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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Tragedy and Opportunity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Our Sea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    State of Necessity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    NGOs in the Crosshairs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Same Uniforms, Same Ships

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The Result of Mere Chance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ping @karine4 @isskein @rhoumour

  • #Frontex to expand cooperation with Operation #IRINI

    Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and Operation #EUNAVFOR_MED IRINI have agreed last Friday to expand their cooperation to address challenges and threats to EU security in the Central Mediterranean region.

    Under a new working arrangement, Frontex will be supporting Operation IRINI with information gathered as part of the agency’s risk analysis activities, such as tracking vessels of interests on the high seas, as well as data from its aerial surveillance in the Central Mediterranean. The agreement also foresees the exchange of experts. Currently, an EUNAVFOR MED expert is based at the Warsaw headquarters of Frontex to support information exchange and cooperation in search and rescue operations.

    “Operation IRINI is a as a valuable operational partner for us. Frontex will provide information that will help tackle security challenges in the Central Mediterranean. We also work together to help save lives at sea,” said Frontex Director Fabrice Leggeri.

    “I am happy to sign the agreement with Frontex in order to strengthen our common action in order to ensure the security of EU borders and stem illicit traffic in the Mediterranean Sea,” said Admiral #Fabio_Agostini, IRINI Operation Commander, during the virtual ceremony.

    The working arrangement was signed during a virtual ceremony by Frontex’s Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri and Rear Admiral Fabio Agostini, the Commander of Operation IRINI and attended by Director-General for Migration and Home Affairs #Monique_Pariat.

    EUNAVFOR MED Operation IRINI is tasked with the implementation of the United Nation Security Council Resolutions on the arms embargo on Libya through the use of aerial, satellite and maritime assets.
    Cooperation with EU’s Common Security and Defense Policy missions is an integral part of Frontex’s activities. Before the launch of IRINI, the agency worked with EUNAVFOR Med Sophia to together combat people smuggling and trafficking and helped the mission build a comprehensive picture of cross-border criminal activities in the Central Mediterranean.

    https://frontex.europa.eu/media-centre/news-release/news-release/frontex-to-expand-cooperation-with-operation-irini-IYCjyo

    #frontières #asile #migrations #réfugiés #operation_IRINI #EUNAVFOR_MED_IRINI #militarisation_des_frontières #Méditerranée #mer_Méditerranée #Méditerranée_Centrale #information #données #sécurité #sauvetage #accord

    ping @isskein @karine4 @etraces

  • Financement des frontieres : fonds et stratégies pour arrêter l’immigration
    Funding the border : funds and strategies to stop migration
    Financement des frontieres : fonds et stratégies pour arrêter l’immigration

    Dans la première partie de ce document, nous analysons les dépenses pour l’externalisation de la gestion migratoire prévues dans le prochain budget de l’UE ; nous sommes actuellement dans la phase finale des #négociations et le rapport donne un aperçu des négociations jusqu’à présent.
    Dans la deuxième partie, nous nous concentrons sur l’évolution des politiques d’externalisation concernant la route migratoire qui intéresse le plus l’Italie : l’article de Sara Prestianni (EuroMed Rights) présente un panorama sur la situation dangereuse de violations continues des droits de l’Homme en Méditerranée centrale. Dans les deux chapitres suivants, les chercheurs Jérôme Tubiana et Clotilde Warin décrivent l’évolution de l’externalisation des frontières au Soudan et dans la région du #Sahel.

    Pour télécharger les rapports (en français, anglais et italien) :
    FR : https://www.arci.it/app/uploads/2020/12/FR_ARCI-report_Financement-de-Frontie%CC%80res.pdf
    EN : https://www.arci.it/app/uploads/2020/12/ENG_ARCI-report_Funding-the-Border.pdf
    IT : https://www.arci.it/app/uploads/2020/12/Quarto-Rapporto-di-esternalizzazione.pdf

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #externalisation #frontières #financement #budget #Mali #Méditerranée_centrale #mer_Méditerranée #Soudan #fonds #rapport #ARCI

    –-

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

    ping @_kg_ @karine4 @rhoumour @isskein

  • Près d’un millier de morts en Méditerranée depuis le début de l’année

    Sur les 11 premiers mois de l’année, environ 1 000 personnes ont perdu la vie en tentant de traverser la Méditerranée sur des embarcations de fortune. Un chiffre qui pourrait augmenter au cours du mois de décembre, la plupart des navires humanitaires sillonnant la zone de détresse au large de la Libye étant actuellement immobilisés.

    La barre symbolique du millier de morts en Méditerranée est sur le point d’être franchie : selon l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM), 995 personnes ont péri ou sont portées disparues après avoir tenté de rejoindre les côtes européennes à bord d’embarcations de fortune depuis le début de l’année. Parmi elles, 729 avaient emprunté la route de la #Méditerranée_centrale (principalement au départ de la #Libye), 171 celle de la #Méditerranée_orientale et 95 celle de la #Méditerranée_occidentale.

    Un chiffre qui devrait continuer d’augmenter durant le mois de décembre car les traversées ne se sont pas interrompues malgré des conditions météo difficiles et l’absence de bateau humanitaire au large de la Libye. « On sait que lorsqu’il y a une fenêtre météo clémente, les départs augmentent. Mais on ne peut pas dire non plus qu’il n’y a aucun départ en hiver, loin de là », commente une porte-parole de SOS Méditerranée, jointe par InfoMigrants. « L’année dernière, la période de Noël avait été particulièrement chargée pour nous : l’Ocean Viking avait notamment porté secours à 162 personnes lors de deux opérations très difficiles le 20 décembre 2019 », rappelle-t-elle.

    La situation est d’autant plus frustrante pour les ONG d’aide aux migrants qu’aucun bateau humanitaire n’est actuellement présent dans la zone de détresse au large de la Libye. L’Ocean Viking est notamment immobilisé depuis quatre mois en Italie pour des raisons administratives. « C’est dur de ne pas pouvoir agir alors que la tragédie continue en Méditerranée », confie la porte-parole de SOS Méditerranée qui n’a, pour le moment, pas de visibilité sur le retour du navire en mer. Ce dernier doit rejoindre prochainement un chantier naval sicilien afin d’y subir les modifications exigées par les autorités italiennes pour reprendre ses missions de sauvetage.

    En attendant, ce coup d’arrêt porté à l’activité des navires humanitaires ces derniers mois a permis, pour SOS Méditerranée, de démontrer une fois de plus que la théorie de l’appel d’air, selon laquelle les sauvetages réalisés par les ONG encouragent plus de migrants à prendre la mer, n’était pas avérée. « On a bien vu, au début de la pandémie en mars/avril, que les départs ont explosé alors que toutes les ONG étaient bloquées à terre à cause de la situation sanitaire », plaide la porte-parole de SOS Méditerranée.

    Selon Vincent Cochetel, l’envoyé spécial pour la Méditerranée centrale de l’agence onusienne chargée des réfugiés (UNHCR), les départs des côtes libyennes ont augmenté de 290%, soit 6 629 tentatives entre janvier et fin avril 2020, comparé à la même période l’an dernier, et de 156% au départ de la Tunisie. « Qu’il y ait des bateaux ou pas en mer, ça n’a aucune influence sur les départs, cette période de coronavirus nous l’a amplement prouvé, alors qu’on a entendu dans les capitales européennes que c’était la présence d’ONG qui avait un effet magnétique sur les départs », expliquait-il déjà en mai dernier, ajoutant que « 75% des migrants en Libye ont perdu leur travail depuis les mesures de confinement, ce qui peut pousser au désespoir. »

    Selon l’OIM, en 2019, au moins 1 885 personnes ont péri en Méditerranée ou ont été portées disparues. L’année précédente, elles étaient 2 299. « C’est vrai que le nombre de victimes est en diminution, mais le chiffre pour cette année reste impressionnant. Il n’y a pas de course au chiffre lorsqu’il s’agit de vies humaines. La Méditerranée demeure la route maritime migratoire la plus meurtrière au monde », conclut la porte-parole de SOS Méditerranée.

    https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/28956/pres-d-un-millier-de-morts-en-mediterranee-depuis-le-debut-de-l-annee

    #mourir_en_mer #Méditerranée #morts #décès #mer_Méditerranée #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #chiffres #statistiques #2020

    ping @reka @karine4 @isskein

  • Chronique Monde | #Mauritanie. Un partenariat européen au goût amer

    La Mauritanie fait figure d’exception au Sahel pour sa relative stabilité. Contrairement à d’autres États de la région, ce pays grand comme presque deux fois la France, à cheval entre le Maghreb et l’Afrique subsaharienne, n’a pas connu d’attentat terroriste depuis 2011. Dans ce contexte, Nouakchott est devenu un partenaire de choix dans le cadre de la lutte internationale contre le terrorisme et l’immigration irrégulière. Face à de tels impératifs, le respect des droits humains sur place passe largement au second plan.

    Tour d’horizon des droits humains

    Depuis le 1er août 2019, la Mauritanie est dirigée par Mohamed Ould El-Ghazaouani. Même si son élection au premier tour est contestée par l’opposition, elle marque la première transition présidentielle pacifique de l’histoire politique mauritanienne. Lors de son investiture, Amnesty International a qualifié de « déplorable » le bilan en matière de droits humains laissé par son prédécesseur, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, citant notamment l’esclavage, les discriminations raciales ainsi que les atteintes à la liberté d’expression, d’association et de réunion.

    Même si l’esclavage a été officiellement aboli en 1981, criminalisé en 2007 et élevé au rang de crime contre l’humanité en 2012, sa pratique touchait environ 43000 personnes en 2016. Dans le même temps, Haratines et Afro- Mauritanien-ne-s restent largement exclu·e·s des postes de responsabilité et donc moins susceptibles de faire valoir leurs droits économiques et sociaux. Depuis l’indépendance, la quasi-totalité des pouvoirs politiques, militaires et économiques est détenue par les Beydanes, une communauté elle-même extrêmement hiérarchisée.

    Celles et ceux qui s’attaquent à ces questions sensibles s’exposent aux représailles de la part de l’État. L’exemple le plus parlant est celui du blogueur Mohamed Ould Mkhaïtir, condamné à mort en 2014 pour « apostasie » après avoir dénoncé l’usage de la religion pour légitimer les pratiques discriminatoires dont est victime la communauté dite des forgerons. Sa peine a depuis été réduite à deux années de prison et il vit actuellement en exil après avoir été libéré en juillet 2019.

    Une tradition d’hospitalité remise en cause

    La Mauritanie est à la fois un pays de transit pour les réfugié-e-s et les migrant-e-s qui se rendent en Afrique du Nord et en Europe et un pays de destination pour celles et ceux à la recherche d’emplois saisonniers dans les secteurs de la pêche et de l’industrie minière ou d’une protection internationale. Signataire de la Convention relative au statut des réfugiés, la Mauritanie a ouvert ses portes en 2012 à plus de 55000 réfugié-e-s malien-ne-s installé-e-s dans le camp de Mbera situé non loin de la frontière malienne.

    Cette politique d’accueil doit néanmoins être nuancée à la lumière de l’externalisation des frontières européennes. L’#Union_européenne (UE) a fait pression sur la Mauritanie pour qu’elle signe en 2003 un #accord_de_réadmission avec l’Espagne qui l’oblige à reprendre sur son territoire non seulement ses nationaux, mais également les ressortissant-e-s de pays tiers dont il est « vérifié » ou « présumé » qu’ils ou elles auraient transité par le territoire mauritanien. Un #centre_de_rétention avait été mis sur pied à #Nouadhibou avec l’aide de l’#Espagne. Il est aujourd’hui fermé (voir VE 135 / décembre 2011 : https://asile.ch/chronique/mauritanie-nouvelle-frontiere-de-leurope).

    Parallèlement, la Mauritanie a reçu entre 2007 et 2013 huit millions d’euros dans le cadre du #Fonds_européen_de_développement afin d’« appuyer et de renforcer les capacités de gestion, de suivi et de planification des flux migratoires » à travers notamment la révision du dispositif pénal relatif aux migrations.

    Résultat : la politique migratoire s’est durcie durant la présidence Aziz. Les autorités ont multiplié les contrôles aux frontières, placé en détention et renvoyé de force des milliers de personnes et soumis certaines d’entre elles à des tortures et mauvais traitements.

    L’ensemble de ces mesures a contribué à déplacer les routes migratoires vers le désert du #Sahara et la #Méditerranée_centrale. Le nombre d’arrivées dans l’archipel espagnol des #Canaries en provenance des côtes mauritaniennes a chuté de 30 000 à moins d’un millier entre 2006 et 2015.

    Cette dynamique est néanmoins en train de s’inverser à mesure que la #Libye apparaît comme une zone de plus en plus inhospitalière. Cette reconfiguration préfigure une recrudescence des naufrages dans l’#Atlantique faute de voies migratoires sûres. Le 4 décembre 2019, une embarcation de fortune partie de #Gambie a sombré au large de #Nouadhibou provoquant la mort d’une soixantaine de personnes.

    https://asile.ch/2020/04/17/chronique-monde-mauritanie-un-partenariat-europeen-au-gout-amer
    #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #UE #EU #aide_au_développement #développement #coopération_au_développement #contrôles_frontaliers #routes_migratoires
    via @vivre
    ping @rhoumour @isskein @karine4 @_kg_

    –—

    Ajouté à la métaliste « externalisation » :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749#message765327

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

  • Esternalizzazione e diritto d’asilo, un approfondimento dell’ASGI

    Con il documento che si pubblica l’ASGI, facendo uso delle analisi, delle azioni e delle discussioni prodotte nel corso degli ultimi anni, offre una lettura del fenomeno dell’esternalizzazione delle frontiere e del diritto di asilo focalizzando la propria attenzione in particolare sulle politiche di esternalizzazione volte ad impedire o limitare l’accesso delle persone straniere attraverso la rotta del Mare Mediterraneo centrale, nonché nell’ottica della verifica del rispetto delle norme costituzionali, europee ed internazionali che tutelano i diritti fondamentali delle persone e della conseguente ricerca di strumenti giuridici di contrasto alle violazioni verificate.

    L’esternalizzazione del controllo delle frontiere e del diritto dei rifugiati viene definita come l’insieme delle azioni economiche, giuridiche, militari, culturali, prevalentemente extraterritoriali, poste in essere da soggetti statali e sovrastatali, con il supporto indispensabile di ulteriori attori pubblici e privati, volte ad impedire o ad ostacolare che i migranti (e, tra essi, i richiedenti asilo) possano entrare nel territorio di uno Stato al fine di usufruire delle garanzie, anche giurisdizionali, previste in tale Stato, o comunque volte a rendere legalmente e sostanzialmente inammissibili il loro ingresso o una loro domanda di protezione sociale e/o giuridica.

    Nell’ambito del documento è considerato prima il contesto storico della esternalizzazione, dunque quello geopolitico più recente, attinente la rotta del mar Mediterraneo centrale, infine il contesto giuridico nazionale ed internazionale che si ritiene leso da tali politiche. Vengono, dunque, indicate alcune tra le possibili strade affinché sia individuata la responsabilità dei soggetti che determinano la violazione dei diritti umani delle persone conseguenti alle politiche in materia.

    Il documento intende porsi quale strumento di dibattito nell’ambito dell’ evoluzione dell’analisi del diritto di asilo per fornire adeguati strumenti di comprensione e contrasto di un fenomeno che si ritiene particolarmente insidioso e tale da inficiare sostanzialmente la rilevanza di diritti, tra cui innanzitutto il diritto di asilo, pur formalmente riconosciuti alle persone da parte dell’Italia e degli Stati membri dell’Unione europea.

    https://www.asgi.it/asilo-e-protezione-internazionale/asilo-esternalizzazione-approfondimento
    #ASGI #rapport #externalisation #Méditerranée_centrale #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #Mer_Méditerranée #droits_fondamentaux #droit_d'asile #Libye #Italie #Trust_Fund #HCR #relocalisation #fonds_fiduciaire_d’urgence #Trust_Fund_for_Africa

    Pour télécharger le rapport:


    https://www.asgi.it/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/2020_1_Documento-Asgi-esternalizzazione.pdf

    ping @isskein

  • Struggles of women on the move*

    –------

    Introduction

    When the crowd gathered for the Women’s Day demonstration on March 8, 2020 at 10am in front of Cinema Riff at Grand Socco in Tangier, Moroccan feminists, Sub-Saharan women for freedom of movement, single mothers, and a few Europeans came together. The women of our local Alarm Phone team, all from Sub-Saharan Africa, would sit together afterwards with some of their friends from Europe and start to write down their experiences for this report.


    At the same time, on the Greek island of Lesvos women from Alarm Phone teams interviewed women in and around the hot-spot of Moria, who spoke out about the suffering they had gone through on the most Eastern flight route towards Europe. They reported how on 30 January a crowd started moving from the overcrowded hot-spot Moria towards the city of Mytilene, which is still on Lesvos. „All women against Moria“, „Women in solidarity“, „Moria is a women’s hell“ and „Stop all violence against women“ was written on some of the many signs while the crowd chanted „Azadi“ (farsi: freedom) with raised fists.

    Shortly afterwards an Alarm Phone activist met with a young woman from Somalia, who had made the crossing from Libya to Italy last September and who wants to encourage the rescue groups to continue their amazing work.

    Another woman sat down and wrote a beautiful solidarity letter to one of the women active in Search and Rescue: “When I hear her voice on the phone, saying ‘my boat will head to the target with full speed,’ I picture her behind the wheel of this massive boat carrying 400 people, flying above the sea as if it was weightless.”

    There are some who write in a brave way about the suffering women had to go through: The pain they feel and the suffering that the simple fact of having to pee means for women in Moria. Or the struggles with the Boumla (Wolof for police) deporting them within Morocco towards the deserts, exposing them to greater dangers. Or the death of a young Moroccon student.

    There are others who decided not to remember the suffering in detail, but to point out their strategies, their struggles and the thankfulness about the solidarity created among us.

    In this report we tried to write about the manifold experiences of women and LGBTQII+, who cross the sea to reach a place of safety or who are stuck in transit, and about the experiences of women active in Search and Rescue who are trying to support these struggles. Women are on the move for their own freedom of movement in all three regions of the sea: in the East between Turkey and Greece in the Aegean, in the Central Mediterranean from Libya and Tunisia towards Italy and Malta, and in the West from Morocco towards Spain. Everywhere we meet more women in the frontlines of these struggles than we used to in the past. In the East, the percentage of adult men among those arriving even fell below 50 percent after 2015, which creates a completely different situation. While all of them face intersecting forms of visible and invisible violence making border crossing even more dangerous and lethal for women, we know that women on the move are more than what they are reduced to, and that they bear a power and a strength that no border is able to defeat.

    Also, more and more women are active in the Search and Rescue initiatives as well as in our Alarm Phone team. In the Alarm Phone we are even a majority. We decided to write in a very subjective way and what we ended up with is a patch-work of different stories in various styles and tones. We hope that this report empowers others to raise their voices as well and to become more visible with all their great expertise.

    We dedicate this report to all women and LGBTQI+ who are struggling for their survival in the refugee camps all around the world in times of the Coronavirus under life-threatening conditions. The only option to end this suffering is freedom of movement as a basic global right for all. We will continue this struggle.

    In March 2018, the Alarm Phone published the last report that was dedicated to the specific situation of women at sea.

    From now on, we will try to publish a report every year about the special situation of women and LGBTQI+ on the move.
    Daily struggles of women on the move in the Western Mediterranean. Alarm Phone activists report
    March 8, 2020 in Tangier

    The Women’s Day demonstration gather on March 8, 2020 at 10am in front of Cinema Riff at Grand Socco in Tangier. Moroccan feminists, Sub-Saharan women for freedom of movement, single mothers, and a few Europeans come together. A Samba group is drumming, there is a lively exchange between the different groups, purple-coloured cloths – the symbolic colour of March 8 – are handed out, banners are rolled out, contacts are exchanged – the atmosphere is great. About 800 women come together. This makes an impression in the northern Moroccan metropolis, because the voices are loud and determined with slogans like ‘Solidarité avec les femmes du monde entier!’ ‘Raise your voice, seize your rights’ in Arabic and French starts the demonstration and runs along the big boulevard to the Place de Nación. Passers-by and journalists follow with interest. One thing is already clear at this early hour: the march is empowering, and this in a place that has been marked by the worst police repression for several months.

    Julia and Pauline* participated during this march with the women’s group of Alarm Phone.

    Julia: “Sub-Saharan women are too tired, we suffer all kinds of violence, violence through the Moroccan security, through the Moroccan compatriot. Even Moroccan women have their difficulties. In their households, in their homes, in their surroundings. There are too many cases and there is evidence too. Women do not have a loud voice towards the men in uniform. They don’t open the doors and they don’t listen to us, we’re always there in moments of distress. That’s why we raised our angry shouts. I hope that our message is sent to the Moroccan authorities. We want peace and we have the right to live.”

    Pauline: “We women are brutalised in the house and we have no right to express ourselves. But we as women have to express ourselves, also in the media, so that the people through us understand what is really going on in the field. This is violence in everyday life. But we women want equality.
    March 8 was an opportunity to express ourselves. Because as we walked, there were many people who followed us. We fought, we sent messages. We gave ourselves the right to speak out and we said no to violence against women. We demanded our right to free expression and free movement!”

    Here Pauline’s speech, which unfortunately could not be presented on Women’s Day:

    Me, I am Pauline.

    I am an activist who is concerned about the rights of migrants in Morocco, especially in Tangier, but this struggle is not easy with the new policy of the Moroccan authorities, because we suffer repression by the police and deportation to southern cities and sometimes to the Algerian border. So, we as activists, we are calling for our rights and the rights of migrants.

    As Morocco has signed international conventions on the right of asylum and freedom of movement, the Moroccan authorities are asked to respect international law and not to be the gendarmes of the European Union. It is a bad policy to block migrants in Morocco, neither work nor residence permit, and to prevent migrants from their liberty in order to avoid illegal immigration. But Morocco must try to review its state policies and open the borders so that people can move freely. So that Sub-Saharan migrants can also go to earn a living in Europe as the Europeans can come here and earn their living in Africa. So we simply ask for freedom of movement for everyone and their well-being.

    Thank you very much.

    Stories of Struggles with the Boumla

    After the demonstration, we are together, the friends of the Alarm Phone: Pauline, Carla, Fatou, Co and Julia in Tangier. We tell and listen to each other’s stories about the Boumla (Wolof: police). As Alarm Phone has often reported, persecution, racism, violence and deportations are part of the daily life of black communities in Morocco, especially in the Tangier region. The women describe how they face discrimination on a daily basis and what strategies they have developed against repression.

    Fatou: We stopped the deportation in Rabat

    “Me and Pauline were with friends. We saw the police and we knew they’d take us even though we had papers.

    I said: ‘No, I’m not leaving, I have my passport and I have my residence permit.’ They slapped me and took me to the police station. They told us they’d take us to Tiznit. When we got to Rabat, we told ourselves we had to do something. If not, we’ll end up in Tiznit and it’s far from Tangier. So we revolted together to annoy them. We started to shout, shout with force. The Moroccans, they started to get irritated. And we shouted shouted shouted shouted… and they said “safi, safi safi safi safi” (Arabic: enough). We stopped and we got out in Rabat.”

    Pauline: I didn’t accept it

    “I wanted to talk about the violence I suffered as a woman in Morocco. The police came many times to catch me and take me south. I didn’t accept it, because I don’t know anyone there. At that time, I had my own restaurant in the Medina (Arabic: city). The police sent me to the police station. When I left there, I saw a lot of people and I told myself that if I didn’t do something, they would send me south, to Tiznit. I told the officer that I was sick. He said, ‘No, you’re not sick, you’re going to go out to the bus with the others.’ The bus was already there in front of the door. I was afraid of being deported to Tiznit, because I couldn’t afford to go back to Tangier.

    So, I went to the toilet. I had the second day of my period, so I took off the cotton. I threw it away and went out. There was a lot of blood coming out, it got on my pants, everything was spoiled. I said to the Chief of Police, ‘Look, I’m sick.’ But he said, ‘No, you’re not, get in line…’ That was when I opened my legs. He was surprised and said: ‘Okay, okay, okay.’ He gave me a ride home. So, I went back to work.”

    Julia: The hospital instead of the deportation to Tiznit

    “The last attempt to deport me was in 2019. The Moroccan police came to our house very early in the morning. They wore Kagouls outfits as if we were criminals in our own house. I had lost my residence permit, because I couldn’t renew it. They took us to Tiznit. We couldn’t resist. We were on the road from 8 in the morning until 11 in the evening, without food, water or anything. 2km before reaching to Marrakech I told myself that I had to find a possibility to go down there, because at least it was a city I knew. Just before I got there, I made a lot of noises and had a crisis, they got scared and called an ambulance to pick me up. I really wasn’t sick, I had nothing, it was just a trick so they could release me. So I made gestures, I stopped breathing. In the ambulance they gave me an oxygen mask. When I got to the hospital, they put me on a bench with a mask, by the time they went to find a doctor I took off everything and I ran away…”
    Aurore Boréale, based in Rabat: Only by fighting together can we can have real progress

    Since the dawn of time, human beings have been on the move, looking for green pastures, a milder sky, a better elsewhere or simply out of curiosity. That leads us to the conclusion, that the desire to see what’s on the other side has always been there, and, which leads us to conclude that migration is a phenomenon inherent to living beings. I would even say vital.

    The most shocking thing today is to see how migration has become demonised and criminalised everywhere. Leaving has become anathema, to the point where barriers are being erected everywhere. Means that are being used to hinder freedom of movement, are becoming more and more dramatic every day are being used to hinder freedom of movement, to sort out who is eligible or not. Let us take the case of Morocco: on the one hand, due to its geographical location it is considered the gateway to the Eldorado by many Africans, and also Syrians, Bangladeshis and Filipinos rush to Morocco hoping to live a better life on the other side of the Mediterranean, or perhaps simply to settle there.

    On the other hand, however, while non-dark-skinned migrant communities may enjoy more tranquillity and are not often subject to the most blatant forms of discrimination, the same does not hold true for the black African migrant community in Morocco. The case that interests our report is that of women.

    If yesterday it was rare to see women taking to the migration routes, today that is no longer the case and women migrate as much as men. Today, more women take the routes, swallowing the fear that arises, facing cold, hunger, danger, and closing their ears to not hear about all kinds of violence.

    Today the women are leaving too. But what about the daily life of these women once they have settled in Morocco? A country which, despite progress and openness in terms of women’s rights, remains a country where women do not enjoy practically any of the rights granted to them by law or the constitution. A country where women still remain the inferiors, the subordinates, or simply things belonging to men, to satisfy their impulses or their egos. Basically, I would say, a country where women are not truly free to be who they want to be.

    Migrant women in Morocco have to deal with all this, and additionally with the fact that they are black women. Thus, they are perceived in the collective consciousness of Moroccans as women of little value, of light morals, prostitutes, or beggars: The black woman at the bottom of the ladder that people with an atrophied mentality have decided to create. For some of the migrant brothers or for some chairman’s prey single migrant women’s bodies are there to be exploited when promising them the journey to the Eldorado.

    And they are left to their fate as soon as these men have found more attractive prey. Thus, many women find themselves single mothers, with children whose fathers don’t give a damn, or don’t even want to know. Because of the hard reality, some women find themselves in a relationship and move in with the first one who could offer her a roof over her head, food on her plate, in order to reach the basic comforts. Sometimes it turns out well, sometimes it turns out very problematic. Migrant women who work in private homes are also subject to exploitation, even physical abuse, non-payment of wages that are insignificant compared to the work they do. We can also talk about the difficulty to be respected in public health centres, complications, late care or lack of care on discriminatory and racist grounds. They remain on the margins.

    What I find most appalling is that even in some militant associations, where women are under-represented, they are given less responsibility and no real decision-making power. They are infantilised, or just given a place to serve as a showcase to obtain grants from organisations that take the status of women seriously. Once the grant is awarded, these women are side-lined, without any decision-making power, bullied and subjected to everything that men have decided without them having a say.

    There are organisations, such as UNHCR., Caritas, and CEI (Comité d’Entraide Internationale), which provide assistance to migrant women. But here again, there is the eternal question of eligibility, the unhealthy hierarchy of suffering, the categorisation of migrants. They are classified according to their suffering, according to how they arrived in Morocco, and the migrant who arrives by plane is often not entitled to this little help: “You can’t help everyone”, unless you have a story that holds up, a lie that is worth telling, or if you pretend to be someone you are not.

    I have seen people who really needed help but were not given it, because they did not meet the criteria for it. I know people who died as a result. And even when help is given to these women, it is not free. In one way or another, they remain like prisoners of the organisations, spied upon even on their most intimate affairs. That is the price that has to be paid.

    There are a few women’s associations such as La voix des femmes de Hélène Yalta, the Collective of Migrant Women in Morocco (COFMIMA) and ARCOM, which try as best they can to fight for the status of migrant women in Morocco. But a real struggle for the rights of migrant women, for women’s empowerment, is almost non-existent. The urgency, the need, the survival cries out too loud… It is in dispersed groups, individually that the great majority of women fight. Can we hope for real progress or evolution by fighting in dispersed groups? No, not at all.

    With your courage you can do this work
    Interview with Leonie

    Although the situation in Tangier is becoming more and more difficult for Sub-Saharan travellers, a group of women has been formed, who are active with the Alarm Phone there. We spoke with Leonie, who is new to the group. She has been living in Morocco for 5 years.

    Leonie, why do you take part in the Alarm Phone?

    L: It was a good brother who introduced me to the group. He told me that there is a network of activists, and he said: “I see that you with your courage, you can do this work.”

    Have you already worked here in Morocco in solidarity activities?

    L: I am in almost all the associations in Tangier that bring together migrants. When there is a meeting or a small activity, they invite me. I am almost always present.

    Alarm Phone is a network of activists who help migrants who are already on the water, so that they don’t lose their lives in the water. In case of distress we guide them.

    Can you explain the situation of migrants here in Morocco?

    L: In Morocco it is not easy for migrants. Whether you are regularised or not. It’s very tense. Life is no sugar for us. I myself have suffered the consequences. They’ re breaking your door down. At two o’clock in the morning the soldiers are here, they don’t warn you, they don’t ask if you have papers or not. To your surprise you jump out of your sleep and they break your door down.

    They come home like thieves. They don’t even try to find out if you have papers. You are supposed to say, ‘But sir, I have papers’.

    Once they arrived at my house, I was washing myself around 3am, last summer, so in 2019. The man opened the bathroom and I said, ‘But sir, I’m showering.’ He said: ‘That’s not my problem.’ I said: ‘When you came in, did you ask me if I’m legal or not? You come in my house, but I have my house contract, I have my papers. You want to come in the shower? If you put your head in the bathroom again, I’ll throw the water on you!’ And that’s how he left the toilet.

    It hurts, it’s frustrating. Every year like this, they treat us like animals as if we’re not human. Really, it’s disgusting.

    And as women you don’t have the right to speak up, especially in front of the authorities, they don’t consider you. It hurts you, it stays in your heart. And morally, you don’t have the right to express yourself! That’s the suffering of women here. We’re trying to talk to human rights and women’s rights associations.

    In the work of Alarm Phone – What are the demands?

    L: Alarm Phone demands that borders are open. If someone wants to go out of a country that the person passes freely without being caught and without being violated. This is the demand of Alarm Phone: Freedom of movement!
    Hayat, killed at the border by the Moroccan Navy in September 2017

    In order to prevent the young people from setting out at all, armed force is used in Morocco: On September 25th 2017, the Navy shot and

    killed 19-year-old student Hayat Belkacem from Tétouan. Three men were injured, some of them seriously.

    The four of them, along with 21 other young Moroccans*, had set off from Martil Beach in a “Go-Fast” (speedboat) in the direction of Spain. The Navy wanted to stop the travellers; when the boat started, they opened fire. The hashtag 126102877 #Quiadonnélordre: Who gave the order? went viral afterwards and contradicted the version of the Navy, which allegedly only fired warning shots.

    For days, before Hayat’s death, hundreds of young people had been flocking to the beaches in the north after Spanish videos of successful arrivals in Spain were posted on the Internet. Moroccan security forces had blocked the young Moroccans* from accessing the beaches of northern Morocco. In response, hundreds of young Moroccans* demonstrated in Martil and demanded ‘l’harga fabor’ – their right to free passage: https://youtu.be/ICahwzMzbdM

    After the death of Hayat, people in many cities, including many Ultras, took their anger to the streets. In Tétouan, the people chanted ‘We will avenge you, Hayat!’ as well as ‘We will renounce the Moroccan passport!’ and ‘Viva España’: https://youtu.be/EyXfV-fMoBg

    A student was subsequently sentenced to two years in prison, claiming that his call for protest via Facebook had allegedly insulted the nation of Morocco and called for an uprising. Other young people have also been accused, many of whom are still minors.
    Central Mediterranean: Women on the move
    The invisible struggles

    It is difficult to write about women who cross the Central Mediterranean. It is difficult because, in first place, we don’t want to write ‘about’ women on the move. We would love to write ‘with’ them about their experiences, to use this platform to make their voices heard. However, their stories are often kept invisible, as is the violence they experience on a daily basis. Too often, women crossing the Central Mediterranean route just appear to us as a number communicated by the person who speaks on the phone. A number that we try to clarify several times, to then quickly report it into an email to the authorities or into a tweet: “We were called by a boat in distress, on board there are 60 people fleeing from Libya including 3 children and 8 women, two of them are pregnant”. We rarely hear their voices. Communication with people in distress in the Central Mediterranean is brief and fragmented: it starts with a distress call through a satellite phone, it ends with a satellite phone being thrown into the water. And then silence. A silence that can mean many things, but that too often does not carry good news. This communication through an unstable connection does not allow us to get in touch again, to ask for details, to ask for their names and testimonies once they make it to Europe or when they are returned to violence and war in Libya. And this is how, painfully, the powerful voices of women on the move get lost, and their presence remains fixed in a dry and uncertain number.

    Of course, we often know what is beneath those numbers, and here we could write stories of violence, slavery and torture in Libya. We also know that many women are fleeing not only war or poverty, but also gendered-based violence, forced marriages, harassment due to their sexuality. We could write about their pregnancies, and about the rapes behind them. We could write about what it means to be a mother and to embark on a precarious rubber dinghy holding your child’s hand in the hope that the sea will be less violent than the Libyan camp or the homes they left behind.

    The borders of Europe amplify the violence women flee from, but security measures, surveillance and criminalisation of people’s movement are often legitimised under the flag of combatting human trafficking. With one hand Europe pretends to give protection: it portrays border controls as humanitarian acts to protect ‘vulnerable women’ from ‘bloodthirsty’ traffickers. With the other hand Europe pours money and resources into creating stronger borders, organises trainings and signs deals and agreements to limit freedom of movement, thus fuelling border violence.

    Depicted as vulnerable victims in need of protection, discourses of women’s protection and vulnerability are often used by European member states to put a humanitarian face to the violence they inflict through their border policies.

    While all these intersecting forms of visible and invisible violence make border crossing even more dangerous and lethal for women, we know that women on the move are more than what they are reduced to, and that they bear a power and a strength that no border is able to defeat. This is what we would love to write about, and this is what we learn from the testimonies and experiences collected here.
    Women on the phone

    In a few situations, we talked to women in distress who called the Alarm Phone, and since then, when the communication is difficult, we ask the people on the phone to let us talk to a woman on board.

    As Alarm Phone, we talk to people during their journey. For us they are voices in distress that we try to comfort, with difficulty. We ask for their GPS coordinates and they try to read us numbers. It’s hard to be on the phone with people who could drown any moment and to ask them to read numbers. They just want to tell you that the sea is too big and the boat is too small. They want to tell you that they don’t want to go back to Libya, that they’d rather die at sea. They ask us to help. They tell us that they’re sick, that they won’t make it, that there’s water in the boat, lots of water, too much water. They ask why we haven’t arrived yet, and why we keep asking for numbers. And how do you explain that you’re not at sea, but in England, or France, or Germany? How to explain that you called for help but that European authorities aren’t answering your requests, and are letting them die at sea? How do you explain that the only thing we can do is to write down these numbers, and that because of these numbers their lives might be rescued?

    More than once, a chaotic situation where communication seemed impossible and where we feel that we will never be able to clarify the GPS coordinates of the boat, was solved by simply talking to a woman, as it was reported by a shift team: “they passed the phone to a woman, she speaks clearly, she is calm. She listens carefully and she understands how to find the GPS coordinates on the phone. She spells out the numbers: ‘North, 34 degrees, 22 minutes…’ She is confident and she explains the situation. She said that there are sick people on the boat and that there is little fuel left. We keep regular contact, she knows what she has to do and how to continue.”

    It is in these volatile moments, in these few exchanges and in the courage that we hear in their voices, that the invisible struggles of women on the move in the Central Mediterranean become visible. Their voices become weapons against the brutal border regimes, a weapon, on which the lives of 100 fellow travellers depend. We wish we could hear more of these voices, and that we could talk to them and hear their voices beyond distress situations, as we did with Daniella and Abeni, who are still in Tunisia, or as we did with Kobra, who managed to reach Germany.

    Trapped by the UNHCR
    Speaking to Daniella, Tunisia

    Daniella comes from the English-speaking part of Cameroon. The war has been escalating since 2016. Her husband has been murdered and she also lost her mother in that war. She belongs to a politically marked family as part of the opposition. She left the country in October 2017. Since she left, she didn’t hear from the rest of her family.

    She crossed Nigeria, Niger, Algeria and Libya before crossing the border to Tunisia. She was arrested at Ben Guerdane, where her fingerprints were collected. She was in facilities of the Red Crescent and the UNHCR in Medenine, and then taken to the Ibn Khaldun centre in August 2018. She was registered with UNHCR and underwent 4 interviews, in which she was asked the same questions, trying to ‘trap her’ on dates. Her request was denied. She was told she could very well go back to the English-speaking part of Cameroon: “But if you go to this area as a francophone, you are in danger because people will think you’re a spy.”

    During her stay at the centre, Daniella often organised sports activities such as football games, which did not please the UNHCR. She was also very active, taking part in the various demonstrations organised by the refugees and asylum seekers of the centre to protest against their living conditions and to denounce the practices of the UNHCR.

    Since UNHCR rejected her asylum application, she no longer receives food coupons. She decided to leave the centre after being pressured by UNHCR to make room for others. “It’s their strategy, they embarrass you to make you go away”. Today she lives in a small apartment with two other people. She says she doesn’t have the courage to appeal UNHCR’s decision. It has been 11 months since she left the centre.

    The crossing from Tunisia costs about 1000 Euros. She intends to attempt the crossing. Their group of 14 people is ready. The smuggler asked them to wait until the weather improves, saying it’s only a matter of a couple of days. It’s already been two weeks that they’re waiting for the weather to get better to cross the border. A month ago, migrants have been intercepted. They are not imprisoned unless they are found to be smugglers.

    She also crossed the ditch; it is about three metres deep. There was no water at the bottom, but there was mud. To climb, some men helped her, braiding clothes to hoist her up. The desert is full of aggressive dogs. She had to walk for a long time with her baby and a friend from the Ivory Coast before she came across the military. The military knew their number, they had to identify their group well in advance (they asked where the men were, looking for a group of 18 people). The soldiers were equipped with huge searchlights sweeping across the desert. After you cross the ditch, there’s a barbed-wire fence three meters high. Crossing this border costs about 300 Euros.
    Intercepted to Tunisia
    Interview with Abeni, Tunsia

    Abeni left Nigeria in 2017. She lived in a southern province. Her husband’s father was killed and her husband was threatened, so the family had to flee the country.

    She arrived in Tunisia in May 2017 while she was 6 months pregnant with her first child. Her boat ran out of petrol and was rescued by the Tunisian authorities and handed over to IOM. They were taken to Medenine by bus to an IOM shelter that shut down in March 2019. She remained in this centre for one year and asked to see UNHCR, but for one year she was only offered the voluntary return. It wasn’t until a year later that she was able to go to a UNHCR centre.

    She went to Zarzis with her husband for the UNHCR interview. Her husband, who only speaks Ikâ, was given a translation by phone. A few months later they received a negative response from UNHCR, telling them that the events that they had raised could not be verified on the net, and that it was a family problem.

    She says that few Nigeriens are accepted, with the exception of single women with children (one of whom has been relocated). They appealed against this decision by filling out a form, without an interview, but were again given a rejection. The UNHCR gave them three days to leave the centre, along with her two daughters, aged two years and six months. This happened one year ago. They refused, were able to stay but they no longer have food coupons and no more help from the UNHCR.

    When she talks to the staff, they pretend to ignore her. UNHCR has not renewed their cards. They have stopped paying for medical expenses, while the baby has to go to hospital regularly. The Doctor said it was because he was suffering from the cold. Her husband tries to work but there are no opportunities in Medenine. He went to Sfax but he got himself arrested and imprisoned for two days for not having papers. Without documents, they have no freedom of movement. The second baby wasn’t registered in Tunisia. UNHCR refused to accompany them.

    Her husband wants to go back to Libya to attempt the crossing, but she doesn’t want to and stayed in Tunisia. The UNHCR still wants to kick the family out of the shelter but can’t do it due to the current coronavirus pandemic.
    We felt welcome
    Kobra’s testimony, rescued by the Ocean Viking in September 2019

    My name is Kobra. I am 18 years old and I come from Somalia. I want to tell you the story of my rescue in the Mediterranean Sea on September 2019. I don’t know how to find the words to describe the suffering I went through, and I don’t want to remember what happened before I left Libya. I also never want to forget the moment, after nearly two days at sea, when we finally saw a small sailing-boat on the horizon that ended our suffering.

    We were full of fear, because finally our phone, our only connection to the world, had stopped functioning and water was rapidly entering the boat. It was a miracle when we finally found this sail-boat. We were about 45-50 people in a blue rubber boat, and seven of us onboard were coming from Somalia. One pregnant woman was traveling with her 1-year-old child and her husband. She is now doing well because she was transferred to Germany after the rescue.

    I never learned how to swim, so the idea of the boat flooding was a possible death sentence to me.

    I have a video a friend took on the boat and you can see the expressions of relief and happiness in everyone’s faces when we spotted the sailboat. There are no words to describe how you feel when you realize that your journey across the sea is over. It was a German sailboat, which was too small to take us on board. They came to us and asked us, if we could speak English. They then told us that they would call for the OCEAN VIKING a big rescue ship to come and take us on board. They gave us jackets and life-vests, because the weather was getting rougher and colder.

    Later, when it was dark, it started raining and the waves got bigger. The small German boat took us to OCEAN VIKING which took us aboard. There were already other people with them who had been rescued earlier that day. Even the rescuers seemed so happy that we were all safe. They had doctors on board and they gave us medical treatment, since my pregnant friend and I had had vomited a lot. I had a heavy allergic reaction on my skin as well because the sea irritated my skin condition after being exposed to the salt for so long.

    On the OCEAN VIKING we found another pregnant woman, whom I think was from Nigeria. She was brought by a helicopter to Malta because she was very close to delivering her baby. The crew later made an announcement to tell us when the baby was born in Malta.

    We were on the OCEAN VIKING for one week because no country wanted to take us in. This time was difficult, but it was much better than what we experienced before. The crew was always with us and they tried to support us however they could. We had enough food. We had a doctor whenever we felt sick. They even gave us clothing. We felt welcome.

    Finally, Lampedusa decided to take us in. When we finally left the boat after such a long time at sea it was not as warm of a welcome. We received food only after being forced to give our fingerprints and we were brought to a dirty place with barbed wire. I could not stay in Italy; the conditions were so poor. Today I struggle to live in Germany with the fear of my fingerprints on record and that I will be deported back to Italy.

    I will never forget the good people on these ships, who welcomed me before I arrived in Europe. They will stay in my memory. Maybe, one day I will meet them again. Until then I want to encourage them to continue what they are doing and I send them all my greetings.

    SAR Solidarity
    Letter from an Alarm Phone activist to an amazing woman of the SAR world in January 2020

    The past 5 days were crazy, my dear friend. We never met, but I have read the stories that you wrote on board of the rescue ship. Nine boats in distress fleeing from Libya called the Alarm Phone, and for the first time in a long time, all the boats that called Alarm Phone from the Central Mediterranean where rescued to Europe, more than 650 people in 5 days. This was not just about luck. It was about the incredible efforts of the people out there doing everything they could to rescue these boats, despite European authorities’ efforts to let them sink without trace. These were efforts mostly by women. Wonderful, fierce, kind, fearless women like you. In the past, I have mostly have dealt with men at sea and it was difficult. These 5 days were joyful instead.

    L., she crossed the Mediterranean up and down 3 times in 72 hours without ever sleeping, just following the GPS coordinates that we had received from the people in distress, which we also forwarded to the authorities and to the rescue ships. After sending an email, I would call the bridge. Again and again, for 72 hours. I would call the bridge telling her, “L.! There is a boat in distress again you need to be quick”. I never heard moment of discomfort in her voice. Even under that pressure, she was trying to create little cracks of softness, of love, of solidarity, of laughter. When I hear her voice on the phone, saying “my boat will head to the target with full speed”, I picture her behind the wheel of this massive boat carrying 400 people, flying above the sea as if it was weightless. I cannot find the words to describe the love and respect I feel towards her when I read her emails to the authorities, defying their orders, placing herself and ‘her boat’ against the orders given by some Colonel of the Armed Forced of Malta, or of some Commander of the Libyan Navy. I think there are no words in this world to express the magnitude of certain actions.

    On the phone, we tell the people in distress that they have to stay strong and keep calm, that they have to trust us, that they cannot give up. We tell them “rescue is coming for you my friend, don’t worry”. When you’re out at sea, lost in the darkness.

    Then Luisa and ‘her boat’ arrive, to the rescue, after hours of darkness and uncertainty. After hours when they thought they had been abandoned by everyone, and that they had been forgotten in a sea that is too big, on a boat that is too small. After so many hours of exhaustion, there is certain magic in the moment when we can tell them “make light, with a telephone, don’t use flames – make yourself visible.” There is magic in the few words spoken by voices broken by panic and excitement “we see a boat, it’s red”, and in an email of few words from the rescue ship we read “we see an intermittent light coming from the sea, we believe it is the rubber boat”. I imagine this little light shining above a sea that is a cold, dark, liquid cemetery. A sign of life, of resistance, of struggle. Not just of despair.

    Then silence. One second you are head and body in the Mediterranean, the next you are in silence and you realise that hours have passed. From this side of the phone we do not know what happens in this silence. It’s a feeling that makes you feel completely detached from reality.

    Waking up reading the stories you write about these rescues, my dear friend, I always cry. Reading your descriptions of the rescue, reading the stories of the people who were on board, it makes it all real, it fills the void of these silences.

    Reading your stories makes me think of all the witches of the sea like you, like L., like the women of Alarm Phone and the women crossing the Mediterranean, who relentlessly struggle together in this hostile sea. The Morganas of the sea, the few little lights in this darkness, sparks that are reflected by the waves, as magic as fairies and as fierce as witches.

    I cannot stop being inspired by all these women, who cannot be stopped, contained, tamed. So yes, it is hard work also for all of us, and many people think we are crazy for doing this work, but we know that we are not the crazy ones, and that we are part of a brigade of amazing witches who believe that the real craziness is looking away. Thank you.
    From the crossing of the Aegean Sea to the struggle for women rights. Women on Lesvos
    All women against Moria

    Most women have already endured hardship even before they get into a boat to cross the Mediterranean Sea. But the journey is far from being over once they reach the shore. Many of them find themselves in overcrowded refugee camps, such as Moria on the Greek island of Lesvos, where the authorities are overwhelmed with numbers and unable or unwilling to provide the most basic needs such as clean water, electricity, shelter, medical care and security. It is a harsh environment where the strongest rules and violence is part of everyday life which leads to an existence dictated by constant fear. In this rough environment, solidarity is a vital tool for survival, especially among women.

    On January 30th 2020, approximately 450 women and children gathered in Mytilene, the capital of Lesvos, to protest the horrific living conditions in the camp and the dramatic increase of violence– including several fatal stabbings that had taken place within the previous weeks. The protest was organized by a group of about 15 Afghan women, and their goal was to draw attention to the dire situation. It was both a cry of despair as well as a powerful and loud manifestation of female solidarity when women of all ages and different nationalities took to the streets and blocked the traffic for several hours.

    “All women against Moria“, “Women in solidarity“, “Moria is a women’s hell“ and “Stop all violence against women“ was written on some of the many signs. The crowd chanted “Assadi“ (farsi: freedom) with raised fists. Several women said that it was the first time they had participated in a demonstration, but they showed great confidence during negotiations with the police or when giving media interviews. An elderly Afghan woman explained that she had focussed on caring for her family all her life but the hellish situation in Moria had given her no choice but to join the demonstration.

    Many women kept their faces hidden behind hijabs, voluminous scarves, and surgical face masks to conceal their identity. In the past, well placed rumours had been circulating that political involvement and contact with the press would lead to immediate deportation and repression by the Greek authorities. Taking this into account, 450 protesters is an astonishing number. Even more so considering the difficulties a trip from Moria to the islands capital, Mytilene, includes. For example, people have to cue for several hours to be able to get into one of the few busses. It has been reported that bus drivers had to push people away with sticks to be able to close the door. If you did make it onto the bus, you would miss your meals for that day as you weren’t able to stand in the food line. We also heard reports that a larger number of women were prevented from leaving the camp to join the demonstration by the authorities and police forces.

    No flyers, no Facebook group, no official announcement. News of the women-only-protest was spread by word of mouth. The success of the demonstration was a surprise to many, especially the police, who initially showed up with only 10 riot-cops. After the protest, 9 female volunteers were taken to the police station, where their identity cards were checked. Their sneaking suspicion is that they were the ones organising the women’s protest. The officials seemed to be unable to grasp the idea that women from Moria could organise efficiently. The women’s role in the camps traditionally has been to calm the male-dominated unrests rather than taking part in them or even initiating them. But times are desperate and increasingly women are discovering their political voice. They are finding strength in female cooperation. There had been an all-women sit-in last October after the tragic death of a woman in a gas explosion in the camp. Assemblies, empowerment workshops, networking and practical support are less visible and yet essential aspects of the politicisation of women.

    Experiences of crossings and life in Moria

    Again this year, with the increase in the number of people arriving on the island and the non-reaction of the Greek and European authorities, the conditions in Moria have only gotten worse and worse. When you talk with the women living there, their daily life comprises of fear, no rest, long lines, attacks, power cuts… but also solidarity amongst each other, survival strategies and the struggle to be able to decide about their own lives. There are the stories of three women, F, N, and J.

    F left Iran: “Unfortunately, in Iran members of my family did not have identity cards. We couldn’t go to school. We just had to work. My older sister and I worked as tailors in a basement. I started working when I was 12 years old. I have a passion for education. Finally, this year my sister and I decided on leaving in search of something better. Finally, my parents accepted. So, we started our travels. During our journey we tolerated several difficulties. Upon arrival to Lesvos, we slept two nights on the streets because we had to wait until Monday for when the offices of Moria opened. Finally, we could get a tent.”

    N and J arrived on the island of Lesvos by boat last December crossing over from Turkey. Both are living in Moria today. For J “each person has their own way to experience and to bear the crossing of the Mediterranean Sea”. She had to pay 450 USD to the person who organised the crossing and was told: ‘In 4 days we will come to pick you up at 23 o’clock at the hostel.’

    She tells us her story: “…they put us in a covered pick-up truck, we were a lot and really squeezed together. Four hours later we arrived in a very dark place. They put us in an abandoned house without any water or food all day long until 7 pm. Then we walked 5 hours up and down in the Turkish hills. Finally, we arrived on the shoreline. They inflated the dinghy in front of us. We left close to midnight. 1.5 hours later the Turkish coastguards stopped us on the sea and they brought us back to Turkey. We were 29 people on board. When they released us we went back to Izmir. I didn’t have any strength anymore. The smugglers told me ‘you have to leave.’ Two days later we tried again. Same group, same way. Five hours of walking again. And again, we couldn’t reach Greece. The big boats came close to our rubber boat to make big waves and they were yelling at us to leave and go back to Turkey. This time we spent one week in the police station. The third time, we arrived in Greek waters and called the Greek Coastguard, that came to pick us up. But we had to throw away our personal belongings because the boat was filling up with water. There was complete disorder on board, no organisation. After we had called them for the first time, we still waited three hours until they came to pick us up.”

    N spoke about how “the fear comes when you’re at sea. You didn’t know who your neighbour was, but you held their hand. We started to pray. On the open sea the water was coming inside the boat. Each one was calling for God in his own way. I didn’t want to go on the boat, but they pushed me. The kids were in the middle. Me as well. I closed my eyes. We landed without any police, only fishermen. It was raining. I was wet and we had to wait 15 minutes more for the bus. What gave us our hope back, was this woman, who gave us chips and sent her kids to say hello to us. They let us on the bus and we sat there until the morning without giving us anything”

    J described her situation after being registered in Moria: “I didn’t have any tent in which to sleep. I slept from tent to tent. They kick you out of the tent when you cough too much. The few that we had, they would steal it. I was scared to be stabbed, mainly during the night and someone would do it just to take your phone. The worst is that the authorities don’t let us leave the island.”

    https://alarmphone.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2020/04/aegean2-1-768x1024.jpeg

    Your whole life is waiting in line

    For the refugees, lines are running a big part of their daily and social lives. As N and I were talking over some tea, N had to leave us to go stand in line for food. Very often they have to miss a workshop, a class, a commitment, or a friends-gathering to go stand in line for a basic necessity. Sometimes it gets so late that people have to return to their tents in Moria, even if they did not receive what they had been standing in line for all day. And the day is done. J told us that: “In the morning, when you wake up, the first thing that you have to do is line-up. We line-up for every basic need. We pee in buckets since the toilets are too far away and we have to wait in line to use them. It’s infernal to wait and the belly burns. During the night especially, the toilets are too far to reach. And the toilets are dirty, so you easily get itchy. The Moria medical tent usually gives paracetamol to calm the itchiness down… To take a shower is the same. You wait in the cold, and sometimes when you arrive the shower is clogged”. N added: “You have to stand in line, but you know that someone can come and stab you for your phone while you wait. It has happened a few times since I have been here, and people have died just waiting. I am scared when I have to go stand in line. One time, they didn’t clean the floor and we had to line up standing on the blood of a guy who was stabbed. I was so scared, it was horrible.”

    F also described the situation in a letter: “When you get up you must stand in a line for breakfast, lunch, diner, toilet, shower: for everything! You wait about 2.5 hours in each line. Your whole life is waiting in a line. We have only two places for doctor’s visits, which is not enough for thousands of people. Again, you have to wait in a line. Only the people that go at 4 o’clock in the morning have the opportunity to be checked. If you have a cold, standing in a line outside is bad for your health. You will get worse. If you have a headache, cold, flu or pain in your back or leg… it doesn’t matter. Doctors just give you painkillers and tell you to drink water.”

    Z, is an underaged Afghan girl, who lives in the jungle of Moria with her family. She wrote the following in a letter: “There is a toilet but at night it’s so hard to go to the toilet because we have to cross a small bridge and we can’t’ see anything because there is no light. I am under 18 and they don’t give me food because my mother is not here and when my father got sick, I was given the task to wait in line for food for the family but they didn’t give it to me because I am a minor. Life here is so hard: washing clothes, caring for my little sister, my brother and father. It’s so hard for me. I miss my mum.”

    Living in Moria is like living in jail. You are constantly living in fear. “Inactivity makes people go crazy. You will pass 6 months here without realising it”. You have nothing to do, nothing that you can do to be a part of civil society. The lines are dehumanising. People become a ticket, a plate, a bottle of milk, a croissant or a bag of clothes,” J explained.
    Self-organisation and a daily life strategy

    For N solidarity is important: “We also have to accept each other and the situation. I cannot eat too late, but when the electricity comes back at 2 am, I cannot prevent the others to talk, to eat and to cook. So, I put my earphones on and cover my eyes. In any case, I don’t sleep well. I refuse to take the medication that they give me to sleep, because we know that boys spend the nights in the alleys. With the canvas walls of the tents, you can feel the people passing by close to you and your head, and I want to be awake in case something happens. To eat warm and cooked food, we have to prepare the food before the electricity comes on. The last time, my tent’s mates put the potatoes in the pan and everything was ready, but they had only 10 minutes of electricity. So they had to wait, but when the power came back the food was not good anymore. As they were hungry, they added some milk. I don’t know how they ate it.”

    N continues: “In my tent we are 7 people plus a little girl. We sleep on the floor and each one puts their stuff around their sleeping place. We keep the middle of the tent open to cook and sit, and eat together. It is important to show solidarity, so I said to the women that we have to protect each other and when one of us has to go stand in line early in the morning, some of us go with her until daylight comes. Also, the women in my tent dance and sing, do braids, and find time to do what they want, and that’s strengthening for me.”

    J talked about solidarity concerning food: “The food in Moria is disgusting and gives you diarrhoea, meaning you then have to go stand in line for the toilets. Can you imagine! We collect money, around one euro per person, and we give it to the person, who cooks for the day. Every day it is a new person.”

    When women cross the sea, and even before then along the journey, they often have different experiences than men and are exposed to greater danger. Being on the move is a difficult situation, but being on the move and being a woman puts you in an even more vulnerable position. Specific issues related to gender discrimination and racism are being reported by the women on Lesbos that we were talking to:

    The women that we talked to speak about racism against black people within the hotspot, but also in the city. For example, a woman told us that in one supermarket, whenever a black person enters, a guard will follow that person around. She also told us that black women are often offered money in the street for sexual services. Prostitution is undoubtedly happening a lot, there lacks public information or data about this invisible side of this kind of unbearable situation on the island. It is clear, however, that human traffickers take advantage of the overcrowded and unsafe situation in Moria and that people are doing business with women and kids. And since the administration is overwhelmed, people can wait up to three months to be registered and to be able to benefit from the “cash programme for refugees”. Three months without any money.

    As we are writing this report, and just a few weeks before the international women’s day, there are five women locked-up in different police stations on Lesbos. They were arrested after trying to leave the island without proper papers. They have been arrested as part of a pilot project to see if this idea for a new law can be implemented: The new law indicates that a person who has been arrested must stay detained until the end of the asylum application. This would mean that all asylum seekers, who can be arrested for any illegitimate reason, would have to wait in detention.

    Having daily contact with women living in Moria, you can see how solidarity starts with their everyday basic needs and continues with the provision of psychosocial human support in an effort to protect each other’s security, rights, and sanity in the face of the dire situations they face every day.
    LGBTQI+ people on the move

    We don’t want to overlook women’s experiences of discrimination and the needs of different vulnerable groups, but considering this report is about gender-based discrimination and violence, the situation of LGBTQI+ people on the move has to also be mentioned.

    This report uses the acronym LGBTQI +: it is used to refer to people who identify as lesbian (L), gay (G), bisexual (B), trans (T), intersex (I), queer (Q) and + for all the different expressions and intimate relation with (no)gender identity and sexual definition: non-binary, asexual, aromantic, etc.

    Those who are LGBTQI+ face an even more difficult reality because they cannot always count on the national solidarity networks. And even when these resources are mobilized, it is often at the cost of important precautions so as not to be identified as LGBTQI+. Housing in camps and collectives of LGBTQI + people with other non-LGBTQI+ in asylum accommodations can cause anxieties regarding being mis-identified or ‘outed’ unwillingly (for their sexual orientation or gender identities). This is especially the case for trans people in accommodation facilities who find themselves living in single-sex housing that does not correspond to their gender identity. Because most of the time the authorities mis-gender trans persons, using the sex that is written on their official papers. Later on, when it comes to the asylum request, LGBTQI+ people fear that information about their sexual orientation or gender identity might start to circulate within the communities. This produces a lot of hesitations concerning what to say in front of the court, causing sorrow and fear because a large part of the LGBTQI+ people particularly pay attention not to reveal the reasons for their presence in Europe.

    From the perspective of Alarm Phone, writing about LGBTQI+ people on the move during the situations they encounter while the crossing on sea is difficult, because of course people also try and hide their identity in situations of close confinement, because it is a risk of discrimination and violence is very high. We can hardly provide a general analysis about people on the move because there is only partial knowledge available. Statistics are often binary and queer people are not mentioned.
    Lesvos LGBTQI+ refugee solidarity

    This is taken from a text that was published by members of the group in 2019

    As another deadly winter sets in, Moria prison camp on Lesvos is over its capacity by the thousands and growing fuller every day. In these conditions, LGBTQI+ refugees are particularly at risk of exposure, violence, and death.

    With homosexuality still illegal in 72 countries, it is obvious why many LGBTQI+ people became refugees. Many of us fled from home because we had to hide our gender identities. When we arrive on Lesvos, expecting safety, we are shocked to find the same issues continue for us here. Homophobic harassment and violent attacks are frequent and severe: by fellow residents as well as by the police and camp guards.

    We know some LGBTQI+ people that have been beaten and even hospitalised from homophobic and transphobic attacks. All have had to repress their identity, living cheek by jowl among communities which replicate the persecution they fled in the first place.

    “When I was in the boat, a beautiful cry came. We’re starting a new life. We were just throwing all our troubles into the sea. I wasn’t scared. I just read the Qur‘an and cried. I sat in the boat, my hand was in the sea along the way.”

    “I left Morocco because for 30 years I was insulted, persecuted and beaten by the community, the police and my family, but on Lesvos I found the same thing.”

    “In the early days in Moria, I was systematically raped. I‘ve seen the most difficult conditions, but I‘ve never seen such a horrible place.”

    “These people are looking at you like you’re rubbish. Like you smell. On the street, on the bus. I don’t know how to explain this. Even when you are on the street, you feel ashamed, like there is shit on you.”

    “If we can’t dress up the way we want, if we can’t do our make-up, why come to Europe?“

    “And together we will change the world, so that people will never have to come out again!”

    We did not flee our homes only to continue to hide and live in fear. We won’t be silenced. We won’t be ignored. We will shout it from the rooftops: we are gay, we are lesbian, we are women, we are men. We are here. We are all migrants. We want our freedom we won’t wait ‘till it‘s given to us. We ask those that hear us to fight alongside us, wherever you are.

    Queer solidarity smashes borders!

    https://alarmphone.org/en/2020/04/08/struggles-of-women-on-the-move
    #femmes #résistance #migrations #réfugiés #asile #lutte #luttes #femmes_migrantes #Tanger #Maroc #solidarité #Rabat #invisibilité #Tunisie #Méditerranée_centrale #Ocean_Viking #Mer_Egée #Moria #Lesbos #Grèce #attente #LGBT #genre

    ping @karine4 @isskein @_kg_

  • L’agenda européen en matière de migration : l’UE doit poursuivre les progrès accomplis au cours des quatre dernières années

    Dans la perspective du Conseil européen de mars, la Commission dresse aujourd’hui le bilan des progrès accomplis au cours des quatre dernières années et décrit les mesures qui sont encore nécessaires pour relever les défis actuels et futurs en matière de migration.

    Face à la crise des réfugiés la plus grave qu’ait connu le monde depuis la Seconde Guerre mondiale, l’UE est parvenue à susciter un changement radical en matière de gestion des migrations et de protection des frontières. L’UE a offert une protection et un soutien à des millions de personnes, a sauvé des vies, a démantelé des réseaux de passeurs et a permis de réduire le nombre d’arrivées irrégulières en Europe à son niveau le plus bas enregistré en cinq ans. Néanmoins, des efforts supplémentaires sont nécessaires pour assurer la pérennité de la politique migratoire de l’UE, compte tenu d’un contexte géopolitique en constante évolution et de l’augmentation régulière de la pression migratoire à l’échelle mondiale (voir fiche d’information).

    Frans Timmermans, premier vice-président, a déclaré : « Au cours des quatre dernières années, l’UE a accompli des progrès considérables et obtenu des résultats tangibles dans l’action menée pour relever le défi de la migration. Dans des circonstances très difficiles, nous avons agi ensemble. L’Europe n’est plus en proie à la crise migratoire que nous avons traversée en 2015, mais des problèmes structurels subsistent. Les États membres ont le devoir de protéger les personnes qu’ils abritent et de veiller à leur bien-être. Continuer à coopérer solidairement dans le cadre d’une approche globale et d’un partage équitable des responsabilités est la seule voie à suivre si l’UE veut être à la hauteur du défi de la migration. »

    Federica Mogherini, haute représentante et vice-présidente, a affirmé : « Notre collaboration avec l’Union africaine et les Nations unies porte ses fruits. Nous portons assistance à des milliers de personnes en détresse, nous en aidons beaucoup à retourner chez elles en toute sécurité pour y démarrer une activité, nous sauvons des vies, nous luttons contre les trafiquants. Les flux ont diminué, mais ceux qui risquent leur vie sont encore trop nombreux et chaque vie perdue est une victime de trop. C’est pourquoi nous continuerons à coopérer avec nos partenaires internationaux et avec les pays concernés pour fournir une protection aux personnes qui en ont le plus besoin, remédier aux causes profondes de la migration, démanteler les réseaux de trafiquants, mettre en place des voies d’accès à une migration sûre, ordonnée et légale. La migration constitue un défi mondial que l’on peut relever, ainsi que nous avons choisi de le faire en tant qu’Union, avec des efforts communs et des partenariats solides. »

    Dimitris Avramopoulos, commissaire pour la migration, les affaires intérieures et la citoyenneté, a déclaré : « Les résultats de notre approche européenne commune en matière de migration parlent d’eux-mêmes : les arrivées irrégulières sont désormais moins nombreuses qu’avant la crise, le corps européen de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes a porté la protection commune des frontières de l’UE à un niveau inédit et, en collaboration avec nos partenaires, nous travaillons à garantir des voies d’entrée légales tout en multipliant les retours. À l’avenir, il est essentiel de poursuivre notre approche commune, mais aussi de mener à bien la réforme en cours du régime d’asile de l’UE. En outre, il convient, à titre prioritaire, de mettre en place des accords temporaires en matière de débarquement. »

    Depuis trois ans, les chiffres des arrivées n’ont cessé de diminuer et les niveaux actuels ne représentent que 10 % du niveau record atteint en 2015. En 2018, environ 150 000 franchissements irréguliers des frontières extérieures de l’UE ont été détectés. Toutefois, le fait que le nombre d’arrivées irrégulières ait diminué ne constitue nullement une garantie pour l’avenir, eu égard à la poursuite probable de la pression migratoire. Il est donc indispensable d’adopter une approche globale de la gestion des migrations et de la protection des frontières.

    Des #mesures immédiates s’imposent

    Les problèmes les plus urgents nécessitant des efforts supplémentaires sont les suivants :

    Route de la #Méditerranée_occidentale : l’aide au #Maroc doit encore être intensifiée, compte tenu de l’augmentation importante des arrivées par la route de la Méditerranée occidentale. Elle doit comprendre la poursuite de la mise en œuvre du programme de 140 millions d’euros visant à soutenir la gestion des frontières ainsi que la reprise des négociations avec le Maroc sur la réadmission et l’assouplissement du régime de délivrance des visas.
    #accords_de_réadmission #visas

    Route de la #Méditerranée_centrale : améliorer les conditions d’accueil déplorables en #Libye : les efforts déployés par l’intermédiaire du groupe de travail trilatéral UA-UE-NU doivent se poursuivre pour contribuer à libérer les migrants se trouvant en #rétention, faciliter le #retour_volontaire (37 000 retours jusqu’à présent) et évacuer les personnes les plus vulnérables (près de 2 500 personnes évacuées).
    #vulnérabilité #évacuation

    Route de la #Méditerranée_orientale : gestion des migrations en #Grèce : alors que la déclaration UE-Turquie a continué à contribuer à la diminution considérable des arrivées sur les #îles grecques, des problèmes majeurs sont toujours en suspens en Grèce en ce qui concerne les retours, le traitement des demandes d’asile et la mise à disposition d’un hébergement adéquat. Afin d’améliorer la gestion des migrations, la Grèce devrait rapidement mettre en place une stratégie nationale efficace comprenant une organisation opérationnelle des tâches.
    #accord_ue-turquie

    Accords temporaires en matière de #débarquement : sur la base de l’expérience acquise au moyen de solutions ad hoc au cours de l’été 2018 et en janvier 2019, des accords temporaires peuvent constituer une approche européenne plus systématique et mieux coordonnée en matière de débarquement­. De tels accords mettraient en pratique la #solidarité et la #responsabilité au niveau de l’UE, en attendant l’achèvement de la réforme du #règlement_de_Dublin.
    #Dublin

    En matière de migration, il est indispensable d’adopter une approche globale, qui comprenne des actions menées avec des partenaires à l’extérieur de l’UE, aux frontières extérieures, et à l’intérieur de l’UE. Il ne suffit pas de se concentrer uniquement sur les problèmes les plus urgents. La situation exige une action constante et déterminée en ce qui concerne l’ensemble des éléments de l’approche globale, pour chacun des quatre piliers de l’agenda européen en matière de migration :

    1. Lutte contre les causes de la migration irrégulière : au cours des quatre dernières années, la migration s’est peu à peu fermement intégrée à tous les domaines des relations extérieures de l’UE :

    Grâce au #fonds_fiduciaire d’urgence de l’UE pour l’Afrique, plus de 5,3 millions de personnes vulnérables bénéficient actuellement d’une aide de première nécessité et plus de 60 000 personnes ont reçu une aide à la réintégration après leur retour dans leur pays d’origine.
    #fonds_fiduciaire_pour_l'Afrique

    La lutte contre les réseaux de passeurs et de trafiquants a encore été renforcée. En 2018, le centre européen chargé de lutter contre le trafic de migrants, établi au sein d’#Europol, a joué un rôle majeur dans plus d’une centaine de cas de trafic prioritaires et des équipes communes d’enquête participent activement à la lutte contre ce trafic dans des pays comme le #Niger.
    Afin d’intensifier les retours et la réadmission, l’UE continue d’œuvrer à la conclusion d’accords et d’arrangements en matière de réadmission avec les pays partenaires, 23 accords et arrangements ayant été conclus jusqu’à présent. Les États membres doivent maintenant tirer pleinement parti des accords existants.
    En outre, le Parlement européen et le Conseil devraient adopter rapidement la proposition de la Commission en matière de retour, qui vise à limiter les abus et la fuite des personnes faisant l’objet d’un retour au sein de l’Union.

    2. Gestion renforcée des frontières : créée en 2016, l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes est aujourd’hui au cœur des efforts déployés par l’UE pour aider les États membres à protéger les frontières extérieures. En septembre 2018, la Commission a proposé de renforcer encore le corps européen de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes et de doter l’Agence d’un corps permanent de 10 000 garde-frontières, afin que les États membres puissent à tout moment bénéficier pleinement du soutien opérationnel de l’UE. La Commission invite le Parlement européen et les États membres à adopter la réforme avant les élections au Parlement européen. Afin d’éviter les lacunes, les États membres doivent également veiller à un déploiement suffisant d’experts et d’équipements auprès de l’Agence.

    3. Protection et asile : l’UE continuera à apporter son soutien aux réfugiés et aux personnes déplacées dans des pays tiers, y compris au Moyen-Orient et en Afrique, ainsi qu’à offrir un refuge aux personnes ayant besoin d’une protection internationale. Plus de 50 000 personnes réinstallées l’ont été dans le cadre de programmes de l’UE depuis 2015. L’un des principaux enseignements de la crise migratoire est la nécessité de réviser les règles de l’UE en matière d’asile et de mettre en place un régime équitable et adapté à l’objectif poursuivi, qui permette de gérer toute augmentation future de la pression migratoire. La Commission a présenté toutes les propositions nécessaires et soutient fermement une approche progressive pour faire avancer chaque proposition. Les propositions qui sont sur le point d’aboutir devraient être adoptées avant les élections au Parlement européen. La Commission continuera de travailler avec le Parlement européen et le Conseil pour progresser vers l’étape finale.

    4. Migration légale et intégration : les voies de migration légale ont un effet dissuasif sur les départs irréguliers et sont un élément important pour qu’une migration ordonnée et fondée sur les besoins devienne la principale voie d’entrée dans l’UE. La Commission présentera sous peu une évaluation complète du cadre de l’UE en matière de migration légale. Parallèlement, les États membres devraient développer le recours à des projets pilotes en matière de migration légale sur une base volontaire. L’intégration réussie des personnes ayant un droit de séjour est essentielle au bon fonctionnement de la migration et plus de 140 millions d’euros ont été investis dans des mesures d’intégration au titre du budget de l’UE au cours de la période 2015-2017.

    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-19-1496_fr.htm
    –-> Quoi dire plus si ce n’est que... c’est #déprimant.
    #Business_as_usual #rien_ne_change
    #hypocrisie
    #langue_de_bois
    #à_vomir
    ....

    #UE #EU #politique_migratoire #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières

  • #métaliste (qui va être un grand chantier, car il y a plein d’information sur seenthis, qu’il faudrait réorganiser) sur :
    #externalisation #contrôles_frontaliers #frontières #migrations #réfugiés

    Des liens vers des articles généraux sur l’externalisation des frontières de la part de l’ #UE (#EU) :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/569305
    https://seenthis.net/messages/390549
    https://seenthis.net/messages/320101

    Ici une tentative (très mal réussie, car évidement, la divergence entre pratiques et les discours à un moment donné, ça se voit !) de l’UE de faire une brochure pour déconstruire les mythes autour de la migration...
    La question de l’externalisation y est abordée dans différentes parties de la brochure :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/765967

    Petit chapitre/encadré sur l’externalisation des frontières dans l’ouvrage "(Dé)passer la frontière" :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/769367

    Les origines de l’externalisation des contrôles frontaliers (maritimes) : accord #USA-#Haïti de #1981 :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/768694

    L’externalisation des politiques européennes en matière de migration
    https://seenthis.net/messages/787450

    "#Sous-traitance" de la #politique_migratoire en Afrique : l’Europe a-t-elle les mains propres ?
    https://seenthis.net/messages/789048

    Partners in crime ? The impacts of Europe’s outsourced migration controls on peace, stability and rights :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/794636
    #paix #stabilité #droits #Libye #Niger #Turquie

    Proceedings of the conference “Externalisation of borders : detention practices and denial of the right to asylum”
    https://seenthis.net/messages/880193

  • Italian government pressures #Panama to stop #Aquarius rescues on world’s deadliest maritime route

    Central Mediterranean– SOS MEDITERRANEE and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) are reeling from the announcement by the Panama Maritime Authority (PMA) that it has been forced to revoke the registration of the search and rescue ship Aquarius, under blatant economic and political pressure from the Italian government. This announcement condemns hundreds of men, women and children who are desperate to reach safety to a watery grave, and deals a major blow to the life-saving humanitarian mission of the Aquarius, the only remaining non-governmental search and rescue vessel in the Central Mediterranean. Both organisations demand that European governments allow the Aquarius to continue its mission, by affirming to the Panamanian authorities that threats made by the Italian government are unfounded, or by immediately issuing a new flag under which the vessel can sail.

    On Saturday, 22 September, the Aquarius team was shocked to learn of an official communication from the Panamanian authorities stating that the Italian authorities had urged the PMA to take “immediate action” against the Aquarius. The PMA message explained that, “unfortunately, it is necessary that [the Aquarius] be excluded from our registry, because it implies a political problem against the Panamanian government and the Panamanian fleet that arrive to European port.” The message came despite the fact that Aquarius meets all maritime standards and is in full compliance with rigorous technical specifications as required under the Panama flag.

    SOS MEDITERRANEE and MSF strongly denounce the actions as further proof of the extent to which the Italian government is willing to go to, knowing that the only consequence is that people will continue to die at sea and that no witnesses will be present to count the dead.

    “European leaders appear to have no qualms implementing increasingly abusive and vicious tactics that serve their own political interests at the expense of human lives,” said Karline Kleijer, MSF’s Head of Emergencies. “For the past two years, European leaders have claimed that people should not die at sea, but at the same time they have pursued dangerous and ill-informed policies that have brought the humanitarian crisis in the Central Mediterranean and in Libya to new lows. This tragedy has to end, but that can only happen if EU governments allow the Aquarius and other search and rescue vessels to continue providing lifesaving assistance and bearing witness where it is so desperately needed.”

    Since the beginning of the year, more than 1,250 people have drowned while attempting to cross the Central Mediterranean. Those that attempt the crossing are three times more likely to drown than those who made the same journey in 2015. The real number of deaths is likely much higher, as not all drownings are witnessed or recorded by authorities or U.N. agencies. This underreporting is represented in shipwrecks like the one in early September in which it is estimated that at least 100 people drowned.

    Meanwhile, the European-sponsored Libyan coastguard continues to make an increasing number of interceptions in international waters between Italy, Malta and Libya, while denying survivors their right to disembark in a place of safety as required by International Maritime and Refugee Law. Instead, these vulnerable people are returned to appalling conditions in Libyan detention centres, several of which are now affected by heavy fighting in Tripoli’s conflict zones.

    “Five years after the Lampedusa tragedy, when European leaders said ‘never again’ and Italy launched its first large scale search and rescue operation, people are still risking their lives to escape from Libya while the death rate on the Central Mediterranean is skyrocketing” said Sophie Beau, vice president of SOS MEDITERRANEE international. “Europe cannot afford to renounce its fundamental values.”

    News from the PMA arrived at the Aquarius while the team was engaged in an active search and rescue operation in the Central Mediterranean. Over the past three days, Aquarius has assisted two boats in distress and now has 58 survivors on board, several of whom are psychologically distressed and fatigued from their journeys at sea and experiences in Libya, and who must be disembarked urgently in a place of safety in accordance with international maritime law. Throughout its current operation and during all previous rescue operations, the Aquarius has maintained full transparency while operating under the instructions of all maritime coordination centres and following international maritime conventions.

    SOS MEDITERRANEE and MSF demand that European governments allow the Aquarius to continue its rescue mission by reassuring the Panama authorities that the threats made by the Government of Italy are unfounded, or by immediately issuing a new flag under which the vessel can sail.

    https://www.msf.org/italian-government-pressures-panama-stop-aquarius-rescues-worlds-deadliest-mari
    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Méditerranée #ONG #sauvetage #pavillon

    • Le gouvernement italien fait pression sur le Panama pour stopper les opérations de sauvetage de l’Aquarius

      Les autorités maritimes du Panama ont annoncé à SOS Méditerranée et Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) avoir été forcées de révoquer l’enregistrement du navire de secours en mer Aquarius. Cette révocation résulte de la pression économique et politique flagrante exercée par le gouvernement italien et condamne des centaines d’hommes, de femmes et d’enfants en fuite à rejoindre le cimetière marin qu’est devenu la Méditerranée. Elle porte un coup violent à la mission humanitaire vitale de l’Aquarius, le seul navire de recherche et de sauvetage non gouvernemental encore présent en Méditerranée centrale. Nos deux organisations demandent aux gouvernements européens d’autoriser l’Aquarius à poursuivre sa mission en intercédant auprès des autorités panaméennes et en réaffirmant que les menaces de rétorsion formulées à leur égard par les autorités italiennes sont infondées, ou en lui délivrant immédiatement un nouveau pavillon sous lequel naviguer.

      Le samedi 22 septembre, l’équipe de l’Aquarius a été choquée d’apprendre qu’une communication officielle émanant des autorités panaméennes, indiquait que le gouvernement italien les avait exhorté à prendre des « mesures immédiates » contre l’Aquarius. Le message des autorités maritimes du Panama expliquait alors que « malheureusement, il faut qu’il [l’Aquarius] soit exclu de notre registre, car maintenir ce pavillon impliquerait de sérieuses difficultés politiques pour le gouvernement panaméen et pour la flotte panaméenne qui travaille dans les ports européens ». Cela intervient en dépit du fait que l’Aquarius répond à toutes les normes maritimes en vigueur et qu’il respecte scrupuleusement les spécifications techniques exigées par les autorités du Panama.

      Les deux organisations humanitaires dénoncent ces actions comme une preuve supplémentaire du jusqu’au-boutisme du gouvernement italien qui choisit sciemment de laisser les gens se noyer en mer Méditerranée, et cherche à se débarrasser des derniers témoins de ces naufrages.

      "Les dirigeants européens semblent n’avoir aucun scrupule à mettre en œuvre des tactiques de plus en plus violentes et sordides qui servent leurs propres intérêts politiques au détriment des vies humaines", a déclaré Karline Kleijer, responsable des urgences chez MSF. « Au cours des deux dernières années, les dirigeants européens ont affirmé que plus personne ne devait mourir en mer, mais elles ont parallèlement mis en place des politiques dangereuses qui n’ont fait que renforcer la crise humanitaire en Méditerranée et en Libye. Cette tragédie doit cesser, et pour cela, il faut que les gouvernements de l’Union européenne autorisent l’Aquarius et d’autres navires de recherche et de sauvetage à continuer à fournir une assistance, là où elle est nécessaire, pour sauver des vies et témoigner de ce qu’il se passe. »

      Depuis le début de l’année, plus de 1 250 personnes se sont noyées alors qu’elles essayaient de traverser la Méditerranée centrale. Ceux qui tentent la traversée à présent ont trois fois plus de risque de se noyer que ceux qui ont fait le même trajet en 2015. Le nombre réel de décès est probablement beaucoup plus élevé, les autorités ou les agences des Nations unies n’étant pas témoins de toutes les noyades. Cela a été clairement mis en évidence lors du naufrage survenu au début du mois de septembre au large des côtes libyennes, où plus de 100 personnes se sont noyées.

      Pendant ce temps, les garde-côtes libyens, soutenus par l’Europe, continuent d’intercepter dans les eaux internationales entre l’Italie, Malte et la Libye un nombre croissant de personnes fuyant la Libye, les privant de leur droit à débarquer dans un lieu sûr, comme l’exige le droit international maritime et le droit international relatif aux réfugiés. Ces personnes vulnérables sont renvoyées dans un dangereux système de détention en Libye, où plusieurs centres de détention sont d’ailleurs actuellement touchés par les violents combats qui se déroulent à Tripoli, la capitale.

      "Cinq ans après la tragédie de Lampedusa, lorsque les dirigeants européens ont déclaré ‘plus jamais ça’ et que l’Italie a lancé sa première opération de recherche et de sauvetage à grande échelle, les gens risquent toujours leur vie pour fuir la Libye tandis que le taux de mortalité en mer Méditerranée grimpe en flèche », a tancé Francis Vallat, président de SOS MEDITERRANEE France.

      L’annonce des autorités maritimes du Panama est parvenue à l’Aquarius alors que ses équipes étaient engagées dans une opération active de recherche et de sauvetage en Méditerranée. Au cours des trois derniers jours, l’Aquarius a porté assistance aux passagers de deux bateaux en détresse et compte maintenant 58 rescapés à son bord. Plusieurs d’entre eux sont dans un état de détresse psychologique, épuisés par les expériences traumatisantes vécues en mer et en Libye Ces rescapés doivent être rapidement débarqués dans un port sûr conformément au droit international maritime.

      Tout au long de son opération de sauvetage actuelle et au cours de toutes les opérations précédentes, l’Aquarius a maintenu une transparence totale sur ses actions, intervenant sous les instructions des centres de coordination maritimes et respectant les conventions maritimes internationales en vigueur.

      SOS Méditerranée et MSF insistent de nouveau sur le fait que l’Aquarius doit être autorisé à poursuivre sa mission de secours humanitaire. Elles exigent que les gouvernements européens lui attribuent un nouveau pavillon ou qu’ils intercèdent auprès des autorités panaméennes, leur confirmant que les menaces de rétorsion formulées par le gouvernement italien sont infondées.

      http://www.sosmediterranee.fr/journal-de-bord/CP23-09-2018-Panama

    • Migranti, Panama blocca la nave #Aquarius_2. Msf e Sos Méditerranée: «Pressioni dal governo italiano»

      Le autorità panamensi hanno revocato l’iscrizione dai propri registri navali, informando il proprietario della richiesta italiana di «azioni immediate». Il Viminale nega ogni intervento. Salvini: «Nessun Paese vuole essere identificato con una nave che intralcia i soccorsi in mare e attacca governi democratici»

      https://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2018/09/23/news/aquarius2-207151404

    • Pressioni italiane su Panama che cancellerà Aquarius dai registri navali, l’accusa è per non aver restituito alla Libia i migranti salvati

      SOS Méditerranée e Medici Senza Frontiere sono «sconvolte dall’annuncio dell’Autorità marittima di Panama di essere stata costretta a revocare l’iscrizione dell’Aquarius dal proprio registro navale sotto l’evidente pressione economica e politica delle autorità italiane.

      Questo provvedimento condanna centinaia di uomini, donne e bambini, alla disperata ricerca di sicurezza, ad annegare in mare e infligge un duro colpo alla missione umanitaria di Aquarius». Così in una nota le due organizzazioni umanitarie.

      SOS Mediterrannee e MSF chiedono all’Europa di permettere all’Aquarius di poter continuare ad operare nel Mediterraneo centrale e di far sapere alle autorità panamensi che «le minacce del governo italiano sono infondate o di garantire immediatamente una nuova bandiera per poter continuare a navigare».

      E’ quanto chiedono le due Ong in una nota nella quale è riportata anche una dichiarazione di Karline Kleijer, responsabile delle emergenze per Msf. «I leader europei - afferma Kleijer - sembrano non avere scrupoli nell’attuare tattiche sempre più offensive e crudeli che servono i propri interessi politici a scapito delle vite umane. Negli ultimi due anni, i leader europei hanno affermato che le persone non dovrebbero morire in mare, ma allo stesso tempo hanno perseguito politiche pericolose e male informate che hanno portato a nuovi minimi la crisi umanitaria nel Mediterraneo centrale e in Libia. Questa tragedia deve finire, ma ciò può accadere solo se i governi dell’Ue permetteranno all’Aquarius e alle altre navi di ricerca e soccorso di continuare a fornire assistenza».

      Salvini,denuncerò ong che aiutano scafisti - «Denuncerò per favoreggiamento dell’immigrazione clandestina chi aiuta gli scafisti». Lo afferma il Ministro dell’Interno Matteo Salvini che aggiunge: «Nelle ultime ore i trafficanti hanno ripreso a lavorare, riempiendo barchini e approfittando della collaborazione di qualche Ong. Tra queste c’è Aquarius 2, che poco fa ha recuperato 50 persone al largo di Zuara. Altri due gommoni, con a bordo 100 immigrati ciascuno, sarebbero in navigazione».

      Aquarius 2 recupera 50 persone,altre 100 in arrivo - Aquarius 2 ha recuperato 50 persone al largo della Libia, più precisamente al largo della città di Zuara. A renderlo noto è il Ministro dell’Interno Matteo Salvini.
      Salvini riferisce anche che Aquarius 2 sta per essere cancellata dai registri navali di Panama. La notizia era stata pubblicata due giorni fa dal quotidiano panamense La Prensa.

      "Per aver disatteso le procedure internazionali in materia di immigranti e rifugiati assistiti al largo delle coste nel Mediterraneo - si legge nell’articolo - l’amministrazione marittima panamense ha avviato l’iter per annullare d’ufficio la registrazione della nave «Aquarius 2», ex «Acquarius», con numero IMO 7600574. Questa nave ha registrato la prima immatricolazione in Germania e circa un mese fa è arrivata a Panama".

      «L’autorità marittima di Panama - riporta ancora la Prensa - ha riferito che la denuncia principale proviene dalle autorità italiane, che hanno riferito che il capitano della nave si è rifiutato di restituire gli immigranti e i rifugiati assistiti al loro luogo di origine».

      Nell’articolo si ricorda inoltre che già «l’amministrazione marittima di Gibilterra aveva negato il permesso di ’Aquarius’ di agire come un battello di emergenza e anche nel mese di giugno e luglio di quest’anno, ha chiesto formalmente che ’sospenda le sue operazioni’ e ritorni al suo stato di registrazione originale come ’nave oceanografica’».

      Galantino, strano parlare di migranti in dl sicurezza - «A me sembra strano che si parli di immigrati all’interno del decreto sicurezza. Inserirlo lì dentro significa giudicare già l’immigrato per una sua condizione», «per il suo essere immigrato e non per i comportamenti che può avere. E’ un brutto segnale sul piano culturale, perché si tratta di un tema sociale che va affrontato nel rispetto della legalità ma non possiamo considerare la condizione degli immigrati come una condizione di delinquenza». Lo ha detto a «Stanze Vaticane» di Tgcom24, Mons. Nunzio Galantino, Segretario Generale Cei.

      https://dirittiumani1.blogspot.com/2018/09/pressioni-italiane-su-panama-che.html

    • The Aquarius : Migrant rescue ship has registration revoked

      A rescue vessel operating in the central Mediterranean Sea has had its registration revoked, leaving its future operations in jeopardy.

      When the Aquarius next docks, it will have to remove its Panama maritime flag and cannot set sail without a new one.

      It is the last private rescue ship operating in the area used for crossings from Libya to Europe.

      The charities who run the vessel accuse the Italian government of pressuring Panama into deflagging the Aquarius.

      The two groups who lease it, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and SOS Mediterranée, say they were notified of the decision by the Panama Maritime Authority (PMA) on Saturday.

      The authority is said to have described the ship as a “political problem” for the country’s government, and said Italian authorities had urged them to take “immediate action” against them, according to SOS Mediterranée.

      Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who has previously described the aid boats as a “taxi service” for migrants, denies his country put pressure on Panama.

      On Sunday, he tweeted he “didn’t even know” what prefix Panama has for telephone calls.

      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45622431

    • Dopo le accuse alle ong da oggi Mediterraneo senza presidi umanitari

      Oggi, 20 settembre 2018, uno degli obiettivi politici di molti governi europei sembra pienamente raggiunto: il Mediterraneo centrale è privo di presidi umanitari, di imbarcazioni destinate a prestare soccorso, di mezzi attrezzati e personale formato al fine di salvare vite umane.

      Dunque, con la sola eccezione della nave Aquarius, dove opera Medici Senza Frontiere, il Mediterraneo è stato, per così dire, sgomberato dalla presenza di tutti i soccorritori e i volontari. E di tutti gli operatori umanitari (medici, psicologi, mediatori e interpreti) – a partire dal 2015 – hanno realizzato centinaia di missioni e centinaia di salvataggi, risparmiando migliaia e migliaia di vittime, offrendo riparo e protezione ai fuggiaschi di tante guerre e di tante miserie. E riducendo il numero delle stragi che, non da ieri ma dai primi anni novanta (attenzione: dai primi anni novanta), si ripetono in quel tratto di mare. Ora lì operano, quando operano, solo navi e organismi degli stati europei, in genere indirizzati verso la difesa delle frontiere piuttosto che verso il soccorso dei naufraghi.

      E alcune guardie costiere prive di indirizzi politici univoci e le motovedette della Libia (meglio sarebbe dire: delle diverse milizie libiche). È ciò che alcuni governi europei, compreso quello italiano, si sono proposti da tempo: cancellare, o comunque ridurre al minimo, il ruolo delle organizzazioni non governative finalizzate al soccorso per lasciare campo libero all’attività di respingimento di migranti e profughi attraverso il blocco del Mediterraneo con la chiusura di porti, vie d’accesso, canali di fuga e rotte alternative. L’obiettivo è chiarissimo: attraverso l’esclusione delle Ong si persegue la mortificazione, fino all’annullamento, del diritto/dovere al soccorso.

      E per ottenere quest’ultimo scopo, nel corso degli ultimi due anni si è attuata una sequenza micidiale: prima una campagna di delegittimazione delle Ong tramite lo sfregio della loro identità e della loro immagine e l’indecente assimilazione dei soccorritori ai criminali («Le ong complici degli scafisti»); poi una successione di iniziative giudiziarie tendenti ad assimilare l’attività di soccorso a una fattispecie penale: ovvero il salvataggio come reato. Infine, un attacco politico fondato sulla rappresentazione di migranti e richiedenti asilo come nemici della stabilità e della sicurezza dell’Europa – e in particolare dell’Italia – e delle ong come loro complici e sicari.

      Oggi, a distanza di qualche anno da quando questa manovra politica è iniziata, sul piano giudiziario non c’è stato nemmeno un rinvio a giudizio per un solo membro di una sola ong e, all’opposto, si sono avute ordinanze e sentenze che riconoscevano la loro attività come fondamentale e pienamente rispettosa delle leggi e del diritto internazionale. Tuttavia, come si è detto, oggi nel Mar Mediterraneo i presidi umanitari sono ridotti al lumicino e le conseguenze materiali e il relativo carico di sofferenze è stato onerosissimo. Le navi delle Ong hanno dovuto percorrere molte miglia in più durante ciascuna missione e sono rimaste in mare per giorni senza l’indicazione di un porto di approdo sicuro – costringendo donne, uomini e bambini, già provati fisicamente e psicologicamente, ad affrontare lunghissime traversate, spesso in condizioni meteorologiche avverse. Non solo, quindi, le recenti politiche nazionali e internazionali hanno messo in pericolo la loro incolumità e quella degli equipaggi delle Ong, ma perfino la Guardia Costiera italiana, come è noto, ha dovuto attendere dieci giorni prima di poter sbarcare a Catania le persone salvate.

      Eppure la partita è tutt’altro che conclusa. I flussi di migranti e profughi continuano e le morti non si arrestano. E la riduzione delle cifre relative agli sbarchi corrisponde, in una certa misura, all’incremento del numero di quanti vengono rinchiusi nei centri di detenzione in Libia, e lì torturati, stuprati, uccisi. L’assenza di presidi umanitari nel Mediterraneo fa sì che sempre meno si sappia di quanto lì accade: ma se è vero, come è vero, che appena qualche giorno fa ben 184 persone sono sbarcate a Lampedusa, ciò significa che le fughe continuano ma che si sono fatte meno visibili e meno controllabili.

      Per tutte queste ragioni, ieri si è tenuta una conferenza stampa alla Camera dei Deputati dove Sandro Veronesi, i rappresentanti di Proactiva Open Arms, Sea Watch e Medici Senza Frontiere, Eleonora Forenza, Riccardo Magi e chi scrive, hanno ragionato intorno al tema «Mediterraneo. Mare loro». Si è ricordato che Proactiva Open Arms ha deciso di trasferire le sue missioni nel Mediterraneo Occidentale, in attesa di tornare il prima possibile a fare il suo lavoro: salvare vite umane. Altrettanto intendono fare Sea Watch e Medici Senza Frontiere, come hanno affermato Giorgia Linardi e Marco Bertotto, convinti che il diritto/dovere al soccorso costituisca una prerogativa fondamentale della civiltà umana.

      https://ilmanifesto.it/dopo-le-accuse-alle-ong-da-oggi-mediterraneo-senza-presidi-umanitari

      #ONG #Méditerranée #asile #migrations #Méditerranée_centrale #sauvetage #réfugiés

    • Le Panama retire son pavillon à l’“Aquarius 2”, le dernier bateau d’ONG en Méditerranée

      Les autorités panaméennes ont annoncé leur intention de retirer son pavillon au bateau Aquarius 2. SOS Méditerranée et Médecins sans frontières, qui affrètent le bateau, dénoncent des pressions du gouvernement italien.


      https://www.courrierinternational.com/article/le-panama-retire-son-pavillon-laquarius-2-le-dernier-bateau-d

    • L’Aquarius demande à accoster en France, Paris préfère une « solution européenne »

      Bientôt privé de pavillon, le navire humanitaire Aquarius était lundi « en route vers Marseille » après avoir demandé « à titre exceptionnel » à la France de pouvoir y débarquer les 58 migrants secourus à son bord. Mais Paris y semblait peu favorable, évoquant plutôt une « solution européenne ».

      « Aujourd’hui, nous faisons la demande solennelle et officielle aux autorités françaises » de donner, « de manière humanitaire, l’autorisation de débarquer » les rescapés, parmi lesquels 17 femmes et 18 mineurs, a indiqué le directeur des opérations de SOS Méditerranée, Frédéric Penard.

      Il est pour l’instant impossible de prévoir « quand le navire arrivera » sur les côtes françaises, a souligné M. Penard lors d’une conférence de presse à Paris, l’Aquarius étant « toujours susceptible d’être mobilisé » pour une opération de sauvetage.

      Mais il faudrait « environ quatre jours » au navire, qui se trouve actuellement au large de la Libye, pour gagner Marseille, a précisé Francis Vallat, le président de l’ONG en France.

      Depuis le début de la crise provoquée cet été par la fermeture des ports italiens aux migrants, la France n’a jamais accepté de laisser débarquer les navires humanitaires, arguant qu’en vertu du droit maritime les naufragés doivent être débarqués dans le « port sûr » le plus proche.

      « Nous avons alerté d’autres pays mais nous avons du mal à imaginer que la France puisse refuser, compte tenu de la situation humanitaire », a ajouté M. Vallat. Sans préjuger de la réponse, il a assuré qu’à aucun moment les autorités, qui ont été prévenues en amont, « ne nous ont dissuadés de monter vers Marseille ».

      Mais Paris semblait dans la soirée peu favorable à cette hypothèse. Contacté par l’AFP, Matignon a d’abord indiqué chercher « une solution européenne » selon le principe du « port sûr le plus proche ». « Et en l’occurrence ce n’est pas Marseille », a ensuite précisé le porte-parole du gouvernement, Benjamin Griveaux, sur Canal+.

      Pour SOS Méditerranée et Médecins sans frontières (MSF), qui ont affrété le navire, la situation est également « extrêmement critique » parce que le navire risque de perdre le pavillon du Panama au moment de toucher terre, a fait valoir M. Penard. Regagner Marseille, port d’attache du navire et siège de SOS Méditerranée, est donc crucial pour « mener ce combat, qui va être difficile, pour repavilloner l’Aquarius ».

      – « Du jamais vu » -

      Les autorités maritimes panaméennes ont annoncé samedi qu’elles allaient retirer son pavillon à l’Aquarius, déjà privé en août de pavillon par Gibraltar, pour « non-respect » des « procédures juridiques internationales » concernant le sauvetage de migrants en mer Méditerranée.

      « Du jamais vu et en soi un scandale », selon M. Vallat, qui a demandé au Panama « de revenir sur sa décision » et sinon aux Etats européens de fournir un pavillon à l’Aquarius. « Nous ne voulons pas nous arrêter, nous ne cèderons qu’à la force ou à la contrainte », a-t-il lancé.

      Les deux ONG avaient précédemment dénoncé « la pression économique et politique flagrante exercée par le gouvernement italien » sur les autorités panaméennes — allégation contestée par le ministre italien de l’Intérieur Matteo Salvini.

      Aujourd’hui « l’Aquarius est le seul navire civil en Méditerranée centrale, qui est la route maritime la plus mortelle du monde », a fait valoir SOS Méditerranée, avec « plus de 1.250 noyés » depuis le début de l’année.

      Les autres navires humanitaires, qui étaient encore une dizaine il y a un peu plus d’un an au large de la Libye, ont quitté la zone pour des raisons diverses. Le Lifeline est bloqué à La Valette où les autorités ont ouvert une enquête administrative, tandis que le Iuventa, soupçonné de collusion avec des passeurs, a été saisi par les autorités italiennes en août 2017.

      « Non seulement les Européens ne mettent pas en place de mécanisme de sauvetage pérenne, mais ils essaient de détruire la capacité de la société civile à répondre à cette crise en Méditerranée », s’est indignée AssiBa Hadj-Sahraoui de MSF.

      Même si on est loin du pic des arrivées de 2015, la question migratoire divise encore profondément l’Europe, qui cherche à empêcher les départs clandestins.

      En juin, l’Aquarius avait déjà été au cœur d’une crise diplomatique, après avoir récupéré 630 migrants au large de la Libye, débarqués en Espagne après le refus de l’Italie et de Malte de les accepter. Le scénario s’était répété en août pour 141 migrants débarqués à Malte.

      https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2018/09/24/l-aquarius-demande-a-accoster-en-france-paris-prefere-une-solution-europe

    • La marine royale ouvre le feu sur un go-fast et fait 1 mort et 3 blessés

      Les personnes à bord étaient toutes marocaines, à l’exception du pilote, espagnol.

      Un bateau qui naviguait dans les eaux marocaines de la Méditerranée, a été, ce mardi 25 septembre, la cible de tirs d’une unité de la marine royale, annonce un communiqué de la préfecture de M’diq-Fnideq. L’embarcation avait refusé de se conformer aux avertissements qui lui avaient été adressés, poursuit le communiqué.

      Le bateau rapide de type “Go fast”, qui a été arrêté, était piloté par un citoyen espagnol et transportait des candidats à l’immigration clandestine, selon les données initiales rapportées par la préfecture. Les migrants à bord seraient quant à eux de nationalité marocaine, rapportent 2M.ma.

      La #fusillade a causé 4 blessés qui ont été transférés à l’hôpital régional de Fnideq pour recevoir les traitements nécessaires.

      Une première information rapportée par nos confrères de 2M, citant une source hospitalière dans un post sur Twitter, indiquait qu’une femme parmi les blessés avait succombé à ses blessures à l’hôpital. Ce post a été supprimé dans la soirée, avant de repartager l’info après 22h.

      https://www.huffpostmaghreb.com/entry/la-marine-royale-ouvre-le-feu-sur-un-go-fast-et-fait-un-mort-et-tro
      #Maroc

      Une des victimes:
      Una joven, víctima de los disparos de la Marina Real de Marruecos cuando huía a España


      https://elpais.com/politica/2018/09/26/actualidad/1537984724_391033.html?id_externo_rsoc=TW_CC

    • L’"Aquarius", un bateau pirate ? Quatre questions sur l’imbroglio juridique qui menace le navire humanitaire

      Le Panama a décidé de retirer le pavillon accordé cet été au bateau géré par l’ONG SOS Méditerranée, remettant en cause sa mission de sauvetage de migrants récupérés au large de la Libye.

      Les obstacles à la navigation de l’Aquarius s’accumulent. Le Panama a annoncé, samedi 22 septembre, qu’il allait retirer son pavillon au navire humanitaire, alors que celui-ci cherche un port pour débarquer 58 naufragés secourus au large de la Libye. L’Aquarius avait repris ses activités de sauvetage la semaine dernière après une escale forcée de 19 jours, faute de pavillon, et a annoncé qu’il faisait désormais route vers Marseille. Franceinfo fait le point sur cette décision et ses conséquences pour le navire humanitaire.

      Comment le Panama justifie-t-il cette décision ?

      Les autorités maritimes du Panama se sont fendues d’une explication de quelques lignes dans un communiqué diffusé sur leur site. « L’administration maritime panaméenne a entamé une procédure d’annulation officielle de l’immatriculation du navire Aquarius 2, ex-Aquarius (...) après la réception de rapports internationaux indiquant que le navire ne respecte pas les procédures juridiques internationales concernant les migrants et les réfugiés pris en charge sur les côtes de la mer Méditerranée », établit ce communiqué.

      Le Panama évoque également le fait que le navire s’est déjà vu retirer son pavillon par Gibraltar. En août, le gouvernement de Gibraltar avait révoqué le pavillon de l’Aquarius après lui avoir demandé de suspendre ses activités de sauvetage pour lesquelles il n’est pas enregistré dans le territoire britannique. Le bateau s’était alors tourné vers le Panama.

      L’"Aquarius" a-t-il enfreint le droit international ?

      A quelles « procédures juridiques internationales » le Panama fait-il référence ? L’Etat d’Amérique centrale indique que la principale plainte émane des autorités italiennes, selon lesquelles « le capitaine du navire a refusé de renvoyer des migrants et réfugiés pris en charge vers leur lieu d’origine ».

      Une référence, ici, au refus du navire de ramener en Libye des naufragés qui avaient pris la mer depuis les côtes libyennes, selon Alina Miron, professeure de droit international à l’université d’Angers et spécialisée dans le droit maritime, « puisque tous les naufragés secourus par l’Aquarius, depuis qu’il bat le pavillon panaméen, venaient de Libye », souligne-t-elle à franceinfo.

      Et « de ce point de vue-là, l’Aquarius ne contrevient nullement au droit international », explique Alina Miron. « L’Aquarius a surtout l’obligation de ne pas les ramener en Libye », fait-elle valoir. En effet, les conventions maritimes internationales prévoient que toute personne secourue en mer, quels que soient son statut et sa nationalité, soit débarquée dans un lieu sûr. Or, la Libye n’est pas considérée comme un lieu sûr de débarquement, comme l’a rappelé le Haut-Commissariat pour les réfugiés des Nations unies (HCR) en septembre.

      Quel est le rôle de l’Italie dans cette décision ?

      « Cette révocation résulte de la pression économique et politique flagrante exercée par le gouvernement italien » sur le Panama, ont déclaré les ONG Médecins sans frontières et SOS Méditerrannée, qui gèrent l’Aquarius, dans un communiqué.

      « Le communiqué du Panama établit que les autorités ont pris cette décision suite à une communication avec l’Italie. Cela veut bien dire que le Panama n’a pas pris cette décision de son propre chef, d’autant plus qu’il avait pris le temps de vérifier la situation de l’Aquarius avant de lui accorder son pavillon cet été », souligne de son côté Alina Miron.

      Le communiqué du Panama précise par ailleurs que « l’exécution d’actes portant atteinte aux intérêts nationaux constitue une cause de radiation d’office de l’immatriculation des navires ».

      Cela illustre les pressions de l’Italie qui ont conduit le Panama à prendre cette décision.Alina Miron, spécialiste du droit maritimeà franceinfo

      Qu’est-ce que cela change pour l’"Aquarius" ?

      Le retrait du pavillon panaméen n’est pas effectif immédiatement. Les conventions internationales établissent qu’aucun changement de pavillon ne peut intervenir au cours d’un voyage ou d’une escale. L’Aquarius conserve donc son pavillon pendant toute la durée de son voyage, jusqu’à ce qu’il rejoigne son port d’attache au Panama ou qu’il fasse une longue escale technique.

      « Ça, c’est en théorie, détaille Alina Miron, mais le Panama a créé une situation de confusion et certaines marines nationales, notamment la marine libyenne, vont utiliser cette confusion pour considérer l’Aquarius comme un navire sans nationalité. » Or, les marines nationales peuvent exercer des pouvoirs de police sur des navires sans nationalité en haute mer, ce qui est impossible sur un navire qui bat pavillon, développe la juriste. « Le risque le plus immédiat, pour l’Aquarius, c’est que la marine libyenne monte à bord pour opérer des vérifications, même sans accord du capitaine », explique Alina Miron.

      Face à cette situation, SOS Mediterrannée et Médecins sans frontières « demandent aux gouvernements européens d’autoriser l’Aquarius à poursuivre sa mission, en intercédant auprès des autorités panaméennes et en réaffirmant que les menaces de rétorsion formulées à leur égard par les autorités italiennes sont infondées, ou en lui délivrant immédiatement un nouveau pavillon sous lequel naviguer ».

      https://mobile.francetvinfo.fr/monde/europe/migrants/aquarius/l-aquarius-un-bateau-pirate-quatre-questions-sur-l-imbroglio-juridique-qui-menace-le-navire-humanitaire_2954663.html#xtref=http://m.facebook.com

    • Aquarius, "Stati Ue concedano bandiera”. E spunta l’ipotesi Vaticano

      Dopo le pressioni Panama cancella Aquarius II dal suo registro. Penard (Sos Mediterranée): “Stati che dicono di aderire a solidarietà propongano soluzione”. Lodesani (Msf): “Stanchi di menzogne e attacchi, nostro obiettivo salvare vite, a bordo anche famiglie libiche che scappano da inferno”

      Un appello a tutti gli Stati europei, in particolare a quelli che “ripetono di aderire a valori di solidarietà” perché consentano l’iscrizione della bandiera della nave Aquarius II, in uno dei loro registri nazionali. “L’unico gesto concreto per rendere ancora possibile il salvataggio in mare di persone in difficoltà all’ultima nave di ong rimasta nel Mediterraneo”. Lo hanno ribadito in una conferenza stampa oggi a Roma Frederic Penard, direttore delle operazioni Sos Mediterranee e Claudia Lodesani, presidente di Medici senza frontiere.

      Il caso politico diplomatico è noto: dopo gli ultimi salvataggi in mare operati da Aquarius II, a largo della Libia, e il rifiuto di riconsegnare le persone alla cosiddetta guardia costiera libica, Panama ha comunicato di voler ritirare la sua bandiera alla nave, per evitare di avere “problemi politici” con l’Italia. Ma l’assenza di una bandiera vuol dire di fatto fermare la nave. “Per noi è stato uno shock - spiega Penard - In questo momento siamo l’ultima nave a fare ricerca e soccorso nel Mediterraneo. Per l’iscrizione al registro di Panama abbiamo fornito oltre 70 certificazioni alle autorità, siamo perfettamente in regola e abbiamo sempre agito nella legalità - aggiunge il responsabile di Sos Mediterranèe -. Abbiamo chiesto spiegazioni, anche per capire il perché di questo passo indietro”. Le due ong spiegano che in una nota riservata dell’autorità marittima panamense inviata all’ armatore di Aquarius, si dice esplicitamente che la nave deve essere esclusa dal registro perché la sua permanenza provocherebbe un “problema politico” con l’Italia. L’armatore di Aquarius ha parlato esplicitamente di “pressioni politiche” sul governo panamense.

      “La nostra richiesta è che Panama torni indietro sulla sua decisione, riconsiderandola - aggiunge Penard -. Inoltre chiediamo agli Stati europei di proporre una soluzione per Aquarius, e alla società civile di fare pressione sui propri governi per sostenere il nostro lavoro, il soccorso in mare non può essere criminalizzato”. In queste ore alcuni parlamentari si sono mossi in Svizzera per chiedere che il governo elvetico conceda la propria bandiera.

      Un appello dal basso, che inizia a circolare anche sui social, chiama in causa anche il Vaticano: “Non so se sia possibile, ma se lo fosse, sarebbe bello che il Vaticano offrisse la propria bandiera alla nave Aquarius - sottolinea don Luca Favarin, parroco di Padova su Facebook-. Una chiesa in acqua non farà mai acqua. Così limpidamente e semplicemente schierata dalla parte degli ultimi, sbilanciata sui diritti dei poveri”. Penard ha spiegato di non aver contattato direttamente nessuno stato, e che l’appello vale per tutti quindi semmai fosse offerto il registro Vaticano sarebbe accettato con favore, anche se “probabilmente quel registro, che esiste, non viene usato da secoli”.

      Intanto, le due organizzazioni non nascondono il malumore per i continui attacchi politici, e mediatici, nei confronti del loro operato. "Siamo stanchi di menzogne, attacchi e intimidazioni, di essere additati come quelli che violano le norme internazionali. È il momento di accusare chi sono i veri responsabili del business degli scafisti: le scellerate politiche europee” sottolinea Claudia Lodesani. “Siamo stati chiamati noi vicescafisti - aggiunge - ma oggi gli Stati europei non prendono neanche in considerazione l’ipotesi di pensare a vie legali di ingresso. Sono queste politiche che aiutano gli scafisti, non certo noi. Il nostro obiettivo è la salvaguardia della vita umana e in nome di questo operiamo salvataggi in mare”. Lodesani ricorda che dall’inizio dell’anno, pur a fronte di una diminuzione di arrivi dell’80 per cento, ci sono già stati 1260 morti in mare. “Siamo passati da 1 morto ogni 32 a 1 morto ogni 18 - Ostacolare il soccorso e l’azione umanitaria vuol dire solo eliminare testimoni scomodi dal Mediterraneo. La vita delle persone non è più al centro delle politiche, ma ora le persone sono usate come ostaggio dalla politica - aggiunge - . Questa situazione è responsabilità è di tutti i paesi europei, anche perché parlando di poche persone. Inoltre, bisogna ricordare che il salvataggio in mare va distinto dall’accoglienza ed è governato da leggi internazionali. Va assicurato il porto più sicuro e più vicino di sbarco. Poi - continua - come sempre abbiamo fatto, chiediamo la solidarietà europea nell’accoglienza”.

      Tra le 58 persone tratte in salvo da Aquarius II nel Mediterraneo ci sono anche 37 libici: “ si tratta di famiglie che scappano dall’Inferno della Libia, un paese attualmente in guerra. E che quindi non può essere considerato un luogo sicuro, le persone non possono essere respinte in Libia. Ci chiediamo se riportarle in quell’inferno sia etico e se sia legale”. “Tra le altre persone a bordo - aggiunge Mathilde Auvillain, di Sos Mediterranée, ci sono 18 minori, 17 donne, di cui una incinta. Ci siamo rifiutati di fare il trasbordo di queste persone sulle motovedette libiche, perché riportarle indietro è illegale”. Lo sbarco, dopo il rifiuto dell’Italia dovrebbe avvenire nei prossimi giorni a Malta, ma non si sa ancora quando. I migranti saranno poi accolti in 4 paesi: Francia, Portogallo, Spagna e Germania.

      “Il soccorso in mare è regolato da principi fondamentali e regole precise - spiega Lorenzo Trucco, presidente di Asgi (Associazione studi giuridici sull’immigrazione) - In particolare, dalla Convenzione Soas sulla salvaguardia in mare, dalla Convenzione Sar e dalla Convenzione europea sul soccorso in mare. Tutte queste convenzioni sono state ratificate con leggi in Italia e tutte dicono che il principio primario è la salvaguardia della persona, che va salvata e portata in un luogo sicuro. Per questo la questione libica non è un’opinione, è certificato che non si tratti un luogo sicuro, quello che accade nei centri di detenzione è stato denunciato a settembre anche da Unhcr. Il respingimento di persone in Libia è grave - afferma - La questione del soccorso non è solo diritto ma un obbligo sanzionato da tutte le nazioni. E’ paradossale, quindi, quello che sta succedendo”.

      Duro il commento anche di Filippo Miraglia di Arci sulle pressioni dell’Italia verso il governo panamense: “Msf e Sos Medierranée in questo momento rappresentano tutti noi in mare, mi fa accapponare la pelle pensare che il governo italiano abbia intimidito in maniera mafiosa il governo panamense - afferma - E’ un gesta che fa venire i brividi, come fa venire i brividi il combinato disposto tra la chiusura dei porti e il decreto Salvini. C’è da vergognarsi”.

      http://www.redattoresociale.it/Notiziario/Articolo/598417/Aquarius-Stati-Ue-concedano-bandiera-E-spunta-l-ipotesi-Vaticano
      #Vatican

    • Appel à donner le pavillon suisse à l’Aquarius : interview de Guillaume Barazzone

      Le Conseil fédéral doit accorder un pavillon suisse à l’Aquarius, ont demandé mercredi trois parlementaires. Depuis trois jours, ce navire qui porte secours aux migrants en mer Méditerranée, n’a plus de drapeau. Interview de Guillaume Barazzone (PDC/GE), l’un des auteurs de cette interpellation.

      https://www.rts.ch/play/radio/forum/audio/appel-a-donner-le-pavillon-suisse-a-laquarius-interview-de-guillaume-barazzone?i

    • Vive émotion au Maroc après les tirs meurtriers de la marine sur un bateau de migrants

      La jeune femme tuée tentait d’atteindre l’Espagne. Un trajet de plus en plus emprunté, sur fond de tension migratoire accrue dans le royaume.

      L’émotion était vive au Maroc, mercredi 26 septembre, au lendemain de la mort d’une femme de 22 ans, originaire de la ville de Tétouan, tuée alors qu’elle tentait d’émigrer vers l’Espagne. Selon les autorités locales, la marine a été « contrainte » d’ouvrir le feu alors qu’un « go fast » (une puissante embarcation à moteur) piloté par un Espagnol « refusait d’obtempérer » dans les eaux marocaines au large de M’diq-Fnideq (nord). Outre la jeune Marocaine décédée, trois autres migrants ont été blessés, a confirmé une source officielle à l’AFP.

      Le drame s’est produit dans un contexte de tension migratoire au Maroc, confronté à une forte hausse des tentatives d’émigration depuis ses côtes et autour des enclaves espagnoles de Ceuta et Melilla. Rabat a ainsi indiqué avoir empêché 54 000 tentatives de passage vers l’Union européenne depuis janvier. De son côté, le Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés (HCR) chiffre le nombre d’arrivées en Espagne à quelque 40 000 personnes depuis le début de l’année (contre 28 000 en 2017 et 14 000 en 2016).

      Rafles et éloignements forcés

      La route migratoire Maroc-Espagne, qui était très utilisée il y a une dizaine d’années, a connu une nouvelle hausse d’activité depuis le renforcement des contrôles sur la Libye et les témoignages d’extrême violence contre les migrants par les réseaux de passeurs dans ce pays. Mais le Maroc voit également augmenter le nombre de ses nationaux candidats au départ, poussés par l’absence de perspectives dans un pays où 27,5 % des 15-24 ans sont hors du système scolaire et sans emploi. Selon le HCR, les Marocains représentaient 17,4 % des arrivées en Espagne en 2017, la première nationalité devant les Guinéens et les Algériens.

      Depuis 2015, le palais royal avait mis en avant une nouvelle politique migratoire avec deux campagnes de régularisation de 50 000 clandestins, principalement des Subsahariens. Mais ces derniers mois, le royaume a considérablement durci ses pratiques, multipliant les rafles et les éloignements forcés. Selon le Groupe antiraciste de défense et d’accompagnement des étrangers et migrants, une association marocaine, 6 500 personnes ont ainsi été arrêtées et déplacées du nord du pays vers des villes reculées du centre et du sud entre juillet et septembre.

      Le gouvernement a eu beau plaider que ces déplacements se font dans le « respect de la loi », les associations dénoncent des violences et l’absence de cadre légal concernant ces pratiques. Mi-août, deux migrants sont morts après avoir sauté du bus qui les éloignait de Tanger. Amnesty International a souligné une « répression choquante », « à la fois cruelle et illégale ». « Depuis fin juillet, la police marocaine ainsi que la gendarmerie royale et les forces auxiliaires procèdent à des raids majeurs dans les quartiers de plusieurs villes où vivent les réfugiés et les migrants, d’une intensité particulière dans les provinces du nord du pays de Tanger, Nador et Tétouan, qui bordent la frontière espagnole », écrit l’ONG. Les zones entourant les deux enclaves espagnoles en terre africaine, Ceuta et Melilla, sont traditionnellement le lieu de regroupement des migrants qui veulent tenter de rejoindre l’Europe.

      https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2018/09/27/vive-emotion-au-maroc-apres-les-tirs-meurtriers-de-la-marine-sur-un-bateau-d

    • Migranti, la sfida delle associazioni italiane: una imbarcazione nel Mediterraneo per salvarli

      Ong e Onlus hanno organizzato un’imbarcazione battente la bandiera del nostro Paese per «un’azione di disobbedienza morale contro gli slogan delle destre nazionaliste e di obbedienza alle leggi del mare, del diritto internazionale e della Costituzione»

      A BORDO DELLA NAVE APPOGGIO BURLESQUE - Il rimorchiatore battente bandiera italiana “Mare Ionio” è partito nella notte di mercoledì dal porto di Augusta alla volta della costa Libica. Si tratta della prima missione in acque internazionali completamente organizzata in Italia ed è stata ribattezzata “Mediterranea”.
      Il progetto, promosso da varie associazioni (tra cui Arci nazionale, Ya Basta di Bologna, la Ong Sea-Watch, il magazine online I Diavoli e l’impresa sociale Moltivolti di Palermo) e sostenuto politicamente e finanziariamente da Nichi Vendola e tre parlamentari di Leu (Nicola Fratoianni, Erasmo Palazzotto e Rossella Muroni). E’ stato avviato nello scorso luglio ed ha preso corpo nei mesi successivi. L’attività del “Mar Ionio” sarà ufficialmente circoscritta di “monitoraggio, testimonianza e denuncia”, spiegano gli organizzatori. Tuttavia tra le dotazioni a disposizione del “Mare Ionio” ci sono anche gli equipaggiamenti per il Sar, l’attività di search and rescue per la quale però non è abilitato.

      Nelle prossime ore l’imbarcazione, seguita dalla barca appoggio Burlesque (uno sloop Bavaria 50 battente bandiera spagnola con a bordo giornalisti nazionali e internazionali, attivisti e mediatori culturali), entrerà in azione nella stessa zona in cui da qualche giorno incrocia il veliero Astral dell’ong spagnola Open Arms, più volte definita dal ministro dell’Interno Matteo Salvini, un “taxi del mare”.

      “Non potevamo più stare a guardare – dicono da bordo gli attivisti - bisognava agire e trovare il modo di contrastare il declino culturale e morale che abbiamo davanti. Quella di Mediterranea è un’azione di disobbedienza morale ed al contempo di obbedienza civile. Disobbediamo al prevalente del discorso pubblico delle destre nazionaliste obbedendo alle leggi del mare, del diritto internazionale e della nostra Costituzione che prevedono l’obbligatorietà del salvataggio di chi si trova in condizioni di pericolo”.


      https://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2018/10/04/news/migranti_una_nave_delle_ong_italiane_nel_mediterraneo_per_salvarli-208134

      –-> reçu par la mailing-list Migreurop, en commentaire de l’article italien:

      FR : Plusieurs ONG ont organisé un bateau battant le drapeau de l’Italie comme une « action de désobéissance morale contre les slogans des droites nationalistes et d’obéissance aux droits de la mer, au droit international et à la Constitution »
      Le remorqueur battant le drapeau italien « #Mare_Ionio » est parti dans la nuit de mercredi du port d’Auguste (Sicile) vers les côtes libyennes. C’est la première mission en eaux internationales entièrement organisée en Italie et a été nommée « #Mediterranea ».
      Le projet, à l’initiative de diverses associations (dont Arci, Ya Basta de Bologne, l’ONG Sea-Watch, la revue en ligne I Diavoli et Moltivolti de Palerme) est politiquement soutenue et financée par Nichi Velonda et trois autres parlementaires LeU (Nicola Fratoianni, Erasmo Palazzotto e Rossella Muroni).
      Le projet a commencée en juillet dernier et a pris forme dans les mois suivants. L’activité de « Mare Ionio » sera officiellement circonscrite à celles de la « surveillance, le témoignage et la dénonciation », expliquent les organisateurs. Cependant, parmi les équipements et les dispositifs du « Mare Ionio », on retrouve des équipements Sar, l’activité de Search and Rescue pour laquelle il ne dispose pas d’habilitation.
      Dans les prochaines heures, l’embarcation, suivie par le bateau Burlesque (un voilier Bavaria 50 battant le drapeau espagnol, avec à bord des journalistes nationaux et internationaux, des activistes et des médiateurs culturels), entrera en action dans la même zone que le voilier Astral de l’ONG espagnole Open Arms, défini à plusieurs reprises comme un « taxi de la mer » par le ministre de l’Intérieur Matteo Salvini.

    • New Italian-flagged migrant rescue ship heads into Mediterranean

      A new Italian-flagged migrant rescue ship was headed for the waters off Libya on Thursday, one of the aid groups running the boat said, after similar vessels were prevented from operating.

      “The #MareJonio is on its way!” Sea-Watch tweeted. “In cooperation with #Mediterranea we are back at sea, to keep a sharp lookout and to challenge the European policy of letting people drown.”

      The announcement came on the same day that the Aquarius rescue ship sailed into Marseille harbour and an uncertain fate after Panama pulled its flag, meaning it cannot leave port without a new flag.

      The Mare Jonio is a tug flying the Italian flag that left Augusta in Sicily on Wednesday evening, headed south, maritime tracking websites said. The 37-metre vessel – around half the length of the Aquarius – is not intended to rescue migrants and bring them to a safe port, but to spot and secure migrant-carrying boats that are in distress.

      It will also provide a civilian presence in an area where they say the Libyan coastguard and international military vessels are failing to rescue people, despite several shipwrecks in September. Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms sent the Astral sailboat to the area on a similar mission a few days ago.

      The Astral was off the coast of Lampedusa on Wednesday to commemorate the fifth anniversary of a shipwreck there in which 366 migrants died in 2013. The disaster pushed Italy to launch its Mare Nostrum military operation to rescue migrants making the perilous journey from North Africa to Europe.

      Since then European Union and NGO boats have joined in, although most of the aid group boats have now stopped work, some because of what they say are trumped-up administrative charges.

      The International Organisation for Migration says that around 15,000 migrants have drowned in the central Mediterranean since the Lampedusa disaster. During the same period Italy has received around 600,000 migrants on its coast, while other European nations have closed their borders.

      Italy’s former centre-left government tried to stem the flow of migrants by working with the Libyan authorities and limiting the NGO effort. Anti-immigrant Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, who came to power as part of a populist government in June, has since then closed Italian ports to civilian and military boats that have rescued migrants, saying Italy bears an unfair share of the migrant burden.


      https://www.thelocal.it/20181004/new-italian-flagged-migrant-rescue-ship-heads-into-mediterranean
      #Mare_Jonio

    • Tweet de Matteo Villa:

      Tutto sbagliato nella missione di #Mediterranea. Un disastro pronto per succedere, sotto tutti i punti di vista: tecnico, logistico, politico. Non è così che si fa salvataggio in mare. E non è così che si fa azione politica.
      Il problema è molteplice. Non si va in mare: (a) con gente impreparata; (b) con navi scassate e che contengono a malapena l’equipaggio; (c) con intenti solo politici, senza possibilità di salvare vite; (d) con lo scopo di forzare, portando violenza dove dovrebbe esserci soccorso.

      https://twitter.com/emmevilla/status/1047886597071548416

    • Italian-flagged migrant rescue boat defies anti immigration minister

      Vessel Mare Jonio sets out towards Libya despite Matteo Salvini clampdown on rescued migrants entering Italian ports

      The first non-military, Italian-flagged, rescue boat to operate in the Mediterranean since the migration crisis began has left for waters off Libya, in a direct challenge to Italy’s far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini.

      NGO rescue boats have all but disappeared from the main migration routes since Salvini announced soon after taking office this summer that he was closing Italian ports to non-Italian rescue vessels.

      The Italian flag on the 38-metre Mare Jonio will make it harder for Salvini to prevent it from docking, though he could still move to prevent people from disembarking. The boat has been bought and equipped by a coalition of leftwing politicians, anti-racist associations, intellectuals and figures in the arts, under the supervision of two NGOs. Its mission has been called Mediterranea.
      “We want to affirm a principle of humanity that rightwing policies seem to have forgotten,” Erasmo Palazzotto from the leftwing LeU (Free and Equal) party said.

      Anti-immigration policies by the Maltese and Italian governments, which have closed their ports to rescue vessels, have driven a sharp decrease in rescue missions. People seeking asylum are still attempting the risky crossing. But without the rescue boats, shipwrecks are likely to rise dramatically.
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      In August, Salvini refused a landing to 177 people saved in the central Mediterranean by an Italian coastguard ship. The vessel was authorised to dock at the port of Catania but the people on board were forced to remain on board for almost a week.

      ‘‘Should we expect Salvini to close the ports to us too? We are an Italian boat, flying the Italian flag. They will have to answer to this,” Palazzotto said. “If they then attempt to refuse to let the migrants disembark we will not remain silent and will give voice to them from the ship.”

      The ship has received support from the Spanish NGO Pro-Activa and the aid group Seawatch, as well as the writer Elena Stancanelli and the film director Paolo Virzì.

      “This is a moral disobedience mission but also a civil obedience one,” the Mediterranea mission’s press office said in a statement. “We will disobey nationalism and xenophobia. Instead we will obey our constitution, international law and the law of the sea, which includes saving lives.”

      The death toll in the central Mediterranean has fallen in the past year, but the number of those drowning as a proportion of arrivals in Italy has risen sharply in the past few months, with the possibility of dying during the crossing now three times higher. So far in 2018, 21,041 people have made the crossing and 1,260 have died.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/04/italian-flagged-migrant-rescue-boat-mare-jonio-sets-sail-in-challenge-t

    • Giovedì 4 ottobre – ore 16.25 – Salvini: “Nave Mediterranea? In Italia non ci arrivate”. “Ho saputo che c’è una nave dei centri sociali che vaga per il Mediterraneo per una missione umanitaria e proverà a sbarcare migranti in Italia. Fate quello che volete, prendete il pedalò. Andate in Tunisia, Libia o Egitto, ma in Italia nisba”. Lo ha detto il vicepremier e ministro dell’Interno Matteo Salvini in una diretta Facebook con riferimento alla nave italiana Mediterranea, salpata oggi per svolgere un’attività di monitoraggio, testimonianza e denuncia della situazione nel Mediterraneo.

      “Potete raccogliere chi volete però in Italia non ci arrivate”, ha aggiunto Salvini.

      https://www.tpi.it/2018/10/05/governo-ultime-news

    • *Perché la missione umanitaria «Mediterranea» rischia di diventare un boomerang*

      Mezzi inadeguati, personale non preparato, ricerca dello scontro diplomatico. «Politicizzare i salvataggi in mare rischia di non portare benefici», dice Matteo Villa dell’Ispi.

      Una piccola missione umanitaria nel Canale di Sicilia rischia di compromettere le operazioni di salvataggio dei migranti nel Mediterraneo, già rese complesse dalla politica dei respingimenti adottata dal governo italiano. Nella notte tra mercoledì e giovedì il piccolo rimorchiatore Mare Jonio è salpato dal porto di Augusta per dirigersi verso le acque sar (search and rescue) della Libia, nell’ambito dell’operazione denominata “Mediterranea”. La missione è stata preparata in gran segreto durante gli ultimi mesi e coinvolge ong (Sea Watch), associazioni (Ya Basta Bologna e Arci), e politici (Fratoianni, Palazzotto, Vendola e Muroni) che hanno raccolto i finanziamenti necessari. L’obiettivo – spiega il sito di “Mediterranea” – è quello di svolgere l’“essenziale funzione di testimonianza, documentazione e denuncia di ciò che accade in quelle acque, e che oggi nessuno è più messo nelle condizioni di svolgere”. Quasi un assist per il ministro dell’Interno Matteo Salvini, che l’ha subito definita una «nave di scalcagnati dei centri sociali che va a prendere tre merluzzetti». «E’ una sentinella civica, benvenga», ha commentato invece l’altro vicepremier, Luigi Di Maio, ribadendo la scarsa condivisione di vedute con la Lega in tema di immigrazione.

      Mare Jonio è un’imbarcazione datata – varata nel 1972 – e rimessa a nuovo per l’occasione, ma soprattutto piccola, con appena 35 metri di lunghezza e 9 di larghezza. E’ coadiuvata dal veliero Astral dell’ong Proactiva Open Arms, l’unica nave umanitaria ancora attiva nel Mediterraneo centrale (anch’essa con soli compiti di osservazione) e da una goletta con a bordo giornalisti e mediatori culturali. Degli 11 membri dell’equipaggio a bordo del Mare Jonio, fatta eccezione per due operatori dell’ong Sea Watch, nessuno ha esperienze di operazioni sar in mare. La nave è dotata di un solo Rhib (la sigla sta per Rigid Inflatable boats), uno dei piccoli motoscafi adatti a svolgere salvataggi, anche in condizioni difficili. Un container è stato invece adattato a ospedale di bordo, pronto a prestare soccorso in caso di emergenza.

      Nonostante la missione voglia essere una risposta delle ong alla campagna anti-migranti voluta dal governo gialloverde, le criticità sono diverse. “L’idea di fondo, quella di aumentare l’attenzione generale nel Mediterraneo, è giusta. Ma politicizzare i salvataggi in mare rischia di non portare benefici, soprattutto nel lungo periodo”, spiega al Foglio Matteo Villa dell’Ispi. Secondo il ricercatore, che da anni studia i flussi migratori attraverso il Mediterraneo, gli strumenti a disposizione di “Mediterranea” sono inadeguati rispetto all’obiettivo della missione: “Pensare di pattugliare una zona tanto vasta con una sola imbarcazione non ha senso, oltre a comportare un esborso eccessivo tra carburante e strumentazione. Se davvero l’attività principale è quella di monitorare, è molto più efficace usare gli aerei, come succede già con i ’Piloti volontari’, attivi con ottimi risultati da maggio”.

      Ma l’aspetto ancora più preoccupante riguarda i rischi cui saranno sottoposti sia i migranti sia l’equipaggio di “Mediterranea”. Dice Villa: “Le perplessità sono tante e sono condivise anche da molti altri operatori umanitari che con professionalità compiono attività sar. Sotto diversi punti di vista, sia logistici sia politici, la missione è pronta a trasformarsi in un disastro a causa della notevole approssimazione con cui è organizzata, dice il ricercatore dell’Ispi. Nella migliore delle ipotesi l’operazione potrebbe risolversi in una magra figura, come già successo un anno fa con ’Defend Europe’, la nave anti-ong partita per ostacolare le missioni umanitarie e poi finita in avaria”. Ma potrebbero crearsi anche circostanze più complesse. “In caso di identificazione di un barcone in emergenza non è chiaro come si comporterà Mare Jonio. Sulla base di quanto avviene già adesso, è probabile che contatterà il comando Mrcc di Roma che coordina le operazioni di salvataggio e che, a sua volta, contatterà le autorità libiche. Nel caso di intervento delle motovedette di Tripoli potrebbe succedere di tutto: il rimorchiatore come intende agire? Interverrà? Segnalerà l’emergenza e basta?”, si chiede Villa. Per non parlare delle difficoltà logistiche: “In quei momenti concitati i migranti, soprattutto alla vista delle motovedette libiche, sono presi dal panico, molti si gettano in acqua per paura di essere riportati indietro. A bordo del rimorchiatore pare possano essere raccolte poche persone, e certo non per lunghi periodi di tempo”. Andare a cercare lo scontro aperto o l’incidente diplomatico per riaccendere l’attenzione dei governi sui salvataggi in mare può trasformarsi in un boomerang per le ong. La mobilitazione è figlia senza dubbio della politica migratoria più stringente adottata dal governo italiano. “Ma affidare a gruppi antagonisti le operazioni di salvataggio, senza una preparazione e una visione di lungo periodo – conclude Villa – rischia di essere controproducente per chi ritiene i salvataggi in mare una questione molto seria”.

      https://www.ilfoglio.it/cronache/2018/10/05/news/perche-la-missione-umanitaria-mediterranea-rischia-di-diventare-un-boomeran

    • « On doit veiller à ce que ces gens ne se noient pas »

      L’Aquarius vient de perdre pour la deuxième fois son pavillon. Le navire de sauvetage fait route vers Malte avec 58 migrants à son bord. Sans pavillon, il devrait interrompre sa mission. Des parlementaires demandent qu’on lui donne le pavillon suisse.

      Avec les organisations d’entraide Médecins sans frontières (MSFLien externe) et SOS MéditerranéeLien externe, l’Aquarius sauve des migrants en détresse. Il est le dernier navire de sauvetage non gouvernemental en Méditerranée centrale. Depuis que l’Italie a fermé ses ports aux bateaux humanitaires, toutes les ONG se sont retirées du secteur.

      Le week-end dernier, le Panama a annoncé qu’il retirerait son pavillon à l’Aquarius, car celui-ci n’aurait pas respecté le droit international de la mer. En août, Gibraltar avait déjà biffé le navire de son registre maritime. Sans pavillon, l’Aquarius ne peut plus remplir ses missions de sauvetage.

      Cette semaine, trois parlementaires suisses ont demandé, par voie d’interpellation, un geste humanitaire de la Suisse, afin qu’elle accorde son pavillon à l’Aquarius. L’un d’eux est #Kurt_Fluri, conseiller national du Parti libéral-radical et maire de la ville de Soleure. Interview.

      swissinfo.ch : Vous avez la réputation d’être un politicien réaliste. Cette idée humanitaire a-t-elle des chances de passer ?

      Kurt Fluri : Ce qui nous émeut, ce sont les tragédies qui se jouent en Méditerranée. Et c’est peut-être une solution possible pour atténuer le problème. Je ne sais pas si c’est une illusion. C’est pourquoi nous posons la question au gouvernement.
      La Suisse n’a qu’une petite flotte marchande de 30 navires. Pourquoi devrait-elle précisément accorder son pavillon à un bateau de sauvetage ?

      Nous sommes tous d’accord qu’il s’agit d’une situation tout à fait exceptionnelle. Pour moi, cela ne change rien au fait que l’on devrait faire en sorte que ces gens n’essaient même pas de traverser la Méditerranée. Mais s’ils le font quand même, on doit veiller à ce qu’ils ne se noient pas et à ce qu’ils soient admis en Europe.
      Selon la loi, le pavillon suisse est réservé aux navires de commerce. S’il faut modifier la loi pour répondre à votre demande, cela va prendre beaucoup de temps pour que l’Aquarius puisse hisser le pavillon suisse. Or, il a besoin d’une solution rapide…

      Le sens de notre interpellation, c’est de clarifier à quelles conditions il serait possible d’arriver à quelque chose. Ce que nous allons faire concrètement dépendra de la réponse du gouvernement.
      Si l’Aquarius battait pavillon suisse, est-ce qu’il n’en résulterait pas automatiquement l’exigence que les migrants qu’il sauve soient conduits en Suisse ?

      Ici comme ailleurs, c’est le système de Dublin qui s’applique. Il définit quel pays est en charge de l’examen de la demande d’asile. Les requérants doivent demander l’asile dans le premier pays de l’UE ou pays signataire de l’accord, comme la Suisse, où ils arrivent. La répartition se fait ensuite.

      Toutefois, l’UE est invitée à décider d’une répartition plus équitable, afin de soulager le plus vite possible les pays méditerranéens, l’Italie, la Grèce et l’Espagne, des réfugiés qui arrivent chez eux.
      Avez-vous pleine confiance en les responsables de ce navire de sauvetage, auquel vous voulez accorder le pavillon suisse ?

      Oui, je fais confiance à ces responsables.
      Le Panama leur a pourtant retiré son pavillon au prétexte qu’ils auraient violé le droit maritime international…

      D’après moi, c’était pour se protéger. Le Panama veut se débarrasser de ce devoir, qui est apparemment devenu un fardeau pour lui.
      MSF et SOS Méditerranée disent que le Panama a retiré son pavillon sur pression de l’Italie. Ça vous paraît possible ?

      Il y a certainement eu des tentatives de pression.
      Cette pression ne pourrait-t-elle pas s’exercer sur la Suisse, si elle intervient ?

      C’est possible. Nous soutenons l’appel lancé à l’UE pour qu’elle décide d’une répartition plus équitable des réfugiés. L’Italie serait alors également satisfaite. Malheureusement, l’UE n’y arrive pas.

      https://www.swissinfo.ch/fre/pavillon-suisse-pour-l-aquarius-_-on-doit-veiller-%C3%A0-ce-que-ces-gens-ne-se-noient-pas-/44434264

    • Nous avons un navire !

      Dans un texte confié à Mediapart, le sociologue et activiste italien #Sandro_Mezzadra revient sur la mise à l’eau du « Mare-Ionio », ce navire battant pavillon italien, affrété jeudi par des activistes de la gauche italienne pour secourir des migrants en Méditerranée, en opposition aux politiques de l’extrême droite au pouvoir à Rome.

      Les noms des victimes résonnent les uns après les autres, des noms sans corps qui racontent une multitude de vies et d’histoires, brisées sur les frontières de l’Europe : le court-métrage de Dagmawi Yimer s’intitule Asmat-Nomi, une des œuvres les plus puissantes et évocatrices sur le naufrage du 3 octobre 2013 [visible ici : https://vimeo.com/114343040]

      . Au fond, l’anonymat est une des caractéristiques qui définissent les femmes, les hommes et les enfants en transit dans la mer Méditerranée — comme dans de nombreux autres espaces frontaliers. Réhabiliter la singularité irréductible d’une existence est le geste extrême de résistance que nous propose Asmat-Noms.

      Cinq ans après ce naufrage, alors que l’on continue de mourir en Méditerranée, nous avons mis un navire à la mer, le Mare-Ionio. Nous l’avons fait après un été marqué par un gouvernement italien qui a déclaré la guerre contre les migrations et contre les organisations non gouvernementales, en fermant les ports et en séquestrant sur un navire de la Garde côtière des dizaines de réfugié.e.s et de migrant.e.s. La criminalisation des opérations « humanitaires » a vidé la Méditerranée des présences gênantes, a repoussé les témoins et a réaffirmé l’anonymat de femmes et d’hommes en transit : à l’abri des regards indiscrets, la Garde côtière libyenne a pu renvoyer aux centres de détention, c’est-à-dire à la torture, à la violence et à l’esclavage, des centaines de personnes, tandis que d’autres ont fait naufrage. Et certains se réjouissent de cela, en criant victoire...

      Cela n’a pas été facile de réaliser la mise à l’eau du Mare-Ionio. La plateforme qui s’est appelée très simplement Operazione Mediterranea n’est pas une ONG : celles et ceux qui ont travaillé à la recherche et à la préparation de l’embarcation ces dernières semaines n’avaient aucune expérience de ce monde associatif. Mais sur les docks de nombreux ports, nous avons rencontré des gens qui nous ont aidé.e.s sur la base de rapports professionnels, mais aussi guidé.e.s par une solidarité instinctive et par l’élan de refus de plus en plus partagé par les gens de la mer, une réponse au mépris de la vie et du droit international — en particulier après l’affaire du navire Diciotti.

      L’expérience et la collaboration de diverses ONG actives ces dernières années dans la Méditerranée ont joué un rôle décisif dans la réalisation de notre projet. L’une d’entre elles (Sea-Watch) fait partie de la plateforme, tandis qu’Open Arms coordonnera ses activités avec les nôtres. D’autre part, l’opération que nous avons lancé affronte ouvertement la criminalisation actuelle des interventions « humanitaires ». Ils sont loin les jours où la « raison humanitaire » pouvait être analysée comme un élément appartenant à un système de gouvernance (des migrations, notamment) bien plus large. Le défi ne peut être que radicalement politique. Il s’agit d’investir en particulier cela : l’affirmation pratique du droit d’un ensemble de sujets non étatiques à intervenir politiquement dans une zone où les « autorités compétentes » violent de manière flagrante le devoir de préserver la vie des gens en transit.

      C’est autour de ce point que la plateforme Operazione Mediterranea : une plateforme ouverte à l’adhésion et à la participation de celles et ceux qui voudront nous soutenir dans les semaines à venir (notamment via un crowdfunding, ce qui est vraiment essentiel pour assurer la réalisation d’un projet ambitieux et prenant). Cet aspect est évidemment fondamental. Mais l’objectif est plus général : il s’agit d’ouvrir, à travers une pratique, un espace de débat, d’action et de conflit à propos des migrations en Italie et en Europe.

      Nous voudrions que notre navire fende la mer, comme la terre des mobilisations qui, sur la question migratoire, se sont déployées ces derniers mois, de Vintimille aux Pouilles, de Catane à Milan ; nous voudrions que le Mare-Ionio devienne une sorte de forum, que des milliers de femmes et d’hommes se l’approprient, qu’il soit présent sur les places et dans les rues, que de lui se propagent des récits d’une migration radicalement différente de celle incarnée par les menaces et les décrets de Salvini : nous voudrions que le navire soit un instrument pour proposer une Italie et une Europe autres.

      Nous ne sous-évaluons pas la difficulté de cette période. Nous savons que nous agissons en tant que minorité, que nous devons affronter une hégémonie qui nous est hostile concernant la migration ; nous savons que ces derniers mois l’équation entre le migrant et l’ennemi (à laquelle même des forces politiques qui ne se définissent pas de droite ont donné une contribution essentielle) a été exacerbée, autorisant et promouvant la diffusion en Italie d’un racisme de plus en plus agressif. Mais nous savons aussi que cette hégémonie peut et doit être renversée, en assumant les risques et le hasard qui sont inévitables. L’opération qui a commencé ce 3 octobre, date chargée d’une valeur symbolique, est une contribution qui va dans ce sens.

      Un navire, comme le disait C.L.R. James dans son grand livre sur Melville (écrit en 1952 dans une cellule d’Ellis Island, en attendant son expulsion des États-Unis pour « activité anti-américaine »), n’est au fond qu’un ensemble divers et varié des travaux et des activités à bord, qui littéralement le constituent. Voilà, notre navire ne serait rien sans la passion et l’engagement de centaines de femmes et d’hommes qui ont travaillé et qui travaillent pour le faire naviguer, mais aussi pour construire et démultiplier de nouvelles passerelles entre mer et terre. Un navire, comme le rajoutait James, « est une miniature du monde dans lequel nous vivons ». Dans notre cas, c’est une miniature du monde que nous nous engageons à construire. Et nous sommes certain.e.s que nous serons bientôt des milliers à partager cet engagement.

      https://blogs.mediapart.fr/les-invites-de-mediapart/blog/061018/nous-avons-un-navire

    • L’Aquarius, sous pavillon suisse ? Carlo Sommaruga face à Hugues Hiltpod

      Trois parlementaires suisses - Ada Marra (PS/VD) Guillaume Barrazone (PDC/GE) et Kurt Fluri (PLR/SO) - ont déposé à Berne une interpellation pour que notre pays octroie le pavillon national à l’Aquarius. Le navire affrété par SOS Méditerranée, qui est en mer depuis 2016, a recueilli quelque 30 000 personnes en danger de mort. Sur change.org, près de 20 000 personnes ont signé une pétition dans ce sens. Carlo Sommaruga, conseiller national socialiste et Hugues Hiltpold, conseiller national PLR exposent leurs point de vue.

      Pour un pavillon suisse humanitaire

      Carlo Sommaruga, conseiller national socialiste

      La Suisse doit accorder le pavillon à l’Aquarius, le bateau humanitaire affrété par SOS Méditerranée, pour secourir les migrants en perdition en pleine mer. C’est une nécessité humanitaire destinée à sauver des milliers de vies. Un geste qui s’inscrit dans la tradition humanitaire de la Suisse. En cohérence tant avec la générosité de la population suisse pour les populations en difficulté qu’avec la position défendue jusqu’à aujourd’hui par notre pays sur la scène politique et diplomatique internationale. Le dernier rapport de l’Organisation internationale des migrations montre que les traversées de la Méditerranée par des hommes et des femmes de tout âge, accompagnés de leurs enfants, voire de nouveau-nés, ont commencé dès les années 70.

      La cause en est la fermeture progressive de la migration légale par les pays européens, qui ont rejeté les migrants sur les routes clandestines et dangereuses, notamment la Méditerranée. Or, ceux qui depuis des décennies empruntent ces routes ne le font pas par plaisir ou par goût de l’aventure. Comme les Suisses du XIXe siècle dont plus de 500 000 rejoignirent les USA ou les 29 millions d’Italiens qui quittèrent leur pays de 1860 à nos jours, les migrants d’aujourd’hui se mettent en marche pour les mêmes raisons. La croissance démographique et le manque d’opportunités de travail dans les campagnes et dans les villes.

      Aujourd’hui s’ajoutent les affres des dictatures, comme en Érythrée, des conflits civils, comme en Libye, et des guerres internationales, comme en Syrie. En 2013, suite au naufrage de 366 migrants au large des côtes italiennes, le premier ministre Enrico Letta lançait l’opération Mare Nostrum. La marine italienne sauvait plus de 150 000 êtres humains de la noyade en Méditerranée. L’opération fut close en raison de la lâcheté des pays européens qui refusaient de venir en appui à l’Italie. L’Union européenne remplaça le dispositif de sauvetage par un dispositif de défense des frontières géré par Frontex. Depuis lors, ce sont les organisations humanitaires et leurs bateaux qui assument l’immense et courageuse tâche de sauver les naufragés en Méditerranée.

      Les bateaux se nomment Sea-eye, Lifeline, Aquarius et, depuis peu, le Mare Jonio. Au cours des deux dernières années SOS Méditerranée, organisation créée et soutenue par des citoyens européens, par son navire l’Aquarius, a sauvé 29 600 personnes, soit l’équivalent de la population de Lancy. L’Aquarius comme les autres bateaux humanitaires doivent poursuivre leur mission aussi longtemps que les États se défaussent de leurs responsabilités.

      Il est inacceptable que l’Aquarius reste à quai sans pavillon alors que des personnes meurent en pleine Méditerranée. La Suisse neutre doit rester fidèle à ses engagements humanitaires, qu’elle a poursuivi en soutenant le CICR, le HCR et bien d’autres organisations. Elle doit accorder le pavillon. La loi le permet et cela ne coûte rien. Il faut saluer l’intervention de parlementaires du PLR, PDC, Verts et PS dans ce sens, tout comme la lettre adressée ce jour par des personnalités au Conseil fédéral. Refuser le pavillon à l’Aquarius, c’est un choix politique. Celui de mépris de la vie et du rejet de la solidarité humaine. Il faut tous espérer que Conseil fédéral ne s’inscrive pas dans cette logique.

      Haut de la page

      Aquarius : le respect de la loi avant tout !

      Hugues Hiltpold, conseiller national PLR

      La crise des migrants en Méditerranée est terrible, personne ne peut le contester. Bon nombre de personnes sont attirées par l’Europe et se livrent à la merci de passeurs peu scrupuleux, avec à la clé de nombreux et épouvantables drames humains. Durant deux ans, le navire humanitaire Aquarius, ancien navire des gardes-côtes allemands battant pavillon panaméen, a secouru près de 30 000 personnes en détresse. Avec un certain succès il faut le reconnaître. Puis, sous pression internationale, il a cessé de battre pavillon panaméen, errant en mer quelque temps à la recherche d’un port d’accueil voulant bien l’accueillir.

      Ayant mouillé l’ancre aujourd’hui à Marseille, il attend de pouvoir naviguer à nouveau, mais a besoin pour ce faire qu’un pays accepte qu’il puisse battre son pavillon. Certains élus fédéraux estiment que ce navire humanitaire devrait battre pavillon suisse. Or, la loi suisse ne le permet tout simplement pas. L’article 3 de la loi fédérale sur la navigation maritime sous pavillon suisse stipule qu’un pavillon suisse ne peut être arboré que par des navires suisses. L’article 35 de cette même loi précise, s’agissant de la navigation non professionnelle, que des exceptions peuvent être autorisées par le Département fédéral des affaires étrangères pour inscrire, dans le registre des navires suisses, un bâtiment exploité par une société suisse ou ayant son siège en Suisse, à des fins notamment humanitaires.

      Cette dérogation doit faire l’objet d’une enquête minutieuse permettant de fixer les conditions de la dérogation, notamment eu égard aux intérêts pour la Suisse de justifier cette dérogation. Il convient de noter qu’une telle dérogation est exceptionnelle. On constate que la situation actuelle du navire humanitaire Aquarius n’est pas conforme à la loi.

      Il n’est pas contesté que l’association SOS Méditerranée, qui exploite l’Aquarius, n’est pas suisse, n’a pas son siège en Suisse et n’a aucune relation particulière avec notre pays.

      Dès lors, permettre à l’Aquarius de battre pavillon suisse reviendrait purement et simplement à bafouer la loi ! Ce faisant, nous violerions de surcroît les accords de Schengen et Dublin qui nous lient avec l’Union européenne, au respect desquels ceux qui voudraient accorder le pavillon Suisse à l’Aquarius sont notoirement attachés. Aussi terrible que soit cette catastrophe humanitaire, elle ne doit pas conduire notre pays à bafouer notre État de droit et le droit international. Il en va de notre crédibilité et du respect de nos institutions.

      https://www.tdg.ch/blog-wch/standard/aquarius-pavillon-suisse-carlo-sommaruga-face-hugues-hiltpod/story/31191020

    • Migrants : le hold-up de la Libye sur les sauvetages en mer

      Cet été, en Méditerranée, la Libye a créé en toute discrétion sa propre « zone de recherche et de secours », où ses garde-côtes sont devenus responsables de la coordination de tous les sauvetages, au grand dam de l’Aquarius et des ONG. Enquête sur une décision soutenue par l’Union européenne qui jette toujours plus de confusion en mer.

      Vu de loin, c’est un « détail ». Un simple ajout sur une carte maritime. Cet été, la Libye a tracé une ligne en travers de la Méditerranée, à 200 kilomètres environ au nord de Tripoli. En dessous, désormais, c’est sa zone SAR (dans le jargon), sa « zone de recherche et de secours ». Traduction ? À l’intérieur de ce gigantesque secteur, les garde-côtes libyens sont devenus responsables de l’organisation et de la coordination des secours – en lieu et place des Italiens.

      Pour les navires humanitaires, la création de cette « SAR » libyenne, opérée en toute discrétion, est tout sauf un « détail ». Il n’est pas un sauveteur de l’Aquarius, pas un soutier du Mare Jonio ni de l’Astral (partis relayer sur place le bateau de SOS Méditerranée) qui ne l’ait découvert avec stupeur. Car non seulement les garde-côtes libyens jettent leurs « rescapés » en détention dès qu’ils touchent la terre ferme, mais certaines de leurs unités sont soupçonnées de complicité avec des trafiquants et leurs violences sont régulièrement dénoncées.

      Pour les migrants qui s’élancent en rafiot de Sabratha ou Zaouïa, ce « détail » est surtout une trahison supplémentaire : l’Union européenne a budgété plus de 8 millions d’euros en 2017 pour aider Tripoli à créer cette zone « SAR » bien à elle. Alors que les vingt-huit ministres de l’intérieur doivent discuter vendredi 12 octobre du renforcement des frontières de l’UE, Mediapart a enquêté sur ces trois petites lettres qui mettent les humanitaires en colère et jettent la confusion en mer.

      Pour comprendre, il faut d’abord savoir que la Libye, comme n’importe quel État côtier, est souveraine dans ses « eaux territoriales ». Sur cette bande de 19 kilomètres, les garde-côtes de Tripoli ont toujours joué à domicile et jamais l’Aquarius n’y aventurerait sa quille. Mais au-delà, la Méditerranée se complique, elle se découpe en zones SAR : celle de l’Italie ici, celle de la Grèce là-bas, celles de Malte ou encore de l’Égypte, toutes déclarées auprès de l’Organisation maritime internationale (OMI), chacune associée à un « centre de coordination des secours » national (ou MRCC), qui reçoit l’ensemble des signaux de détresse émis dans sa zone, de même que les appels des navires humanitaires qui repèrent des migrants aux jumelles.

      Selon les conventions internationales, chaque MRCC, celui de Rome par exemple, a ensuite la responsabilité d’organiser les secours dans son secteur, de solliciter les navires les mieux placés (tankers et militaires compris), de dépêcher ses propres garde-côtes si nécessaire.

      Jusqu’ici, au large de ses eaux territoriales, la Libye n’avait pas déclaré de zone SAR, faute d’une flotte suffisante et surtout d’un « centre de coordination » en état de marche, capable de communiquer avec la haute mer par exemple. Pour éviter un « triangle des Bermudes » des secours, les Italiens s’y étaient donc collés ces dernières années, élargissant de fait – sinon en droit – leur champ d’activité. Puis le 28 juin dernier, sans prévenir, Tripoli a déclaré sa zone « SAR » et son « centre de coordination » auprès de l’OMI, officialisés du jour au lendemain. Les Italiens ont passé la main. Changement de régime.

      Depuis, dans l’esprit des Libyens, « aucun navire étranger n’a le droit d’accéder [à leur SAR] sauf demande expresse [de leur part] ». C’est ainsi, en tout cas, que le commandant de la base navale de Tripoli, Abdelhakim Bouhaliya, interprétait les choses en 2017 – quand les autorités avaient esquissé une première SAR avant de se rétracter. Dans leur viseur : « les ONG qui prétendent vouloir sauver les migrants clandestins et mener des actions humanitaires », selon les mots sans fard du général Ayoub Kacem, l’un des porte-parole de la marine à l’époque. Un an plus tard, la SAR est bel et bien là. Et il devient urgent que les garde-côtes ouvrent un manuel de droit.

      Car en principe, « la navigation dans leur SAR reste libre, décrypte Kiara Neri, spécialiste de droit maritime et maîtresse de conférences à l’université Jean-Moulin-Lyon-III. Ils n’ont absolument pas le pouvoir d’interdire leur SAR aux navires humanitaires, ce n’est pas devenu leur chasse gardée ». Dans les faits, pourtant, « ils font comme s’ils étaient souverains, s’indigne Nicola Stalla, coordinateur des sauvetages sur l’Aquarius. Ils étaient déjà agressifs avant, mais ils se comportent de plus en plus comme s’ils étaient dans leurs eaux territoriales. Ils ordonnent aux ONG de s’éloigner, ils menacent, par le passé ils ont déjà ouvert le feu plusieurs fois ».

      Concrètement, depuis cet été, « ce n’est plus Rome mais le MRCC de Tripoli qui reçoit les signaux d’alerte et désigne le navire le plus proche pour intervenir », insiste Kiara Neri. À supposer qu’ils répondent aux appels, déjà. « Le MRCC de Rome, lui, était efficace, regrette Nicola Stalla. Quand j’appelais, il y avait toujours un officier à qui parler. Là c’est tout le contraire : les garde-côtes libyens ne répondent pas, ou ne parlent pas bien anglais, ou ne répercutent pas les infos à tous les navires présents sur la zone… » Il y a quelques jours, l’association Pilotes volontaires, qui scrute la mer depuis le ciel à bord de son petit Colibri, s’est aussi arraché les cheveux. « On a repéré une embarcation avec une vingtaine de migrants, raconte un bénévole. On a vite appelé Rome, qui nous a renvoyés automatiquement sur Tripoli, qui n’a jamais répondu. » Ils ont fini par contacter, en direct, un tanker qui croisait à proximité. Du bricolage impensable jusqu’à cet été.

      À supposer qu’ils réagissent correctement, les Libyens peuvent aussi être tentés d’ignorer les humanitaires, de « privilégier » leurs garde-côtes pour les sauvetages, voire des navires marchands. Car ces derniers acceptent parfois de remettre aux Libyens les migrants qu’ils « repêchent », de les transborder en pleine mer pour s’en débarrasser sans trop se dérouter, sans égard pour le droit international qui impose de débarquer ses rescapés dans un « port sûr » où les droits de l’homme sont respectés – ce que la Libye n’est certainement pas, de l’avis même du HCR, l’agence des Nations unies pour les réfugiés. « Sans ONG pour témoigner, ces personnes sont perdues dans la narration », dénonce l’Italien Nicola Stalla, d’une formule presque poétique.

      Et si les humanitaires repèrent un pneumatique par eux-mêmes, peuvent-ils désormais être interdits de sauvetage ? « Il y a une subtilité, répond Kiara Neri. Dans leur SAR, les Libyens ont compétence pour coordonner les opérations. Donc s’ils approchent d’une embarcation en détresse [en même temps que l’Aquarius par exemple – ndlr], ils peuvent toujours dire : “On s’en occupe.” Mais ils n’ont certainement pas le droit de monter à bord, aucun pouvoir de police… » Dans les faits, la confusion est à son maximum.

      Ainsi, le 23 septembre, l’Aquarius et les garde-côtes libyens se sont disputés quarante-sept vies en pleine nuit, pendant des heures. Directement alerté par Alarm Phone (une sorte de « central téléphonique » associatif à disposition des migrants qui tentent la traversée), l’Aquarius a foncé vers le secteur indiqué tout en contactant le MRCC de Tripoli, conformément à ses obligations. Au début, pas de réponse. Puis un accord de principe. Puis un patrouilleur libyen arrivé sur le tard a voulu stopper le sauvetage entamé (des femmes et des enfants d’abord), pour reprendre l’affaire en mains. « Quittez la zone ! », ont hurlé les garde-côtes à la radio, selon une journaliste du Monde à bord. « Vous connaissez Tripoli ? Vous voulez venir faire une petite visite ? (…) Vous allez avoir de gros problèmes, on ne veut plus coopérer avec vous parce que vous nous désobéissez. » Le capitaine a tenu bon, mais l’Aquarius a quitté la zone à l’issue de l’opération – sa dernière à ce jour, puisque le Panama l’a privé de pavillon.

      « Le comble du cynisme »

      « Si nous trouvons une embarcation en détresse dans la SAR libyenne, nous ferons le sauvetage même si les garde-côtes demandent de ne pas intervenir », annonce aussi l’équipe de l’Aita Mari, un chalutier basque espagnol sur le point de prendre la route de la Méditerranée centrale, à l’initiative de deux ONG (Salvamento maritimo humanitario et Proem-Aid) soutenues par le gouvernement régional de centre-droit (qui a déboursé 400 000 euros), ainsi que de petites communes basques et andalouses. « La loi, c’est celle du port sûr. Peu importe que l’OMI ait dit “Oui” à la Libye », résume Daniel Rivas Pacheco, porte-parole du projet.

      D’ailleurs, comment une telle zone de « secours » a-t-elle pu être créée ? La Libye, membre de l’OMI (institution des Nations unies) et signataire des conventions internationales sur le secours en mer, a simplement déclaré les coordonnées géographiques de sa zone et de son MRCC. En fait, l’OMI ne « reconnaît » pas les SAR, elle les enregistre, sans audit préalable. N’a-t-elle pas le pouvoir de rejeter l’initiative d’un pays dénué de « port sûr » ? « L’OMI n’a pas le droit de décider si tel ou tel pays est un lieu sûr », nous répondent ses services. Elle peut toujours intervenir en cas de « coordonnée non valide » ou d’« erreur typographique ». Pour le reste…

      Ce processus de déclaration suppose tout de même une coordination préalable avec les pays voisins et des discussions préparatoires (Mediapart a retrouvé un point d’étape soumis à l’OMI en décembre 2017 par l’Italie, qui évoque le soutien de l’UE). Rome et l’Europe ont bien encouragé Tripoli à prendre ses « responsabilités ».

      Pour s’en convaincre, il faut se plonger dans les détails d’un vaste programme européen de soutien à la Libye datant de 2017, doté de 46 millions d’euros, qui vise tout à la fois le renforcement de ses frontières, la lutte contre son immigration illégale et l’amélioration de ses opérations de sauvetage en mer. On y découvre que l’UE a budgété plus de 6 millions d’euros, sur plusieurs années, rien que pour aider Tripoli à créer sa propre SAR et son MRCC « maison » – auxquels s’est ajouté 1,8 million via le Fonds pour la sécurité intérieure de l’Union.

      Les activités programmées ne peuvent être plus claires : « Assister les autorités libyennes pour qu’elles soient en capacité de déclarer une zone SAR », « Évaluations techniques pour la conception d’un véritable MRCC », « Formation pour le personnel opérationnel du MRCC », « Aider les garde-côtes à organiser leur unité SAR » ou encore « à développer des procédures SAR standard », etc.

      Jusqu’ici, on avait surtout entendu parler des fonds européens engagés pour former les garde-côtes (au droit international, au droit des réfugiés, etc.) ou de la fourniture d’équipements censés améliorer la qualité et l’efficacité de leurs opérations de « secours » (voir ici notre précédent article). Les ONG s’en étaient indignées, moult fois. Mais c’est encore autre chose que d’aider les Libyens à élargir leur périmètre d’action, à endosser la responsabilité des opérations au-delà même de leurs eaux territoriales.

      « L’idée n’est évidemment pas de les mettre en compétition avec les ONG et les autres acteurs, plaide-t-on à la Commission. C’est de lutter contre les trafiquants et de sauver des vies. » L’UE n’en démord pas.

      Les services de la Commission tiennent tout de même à préciser qu’à ce stade, sur les quelque 8 millions d’euros budgétés, seul 1,8 million a effectivement été déboursé pour une « étude de faisabilité » de la SAR libyenne. Rien d’autre n’aurait été mis en place avant que la Libye ne dégaine le 28 juin, plus vite que son ombre, aiguillonnée par l’Italie de Matteo Salvini.

      « Le secours n’est absolument pas la priorité de l’Union européenne, dénonce Charles Heller, chercheur associé à l’agence Forensic Architecture, collectif basé à l’université londonienne de Goldsmiths qui enquête sur les violations des droits humains, notamment en Méditerranée. Ce que font les garde-côtes libyens, ce sont des interceptions, de pures opérations de contrôle des frontières pour le compte de l’UE. »

      En 2012, rappelle-t-il, la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme avait condamné l’Italie pour ses pratiques de « refoulement direct » de migrants, après qu’un vaisseau de la marine nationale avait récupéré à son bord (soit sur le sol italien juridiquement) des Somaliens et des Érythréens, raccompagnés illico à Tripoli sans qu’ils aient pu exercer leur droit fondamental à demander l’asile. La nouvelle politique consiste donc « à opérer des “refoulements indirects”, à externaliser auprès des Libyens le contrôle de nos frontières », analyse Charles Heller. « Après une phase de criminalisation des ONG, après l’aide au rétablissement d’une institution de garde-côtes à peu près fonctionnelle, la déclaration d’une SAR libyenne était fondamentale pour donner à ces opérations un vernis humanitaire. Il fallait que les garde-côtes libyens aient tous les attributs : une SAR, un MRCC, etc. C’est la consécration d’un processus. Sachant que ces opérations de “secours” ont pour effet de ramener des gens sur un territoire où leurs droits sont systématiquement violés, c’est le comble du cynisme. »

      Sauvé le 21 juin dernier par le Lifeline, un exilé du Darfour a confié à Mediapart qu’il avait été intercepté trois fois en mer par les garde-côtes libyens, et ramené trois fois dans des centres de détention officiels où les gardiens « frappent tout le monde, tout le temps, avec des bâtons ». « On nettoyait, on lavait le linge, on faisait de la peinture sans être jamais payés », raconte Abazer, aujourd’hui réfugié en France, évoquant une forme d’« esclavage ». Ça, un port sûr ?

      « L’UE fait décidément preuve d’un grand courage, grince Patrick Chaumette, professeur de droit à l’université de Nantes. On laisse les Libyens menacer les ONG, tirer en l’air, confondre leur SAR avec leurs eaux territoriales, dire : “Vous devez nous obéir !”… On a des politiques qui trouvent des prétextes fallacieux pour poursuivre leur véritable objectif : aider la Libye à empêcher les départs en mer. Comme si le droit ne servait plus à rien. Pour nous, universitaires, c’est terrifiant. »

      D’après des chiffres provisoires compilés par Matteo Villa, chercheur pour un think tank italien (l’ISPI), 1 072 migrants se seraient lancés depuis la Libye en septembre, 713 auraient été interceptés, 125 auraient posé le pied en Europe, 234 auraient disparu. Soit un taux de mortalité de plus de 21 %, treize fois plus élevé qu’il y a un an, jamais atteint depuis des années.


      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/111018/migrants-le-hold-de-la-libye-sur-les-sauvetages-en-mer
      #SAR #zone_SAR #cartographie #visualisation

    • Barcone in avaria con 70 persone al largo di Lampedusa: l’Italia prima dice no, poi interviene

      Dopo il braccio di ferro con la nave «Mare Jonio» che ha raccolto l’sos e si è diretta sul posto. E con Malta che non aveva mezzi per i soccorsi. Soddisfatti gli attivisti del progetto umanitario Mediterranea: «Siamo felici che tutti siano in salvo»

      Un barcone con 70 migranti partito dalla Libia venerdì mattina è stato scortato dalle motovedette della Guardia Costiera italiana fino al porto di Lampedusa dove ha attraccato in banchina intorno alle tre del mattino. Di lì a poco, è iniziato lo sbarco dei suoi passeggeri. E questa, già di per sé, è una notizia in epoca di porti chiusi, respingimenti e frontiere blindate. Ma lo è ancora di più se si considera che il gesto della Guardia Costiera è stato solo l’atto finale, la resa, di una lunga partita a scacchi giocata sin dalle sette del pomeriggio dal rimorchiatore Mare Jonio – la nave del progetto Mediterranea – contro le autorità, maltesi prima, e italiane poi.

      La Mare Jonio, giunta al suo ultimo giorno di missione nelle acque libiche, stava lentamente tornando verso l’Italia quando, poco dopo il tramonto, è stata raggiunta da un Navtext, un messaggio di allerta, inviato dalle autorità di La Valletta (l’Mrcc, maritime rescue coordination center): nel testo si segnalava “un gommone in avaria con 70 persone a bordo in acque maltesi”. L’imbarcazione, stando alle coordinate messe nero su bianco nel messaggio, si trovava sì in una zona di competenza maltese ma molto vicino all’isola di Lampedusa. Praticamente al confine. Il messaggio non dava altri elementi.

      La Mare Jonio si trovava, in quel momento, a 40 miglia di distanza dal gommone. Ci sarebbero volute almeno quattro ore buone. Dopo aver modificato la rotta, la plancia del rimorchiatore italiano ha così deciso di mettersi in contatto con Mrcc Malta per avere eventuali altre informazioni o, quanto meno, capire la fonte di quella notizia. I maltesi, però, non avevano altri elementi utili. E soprattutto non avevano mezzi a disposizione per arrivare “fino là” a vedere che cosa era capitato al gommone. Quanto alla fonte, era l’Alarmphone: un servizio dedicato che smista allarmi raccolti dalle varie imbarcazioni che incrociano nel Mediterraneo.

      La Mare Jonio ha così provato a tirare quel filo, ha chiamato Alarmphone e ha chiesto informazioni, scoprendo che di quell’allarme, loro, non sapevano nulla. Malta, dunque, aveva mentito.Mentre il rimorchiatore procedeva verso le coordinate impostate subito dopo l’arrivo del Navtext, gli italiani hanno quindi chiamato l’Mrcc di Roma. E’ vero che l’imbarcazione era in zona di competenza maltese, ma è vero anche che era in avaria e che, stando alle informazioni, la corrente la stava spingendo verso le acque italiane. E poi Malta aveva dichiaratamente rinunciato a intervenire. Il naufragio di quelle settanta anime, insomma, era un rischio più che concreto. La risposta delle autorità italiane è però stata piuttosto rigida. Burocratica. “In acque di competenza maltese coordina Malta. Non è un problema nostro, quando verranno in acque italiane, vedremo”.

      La situazione agli occhi degli attivisti cominciava a farsi preoccupante. Né La Valletta né Roma volevano intervenire e la Mar Jonio era a quattro ore di distanza. E’ cominciata così una lunga serie di telefonate tra il parlamentare di Sinistra Italiana, Erasmo Palazzotto – uno degli ideatori della Missione Mediterranea – la Guardia Costiera e il ministero delle Infrastrutture. Danilo Toninelli aveva il telefono staccato, e dunque il dossier era gestito dal capo di Gabinetto, Gino Scaccia. Il quale però non ha voluto andare oltre il concetto iniziale: “Acque maltesi-problema maltese”.

      Il comandante della Guardia Costiera di fronte alle insistenze di Palazzotto, “siamo una nave italiana e le segnaliamo un problema a due miglia dalle acque italiane”, ha spiegato che “nessuna nave italiana quando ha un problema in Brasile si sogna di chiamare la Guardia Costiera italiana”. Il resto della triangolazione è stato utile solamente per capire tre cose. Uno quello che inizialmente doveva essere un gommone era in realtà un barcone di legno. Due, l’avevano trovato due pescherecci tunisini (il Fauzi e l’Adamir) che però dopo aver dato l’allarme se ne erano andati. Tre, a distanza di quattro ore, il Mare Jonio continuava ad essere l’unica imbarcazione che si stava dirigendo verso il barcone per cercare di trarre in salvo le settanta persone che erano a bordo.

      Era l’una del mattino, ormai. E il rimorchiatore era quasi arrivato alla zona indicata dal primo allarme. Ma in mare non c’era nessuno. Dalla plancia hanno ricontattato sia Roma che La Valletta per avere coordinate più precise. Ma dai due Mrcc sono arrivate le indicazioni di due punti diversi. A distanza di dodici miglia l’uno dall’altro, più di un’ora di navigazione: mentre i maltesi davano l’imbarcazione in acque italiane, molto vicino a Lampedusa, secondo gli italiani il barcone si trovava ancora nel mare di Malta.

      A quel punto il rimorchiatore ha smesso di contare sugli aiuti via radio delle autorità che evidentemente stavano giocando a nascondere la barca più che a fargliela trovare e hanno cominciato a perlustrare la zona, partendo dalle coordinate fornite dall’Mrcc italiano. Dopo nemmeno mezz’ora, via radio, l’ultima comunicazione della nottata: “La Guardia Costiera italiana ha intercettato il barcone a 2,7 miglia da Lampedusa. E l’ha scortato in porto. I migranti stanno tutti bene”. Festeggiano quelli di Mediterranea: “Siamo felici di apprendere che dopo una notte di monitoraggi e segnalazioni queste persone siano in salvo, in Italia”.


      https://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2018/10/12/news/gommone_con_70_persone_in_avaria_davanti_a_lampedusa_mare_jonio_chiede_in

    • Un jeune migrant marocain de 16 ans blessé par balles par la #Marine_royale

      La Marine royale a encore tiré à balles réelles sur des migrants. Après la mort de #Hayat, c’est cette fois-ci un jeune de 16 ans qui est blessé par balles à l’épaule lors de l’interception d’une barque transportant 50 migrants, tous marocains, qui tentaient de rejoindre illégalement l’Europe, selon 2M.ma citant une source sécuritaire et précisant sur Twitter qu’il s’agissait « de tirs de sommations d’usage en direction de l’embarcation ». L’adolescent blessé a d’ores et déjà été transporté vers l’hôpital de Tanger, précise la même source. L’embarcation interceptée tôt ce matin se trouvait entre Assilah et Larache, sur la façade Atlantique des côtes marocaines. Contactée par Le Desk, une source militaire autorisée confirme l’information précisant qu’un communiqué officiel est en cours de préparation.

      https://ledesk.ma/encontinu/un-jeune-migrant-marocain-de-16-ans-blesse-par-balles-par-la-marine-royale

    • Au Maroc, deux ans de prison pour avoir dénoncé sur #Facebook la mort d’une migrante

      La jeune femme originaire de Tétouan a été tuée fin septembre par des tirs de la marine royale alors qu’elle tentait de rejoindre clandestinement les côtes espagnoles.

      Un Marocain a été condamné à deux ans de prison ferme pour avoir protesté sur les réseaux sociaux contre la mort d’une jeune migrante tuée fin septembre par des tirs de la marine marocaine, a-t-on appris jeudi 18 octobre auprès de son avocat.

      #Soufiane_Al-Nguad, 32 ans, a été condamné dans la nuit de mercredi à jeudi par le tribunal de Tétouan, ville du nord du Maroc, pour « #outrage_au_drapeau_national », « #propagation_de_la_haine » et « #appel_à_l’insurrection_civile », selon son avocat Jabir Baba. Il avait été interpellé début octobre, après des troubles lors d’un match de football le 30 septembre à Tétouan.

      Selon son avocat, avant ce match, M. Al-Nguad avait appelé, à travers des publications sur sa page Facebook, le groupe des ultras Los Matadores du club de football local à « manifester et à porter des habits noirs de deuil » pour protester contre le décès de #Hayat_Belkacem.

      La mort de cette étudiante de 22 ans, tuée le 25 septembre par la marine marocaine alors qu’elle tentait de gagner clandestinement les côtes espagnoles en bateau, avait suscité la colère dans le pays. Les autorités marocaines avaient dit avoir visé l’embarcation en raison de ses « manœuvres hostiles ».

      « Venger Hayat »

      Dix-neuf supporters âgés de 14 à 23 ans sont également jugés à Tétouan pour « outrage au drapeau national », « manifestation non autorisée » et « destruction de biens publics et privés », pour avoir manifesté le soir du même match.

      Ces supporters avaient été arrêtés peu après pour avoir brandi des drapeaux espagnols et crié des slogans comme « Viva España » (« Vive l’Espagne ») lors du match. Ils avaient aussi manifesté sur le chemin du stade en appelant à « #venger_Hayat ».

      Ces dernières semaines, des dizaines de vidéos montrant des jeunes Marocains en route vers l’Espagne à bord de bateaux pneumatiques sont devenues virales sur les réseaux sociaux, dans un pays marqué par de grandes inégalités sociales sur fond de chômage élevé chez les jeunes.

      Depuis le début de l’année, l’Espagne est devenue la première porte d’entrée vers l’Europe, avec près de 43 000 arrivées par voie maritime et terrestre, selon l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM).

      https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2018/10/18/au-maroc-deux-ans-de-prison-pour-avoir-denonce-sur-facebook-la-mort-d-une-mi
      #réseaux_sociaux #délit_de_solidarité #condamnation #résistance #manifestation

    • Avec l’équipage du « Mare Ionio », les anti-Salvini retrouvent de la voix en Italie

      Le Mare Ionio, parti des côtes italiennes le 4 octobre, sillonne la Méditerranée pour une mission de surveillance et de contrôle. Dans un pays gouverné par l’extrême droite, une myriade d’acteurs de la société civile a imaginé cette aventure, humanitaire mais aussi très politique.

      Palerme (Italie), correspondance.- Sur le mur de la cour du centre Santa Chiara, en plein cœur de la Palerme populaire, cinq visages s’affichent, vidéo-projetés dans l’obscurité. Tee-shirts blancs siglés du logo bleu et rouge de la plateforme civile Mediterranea, traits fatigués, les membre de l’équipage du Mare Ionio s’apprêtent à dresser un bilan de leur première semaine en mer.

      « Regardez, on peut dire qu’il y a du monde ce soir, vous les voyez ? » interroge Alessandra Sciurba, face aux mines circonspectes de l’équipage. Au moins 200 personnes sont venues écouter les cinq hommes. « Ça fait plaisir, on se sent parfois très seuls en mer », sourit Luca Casarini, un activiste italien connu pour sa participation au mouvement de désobéissance civile Tute Bianche (« Les Blouses blanches »), particulièrement actif de 1994 à 2001.

      Malgré la connexion parfois hésitante de l’équipage, qui se trouve à 35 miles de Khoms et de la côte libyenne, Erasmo Palazzotto se lance, en direct sur Skype : « Le climat est surréaliste ici. On n’a croisé personne d’autre, la radio est silencieuse. C’est comme si la mer était déserte. » Copropriétaire du bateau Mare Ionio, député palermitain de la Sinistra italiana (« Gauche italienne », à la gauche des sociaux-démocrates), il se réjouit : « On ne sait pas si c’est parce que nous sommes présents en mer mais Malte a effectué un sauvetage de deux embarcations de migrants. Ça faisait près d’un an que ce n’était pas arrivé. »

      La remarque sur le sauvetage de 220 personnes les 6 et 7 octobre au large des eaux maltaises n’est pas anodine. Depuis la formation du nouveau gouvernement italien et la nomination de Matteo Salvini au ministère de l’intérieur en juin, la Méditerranée centrale est devenue le terrain d’une véritable bataille navale. Les ONG évincées, les cartes sont redistribuées entre gardes-côtes italiens, maltais et libyens.

      Battant pavillon italien, composé d’un équipage italien, le Mare Ionio s’est donné pour mission de surveiller, contrôler et témoigner de ce qui se passe en Méditerranée centrale, dans ce tronçon de mer emprunté par les migrants pour rejoindre les côtes italiennes et déserté par les bateaux des ONG depuis quelques semaines. Il ne s’agit donc pas d’un bateau de sauvetage, même si l’équipage est paré à cette éventualité.

      Matteo Salvini a bien compris la portée politique de cette aventure. Quelques heures après l’annonce du départ de l’embarcation, le 4 octobre, il avait offert à ses sympathisants un direct Facebook plus exalté qu’à son habitude. « Prenez un pédalo, faites ce que vous voulez », a-t-il ironisé, mais hors de question d’amener des migrants en Italie, a-t-il poursuivi, ricanant au sujet de ce « bateau des centres sociaux qui erre en Méditerranée ».

      Parmi les protagonistes de la plateforme civile Mediterranea, personne ne s’aventure sur le terrain de la politique partisane. Comme si, d’une certaine manière, le paysage politique italien n’était pas à la hauteur des enjeux. « Attention, on n’est pas là pour reconstruire la gauche italienne », met en garde Fausto Melluso de l’Arci Porco Rosso, un local associatif particulièrement impliqué dans l’aide aux migrants.

      Même le député de Gauche italienne évite les joutes politiques et élude : « Je représente des milliers de personnes indignées par ce qui se passe et qui n’ont peut-être pas voté pour moi mais avaient besoin de savoir qu’une partie des institutions italiennes se trouve ici, au milieu de cette bataille historique entre barbarie et civilisation. » Une indignation qu’ils ont voulu « transformer en action », ajoute-t-il.

      « On discute de politique à terre, pas en mer. En mer, on ne laisse personne mourir, on amène les gens dans un port sûr et ensuite on discute de ce que vous voulez », tranche Giorgia Linardi, porte-parole en Italie de l’ONG allemande Sea Watch, qui est associée au projet Mediterranea.

      « C’est une mission d’obéissance civile et de désobéissance morale. On ne pouvait pas se résoudre à se dire que c’était la seule société possible », résume Alessandra Sciurba, l’une des membres de la plateforme Mediterranea et chercheuse à l’université de Palerme. Tous répètent à l’envi cette formule, énoncée par Marta Pastor, jeune diplômée de 26 ans qui s’est embarquée sur le bateau comme bénévole : « L’important, pour nous, c’est aussi de nous sauver nous-mêmes, de nous sauver des saletés qui se passent tous les jours sous nos yeux. »

      Pour Alessandra Sciurba, ce défi va bien au-delà de l’Italie : « Dans le débat politique, tout un monde n’est plus représenté, entre l’Europe démocratico-progressiste qui a accepté les plans économiques de la Troïka [FMI, BCE et Commission européenne – ndlr] et joué avec les politiques migratoires, et l’Europe de Visegrad [Hongrie, Pologne, Slovaquie, République tchèque – ndlr], souverainiste et nationaliste. Nous sommes convaincus qu’il existe une troisième Europe, et c’est surréaliste qu’il faille aller en mer pour lui redonner de la voix. »

      Ce projet européen doit « partir de la société civile, des citoyens et surtout des villes », défend l’équipage. Ce n’est pas un hasard, expliquent les membres de Mediterranea, si les deux drapeaux hissés sur le mât sont celui de l’Union européenne et celui de la ville de Palerme. Dans son habituel costume noir, entouré par quelques journalistes et par les membres de Mediterranea, Leoluca Orlando, le maire de la ville, a profité de la première escale technique du Mare Ionio sur le quai trapézoïdal de Palerme pour marteler, une fois encore, ce discours si singulier dans le reste de l’Italie : « Le port de Palerme sera toujours ouvert ! »

      Sur le pont du bateau, Claudio Arrestivo a moins l’habitude de ces raouts que son voisin. Il représente le Moltivolti, un espace de restauration et de coworking au cœur de Palerme, qui a rejoint la plateforme Mediterranea dès ses débuts, en juin : « On prend plus de risques à ne pas s’embarquer qu’à faire partie du projet. » Les entrepreneurs rêvent désormais de faire des émules à travers le reste du pays.

      C’est le défi majeur de la plateforme civile : réussir, à terre, à susciter l’adhésion. « Dans tout le pays, nous allons organiser une “via terra”, un parcours sur terre de Mediterranea en organisant des événements culturels qui nous permettront de recueillir des fonds », explique Evelina Santangelo, écrivaine palermitaine à la tête d’un groupement national d’artistes, écrivains et acteurs du monde de la culture qui soutiennent l’initiative.

      La tâche est grande : près de 195 000 euros ont déjà été récoltés grâce à une cagnotte participative soutenue par 1 892 personnes, sur un budget total estimé à 700 000 euros pour deux mois de mission en mer.

      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/221018/avec-l-equipage-du-mare-ionio-les-anti-salvini-retrouvent-de-la-voix-en-it

    • Migrant campaign ship confronts Italy in the Mediterranean

      A Mediterranean coalition of campaigners against Italy’s hardline migration policies have bought a ship in a crowdfunding appeal to shame authorities into rescuing stranded migrants off the North African coast.

      The group, Mediterranea Saving Humans, raised more than 250,000 euros in three weeks, to buy and launch the Italian-flagged Mare Jonio to raise the alarm about migrant boats in distress in the Mediterranean Sea.

      Its first mission launched on October 4 from the southern Italian island of Sicily and succeeded in pressuring the Italian Coast guard into rescuing 70 people aboard a dinghy eight days later, according to the group.

      “The presence of Mediterranea was fundamental in raising attention to what is really happening in the waters south of Sicily and to prevent our governments from turning their backs to tragedies that call upon human compassion,” the group wrote on its website.

      https://www.thenational.ae/world/europe/migrant-campaign-ship-confronts-italy-in-the-mediterranean-1.787355

    • E infine restò solo la Mediterranea a salvare le vite in mare

      Ormai, quelli della Mediterranea sono rimasti i soli a cercare di rendere meno amaro il bilancio delle morti di migranti in mare in questo terrificante 2018. Soltanto nel mese di settembre, il 20 per cento di chi è partito dalla Libia risulta morto o disperso. Si tratta di uno degli anni peggiori di sempre, da questo punto di vista. E poco importa che in Italia siano diminuiti gli sbarchi se ciò coincide con un tasso di mortalità maggiore nelle acque internazionali.

      Dopo le 13 di oggi, la nave è salpata dal porto di Palermo per la seconda missione di monitoraggio e denuncia nelle acque internazionali tra le coste italiane e la Libia. C’era stata, nei mesi scorsi, l’avvio della missione, iniziata lo scorso 4 ottobre e durata 12 giorni, aiutata anche dal parlamentare di Liberi e Uguali Erasmo Palazzotto.
      Mediterranea, il suo ruolo in mare per sorvegliare una frontiera letale

      In questi ultimi giorni, la nave italiana della piattaforma Mediterranea era all’ancora nel porto siciliano per una sosta tecnica e di rifornimento: si tratta dell’unica nave in navigazione nel Mediterraneo centrale con l’essenziale funzione di testimonianza e pronta a intervenire, qualora fosse necessario, in soccorso di imbarcazioni in difficoltà. Un vero e proprio baluardo ultimo per evitare quella che può a buon diritto essere considerata una tragedia del nostro secolo.

      Il fatto che non ci siano più imbarcazioni a monitorare le rotte dei migranti è una diretta conseguenza della campagna di criminalizzazione delle ONG e delle politiche di chiusura dei confini, portata avanti in maniera risoluta dalla Lega e dal ministro dell’Interno Matteo Salvini. Non dobbiamo dimenticarci, che il Mediterraneo è considerato la frontiera più letale al mondo e che nello scorso mese di settembre ha registrato il numero drammatico di una persona morta o dispersa su cinque, tra coloro che hanno tentato la traversata.
      L’importanza di Mediterranea nei giorni scorsi

      Il 12 ottobre scorso, la nave Mediterranea ha avuto un ruolo determinante nel sollecitare il salvataggio tempestivo di settanta persone in pericolo al largo di Lampedusa, dopo il rimpallo di responsabilità tra Malta e Italia. Non solo: ha tenuto accesa l’attenzione dell’opinione pubblica su quanto realmente accade nelle acque a sud della Sicilia.

      Alla missione iniziata oggi parteciperà anche Riccardo Gatti di Proactiva Open Arms e un team di soccorso in mare della Ong tedesca Sea-Watch partner del progetto.


      https://www.giornalettismo.com/archives/2682517/mediterranea-unica-nave-mare-migranti

    • Trois ONG lancent une opération de sauvetage au large de la Libye

      Plus aucun bateau d’ONG ne menait d’opération de sauvetage dans la zone depuis celle menée fin septembre par l’« Aquarius ».
      Trois ONG ont lancé une mission de sauvetage de migrants au large de la Libye, où il n’y avait plus de bateaux humanitaires depuis fin septembre. Les trois navires engagés dans cette mission, l’#Open-Arms de l’ONG espagnole Proactiva Open Arms, le #Sea-Watch3 de l’ONG allemande Sea-Watch et le Mare-Jonio de l’ONG italienne Mediterranea, naviguent depuis vendredi dans les eaux internationales entre l’Italie et la Libye.

      Le Mare-Jonio était déjà parti début octobre patrouiller dans la zone pour témoigner du drame des migrants. Plus aucun bateau d’ONG ne menait d’opération de sauvetage dans la zone depuis celle menée fin septembre par l’Aquarius. Ce navire, affrété par Médecins sans frontières et SOS Méditerranée, est à quai à Marseille dans l’attente d’un pavillon lui permettant de naviguer, après le retrait de ceux de Gibraltar puis du Panama. La justice italienne a par ailleurs demandé mardi son placement sous séquestre pour une affaire de traitement illégal de déchets.

      La mission n’avait pas été annoncée en amont pour « ne pas se retrouver bloquée par une quelconque ruse, comme cela a été le cas pour l’Aquarius », a dit le fondateur de Proactiva Open Arms, Oscar Camps. Plongée dans le chaos depuis la chute du dictateur Mouammar Kadhafi dans une insurrection soutenue par l’OTAN en 2011, la Libye est l’un des principaux pays de transit pour les migrants subsahariens tentant de rejoindre l’Europe à partir de ses côtes. L’Espagne est devenue cette année la première porte d’entrée des migrants en Europe devant l’Italie mais la route de la Méditerranée centrale reste la plus dangereuse avec 1 277 des 2 075 morts recensés cette année par l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations.

      https://www.lemonde.fr/europe/article/2018/11/23/trois-ong-lancent-une-operation-de-sauvetage-au-large-de-la-libye_5387774_32

    • What It Means for Migrants When Europe Blocks Sea Rescues

      With no NGO vessels to rescue migrants crossing the central Mediterranean, people are drowning. Dr. David Beversluis, physician onboard one of the last rescue ships in the Mediterranean, looks at what it means when Europe turns its back.

      There is no more tragic place to witness the consequences of populist politics and anti-immigrant fears than the central Mediterranean Sea, where people are dying trying to reach safety in Europe.

      Many flee violence and poverty in forgotten places across Africa and beyond, before being kidnapped by traffickers and horribly abused in Libya. In a final bid for freedom, they board crowded, flimsy rafts that launch from the Libyan shore into Mediterranean waters.

      This year alone, more than 1,200 men, women and children have died trying to make this journey to Europe, according to the International Organization for Migration’s Missing Migrants project. These are just the deaths we know about.

      This summer I served as the physician onboard the Aquarius, a search and rescue ship operated by the aid organizations Doctors Without Borders and SOS Mediterranee that has assisted nearly 30,000 people since it launched in 2016. It was one of the ship’s last missions before the Italian government pressured Panama to revoke its registration after months of blocking rescue ships from Italian ports. In its current predicament, the Aquarius is unable to conduct search and rescue operations. Currently, there are no NGO aid vessels to rescue people crossing the central Mediterranean, and because of this people are drowning.

      On missions, we rescue people from boats in distress, we pull drowning people from the water, and we give food, water and lifesaving medical care. After we stabilize our patients, we sit and talk to people and hear their stories.

      I spoke with a young man who told me his brothers were targeted and killed last year during a violent conflict in Cameroon. He decided to leave his wife and young son behind because he was being threatened himself, and he was hopeful that if he made it to Europe he could eventually build a better life for his child. I could feel the pain in his words; he had no choice but to leave his loved ones behind.

      Several Somali boys told me of the months they spent traveling from country to country, first across the sea to Yemen, then to Sudan and eventually through the Sahara to Libya. Each step was a gamble for a better life. Along the way they faced extortion, imprisonment and death.

      An Eritrean boy told me he was kidnapped in Sudan and spent more than a year in captivity in Libya, where countless men and women are imprisoned by human traffickers and subjected to torture, rape and death. Another soberly described how his brother was shot in the head next to him, his body left behind in the desert.

      Each person has horrific stories of their time in Libya. They pause and shake their heads as they remember, deciding how to replay their experiences for somebody who can’t even imagine. One Nigerian man told me, “My mouth can’t form the words to describe what happened to me in Libya.”

      But he slowly opened up about his months spent in captivity. He described extreme sexual violence – rapes and genital mutilation – stories we hear repeatedly from both men and women who are trafficked in Libya.

      A Somali teenager said he was held in Libya for seven months inside a small room with more than 300 people where they had one latrine, were never able to shower or change clothes and were given meager food and water.

      And they were lined up every day, beaten with sticks and shouted at for money they didn’t have. He showed me scars on his back and arms as he mimicked the daily beating motion. The violence he lived through is written permanently in these scars on his body.

      Libya is simply not a safe place for refugees and migrants. But instead of responding humanely through a dedicated search and rescue system in the Mediterranean, or by creating safe and legal ways to apply for asylum, the European Union has poured money into building up the Libyan coast guard, which intercepts thousands of migrants and refugees as they attempt to flee. They are returned to Libya and held in official detention centers in atrocious, inhumane conditions. And as conflict erupts again between warring militias in the capital, Tripoli, many of them are directly in the line of fire.

      The stories we hear on the Aquarius highlight how people are repeatedly stripped of their humanity and dignity. And while they also have flashes of hope for a brighter future, each person understands that their difficult journey is far from over.

      In today’s political climate, Doctors Without Borders and other organizations have had to fight to disembark each rescued person in a safe place where their human rights will be respected. We’ve had to take people as far away as Spain after closer countries such as Italy have repeatedly closed their ports and European governments have refused to find sustainable and humane solutions.

      These difficulties grow as narratives of fear and hate toward migrants and refugees are repeated over and over, from Europe to America and elsewhere around the world. People are being treated as pawns by politicians unwilling to take responsibility for human lives. Borders close, walls are built and people are left to suffer and die.


      https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/community/2018/11/19/what-it-means-for-migrants-when-europe-blocks-sea-rescues

    • Italy orders seizure of migrant rescue ship over ’HIV-contaminated’ clothes

      Prosecutors allege garments on Aquarius should have been labelled as ‘toxic waste’.

      Italian authorities have ordered the seizure of the migrant rescue ship Aquarius after claiming that discarded clothes worn by the migrants on their voyage from Libya to Italy could have been contaminated by HIV, meningitis and tuberculosis.

      Prosecutors from Catania, eastern Sicily, alleged that the waste was illegally labelled by the ship’s crew as “special waste” rather than “toxic waste”.

      The Aquarius is currently docked in Marseilles, France, where so far it is beyond the reach of the Italian authorities.

      The ship is operated by the charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and SOS Méditerranée. Prosecutors in Catania said: “If Aquarius would disembark to Italy, it will be immediately put under seizure.”

      Nevertheless, the Italian authorities have placed 24 people under investigation for ‘‘trafficking and the illegal management of waste,” including the captain of the Aquarius, Evgenii Talanin, and Michele Trainiti, deputy head of the Italy mission of MSF Belgium. The Sicilian prosecutors also fined MSF a total of €460,000 (£409,000) and froze some of its bank accounts based in Italy.

      A total of 24 tonnes of discarded material – including leftover food and medical materials as well as clothes – was being investigated.

      Aids campaigners criticised the prosecutors’ claims that clothing could have been contaminated with HIV. “Clothing categorically is not, and has never been, an HIV transmission risk,” said Deborah Gold, chief executive of the National AIDS Trust.

      “This would have stood out as ridiculous even amongst the misinformation of the 1980s, never mind in 2018. Migrants and people seeking asylum have historically been attacked using myths about HIV and infectious conditions, and we condemn this both for its stigmatising of people living with HIV and of migrants fleeing hardship.”

      The Aquarius has been stuck in Marseilles since the Panamanian authorities revoked its flag, after “complaints by the Italian authorities”. But the ship seemed to have reached an agreement with a country that would offer the NGO its flag and was ready to leave the French port in few days to reach the waters of Libya.

      Matteo Salvini, Italy’s far-right deputy prime minister, hailed the seizure order for the Aquarius, tweeting: “It seems I did well to close the Italian ports to the NGOs.”

      NGO rescue boats have almost all disappeared from the central Mediterranean since Salvini announced soon after taking office that he was closing Italian ports to non-Italian rescue vessels.

      The chief prosecutor of Catania, Carmelo Zuccaro, who is leading the investigation against the Aquarius and who is known for having launched several investigations against the rescue boats operated by aid groups, has recently dropped the charges for illegal detention and kidnapping against Salvini, after the minister of the interior was placed under investigation for preventing the disembarkation of migrants from the coastguard ship Ubaldo Diciotti, last August.

      In a statement released on Tuesday, MSF described the allegations against the Aquarius crew as “disproportionate and unfounded, purely aimed at further criminalising lifesaving medical-humanitarian action at sea’’.

      “After two years of defamatory and unfounded allegations of collusion with human traffickers against our humanitarian work, we are now accused of organised crime aimed at illicit waste trafficking. This latest attempt by the Italian authorities to stop humanitarian lifesaving search and rescue capacity at any cost is sinister” says Karline Kleijer, MSF’s head of emergencies.

      “This is another strike in the series of attacks criminalising humanitarian aid at sea. The tragic current situation is leading to an absence of humanitarian search and rescue vessels operating in the central Mediterranean, while the mortality rate is on the rise,” said Frédéric Penard, SOS Méditerranée’s head of operations.

      People seeking asylum are still attempting the risky crossing but, without the rescue boats, the number of shipwrecks is likely to rise dramatically.

      The death toll in the Mediterranean has fallen in the past year, but the number of those drowning as a proportion of arrivals in Italy has risen sharply in the past few months, with the possibility of dying during the crossing now three times higher.

      According to the International Organization for Migration, so far in 2018 more than 21,000 people have made the crossing and 2,054 have died.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/20/italy-orders-seizure-aquarius-migrant-rescue-ship-hiv-clothes
      #maladies #contamination

      La réponse de MSF:
      Sequestro nave Aquarius. Inquietante e strumentale attacco per bloccare azione salvavita in mare
      https://www.medicisenzafrontiere.it/news-e-storie/news/sequestro-nave-aquarius-inquietante-e-strumentale-attacco-per-b

      v. aussi:
      https://seenthis.net/messages/740369

    • L’Italie demande la mise sous séquestre de l’« Aquarius » à Marseille

      La justice italienne a demandé le placement sous séquestre de l’Aquarius, actuellement bloqué à Marseille, a annoncé, mardi 20 novembre, l’ONG Médecins sans frontières (MSF). Des comptes bancaires en Italie de MSF ont également été placés sous séquestre.

      Le navire humanitaire affrété par les ONG SOS Méditerranée et MSF pour secourir les migrants au large de la Libye est soupçonné d’avoir fait passer vingt-quatre tonnes de déchets potentiellement toxiques pour des déchets classiques.

      L’enquête, coordonnée par le parquet de Catane (Sicile), porte sur le traitement des déchets à bord – restes alimentaires, vêtements des personnes secourues, déchets issus des activités médicales – dans les ports italiens où l’Aquarius débarque des milliers de migrants secourus en mer.

      « Empêcher les actions médicales et humanitaires »

      « Les opérations portuaires de nos navires de secours en mer ont toujours suivi les normes en vigueur, s’est défendu MSF dans un communiqué. Les autorités compétentes n’ont jamais questionné nos procédures ni identifié un quelconque risque pour la santé publique depuis que MSF a commencé ses opérations de secours. »

      La mise sous séquestre de l’Aquarius est « mise en œuvre dans l’unique but d’empêcher les actions médicales et humanitaires pour sauver des vies en mer en les criminalisant encore davantage », dénonce l’ONG.

      Depuis que le Panama a annoncé sa décision de retirer au bateau humanitaire son pavillon à la fin de septembre pour « non-respect » des « procédures juridiques internationales » concernant le sauvetage des migrants en mer, l’Aquarius est bloqué dans le port de Marseille.

      L’Aquarius est le dernier navire humanitaire à parcourir la Méditerranée pour secourir des migrants qui tentent la traversée clandestine vers l’Europe, fait valoir l’association. Depuis quatre ans, plus de 15 000 personnes sont mortes noyées en Méditerranée en tentant la traversée sur des embarcations de fortune, selon l’ONG. En deux ans et demi, SOS Méditerranée dit avoir secouru 29 523 personnes dont 23 % sont des mineurs.

      https://www.lemonde.fr/europe/article/2018/11/20/l-italie-demande-la-mise-sous-sequestre-de-l-aquarius-a-marseille_5385916_32

    • Migrants : la justice italienne demande la mise sous séquestre à Marseille de l’Aquarius

      La justice italienne a demandé le placement sous séquestre du navire humanitaire Aquarius à Marseille pour une affaire de traitement illégal de déchets, un nouveau coup dur pour les ONG qui se portent au secours des migrants en mer.

      L’ONG Médecins sans frontières (MSF), qui affrète l’Aquarius avec SOS Méditerranée depuis 2016, a réfuté toute malversation et dénoncé « une mesure disproportionnée et instrumentale, visant à criminaliser pour la énième fois l’action médico-humanitaire en mer ».

      A la demande du parquet de Catane (Sicile), la justice italienne « a ordonné le placement sous séquestre » du navire et de comptes bancaires de MSF, selon un communiqué du parquet. Mais MSF a annoncé son intention de faire appel.

      Interrogé par l’AFP, le procureur de la République de Marseille, Xavier Tarabeux, a déclaré n’avoir reçu « à ce jour » aucune demande des autorités italiennes concernant l’Aquarius.

      La mesure ne change de toute façon pas la donne au large de la Libye, où les ONG ont secouru plus de 120.000 migrants depuis 2014 mais sont désormais quasi-absentes après 18 mois d’incessantes attaques politiques — de gauche comme de droite —, judiciaires et administratives.

      Plusieurs ONG ont suspendu ou déplacé leurs activités, tandis que d’autres voient leur navire bloqué en Italie, à Malte ou en France, comme c’est le cas de l’Aquarius.

      L’Aquarius est amarré à Marseille depuis début octobre dans l’attente d’un pavillon lui permettant de naviguer après le retrait de ceux de Gibraltar puis du Panama.

      « J’ai bien fait de bloquer les navires des ONG », a réagi Matteo Salvini (extrême droite), ministre italien de l’Intérieur depuis juin. « J’ai arrêté non seulement le trafic des immigrés clandestins mais aussi celui des déchets toxiques ».

      Selon le parquet, l’Aquarius et le Vos Prudence, un autre navire affrété par MSF en 2017, sont soupçonnés d’avoir fait passer pour des déchets classiques un total de 24 tonnes de déchets présentant un risque sanitaire, économisant au total 460.000 euros.

      – « Aucune mise en garde » -

      L’enquête porte sur le traitement des vêtements trempés et souillés abandonnés par les migrants à bord, ainsi que des restes alimentaires et déchets sanitaires, que les deux navires ont confiés aux services des ordures des ports où ils débarquaient les migrants secourus en mer.

      Or, les équipes médicales de MSF à bord ont signalé parmi les migrants de nombreux cas de gale, HIV, méningites ou infections respiratoires comme la tuberculose et ne pouvaient ignorer le risque de transmission de virus ou d’agents pathogènes via leurs vieux vêtements, selon le parquet.

      « Nous avons suivi les procédures qui nous étaient indiquées. La preuve en est qu’en trois ans d’activité, dans un contexte très surveillé, nous n’avons reçu aucune mise en garde, aucune amende, aucune forme d’alerte préventive de la part des autorités », a déclaré Marco Bertotto, un responsable de MSF, lors d’une conférence de presse.

      « En ce moment, nos équipes travaillent avec le virus Ebola au Congo, le choléra au Congo également et dans d’autres pays d’Afrique Centrale. Donc le fait d’être accusés de comportement irresponsable (...) est ridicule », a dénoncé Gianfranco de Maio, médecin de MSF.

      En Italie, des voix se sont également élevées pour demander comment avaient été traités les déchets similaires sur les navires de la marine ou des garde-côtes italiens, qui ont secouru plus de 300.000 migrants depuis 2014.

      Pour l’instant, plusieurs comptes bancaires de MSF ont été placés sous séquestre dans le cadre de cette enquête, qui concerne aussi deux agents maritimes qui faisaient l’interface avec les autorités portuaires, les capitaines des navires et plusieurs responsables de MSF à bord.

      Mais pour Gabriele Eminente, directeur général de MSF en Italie, le « seul crime que nous voyons aujourd’hui en Méditerranée est le démantèlement total du système de recherches et de secours ».

      Grâce à des accords controversés conclus en Libye par le précédent gouvernement de centre gauche pour empêcher les migrants de prendre la mer, puis à la politique des ports fermés de M. Salvini, l’Italie a vu le nombre d’arrivées sur ses côtes chuter drastiquement à partir de l’été 2017.

      Cette année, l’Italie a enregistré 22.500 arrivées sur ses côtes, soit une baisse de plus de 80% par rapport aux années précédentes. Mais selon l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM), faute de navires de secours, la traversée depuis la Libye a coûté la vie à au moins 1.267 migrants cette année.


      https://www.la-croix.com/Monde/Migrants-justice-italienne-demande-mise-sequestre-Marseille-Aquarius-2018-

    • How the Debate Over Flags Sidelined Europe’s Migrant-Rescue Ships

      Europe’s aggressive migration policy has seen Italy dive into the obscure world of national shipping flags to sabotage rescue missions. Researcher Hannah Markay argues that such moves undermine the international legal requirement to save human lives at sea.

      To deter migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea, European authorities have seized upon a seemingly innocuous bit of international maritime law to block NGO-run rescue ships from their lifesaving work: the requirement that every vessel with seaward ambitions – from search-and-rescue vessel to pleasure boat – carry a national flag.

      The debate over whether NGO boats that rescue migrants are lifelines or “taxis of the sea” is old news. Lately, Italy and other European states have pursued a similar tactic to the one used by the United States in 1931 when it caught gangster Al Capone on charges of tax fraud: Unable to find legal issues with actual rescue missions, authorities are trying to sideline NGO vessels by diving into the minutiae of ships’ national registrations. Italian prosecutors got even more creative this week when they ordered the seizure of the rescue ship Aquarius, operated by Doctors Without Borders, over “illegal waste disposal.”

      Thus, debates over bureaucratic details have eclipsed another requirement of international law: the duty to save human lives at sea.

      Another way in which Italy has used bureaucracy to sabotage NGOs’ rescue missions is by asking them to sign a “code of conduct.” The 11-point code – aimed at stopping what Italy viewed as the groups’ facilitation of people-smuggling across the sea – barred them from entering Libyan territorial waters to undertake rescues; banned them from making calls or sending up flares to signal their location to migrant boats in distress; and threatened to bar access to Italian ports if groups did not sign or comply. Several NGO vessels refused to sign. In retaliation, Italy ordered some of them to be seized.

      These disputes have prevented ships with hundreds of just-rescued, vulnerable people aboard from disembarking in Europe. This happened recently with the Aquarius, the Lifeline and even the Diciotti, an Italian coast-guard ship barred from disembarking 177 refugees and migrants in Italy’s port of Catania for several days.

      Humanitarian groups have found ways around Europe’s bureaucratic obstacles. When Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini threatened to close Italian ports to rescue vessels not bearing the country’s flag, a coalition of activists launched the first-ever Italian-flagged rescue ship, Mare Jonio, to conduct missions off Libya earlier this fall.

      But more often bureaucracy wins. Desperate migrants do not have the luxury of waiting for courts to rule on the legality of states’ actions. The bureaucratic games are directly responsible for the rising rate of deaths in the Mediterranean.
      A Game of Migrant ‘Hot Potato’

      Under international maritime law, every state must require any ship flying its flag – whether it’s a civilian, military or humanitarian vessel – to assist persons in distress at sea, without endangering the ship or crew. Coastal states must also render assistance in areas identified as their search-and-rescue (SAR) zones.

      In theory, the duty to assist applies to any ship able to hear a distress signal. Maritime rescue coordination centers around the world coordinate rescue missions in their respective zones and determine the national authority responsible for responding.

      But in reality this resembles a game of hot potato in the central Mediterranean, in which states quickly delegate or refuse responsibility.

      This was evident when Malta recently gave life-vests, petrol and a compass to a migrant boat in its SAR zone, then directed it to the shores of Lampedusa. European ships within reach of the distress signal are starting to preemptively avoid the waters near Libya altogether or are (illegally) turning around before acknowledging a migrant boat’s mayday signals.

      In this political climate, the few still-operational NGO rescue vessels are more important than ever. In their absence, rescues coordinated by European authorities end with migrants being returned to Libya, which may breach international laws around non-refoulement. With its ongoing civil war and record of detaining migrants, Libya is hardly a safe haven.

      This was the fate of 92 rescued refugees and migrants aboard a cargo ship docked in Libya’s port of Misrata who defiantly claimed they would rather die than return to Libya. The 10-day standoff ended when Libyan authorities used rubber bullets and tear gas to force disembarkation.

      Meanwhile, Libya is also playing the bureaucratic game. Under international law, territorial waters consist of the 12 nautical miles (13.8 miles/22.2km) off the coast of any state, but last year Libya declared its own SAR zone of 74 nautical miles. There is no legal basis for this expansion. Libyan authorities warned NGOs to stay out. Three European NGOs stopped sea rescue missions after Libya’s threats of violence.

      Martin Taminiau, a volunteer with the NGO vessel Sea-Watch, which Malta detained for months over its national registration, said NGO ships must weigh bureaucratic roadblocks against the need to help migrants in distress.

      “We have the right to enter these waters to save lives, but we also want to be able to operate long term,” he said.
      Responsibility to Save Lives ‘Lost at Sea’

      The legal and moral responsibility to save lives has been lost at sea, overshadowed by the technical debates over national flags, zones of responsibility, territorial waters and waste-disposal procedures.

      Watchdog and humanitarian groups must maintain pressure on the European Union to respond promptly to distress calls in their SAR zones and to communicate transparently with any boats prepared to make the rescue, in accordance with international law.

      The 1979 Search and Rescue Convention clearly designates areas of responsibility for responding to distress calls. This must translate into true responsibility and life-saving.

      https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/community/2018/11/22/how-the-debate-over-flags-sidelined-europes-migrant-rescue-ships

    • Che cosa può una nave?

      Si può fare!

      Era la metà di giugno quando ha cominciato a prendere forma quella che sarebbe poi divenuta la piattaforma “Mediterranea”. Salvini aveva da poco chiuso i porti italiani alla nave Aquarius, di “Medici Senza Frontiere” e “Sos Méditerranée”, definendo una “crociera” la lunga traversata che avrebbe portato in Spagna gli oltre novecento profughi e migranti che si trovavano a bordo. Era il coronamento di una vera e propria guerra alle ONG, avviata nell’aprile del 2017 dal procuratore di Catania Carmelo Zuccaro e poi proseguita dal ministro Minniti – il coronamento e al tempo stesso un’intensificazione senza precedenti: se negli anni scorsi molti di noi avevano analizzato criticamente la svolta governamentale della “ragione umanitaria”, cioè l’incorporazione delle ONG nei dispositivi di governo dei confini e delle migrazioni, era evidente che ci trovavamo davanti a una brutale soluzione di continuità. L’intervento umanitario era ora direttamente criminalizzato, azzerando quelle reti di soccorso volontario che negli anni precedenti, spesso integrate con le operazioni SAR delle diverse guardie costiere e delle forze armate, erano state comunque dispiegate nel Mediterraneo.

      Che fare di fronte a questa svolta, evidentemente sintomatica di un atteggiamento destinato a improntare l’azione del governo per mare e per terra nei mesi successivi? La domanda non poteva essere aggirata, e ha cominciato a risuonare con insistenza nelle conversazioni tra compagni e compagne. La resistenza, certo: la denuncia di quanto stava accadendo, i presìdi di protesta, le iniziative di pressione per la riapertura dei porti. E il tentativo di comprendere il significato più profondo di quanto stava accadendo, di anticipare le mosse successive del governo definendo un quadro interpretativo generale della “fase”. Ma ci sembrava che tutto questo non fosse sufficiente, che si dovesse e si potesse fare di più: che fosse necessario mettere in campo una pratica, capace di determinare spiazzamento e quantomeno di alludere a una mossa “offensiva”, al di là del carattere necessariamente difensivo della resistenza – e per riqualificare il terreno su cui quest’ultima si determina. E allora, perché non agire direttamente nel vivo delle contraddizioni del dispositivo retorico e politico della campagna governativa? Perché non comprare e mettere in mare una nave? Una nave battente bandiera italiana, in modo che nessun governo potesse chiuderle i porti del nostro Paese…

      Nei mesi successivi abbiamo misurato a pieno il carattere quasi donchisciottesco dell’impresa in cui avevamo deciso – letteralmente – di imbarcarci: una scommessa, un azzardo in qualche modo al buio. Qualche compagno, con conoscenza professionale dei mondi che ruotano attorno alle navi, ci ha aiutato a orientarci. Per un po’ abbiamo accantonato la filosofia e la teoria politica, cercando di farci almeno un’idea del diritto della navigazione, dell’ingegneria navale e della scienza logistica applicata. Mentre la ricerca della nave proseguiva, abbiamo trovato molti complici e sodali, a volte inaspettati e spesso proprio in quei mondi dello shipping dove il principio per cui “ogni singola vita a rischio in mare deve essere messa al sicuro” appare profondamente radicato e viene ritenuto intangibile. E abbiamo incontrato la disponibilità di Banca Etica a sostenere il progetto dal punto di vista finanziario, aprendo una linea di credito dedicata.

      Dentro e contro i mondi della logistica e della finanza ha dunque cominciato a prendere corpo “Mediterranea”, mentre un insieme di soggetti collettivi di diversa provenienza e natura si aggregava a prefigurare un’originale piattaforma sociale e politica. Quando infine abbiamo trovato e siamo riusciti ad acquistare la nave (la “Mare Jonio”), abbiamo subito capito che il lavoro più importante – costruire la nostra nave – cominciava allora: si trattava intanto, letteralmente, di adeguarla alle operazioni di “ricerca e salvataggio” (un compito a cui si sono dedicati con entusiasmo decine di compagne e compagni, con l’essenziale collaborazione della ONG tedesca Sea Watch); e poi di preparare gli equipaggi e di tessere le reti di terra che avrebbero sostenuto e reso possibile l’azione in mare della “Mare Jonio”. Questo lavoro di costruzione collettiva è ben lungi dall’essere terminato. E tuttavia, nella notte tra il 3 e il 4 ottobre, la nostra nave è salpata per la sua prima missione. Senza alcuna supponenza abbiamo pensato che un primo obiettivo era stato raggiunto. Avevamo dimostrato che si può fare.

      Per mare …

      Tra il 4 ottobre e il 4 dicembre scorsi la “Mare Jonio” ha percorso in tre distinte missioni più di 4.800 miglia marine, più o meno la distanza che separava i migranti italiani tra la fine dell’Ottocento e l’inizio del Novecento dall’agognato approdo a Ellis Island. Ci siamo mossi all’interno di quello che viene chiamato il Mediterraneo Centrale, entro un mare solcato e striato da tensioni geopolitiche che si traducono in confini elusivi, ma non per questo meno cogenti. Il caleidoscopio composto da acque territoriali, zone contigue, zone economiche esclusive, aree SAR (Search And Rescue) è come tagliato trasversalmente dalle linee di attrito tra Grecia e Turchia (che solcano il Mediterraneo Orientale), tra Marocco e Spagna (il Mediterraneo Occidentale) e tra Italia e Libia (appunto il Mediterraneo Centrale), con altri Paesi costieri a fare ciascuno il proprio gioco (dalla Tunisia a Malta, dall’Algeria all’Egitto).

      Non è affatto casuale che le aree marittime appena menzionate corrispondano anche alle tre principali “rotte” seguite dai flussi migratori verso l’Europa e che la maggiore o minore pressione lungo ciascuno di questi corridoi di transito rinvii, di volta in volta, a cangianti condizioni economiche, sociali e politiche nei Paesi di partenza e di arrivo; alle spinte soggettive che caratterizzano la propensione a migrare di questa o quella composizione; alle differenti e articolate strategie di gestione dei flussi, prima fra tutte la progressiva esternalizzazione dei confini dell’Unione Europea stessa, in un gioco di continui ridislocamenti che sembra ben lungi dall’aver trovato un suo punto di equilibrio. Basti pensare al ruolo che il Marocco si sta oggi preparando (nuovamente) a giocare sul terreno – mercantile! – degli accordi per il contenimento e il respingimento, entro un quadro in cui l’accordo tra UE e Turchia e i patti stretti da diversi governi italiani con tribù e milizie libiche hanno fatto, negli ultimi tre anni, da apripista. O, in quest’ultimo quadrante, ai tentativi di spostare più a sud, alla frontiera tra Niger e Libia, il “lavoro sporco” svolto in questi anni da apparati “formali e informali” in Tripolitania e Cirenaica.

      In questa cornice, di cui abbiamo potuto registrare le continue modificazioni perfino nel corso delle otto settimane delle nostre prime tre missioni, la presenza e l’attività della “Mare Jonio” hanno messo in tensione il regime SAR, costringendo più volte imbarcazioni della Guardia Costiera maltese e italiana a muoversi in soccorso dei migranti, e hanno svolto una rilevante funzione di inchiesta, facendo luce là dove si pretendeva (obiettivo essenziale dell’attacco alle ONG) che non ci fossero più testimoni attenti e consapevoli. L’Operazione Mediterranea ha conteso con successo alle “autorità competenti” il diritto a intervenire in aree di crisi e ha così aperto un campo in cui sono divenute visibili le trasformazioni già intervenute e in atto nel regime SAR, le cui aree di competenza funzionale sono state via via interpretate come veri e propri spazi di esercizio di sovranità nazionali, sostituendo nei fatti la logica del primato della concreta efficacia nel salvataggio in mare con quella mortifera della sclerotizzazione burocratica dei protocolli operativi nella gestione di rigide “frontiere” acquee. Abbiamo così disvelato e misurato nei fatti la ormai costitutiva inadeguatezza dell’attuale regime SAR a esercitare funzioni di soccorso in mare, ma anche una serie di elementi di cruciale importanza: il fatto che dalla Libia, al contrario di quanto affermato dalla propaganda del governo italiano, si continui a partire, seppure con modalità diverse rispetto al passato; le mutate geografie, i nuovi assetti logistici, la composizione variabile degli attraversamenti del Mediterraneo; la dipendenza dell’intervento sui flussi a monte, cioè sul territorio libico, dalla contingenza di complessi e tutt’altro che trasparenti giochi di potere, economico e politico (come si è visto in coincidenza con lo svolgimento a Palermo, nel novembre scorso, della Conferenza Internazionale sulla Libia); la continuità dell’intervento della “Guardia Costiera” libica (le virgolette sono d’obbligo, visto che al suo interno operano, sotto diretta supervisione del Viminale, soggetti che fino a pochi mesi fa sarebbero stati considerati “trafficanti di esseri umani”) nell’agire dentro e fuori le acque territoriali del Paese africano per operare veri e propri respingimenti collettivi; la resistenza, la formidabile determinazione delle donne e degli uomini in fuga dai campi di detenzione libici a non farsi ricondurre in quei luoghi di violenza e di sfruttamento (le due vicende della nave “Nivin” e del peschereccio “Nuestra Madre de Loreto” sono da questo punto di vista esemplari).

      A metà novembre il ministro dell’Interno italiano ha annunciato trionfalmente che il Mediterraneo era stato infine liberato dalla presenza delle navi delle ONG. “Mediterranea”, con la sua azione, ha al contrario determinato le condizioni di possibilità di un’alleanza transnazionale senza precedenti tra diverse ONG: nel corso di quella che è stata per noi la terza missione ci siamo coalizzati con Open Arms e Sea Watch, dando vita a United4Med e mettendo in mare un piccola flotta, sostenuta dal cielo da due velivoli da ricognizione. Indipendentemente dagli esiti di questa missione (caratterizzata dall’intervento a sostegno del peschereccio “Nuestra Madre de Loreto”), sono state poste le condizioni per un coordinamento operativo destinato a durare nel tempo e per ulteriori nuove alleanze nei prossimi mesi. Ma un momento di significativa importanza è stata anche la sosta di diversi giorni nel porto di Zarzis, in Tunisia, dove l’incontro con le associazioni dei pescatori – da sempre impegnati nelle operazioni di soccorso in mare, e per questo criminalizzati in Italia – e con gli attivisti del “Forum Tunisino per i Diritti Economici e Sociali”, ci ha consentito di cominciare a gettare ponti con la terra non solo verso Nord, ma anche verso Sud.

      … e per terra.

      La costruzione di una forte e strutturale connessione tra “terra e mare” è stata per noi fin dall’inizio, del resto, uno degli obiettivi essenziali di “Mediterranea”. Abbiamo spesso affermato che non siamo una ONG, senza per questo mancare di riconoscere l’importanza fondamentale, per il nostro progetto, della collaborazione con Sea Watch e Open Arms, la straordinaria passione che anima molte volontarie e molti volontari delle ONG, e i risultati concreti ottenuti negli anni da queste ultime, in termini di vite umane strappate a morte certa. Quest’affermazione significa piuttosto che non consideriamo il nostro intervento semplicemente limitato ai luoghi in cui si produce l’emergenza “umanitaria”; che ne enfatizziamo il carattere politico e non semplicemente “tecnico” o “neutrale”; che rivendichiamo la possibilità di agire, laddove se ne determinino le condizioni, al di fuori dei quadri giuridici stabiliti, per alludere semmai alla fondazione conflittuale di nuovi diritti.

      È su queste basi che valutiamo l’indubbio successo che “Mediterranea” ha raccolto in terra (tra l’altro per i risultati, inediti per il contesto italiano, del crowdfunding, con quasi quattrocentomila euro raccolti in poco più di due mesi). Tanto nel corso delle iniziative organizzate da un gruppo di donne e uomini di cultura e spettacolo (la “Via di Terra”), quanto nelle decine e decine di assemblee che si sono tenute in tutta Italia (e in qualche città europea) abbiamo fatto esperienza di un entusiasmo e di una passione, di una partecipazione anche emotiva, di una curiosità e di un’adesione che da tempo non ricordavamo. Si badi: queste “tonalità emotive” non corrispondono in alcun modo a un’omogeneità politica. La nostra nave è stata appropriata e in qualche modo reinventata dalle posizioni più diverse, all’interno di centri sociali così come di parrocchie, di università e di scuole, di piccoli circoli di Paese e di assemblee metropolitane; mentre il 24 novembre, ci piace ricordarlo, sulla “Mare Jonio” la bandiera di “Mediterranea” ha sventolato accanto a quella del movimento più forte e radicale dei nostri giorni, “Non Una di Meno”. Ma è proprio questa eccedenza di significati attribuiti a “Mediterranea”, anche al di là delle intenzioni iniziali di questo progetto, a rappresentare per noi il dato più significativo. E a costituire la potenzialità più rilevante per l’immediato futuro.

      La situazione “in terra” è del resto anch’essa cambiata nei due mesi in cui la “Mare Jonio” ha effettuato le sue missioni nel Mediterraneo. Il consolidamento dell’egemonia di Salvini all’interno del governo “giallo-verde” e l’indubbio consenso che circonda la sua azione si sono coniugati con la conversione in legge del cosiddetto “Decreto sicurezza” (mentre un discorso a parte meriterebbe la vicenda della legge di Bilancio e lo “scontro” con la Commissione Europea). Non è questo il luogo per un’analisi nel dettaglio delle disposizioni di legge in esso contenute. Basti dire che il drastico ridimensionamento del sistema SPRAR punta a radicare ulteriormente nel tessuto sociale una logica emergenziale, producendo “illegalità” e rendendo sempre più fragile e insicura la condizione di migliaia di profughi e migranti. Mentre il sostanziale smantellamento della “protezione umanitaria” colpisce tra l’altro duramente, e in modo selettivo, le donne migranti, in particolare quelle in fuga da condizioni di violenza. Al tempo stesso, l’inasprimento delle sanzioni penali per blocchi stradali e occupazioni abitative colpisce in primo luogo ancora i e le migranti, protagonisti in questi anni di straordinarie lotte sul lavoro (si pensi ai blocchi dei magazzini della logistica) e per la casa.

      Siamo di fronte a un tendenziale azzeramento delle mediazioni, che si manifesta prima di tutto sul terreno della migrazione, ma che si indirizza selettivamente contro un insieme più ampio di soggetti. Come agire di fronte a questa rottura? “Mediterranea” non ha certo lezioni da impartire a chi quotidianamente pratica la resistenza. Ha forse però, a partire dalla sua parziale esperienza, almeno due indicazioni da proporre.

      In primo luogo, mostra l’importanza di accompagnare all’azione di resistenza la messa in campo di pratiche capaci di intervenire direttamente sui problemi che si presentano. Si può pensare che oggi queste pratiche possano e debbano dispiegarsi anche sul terreno della costruzione di infrastrutture, materiali e immateriali, una costruzione aperta e in divenire, come aperta e in divenire è stata ed è la costruzione della nostra nave. Proviamo a immaginare un’azione che combini, in modo aperto ed espansivo, la resistenza allo smantellamento del sistema SPRAR e della protezione umanitaria con la costruzione di infrastrutture alternative per l’ “accoglienza”, coinvolgendo il mondo degli operatori e delle operatrici e facendo tesoro dell’esperienza dei centri anti-violenza e delle case rifugio all’interno del movimento femminista. Non ne risulterebbe straordinariamente più forte la stessa resistenza?

      In secondo luogo, “Mediterranea” può offrire l’esperienza di quella che vorremmo chiamare una politica del diritto, ovvero di un tentativo di affermare (ancora una volta: con una pratica) la legittimità e la legalità di qualcosa di tanto elementare quanto il dovere di salvare i naufraghi in mare. In questo tentativo, ha “testato” l’intreccio tra molteplici sistemi giuridici (quelli nazionali, quello europeo, il “diritto internazionale del mare”), tentando di allargare le tensioni all’interno e tra di essi, aprendo varchi e scontrandosi con limiti. È un tentativo che bisogna continuare a fare (per mare così come per terra) con maggiore determinazione. E con la necessaria spregiudicatezza e radicalità, perché siamo convinti che di fronte ai limiti occorra forzare, sia cioè indispensabile praticare, dal nostro punto di vista, la rottura.

      To be continued.

      Che cosa può dunque una nave? Va da sé che c’è un tratto ironico in questa variazione sul tema di una celebre domanda deleuziana. Pur non disdegnando imprese donchisciottesche, cerchiamo di mantenere una qualche sobrietà. Indubbiamente, la nostra nave ha dimostrato di poter intervenire operativamente nel Mediterraneo, svolgendo tra le altre cose un’efficace funzione di inchiesta e denuncia sulle trasformazioni del regime SAR e delle dinamiche di attraversamento e rafforzamento del confine marittimo. Ha messo in collegamento le due sponde del Mediterraneo e ha prodotto straordinari effetti di risonanza in terra, aprendo spazi nuovi attraverso una molteplicità di incontri imprevisti. Ma una nave può essere soltanto uno dei molti dispositivi di cui dobbiamo dotarci nella lotta per costruire un mondo in cui sia possibile, tanto per cominciare, respirare più liberamente.

      In ogni caso, la nostra nave – lo abbiamo detto più volte – è in costruzione, ed è in fondo questo ininterrotto processo di costruzione collettiva che ci sembra prezioso. Che cosa diventerà “Mediterranea” nei prossimi mesi? È una domanda che deve rimanere aperta nelle sue linee generali. Certamente, proseguiremo le operazioni marittime. Questo richiederà un’ulteriore “professionalizzazione” del lavoro, un salto di qualità nella strutturazione dell’ “impresa per fare l’impresa”, una rinnovata cura per gli aspetti logistici e finanziari, la formazione di attivisti e attiviste auspicabilmente nel quadro di una cooperazione rafforzata con diverse ONG. È questo un aspetto fondamentale di “Mediterranea”, nata da un patto tra soggetti diversi che si sono riconosciuti uguali nella condivisione dell’urgenza dell’intervento di soccorso in mare.

      Al tempo stesso, sarà necessario riaffermare e riqualificare il significato della nostra affermazione secondo cui “non siamo una ONG”. Si tratterà cioè di riprendere gli elementi essenziali che abbiamo indicato in precedenza: il carattere politico del progetto, la moltiplicazione di ponti tra il mare e la terra, una “politica del diritto” certo consapevole dei quadri ordinamentali dati (e delle forzate interpretazioni consuetudinarie che i più recenti rapporti di forza politici hanno orientato), ma anche determinata nella capacità di praticare rotture. E occorrerà farlo allargando le relazioni e approfondendo il lavoro tanto sul piano sociale quanto nello spazio europeo, puntando in primo luogo al coinvolgimento delle tante città che si sono costituite, esplicitamente o implicitamente, come “città rifugio” negli ultimi anni.

      Sono questioni attorno a cui è aperto il confronto tra tutti coloro che partecipano al progetto. La nostra proposta è quella di lavorare – da qui alla primavera – alla costruzione di una sorta di “stati generali” di “Mediterranea”: non un evento, ma l’esito di un percorso di inchiesta e di discussione, che riprenda i fili delle molte risposte che “Mediterranea” ha raccolto e che ci permetta di avanzare sul terreno della costruzione collettiva. Ripartire dai territori in cui si sono svolte (e continuano a svolgersi) le iniziative di sostegno al progetto, valorizzare gli “incontri imprevisti” per quel che riguarda tanto eterogenee aree politiche e culturali quanto i diversi “mondi” che abbiamo attraversato in questi mesi (da quelli dello shipping ai medici e agli operatori del diritto con cui abbiamo collaborato, per fare solo qualche esempio particolarmente importante): questo ci sembra possa essere il metodo da seguire, per continuare a essere là dove è necessario essere e agire – per mare e per terra.


      http://www.euronomade.info/?p=11437

  • #Fonds_fiduciaire de l’UE pour l’Afrique : 90.5 millions d’euros supplémentaires pour renforcer la gestion des frontières et la protection des migrants en Afrique du Nord

    La Commission européenne a approuvé ce jour 3 nouveaux programmes relatifs à la migration en #Afrique_du_Nord, pour un montant total supérieur à 90 millions d’euros.

    Cette décision fait suite aux conclusions du #Conseil_européen de la semaine dernière, au cours duquel les dirigeants européens se sont engagés à intensifier l’aide le long de la route de la #Méditerranée_centrale. Les nouveaux programmes au titre du fonds fiduciaire de l’UE pour l’Afrique accroîtront l’aide de l’UE en faveur des réfugiés et des migrants vulnérables et amélioreront les capacités de gestion des frontières des pays partenaires.

    Mme Federica Mogherini, haute représentante/vice-présidente, a fait le commentaire suivant : « Les nouveaux programmes adoptés aujourd’hui intensifieront l’action que nous menons en vue de gérer les flux migratoires de manière humaine et durable, en sauvant et en protégeant la vie de réfugiés et de migrants et en leur fournissant une aide et en luttant contre les trafiquants et les passeurs. Notre approche intégrée combine une action en mer et une action conjointe avec des pays partenaires le long des routes migratoires, y compris en Libye et au Sahel. Ce travail a déjà porté ses fruits et en portera encore davantage si les États membres se conforment aux engagements qu’ils ont pris depuis la création du fonds fiduciaire à La Valette, en 2015. »

    M. Johannes Hahn, commissaire chargé de la politique européenne de voisinage et des négociations d’élargissement, a ajouté : « La formule du #partenariat est déterminante pour relever les défis posés par la migration irrégulière. En travaillant de concert avec nos voisins du sud, nous pouvons faire face à ce problème et procurer des avantages aux pays partenaires, aux migrants et à l’Europe. Les nouveaux programmes de ce jour aideront les autorités à améliorer la gestion des frontières, tout en assurant la protection des migrants vulnérables et l’octroi d’une aide d’urgence à ces derniers. »

    D’un montant de 90,5 millions d’euros, l’aide récemment adoptée financera 3 programmes, qui viendront compléter les efforts actuellement déployés par l’UE dans la région :

    Au moyen du programme de gestion des frontières de la région du Maghreb, d’une valeur de 55 millions d’euros, l’UE soutiendra les efforts consentis par les institutions nationales au #Maroc et en #Tunisie en vue de sauver des vies humaines en mer, d’améliorer la gestion des frontières maritimes et de lutter contre les passeurs opérant dans la région. Mis en œuvre par le ministère de l’intérieur italien et le #Centre_international_pour_le_développement_des_politiques_migratoires (#CIDPM), ce programme mettra l’accent sur le renforcement des capacités, ainsi que sur la fourniture d’équipements et leur entretien.
    En s’appuyant sur les programmes existants, l’UE accroîtra son aide en faveur de la protection des réfugiés et des migrants en #Libye aux points de #débarquement, dans les centres de #rétention, dans les régions méridionales désertiques éloignées et en milieu urbain. D’une valeur de 29 millions d’euros, le programme d’« approche intégrée de la protection et d’aide d’urgence aux migrants vulnérables et bloqués en Libye » sera mis en œuvre conjointement avec l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (#OIM) et le Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés (#HCR). Il encouragera aussi les initiatives visant à ouvrir des perspectives économiques aux migrants sur le marché du travail national, en concertation avec le ministère libyen du travail.
    Avec 6,5 millions d’euros supplémentaires, l’UE renforcera son aide aux migrants vulnérables, à l’appui de la stratégie nationale du #Maroc en matière de migration, adoptée en 2014. L’accès des migrants vulnérables aux services de base en sera facilité et la capacité des associations et organisations locales à fournir efficacement ces services s’en trouvera améliorée. Les organisations de la société civile mettront en œuvre ce programme.

    Contexte

    Le fonds fiduciaire d’urgence de l’UE pour l’Afrique a été créé en 2015 en vue de remédier aux causes profondes des migrations irrégulières et des déplacements forcés. Le budget alloué s’élève jusqu’ici à 3,43 milliards d’euros et provient de l’UE, de ses États membres et d’autres donateurs. À ce jour, 164 programmes ont été approuvés pour les 3 régions concernées (Afrique du Nord, Sahel/lac Tchad et Corne de l’Afrique), pour un montant total d’environ 3,06 milliards d’euros.

    Avec l’enveloppe supplémentaire d’aujourd’hui, 461 millions d’euros du volet « Afrique du Nord » ont été mobilisés en faveur de 19 programmes satisfaisant aux multiples besoins dans la région et au-delà.

    Les programmes adoptés se conforment à l’engagement pris lors du Conseil européen du 28 juin 2018 d’intensifier l’aide le long de la route de la Méditerranée centrale en faveur des communautés côtières et méridionales, de conditions d’accueil humaines et d’une coopération avec les pays d’origine et de transit, tout en augmentant l’aide aux pays touchés par l’augmentation des flux migratoires le long de la route de la Méditerranée occidentale, et notamment le Maroc. L’UE maintient son soutien aux activités menées en Libye par l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations et le Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés.

    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-4366_fr.htm
    #fonds_fiduciaire_d’urgence_de_l'Union_européenne_pour_l’Afrique #Afrique #fonds_fiduciaire #externalisation #frontières #asile #migrations #réfguiés #UE #EU #détention_administrative #désert #IOM

    cc @_kg_

  • Over 200 Migrants Drown in Three Days in Mediterranean — Death Toll for 2018 Passes 1,000

    This weekend, some 204 migrants have died at sea off Libya, pushing the total number of migrant drownings in the entire Mediterranean so far this year to over 1,000 people.

    Today (1/07), a small rubber boat packed with migrants capsized off AlKhums, east of Tripoli, with an estimated 41 people surviving after rescue. On Friday (28/06), three babies were among the 103, who died in a shipwreck similar to Sunday’s incident, also caused by smugglers taking migrants to sea in completely unsafe vessels.

    So far this year, the Libyan Coast Guard has returned some 10,000 people to shore from small vessels.

    “I am traveling to Tripoli once again this week and will see firsthand the conditions of migrants who have been rescued as well as those returned to shore by the Libya Coast Guard,” said William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General. “IOM is determined to ensure that the human rights of all migrants are respected as together we all make efforts to stop the people smuggling trade, which is so exploitative of migrants,” said Swing.

    IOM staff were deployed to provide support and first aid to the the 41 migrants who survived the capsize of their small rubber vessel that capsized off AlKhums. This is the second major shipwreck in as many few days. On Friday, a rubber dinghy capsized north of Tripoli and the 16 survivors (young men from Gambia, Sudan, Yemen, Niger and Guinea) were rescued by the Libyan Cost Guard. However, an estimated 103 people lost their lives.

    Adding to grim and tragic scene, the bodies of three babies were taken from the sea by the Libyan Coast Guard. IOM provided assistance at the disembarkation point, including provision of food and water and health assistance. IOM is also in the process of providing psychosocial aid at Tajoura detention centre where the survivors have been transferred. The need for physcosocial support is high as the survivors spent traumatizing time in the water as their engine broke only 30 minutes after departing Garaboli. The survivors have received psychosocial first aid at the detention centre and IOM continues to monitor their condition.
    From Friday to Sunday, close to 1,000 migrants were returned to Libyan shore by the Libyan Coast Guard, who intercepted small crafts as they made their way towards the open sea. Upon disembarkation to shore, migrants have received emergency direct assistance, including food and water, health assistance and IOM protection staff has provided vulnerability interviews. Those rescued and returned by the Libyan Coast Guard are transferred by the Libyan authorities to the detention centres where IOM continues humanitarian assistance.
    “There is an alarming increase in deaths at sea off Libya Coast,” said IOM Libya Chief of Mission Othman Belbeisi, adding: “Smugglers are exploiting the desperation of migrants to leave before there are further crackdowns on Mediterranean crossings by Europe.”

    “Migrants returned by the coast guard should not automatically be transferred to detention and we are deeply concerned that the detention centres will yet again be overcrowded and that living conditions will deteriorate with the recent influx of migrants,” added Belbeisi.

    https://www.iom.int/news/over-200-migrants-drown-three-days-mediterranean-death-toll-2018-passes-1000
    #Méditerranée #asile #migrations #réfugiés #mourir_en_mer #morts #décès #statistiques #chiffres #2018 #mer_Méditerranée

    en français:
    https://news.un.org/fr/story/2018/07/1018032

    • Dopo l’allontanamento delle ONG è strage quotidiana sulla rotta del Mediterraneo centrale

      Nel giorno in cui il ministro dell’interno e vice-presidente del Consiglio rilancia da Pontida l’ennesimo attacco contro le ONG, che vedranno “solo in cartolina” i porti italiani, e mentre tre navi umanitarie sono bloccate nel porto de La Valletta, per decisione del governo maltese, nelle acque del Mediterraneo Centrale si continua a morire. Si continua a morire nell’indifferenza della maggior parte della popolazione italiana, schierata con chi ha promesso che, chiudendo i porti, e le vie di fuga, ai migranti da soccorrere in mare, le condizioni di vita degli italiani colpiti dalla crisi potranno migliorare. Una tragica illusione. Il vero pericolo per tutti oggi non viene dal mare, ma dalla costituzione di un fronte sovranista ed identitario europeo, che potrebbe cancellare lo stato di diritto e la democrazia rappresentativa. E allora non ci sarà più spazio nè per i diritti umani nè per i diritti sociali. i più forti imporranno le loro leggi ai più deboli.

      Questa volta nessuno potrà accusare le navi umanitarie, come hanno fatto fino a oggi direttori di giornali in Italia ed esponenti della sedicente Guardia costiera libica. Adesso i libici, in assenza delle navi umanitarie, sono costretti ad avvalersi delle navi commerciali in navigazione nelle loro acque, per operazioni di soccorso che da soli non sono in grado di garantire, salvo poi attaccare le ONG. Per le persone “soccorse” in mare da questi mezzi il destino è segnato, lo sbarco avviene a Tripoli, porto più vicino ma non “place of safety“, e dopo poche ore, per coloro che sono trasferiti dal centro di prima accoglienza al porto, ai vari centri di detenzione gestiti dalle milizie, il destino è segnato.

      Si ripetono intanto attacchi scomposti contro gli operatori umanitari, che rilanciano la macchina del fango che da oltre un anno si rivolge contro le ONG, accusate di tutti i possibili reati, per il solo fatto di salvare vite umane in mare. Si vogliono eliminare tutti i testimoni dell’Olocausto nel Mediterraneo. Senza un voto del Parlamento si è cercato di introdurre in via surrettizia il reato di solidarietà, in spregio al principio di legalità, affermato dalla Costituzione italiana.

      Questa striscia di morte, che si allunga giorno dopo giorno, con una cadenza mai vista prima, deriva direttamente dalla eliminazione delle navi umanitarie e dall’arretramento degli assetti militari italiani ed europei che in passato, anche se si verificavano gravi stragi, riuscivano tuttavia a garantire più solleciti interventi di soccorso. Il blocco di tre navi umanitarie a Malta, come il sequestro della Juventa lo scorso anno, potrebbero essere stati causa di una forte riduzione della capacità di soccorso in acque internazionali, tra la Libia e ‘Europa, una capacità di soccorso che gli stati non hanno voluto mantenere negli standards imposti dalle Convenzioni internazionali a ciascun paese responsabile di una zona SAR ( ricerca e soccorso). La presenza delle navi umanitarie è stata bollata come un fattore di attrazione delle partenze, se non come vera e propria complicità con i trafficanti, come ha ripetuto in più occasioni Salvini. Ne vediamo oggi le conseguenze mortali.

      Anche l’UNHCR ha espresso la sua preoccupazione per la diminuzione degli assetti navali in grado di operare interventi di soccorso nelle acque del Mediterraneo centrale. Secondo l’OIM negli ultimi tre giorni sono annegate oltre 200 persone, una serie di stragi ignorate dall’oipinione pubblica italiana e nascoste dai politici concentrati nel rinnovato attacco contro le ONG. La “banalità” della strage quotidiana in mare costituisce la cifra morale del governo Salvini-Di Maio. Con il sommarsi delle vittime, e l’allontanamento dei testimoni, si vuole produrre una totale assuefazione nella popolazione italiana. Per alimentare altro odio ed altra insicurezza, utili per le prossime scadenze elettorali.

      Nelle prime settimane di insediamento del nuovo governo, ed in vista del Consiglio europeo di Bruxelles del 28-29 giugno scorso, il ministero dell’interno ha disposto in modo informale la chiusura dei porti ed il divieto di ingresso nelle acque territoriali, per alcune imbarcazioni delle Organizzazioni non governative che avevano effettuato soccorsi nelle acque internazionali antistanti le coste libiche. Sono state anche ritardate le operazioni di sbarco di centinaia di persone, soccorse da unità militari ( come la nave americana Trenton), o commerciali ( come il cargo Alexander Maersk), che, solo dopo lunghi giorni di attesa, hanno potuto trasbordare i naufraghi che avevamo a bordo e proseguire per la loro rotta. In molti casi si sono trasferite le responsabilità di coordinamento dei soccorsi alle autorità libiche, con i risultati che sono sotto gli occhi di tutti.

      Le ultime vicende delle navi umanitarie Acquarius , Lifeline e Open Arms, dopo il sequestro, lo scorso anno, della nave Juventa, ancora bloccata a Trapani, hanno aperto una nuova fase di tensioni anche a livello internazionale, in particolare con il governo maltese e con le autorità spagnole. Il governo italiano ha chiuso i porti alle poche navi umanitarie ancora impegnate nelle attività di ricerca e salvataggio (SAR) sulla rotta del Mediterraneo centrale, mentre si è rilanciata la criminalizzazione delle Ong, e più in generale di chiunque rispetti il dovere di salvare vite umane in mare, malgrado importanti decisioni della magistratura (di Ragusa e di Palermo) riconoscessero come lecite, anzi doverose, le attività di soccorso umanitario delle stesse Ong sotto inchiesta.

      Da ultimo si è appreso che ci sarebbero motivi “di ordine pubblico” alla base della decisione del ministro dell’Interno Matteo Salvini di vietare l’accesso ai porti italiani alla Open Arms.
Questi motivi, stando a informazioni che non sono state formalizzate in un provvedimento notificato agli interessati, sarebbero costituiti dalle “vicende giudiziarie” in cui è stata coinvolta la nave delle Ong spagnola, dissequestrata con una sentenza del Gip poi confermata dal tribunale di Ragusa, e dalle “manifestazioni”(rischio proteste) che si sono verificate in occasione del sequestro preventivo alla quale era stata sottoposta nel porto di Pozzallo.

      Si configura così come problema di “ordine pubblico” il doveroso espletamento di una operazione SAR che si è svolta nel pieno rispetto della legge e del diritto internazionale, per legittimare un provvedimento, ancora segretato, forse una circolare probabilmente da redigere, del ministro Toninelli, che vieta l’ingresso alle navi delle Ong nelle acque territoriali e nei porti italiani .

      L’allontanamento delle ONG per effetto delle “chiusure” informali dei porti, e la istituzione unilaterale di una zona SAR libica, oltre al blocco imposto alle navi umanitarie dalle autorità maltesi, riducono la presenza dei mezzi di soccorso nel Mediterraneo centrale e hanno già comportato un aumento esponenziale delle vittime.

      La realizzazione del progetto italiano di istituire una zona SAR , completata con una forte pressione sull’IMO a Londra, sta producendo tutti i suoi effetti mortali, considerando che la Guardia costiera “libica” non può coprire tutte le azioni di soccorso che è chiamata ad operare (spesso da assetti italiani), avendo a disposizione soltanto sei motovedette. Si tratta di mezzi ceduti dai precedenti governi italiani, oggi abbastanza logorati malgrado siano stati curati nella manutenzione dai marinai delle unità italiane, di stanza nel porto di Tripoli, nell’ambito della missione NAURAS. Non si sa come e quando arriveranno in Libia le 12 motovedette promesse alla Guardia costiera di Tripoli da Salvini, che doveva fare approvare la sua proposta in Consiglio dei ministri, approvazione che ancora non c’e’ stata. Una iniziativa che potrebbe infuocare ancora di più lo scontro tra le milizie libiche per il controllo dei porti, e del traffico di gas e petrolio.
      La creazione fittizia di una zona SAR libica, che sembra sia stata notificata anche all’IMO, sta legittimando gli interventi più frequenti della Guardia costiera di Tripoli, che arrivano a minacciare anche gli operatori umanitari mentre sono impegnati negli interventi di soccorso in acque internazionali. Interventi di soccorso che sono sempre monitorati dalle autorità militari italiane ed europee, che però non intervengono con la stessa tempestività che permetteva in passato il salvataggio di migliaia di vite.

      Il cerchio si chiude. Adesso arriva anche il supporto europeo alla chiusura contro le ONG, anche se non si traduce in alcun atto dotato di forza normativa vinclante. Tutte le politiche europee sull’immigrazione, anche i respingimenti, avverranno “su base volontaria”. Ma le navi di Frontex ( e di Eunavfor Med) rimangono vincolate agli obblighi di soccorso previsti dai Regolamenti europei n.656 del 2014 e 1624 del 2016. Atti normativi, vincolanti anche per i ministri,che subordinano le azioni contro i trafficanti alla salvaguardia della vita delle vittime, non esternazioni di leader sull’orlo di una crisi di nervi alla fine di un Consiglio europeo estenuante ed inconcludente.

      L’illegalità di scelte politiche e militari che vanno contro il diritto internazionale viene giustificata con lo spauracchio di manifestazioni democratiche di protesta. Non e’ a rischio soltanto la libertà di manifestazione o il diritto a svolgere attività di assistenza e di soccorso umanitario. Il messaggio lanciato dal governo itali