses de rejoindre le territoire européens en « menaces » dont il faudrait se protéger. En somme, Frontex continuera d’entraver les mobilités - en violation du droit international [11] -, et à contraindre les personnes à emprunter des voies de passages risquées et mortelles, car tel est bien son mandat, et ce quel que soit le nom de son Directeur.

      Et tandis que la société civile n’a eu de cesse depuis une décennie de documenter et dénoncer ces dérives, Frontex n’a jamais été sanctionnée pour ses agissements attentatoires aux droits. En 2014, Migreurop évoquait déjà des refoulements entre la Grèce et la Turquie, dans le cadre de l’opération Poséidon de Frontex, ayant été rapportés à la chargée des droits fondamentaux de l’agence, sans qu’il n’y soit donné suite [12]. En décembre 2020, son Directeur avait déjà admis devant le Parlement européen que l’agence procédait à des « opérations de prévention au départ », assimilables à des refoulements [13]. Malgré cela, aucune décision officielle n’a jamais été prise pour faire cesser les opérations de l’agence dans cette zone, aucun de ses agents n’a été mis en cause, et il n’a pas été mis un terme aux responsabilités de son Directeur, qui n’a jamais été sanctionné, et qui est démissionnaire.

      Lorsque les accusations ne peuvent plus être dissimulées et que les pratiques illégales de l’agence Frontex ne peuvent plus être ignorées ni remises en cause, l’unique conséquence semblerait donc être la démission (et non le licenciement) d’un Directeur, qui ne fera par ailleurs l’objet d’aucune sanction disciplinaire ou judiciaire. Face à l’accumulation de preuves, lorsque les institutions de contrôle démocratique ne peuvent plus se taire, elles ne sont donc capables que de produire des changements cosmétiques.

      Frontex s’est vue renforcée à chaque révision de mandat (2011, 2016, 2019) malgré les « rapports d’incidents » internes, les rapports d’ONG et les enquêtes médiatiques, et est de plus en plus rétive à rendre des comptes, tant aux institutions qu’aux citoyen.ne.s [14]. Quel que soit son Directeur, l’agence a, en de trop nombreuses occasions, prouvé qu’elle pouvait en toute impunité s’affranchir du droit européen pour satisfaire une politique sécuritaire de lutte contre l’immigration, qui a démontré ne pouvoir être respectueuse des droits.

      En acceptant le départ volontaire de Leggeri, les institutions européennes lui font indirectement porter la responsabilité des dérives de l’agence, une façon également de faire silence sur celles-ci et de ne pas remettre en cause les fondements mêmes de Frontex, tout en prétendant reprendre les choses en main et « assainir » une entité « abîmée ». Mais les bases sur lesquelles s’appuie Frontex n’ont pas changé d’un iota, et Frontex est irrécupérable.

      Remplacer le Directeur ne modifiera pas le mandat ni les activités de Frontex. Il ne s’agit plus désormais d’apporter des changements cosmétiques, mais de supprimer enfin l’agence Frontex pour faire cesser les violations des droits aux frontières, perpétrées impunément au nom de leur protection.

      https://migreurop.org/article3102.html

    • Inside the Final Days of the Frontex Chief

      Radical views, internal resistance, merciless investigators: Why Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri had to go – and what his resignation means for the future of the EU border agency.

      In the end, once it was all over, it looked as though Fabrice Leggeri wanted to sneak out through the back door. Close advisers urged the Frontex chief to address his staff one last time after his resignation. “You were these people’s boss for many years. They’ve earned the right to know what is going on,” his advisers argued. But Leggeri refused to budge. It was a sad thing to watch, says one of those who had worked with Leggeri for many years.

      On Friday afternoon, at 3:22 p.m., once everybody had learned of his resignation, Leggeri did ultimately send a farewell message to his staff. In the email, the outgoing Frontex chief thanked the employees for their efforts – and fired a last parting shot at his critics. Frontex, Leggeri wrote, has been accused of either being involved in pushbacks or of having covered them up. He, too, was personally targeted by such accusations, he wrote, claiming that such allegations were unjust. There is still, he claimed, no proof. “I could rebuke all of them,” he wrote. Just that, in the end, nobody believed him any longer.

      Fabrice Leggeri was the head of Frontex for seven years. During his tenure, he was able to transform a meaningless EU authority into one of the bloc’s largest agencies, with an annual budget of 750 million euros. Leggeri created a cabinet suited to his tastes, concentrating almost all the power in his own hands. In the end, he ran the agency like a monarch – until he was pushed off the throne.

      Leggeri’s resignation was not widely expected. Even many Frontex staff members didn’t think they would be getting a new boss any time soon. To be sure, he was faced with an entire catalogue of accusations: DER SPIEGEL, Lighthouse Reports and several other media outlets had clearly demonstrated
      over the past 18 months that Frontex was involved in legal violations committed by Greece. Frontex units would intercept rickety refugee vessels on the Aegean and turn the asylum-seekers over to the Greek coast guard, which would then abandon the men, women and children at sea – frequently on life rafts with no motor.

      Human rights activists call such operations “pushbacks,” and they are not legal under European law. According to its own codex, Frontex should have been doing all it could to stop such pushbacks. But instead, the agency helped out: It was involved in illegal pushbacks affecting hundreds of asylum-seekers.

      Leggeri, though, has consistently rejected all such accusations. And for quite some time, it looked as though EU member states were wiling to simply accept the situation, as though the assistance Frontex provided to the pushbacks was actually in their interest. There were demands that he resign, but they mostly came from left-wing and center-left European parliamentarians – and not from EU heads of state and government, who control Frontex via the Management Board.

      What, then, led to Leggeri’s resignation? What happened behind closed doors in those decisive moments? And what does it mean for the future of the border protection agency?

      A team of reporters from DER SPIEGEL, Lighthouse Reports and the French daily Le Monde spoke with more than a dozen Frontex employees and European officials for this article. Some of them worked closely with Leggeri, while others were responsible for oversight of his agency. Leggeri himself declined to be interviewed.

      Taken together, the comments from confidants and employees produce the image of a man whose views grew increasingly radical as time passed, and whose shortcomings ultimately became so conspicuous that EU member states no longer had much of an option other than pushing him out of office. Fabrice Leggeri didn’t lose his job because of pushbacks as such, but more because he had become a PR problem for the EU.
      The Oracle of Delphi

      When seeking to understand Leggeri’s downfall, Delphi is a good place to start. On a warm day in April, Leggeri found himself in a stuffy conference center in the small Greek town, which takes its name from the Oracle of Delphi, who once predicted the future for petitioners. “Know thyself” was thought to have been inscribed at the entrance to the temple.

      The trip to Delphi was to become one of Leggeri’s final official journeys. Next to him on the stage of the Delphi Economic Forum was Greek Minister of Migration Notis Mitarachi. A noted hardliner, nobody defends the Greek approach to cross-Aegean migration as passionately as he does. Indeed, between the lines, it frequently sounds as though he finds pushbacks to be not such a bad idea.

      Leggeri gets along well with Mitarachi, and recently even received a medal from the Greek minister for his service on the EU external border. For Frontex, Greece is more important than any other European country. One of the most important migration routes to Europe leads from Turkey to the Greek islands across the Aegean Sea, and nowhere does Frontex have as many agents stationed. Leggeri dreamed of an even larger agency, and without a significant presence in Greece, such a vision would have been impossible.

      On stage in Delphi, Leggeri said that he was proud that Frontex under his leadership had always stood at Greece’s side. Not everybody can be allowed in, he said, that’s just a fact. Rather astounding sentences coming from somebody accused of covering up for Greek legal violations.

      A close parsing of Leggeri’s comments in Delphi reveals the broader motifs with which he would seek to defend himself from his critics a short time later. Frontex, he said, is a law enforcement authority and not an immigration agency, not showing much empathy for the women and children that had been abandoned at sea in the Aegean. He wrote something similar in his email to Frontex staff following his resignation. Frontex, Leggeri contended, is to be transformed into a sort of fundamental rights body, with a narrative to that effect spreading “discretely, but efficiently.” Such sentiments make it sound as though Leggeri believes in some kind of large-scale conspiracy. Even in Delphi, many listeners found themselves wondering how long Leggeri would be able to last with his impertinent bluster.

      Leggeri didn’t always sound so extreme. When he took over the position of Frontex director in 2015, he was considered to be an able technocrat. The Frenchman’s fluent command of German and excellent English were the qualities that initially stuck out for many. He was reputed to be consistently meticulously prepared for his meetings.

      In 2016, shortly after the apex of the refugee crisis, Leggeri emphasized in an interview with the influential German weekly Die Zeit that Europe had the obligation to provide protection to asylum-seekers. “We don’t reject anybody and we aren’t allowed to do so,” he said.

      Since then, the use of force on the EU’s external borders has escalated. Some EU member states, with Greece leading the way, are now in favor of turning pushbacks into standard practice. Leggeri put himself at the front of that movement, becoming a mouthpiece of the most radical camp within the EU in the process – and assumed that the other member states would tolerate it.

      Leggeri’s transformation didn’t go unnoticed within Frontex. One staff member who worked with him for several years says that his boss became more and more uncompromising over time. He increasingly adopted a black-and-white view of the world with no gray areas apparent, the staff member says, adding that Leggeri completely lost any kind of balance. At some point, says an additional staff member, Leggeri would only speak to members of his innermost circle.

      Towards the end of his tenure, there was a significant amount of grumbling at Frontex. Support for Leggeri within the agency began eroding while leaks to the outside world increased. Staffers at the Frontex Situation Center, who saw on their computer screens what was going on in the Aegean every day, grew defiant. In at least one case in which a Frontex aircraft recorded video of a pushback from above, a staff member explicitly wrote of a suspected human rights violation. Leggeri, though, ignored it.
      Leggeri’s Final Battle

      When EU anti-corruption officials get involved, the situation for those concerned tends to grow serious. Investigators from the European Anti-Fraud Office, known as OLAF for short, operate independently and are charged with uncovering rules violations committed by EU officials. Very little about their investigations tends to make it into the press.

      On Dec. 7, 2020, a few weeks after DER SPIEGEL published the initial revelations, investigators searched Leggeri’s office in Warsaw along with that of his then chief-of-staff, Thibauld de la Haye Jousselin. The investigators apparently also confiscated their mobile phones. In early March 2022, they presented a more than 200-page investigative report, which still hasn’t been made available to the public.

      Essentially, the report works through what DER SPIEGEL and its media partners have already reported: Leggeri covered up the Greek pushbacks and thus violated the regulations of his own agency. He then lied to the European Parliament when confronted with specific questions. Furthermore, according to a summary of the OLAF report compiled by French officials, which DER SPIEGEL has acquired, he coordinated with the Greek government before responding to growing questions.

      The investigators documented each lapse. And they recommended that disciplinary measures be taken against Leggeri and two additional senior Frontex leaders. The report essentially forced the overseers of Frontex to take a stand. And with that, Leggeri was never able to shake the detailed accusations documented in the OLAF report.

      The Management Board of Frontex is primarily made up of representatives from Schengen member states. Border protection agents and senior officials from European interior ministries supervise the Frontex chief. Their meetings take place behind closed doors and leaks are rare. Even the brief meeting summaries are classified.

      On the morning of April 28, members came together virtually for the decisive meeting. The German Management Board chair Alexander Fritsch led the proceedings. Leggeri joined from France – together with his lawyer.

      It immediately became apparent that Leggeri had no intention of giving up. The Frontex chief had had two months to prepare his defense, and according to sources who took part in the meeting, he repeated what he had said in Delphi and what he would later write in his final email to staff: namely that he sees Frontex as a law enforcement agency and not as a pro-migration NGO. It’s not his fault, he says, that the agency’s mandate had been changed.

      Later in the meeting, the Management Board considered the situation without Leggeri’s participation. And it quickly became clear that there was a majority against the Frontex chief, with many apparently concerned that Leggeri could pull the agency into the abyss along with him. “Because of the OLAF report, we wanted to do something,” says one meeting participant. Now that EU investigators had also leveled accusations against Leggeri, says the participant, the situation had simply become untenable.

      Leggeri had long since lost the trust of European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johannson. Now, Leggeri’s supporters also realized that he had to go. Even the French government, shortly after the re-election of President Emmanuel Macron, distanced itself from the Frontex chief. The Greek representative on the Board was one of the few who continued to support Leggeri.

      That same evening, Leggeri gave in. He contacted Alexander Fritsch, the German chairman of the Management Board, and announced he was stepping down. The next day, a broad majority of the board voted to accept Leggeri’s resignation. The board decided not to implement disciplinary measures as OLAF had recommended, but only because Leggeri was no longer a Frontex employee. It is ultimately a compromise that allowed Leggeri to save face, but nothing more.

      In a press released, the Management Board made clear that border control and the protection of human rights are not mutually exclusive. The press release also clarified that the agency’s mandate, which Leggeri had claimed was being changed “discretely and efficiently,” is clearly described in Frontex documents. The statement essentially amounted to a final slap in the face for Leggeri, and the beginning of the effort to limit the amount of damage to the agency’s reputation.
      A New Beginning?

      The woman who is now to take over from Leggeri is named Aija Kalnaja. The Management Board installed the Latvian as interim chief on the day of Leggeri’s resignation. A career police officer, she had been deputy executive director of Frontex. In her very first email to agency staff, Kalnaja distanced herself from Leggeri. The rights of asylum-seekers, she wrote, must be protected, and Frontex must set an example.

      It is going to be a long road to becoming an exemplary EU agency. Leggeri left behind a fair amount of chaos, and Kalnaja, as deputy director, wasn’t entirely uninvolved. Currently, for example, Frontex officials must pay for their lodgings at the EU’s external border out of their own pockets because the agency isn’t able to arrange official trips. Frontex cancelled its contract with a travel agency because costs were skyrocketing, and a replacement hasn’t yet been found.

      Many in the agency believe that Kalnaja would like to remain in the top spot. In contrast to Leggeri, she is thought to have good relations with the European Commission. The final decision on her status will be made in early June, which is when the Management Board will gather to elect a new director.

      The German government is now stressing that Leggeri’s departure presents an opportunity for a new beginning. That, though, wouldn’t just require a new Frontex chief, but also a policy shift in the EU member states that Leggeri spent so long protecting. A first test is on the horizon: The Frontex Fundamental Rights Officer could soon recommend that the agency withdraw from the Aegean. And then, nobody could hide behind Fabrice Leggeri any longer.

      https://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/fabrice-leggeri-s-resignation-the-final-days-of-the-frontex-chief-a-a238224a

  • Stronger Borders Trump Human Rights At Vilnius Migration Conference

    The head of Europe’s border agency Frontex has called on the European Union to clarify the rules on managing its external border. At a meeting of EU minsters to address an emergent ‘crisis’ of irregular migration, Fabrice Leggeri, executive director of Frontex, emphasised balancing respect for human rights with the need to manage migration across Europe’s borders. Leggeri’s statements are however directly at odds with Frontex’s own practices, EU policy concerns and the tone of the meeting.

    Leggeri made his comments as EU interior ministers met in Lithuania to discuss ways to better prevent irregular migrants from crossing into EU territory and clear up the rules on when they can be deported back to their home territories.

    “We are trained to comply with fundamental rights,” said Leggeri to reporters outside the meeting. “We are aware that there is a right to have international protection. But on the other hand, there are also illegal behaviours and illegal crossings that are not in line with EU regulation.”

    Frontex, and Leggeri specifically, have been repeatedly accused of disregarding the human rights of irregular migrants trying to make it to Europe. Multiple investigations by NGOs and news outlets attest to Frontex collaborating with EU member states to force would-be migrants back to sea, an illegal procedure which is highly dangerous.

    Such ‘pushback’ practices, which have been linked to the deaths of thousands of people at sea, have led to calls for Leggeri to step down and Frontex’s powers to be curtailed. Leggeri also faced calls to resign over his failure to recruit ‘fundamental rights officers’ into Frontex, whose job would be to safeguard the human rights of migrants.

    At the meeting in Vilnius, however, Leggeri seemed to suggest a lack of clarity in EU policy was the real issue: “The legal clarification is needed everywhere in the EU, to know what is possible and what is not.”

    Some EU policy in recent years has indeed led to the abrogation of migrants’ right to protections. The decision to withdraw search-and-rescue operations in the Mediterranean, ostensibly as a way to increase deterrence factors (the logic being that if migrants think they will be rescued they would be more likely to embark on a perilous crossing), have been credibly linked to rising death tolls in and around Europe’s waters.

    While many EU member states and individual MEPs have expressed concern over the EU neglecting the human rights of migrants, the dominant focus overall remains on reducing irregular migration. Irregular (commonly called ‘illegal’) crossings proved remarkably resilient during the pandemic in comparison to other migration flows. Frontex reported that in 2021 the number of irregular crossings was the highest since 2017. Amid this increase, and the perennial concern over a new ‘migrant crisis,’ the meeting of EU interior ministers in Lithuania emphasised stronger borders above other concerns.

    “This conference needs to send the message that Europe’s hard land and sea borders are ready to protect them,” said Greek migration minister Notis Mitarachi outside the meeting. “Migration should take place through legal means, not through illegal entries and through smuggling networks.”

    The loudest calls for action at the meeting, from interior ministers of member states such as Italy, Poland, and Greece, were to increase EU border enforcement and crack down on smugglers’ networks. European Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson appears receptive to those calls., Though Johansson deplored the alleged pushbacks, she herself affirmed the need to prevent migrants from reaching Europe. In particular, she emphasised policy to prevent people from embarking on perilous journeys to begin with: “We can’t wait until we have desperate migrants at our borders. We need to act sooner."

    Such an aim would presumably be pursued through enhanced border externalisation programmes in partnership with sending countries, a tool the EU is well experienced with. Though Commissioner Johansson reiterated the “long-standing” position of the EU Commission, that funds should not be used to build more walls and fences on EU borders, this does not necessarily preclude funds being used to limit the mobility of people in other regions.

    Johansson also emphasised the need for the EU to increase its capability to send rejected asylum seekers back where they came from. Migrant returns have indeed stalled during the pandemic, but in keeping with the Vilnius meetings’ emphasis on strong borders over human rights, the calls to send more people back comes at the expense of serious concerns about migrants’ rights, as EU deportations often subject people to mortal danger and destitution when they are returned.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/freylindsay/2022/01/22/stronger-borders-trump-human-rights-at-vilnius-migration-conference

    #Frontex #frontières #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Europe #droits_fondamentaux #hypocrisie #Leggeri #Fabrice_Leggeri

  • 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

  • The #Frontex_files

    #Glock, #Airbus, #Heckler_&_Koch. Die Teilnehmerliste der 16 Lobby-Treffen der EU-Grenzschutzagentur Frontex in den Jahren 2017 bis 2019 liest sich wie das Who-is-Who der Rüstungsindustrie. Kataloge mit Handfeuerwaffen wurden herumgereicht und in bunten PowerPoint-Präsentationen die Vorzüge von Überwachungsdrohnen erklärt.

    Externe Beobachter*innen gab es bei den Treffen nicht. Und Frontex hat die Inhalte dieser Treffen nicht öffentlich zugänglich gemacht. Ein Lobby-Transparenzregister, wie es EU-Parlamentarier*innen vor zwei Jahren gefordert haben, hat Frontex bis heute nicht veröffentlicht. Auf Anfrage des ZDF Magazin Royale schrieb die EU-Agentur Ende Januar:

    »Frontex trifft sich nicht mit Lobbyisten.«

    Weil Frontex seiner Verantwortung als EU-Agentur nicht gerecht wird, hat das ZDF Magazin Royale diese Aufgabe übernommen. Hiermit veröffentlichen wir die FRONTEX FILES. Das erste Lobby-Transparenzregister der Grenzschutzagentur Frontex.

    Was haben wir gemacht?

    Gemeinsam mit den Rechercheurinnen Luisa Izuzquiza, Margarida Silva and Myriam Douo sowie der NGO „Frag den Staat“ hat das ZDF Magazin Royale 142 Dokumente von 16 Industry-Meetings, die Frontex zwischen 2017 und 2019 veranstaltet hat, ausgewertet. Darunter Programme, Teilnehmer*innenlisten, Powerpoint-Präsentationen und Werbekataloge.

    Wie sind wir an die Dokumente gekommen?

    Die Dokumente haben wir durch Anfragen nach dem Informationsfreiheitsgesetz der Europäischen Union erhalten.

    Was ist besonders und neu daran?

    Frontex hat die Einladungen zu den Treffen bisher nur teilweise auf der Webseite veröffentlicht. Wer dazu eingeladen war und was dort präsentiert wurde, jedoch nicht.

    Was sagt Frontex und was stimmt?

    Auf die Frage eines EU-Parlamentsabgeordneten im Jahr 2018 antwortete Frontex:

    »Frontex trifft sich nur mit Lobbyisten, die im Transparenzregister der EU registriert sind und veröffentlicht jährlich einen Überblick der Treffen auf der Website. 2017 gab es keine solcher Treffen.«

    Das stimmt nicht. Allein 2017 hat Frontex vier Meetings mit Lobby-Vertreter*innen abgehalten. 58 Prozent der Teilnehmenden waren nicht im EU-Transparenzregister gelistet. In den Treffen 2018 und 2019 waren 72 Prozent (91 von 125) der Lobbyist*innen nicht registriert.

    Auf Anfrage des ZDF Magazin Royale schreibt Frontex:

    »Frontex trifft sich nicht mit Lobbyisten. Es lädt Firmenvertreter ein, um an den Industrie-Tagen der Agentur teilzunehmen, die Grenzschutz-Offiziellen helfen sollen, über neue Technologien und Innovationen in Bezug auf Grenzkontrolle zu lernen.«

    Auch das ist falsch: Die Auswertung der Präsentationen und Kataloge zeigen, dass Unternehmen versucht haben, Einfluss auf die Politik der Agentur zu nehmen. Teilweise wurden Vorschläge bereits umgesetzt.

    Wer war bei den Frontex-Lobbytreffen?

    An den Treffen haben 138 Vertreter*innen privater Einrichtungen teilgenommen: 108 Vertreter*innen von Unternehmen, 10 Think Tanks, 15 Universitäten, eine Nichtregierungsorganisation.
    Keine einzige Menschenrechtsorganisation war bei diesen Treffen dabei.

    Neben Vertreter*innen von EU-Grenzschutzbehörden hat Frontex zu den Treffen auch Internationale Organisationen wie Interpol, Europol oder die OSZE eingeladen und Vertreter*innen aus Staaten, die für ihre brutale Grenzschutzpolitik bekannt sind: die australische Regierung, das Homeland Security Department der USA, das angolanische Innenministerium, Vertreter des General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs der Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate oder die belarussische Grenzschutzbehörde.

    Welche Produkte wurden präsentiert?

    In den teils themenspezifischen Treffen wurden unterschiedliche Gerätschaften präsentiert, die zur Verteidigung der EU-Außengrenzen dienen sollen. Dazu gehören Handfeuerwaffen, Munition und Überwachungsgeräte wie Sensoren, Drohnen, Kameras und Server für die Speicherung von biometrischen Daten. Die Produkte wurden in Powerpoint-Präsentationen vorgestellt.

    Welche Produkte wurden präsentiert?

    In den teils themenspezifischen Treffen wurden unterschiedliche Gerätschaften präsentiert, die zur Verteidigung der EU-Außengrenzen dienen sollen. Dazu gehören Handfeuerwaffen, Munition und Überwachungsgeräte wie Sensoren, Drohnen, Kameras und Server für die Speicherung von biometrischen Daten. Die Produkte wurden in Powerpoint-Präsentationen vorgestellt.

    Wo kann ich mich weiter über das Thema informieren?

    Die Rechercheurinnen Luisa Izuzquiza, Margarida Silva and Myriam Douo haben zu den Dokumenten einen ausführlichen Bericht geschrieben und bei Corporate Europe Observatory veröffentlicht. Hier geht es zu dem Bericht: https://corporateeurope.org/en/lobbying-fortress-europe

    https://frontexfiles.eu
    #mensonges #frontières #frontières_extérieures #Fabrice_Leggeri #Leggeri #droits_humains #push-backs #refoulements #droits_fondamentaux #complexe_militaro-industriel #lobby #ZDF #enquête #Frag_den_Staat #FragDenStaat

    –—


    https://fragdenstaat.de/dokumente/sammlung/49-fx-files
    #rencontres #liste

    ping @isskein @karine4 @_kg_

    • Lobbying Fortress Europe. The making of a border-industrial complex

      The massive expansion of the budget, personnel, and powers of the EU’s border agency Frontex has also seen increasingly privileged access for industry. This perpetuates a vision of border control based on more and more firearms and biometric surveillance that has major human rights implications.
      Executive Summary

      The massive expansion of EU border agency Frontex in recent years has not been matched by a corresponding increase in transparency, accountability, nor scrutiny.

      Access to document requests reveal a disturbing trend by which arms, surveillance, and biometrics companies are being given an outsized role – unmatched by other voices – in shaping EU’s border control regime.

      This report gives the first comprehensive overview of this phenomenon, finding that:

      - Frontex holds special events for security industry lobbyists where they work hand in hand to promote ’solutions’ based on techno-fixes, from biometric surveillance to firepower.
      - These corporate interests are not neutral parties but de facto seek to shape Frontex’s approach to border control in their interests, and benefit from procurement contracts.
      - Meanwhile the agency has no real transparency or lobbying accountability mechanisms in place, and indeed denies that it is a target for lobbyists at all.
      – At the same time as the agency has open doors for corporate lobbyists selling defence and surveillance solutions which have major human rights implications, groups working to defend human rights are left on the sidelines.

      The European Union’s response to travellers, migrants, and refugees should be guided by the protection of human rights. This is too important an issue to be shaped by the interests of defence companies instrumentalising migration for profit.

      https://corporateeurope.org/en/lobbying-fortress-europe

      #surveillance #biométrie

      ping @etraces

    • The lobbyists behind Europe’s response to migration

      Last year wasn’t a happy one for Frontex, in the news for illegal pushbacks and abuses against migrants and refugees (see below). Now it is under investigation by the EU anti-fraud watchdog OLAF.

      “But the scandal of Frontex’s cozy relationship with the weapons and surveillance industry, brewing behind closed doors over the past few years, has received less attention,” Myriam Douo, Luisa Izuzquiza and Margarida Silva wrote in a recent Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) report (https://corporateeurope.org/en/lobbying-fortress-europe).

      They obtained over 130 documents (https://fragdenstaat.de/dokumente/sammlung/49-fx-files) through freedom of information requests and the review opened “a window onto at least 17 industry meetings convened by Frontex from 2017 to 2019”. It all started with a lot of money.

      In fact, in 2020 Frontex was granted a €5.6 billion budget – the largest among all EU agencies – for the 2021-2027 timeframe. Then 10,000 border guards came along, together with an extension of its mandate and the ability to acquire and lease its own equipment like vessels, drones and radars.

      “This is a dream come true not just for Frontex, but for the security industry. Spying the opportunity for a new and major customer, it has been advocating since 2010 for an EU-level border force with precisely those capabilities.”

      In previous years, the agency had met with 138 private bodies: 108 companies, 10 research centres or think tanks, 15 universities and just one NGO (ID4Africa). European defence companies Airbus and Leonardo were awarded the most access, followed by tech companies (Japanese NEC, Atos, IDEMIA, Jenetric, secunet, and Vision-Box).

      Even the consultative forum on human rights, established by Frontex itself, has never been heard. It was the security industry lobbyists who eventually shaped the agency’s approach.

      They mostly discussed weapons, biometrics, maritime and aerial surveillance, heartbeat detectors and document inspection systems. Besides, migration was “portrayed as a threat, often linked to terrorism and crime”.

      Yet, transparency remains very little. When CEO asked Frontex to explain how it was handling lobbying, a press office told them that “Frontex does not meet with lobbyists” and that it “does not attract the interest of lobbyists.” When they asked again, Frontex denied meeting with lobbyists except on “Industry Days”.

      Migrants are the real elephant in the room. “A noticeable omission from almost every one of these discussions is the potential impact on human rights of these technologies and products, including undermining people’s fundamental right to privacy, presumption of innocence and liberty.”

      Human rights organisations had almost no access to the agency, which is particularly worrying in the context of the future EU border and migration policy. “Considering the growing power and budget”, CEO predicts that Frontex’ relationship with industry will intensify. “Scrutiny over it should, too,” they add.
      MEPs to probe Frontex over unlawful pushbacks

      The European Parliament has set up a probe over harassment, misconduct and unlawful operations run by Frontex and aimed at stopping migrants from reaching EU shores via Greek waters.

      On 24 February, MEPs have formed a new working group (https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20210222IPR98303/frontex-meps-to-investigate-alleged-violations-of-fundamental-rights), chaided by Roberta Metsola (EPP, Malta) officially called #Frontex_Scrutiny_Working_Group (#FSWG) (https://www.greens-efa.eu/en/article/news/new-frontex-scrutiny-working-group-quote-from-tineke-strik-mep), to “monitor all aspects of the functioning of the border agency, including its compliance with fundamental rights.” The legislators will personally conduct a fact-finding investigation over the next four months in order to collect evidence to determine if the violations took place and if the agency was involved in them.

      https://voxeurop.eu/en/the-lobbyists-behind-eu-response-to-migration

  • European Border and Coast Guard: The Commission welcomes agreement on a standing corps of 10,000 border guards by 2027

    Today, the Council green-lighted the political agreement reached last week to reinforce the European Border and Coast Guard, giving it the right level of ambition to respond to the common challenges Europe is facing in managing migration and borders.

    The centre piece of the reinforced Agency will be a standing corps of 10,000 border guards – ready to support Member States at any time. The Agency will also have a stronger mandate on returns and will cooperate more closely with non-EU countries, including those beyond the EU’s immediate neighbourhood. Agreed in the record time of just over 6 months, the new European Border and Coast Guard represents a step-change in the EU’s ability to collectively better protect Europe’s external borders.

    Welcoming the agreement, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: “In an area of free movement without internal border controls, strengthening and managing Europe’s external borders is a shared responsibility. I am glad to see that a 10,000-strong standing corps with the necessary equipment will help Member States to better protect our borders and our citizens. By working together constructively and swiftly, we can create a safer Europe.”

    Commissioner for Home Affairs, Migration and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos added: “From now onwards, the European Border and Coast Guard will have the full operational capacity and powers needed to effectively and fully support Member States on the ground, at all times. Better controlling our external borders, fighting irregular migration, carrying out returns and cooperating with third countries – we can only succeed if we do this together. Ultimately, this will also help preserve the long-term viability of the Schengen area of free movement.”

    The Agency supports Member States and does not replace their responsibilities in external border management and return. The reinforced European Border and Coast Guard Agency will be equipped with more resources and capabilities including:

    A standing corps of 10,000 border guards: A standing corps of 10,000 border guards will be set up by 2027 and will ensure that the Agency can support Member States whenever and wherever needed. The standing corps will bring together Agency staff as well as border guards and return experts seconded or deployed by Member States, who will support the over 100,000 national border guards in their tasks. In addition, the Agency will have a budget to acquire its own equipment, such as vessels, planes and vehicles.

    Executive powers: The standing corps will be able to carry out border control and return tasks, such as identity checks, authorising entry at the external borders, and carrying out borders’ surveillance – only with the agreement of the host Member State.
    More support on return: In addition to organising and financing joint return operations, the Agency will now also be able to support Member States at all stages of return process with Member States remaining responsible for taking return decisions. This support will include for example by identifying non-EU nationals with no right to stay or acquiring travel documents.
    Stronger cooperation with non-EU countries: The Agency will be able – subject to prior agreement of the country concerned – to launch joint operations and deploy staff outside the EU, beyond countries neighbouring the EU, to provide support on border and migration management.
    Antenna offices: The Agency will be able to set up antenna offices in Member States and in a non-EU country (subject to a status agreement) to support logistically its operational activities and guarantee the smooth running of the Agency’s operations.

    Next steps

    The European Parliament’s LIBE Committee still has to confirm the political agreement reached in trilogues on 28 March. Then both the European Parliament and the Council will have to formally adopt the Regulation. The text will then be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and the European Border and Coast Guard’s enhanced mandate will enter into force 20 days later. The new European Border and Coast Guard standing corps will be available for deployment starting from 2021, once it becomes fully operational and will reach its full capacity of 10,000 border guards by 2027.

    Background

    The European Border and Coast Guard was established in 2016, building on existing structures of Frontex, to meet the new challenges and political realities faced by the EU, both as regards migration and internal security. The reliance on voluntary Member States’ contributions of staff and equipment has however resulted in persistent gaps affecting the efficiency of the support the European Border and Coast Guard could offer to Member States.

    In his 2018 State of the Union Address President Juncker announced that the Commission will reinforce the European Border and Coast Guard even further. The objective of this upgrade was to equip the Agency with a standing corps of 10,000 operational staff and with its own equipment to ensure that the EU has the necessary capabilities in place — constantly and reliably. On 28 March, the European Parliament and the Council reached a political agreement on the Commission’s proposal, which was confirmed by the Council.

    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-19-1929_en.htm
    Après #Frontex, #Frontex_plus (https://seenthis.net/tag/frontex_plus)
    Après Frontex plus, #Frontex_plus_plus

    #renvois #expulsions #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #asile #migrations #réfugiés #externalisation #business

  • Le directeur de #Frontex appelle à accélérer les #expulsions de migrants

    Le directeur de l’agence européenne des garde-frontières et garde-côtes (Frontex) exhorte les Etats membres à appliquer plus systématiquement les décisions d’expulsions de migrants et à harmoniser leurs règles, sans quoi l’Europe envoie selon lui un encouragement « implicite » à traverser la Méditerranée.

    Le directeur de l’agence européenne des garde-frontières et garde-côtes (Frontex) exhorte les Etats membres à appliquer plus systématiquement les décisions d’expulsions de migrants et à harmoniser leurs règles, sans quoi l’Europe envoie selon lui un encouragement « implicite » à traverser la Méditerranée.

    Dans un entretien à paraître jeudi dans les quotidiens régionaux du groupe Ebra, Fabrice Leggeri appelle globalement les pays européens à durcir et à coordonner la gestion des frontières extérieures communes.

    « Tant qu’on n’arrivera pas à augmenter l’efficacité des éloignements, les gens verront des clandestins créer dans certains quartiers une forme de société parallèle, fonctionnant sur une économie noire, comme des ’bulles’ où la loi ne s’applique pas », estime-t-il.

    « Les Etats membres doivent prendre davantage de décisions effectives d’éloignement, qui soient mieux mises en oeuvre », dit-il.

    En France , 18.000 expulsions ont eu lieu l’an dernier, dont près de 15.000 forcées (en hausse de 14% par rapport à 2016) et 86.000 personnes ont été refoulées aux frontières, pour la plupart dans les Alpes-Maritimes.

    Lors d’un Conseil européen, les Vingt-Huit se sont engagés le 29 juin notamment à renforcer les frontières de l’UE et à créer des « plateformes de débarquement » hors d’Europe et des « centres contrôlés » d’accueil sur le sol européen.

    Pour Fabrice Leggeri, les plateformes situées dans des pays tiers, décriées par les ONG et par l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) comme contraires au droit d’asile, représentent une piste valable.

    « Il n’est pas question de revenir sur le devoir de sauvetage des gens. La vraie question est : pour les débarquer où ? Pourquoi systématiquement en Europe ? Après, il n’est pas non plus question de refouler les gens vers des pays ’non sûrs’. L’enjeu est donc de mettre en place des plateformes de débarquement respectueuses du droit, qui permettent aux personnes d’avoir accès à l’asile », estime-t-il.

    En vue de coordonner les expulsions par avion, l’agence Frontex est en train de mettre au point « un système informatique d’échange de données nommé Irma qui dira en temps réel combien d’irréguliers d’un pays, par exemple des Pakistanais, vont avoir bientôt une décision effective d’éloignement de l’Union, ce qui nous permettra de planifier l’envoi d’un charter vers le Pakistan », explique-t-il.

    Selon l’OIM, 63.142 réfugiés ont traversé la Méditerranée cette année pour rejoindre l’Europe, soit environ deux fois moins qu’à la même période l’an dernier. Au moins 1.500 personnes ont péri dans cette traversée.

    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/220818/le-directeur-de-frontex-appelle-accelerer-les-expulsions-de-migrants
    #asile #migrations #renvois #réfugiés #UE #Europe #EU

    #machine_à_expulsion #machine_à_expulser = les tags que j’ai utilisés sur seenthis pour parler de cette envie d’expulser à tous les coup !

    • Ah mais de quoi il se mêle ce gugusse ?

      « Tant qu’on n’arrivera pas à augmenter l’efficacité des éloignements, les gens verront des clandestins créer dans certains quartiers une forme de société parallèle, fonctionnant sur une économie noire, comme des ’bulles’ où la loi ne s’applique pas »,

      Qu’il s’occupe de ses frontières, qu’il parle de son boulot de merde, ça suffit déjà hein. Ces propos pseudo descriptivo prémonitoires qu’il se les garde, merde. C’est un fonctionnaire ? Depuis quand ça a le droit de jeter de la merde sur le fumier un fonctionnaire ? Quelqu’un connait un endroit où on peut demander à l’Europe que le mec s’occupe de sa popotte et s’abstienne de ces vagissements décérébrés et fascisants ?
      #enerve #devoir_de_reserve #sanction

    • España es el tercer país de la UE que más dinero recibe para deportar migrantes

      Casi mil millones de euros destina la Comisión Europea a los países para «acciones relacionadas con el retorno de inmigrantes irregulares». Es decir, para deportaciones.

      Así se desprende de la respuesta del comisario de Migración, Dimitris Avramopouluos, a una pregunta formulada por la portavoz de IU en el Parlamento europeo, Marina Albiol, preguntaba por la cantidad empleada en garantizar la llegada legal y segura de personas; la información desglosada por Estados miembros y por receptor final de los fondos y por los mecanismos para supervisar que las personas migrantes no son encarceladas, perseguidas o torturadas tras haber sido deportadas desde la UE.

      Avramopouluos, que responde a algunas cuestiones con más concreción que a otras, afirma que «en el marco del Fondo de Asilo, Migración e Integración, los Estados miembros disponen en sus programas nacionales, para el periodo 2014-2020, de 737 millones de euros para acciones que refuercen el Sistema Europeo Común de Asilo, incluida la prestación de servicios a los solicitantes de asilo y la recepción de los mismos. Además, 53 millones de euros están destinados a apoyar la migración legal desde terceros países a los Estados miembros. Asimismo, se han asignado a los Estados miembros 872 millones de euros en fondos adicionales para apoyar el reasentamiento de los beneficiarios de protección internacional procedentes de terceros países a los Estados miembros».

      Además, Avramopouluos explica que "en el marco del Fondo de Asilo, Migración e Integración, se asignan 943 millones de euros como parte de los programas nacionales de los Estados miembros para acciones relacionadas con el retorno. Por lo que se refiere al número de retornos en 2017, la cifra oficial de Eurostat es de 188 905 inmigrantes irregulares devueltos de manera efectiva a terceros países en 2017 por todos los Estados miembros de la UE. Esta cifra incluye tanto los retornos voluntarios como los forzosos.

      «Las deportaciones son uno de los elementos centrales de las políticas xenófobas de la UE y esto queda claro cuando vemos que se gastan 70 millones de euros más en deportaciones que en programas de reasentamiento», reflexiona Marina Albiol: «Su objetivo es reducir el número de migrantes a toda costa y para ello no dudan en realizar deportaciones forzosas, para las que a menudo se utiliza violencia o sedaciones. Devuelven a esas personas a la violencia y la miseria de la que huyeron, o incluso las deportan a terceros países, por los que hayan transitado en su camino hacia la UE, pero con los que no tengan ningún tipo de vínculo».

      De esos 943 millones de euros, España es el tercer país, con 116,1 millones, que más dinero recibe para deportaciones. El primero es Reino Unido –219,4 millones–, seguido de Grecia –132,8 millones–.

      «Que el Estado español sea el tercer estado europeo que más fondos recibe para las deportaciones demuestra el papel de alumno aventajado que tiene en la aplicación de las políticas de la Europa Fortaleza», prosigue Albiol: «El Gobierno de Sánchez ya ha demostrado con sus acciones que no va a promover ningún tipo de cambio en las políticas migratorias españolas, caracterizadas por las violaciones de derechos humanos en la frontera de Ceuta y Melilla y en los Centros de Internamiento».

      «Estas políticas –continúa Albiol– son además un enorme negocio para unas pocas empresas privadas que, como Air Europa, se lucran con esta industria criminal. Esos 116 millones de euros que de momento ha recibido el Estado español para realizar deportaciones es dinero del conjunto de contribuyentes que viven o trabajan en la Unión, también de personas migrantes en situación administrativa irregular. Sin embargo, las autoridades europeas no tienen reparo en dar ese dinero a empresas privadas para que estas apliquen unas políticas que están dictadas por la extrema derecha».

      https://www.eldiario.es/desalambre/Espana-tercer-UE-deportar-migrantes_0_817868523.html

      –->En 2017, 943 millions were assigned for deportations, says the European Commissioner of Migration Avramopouluos, answering the MEP Marina Albiol (IU). Of this 943 million Euros, Spain is the third country, with 116,1 millions, which more money receives for deportations. The first one is United Kingdom -219,4 million-, followed by Greece -132,8 million-.

      #Espagne

  • The Future of the Schengen Area : Latest Developments and Challenges in the Schengen Governance Framework since 2016

    This Study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE-Committee), takes stock of the main developments that have occurred in the Schengen Governance Framework since 2016. It analyses the legitimacy of a number of States’ decisions to maintain internal border controls. Also, most recent policy proposals in the field of internal police checks are assessed in light of relevant EU legal standards. The paper also questions the legality of the border walls and fences, which have been recently erected at the EU external borders and within the Schengen area.

    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=IPOL_STU(2018)604943
    #Schengen (fin de -) #frontières #murs #barrières_frontalières #contrôles_frontaliers #contrôles_systématiques_aux_frontières #frontière_sud-alpine

    #cartographie #visualisation
    La fin de Schengen... en gros..

    Lien vers l’étude (pdf) :


    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2018/604943/IPOL_STU(2018)604943_EN.pdf
    #timeline #chronolgoie #time-line

    Source de la carte (c’est intéressant le fait qu’elle a été faite par le HCR) :
    https://data2.unhcr.org/fr/documents/download/55249

    signalé par @reka que je remercie
    cc @isskein

  • Un texte écrit par le grand chef de #Frontex lui-même... #Fabrice_Leggeri, sur les #frontières, évidemment...

    Safeguarding borders for an open Europe

    Freedom of movement is a right enshrined in the European Union’s area of freedom, security and justice. But it is only by protecting the EU’s external borders that this freedom can continue to exist, writes Fabrice Leggeri.
    At the same time, returning to the old system of checking passports and customs papers at every border within the EU would not only damage mutual trust but could do irreparable harm to our economies.

    But even though a recent study by the European Parliament found that the indefinite suspension of the Schengen Area could cost up to €230 billion over a period of 10 years, the concept of the area of freedom, security and justice has taken a series of hard knocks over the last few years.

    This was due in part to the influx of refugees that began with the deterioration of the situation in Syria. Then there were the terror attacks that have taken place on European soil with horrifying frequency have aroused fears for security, a topic that surveys show is high on the list of priorities of EU citizens.

    In seeking remedies, we must not frame migration as a security problem. Indeed, conflating these issues would play into the hands of the very extremists we are struggling to defeat. However, we need stable borders, and for this, we need new and innovative European solutions.

    The recent transformation of Frontex into the European Border and Coast Guard Agency is just such a solution. It allows us to move beyond our former focus on migration and migratory flows to safeguarding the security of the EU’s external borders, including the crucial fight against organised crime.

    It is a tough task. But our increased budget and expanded mandate give us invaluable tools to assess weaknesses in the border control capabilities of member states and address them by making specific recommendations, such as modernising equipment, deploying additional officers to particular sections of the border, providing training to frontline practitioners, or in some places improving the reception and registration facilities for newly arrived migrants.

    With a coastline of almost 66,000 km and land borders of more than 13,000 km, Europe is only as secure as its external borders. And on the basis of our own findings and analysis, we know there are indeed many dangers lurking, from the human traffickers through to the many tonnes of hard drugs and weapons seized with our help on their way into the EU.

    That is why we now have more than 1,700 officers deployed at the EU’s external borders to assist member states. The new mandate has also allowed us to establish a large pool of officers committed by national authorities, who can be rapidly deployed in case of proven threats.

    So Frontex is increasingly moving from a supporting role to coordinating and complementing the work of our partners in the member states, and this trend will strengthen further over the next decade.

    However, we will still remain only one piece of the puzzle. Our colleagues in the European Commission and Parliament are another. And the many remaining pieces are made up of the national border and coast guards, the frontline workers at the EU’s borders and their brave colleagues out on the high seas. It is together with them, and only together, that Frontex forms the European border and coast guard.

    Since its inception in 2004, Frontex has found itself the brunt of criticism, either that the agency is trying to create ‘Fortress Europe’, ignoring the needs of those fleeing war and persecution; or conversely, that it is not being tough enough on protecting the EU’s external borders.

    Of concern to me is not so much that the errors at the root of this critique indicate a lack of understanding of our work, but – far more importantly – of the issues at stake.

    For border security is not a matter of encouraging unfounded suspicions, or indiscriminately excluding those who need our help. In fact, it is quite the reverse.

    By improving our risk analysis, intelligence sharing, and surveillance techniques, we ensure that the needs of people seeking international protection from war or persecution are met, while those who could endanger our security are detected and dealt with appropriately.

    And strengthening our borders is not just about irregular migrants. Since March 2017, everybody crossing the EU’s external borders legally has been checked. And the EU is at an advanced stage of establishing a system similar to the one used in the US, to check that visitors from countries exempt from visa requirements do not pose a threat of any kind during their stay.

    As Frontex continues to expand, there is nonetheless one thing that will not change. Rescuing people in danger is an essential part of our mandate wherever Frontex is active at the EU’s maritime borders.

    Indeed, I would go so far as to say that respect for fundamental rights is an integral component of effective border management. The agency is bound by the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, and Frontex has advanced mechanisms for recording potential or alleged violations.

    Finally, I must make the point that border management is not the answer to all Europe’s challenges, just as it is not an ersatz for migration policy. If we want to put an end to the drowning in the Mediterranean and the deaths in the Sahel, we need to work harder and cooperate more closely to eliminate the root causes of migration, from armed conflict through to famine.

    At the same time (and as reiterated by the European Commission on numerous occasions), we need to offer those in need of international protection legal paths to enter the EU. This would not only save lives but also cut off financing for the criminal smuggling rings currently making a fortune out of the misery of their fellow humans.

    So we are speaking here not just about migration or borders, but about the EU and our own future. Some people took the events of 2015 and the ongoing crisis to claim that the EU has failed as a project and belongs on the rubbish heap of history. I believe the opposite.

    With the creation of the European Border and Coast Guard, the EU has embarked on a new stage of its journey. There is no single country that can safeguard its citizens from internationally organised crime, and at the same time meet its humanitarian obligations to assist those fleeing persecution.

    If protecting our external borders and safeguarding free movement really matters to us, then it is time to speak out for Europe, and for the additional resources needed at the regional and national level to avoid a repeat of 2015. This would serve the interests not just of a few, but of everyone in the EU.

    https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/opinion/safeguarding-borders-for-an-open-europe
    #frontières_extérieures #ouverture_des_frontières #fermeture_des_frontières #liberté_de_mouvement (mais que à l’intérieur de l’Europe c’est une bonne chose, nous suggère #Leggeri)

    Je me suis permise de corriger son titre, sur twitter :

    Wrong. Here is the correct version of your title, Mr @fabriceleggeri: “Opening #borders for safeguarding #Europe

    https://twitter.com/EURACTIV/status/970618491765231616

    cc @isskein

    • Un commentaire sur FB, de Yasha Maccanico :

      Perfect comment, Cristina! ... Frontex should have been disbanded in 2014 because in 10 years since its creation it had undermined everything that is worthwhile about Europe, including freedom of movement, and betrayed the EU to promote the corporate plunder of its resources by security and technology firms. It is currently the agency for the institutionalisation of racism and discrimination, for the systematic violation of human rights, for the funding of dictatorships and authoritarian regimes to entrap their citizens and promote racism against foreigners who may be making their way towards Europe, for the subordination of humanity to procedures to enable its control technologies to function and mistreat human beings who disobey. Its role alongside the Commission in the European Agenda on Migration has been subversive and has successfully pushed Italy and other states towards intolerance and in a nationalist-fascist direction for the purpose of fighting so-called irregular migration. What it terms safeguarding borders means mass murder, the mass detention and abuse of people and the violation of every existing right and legal safeguard to disempower its targets. Leggeri and Avramopoulos need to be held to account for this... every penny (or cent) spent on Frontex and on fighting so-called irregular immigration works against Europe and the EU, degrading both. The economic and ethical cost of what they are doing is enormous...

      https://www.facebook.com/cristina.delbiaggio/posts/10155014609560938?comment_id=10155014873480938

  • Migranti, vertice al Viminale dei ministri dell’Interno di Italia, Ciad, Libia e Niger

    Una cooperazione congiunta per il contrasto al terrorismo e alla tratta di esseri umani. Istituita una cabina di regia che opererà per monitorare sui temi oggetto dell’incontro


    http://www.interno.gov.it/it/notizie/migranti-vertice-viminale-dei-ministri-dellinterno-italia-ciad-libia-e-n
    #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Tchad #Italie #Libye
    cc @i_s_

    • Parola d’ordine esternalizzare: soldi europei agli Stati africani per fermare il flusso dei migranti

      Il ministro degli Interni del Niger: «Chiediamo all’Ue infrastrutture militari». Ma il Mali non firma le riammissioni: «Le rimesse ci hanno portato 800 milioni di dollari nel 2016»

      http://www.lastampa.it/2017/05/24/esteri/speciali/divertedaid/parola-dordine-esternalizzare-soldi-europei-agli-stati-africani-per-fermare-il-flusso-dei-migranti-VKqfQ42Nr9TimSleQzT7XL/pagina.html?platform=hootsuite

    • Deploying Italian warships to police Libyan waters will expose refugees to horrific abuse

      Proposals to send warships to police Libyan territorial waters are a shameful attempt by the Italian authorities to circumvent their duty to rescue refugees and migrants at sea and to offer protection to those who need it, said Amnesty International, ahead of a vote in the Italian parliament tomorrow.

      https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/deploying-italian-warships-to-police-libyan-waters-will-expose-refugees-

    • Missione navale: Italia pronta a destinare rifugiati e migranti verso orribili violenze

      Dopo il voto del parlamento italiano in favore dell’invio di navi da guerra nelle acque libiche per assistere la Guardia costiera della Libia a intercettare migranti e rifugiati e a riportarli a terra, la vicedirettrice di Amnesty International per l’Europa Gauri Van Gulik ha rilasciato questa dichiarazione:

      https://www.amnesty.it/missione-navale-italia-pronta-destinare-rifugiati-migranti-verso-orribili-vi

    • "L’aiuto dell’Italia alla Guardia costiera libica rischia di tradursi in complicità negli abusi sui migranti"

      L’annuncio del supporto operativo delle navi della Marina Militare italiana al governo di Tripoli, nell’intercettazione di barconi di migranti in acque libiche, è stata criticata da Human Rights Watch: «Potrebbe coinvolgere l’Italia in violazioni dei diritti umani a danno dei migranti successivamente detenuti in Libia».

      http://www.huffingtonpost.it/2017/08/02/l-aiuto-dellitalia-alla-guardia-costiera-libica-rischia-di-tra_a_2306

    • Libia, la Guardia Costiera viene pagata con i soldi della Cooperazione

      Le frontiere esterne dell’Unione Europea si blindano usando fondi destinati allo sviluppo. Dalla polizia del Niger, alle milizie che presidiano i confini in Sudan fino ai militari che controllano le coste del Paese nord africano. La missione ONU per la Libia (Unsmil) in un rapporto parla delle carceri libiche come luoghi di estorsioni e violenze

      http://www.repubblica.it/solidarieta/cooperazione/2017/07/31/news/libia_la_guardia_costiera_viene_pagata_con_i_soldi_della_cooperazione-172

      #aide_au_développement

    • Italy Has a Controversial New Plan to Stop Migrants Crossing the Mediterranean Sea

      The Italian government initially hoped to send six ships to Libya’s territorial waters, but plans had to be scaled down following popular protests in Tripoli, Reuters reports. Libyans have reportedly been posting images of Omar al-Mukhtar, a national hero who battled Italian rule in the early 1900s, on social media in response to the Italian presence— reflecting the widespread unease over a former colonial power intervening on domestic affairs. Pinotti said that Italy had no intention of creating a blockade on Libya’s coast.

      http://time.com/4885415/italy-naval-mission-migrant-smuggling

    • LIBIA : IL SUCCESSO DEMOCRATICO

      C’è solo una cosa che avete perso: la dignità umana.
      Credo l’abbiate fatto consapevolmente, perché liberarvi della fatica di difendere la dignità umana era il peso più affrontabile per risolvere questo maledetto problema degli sbarchi.
      Creare in pubblico il reato umanitario, confermare e rafforzare le derive più xenofobe e pericolose della nostra società, abbandonare migliaia di persone al loro immobile destino di ingiustizia e povertà, non disturbare la chiusura dell’Europa ricca e respingente, consolidare poteri forti e corrotti in paesi di origine e di transito: questo avete fatto e con questo state vincendo.
      Complimenti.
      Abbiate almeno il coraggio di non chiamarvi più nemmeno democratici.

      http://andreasegre.blogspot.ch/2017/08/libia-il-successo-democratico.html
      #Andrea_Segre

      Avec un ps sur la Suisse :

      P.P.S. scrivo tutto ciò da Locarno (Svizzera), dove presenteremo domani il nuovo doc IBI. E non posso non guardarmi intorno. Questo è il cuore dell’Europa ricca che proteggendosi ha ottenuto ciò che le interessava: crescita interna altissima sulle spalle di un mondo esterno da sfruttare e tenere fuori (i corpi ovviamente, i soldi no, se vogliono quelli entrano subito e senza controlli). Il PIL procapite medio da queste parti è circa 80mila euro l’anno. Nei paesi da cui scappano gli invasori raggiunge al massimo 1000 euro. Ma qui non ci arrivano, perché anche qui, soprattutto qui, hanno vinto. Bravi!

    • Fermare i migranti? Addestrare i libici non funziona

      La notte del 23 maggio 2017 il capitano della Iuventa, la nave dell’Ong tedesca Jugend Rettet, denuncia una nuova aggressione in mare da parte di un motoscafo libico, il cui equipaggio avrebbe sparato verso alcune imbarcazioni sovraccariche di profughi, per poi riportare due delle imbarcazioni verso la Libia. Era la Guardia Costiera libica? L’Italia come la sta addestrando, e a che scopo? E quante Guardie Costiere ci sono in Libia in realtà? Francesco Floris ha ricostruito nei dettagli la storia dell’addestramento italiano dei libici e i suoi precedenti.

      https://openmigration.org/analisi/fermare-i-migranti-addestrare-i-libici-non-funziona

    • Libia, arrivano meno migranti che così finiscono nel lager di #Sabha

      Lo dicono i numeri delle ultime settimane: si assiste ad una drastica riduzione del flusso migratorio dalla Libia verso l’Italia. E’ l’effetto dell’accordo italo-libico, sostenuto dall’Unione Europea. Decine di migliaia di migranti subsahariani bloccati. Lo raccontano le duemila testimonianze raccolte da Medici per i Diritti Umani (Medu)

      http://www.repubblica.it/solidarieta/immigrazione/2017/08/08/news/libia-172648143/?ref=search

    • Libyan Coast Guard Faces Allegations of Corruption

      At the same time, conflict and corruption on the ground have called into question the EU’s plans to train the Libyan Coast Guard and return migrants to Libyan shores. In February, Libya’s UN-backed government in Tripoli agreed to direct its coast guard to return migrants to shore in exchange for training assistance and financial aid. On Monday, Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Serraj negotiated for an additional EU assistance package of $860 million in military equipment, including ships, vehicles, helicopters and communications gear.

      http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/libyan-coast-guard-faces-allegations-of-corruption
      #gardes-côtes #frontières #Libye #gardes-côtes_libyens #corruption #Libye

    • Supreme Court annuls verdict that suspended implementation of Italy-Libya MoU

      The Supreme Court in Libya annulled a previous verdict that suspended the implementation of the #memorandum_of_understanding (MoU) that was signed between Libya’s UN-proposed Presidential Council and Italy.


      https://www.libyaobserver.ly/news/supreme-court-annuls-verdict-suspended-implementation-italy-libya-mou

    • L’Italia esibisce in Europa gli accordi con Tripoli. Sotto attacco vittime e testimoni.

      Il governo italiano si presenta al vertice di Parigi esibendo, dietro il Codice di condotta per le ONG, autentico specchietto per le allodole, i risultati degli accordi con il premier libico Serraj e alcune tribù del Fezzan, come già prima con il Sudan di Bashir, con un abbattimento su base mensle, in agosto, del 70 per cento degli arrivi di migranti dalla Libia. Adesso si può davvero dire che le frontiere europee raggiungono il Fezzan, le attività di esternalizzazione dei controlli sono molto avanzate e numerosi contingenti militari sono già schierati sul territorio di confine tra Libia, Niger, Chad e Sudan. Poco importa a quale prezzo. Di fatto sono state proprio le milizie della zona di Sabratha, dalla quale si verificavano le partenze della maggior parte dei gommoni, ad intervenire per bloccare tutte le vie di fuga. Perchè di vie di fuga dalla Libia occorre parlare, oltre che di contrasto al traffico di esseri umani.

      http://www.a-dif.org/2017/08/28/litalia-esibisce-in-europa-gli-accordi-con-tripoli-sotto-attacco-vittime-e-te

    • DA TRAFFICANTE A COMANDANTE DELLA GUARDIA COSTIERA LIBICA

      In un’intervista a “La Stampa” Roberto Saviano racconta oggi che il capo dei trafficanti di #Zawija, base di tante partenze di migranti, a 40 km da Tripoli, è un ragazzo di nemmeno trent’anni, ricchissimo e spietato: #Abdurahman_Al_Milad_Aka_Bija, che tutti conoscono come #Al_Bija. Bene, anzi male: Al Bija è appena diventato il nuovo comandante della Guardia costiera libica della città. Insomma, il referente delle nostre navi militari.

      https://alganews.wordpress.com/2017/08/15/da-trafficante-a-comandante-della-guardia-costiera-libica

    • Tripoli. Accordo Italia-Libia, è giallo sui fondi per aiutare il Paese

      «Il governo non tratta con i trafficanti», asserisce la Farnesina. Non a torto, perché diverse fonti in Libia e tra la bene informata diaspora a Tunisi, dove risiedono molti membri del Consiglio presidenziale libico, confermano che gli stanziamenti italiani sono destinati alle istituzioni. «Però tutti sanno – aggiungono con sarcasmo – che autorità e contrabbandieri hanno madri diverse, ma lo stesso padre». Da Tripoli, ancora nessuna smentita ufficiale. Le conferme, al contrario, sono molteplici, non tutte anonime. Almeno cinque milioni di euro sono stati consegnati da Roma nelle settimane scorse sotto forma di denaro e medicamenti per le strutture sanitarie di Sabratha. Altri ’aiuti’, per importi analoghi, sono attesi dai sindaci-dignitari che hanno assicurato di voler cooperare con il premier Fayez al-Sarraj e l’Italia. Ci sono poi gli stanziamenti già destinati a Bengasi, nell’area controllata dal generale Khalifa Haftar, l’uomo forte della Cirenaica (a est del Paese) ora in espansione anche nell’ovest del premier al-Sarraj.

      https://www.avvenire.it/attualita/pagine/accordo-italia-libia-giallo-sui-fondi-per-aiutare-il-paese

    • I migranti come arma di ricatto tra lotte di potere, ritorsioni e nuovi equilibri in Libia. E i morti aumentano

      Nel week end tra il 15 e il 17 settembre sono arrivati in Italia dalla Libia più di 1.800 migranti su una quindicina di gommoni. Senza contare il flusso crescente di “barche fantasma”, pescherecci di varie dimensioni che, partendo dalla Tunisia, approdano in Sicilia, soprattutto sulle coste dell’Agrigentino. Dopo giorni di sbarchi in calo e di continue, “trionfanti” notizie di blocchi effettuati dalla Guardia Costiera libica lungo le coste africane, questo improvviso exploit di sbarchi ha destato non poca sorpresa, contraddicendo almeno in parte le dichiarazioni del Governo italiano sull’efficacia e sulla tenuta dei “muri” eretti nel Mediterraneo e nel Sahara con gli ultimi accordi stipulati da Roma con Tripoli. Non a caso, questo degli sbarchi, è stato uno dei temi guida del dibattito politico e del notiziario dei media nel fine settimana.

      http://www.a-dif.org/2017/09/22/i-migranti-come-arma-di-ricatto-tra-lotte-di-potere-ritorsioni-e-nuovi-equili

    • Italy claims it’s found a solution to Europe’s migrant problem. Here’s why Italy’s wrong.

      Motivating the Libyan militias’ newfound zeal for blocking migrant movement is a new policy spearheaded by the Italian government and embraced by the European Union. The approach relies on payment to militias willing to act as migrant deterrent forces. Italian government representatives use intermediaries such as mayors and other local leaders to negotiate terms of the agreements with the armed groups. They also build local support in the targeted areas by distributing humanitarian aid.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/09/25/italy-claims-its-found-a-solution-to-europes-migrant-problem-heres-w

    • Libye: La manœuvre périlleuse de l’Italie

      Rome est accusée d’avoir financé des passeurs de Sabratha pour endiguer le flux de migrants. Avéré ou non, cet accord a déclenché une guerre entre milices, déstabilisant un peu plus le pays.

      Côté face, Marco Minniti, le ministre italien de l’Intérieur, se félicite d’être à l’origine de la chute du nombre de migrants partant de la Libye pour l’Europe : - 50 % en juillet et - 87 % en août par rapport à la même période en 2016. Côté pile, Minniti, ancien chef des services secrets, est aussi la principale causede la guerre actuelle qui se déroule à Sabratha, ville située à 80 kilomètres à l’ouest de Tripoli, depuis le 17 septembre. Les combats ont fait au moins 26 victimes et, près de 170 blessés, endommageant également le théâtre romain antique classé au Patrimoine mondial de l’Unesco. Là, des taches de sang et des centaines de douilles jonchent encore le sol. Le lieu, qui a survécu aux soubresauts de l’histoire libyenne, est aujourd’hui marqué jusque dans ses pierres par ce nouveau drame qui n’a rien de théâtral.

      Marco Minniti est accusé d’avoir passé un accord financier avec le chef de milice Ahmed Dabbashi, alias Al-Ammou (« l’Oncle »), pour qu’il mette fin à ses activités de baron du trafic des migrants et ainsi faire baisser le nombre d’arrivées sur les côtes italiennes. L’homme était un des passeurs les plus puissants de Sabratha, dont les plages sont les lieux de départ de la grande majorité des candidats à rejoindre l’Europe.

      Dans les cafés de Sabratha, les habitués sourient lorsqu’on évoque le « repentir » d’Ahmed Dabbashi : « Il veut se donner une respectabilité, mais soyez certains qu’à 3 heures du matin, ses bateaux continuent de partir », assure Salah, qui préfère rester anonyme par crainte de représailles du chef mafieux, membre d’une importante famille de la cité antique. En septembre, plus de 3 000 migrants ont été secourus en mer, et un grand nombre d’entre eux était parti des plages de Sabratha. Si les départs ont ralenti, ils n’ont pas totalement disparu.

      Une aide italienne a minima

      Le conflit qui déchire Sabratha oppose les hommes d’Al-Ammou (alliés à la Brigade 48, dirigée par un frère d’Ahmed Dabbashi), à la Chambre des opérations (CDO) du ministre de la Défense, au Bureau de lutte contre la migration clandestine (BLMC) du ministre de l’Intérieur et à la milice salafiste Al-Wadi, également accusée de trafic humain. Tous se revendiquent d’une affiliation au gouvernement d’union nationale (GUN) de Faïez el-Serraj, soutenu par la communauté internationale. Mais ce dernier ne reconnaît que la CDO et le BLMC. Preuve, s’il en était, que la Libye, en proie au chaos, n’est qu’un camaïeu de gris.

      Bachir Ibrahim, le porte-parole du groupe d’Ahmed Dabbashi, a évoqué l’existence d’un accord verbal avec le gouvernement italien et le GUN de Faïez el-Serraj. Mais ces deux derniers démentent toute entente financière avec la milice. La rumeur ne s’est pas éteinte pour autant. Et les habitants de la ville rappellent les forts liens entre la milice de Dabbashi et l’Italie : c’est le groupe armé qui protège le site gazier de Mellitah, situé à l’ouest de Sabratha et géré par le géant italien ENI. D’ailleurs, la milice possède deux bateaux pneumatiques ultra-rapides qui appartenaient à la marine libyenne et dont l’un a été récupéré sur le site de Mellitah… Bassem al-Garabli, le responsable du BLMC, s’étonne, lui, que l’ambassadeur italien, Giuseppe Perrone, n’ait pas visité son unité lors de sa venue à Sabratha, le 10 septembre pour se féliciter de la chute du nombre de départs de migrants. L’ambassadeur italien à Tripoli n’a, de son côté, pas souhaité répondre à nos questions.

      « L’Italie a payé, en juillet, 5 millions d’euros à Al-Ammou pour trois mois de tranquillité, affirme sous couvert d’anonymat un membre de la CDO. L’échange s’est fait en haute mer. »Cette source rappelle le double jeu du chef de la milice, qui posséderait quatre hangars où des navires capables d’embarquer plusieurs centaines de migrants seraient restaurés. Pourtant, le 28 juillet, l’Union européenne a débloqué 46 millions d’euros à l’Italie afin qu’elle aide les autorités libyennes à renforcer sa capacité à gérer les flux migratoires et protéger ses frontières. Une somme que reflètent peu les résultats sur le terrain.

      A ce jour, seuls 136 marins libyens ont été formés en Italie à rechercher, secourir et perturber le trafic d’êtres humains. Les garde-côtes ont reçu cette année quatre bateaux, reliquats d’un contrat passé en 2008 et, qui plus est, anciens. « L’aide italienne est réelle mais pas au niveau, résume le porte-parole de la marine libyenne, le général Ayoub Gacem. Nous avons besoin de navires neufs pour intercepter les embarcations des migrants qui sont de plus en plus souvent escortées par des hommes armés sur des vedettes rapides. » La marine se montre davantage satisfaite par le « Code Minniti », qui a durci les conditions d’intervention des bateaux d’ONG présents pour secourir les migrants en détresse, au grand dam des organisations humanitaires. « Ces navires sont comme des taxis pour les clandestins, affirme Ayoub Gacem. Les passeurs ont compris qu’il suffit que les migrants atteignent les eaux internationales pour arriver en Europe. »

      Encore faut-il les atteindre. « Alors que nous étions au large de Sabratha, un bateau est arrivé, raconte Shaada, un Bangladais de 17 ans. Les hommes nous ont pris notre argent, nos téléphones portables, le téléphone satellite et le moteur avant de repartir. » Aujourd’hui au centre de rétention de Tripoli, Shaada décrit l’amplification de la piraterie à l’encontre des migrants, en mer comme dans le désert. Un phénomène qui explique aussi, en partie, la baisse des départs depuis la Libye.

      Boko Haram et l’état islamique

      Pour Ayman Dabbashi, cousin d’Al-Ammou mais également membre de la CDO, l’existence d’un « contrat » avec l’Italie ne fait aucun doute. Mais il ne comprend pas la logique italienne. « C’est incompréhensible, parce que mon cousin n’est pas quelqu’un d’éduqué, il sait à peine dire une phrase, affirme-t-il. Il a dit qu’il arrêterait les bateaux mais ce n’est pas vrai. Il va arrêter les bateaux des autres, mais pas les siens. »

      « Marco Minniti pousse le gouvernement d’union nationale à "intégrer" les milices comme celle d’Al-Ammou au sein du ministère de la Défense. Le ministre italien l’a reconnu lui-même. Cela est beaucoup plus grave pour la sécurité de la Libye, que l’existence ou non d’échange de valises de billets », prévient Jalel Harchaoui, qui prépare une thèse sur la dimension internationale du conflit libyen à l’université Paris-VIII. Même inquiétude du côté du général Omar Abdoul Jalil, responsable de la Chambre des opérations : « L’Europe doit faire attention avec qui elle négocie. Les passeurs n’ont aucun problème à introduire des terroristes dans des bateaux de migrants. » Il cite ainsi le cas de deux Camerounais récemment trouvés sur une embarcation et aussitôt envoyés en prison à Tripoli pour de forts soupçons d’appartenance à Boko Haram.

      Jusqu’en février 2016, des camps d’entrainement de l’Etat islamique étaient installés dans Sabratha, avant que les Américains ne bombardent un site. Le groupe terroriste était dirigé par Abdoullah Dabbashi, un parent d’Al-Ammou. Une accointance familiale qui pourrait servir de prétexte à Khalifa Haftar pour entrer dans la danse. L’homme fort de l’est du pays, bien qu’opposant au gouvernement de Faïez el-Serraj, pourrait envoyer des avions de sa base militaire d’Al-Watiya (à 80 kilomètres au sud-ouest de Sabratha) pour bombarder la milice d’Al-Ammou. Officiellement au nom de sa lutte contre le terrorisme. Officieusement, pour entrer de plain-pied dans la Tripolitaine, région ouest du pays. « Si Haftar intervient, l’altercation ne restera sans doute pas locale, prédit le chercheur Jalel Harchaoui. Un échange violent et soutenu poussera d’autres milices à prendre position et à entrer dans le bras de fer. Cette partie de la Libye est la plus peuplée du pays. Il est possible qu’elle s’enflamme et fasse l’objet d’un réalignement important. »

      « c’est une fausse victoire »

      Le maréchal Haftar a d’ailleurs été reçu par Marco Minniti mardi dernier à Rome. La question de Sabratha a été abordée. Spécialiste de la Libye au Conseil européen des relations internationales, Mattia Toaldo ne croit pas à l’escalade : « Marco Minniti veut protéger sa politique antimigratoire en persuadant Khalifa Haftar de rester à l’écart. Ce dernier n’a d’ailleurs pas intérêt à intervenir, ce serait une mission kamikaze. »

      Que le conflit s’embrase ou non, le trafic des migrants ne disparaîtra pas, les réseaux s’adapteront. « En ce moment pour les trafiquants, c’est plus rentable de faire de la contrebande d’essence ou de nourriture que de transporter des hommes. Mais c’est une fausse victoire. Cela va reprendre », assure Choukri Ftis, qui a participé à un récent rapport de Altai Consulting intitulé « Partir de Libye, rapide aperçu des municipalités de départs ». Il pointe déjà la plage de Sidi Bilal, située à une vingtaine de kilomètres à l’ouest de Tripoli, comme prochain centre d’embarquement. Ici, l’Al-Ammou local se nomme Saborto et dirige une milice de la tribu des Warshefanas, réputée pour ses enlèvements de riches Tripolitains et d’étrangers.

      http://www.liberation.fr/planete/2017/10/01/libye-la-manoeuvre-perilleuse-de-l-italie_1600209

    • European priorities, Libyan realities

      August 14 began calmly for Riccardo Gatti. On the first morning of a new search and rescue mission in the central Mediterranean, the former yachtsman turned activist walked the grayed wooden deck of the Golfo Azzurro, a trawler that has been stripped of its bulky fishing equipment to make space for life jackets and water bottles.

      http://issues.newsdeeply.com/central-mediterranean-european-priorities-libyan-realities

      cc @isskein

    • Le Commissaire demande des éclaircissements concernant les opérations maritimes italiennes dans les eaux territoriales libyennes

      Adressée au ministre italien de l’Intérieur, M. Marco Minniti, et publiée le 11 octobre 2017, le Commissaire sollicite des informations concernant les opérations maritimes menées par l’Italie dans les eaux territoriales libyennes à des fins de gestion des flux migratoires.

      https://www.coe.int/en/web/commissioner/view/-/asset_publisher/ugj3i6qSEkhZ/content/commissioner-seeks-clarifications-over-italy-s-maritime-operations-in-libyan-te

      La réponse de Minniti :
      https://rm.coe.int/reply-of-the-minister-of-interior-to-the-commissioner-s-letter-regardi/168075dd2d

    • «Ministro Minniti mi incontri, le racconto l’orrore»

      Gennaro Giudetti, 26 anni, volontario dell’ong Sea Watch, ha recuperato con le proprie mani decine di persone salvandole da morte certa e un bambino senza vita nel naufragio di ieri 6 novembre 2017: «Ho visto con i miei occhi il folle comportamento dei militari libici, che picchiavano chi voleva raggiungerci e ci lanciavano patate. L’Italia blocchi l’accordo con la Libia». Ecco il suo racconto senza filtri

      http://www.vita.it/it/article/2017/11/07/ministro-minniti-mi-incontri-le-racconto-lorrore/145020

    • « En Libye, le trafic de migrants va reprendre comme avant »

      Ces derniers mois, les traversées depuis la Libye ont diminué de façon spectaculaire. Mais, en concluant un accord secret avec une milice de Sabratha, l’Italie pourrait avoir encore un peu plus déstabilisé le pays.

      Entre deux dossiers, dans son bureau de Rome, le ministre de l’Intérieur, Marco Minniti, doit sûrement se demander : « Ai-je eu raison ? » L’ancien chef des services secrets italiens est accusé d’avoir passé, au printemps, un accord financier avec Ahmed Dabbashi alias al-Ammou (l’Oncle), chef d’un des plus importants réseaux de trafic d’êtres humains en Libye, pour que ce dernier arrête son commerce et celui de ses concurrents régionaux.

      L’« Oncle » opère depuis Sabratha, à 70 km à l’ouest de Tripoli, d’où partait l’écrasante majorité des candidats à l’exil. Cette alliance a été revendiquée sur les réseaux sociaux par la brigade de l’Oncle, appelée « Anas-Dabbashi », du nom d’un cousin d’Ahmed tué pendant la révolution de 2011.

      « L’Italie a promis de verser 5 millions d’euros par trimestre. Le premier échange s’est fait durant l’été sur un bateau dans les eaux internationales », assure, sous couvert d’anonymat, un responsable de la Chambre des opérations de Sabratha, dépendant du gouvernement d’union nationale de Tripoli (reconnu par la communauté internationale) et principal ennemi de Dabbashi.

      Une realpolitik qui a eu des résultats spectaculaires : les enregistrements de migrants en Italie en provenance de la Libye ont chuté de 50% en juillet et 87% en août. Seulement, outre l’aspect moral douteux de cette politique, elle a été la principale cause d’une guerre de trois semaines (17 septembre-6 octobre) qui a fait une trentaine de morts et quelque 170 blessés. Les combats ont également profondément endommagé le Théâtre antique romain, classé au patrimoine de l’Unesco. Ils opposaient des forces du gouvernement d’union nationale à Dabbashi et son allié, la brigade 48. Ahmed Dabbashi a été battu et a dû quitter Sabratha. Son réseau n’est plus opérationnel, mais le jeu en valait-il la chandelle ?
      Milice payée avec des fonds européens ?

      L’Union européenne, qui avait donné quasi carte blanche à l’Italie pour régler la question des migrants, va-t-elle sévir ? Bruxelles avait octroyé 53,3 millions de francs suisses à la Botte pour aider la Libye à protéger ses frontières. L’argent a-t-il servi à payer Dabbashi ? Sur le terrain, les acteurs libyens n’ont pas vu d’amélioration notable. Les garde-côtes n’ont reçu cette année que quatre bateaux qui ont déjà servi, et encore s’agissait-il du reliquat d’un contrat passé en 2008.

      « L’aide italienne est réelle mais pas au niveau, résume le porte-parole de la marine libyenne, le général Ayoub Gacem. Nous avons besoin de navires neufs pour intercepter les embarcations des migrants, qui sont maintenant de plus en plus escortés par des hommes armés sur des vedettes rapides. » Car, si Dabbashi est hors-jeu, d’autres réseaux ont pris le relais.

      Après les affrontements de Sabratha, près de 15 000 migrants, principalement d’Afrique subsaharienne, ont été retrouvés et emmenés dans des centres de détention officiels dans la région de Tripoli. Dans le pays, ils seraient plusieurs centaines de milliers à attendre l’opportunité de traverser la Méditerranée.
      « Une fausse victoire »

      Le 31 octobre, deux bateaux pneumatiques avec 299 migrants à leur bord ont été arrêtés par les autorités libyennes. Ils étaient partis des plages de Zliten à 180 km à l’est de Tripoli. « La victoire de Sabratha est une fausse victoire, le trafic va reprendre comme avant dès l’an prochain quand ce sera la saison [été-automne] », prédit Choukri Ftis, un chercheur qui a participé récemment à un rapport sur la migration illégale en Libye.

      Cet été, le président français, Emmanuel Macron, avait lancé l’idée de centres d’enregistrement basés dans le sud libyen pour filtrer en amont les migrants. Une idée difficilement réalisable sur un territoire aussi vaste (2000 km de frontière avec l’Algérie, le Niger, le Tchad, le Soudan et l’Egypte) et soumis continuellement aux tensions ethniques entre Arabes, Toubous et Touaregs, qui se partagent le pouvoir dans une zone où l’Etat est quasi absent.

      La stratégie de Minniti a donné un coup de pied dans la fourmilière des réseaux de trafic d’êtres humains mais n’a pas fait disparaître le phénomène. Par contre, elle pourrait avoir durablement chamboulé l’équilibre politique du pays. Parmi la coalition armée qui a chassé Dabbashi se trouvait une force d’appui : la brigade al-Wadi. De tendance salafiste, le groupe est un affidé de l’Armée nationale arabe libyenne de Khalifa Haftar. L’homme fort de l’est a donc ainsi pu se draper de la victoire à Sabratha contre Ahmed Dabbashi.
      Intérêts gaziers

      Le 25 septembre, en plein milieu de la guerre de Sabratha, le maréchal a d’ailleurs été accueilli pour la première fois, bien qu’en catimini, par Marco Minniti et la ministre de la Défense, Roberta Pinotti. Au menu : le contrôle des plages de Sabratha si Dabbashi venait à être vaincu et la sécurisation du complexe gazier de Mellitah tout proche. Le site géré par le géant italien ENI était jusqu’alors protégé par les hommes de l’« Oncle ». Si rien n’a filtré de ce rendez-vous, les craintes sont vives que Haftar, fort d’un possible soutien italien qui aurait retourné sa veste devant la fuite de Dabbashi, n’ait des visées expansionnistes.

      « L’altercation ne restera sans doute pas locale, prédit Jalel Harchaoui. Un échange violent et soutenu poussera d’autres milices à prendre position et à entrer dans le bras de fer. Cette partie de la Libye est la plus peuplée du pays. Il est possible qu’elle s’enflamme et fasse l’objet d’un réalignement important. » Marco Minniti, dans son bureau, y pense-t-il parfois ?

      https://www.letemps.ch/monde/2017/11/05/libye-trafic-migrants-va-reprendre

    • Depositato il ricorso di ASGI contro lo sviamento di 2,5 milioni di euro dal c.d. Fondo Africa

      Supporto tecnico alle autorità libiche per la gestione delle frontiere con fondi destinati a rilanciare il dialogo e la cooperazione con i Paesi africani. ASGI al TAR : E’ sviamento di potere.

      https://www.asgi.it/asilo-e-protezione-internazionale/libia-italia-ricorso-fondi-cooperazione
      #Fonds_afrique

      –-> An English synthesis:

      Supporting Libyan Coast Guard is a misuse of the so-called “Africa Fund”. Italian Association ASGI brings Italian Foreign Ministry to Court.

      The Italian Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration (ASGI) has recently brought legal proceedings before the Regional Administrative Tribunal (TAR) with regard to Decree 4110/47 by which the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation allocates 2,5 million euros to the Ministry of Interior to repair four vessels for Libyan authorities and train them. Such a disbursement is part of the “Africa Fund” (200 million euros) set up by the Italian Parliament to promote cooperation and dialogue with African countries. Being Libya a notoriously unsafe country for migrants and refugees in transit, the compatibility of such a massive allocation of money with the stated goals of the “Africa Fund” – however vague they are – should be questioned. Given that these vessels might be used by the Libyan Coast Guard to pull-back migrants and refugees rescued/intercepted at sea and retain them in appalling detention centers, the main argument before TAR is that this military equipment is a diversion of the funding allocated by the Italian Parliament to contribute to the resolution of the humanitarian crisis in Libya.

    • The Case for Italy’s Complicity in Libya Push-Backs

      When a boatload of migrants sets off from Libya in the direction of Italy, smugglers often tell those on board to get to international waters before raising the alarm. The migrants hope to be picked up by rescue boats run by humanitarian NGOs and taken on to Italy where they can apply for asylum. The alternative is interception at the hands of the Libyan coast guard and a return to Libya.

      http://souciant.com/2017/11/the-case-for-italys-complicity-in-libya-push-backs

    • The rest of the world has woken up, but migrants are still sleepwalking into Libya slave markets

      While the West has reacted with outrage to video evidence of Libyan slave markets, potential victims themselves remain unaware of the dangers they face

      The trade in human beings has risen sharpy since the Italian government began paying Libyan militant groups and smugglers to stem the flow of migrants over the sea earlier this year.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/african-migrants-libya-slave-markets-aim-europe-refugees-human-traffi

    • La strategia italiana nel Mediterraneo

      http://www.ispionline.it/sites/default/files/media/img/rapporto_med_maeci_2017_internet_1.pdf

      Avec ce commentaire sur FB de Francesco Floris (07.12.2017):

      La Farnesina s’è desta.
      Il ministero degli esteri ci fa la cortesia di dirci cosa pensa della Libia. Dopo che Alfano ha speso gli ultimi 12 mesi a fungere da cartonato di Minniti e a implorare diversi magistrati siciliani (e non) di indagare sulle ong invece che sui centri d’accoglienza usati da Ncd come un’american express.
      Solo che appena parlano finiscono col confessare.

      A pagina 24 del doc. «La strategia italiana nel Mediterraneo» - pamphlet dalla prosa brillante pieno zeppo de «L’Italia ha prontamente reagito», «Roma si è immediatamente attivata», «la task force ha fermamente ribadito» che gli piacciono enormemente gli avverbi - si legge che dopo il 2 febbraio 2017, e su richiesta di Serraj, abbiamo inviato a Tripoli una nave-officina per riparare le unità navali libiche. Ma non solo per amore della meccanica a quanto pare, anche per «fornire un coordinamento alle operazioni di pattugliamento e salvataggio in mare».
      Coordinare le operazioni dei libici per riportare i migranti in una nazione che non sottoscrive la Convenzione di Ginevra e dove vige un regime di tortura. Lo scrivono loro. E sarebbe anche illegale qualora a questi manettari con i polsi degli altri interessasse qualcosa.
      Quindi ogni volta che sentite le autorità italiane o la Mogherini indignarsi e sbraitare «la Ue e l’Italia non hanno mai respinto nessuno» e altre cazzate fate loro due domande: Cosa ci fa allora una nave italiana a Tripoli a coordinare le operazioni?
      E due: ci state prendendo per il culo o cosa?
      La seconda è quella giornalisticamente più interessante.

    • Exclusive: Italy plans big handover of sea rescues to Libya coastguard

      ROME/TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Italy wants Libya’s coastguard to take responsibility within three years for intercepting migrants across about a tenth of the Mediterranean even as Libyan crews struggle to patrol their own coast and are accused of making deadly mistakes at sea.

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-libya-exclusive/exclusive-italy-plans-big-handover-of-sea-rescues-to-libya-coastguard-idUSK

    • Italy Strikes Back Again: A Push-back’s Firsthand Account

      Evidence is mounting about the Italian Navy’s involvement in facilitating the return of migrants to Libya. There have been alleged cooperation agreements between Italy and Libya to stem the flows to Europe, at the same time, as there have been accusations of pushbacks to Libya. In these cases, Italy stands accused of actively supporting the Libyan Coast Guard in committing unlawful acts, returning intercepted migrants to places where their lives or freedom would be threatened, or where they would face the risk of torture.

      https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/research-subject-groups/centre-criminology/centreborder-criminologies/blog/2017/12/italy-strikes?platform=hootsuite

    • Vu sur twitter, le 15.02.2018 :

      Another patch of Libyan Coast Guards #LCG finished training in #Italy , certificates given during a ceremony in #Libya #Migration


      https://twitter.com/zakariyatz/status/963801317738209282

      Et avec ce commentaire de Gerry Simpson :

      A reassuring photo of the latest Libyan coastguards receiving certificates after Italy trained them to intercept refugees & migrants heading for the EU & return them to Libya to face guaranteed inhumane detention conditions and a real risk of torture

      https://twitter.com/GerrySimpsonHRW/status/963976898291355648

    • Italy Has Reportedly Delivered Further Vessels To Tripoli’s Coast Guard In Libya

      “Three further Italian patrol vessels have been delivered to the Libyan Coast Guard right in these days”, the Italian analyst Gerardo Pelosi has revealed on Il Sole 24 Ore while debating the military missions to Libya and Niger Rome approved last January.

      The news apparently echoes a similar one shared by the Libyan outlet Libya Observer‘s journalist Safa Al Harathy, who has written today an only vessel, the “106”, was delivered on February 22nd after being fixed in Tunisia:

      “the vessel 106 will join the vessels 109 and 111 at Khums port to contribute in securing the Libyan coast from Tajoura all along to Zlitan city in the east”,

      the Libya Observer reports.

      https://betweenlibyaanditaly.wordpress.com/2018/02/25/italy-has-reportedly-delivered-further-vessels-to-tr

    • Mancata ratifica parlamentare del memorandum Italia-Libia : al via il ricorso alla Corte Costituzionale

      Presentato un ricorso alla Consulta da alcuni parlamentari italiani contro il Governo che, non chiedendo la ratifica dell’ accordo, ha impedito loro di esercitare il diritto di discuterne e di votare, come stabilito dalla Costituzione . La scheda tecnica dell’ASGI sull’azione.

      https://www.asgi.it/primo-piano/mancata-ratifica-parlamento-memorandum-italia-libia-ricorso-corte-costituzional
      #memorandum

    • Italian work on Libya and migrants OK

      Italy’s work on migrants and Libya has been positive, Frontex chief #Fabrice_Leggeri told ANSA in an interview Tuesday.
      “Italy is working to use the resources allotted by the EU to find sustainable solutions for Libya” and the migrants held there, he said.
      "And for now it is going in the right direction, even though the conditions of the centres in Libya are not in line with our standards, and with basic humanitarian standards.
      “But that is not Italy’s fault, all the international community and not only the EU can help”.


      http://www.ansa.it/english/news/politics/2018/02/20/italian-work-on-libya-and-migrants-ok_1cfcf7d8-b477-452c-aedf-86c0cfd48b48.html
      #Frontex #Leggeri

    • Migranti, l’accordo Italia-Libia finisce davanti alla Corte costituzionale

      Era il 2 febbraio 2017 quando – alla vigilia di un importante vertice europeo a Malta in cui si sarebbe discusso anche di emergenza immigrazione – il Primo ministro Paolo Gentiloni siglava a Roma l’accordo col presidente del Governo di unità nazionale libico Fayez al-Serraj: un memorandum in cui l’Italia si impegnava nei confronti della Libia a fornire strumentazioni e sostegno militare, strategico e tecnologico, oltre a fondi per lo sviluppo, per bloccare le partenze dei migranti in fuga. Un accordo con un Paese, è bene ricordarlo, che non ha ratificato la Convenzione di Ginevra sui rifugiati, e nelle cui carceri i migranti sono quotidianamente oggetto di violenze e soprusi.

      https://left.it/2018/02/28/migranti-laccordo-italia-libia-finisce-davanti-alla-corte-costituzionale

    • Le patrouilleur 648 qui a menacé Open Arms, un cadeau de l’Italie à la Lybie.

      L’UE a entrainé l’équipage du bateau qui a joué un rôle dans plusieurs incidents avec des ONG de sauvatage.

      CRISTINA MAS Barcelona 25/03/2018 00:21

      Le bateau de patrouille des gardes-côtes libyens qui a menacé dans les eaux internationales les volontaires d’Open Arms le 15 mars afin qu’ils leur livrent les femmes et les enfants qu’ils étaient en train de secourir, était un cadeau de l’Italie à la Libye. La même embarcation, qui porte le numéro d’identification 648 et le nom de Ras al Jadar, a joué un rôle dans plusieurs autres incidents avec d’autres bateaux des ONG SeaWatch et SOS méditerranée, qui travaillent au sauvetage de naufragés en Méditerranée.

      Entre 2009 et 2010, le Premier ministre italien Silvio Berlusconi a alors accordé six patrouilles aux garde-côtes libyens dans le cadre de l’accord amical signé avec le dictateur libyen Mouammar Kadhafi. Le texte prévoyait la construction d’un système de radar dans le but de surveiller les frontières du désert et des patrouilles maritimes conjointes dans les eaux libyennes et internationales pour empêcher que des bateaux quittant la Libye arrivent en Italie.

      Mais la vie des six bateaux de patrouille donnés à Kadhafi – toutes du modèle Bigliani, qui étaient auparavant au service du corps militaire Guardia di Finanza - était aussi courte que la période à laquelle le dictateur a survécu au pouvoir. Le 17 février 2011, le printemps arabe atteint la Libye avec une révolte qui a déclenché une intervention de l’OTAN et s’est terminée avec la mort de Kadhafi huit mois plus tard. Deux des embarcations ont été détruites dans les combats, et les quatre autres, dont le 648, ont été réparés à l’usine navale de Fiamme Gialle de Miseno (Naples). En avril dernier, l’Italie les a rendue au gouvernement de Tripoli.

      L’incident du 15 mars avec Open Arms n’est pas le premier d’une ONG avec ce bateau de patrouille. Le 6 novembre, l’ONG allemande Sea Watch, travaillant dans la même région, a rapporté qu’à 30 miles de la côte libyenne la même patrouille a interféré dans un sauvetage.

      Les migrants à bord ont pris panique, le bateau des gardes-côtes les a rattrapé, certains naufragés ont pu grimper sur le bateau de patrouille sans que les agents ne les aident et, une fois à bord, comme on peut le voir sur la vidéo enregistrée par l’ONG, les gardes-côtes les ont frappés avec les amarres du bateau.

      Un jeune a tenté de descendre pour atteindre le bateau de l’ONG et est resté suspendu à l’échelle, au moment où le bateau libyen a accéléré et mis sa vie en danger. Au moins cinq migrants sont morts dans l’opération, des décès qui selon Sea Watch auraient pu être évités.

      Le 4 mars, le navire Aquarius, de l’ONG SOS Mediterranée, a également subi l’hostilité de la patrouille 648, qui s’est approchée d’eux au cours d’une collision sans répondre à leurs avertissements radio et finalement ils leur ont ordonné de quitter le site, à 17 milles au large de la côte, alors même s’ils étaient à la recherche d’un bateau.

      Un autre vaisseau d’Open Arms a eu, en août, un incident avec un autre bateau de patrouille donné par l’Italie, le 654, qui les a menacé avec deux rafales de balles tirée en l’air et une semaine plus tard les a forcés à naviguer pendant environ deux heures en direction de Tripoli en disant qu’ils étaient sous sa protection.

      Rome et l’ensemble de l’UE ont choisi l’un des trois gouvernements qui se disputet le pouvoir dans la guerre civile en Libye, celui dirigé par le Premier ministre Faiez al-Sarraj, qui a le soutien de l’UE et de l’ONU, mais ne contrôle seulement qu’un tiers du pays. La Libye est plongée dans un conflit sans front avec des centaines de milices armées.

      Le Premier ministre italien Paolo Gentiloni et Al-Sarraj ont signé le 2 février 2017 un protocole d’accord - dans le cadre de l’accord signé par Berlusconi et Kadhafi - qui établit une coopération bilatérale dans les domaines du développement, l’immigration illegale, le trafic d’êtres humains, la contrebande et le renforcement de la surveillance des frontières entre l’Italie et la Libye. L’Italie livrera à Tripoli six patrouilles supplémentaires totalement neuves.

      L’Espagne s’est proposé de former 100 garde-côtes libyens dans la base navale de Carthagène. Dans le cadre de l’opération Sophia de l’OTAN, le programme de formation de la Garde côtière libyenne financé par l’UE avec 46 millions d’euros a déjà formé 93 agents dans un navire italien et dans un autre navire néerlandais. 43 officiers supplémentaires ont été formés en Crète, à Malte et à Rome.

      Human Rights Watch lance un cri d’alarme : « Aider les autorités libyennes à capturer des immigrés en haute mer, sachant qu’ils les rendront à un traitement cruel, inhumain ou dégradant dans une détention arbitraire, expose l’Italie et d’autres pays de l’UE à participer à une violation grave des droits de l’homme ». Les accusations ne viennent pas seulement des ONG. Le groupe d’experts de l’ONU sur la Libye a rappelé que « les abus contre les migrants ont été largement collectés, y compris les exécutions, la torture ou la privation de nourriture, d’eau et de médicaments », et prévient que « le département contre l’immigration (libyen) et la garde côtière (italienne) sont directement impliqués dans ces graves violations des droits de l’homme. » Avec les accords d’externalisation du contrôle des frontières de l’UE, le témoignage des ONG en Méditerranée centrale devient de plus en plus gênant."

      Traduction, reçu via la mailing list de Migreurop, de cet article paru en catalan:
      La patrullera #648 que va amenaçar Open Arms, un regal d’Itàlia a Líbia

      La UE va entrenar la tripulació del vaixell que ha protagonitzat diversos incidents amb ONGs de rescat


      https://www.ara.cat/internacional/patrullera-amenacar-Open-Arms-Libia_0_1984601662.html
      #Open_arms

    • Texte publié par SOS Méditerranée, sur twitter (17.04.2018) :

      UPDATE while searching for the boat in distress, the #Aquarius was informed the Libyan coastguard took coordination over 2 boats in distress today. This means more people were taken back to a place where their safety is not guaranteed.

      https://twitter.com/SOSMedIntl/status/986294580097224705

      v. aussi :

      UPDATE The #Aquarius was alerted to a boat in distress earlier today. This afternoon, the crew of the #Aquarius found this empty and slashed rubber boat in international waters off the coast of #Libya.

      https://twitter.com/SOSMedIntl/status/986267126087503872

      #refoulement #push-back

    • Cercate i guardacoste libici? Telefonate a Roma: 06/…

      È un numero di telefono a rivelare il rapporto, forse un po’ troppo stretto, tra Roma e Tripoli. Una utenza che corrisponde a un interno della Marina militare italiana, stampato, come recapito del mittente, su un modulo di messaggi utilizzato dalla Guardia costiera libica. Il documento, di cui pubblichiamo il dettaglio, ha consultato porta la […]

      https://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/premium/articoli/cercate-i-guardacoste-libici-telefonate-a-roma-06

    • Sur le site de la Défense italienne...
      Un article de août 2017:
      Nave #Tremiti nel porto libico di #Abu_Sittah

      Dopo il pattugliatore Comandante Borsini che ha sbarcato nel porto militare di Tripoli (Abu Sittah) il personale italiano che opererà a supporto della Guardia costiera libica, è giunta ieri nel porto della nostra ex colonia Nave Tremiti, una delle 6 unità da 750 tonnellate per il trasporto costiero della Classe Gorgona.

      La nave è destinata a garantire supporto tecnico ai mezzi navali libici nell’ambito della cooperazione italo-libica e in applicazione dell’accordo tra i due Paesi del 2008 “riesumato” dal governo di Fayez al-Sarraj.


      http://www.analisidifesa.it/2017/08/nave-tremiti-nel-porto-libico-di-abu-sittah

      –-> j’aime bien l’expression «accordo riesumato» = «accord ressuscité»

      Et puis cette nouvelle, de 30 mars 2018:
      Missioni Militari: Nave #Caprera sostituisce la #Capri nella missione bilaterale di assistenza e supporto in Libia

      È previsto nella giornata di oggi il “passaggio di consegne” tra Nave Capri e Nave Caprera nell’ambito della Missione Bilaterale di Assistenza e Supporto in Libia.

      In particolare, a questo assetto navale compete, prioritariamente, l’attività di supporto logistico e tecnico-manutentivo dei battelli della Marina e della Guardia Costiera libiche. Nave Caprera giungerà domani al porto di Tripoli, da dove comincerà la sua missione della durata di circa quattro mesi.

      Nave Capri aveva iniziato la sua attività a dicembre dello scorso anno, subentrando a Nave Tremiti, e nei suoi circa quattro mesi di missione ha svolto consulenza e formazione del personale militare libico della Marina e della Guardia Costiera nelle attività di manutenzione, riparazione e ripristino dell’efficienza delle unità navali libiche.

      L’operazione, inizialmente inquadrata nell’operazione “Mare Sicuro”, era stata avviata ad agosto dello scorso anno, in seguito alla richiesta di supporto avanzata dal Governo di Accordo Nazionale libico al Governo italiano. Per assolvere con efficacia i compiti assegnati, a bordo delle unità navali italiane della “classe Gorgona” – selezionate per alternarsi in questo specifico incarico di natura tecnico-logistica – è prevista la presenza di un container attrezzato a officina meccanica, oltre che di due ulteriori team di personale tecnico-specialistico.

      https://www.difesa.it/OperazioniMilitari/op_intern_corso/Libia_Missione_bilaterale_di_supporto_e_assistenza/notizie_teatro/Pagine/Nave_Caprera_sostituisce_la_Capri_nella_missione_bilaterale_di_assistenza_e_s

      #operazione_Mare_Sicuro

    • "Playing with Molecules": The Italian Approach to Libya

      Cette étude met en lumière la manière dont la politique étrangère italienne a choisi en Libye de traiter avec les divers éléments, ou « molécules », d’un pays entré en décomposition.
      La politique impulsée par le gouvernement Gentiloni, et en particulier le ministre de l’Intérieur Marco Minniti, a composé avec les différents acteurs pour « repriser » et stabiliser le terrain, afin de mieux gérer les flux de migrants et les activités illégales en Méditerranée, mais aussi de sécuriser l’approvisionnement énergétique de l’Italie. Cette approche « moléculaire » est à double tranchant : alors que les flux migratoires se sont réduits, que les relations économiques s’intensifient et que les coopérations informelles créent de nouveaux espaces de dialogue, le manque de vision stratégique dans la mise en avant de nouveaux acteurs pourrait nuire aux perspectives de paix et in fine, aux relations entre l’Italie et la Libye.


      https://www.ifri.org/fr/publications/etudes-de-lifri/playing-molecules-italian-approach-libya

    • Most Libyan militias involved in illegal migration activities nominally affiliated to official state security institutions: UN Libya Experts Panel report

      Most Libyan militias involved in illegal migration activities are nominally affiliated to official state security institutions, the UN Libya Experts Panel report states in its section on human trafficking and financing of armed groups.

      ‘‘Armed groups, which were party to larger political-military coalitions, have specialized in illegal smuggling activities, notably human smuggling and trafficking. The drastic rise in the numbers of migrants starting in 2014 indicates that illegal migration in Libya is not the preserve of isolated armed groups but of much larger coalitions. Most armed groups involved in these illegal activities were nominally affiliated to official security institutions. In 2014, the number of migrants that took the central Mediterranean route (great majority through Libya) was 170,664, compared to 45,298 and 15,151, respectively in 2013 and 2012.

      Role of SDF and links with smugglers

      The Special Deterrence Force (SDF) is an armed group affiliated to the Government of National Accord’s Ministry of Interior, with policing and security functions, including investigation of human traffickers and the arrest of illegal migrants.

      Testimonies of migrants, originating from Eritrea, reveal that when they reached Tripoli from Bani Walid in July 2016, they were arrested by SDF. They confirmed that, once arrested by SDF, they were handed over, against payment, to various migrant smuggling rings for onward journeys to Zawiyah and Sabratha.

      Some were handed over to the Mitiga detention centre, while others were taken to the Tajura and Abu Slim detention centres. These three centres are theoretically subordinated to the Ministry of Interior’s Department Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM). The group detained in Mitiga had to pay the SDF between 300 and 400 USD each, for their release and transfer from Tripoli to Sabratha.

      Four Bangladeshis told the Panel that they landed in Tripoli from Dhaka on 15 July 2015, holding valid Libyan work visas. On arrival, SDF seized their passports and detained them for three months in Mitiga. They were subsequently transferred to Sabratha, and sent on boats against their will to Europe after being extorted of 300 USD paid in cash to the SDF elements.

      The Panel is assessing whether the SDF’s leadership was aware of collusion and trafficking being conducted within its ranks.

      Role of Eritrean smugglers

      In Tripoli, a well-structured network of smugglers coming from East Africa has operated since 2008. Multiple testimonies collected and corroborated by judicial authorities indicate that the leadership is composed of two Eritreans living in Tripoli, Ermias Ghermay and Abd al-Razzak Fitwi.

      They play a key role in organizing the smuggling from the migrants’ homeland to Italy against substantial payments. Interviewees claimed that Fitwi acts as a broker and receives up to 1,500 US dollars per person, to release the migrants held in the official detention centres in Tripoli and to send them to Sabratha.

      An armed group member from Tripoli, told the Panel that Fitwi and Ghermay paid substantial fees to prominent armed groups to pursue their activities and to guarantee their safety. They also have private detention camps in Tajura, Abu Slim and Gargaresh guarded by Africans. From there they transport migrants to Sabratha or Zawiyah.

      Use of State detention facilities for trafficking

      The Directorate Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM) is responsible for 24 detention centres and employs 5,000 staff. Under Libyan legislation, the migrants are detained because they are considered as illegal aliens, subject to investigation by judicial authorities.

      According to international agencies, the DCIM has no control over its detention centres. The administration is almost non-existent, and records on the migrants, who have been detained, are poor. A minister of the GNA admitted in a discussion that the armed groups are stronger than the authorities in handling the flows of migrants. Several migrants also confirmed that the local armed group controlled the centres they stayed in.

      Smugglers in Sabratha

      Sabratha is the main departing point of migrants to Italy. The city is divided between two competing armed groups involved in migrant smuggling. The eastern zone is under control of Mosab Abu Grein al Wadi armed group. The western zone is held by Ahmad al-Dabbashi’s Martyr Anas al-Dabbashi Brigade.

      Anas al-Dabbashi Martyr Brigade

      The commander of Anas al-Dabbashi Martyr’s Brigade, Ahmad al-Dabbashi (alias al- ‘Amu), was the main smuggler in Sabratha from 2014 until he was ousted in October 2017. West African migrants rescued in Lampedusa in April 2017 testified in Italy on al-Dabbashi’s modus operandi.

      The interviewees were forced to call their families to transfer money to specific bank accounts located in Europe, Africa or the Middle East. From October 2016 to April 2017, they had to pay up to 2,000 USD each for their travel. The money was extorted by armed guards composed of Libyans, Nigerians and Gambians. The African guards work for three months to pay their own migration to Europe. The interviewees sailed, on 13 April 2017, with two of their former guards from Sabratha to Lampedusa.

      The Panel is investigating the GNA’s creation and financing of the anti-illegal migration unit, “Brigade 48”. Although it was supposedly under the Ministry of Defence and the Chief of Staff, sources stated that al-Amu’s brother, Mohamed al-Dabbashi, headed it. In summer 2017, al-Dabbashi’s brigade had apparently shifted from trafficking to policing migrants for the GNA’s account.

      Furthermore, several open sources reported an alleged deal with al-Dabbashi to contain the migration flows from Sabratha. Although the information was denied, it triggered violent clashes between competing armed groups involved in smuggling. Ahmad al-Dabbashi was defeated and escaped Sabratha on 6 October 2017. The PC dissolved the Brigade 48 on 16 November 2017.

      Role of Mos’ab Abu Grein

      Mos’ab Abu Grein (alias “The Doctor”), a leader of al-Wadi Brigade, operates in the eastern part of Sabratha. He is connected to a network of smugglers composed of Salafi armed groups in Tripoli, Sebha and Kufra. The Panel interviewed three different Eritrean migrants who reported that they were taken from SDF’s Mitiga detention centre to the Abu Grein facility in Sabratha in July 2016. They were detained in a hangar with African guards from where Abu Grein organizes departures on inflatable rubber boats to Italy.

      The interviewees said they paid Abu Grein 1,500 USD cash via a Nigerian broker to cross the Mediterranean. According to official sources, Mos’ab Abu Grein enjoys impunity for his activities in migrant smuggling because he collaborates with the SDF to counter drug traffickers, consumption of alcohol and combats alleged links of Sabratha and Zawiyah traffickers to listed entities such as ISIL.

      Abu Grein and Dabbashi have been in close competition, both seeking to monopolize the trafficking in Sabratha. From 21 September, Abu Grein supported the anti-ISIL Operation Room (AIOR) to combat the Brigade 48 armed group. The Panel notes that the warring parties, the AIOR and the Brigade 48, were officially financed by the GNA until the conflict broke out in Sabratha.

      Zawiyah

      Al Nasr Brigade and the Coast Guards

      Between Tripoli and Sabratha, Zawiyah port plays a distribution role. According to interviews of migrants and judicial reports, ‘Al Nasr Brigade’ 56, headed by Mohamed Koshlaf, and Zawiyah Coast Guards, was connected to Ahmad al-Dabbashi’s organization. Several migrants paid 100,000 to 150,000 Francs CFA57 to a Burkinabe broker operating between Koshlaf and the migrants.

      Other interviewees, who travelled in April 2017, asserted that their group left Zawiyah by night, crammed on a 10-meter inflatable rubber boat. While at sea, men with an official boat and wearing Coast Guard uniforms stopped them. They shot in the air and extorted the passengers’ money and valuables. When the boat arrived at calling distance off the Italian shores, the same official boat returned to seize the rubber boat’s engine. Similar incidents have been reported previously.

      Southern Region

      Brigade Subul al-Salam

      Eritrean and Ethiopian interviewees described their transfer, in January 2015, from the Sudanese border to Al Kufra. An Eritrean fixer, called Afra Waiki, transported and handed them over to an armed group, Brigade Subul al-Salam, affiliated with the LNA and under the command of Abd al Rahman Hashem from the Zway tribe in al-Kufra.

      The interviewees said they were put in a prison where the guards were dressed in police uniforms and driving official police cars. For their release, each migrant had to transfer up to 300 USD to a foreign bank account. In July 2015, they could continue their travel to Bani Walid driven by another Eritrean fixer known as Wadi Isaaq.

      Role of Tebu armed groups and Sudanese armed groups

      Sources indicated active involvement of Tebu and Darfuri armed groups, supported by Darfuri mercenaries in the south, in migrant smuggling. They operate particularly in the Tamassa region, in the south west of Jebel Arrush, Murzuq and al Kufra. The Tebu manage their own warehouses for migrants while Darfuri armed groups provide protection and escort to the traffickers.

      Recent developments have shown attempts to counter the groups involved in migrant smuggling. In September 2017, an armed group called the ‘Suqur al Sahara’ headed by the Tebu commander, Barka Shedimi, claimed the closure of the borders with Niger, Sudan and Chad to halt human trafficking. Similarly, a coalition of armed groups linked to Murzuq Municipality also created their own border protection force. The Panel is investigating these decisions, particularly the political and the financial motivations behind them”.

      https://www.libyaherald.com/2018/03/11/most-libyan-militias-involved-in-illegal-migration-activities-nominally
      signalé par @isskein via Fulvio Vassallo sur FB

    • Sauvetage de migrants : tensions entre gardes-côtes et ONG au large de la Libye

      Plusieurs associations dénoncent le traitement infligé aux migrants par les garde-côtes libyens. Ces derniers travaillent en coordination avec l’Italie.

      Toujours pas d’apaisement en Méditerranée entre ONG et gardes-côtes libyens. Ce week-end, plusieurs navires humanitaires souhaitant s’approcher d’embarcations de migrants en détresse se sont vus refuser l’accès.

      « Les Libyens agissent comme des pirates dans les eaux internationales, exigeant que leur soit reconnue une autorité. Ils agissent hors du droit et ils le font avec des moyens fournis par le gouvernement italien », a accusé sur Twitter le député italien de gauche Riccadro Magi. Samedi, il était à bord de l’Astral, un voilier appartenant à l’ONG Proactiva Open Arms, lorsqu’une vedette libyenne a ordonné au navire de s’éloigner.

      Bis repetita dimanche avec l’Aquarius. Ce bateau, affrété par SOS-Méditerranée et Médecins sans frontières (MSF) avait été prévenu par les gardes-côtes italiens de la présence d’un canot surchargé au large de Tripoli. Mais Rome a aussi prévenu ses homologues libyens, qui ont pris la coordination de l’opération et interdit au navire de s’approcher. Leur a également été demandé de s’éloigner quand des migrants ont sauté à l’eau pour tenter d’éviter d’être reconduits en Libye. En début de soirée, la marine libyenne a annoncé avoir secouru plus de 300 migrants dans trois opérations distinctes, faisant état d’un mort et d’un disparu.

      Flou autour de l’identité de ces gardes-côtes

      Le porte-parole de la marine libyenne a prévenu que les tensions avec les ONG risquent de s’aggraver dans les prochains jours, les navires humanitaires « s’approchant de plus en plus » des eaux libyennes, selon M. Kacem. La Libye, qui accuse les ONG d’être liées aux réseaux de passeurs, est soutenue par l’Italie et l’Union européenne qui finance la formation de ces officiers dans cette région en proie aux tensions inter-tribales.

      « Certains ont des uniformes mais on ne sait pas qui ils sont vraiment, décrivait pour le Parisien Francis Vallat, président de SOS Méditerranée. Certains dépendent du gouvernement libyen reconnu internationalement, tandis que d’autres relèvent de chefs féodaux plus ou moins provinciaux. On ne sait pas si ces gens respectent le droit. En tout cas, ils ont une attitude qui permet d’en douter. »

      LIRE AUSSI >Des migrants « secourus » sur fond d’accusations de traitements inhumains

      Trois responsables de l’ONG Proactiva Open Arms font actuellement l’objet d’une enquête judiciaire en Italie pour avoir refusé de remettre des migrants aux Libyens lors d’une opération mi-mars. Même si un juge a estimé qu’ils avaient agi « en état de nécessité » compte tenu de l’insécurité pour les migrants en Libye.
      La crainte de l’« enfer libyen »

      Le pays fait régulièrement l’objet de critiques pour les traitements infligés aux migrants, notamment africains, qui passent sur son territoire dans l’espoir de rejoindre l’Europe pour une vie meilleure. En novembre, CNN révélait au monde abasourdi l’existence de ventes aux enchères d’hommes réduits aux rangs d’esclaves, dans une vidéo glaçante tournée près de Tripoli, la capitale libyenne.

      Cette semaine, MSF a dénoncé la situation dans un centre de détention libyen à Zouara (ouest), où ses équipes ont vu plus de 800 personnes tellement entassées qu’elles ont à peine la place de s’allonger, « sans un accès adéquat à l’eau et à la nourriture ».

      LIRE AUSSI >Esclavage en Libye : Ousmane a vécu six mois d’enfer dans les geôles libyennes

      La coordination entre Rome et Tripoli a fait chuter drastiquement les départs vers les côtes européennes. Selon les autorités italiennes, près de 9 500 migrants ont débarqué cette année, soit une baisse de 75 % par rapport à la même période en 2017. Dans le même temps, les gardes-côtes libyens ont secouru et ramené en Libye plus de 5 000 migrants, selon l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM), qui fait aussi état d’un bilan d’au moins 379 morts ou disparus au large de la Libye.

      http://www.leparisien.fr/international/sauvetage-de-migrants-tensions-entre-gardes-cotes-et-ong-au-large-de-la-l

    • Riportati dalla Guardia costiera in Libia, torturati e venduti : le associazioni fanno ricorso alla CEDU

      Ricorso alla Corte Europea dei Diritti umani contro l’Italia per aver coordinato la Guardia Costiera libica nei respingimenti che hanno portato ad abusi e al decesso di migranti

      Il 6 Novembre 2017 l’ONG Sea-Watch è stata ostacolata dalla Guardia Costiera Libica durante un’operazione di salvataggio di 130 cittadini migranti da un gommone alla deriva, partito dalle coste libiche. Almeno venti dei migranti sono morti, tra cui due minori. L’intervento è stato coordinato a distanza dal Centro di Coordinamento Marittimo (MRCC) della Guardia Costiera italiana e la motovedetta libica coinvolta era stata donata dal governo italiano alcuni mesi prima. La Guardia Costiera libica ha poi riportato in Libia quarantasette dei sopravvissuti, che sono stati rinchiusi in condizioni disumane, subendo percosse, estorsioni, fame e stupri. Due di loro sono stati successivamente “venduti” e torturati con elettrochoc. Nella conferenza stampa verrà illustrato il ricorso alla Corte Europea dei Diritti umani e verrà presentato un rapporto audio-visivo prodotto da Forensic Oceanography/Forensic Architecture che ricostruisce questo ed altri casi di respingimento.

      https://www.asgi.it/allontamento-espulsione/migranti-libia-guardia-costiera-cedu
      #CEDH

    • Un article d’avril 2017

      L’accordo tra Italia e Libia potrebbe favorire il traffico di migranti

      A Gaeta è una giornata di sole, i battaglioni della guardia di finanza sono schierati davanti al mare sulla terrazza della caserma Bausan, stretta tra il golfo e la cittadina fortificata. In mare le due motovedette che l’Italia restituirà alla guardia costiera libica si esibiscono in caroselli a sirene spiegate. Un elicottero sorveglia la parata. Il ministro dell’interno Marco Minniti è arrivato da Roma per assistere alla riconsegna alla guardia costiera libica di due motovedette. Erano state donate dall’Italia alla Libia nel 2009, ma erano state danneggiate nel 2011 durante la guerra in Libia, e restituite agli italiani nel 2012.

      “Entro l’anno ne saranno consegnate in tutto dieci”, dice il ministro, che nel suo discorso definisce la guardia costiera libica “la più importante struttura nel Nordafrica” per il controllo dell’immigrazione irregolare. Poco dopo, Minniti consegna i diplomi ai venti cadetti libici che hanno seguito un corso di addestramento a Gaeta per tre settimane. Altri diciannove saranno formati nelle prossime settimane dalla scuola nautica della guardia di finanza, per un totale di quattro equipaggi.

      L’obiettivo del governo italiano, espresso nel memorandum d’intesa con la Libia firmato il 2 febbraio, è affidare ai libici il pattugliamento delle coste e il recupero dei migranti che salpano ogni giorno dalle coste del paese africano a bordo d’imbarcazioni di fortuna. Dall’inizio del 2017 ne sono stati soccorsi più di 30mila, mentre quelli che hanno perso la vita durante la traversata sono stati più di mille. Il presidente del governo di unità nazionale (Gna) di Tripoli, Fayez al Sarraj, ha chiesto all’Italia di investire 800 milioni di euro nella cooperazione per fermare l’arrivo dei migranti.

      Adel, Hamza e Omar sono alcuni degli ufficiali della guardia costiera libica che partecipano alla cerimonia di Gaeta: maglione blu a coste e cappellino da baseball. “In Libia la situazione non è per niente tranquilla”, dice Adel, gli occhi verdi e il volto scavato, in un italiano stentato, dopo la fine della cerimonia, mentre mangia pasticcini insieme ai compagni sotto coperta, all’interno della motovedetta appena riconsegnata a cui è stato dato il nome di Sabratha. “La guerra non è proprio finita”, continua Adel sorridente.

      Alleati affidabili?
      Il governo italiano conosce bene la situazione drammatica in Libia e molte inchieste hanno denunciato casi di corruzione della guardia costiera del paese, eppure Roma sembra determinata a perseguire il suo progetto di cooperazione con Tripoli per fermare la partenza dei migranti, anche se il memorandum d’intesa è stato sospeso dalle autorità libiche, nell’attesa che un tribunale ne stabilisca la legittimità.

      “Fermeremo le imbarcazioni che partono dalla Libia”, ha detto Ahmed Safar, l’ambasciatore libico in Italia. “Quelli che saranno soccorsi saranno portati nei centri di detenzione più vicini”, ha assicurato durante la cerimonia di Gaeta. La rete televisiva tedesca Ard ha rivelato che il governo di Tripoli ha chiesto all’Unione europea di armare la guardia costiera libica con altre 130 imbarcazioni di vario tipo, alcune delle quali dotate anche di mitragliatrici per fermare la partenza dei migranti dalle coste.

      Molti esperti, tuttavia, hanno espresso il timore che i fondi stanziati dall’Italia e dall’Unione europea per finanziare la guardia costiera libica finiscano indirettamente nelle mani dei trafficanti. Un’inchiesta di Nancy Porsia per Trt World, infatti, ha mostrato che il capo della guardia costiera a Zawiya, Abdurahman Milad, è una delle figure chiave del traffico di esseri umani nella regione.

      Milad è accusato di avere legami con le milizie di Tripoli che portano i migranti dal Sahara alla costa, prima che siano imbarcati verso l’Italia. “Le mafie si sono infiltrate, ricattano molte delle unità di polizia, delle guardie costiere delle città e dei villaggi libici”, aveva detto una fonte della sicurezza italiana all’inviato del quotidiano italiano Repubblica in Libia Vincenzo Nigro.

      “In Libia non si può parlare di un’unica guardia costiera, ma di un’istituzione che rimane espressione delle realtà locali”, spiega Gabriele Iacovino, esperto di Libia del Centro di studi internazionali (CeSI). “Una cosa è la guardia costiera di Misurata, un’altra quella di Zawiya. In particolare, in questa regione della Libia, i poteri locali sono nemici delle milizie che controllano Tripoli”.

      Iacovino spiega che non si può escludere che in alcune zone “esponenti della guardia costiera libica si facciano pagare delle tangenti dai trafficanti per consentire alle imbarcazioni di lasciare la costa e giungere nelle acque internazionali”.

      Questa ipotesi è stata confermata da un rapporto dell’operazione navale europea EunavforMed, citato dall’Istituto per gli studi di politica internazionale (Ispi), che denuncia la collusione tra la guardia costiera di Zawiya e i trafficanti di esseri umani. In un articolo, pubblicato sull’Espresso, i giornalisti Francesca Mannocchi e Alessio Romenzi hanno descritto un fenomeno simile: la guardia costiera libica vende le persone recuperate in mare alle milizie, che gestiscono dei centri di detenzione illegali.

      Nell’agosto del 2016 una nave dell’ong Medici senza frontiere, che soccorreva i migranti in mare, è stata attaccata da un’imbarcazione della guardia costiera libica; il 21 ottobre del 2016 una nave dell’ong tedesca Sea-watch ha denunciato che la guardia costiera libica ha picchiato i profughi imbarcati su un gommone al largo della Libia. Un video pubblicato dal Times nel febbraio del 2017 mostra, infine, percosse e maltrattamenti dei guardacoste libici ai migranti.

      Il mercato degli schiavi
      “I migranti spesso ci dicono che preferirebbero morire piuttosto che tornare in Libia”, racconta Riccardo Gatti dell’organizzazione non governativa spagnola Proactiva open arms, che effettua soccorsi in mare. “Mi ricordo di un ragazzo bangladese che aveva minacciato di buttarsi in mare quando un’imbarcazione della guardia costiera libica si era avvicinata alla nostra nave”. Dall’inizio del 2017 i guardacoste e i pescatori libici hanno recuperato circa quattromila migranti al largo della Libia, secondo l’Organizzazione internazionale delle migrazioni (Oim). Flavio Di Giacomo, portavoce dell’Oim in Italia, conferma: “I trafficanti dicono ai migranti di mettersi in mare prima di giugno, cioè prima che la guardia costiera libica sia di nuovo attiva e impedisca la partenza delle imbarcazioni”.

      Di Giacomo aggiunge: “Sappiamo che ci sono persone che collaborano con la guardia costiera e che in realtà sono trafficanti”. L’Oim ha recentemente denunciato un “mercato degli schiavi” in cui una persona può essere venduta per duecento dollari. “Da anni i migranti ci raccontano che in Libia vengono sequestrati da miliziani che chiedono un riscatto alle famiglie per liberarli oppure li vendono ad altri trafficanti”, racconta Di Giacomo.

      “Non appena passano il confine tra il Niger e la Libia e arrivano a Sabha, i migranti cadono nelle mani delle milizie. Sono rapinati, rapiti, reclusi nei centri di detenzione. A Sabha corrono il rischio di essere venduti in un vero e proprio mercato degli schiavi, come lo definiscono loro stessi, che si svolge nei parcheggi e nelle piazze”, spiega Flavio Di Giacomo.

      L’ambasciatore libico in Italia ha confermato le violazioni dei diritti umani nei centri per migranti

      L’Oim è una delle poche organizzazioni umanitarie ad avere accesso a una decina di campi di detenzione intorno alla capitale libica, Tripoli, dove sono rinchiuse circa seimila persone. In totale, secondo le Nazioni Unite, ci sono una cinquantina di campi in tutto il paese, ma i centri dove sono reclusi i migranti potrebbero essere molti di più. “Più lavoriamo in Libia, più ci rendiamo conto che è una valle di lacrime per i migranti. I centri sono prigioni, posti disumani”, spiega Di Giacomo. La sua denuncia è confermata da Arjan Hehenkamp, direttore generale di Medici senza frontiere, che ha visitato sette campi intorno a Tripoli e assicura che in Libia “tutti i campi di detenzione sono in mano alle milizie, non ci sono campi controllati dal governo”.

      Hehenkamp si è detto sconvolto da ciò che ha visto nei centri: “Persone che non hanno più dignità né autonomia, a completa disposizione dei carcerieri. Alcuni mi hanno raccontato di nascosto, sussurrando, gli abusi subiti: non possono parlare e sono terrorizzati dalle ritorsioni”.

      L’ambasciatore libico in Italia, Ahmed Safar, ha confermato le violazioni dei diritti umani nei centri, ma ne ha minimizzato l’importanza. “Le violazioni ci sono state e ce ne saranno ancora nei campi, ma non possiamo generalizzare”, ha detto il 21 aprile a Gaeta. “In Libia non ci sono nemmeno le leggi per regolarizzare la presenza di cittadini stranieri, perché la Libia è un paese di transito. Ci sono campi di detenzione, campi per il rimpatrio, campi dove si aspetta di essere espulsi. Il governo libico ha bisogno del sostegno dei partner europei per garantire una situazione migliore”, ha concluso.

      Una frontiera che non esiste
      Per fermare l’arrivo di migranti in Europa, l’Italia sta investendo anche sul controllo della frontiera meridionale libica, un’area di confine in mezzo al deserto, da secoli attraversata dalle rotte migratorie e controllata dai trafficanti. Il 31 marzo a Roma il governo italiano si è fatto garante di un accordo di pace firmato da una sessantina di gruppi tribali che vivono nel sud del paese e che dall’inizio della guerra civile se ne contendono il controllo. Dopo la firma dell’accordo di pace, il ministro Minniti ha precisato che “una guardia di frontiera libica pattuglierà i cinquemila chilometri della frontiera meridionale del paese”.

      Minniti ha ribadito che mettere in sicurezza quel confine significa “mettere in sicurezza la frontiera meridionale dell’Europa”. Molti hanno però sollevato dubbi sul fatto che questo accordo possa funzionare, sia per la vastità della zona da controllare sia per gli interessi in gioco. “Si tratta di zone desertiche, molto insicure, zone che da sempre sono lo scenario di traffici di armi, di droga e di esseri umani”, spiega Giuseppe Loprete dell’Oim, che è appena tornato da una missione al confine tra il Niger e la Libia.

      “Le popolazioni dei tubu e dei tuareg presenti in Libia sono presenti anche in Niger, la frontiera per loro non esiste. Tra il nord del Niger e il sud della Libia c’è un rapporto di continuità: è importante che le comunità locali siano coinvolte in qualsiasi tipo di negoziato”, dice Loprete che sottolinea un aspetto importante, ma sottovalutato: “L’immigrazione irregolare è una fonte di guadagno per le comunità locali”.

      Dopo il 2011 tutti i traffici illegali sono diventati la principale fonte di guadagno delle popolazioni locali

      Lo conferma Virginie Colombier, esperta di Libia e ricercatrice dell’Istituto universitario europeo di Fiesole: “Soprattutto dopo il 2011 tutti i traffici illegali sono diventati la principale fonte di guadagno delle popolazioni locali del sud e dell’ovest della Libia”. Questa regione è il principale punto d’ingresso in Libia dei migranti che arrivano dall’area del Sahel e, più in generale, dall’Africa subsahariana.

      Si tratta di una zona isolata, dove non ci sono infrastrutture, reti di comunicazione, strutture sanitarie. In quella regione, inoltre, sono in gioco importanti interessi economici internazionali: passano i principali traffici illeciti diretti in Europa e in Nordafrica (commercio di droga e di armi) e ci sono pozzi petroliferi. “L’Italia ha tutto l’interesse a ristabilire la sicurezza nel sud e nell’ovest del paese, perché in quel territorio sono presenti alcune grandi aziende italiane attive nel settore del petrolio e del gas”, spiega Colombier.

      Secondo la studiosa francese, il governo di AlSarraj non riesce ad assicurare il controllo del territorio e per questo Roma ha deciso di intraprendere azioni dirette come l’accordo tra i gruppi tribali del sud del paese. “Una delle questioni centrali è la situazione nella città di Sabha; il centro urbano più popoloso dell’area, conteso tra i diversi gruppi”, continua Colombier.

      Prima del 2011, alcuni accordi di pace informali avevano garantito al governo di Tripoli di controllare – almeno in parte – il confine, ma questi accordi sono falliti dopo la caduta di Muammar Gheddafi e diverse tribù hanno cominciato a contendersi il controllo delle principali rotte dei traffici illegali. L’Italia sta cercando d’intervenire e di ritagliarsi un ruolo di mediatrice, “un passo preliminare che potrebbe assicurare agli italiani un’influenza nella regione anche in futuro”. Tuttavia, secondo Colombier, “l’accordo difficilmente avrà effetti concreti nel breve periodo, né servirà a fermare l’immigrazione irregolare”.

      Per Gabriele Iacovino al momento una delle questioni problematiche è l’interesse che il generale Khalifa Haftar, in conflitto con il governo di Tripoli, ha manifestatoperalcuni impianti petroliferi nella regione di Sabha. Queste azioni militari non fanno altro che minacciare i fragili equilibri nella regione meridionale del paese. “Interrompere il cessate il fuoco tra tebu e tuareg, le due principali tribù nel sud del paese, può compromettere ulteriormente il processo di stabilizzazione del paese”, conclude Iacovino.

      Nel frattempo, però, la situazione in Libia è talmente disperata che sta aumentando il numero di persone disposte a tornare in Niger. Lo conferma l’Organizzazione internazionale delle migrazioni, che ha osservato il fenomeno nei suoi cinque centri per migranti in Niger. “Quelli che sono abbandonati nel deserto, quelli che non ce la fanno ad arrivare sulla costa, quelli che hanno finito i soldi, tornano spesso in Niger, nel nostro centro a Dirkou”, racconta Loprete. Quando tornano hanno storie disperate. Hanno fatto il viaggio, con tutte le difficoltà che comporta, ma non hanno ottenuto quello che speravano.

      https://www.internazionale.it/notizie/annalisa-camilli/2017/04/29/italia-libia-migranti-guardia-costiera

    • Meeting of Libyan, Italian officials revolve around illegal migration, southern borders security

      Libyan officials from different authorities met with the Italian ambassador to Libya, Giuseppe Perrone, and a delegation from the Italian defense and interior ministries as well as representatives of the Italian Prime Minister at the coast security department’s headquarters in Tripoli on Thursday.

      https://www.libyaobserver.ly/news/meeting-libyan-italian-officials-revolve-around-illegal-migration-sout

    • Libia-Italia: ministro Interno #Minniti atteso oggi a Tripoli

      Tripoli, 15 mag 09:35 - (Agenzia Nova) - Il ministro dell’Interno, Marco Minniti, è atteso oggi a Tripoli per una visita a sorpresa. Lo hanno riferito ad “Agenzia Nova” fonti libiche secondo le quali il titolare del Viminale incontrerà funzionari del governo di accordo nazionale. Minniti dovrebbe tenere una conferenza stampa nel corso della giornata nella base navale di Abu Seta, vicino Tripoli. La scorsa settimana il coordinamento tra la Guardia costiera libica e italiana ha portato al primo salvataggio in mare di 498 migranti al largo delle coste di Sabrata, nella Libia occidentale. L’11 maggio si è tenuta nella capitale libica una riunione del Comitato misto per la lotta contro l’immigrazione illegale tra Italia e Libia, nel quale è stato fatto il punto sul programma di rafforzamento delle capacità della Guardia costiera e della Guardia di frontiera del paese nordafricano. Durante la riunione è stata espressa soddisfazione per l’operazione di salvataggio dei 500 migranti. L’Italia ha recentemente consegnato alla Guardia costiera libica due motovedette riparate nel nostro paese. Le due motovedette erano state inviate in Italia nel 2013 per essere riparate e sarebbero dovute rientrare in servizio nell’agosto del 2014.

      Lo scorso 2 febbraio il presidente del Consiglio italiano, Paolo Gentiloni, e il premier del governo di accordo nazionale libico, Fayez al Sarraj, hanno firmato a Roma un memorandum d’intesa sulla cooperazione nel campo dello sviluppo, del contrasto all’immigrazione illegale, al traffico di esseri umani, al contrabbando e sul rafforzamento della sicurezza delle frontiere tra lo Stato della Libia e l’Italia. L’accordo prevede che la parte italiana si impegni “a fornire supporto tecnico e tecnologico agli organismi libici incaricati della lotta contro l’immigrazione clandestina”. Non solo: l’intesa prevede anche il “completamento del sistema di controllo dei confini terrestri del sud della Libia”, “adeguamento e finanziamento dei centri di accoglienza”, “la formazione del personale libico all’interno dei centri di accoglienza”, “sostegno alle organizzazioni internazionali presenti e che operano in Libia nel campo delle migrazioni a proseguire gli sforzi mirati anche al rientro dei migranti nei propri paesi d’origine”. (Lit) © Agenzia Nova - Riproduzione riservata

      https://www.agenzianova.com/a/59195c42c137d4.06358231/1565108/2017-05-15/libia-italia-ministro-interno-minniti-atteso-oggi-a-tripoli/linked

    • Italy tries to bolster Libyan coast guard, despite humanitarian concern

      Italy gave the Libyan coast guard four repaired patrol boats on Monday to beef up Libya’s efforts to stop people smuggling, but the support worries humanitarian groups operating rescue ships near the Libyan coast.


      http://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-libya-idUSKCN18B2E5?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews
      cc @i_s_

    • L’Italie a signé un accord avec la Libye, le Tchad et le Niger pour contenir l’afflux de migrants

      Selon le bilan diffusé lundi par le ministère de l’Intérieur italien, 50 041 migrants sont arrivés sur les côtes italiennes depuis le début de l’année. Un chiffre qui correspond à une hausse de plus de 45% par rapport à la même période l’an passé. Face à cet afflux, l’Italie a signé dimanche un accord avec la Libye, le Tchad et le Niger.

      http://www.jeuneafrique.com/441266/societe/litalie-a-signe-accord-libye-tchad-niger-contenir-lafflux-de-migrants

    • Migranti: da vertice al Viminale con ministri Libia, Niger, Ciad centri accoglienza in paesi transito

      Centri di accoglienza per migranti rispondenti agli standard umanitari internazionali verranno costruiti in Ciad e Niger,due dei Paesi di transito delle migliaia di persone che dall’Africa sub sahariana raggiungono la Libia per poi imbarcarsi verso l’Italia. E’ uno dei risultati del vertice voluto dal ministro dell’Interno Minniti con i ministri dell’Interno di Libia, Niger e Ciad che si è tenuto al Viminale. I quattro ministri hanno siglato una dichiarazione congiunta.

      Secondo il Viminale si tratta di un punto di partenza per tentare di gestire il flusso di migliaia di senza speranza e spesso senza documenti che dall’Africa tenta di raggiungere l’Europa. Circa cinquemila uomini, donne e bambini diretti in Italia sono stati soccorsi al largo della Libia tra giovedì e sabato mattina dalle guardie costiere italiana e libica. Bisognerà vedere adesso se gli accordi messi nero su bianco nella dichiarazione congiunta troveranno applicazione nel deserto a sud della Libia, ma l’obiettivo e’ quello di arginare il fenomeno dove questo si origina e non in mare. Dalla Libia viene d’altronde il 90% di coloro che sbarcano in Italia e la quasi totalità è entrata nel paese nordafricano seguendo le rotte che dall’Africa occidentale portano ad Agades, in Niger, primo vero centro di smistamento di migliaia di esseri umani, o quelle che attraversano il deserto del Ciad e partono dall’Eritrea e dall’Etiopia.

      La strategia del Viminale si fonda su due pilastri: rafforzare la guardia costiera libica, mettendola in condizioni di operare per fermare i barconi – e in quest’ottica va la consegna entro giugno di 10 motovedette – e ristabilire il controllo sui cinquemila chilometri di confine sud che da anni sono in mano alle organizzazioni di trafficanti di esseri umani.

      Su quest’ultimo fronte il primo passo è stato il patto siglato il 2 aprile scorso sempre al Viminale con le principali tribù del Fezzan. Oggi, con la firma sulla dichiarazione da parte di Minniti, del ministro libico Aref Khoja e dei colleghi di Niger e Ciad, Mohamed Bazoum e Ahmat Mahamat Bachir e’stato fatto un altro passo per rafforzare i confini formando gli agenti e creando una “rete di contatto” tra tutte le forze di
      polizia della zona.

      L’Italia gioca una ruolo cruciale su questo aspetto visto che il Memorandum of understandig siglato il 2 gennaio a palazzo Chigi con la Libia prevede il completamento del sistema di controllo radar per il controllo dei confini al sud del paese già previsto dal trattato di Amicizia del 2008. Un sistema che dovrebbe realizzare Selex, del gruppo Leonardo-Finmeccanica, con una spesa prevista a carico dell’Italia di 150 milioni.

      http://www.onuitalia.com/2017/05/21/migranti-da-vertice-al-viminale-con-ministri-libia-niger-ciad-centri-acco
      #Tchad

    • Sempre più a Sud: Minniti ora vuole i Cie in Niger e in Ciad

      La foto ricordo scattata domenica scorsa al Viminale mostra una «storica» stretta di mano a quattro tra il nostro ministro dell’Interno Marco Minniti e i suoi omologhi di Ciad, Libia e Niger, dopo la firma di una dichiarazione congiunta per istituire una «cabina di regia» comune allo scopo di sigillare i confini a sud e evitare la partenza di migranti verso l’Italia e l’Europa.

      La dichiarazione impegna l’Italia a «sostenere la costruzione e la gestione, conformemente a strandard umanitari internazionali, di centri di accoglienza per migranti irregolari in Niger e in Ciad». Chi controlli la rispondenza di questi centri «di accoglienza» a standard di umanità internazionalmente riconosciuti non è chiaro, né chi li debba gestire e con quali fondi. E neanche è dato sapere in quale modo si intenda «promuovere lo sviluppo di una economia legale alternativa a quella legata ai traffici illeciti in particolare al traffico di esseri umani». Ma i quattro ministri sono immortalati con ampi sorrisi, che dovrebbero migliorare la «sicurezza percepita» a cui tiene tanto il titolare del Viminale.

      Per chi non si accontenta di sorrisi e annunci, la situazione in Libia e tra una frontiera e l’altra nel Sahara, lungo la rotta dei migranti, è sempre più incandescente. A Zawiya, città costiera dove è florido il business dei barconi, è esplosa ieri un’autobomba.

      Nel Fezzan il bilancio del truculento assalto della settimana scorsa alla base aerea di Brak al Shati, controllata dalle milizie del generale Haftar, è salito a 141 morti, tra i quali 15 civili. E si scopre – attraverso la Commissione nazionale diritti umani della Libia – che al seguito della Terza Forza, negli squadroni della città stato di Misurata che costituiscono l’ossatura delle milizie fedeli al governo Serraj di Tripoli, quello con cui l’Italia sta stringendo accordi per fermare i migranti, c’erano anche «foreign fighters provenienti dal Ciad e qaedisti delle Brigate di difesa di Bengasi».

      Serraj, per far vedere di non aver gradito l’assalto che ha violato la tregua con Haftar, ha sospeso il ministro della Difesa Al Barghouthi e il capo della Terza Forza, Jamal al Treiki, ma si tratta di un pro forma che neanche il suo ministro ha preso sul serio, infatti ha continuato a incontrare i capi misuratini per verificare «la presenza di cellule dell’ Isis» sopravvissute all’assedio di Sirte. Gli Usa intendono mantenere una presenza militare in Libia, ha detto il generale Waldhauser, proprio per combattere le cellule dell’Isis che stanno tentando di riorganizzarsi.

      Intanto l’Alto commissario Onu per i rifugiati Filippo Grandi, per la prima volta in visita ai centri di detenzione per migranti in Libia in queste ore, si è detto «scioccato» dalle condizioni in cui si trovano bambini, donne e uomini «che non dovrebbero sopportare tali difficoltà». Grandi fa presente che oltre ai profughi africani (1,1 milioni) in Libia ci sono 300 mila sfollati interni a causa del conflitto che dal 2011 non è mai finito.

      https://ilmanifesto.it/sempre-piu-a-sud-minniti-ora-vuole-i-cie-in-niger-e-in-ciad

    • Per bloccare i migranti 610 milioni di euro dall’Europa e 50 dall’Italia

      Con la Libia ancora fortemente compromessa, la sfida per la gestione dei flussi di migranti dall’Africa sub-sahariana si è di fatto spostata più a Sud, lungo i confini settentrionali del Niger. Uno dei Paesi più poveri al mondo, ma che in virtù della sua stabilità - ha mantenuto pace e democrazia in un’area lacerata dai conflitti - è oggi il principale alleato delle potenze europee nella regione. Gli accordi prevedono che il Niger in cambio di 610 milioni d’ euro dall’Unione Europea, oltre a 50 promessi dall’Italia, sigilli le proprie frontiere settentrionali e imponga un giro di vite ai traffici illegali. È dal Niger infatti che transita gran parte dei migranti sub-sahariani: 450.000, nel 2016, hanno attraversato il deserto fino alle coste libiche, e in misura inferiore quelle algerine. In Italia, attraverso questa rotta, ne sono arrivati 180.000 l’anno scorso e oltre 40.000 nei primi quattro mesi del 2017.


      http://www.lastampa.it/2017/05/31/esteri/per-bloccare-i-migranti-milioni-di-euro-dalleuropa-e-dallitalia-4nPsLCnUURhOkXQl14sp7L/pagina.html

    • Back to Old Tricks? Italian Responsibility for Returning People to Libya

      On 10/11 May 2017 various news outlets reported a maritime operation by the Libyan authorities, in coordination with the Italian Search and Rescue Authority, in which 500 individuals were intercepted in international waters and returned to Libya. This operation amounted to refoulment in breach of customary international law and several treaties (including the Geneva Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights), and an internationally wrongful act is one for which Italy bears international legal responsibility.

      https://www.ejiltalk.org/back-to-old-tricks-italian-responsibility-for-returning-people-to-libya

    • Tutto quello che c’è da sapere sull’accordo Italia – Libia

      Il memorandum d’intesa tra Italia e Libia è solo una tappa della articolata strategia di esternalizzazione delle frontiere perseguita tanto dal nostro governo quanto dall’Unione Europea. A tutti i costi, e mettendo in secondo piano il rispetto dei diritti fondamentali. Ecco cosa c’è che non va nell’accordo e quali sono le sue conseguenze.

      http://openmigration.org/analisi/tutto-quello-che-ce-da-sapere-sullaccordo-italia-libia/?platform=hootsuite

    • Libia, la Guardia Costiera viene pagata con i soldi della Cooperazione

      Le frontiere esterne dell’Unione Europea si blindano usando fondi destinati allo sviluppo. Dalla polizia del Niger, alle milizie che presidiano i confini in Sudan fino ai militari che controllano le coste del Paese nord africano. La missione ONU per la Libia (Unsmil) in un rapporto parla delle carceri libiche come luoghi di estorsioni e violenze

      http://www.repubblica.it/solidarieta/cooperazione/2017/07/31/news/libia_la_guardia_costiera_viene_pagata_con_i_soldi_della_cooperazione-172
      #aide_du_développement #coopération_au_développement #développement

    • commentaire reçu via la mailing-list migreurop (01.08.2017) :

      Elle a été déjà approuvée par le Conseil des Ministres Italiens. Demain le Président du Conseil en discutera aux commissions intéressées. Il s’agit d’une opération militaire italienne de soutien aux gardes cotes libyennes à l’intérieur des eaux territoriales libyennes suite à la demande de un des trois Gouvernement Libyen (celui de Al Serraj).
      L’Italie utiliserait donc – du 1 aout 2017 – deux bateaux militaires engagés aujourd’hui à l’extérieur des eaux libyennes dans l’opération Mare Sicuro (une opération qui a comme mission celle de la sécurité de la région, pas du tout celle de la migration). L’Italie ne prendra pas à bord des migrants, et si sera obligé à le faire les transbordera dans un bateau libyen avant de rejoindre le cotes libyennes.

      Il est évidente que de cette façon il y a un claire tentative de contourner le principe de non refoulement au quel l’Italie a l’obligation (et pour violation du quel a été déjà sanctionné). Il est intéressante aussi de voir que dans le Code de Conduit que le Gouvernement veut imposer aux Ong qui interviennent en mer, il y a interdiction de transborde. Mais si c’est l’Italie qui doit le faire pour contourner l’accusation de refoulement, alors cela semble accepté.

      L’opération devrait partir très rapidement, le 1 aout. Les bateaux sont prêtes, mais semble irréalisable la partie du “projet” italien qui prévoit des centres d’accueil à l’arrivés aux ports libyens gérés par l’UNHCR e OIM. Semblerait donc naturel que seront les camps d’enfermement la suite des opérations d’interception que l’Italie aurait aidé à mener dans les eaux libyennes.

      L’Italie – et les institutions européennes qui soutiennent l’opération – semble ne pas se préoccuper de l’effet boomerang sur un processus de stabilisation d’un pays déjà très fragile. Ce n’est pas au hasard que Serraj aurait d’abord nié d’avoir demandé à l’Italie d’intervenir pour ensuite le confirmer et que Haftar vient de faire circuler une note où dénonce cet accord et menace de considérer toute intervention militaire de l’Italie dans les eaux territoriale libyennes comme une violation de la souveraineté du pays.

      Une partie de la mission sera financé avec les fonds déjà alloués à l’opération Mare Sicuro et en partie seront surement financé par les 46 millions de Fonds Fiduciaires que la Commission Européenne a annoncé le même jour de l’annonce de la mission.

    • Libya’s eastern commander vows to destroy Italian warships if sailed to Libyan water

      The Libyan eastern commander of Dignity Operation forces, Khalifa Haftar, has ordered to bombard any warships sailing into the Libyan waters, in a U-turn that could see escalations between eastern Libya and the UN-proposed government’s bodies in western Libya get tense.

      http://www.libyaobserver.ly/news/libyas-eastern-commander-vows-destroy-italian-warships-if-sailed-libya

    • Des navires de guerre italiens pour repousser les réfugiés au lieu de les protéger

      En proposant de déployer des navires de guerre pour patrouiller dans les eaux territoriales libyennes, les autorités italiennes cherchent à se soustraire à leur obligation de secourir les réfugiés et les migrants en mer et d’offrir une protection à ceux qui en ont besoin.

      https://www.amnesty.fr/refugies-et-migrants/actualites/des-navires-de-guerre-italiens-pour-repousser-les-refugies-au-lieu-de-les-pr

    • Respingimenti collettivi ed omissione di soccorso nel contrasto dell’immigrazione irregolare

      L’esternalizzazione dei controlli di frontiera, che assume adesso una dimensione operativa dopo gli accordi ed i protocolli operativi stipulati dall’Italia con la Libia, la Tunisia e l’Algeria, la chiusura di tutte le vie di accesso per i potenziali richiedenti asilo con i respingimenti collettivi in mare ed alle frontiere marittime, e le retate operate con “pattuglie miste” delle polizie presenti nei paesi di transito, come la Libia e la Grecia, ai danni dei migranti irregolari, spesso donne e minori, o altri potenziali richiedenti asilo, stanno aggravando gli effetti devastanti delle politiche proibizioniste adottate da tutti i paesi europei nei confronti dei migranti in fuga dalle guerre, dai conflitti interni e dalla devastazione economica ed ambientale dei loro paesi. Quanto sta avvenendo in questi mesi in Grecia ed in Libia aumenta le responsabilità già gravissime del governo italiano nelle pratiche informali di respingimento “informale” dai porti dell’Adriatico (Venezia, Ancona, Bari) verso Patrasso e Igoumenitsa e scopre tutte le ipocrisie di chi afferma di riconoscere i diritti dei rifugiati e poi rimane inerte ad assistere allo scempio del diritto di asilo, di persone che avrebbero titolo ad ottenere protezione ma sono arrestate, respinte o espulse.

      http://www.meltingpot.org/Respingimenti-collettivi-ed-omissione-di-soccorso-nel.html

    • ASGI : C’è il rischio di riaprire la stagione buia dei respingimenti già condannati dalla CEDU

      Sulle nuove iniziative del Governo italiano per contrastare l’arrivo dei rifugiati dalla Libia l’ ASGI lancia l’allarme: “C’è il rischio di gravissime violazioni del diritto internazionale che riportino la stagione buia dei respingimenti per i quali l’Italia era stata già condannata dalla corte europea dei diritti dell’uomo”.

      https://seenthis.net/recherche?recherche=%23libye+%23externalisation+%23italie
      #refoulement #push-back

    • Cooperazione: kit di primo soccorso inviati in Libia grazie a collaborazione tra Esteri e Difesa

      L’ambasciatore d’Italia a Tripoli, Giuseppe Perrone, e l’addetto per la Difesa, capitano di vascello Patrizio Rapalino, hanno consegnato al sindaco di #Zwara, 5.000 kit igienico-sanitari e di primo soccorso per migranti per le esigenze della municipalità.

      http://www.esteri.it/mae/it/sala_stampa/archivionotizie/comunicati/2017/08/cooperazione-kit-di-primo-soccorso.html

    • Accordo Italia e milizie in Libia, qualcosa c’è ma non si dice

      Cosa è realmente accaduto in Libia tra Italia (sia chi sia ad aver trattato) e le milizie di Sabratha che prima gestivano la mafia dei traffici di persone e ora la contrastano in nome del governo Sarray? Ora anche la stampa ‘tradizionale’ s’accorge del problema. Il Manifesto, «Accordo tra l’Italia e le milizie per fermare i migranti in Libia». Il Fatto quotidiano, Migranti, Ap: «Italia ha trattato direttamente con le milizie libiche per bloccare gli sbarchi”. Farnesina: ‘Falso’».

      https://www.remocontro.it/2017/08/31/accordo-italia-milizie-libia-qualcosa-ce-non-si-dice

    • L’Italie finance-t-elle des groupes armés libyens pour bloquer l’arrivée de migrants ?

      De moins en moins de migrants débarquent en Italie. Comment l’expliquer ? D’après l’agence Associated Press, derrière les explications officielles, la véritable raison de cette diminution s’expliquerait par le fait que l’Italie financerait des groupes armés libyens. Valérie Dupont, correspondante pour la RTBF à Rome, fait le point.

      https://www.rtbf.be/info/monde/detail_l-italie-finance-t-elle-des-groupes-armes-libyens-pour-bloquer-l-arrivee

    • Migrants en Libye : le #pacte pourri entre Rome, les garde-côtes et les trafiquants

      Alors que l’Union européenne finance, à hauteur de dizaines de millions d’euros, les garde-côtes libyens, il est établi que certains de ses membres sont compromis dans le trafic de migrants. Rome, de son côté, est accusé de négocier directement avec les milices de #Sabratha pour empêcher le départ des embarcations.

      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/020917/migrants-en-libye-le-pacte-pourri-entre-rome-les-garde-cotes-et-les-trafiq

    • E l’Italia contribuisce alla costruzione della mafia in Libia. Conversazione con Nancy Porsia

      «Negli ultimi 3 mesi c’è stata l’implementazione del piano messo a punto già prima di allora. Lo scorso autunno fu lanciata la campagna di criminalizzazione da parte delle autorità italiane e libiche verso le Ong che operano Ricerca e Soccorso in mare, e mentre nell’inverno e nella primavere seguenti questa campagna di delegittimazione e criminalizzazione veniva portata avanti, gli italiani e gli europei addestravano le autorità Libiche e le loro forze militari per il pattugliamento dei confini e quindi anche del mare e delle coste libiche. Questa era una sorta di fase preparatoria che poi si è andata finalizzando negli ultimi tre mesi. Quindi gli italiani hanno di fatto consegnato i mezzi alla Guardia costiera libica, mezzi che risalgono agli accordi fra Berlusconi e Gheddafi del 2008 e che sono stati riconsegnati solo oggi dopo il lavoro diplomatico massiccio delle Nazioni Unite, Europa e in prima fila Italia, e che ha portato alla legittimazione dell’entourage di Serraj come Governo di unità nazionale. Quindi quello che resta delle autorità libiche è stato assunto come interlocutore legittimo, nonostante i grandi dubbi che ci sono circa la loro stessa legittimità. I libici hanno iniziato a pattugliare la costa reclamando tale compito come loro “dovere / diritto” e insinuando come “ingerenza” le operazioni svolte dalle Ong. Si è andati un pezzettino avanti rispetto alla criminalizzazione delle stesse Ong che poi come sappiamo sono state vessate dalla magistratura italiana, dalla campagna di discredito a mezzo stampa, in Italia e in Europa, ed esposte in maniera sempre più frequente al pericolo del fuoco libico tanto che hanno dovuto fare un passo indietro. Quindi di fatto il piano che era in cantiere da oramai un anno e mezzo fra l’Italia, l’Europa e la Libia è entrato nella sua fase finale. Il risultato è che le coste vengono pattugliate dai libici, oggi in grado di fermare la maggior parte dei barconi carichi di migranti. Dove è la critica di senso rispetto alla nuova situazione? Quelli che oggi bloccano i migranti sono gli stessi che ieri li trafficavano, e quindi il “piano Minniti” ha portato ad una istituzionalizzazione degli stessi trafficanti. Siamo di fronte ad una politica di cooperazione che interloquisce con trafficanti istituzionalizzatie e alcuni ufficiali della Guardia costiera corrotti. Su alcuni di questi c’è anche un procedimento della Corte penale dell’Aia piuttosto che un fascicolo lungo non so quante pagine all’interno del rapporto del panel di esperti delle Nazioni Unite sulla Libia, pubblicato lo scorso giugno. Quindi negli ultimi mesi il piano Minniti ha proceduto a gamba tesa nell’istituzionalizzazione delle milizie e dei maggiori trafficanti in Libia oltreché alla connivenza con le stesse guardie corrotte, anzi più che corrotte io le definirei in odore di mafia, in quanto parte integrante di un sistema mafioso che trafficava i migranti. Tutto questo per ridurre il numero dei migranti nel più breve tempo possibile».

      http://www.a-dif.org/2017/09/04/e-litalia-contribuisce-alla-costruzione-della-mafia-in-libia-conversazione-co

    • I campi dei migranti in Libia sotto il controllo delle Ong

      Coinvolgere le Ong nei campi libici per evitare di «condannare i migranti all’inferno». L’idea è venuta al ministero degli Esteri, e più precisamente al vice con delega alla cooperazione internazionale, Mario Giro: dopo aver lanciato l’allarme un mese fa sulle condizioni infernali dei campi, nel pieno della discussione sulla missione italiana autorizzata a Tripoli, nei giorni scorsi ha rivolto un invito alla galassia delle Organizzazioni non governative, proponendo un incontro a chi è interessato a lavorare in Libia. Hanno risposto in una ventina, di orientamento laico e cattolico, molte delle quali già impegnate in varie zone del grande Paese nordafricano con compiti di protezione dell’infanzia e nel settore della sanità, da Medici senza Frontiere all’Arci a Save the children, da Intersos a Terre des hommes fino a Elis, legata all’Opus Dei: ieri pomeriggio la riunione, alla Farnesina, per prendere i primi contatti. Con l’idea però di accelerare e intervenire al più presto: il bando è già pronto, sono stanziati sei milioni di euro.

      http://www.lastampa.it/2017/09/08/esteri/i-campi-dei-migranti-in-libia-sotto-il-controllo-delle-ong-y0jOMmVk6gVG49hdon0gZJ/pagina.html

    • Centri di detenzione in Libia: “(Forse) è ora di pensare alle ‘condizioni umanitarie’”…

      I nuovi propositi di attenzione del governo italiano alle «condizioni umanitarie» nei centri di detenzione per migranti e rifugiati in Libia arrivano dopo mesi di silenzi e di iniziative tutte mirate al loro “contenimento” in quel Paese.

      «Le condizioni di quelli che rimangono in Libia, posso garantirvi, sono il mio assillo ed è l’assillo del Governo italiano», ha detto venerdì a Torino il ministro dell’Interno Marco Minniti, dopo averlo già affermato ad agosto ma aggiungendo: «La prossima settimana insieme con la Farnesina incontreremo le ONG italiane. Ragioneremo con loro se è possibile, accanto alle operazioni di salvataggio in mare, che naturalmente continuano, costruire un’iniziativa delle ONG direttamente in Libia per affrontare quel tema dei diritti umani e delle condizioni di vita».

      http://viedifuga.org/centri-detenzione-libia-forse-ora-pensare-alle-condizioni-umanitarie
      #ONG

    • Il governo di Tripoli vuole cinque miliardi dall’Italia per ripristinare il trattato di pace tra Berlusconi e Ghedafi con gli accordi di blocco e respingimento. Ma sono ancora le navi umanitarie a salvare la maggior parte delle persone in pericolo di naufragare.

      Il governo di Tripoli vuole cinque miliardi dall’Italia per ripristinare il trattato di pace tra Berlusconi e Ghedafi con gli accordi di blocco e respingimento. Ma sono ancora le navi umanitarie a salvare la maggior parte delle persone in pericolo di naufragare. E Serraj non controlla neppure tutta Tripoli, cosa può garantire all’Italia ed all’Europa ?

      http://dirittiefrontiere.blogspot.ch/2016/08/il-governo-di-tripoli-vuole-cinque.html

    • Migrants: Italian FM wants more EU efforts on Libya route

      MILAN - The Italian government wants the EU to exert greater efforts concerning the central Mediterranean migrant route, which runs from Libya to Italy, Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said Friday. The minister was replying to journalists’ questions after his speech at a conference on immigration, refugees and asylum policies at the Bocconi University in Milan, where he discussed the ’Migration Compact’. Gentiloni called for investment in African countries to be stepped up, ’’with new instruments like ’Africa bonds’’’, and said that the countries receiving the investment should be required to put forth serious efforts to limit migration flows. He added that repatriation of migrants to safe countries should be ’’ever more European’’, but that migrants should not be repatriated to Libya. ’’On these issues,’’ he concluded, ’’the Italian government is asking Europe for commitment similar to what it showed on the (migration, Ed.) route running from Turkey to Greece and the Balkans.’’

      http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/en/news/sections/politics/2016/04/22/migrants-italian-fm-wants-more-eu-efforts-on-libya-route_f8c9e906-3729-44b

    • Migranti, il Gruppo di contatto per la rotta del Mediterraneo centrale diventa stabile

      «Oggi abbiamo fatto un passo importante, abbiamo messo in comune la volontà di governare l’immigrazione; l’esito della riunione è stato particolarmente fruttuoso». E’ questa la convinzione espressa dal ministro dell’Interno, Marco Minniti, oggi al termine dell’incontro conclusivo con ministri e rappresentanti di Paesi della Ue e del Nord Africa che fanno parte del «Gruppo di contatto per la rotta migratoria del Mediterraneo centrale», presso la scuola Superiore di Polizia, in via Pier della Francesca a Roma.


      www.interno.gov.it/it/notizie/migranti-gruppo-contatto-rotta-mediterraneo-centrale-diventa-stabile

    • signalé par Fulvio Vassallo sur FB avec ce commentaire (19.04.2017) :

      Ci volevano i giapponesi per dire quali sono le ragioni vere della partenze di massa della Libia. Altro che le navi umanitarie come fattore di attrazione. L’Italia sta consegnando altre motovedette alla Guardia Costiera libica per aggirare il divieto di respingimenti collettivi per cui nel 2012 veniva condannata dalla Corte Europea dei diritti dell’Uomo.

      Facing threat of patrols, thousands of migrants fleeing Libya ; 28 found dead

      Warm weather and calm seas usually spur smugglers to send migrants across the Mediterranean come spring. But aid groups say another timetable might be behind a weekend spike: the looming start of beefed-up Libyan coast guard patrols designed to prevent migrants from reaching Europe.


      http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/04/19/world/social-issues-world/facing-threat-patrols-thousands-migrants-fleeing-libya-28-found-dead

      #fermeture_des_frontières #militarisation_des_frontières #mourir_en_mer #morts #mourir_en_méditerranée #décès #facteurs_push #attractivité #push_factors #push-factors

    • Migranti: l’Italia consegna 10 motovedette alla Libia

      La scena si è già vista il 14 maggio 2009 ed il 10 febbraio 2010, sempre nel porto di Gaeta (Latina): sei motovedette hanno ammainato la bandiera italiana ed alzato quella libica per andare a pattugliare le acque davanti al Paese nordafricano con il compito di bloccare le partenze dei migranti. L’attività è però durata poco, fino all’intervento della coalizione internazionale contro Muhammar Gheddafi, nel 2011.

      Ora Italia e Libia ci riprovano: domani a Gaeta,alla presenza del ministro dell’Interno, Marco Minniti – quattro di quelle motovedette (le altre due sono andate distrutte) saranno nuovamente riconsegnate alla Marina ed alla Guardia costiera libiche. Seguiranno altre sei nelle settimane successive, con la speranza che siano in grado di frenare il flusso gestito dai trafficanti di uomini, che nel 2017 ha già portato sulle coste italiane oltre 35mila persone, il 40% in più del 2016, anno record per gli sbarchi.

      http://www.imolaoggi.it/2017/04/20/migranti-litalia-consegna-10-motovedette-alla-libia

    • G.Costiera Libia soccorre migranti, riportati a Tripoli

      ROMA - Primi effetti degli accordi di collaborazione sottoscritti di recente tra Italia e Libia in materia di migranti: oggi la Guardia Costiera libica, alla quale l’Italia ha donato anche alcune unità navali, ha soccorso in acque internazionali e riportato nel porto di Tripoli un barcone in navigazione verso l’Italia, a bordo del quale vi erano circa 300 migranti. I migranti avevano inviato una richiesta di soccorso alla centrale operativa di Roma della Guardia Costiera italiana. Il barcone, inoltre, era stato avvistato ancora in acque libiche da alcuni mezzi aerei impegnati sul Mediterraneo centrale.
      Ricevute le due segnalazioni, la centrale operativa di Roma della Guardia costiera ha allertato la Guardia costiera libica che - diversamente rispetto a quanto accaduto in passato - ha preso il comando delle operazioni di soccorso. Alcune motovedette di Tripoli sono salpate in direzione del barcone, che è stato raggiunto in acque internazionali. Alcuni uomini della Guardia costiera libica hanno preso il comando dell’unità, che, invertita la rotta, è stata riportata nel porto di Tripoli.

      http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/it/notizie/rubriche/politica/2017/05/10/g.costiera-libia-soccorre-migranti-riportati-a-tripoli_df5b95ff-4921-4f05-

    • Fermare i migranti? Addestrare i libici non funziona

      La notte del 23 maggio 2017 il capitano della Iuventa, la nave dell’Ong tedesca Jugend Rettet, denuncia una nuova aggressione in mare da parte di un motoscafo libico, il cui equipaggio avrebbe sparato verso alcune imbarcazioni sovraccariche di profughi, per poi riportare due delle imbarcazioni verso la Libia. Era la Guardia Costiera libica? L’Italia come la sta addestrando, e a che scopo? E quante Guardie Costiere ci sono in Libia in realtà? Francesco Floris ha ricostruito nei dettagli la storia dell’addestramento italiano dei libici e i suoi precedenti.


      http://openmigration.org/analisi/fermare-i-migranti-addestrare-i-libici-non-funziona

    • Migrants: Tripoli thanks Italy but wants help in maintenance

      Thanking Italian authorities for cooperating in the fight against human trafficking, the operations chief of Libyan coast guards, Colonel Massoud Abdelsamad, called on Italy to send spare parts and maintenance support soon for cutters given to Tripoli to fight traffickers through ’’joint operations’’ carried out by Italy and Libya.
      ’’I would like to thank very much Italian authorities and especially the Italian coast guard: we have a good cooperation between us’’, the colonel said, commenting recent gunfire between his personnel and traffickers. ’’We are in contact 24 hours a day and sometimes carry out joint operations’’, added Abdelsamad in a phone interview with ANSA.
      ’’Our boats however need spare parts and maintenance. We would like to have in Libya, as soon as possible, the finance police team that has been working closely with us since 2010’’, also said the colonel, referring to a unit that should take care of maintenance in case of problems.
      ’’We were promised that the group would come to Libya and we are now waiting for it so it can support us’’, stated Abdelsamad. ’’We can carry out joint operations with the Libyan coast guard, finance police and Italian coast guard’’ and ’’this would help us a lot’’, he concluded, recalling that traffickers are heavily armed and have fast motor boats.

      http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/en/news/sections/generalnews/2017/05/31/migrants-tripoli-thanks-italy-but-wants-help-in-maintenance_3d2f7ffa-42d4-

    • Migranti: Tripoli, grazie Italia ma aiutateci per manutenzione
      http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/it/notizie/rubriche/politica/2017/05/31/migrantitripoligrazie-italia-ma-aiutateci-per-manutenzione_e874ccee-bba3-4

      Avec ce commentaire de Fulvio Vassallo:

      I libici ammettono che la guardia costiera italiana collabora nei respingimenti collettivi, illegali se si svolgono, come si svolgono, in acque internazionali. E chiedono pure pezzi di ricambio. Tra poco chiederanno anche gli equipaggi. Se Minniti non ha gia’ provveduto con i cd. Agenti di collegamento.Naturalmente chi viene riportato in Libia non ha molte chance di fare ricorso alla Corte Europea dei diritti dell’Uomo.

    • Bloccati in Libia. I migranti e le (nostre) responsabilità politiche

      Le corrispondenze dal caos libico che ci invia Nancy Porsia sono pressoché uniche nel campo del giornalismo in occidente, sicuramente le uniche in Italia. Pubblichiamo questo suo articolo in cui si riprende il testo dell’ accordo italo – libico firmato ieri dal Primo Ministro Gentiloni e dal “Capo del Governo di Riconciliazione Nazionale dello Stato di Libia”, Fayez Mustafà Serraj. Un accordo, secondo l’autrice, siglato forse troppo in fretta e in base tanto alle esigenze economiche italiane quanto alla necessità di rendere più complesse le vie di fuga per coloro che, fuggendo da guerre, crisi ambientali o economiche, transitano in Libia per entrare in Europa. Alcune voci si sono levate contro l’accordo. Dal parlamento europeo, oltre 40 parlamentari, guidati da Barbara Spinelli (GUE/NGL) ma afferenti a diversi gruppi politici, anche il Partito Popolare Europeo, hanno preso una dura posizione con una interrogazione scritta in cui si parla espressamente di pericoli derivanti dall’accordo UE- Libia. Durissimo anche il comunicato di Amnesty International, in cui si denuncia che i “piani per “chiudere” la frontiera marittima rischiano di intrappolare rifugiati e migranti in condizioni orrende in Libia”, mentre l’ambasciata tedesca in Niger, ha paragonato i campi di detenzione libici, espressamente a dei lager.

      http://www.a-dif.org/2017/02/03/bloccati-in-libia-i-migranti-e-le-nostre-responsabilita-politiche

    • Migranti: accordo Italia-Libia, il testo del memorandum

      Memorandum d’intesa sulla cooperazione nel campo dello sviluppo, del contrasto all’immigrazione illegale, al traffico di esseri umani, al contrabbando e sul rafforzamento della sicurezza delle frontiere tra lo Stato della Libia e la Repubblica Italiana Il Governo di Riconciliazione Nazionale dello Stato di Libia e il Governo della Repubblica Italiana qui di seguito denominate ’Le Parti’


      http://www.repubblica.it/esteri/2017/02/02/news/migranti_accordo_italia-libia_ecco_cosa_contiene_in_memorandum-157464439

      Le texte en anglais:
      http://www.asgi.it/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/ITALY-LIBYA-MEMORANDUM-02.02.2017.pdf

    • EU and Italy migration deal with Libya draws sharp criticism from Libyan NGOs

      Twelve Libyan non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have issued a joint statement criticising the EU’s latest migrant policy as set out at the Malta summit a week ago as well as the Italy-Libya deal signed earlier which agreed that migrants should be sent back to Libya and repartiated voluntarily from there. Both represented a fundamental “immoral and inhumane attitude” towards migrants, they said. International human rights and calls had to be respected.

      https://www.libyaherald.com/2017/02/10/eu-and-italy-migration-deal-with-libya-draws-sharp-criticism-from-libya

    • Tripoli Appeals Court to rule on Italy-Presidential Council MoU

      A number of Libyan citizens lodged an appeal at the Judiciary Division of the Tripoli Appeals Court against the signing of a #Memorandum_of_Understanding (MoU) between the UN-proposed government’s Presidential Council’s Head Fayez Al-Sirraj and the Italian Prime Minister, Paolo Gentiloni.


      https://www.libyaobserver.ly/news/tripoli-appeals-court-rule-italy-presidential-council-mou

    • Perché l’accordo tra l’Italia e la Libia sui migranti potrebbe essere illegale

      Il memorandum d’intesa sui migranti firmato il 2 febbraio dall’Italia e dalla Libia potrebbe essere illegale. A sostenerlo è un gruppo di giuristi, ex politici e intellettuali libici che il 14 febbraio ha presentato un ricorso di 23 pagine alla corte d’appello di Tripoli. I sei libici, tra cui diversi ex ministri, sostengono che il memorandum sia incostituzionale. Innanzitutto perché, prima di essere firmato dal primo ministro Fayez al Sarraj a Roma, non è stato approvato dal parlamento libico e dal governo all’unanimità. Al Sarraj non ha ottenuto la fiducia dei parlamentari libici che si sono ritirati a Tobruk nel 2014. Inoltre l’accordo implicherebbe impegni onerosi da parte di Tripoli, che non erano contenuti nel trattato di amicizia tra Italia e Libia stipulato nel 2008, a cui il memorandum s’ispira.

      http://www.internazionale.it/notizie/annalisa-camilli/2017/02/20/italia-libia-migranti-accordo-illegale

    • Così Italia e Libia argineranno il flusso dei migranti

      Ambulanze, gommoni, mute, satellitari e bombole.

      L’accordo bilaterale prevede «l’addestramento, l’equipaggiamento ed il sostegno alla guardia costiera libica». Per questo l’elenco delle forniture è lungo e costoso. L’obiettivo è di completare il piano di consegna in 24 mesi, anche se alcuni punti dovranno essere ritoccati. In particolare sono state chieste 10 navi per la ricerca e il soccorso (alcune da oltre trenta metri) e 10 motovedette che devono essere utilizzate per i controlli sotto costa in modo da impedire alle “carrette” dei trafficanti di salpare. Le prime tre imbarcazioni potrebbero essere consegnate già agli inizi di giugno, prevedendo una dilatazione dei tempi per quelle più grandi. E poi quattro elicotteri che dovranno “guidare” le operazioni contro le organizzazioni che gestiscono i viaggi della speranza, ma anche coadiuvare il recupero in mare. Nell’elenco sono stati poi inseriti

      24 gommoni
      10 ambulanze
      30 jeep
      15 automobili
      30 telefoni satellitari Turaya
      mute da sub
      bombole per l’ossigeno
      binocoli diurni e notturni

      Saranno le forze dell’ordine italiane a dover addestrare i poliziotti locali e gli uomini della Guardia costiera. Su questo c’è già l’intesa con l’Ue che finanzierà la missione della Capitaneria di Porto che partirà entro due mesi.

      http://www.agi.it/cronaca/2017/03/20/news/cos_italia_e_libia_argineranno_il_flusso_dei_migranti-1602473
      #accord_bilatéral #contrôles_frontaliers #militarisation_de_la_frontière #frontières

    • Migranti, 12 unità navali alla Libia: via libera del governo

      Roma cede «a titolo gratuito» a Tripoli dieci motovedette della Guardia costiera e due unità della Gdf. C’è poi un pacchetto di assistenza tecnica ai mezzi e di preparazione del personale

      ARRIVERANNO presto i nuovi mezzi navali che il governo italiano ha promesso al governo libico di accordo nazionale di Tripoli. Il Consiglio dei ministri ha dato il via libera all’invio di 12 unità navali e a un programma di addestramento del personale per il loro utilizzo. Un impegno economico, ha precisato il ministro dei Trasporti e delle Infrastrutture Danilo Toninelli, «che sfiora 1,5 milioni, a fronte di un costo complessivo del provvedimento pari a circa 2,5 milioni».

      «Siamo consapevoli che questo non può bastare e che bisogna lavorare per stabilizzare lo scenario, rafforzare lo stato di diritto e la tutela della dignità delle persone sul suolo del nascente Stato libico. Ecco perché stiamo via via intensificando la cooperazione con organizzazioni come l’Unhcr e l’Oim, che sono presenti a Tripoli. In attesa che l’Europa si faccia carico in modo solidale del fenomeno migrazioni - ha concluso Toninelli - il governo italiano e questo ministero lavorano in modo fattivo per debellare i naufragi di migranti in mezzo al Mediterraneo».

      Alla Libia saranno date «a titolo gratuito» 10 motovedette «Classe 500» della Guardia costiera e due unità costiere «Classe Corrubia» della Guardia di Finanza. Assieme alle navi, l’Italia fornirà un pacchetto di assistenza tecnica ai mezzi e di preparazione del personale che possa rafforzare la Marina e la Guardia costiera libiche.

      Le «Classe 500» sono delle piccole vedette costiere che in Italia sono state usate da Carabinieri e Guardia Costiera, e saranno utili di sicuro soprattutto per il pattugliamento lungo le coste libiche. Hanno una autonomia di 200 miglia e una velocità massima di 35 nodi, vengono utilizzate in un raggio di azione di una ventina di miglia dalla costa e hanno un equipaggio composto da tre persone. Le «Corrubia» sono invece piccoli pattugliatori di 27 metri che possono raggiungere i 43 nodi e hanno un’autonomia di 800 miglia. Con un equipaggio di 14 persone, queste navi possono operare anche a parecchie miglia dalle coste.

      Assieme alle navi arriverà un programma di formazione dei marinai libici. Addestramento che si svolgerà sia in Italia sia in Libia e partirà entro una decina di giorni. Le vedette invece dovrebbero essere trasferite tutte nel porto militare di Augusta, da dove poi saranno trasportate con una nave della Marina militare fino a Tripoli.

      A Tripoli si è tenuta una riunione del Comitato tecnico italo-libico che riunisce Guardia costiera, marina, polizia marittima, polizia di frontiera libica con i corrispondenti enti italiani. In discussione oltre ai provvedimenti per la Guardia costiera anche la situazione nel Sud della Libia, dove la polizia di frontiera non ha la possibilità di controllare uno spazio così immenso come le migliaia di chilometri che segnarono i confini con Algeria, Niger e Ciad.

      http://www.repubblica.it/esteri/2018/07/02/news/la_promessa_del_governo_italiano_alla_libia_in_arrivo_dodici_motovedette-

    • Un decreto legge per la Guardia costiera della Libia che non esiste. La pianificazione della strage.

      Nell’ultima seduta del Consiglio dei ministri il Governo ha adottato un decreto legge che prevede “la cessione di unità navali italiane a supporto della Guardia costiera del Ministero della Difesa e degli organi per la sicurezza costiera del Ministero dell’Interno libici”.

      Analizzando il contenuto del decreto si nota subito che le unità fornite sono molto piccole (in prevalenza CP classe 500) e sono più indicate per intercettare i barconi carichi di migranti, e magari bloccarli, sotto minaccia delle armi, piuttosto che procedere a operazioni di salvataggio che garantiscano la riconduzione dei naufraghi, perchè di questo si tratta, verso un porto di sbarco sicuro, porto che la Libia oggi non può offrire. Come hanno rilevato le Nazioni Unite nei loro più revcenti rapporti sulla Libia ed i giudici di Ragusa e Palermo, nelle loro sentenze, nelle quali si esclude che la Libia offrisse porti sicuri di sbarco e si ritiene legittimo e conforme alle Convenzioni internazionali il comportamento delle ONG.

      Il provvedimento del governo italiano, che dovrà essere approvato dal Parlamento entro sessanta giorni dalla sua pubblicazione, non fa alcuna menzione alla situazione provvisoria, e assai precaria anche dal punto della legittimità, del governo di Tripoli sostenuto dalle Nazioni Unite, ma privo di continuità politica con la Libia di Gehddafi, che pure si cita nel provvedimento. Nessun riferimento al rispetto delle Convenzioni internazionali. La Libia non ha mai sottosctitto, peraltro, la Convenzione di Ginevra sui rifugiati.

      l richiamo ai precedenti accordi stipulati dall’Italia con la Libia nel 2008 non costituisce alcuna legittima base del decreto, considerando che il governo italiano, che nel maggio del 2009 aveva messo in esecuzione quegli accordi, con i respingimenti collettivi illegali esegiti dalla Guardia di Finanza verso Tripoli, è stato condannato dalla Corte Europea dei diritti dell’Uomo ( Sentenza 23 febbraio 2012- Caso Hirsi),

      Dopo l’allontanamento dell’Aquarius e il calvario inflitto alla Lifeline, con il sequestro della nave di Sea Watch a Malta e le indagini penali avviate a carico del comandante della Lifeline, sembra avere successo la strategia di Salvini per la eliminazione totale delle ONG dal Mediteraneo centrale. Una campagna avviata lo scorso anno da Frontex e da Minniti, sorretta da blogger che hanno diffuso una valanga di notizie false ma tanto condivise da valere più della verità, poi sfociata in indagini della magistratura che, prima ancora delle sentenze, hanno prodotto la condanna mediatica del soccorso umanitario in acque internazionali.

      Sono invece Minniti prima e Salvini poi che hanno fatto accordi con le milizie che coprono i trafficanti, e poi insinuano che le Ong siano colluse con gli scafisti. Quando il rovesciamento della realtà raggiunge questa dimensione, e su questo si aggrega il consenso, si può dire che lo stato di diritto e’ sconfitto dallo strapotere dell’esecutivo. Dunque responsabilità sempre più gravi incombono sulla magistratura. Non solo in Italia.

      Diverse iniziative giudiziarie, da ultimo a Malta, hanno portato al sequestro o all’allontanamento delle imbarcazioni delle Organizzazioni non governative che costituivano l’ultima possibilità di salvezza sulla rotta del Mediteraneo centrale, dopo il ritiro, o la scomparsa dai radar, delle navi militari di Frontex e di Eunavfor Med (Operazione Sophia), che in passato avevano soccorso decine di migliaia di persone. I recenti piani dell’Unione Europea di creare in Libia e nei paesi del Sahel centri di contenimento (piattaforme di sbarco) dei migranti, per impedire loro di raggiungere le coste del Mediterraneo, appaiono impraticabili sul piano politico e militare, oltre che umanamente inaccettabili, anche se si dovesse ottenere l’avallo dellOIM e dell’UNHCR. Sono piani che non elimineranno mai l’esigenza assoluta di operazioni di soccorso umanitario nel mar libico.

      Le stragi di questi ultimi giorni dimostrano che la Guardia costiera libica non ha i mezzi e gli assetti organizzativi per salvaguardare effettivamente la vita umana in mare. I mezzi trasferiti a titolo gratuito dall’Italia al governo di Tripoli, per le loro ridotte dimensioni, non garantiscono alcun effettivo incremento delle capacità di soccorso della Guardia costiera che si definisce “libica”, ma che in realtà corrisponde solo alle milizie che controllano la Tripolitania. Milizie sulle quali pesano gravi sospetti di collusione con i trafficanti di esseri umani. Le unità più grosse, (nel massimo di due !) cedute ai libici, ed attualmente in uso alla Guardia di finanza, non sono lunghe più di 25 metri, e possono soccorerre al massimo 100 persone, in condizioni di mare calmo.

      Malgrado la pomposa titolazione del decreto legge, la capacità di ricerca e salvataggio della Guardia costiera di Tripoli resterà molto al di sotto degli standard internazionali imposti dalle Convenzioni e dal Regolamento IMO. Non basterà certo la istituzione di una Zona Sar “libica”, inserita persino nei dati dell’IMO (Organizzazione internazionale del mare), in assenza di una effettiva capacità di coordinamento e di intervento della sedicente Guardia costiera “libica” che in realtà controlla soltanto alcuni porti della Tripolitania. Il riconoscimento di una zona SAR libica non comporta poi la qualifica automatica, come place of safety, e dunque legittimi porti di sbarco, dei porti di Tripoli, Zawia, Khoms, o di Sabratha o ancora di Zuwara.

      Chi ha coordinato davvero le ultime operazioni di soccorso, a partire dal 28 giugno, quando veniva resta nota la istituzione di una zona SAR libica ? Da quel giorno ad oggi sono morte o risultano disperse nel Mediterraneo centrale centinaia di persone, quasi un naufragio al giorno, per quanto tempo