• The business of building walls

    Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Europe is once again known for its border walls. This time Europe is divided not so much by ideology as by perceived fear of refugees and migrants, some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

    Who killed the dream of a more open Europe? What gave rise to this new era of walls? There are clearly many reasons – the increasing displacement of people by conflict, repression and impoverishment, the rise of security politics in the wake of 9/11, the economic and social insecurity felt across Europe after the 2008 financial crisis – to name a few. But one group has by far the most to gain from the rise of new walls – the businesses that build them. Their influence in shaping a world of walls needs much deeper examination.

    This report explores the business of building walls, which has both fuelled and benefited from a massive expansion of public spending on border security by the European Union (EU) and its member states. Some of the corporate beneficiaries are also global players, tapping into a global market for border security estimated to be worth approximately €17.5 billion in 2018, with annual growth of at least 8% expected in coming years.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAuv1QyP8l0&feature=emb_logo

    It is important to look both beyond and behind Europe’s walls and fencing, because the real barriers to contemporary migration are not so much the fencing, but the vast array of technology that underpins it, from the radar systems to the drones to the surveillance cameras to the biometric fingerprinting systems. Similarly, some of Europe’s most dangerous walls are not even physical or on land. The ships, aircrafts and drones used to patrol the Mediterranean have created a maritime wall and a graveyard for the thousands of migrants and refugees who have no legal passage to safety or to exercise their right to seek asylum.

    This renders meaningless the European Commission’s publicized statements that it does not fund walls and fences. Commission spokesperson Alexander Winterstein, for example, rejecting Hungary’s request to reimburse half the costs of the fences built on its borders with Croatia and Serbia, said: ‘We do support border management measures at external borders. These can be surveillance measures. They can be border control equipment...But fences, we do not finance’. In other words, the Commission is willing to pay for anything that fortifies a border as long as it is not seen to be building the walls themselves.

    This report is a sequel to Building Walls – Fear and securitization in the European Union, co-published in 2018 with Centre Delàs and Stop Wapenhandel, which first measured and identified the walls that criss-cross Europe. This new report focuses on the businesses that have profited from three different kinds of wall in Europe:

    The construction companies contracted to build the land walls built by EU member states and the Schengen Area together with the security and technology companies that provide the necessary accompanying technology, equipment and services;

    The shipping and arms companies that provide the ships, aircraft, helicopters, drones that underpin Europe’s maritime walls seeking to control migratory flows in the Mediterranean, including Frontex operations, Operation Sophia and Italian operation Mare Nostrum;
    And the IT and security companies contracted to develop, run, expand and maintain EU’s systems that monitor the movement of people – such as SIS II (Schengen Information System) and EES (Entry/Exit Scheme) – which underpin Europe’s virtual walls.

    Booming budgets

    The flow of money from taxpayers to wall-builders has been highly lucrative and constantly growing. The report finds that companies have reaped the profits from at least €900 million spent by EU countries on land walls and fences since the end of the Cold War. The partial data (in scope and years) means actual costs will be at least €1 billion. In addition, companies that provide technology and services that accompany walls have also benefited from some of the steady stream of funding from the EU – in particular the External Borders Fund (€1.7 billion, 2007-2013) and the Internal Security Fund – Borders Fund (€2.76 billion, 2014-2020).

    EU spending on maritime walls has totalled at least €676.4 million between 2006 to 2017 (including €534 million spent by Frontex, €28.4 million spent by the EU on Operation Sophia and €114 million spent by Italy on Operation Mare Nostrum) and would be much more if you include all the operations by Mediterranean country coastguards. Total spending on Europe’s virtual wall equalled at least €999.4m between 2000 and 2019. (All these estimates are partial ones because walls are funded by many different funding mechanisms and due to lack of data transparency).

    This boom in border budgets is set to grow. Under its budget for the next EU budget cycle (2021–2027) the European Commission has earmarked €8.02 billion to its Integrated Border Management Fund (2021-2027), €11.27bn to Frontex (of which €2.2 billion will be used for acquiring, maintaining and operating air, sea and land assets) and at least €1.9 billion total spending (2000-2027) on its identity databases and Eurosur (the European Border Surveillance System).
    The big arm industry players

    Three giant European military and security companies in particular play a critical role in Europe’s many types of borders. These are Thales, Leonardo and Airbus.

    Thales is a French arms and security company, with a significant presence in the Netherlands, that produces radar and sensor systems, used by many ships in border security. Thales systems, were used, for example, by Dutch and Portuguese ships deployed in Frontex operations. Thales also produces maritime surveillance systems for drones and is working on developing border surveillance infrastructure for Eurosur, researching how to track and control refugees before they reach Europe by using smartphone apps, as well as exploring the use of High Altitude Pseudo Satellites (HAPS) for border security, for the European Space Agency and Frontex. Thales currently provides the security system for the highly militarised port in Calais. Its acquisition in 2019 of Gemalto, a large (biometric) identity security company, makes it a significant player in the development and maintenance of EU’s virtual walls. It has participated in 27 EU research projects on border security.
    Italian arms company Leonardo (formerly Finmeccanica or Leonardo-Finmeccanica) is a leading supplier of helicopters for border security, used by Italy in the Mare Nostrum, Hera and Sophia operations. It has also been one of the main providers of UAVs (or drones) for Europe’s borders, awarded a €67.1 million contract in 2017 by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to supply them for EU coast-guard agencies. Leonardo was also a member of a consortium, awarded €142.1 million in 2019 to implement and maintain EU’s virtual walls, namely its EES. It jointly owns Telespazio with Thales, involved in EU satellite observation projects (REACT and Copernicus) used for border surveillance. Leonardo has participated in 24 EU research projects on border security and control, including the development of Eurosur.
    Pan-European arms giant Airbus is a key supplier of helicopters used in patrolling maritime and some land borders, deployed by Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania and Spain, including in maritime Operations Sophia, Poseidon and Triton. Airbus and its subsidiaries have participated in at least 13 EU-funded border security research projects including OCEAN2020, PERSEUS and LOBOS.
    The significant role of these arms companies is not surprising. As Border Wars (2016), showed these companies through their membership of the lobby groups – European Organisation for Security (EOS) and the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) – have played a significant role in influencing the direction of EU border policy. Perversely, these firms are also among the top four biggest European arms dealers to the Middle East and North Africa, thus contributing to the conflicts that cause forced migration.

    Indra has been another significant corporate player in border control in Spain and the Mediterranean. It won a series of contracts to fortify Ceuta and Melilla (Spanish enclaves in northern Morocco). Indra also developed the SIVE border control system (with radar, sensors and vision systems), which is in place on most of Spain’s borders, as well as in Portugal and Romania. In July 2018 it won a €10 million contract to manage SIVE at several locations for two years. Indra is very active in lobbying the EU and is a major beneficiary of EU research funding, coordinating the PERSEUS project to further develop Eurosur and the Seahorse Network, a network between police forces in Mediterranean countries (both in Europe and Africa) to stop migration.

    Israeli arms firms are also notable winners of EU border contracts. In 2018, Frontex selected the Heron drone from Israel Aerospace Industries for pilot-testing surveillance flights in the Mediterranean. In 2015, Israeli firm Elbit sold six of its Hermes UAVs to the Switzerland’s Border Guard, in a controversial €230 million deal. It has since signed a UAV contract with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), as a subcontractor for the Portuguese company CEIIA (2018), as well as contracts to supply technology for three patrol vessels for the Hellenic Coast Guard (2019).
    Land wall contractors

    Most of the walls and fences that have been rapidly erected across Europe have been built by national construction companies, but one European company has dominated the field: European Security Fencing, a Spanish producer of razor wire, in particular a coiled wire known as concertinas. It is most known for the razor wire on the fences around Ceuta and Melilla. It also delivered the razor wire for the fence on the border between Hungary and Serbia, and its concertinas were installed on the borders between Bulgaria and Turkey and Austria and Slovenia, as well as at Calais, and for a few days on the border between Hungary and Slovenia before being removed. Given its long-term market monopoly, its concertinas are very likely used at other borders in Europe.

    Other contractors providing both walls and associated technology include DAT-CON (Croatia, Cyprus, Macedonia, Moldova, Slovenia and Ukraine), Geo Alpinbau (Austria/Slovenia), Indra, Dragados, Ferrovial, Proyectos Y Tecnología Sallén and Eulen (Spain/Morocco), Patstroy Bourgas, Infra Expert, Patengineeringstroy, Geostroy Engineering, Metallic-Ivan Mihaylov and Indra (Bulgaria/Turkey), Nordecon and Defendec (Estonia/Russia), DAK Acélszerkezeti Kft and SIA Ceļu būvniecības sabiedrība IGATE (Latvia/Russia), Gintrėja (Lithuania/Russia), Minis and Legi-SGS(Slovenia/Croatia), Groupe CW, Jackson’s Fencing, Sorhea, Vinci/Eurovia and Zaun Ltd (France/UK).

    In many cases, the actual costs of the walls and associated technologies exceed original estimates. There have also been many allegations and legal charges of corruption, in some cases because projects were given to corporate friends of government officials. In Slovenia, for example, accusations of corruption concerning the border wall contract have led to a continuing three-year legal battle for access to documents that has reached the Supreme Court. Despite this, the EU’s External Borders Fund has been a critical financial supporter of technological infrastructure and services in many of the member states’ border operations. In Macedonia, for example, the EU has provided €9 million for patrol vehicles, night-vision cameras, heartbeat detectors and technical support for border guards to help it manage its southern border.
    Maritime wall profiteers

    The data about which ships, helicopters and aircraft are used in Europe’s maritime operations is not transparent and therefore it is difficult to get a full picture. Our research shows, however, that the key corporations involved include the European arms giants Airbus and Leonardo, as well as large shipbuilding companies including Dutch Damen and Italian Fincantieri.

    Damen’s patrol vessels have been used for border operations by Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Portugal, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden and the UK as well as in key Frontex operations (Poseidon, Triton and Themis), Operation Sophia and in supporting NATO’s role in Operation Poseidon. Outside Europe, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey use Damen vessels for border security, often in cooperation with the EU or its member states. Turkey’s €20 million purchase of six Damen vessels for its coast guard in 2006, for example, was financed through the EU Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP), intended for peace-building and conflict prevention.

    The sale of Damen vessels to Libya unveils the potential troubling human costs of this corporate trade. In 2012, Damen supplied four patrol vessels to the Libyan Coast Guard, sold as civil equipment in order to avoid a Dutch arms export license. Researchers have since found out, however, that the ships were not only sold with mounting points for weapons, but were then armed and used to stop refugee boats. Several incidents involving these ships have been reported, including one where some 20 or 30 refugees drowned. Damen has refused to comment, saying it had agreed with the Libyan government not to disclose information about the ships.

    In addition to Damen, many national shipbuilders play a significant role in maritime operations as they were invariably prioritised by the countries contributing to each Frontex or other Mediterranean operation. Hence, all the ships Italy contributed to Operation Sophia were built by Fincantieri, while all Spanish ships come from Navantia and its predecessors. Similarly, France purchases from DCN/DCNS, now Naval Group, and all German ships were built by several German shipyards (Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, HDW, Lürssen Gruppe). Other companies in Frontex operations have included Greek company, Motomarine Shipyards, which produced the Panther 57 Fast Patrol Boats used by the Hellenic Coast Guard, Hellenic Shipyards and Israel Shipyards.

    Austrian company Schiebel is a significant player in maritime aerial surveillance through its supply of S-100 drones. In November 2018, EMSA selected the company for a €24 million maritime surveillance contract for a range of operations including border security. Since 2017, Schiebel has also won contracts from Croatia, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The company has a controversial record, with its drones sold to a number of countries experiencing armed conflict or governed by repressive regimes such as Libya, Myanmar, the UAE and Yemen.

    Finland and the Netherlands deployed Dornier aircraft to Operation Hermes and Operation Poseidon respectively, and to Operation Triton. Dornier is now part of the US subsidiary of the Israeli arms company Elbit Systems. CAE Aviation (Luxembourg), DEA Aviation (UK) and EASP Air (Netherlands) have all received contracts for aircraft surveillance work for Frontex. Airbus, French Dassault Aviation, Leonardo and US Lockheed Martin were the most important suppliers of aircraft used in Operation Sophia.

    The EU and its member states defend their maritime operations by publicising their role in rescuing refugees at sea, but this is not their primary goal, as Frontex director Fabrice Leggeri made clear in April 2015, saying that Frontex has no mandate for ‘proactive search-and-rescue action[s]’ and that saving lives should not be a priority. The thwarting and criminalisation of NGO rescue operations in the Mediterranean and the frequent reports of violence and illegal refoulement of refugees, also demonstrates why these maritime operations should be considered more like walls than humanitarian missions.
    Virtual walls

    The major EU contracts for the virtual walls have largely gone to two companies, sometimes as leaders of a consortium. Sopra Steria is the main contractor for the development and maintenance of the Visa Information System (VIS), Schengen Information System (SIS II) and European Dactyloscopy (Eurodac), while GMV has secured a string of contracts for Eurosur. The systems they build help control, monitor and surveil people’s movements across Europe and increasingly beyond.

    Sopra Steria is a French technology consultancy firm that has to date won EU contracts worth a total value of over €150 million. For some of these large contracts Sopra Steria joined consortiums with HP Belgium, Bull and 3M Belgium. Despite considerable business, Sopra Steria has faced considerable criticism for its poor record on delivering projects on time and on budget. Its launch of SIS II was constantly delayed, forcing the Commission to extend contracts and increase budgets. Similarly, Sopra Steria was involved in another consortium, the Trusted Borders consortium, contracted to deliver the UK e-Borders programme, which was eventually terminated in 2010 after constant delays and failure to deliver. Yet it continues to win contracts, in part because it has secured a near-monopoly of knowledge and access to EU officials. The central role that Sopra Steria plays in developing these EU biometric systems has also had a spin-off effect in securing other national contracts, including with Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Romania and Slovenia GMV, a Spanish technology company, has received a succession of large contracts for Eurosur, ever since its testing phase in 2010, worth at least €25 million. It also provides technology to the Spanish Guardia Civil, such as control centres for its Integrated System of External Vigilance (SIVE) border security system as well as software development services to Frontex. It has participated in at least ten EU-funded research projects on border security.

    Most of the large contracts for the virtual walls that did not go to consortia including Sopra Steria were awarded by eu-LISA (European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice) to consortia comprising computer and technology companies including Accenture, Atos Belgium and Morpho (later renamed Idema).
    Lobbying

    As research in our Border Wars series has consistently shown, through effective lobbying, the military and security industry has been very influential in shaping the discourse of EU security and military policies. The industry has succeeded in positioning itself as the experts on border security, pushing the underlying narrative that migration is first and foremost a security threat, to be combatted by security and military means. With this premise, it creates a continuous demand for the ever-expanding catalogue of equipment and services the industry supplies for border security and control.

    Many of the companies listed here, particularly the large arms companies, are involved in the European Organisation for Security (EOS), the most important lobby group on border security. Many of the IT security firms that build EU’s virtual walls are members of the European Biometrics Association (EAB). EOS has an ‘Integrated Border Security Working Group’ to ‘facilitate the development and uptake of better technology solutions for border security both at border checkpoints, and along maritime and land borders’. The working group is chaired by Giorgio Gulienetti of the Italian arms company Leonardo, with Isto Mattila (Laurea University of Applied Science) and Peter Smallridge of Gemalto, a digital security company recently acquired by Thales.

    Company lobbyists and representatives of these lobby organisations regularly meet with EU institutions, including the European Commission, are part of official advisory committees, publish influential proposals, organise meetings between industry, policy-makers and executives and also meet at the plethora of military and security fairs, conferences and seminars. Airbus, Leonardo and Thales together with EOS held 226 registered lobbying meetings with the European Commission between 2014 and 2019. In these meetings representatives of the industry position themselves as the experts on border security, presenting their goods and services as the solution for ‘security threats’ caused by immigration. In 2017, the same group of companies and EOS spent up to €2.65 million on lobbying.

    A similar close relationship can be seen on virtual walls, with the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission arguing openly for public policy to foster the ‘emergence of a vibrant European biometrics industry’.
    A deadly trade and a choice

    The conclusion of this survey of the business of building walls is clear. A Europe full of walls has proved to be very good for the bottom line of a wide range of corporations including arms, security, IT, shipping and construction companies. The EU’s planned budgets for border security for the next decade show it is also a business that will continue to boom.

    This is also a deadly business. The heavy militarisation of Europe’s borders on land and at sea has led refugees and migrants to follow far more hazardous routes and has trapped others in desperate conditions in neighbouring countries like Libya. Many deaths are not recorded, but those that are tracked in the Mediterranean show that the proportion of those who drown trying to reach Europe continues to increase each year.

    This is not an inevitable state of affairs. It is both the result of policy decisions made by the EU and its member states, and corporate decisions to profit from these policies. In a rare principled stand, German razor wire manufacturer Mutanox in 2015 stated it would not sell its product to the Hungarian government arguing: ‘Razor wire is designed to prevent criminal acts, like a burglary. Fleeing children and adults are not criminals’. It is time for other European politicians and business leaders to recognise the same truth: that building walls against the world’s most vulnerable people violates human rights and is an immoral act that history will judge harshly. Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it is time for Europe to bring down its new walls.

    https://www.tni.org/en/businessbuildingwalls

    #business #murs #barrières_frontalières #militarisation_des_frontières #visualisation #Europe #UE #EU #complexe_militaro-industriel #Airbus #Leonardo #Thales #Indra #Israel_Aerospace_Industries #Elbit #European_Security_Fencing #DAT-CON #Geo_Alpinbau #Dragados #Ferrovial, #Proyectos_Y_Tecnología_Sallén #Eulen #Patstroy_Bourgas #Infra_Expert #Patengineeringstroy #Geostroy_Engineering #Metallic-Ivan_Mihaylov #Nordecon #Defendec #DAK_Acélszerkezeti_Kft #SIA_Ceļu_būvniecības_sabiedrība_IGATE #Gintrėja #Minis #Legi-SGS #Groupe_CW #Jackson’s_Fencing #Sorhea #Vinci #Eurovia #Zaun_Ltd #Damen #Fincantieri #Frontex #Damen #Turquie #Instrument_contributing_to_Stability_and_Peace (#IcSP) #Libye #exernalisation #Operation_Sophia #Navantia #Naval_Group #Flensburger_Schiffbau-Gesellschaft #HDW #Lürssen_Gruppe #Motomarine_Shipyards #Panther_57 #Hellenic_Shipyards #Israel_Shipyards #Schiebel #Dornier #Operation_Hermes #CAE_Aviation #DEA_Aviation #EASP_Air #French_Dassault_Aviation #US_Lockheed_Martin #murs_virtuels #Sopra_Steria #Visa_Information_System (#VIS) #données #Schengen_Information_System (#SIS_II) #European_Dactyloscopy (#Eurodac) #GMV #Eurosur #HP_Belgium #Bull #3M_Belgium #Trusted_Borders_consortium #économie #biométrie #Integrated_System_of_External_Vigilance (#SIVE) #eu-LISA #Accenture #Atos_Belgium #Morpho #Idema #lobby #European_Organisation_for_Security (#EOS) #European_Biometrics_Association (#EAB) #Integrated_Border_Security_Working_Group #Giorgio_Gulienetti #Isto_Mattila #Peter_Smallridge #Gemalto #murs_terrestres #murs_maritimes #coût #chiffres #statistiques #Joint_Research_Centre_of_the_European_Commission #Mutanox

    Pour télécharger le #rapport :


    https://www.tni.org/files/publication-downloads/business_of_building_walls_-_full_report.pdf

    déjà signalé par @odilon ici :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/809783
    Je le remets ici avec des mots clé de plus

    ping @daphne @marty @isskein @karine4

    • La costruzione di muri: un business

      Trent’anni dopo la caduta del Muro di Berlino, l’Europa fa parlare di sé ancora una volta per i suoi muri di frontiera. Questa volta non è tanto l’ideologia che la divide, quanto la paura di rifugiati e migranti, alcune tra le persone più vulnerabili al mondo.

      Riassunto del rapporto «The Business of Building Walls» [1]:

      Chi ha ucciso il sogno di un’Europa più aperta? Cosa ha dato inizio a questa nuova era dei muri?
      Ci sono evidentemente molte ragioni: il crescente spostamento di persone a causa di conflitti, repressione e impoverimento, l’ascesa di politiche securitarie sulla scia dell’11 settembre, l’insicurezza economica e sociale percepita in Europa dopo la crisi finanziaria del 2008, solo per nominarne alcune. Tuttavia, c’è un gruppo che ha di gran lunga da guadagnare da questo innalzamento di nuovi muri: le imprese che li costruiscono. La loro influenza nel dare forma ad un mondo di muri necessita di un esame più profondo.

      Questo rapporto esplora il business della costruzione di muri, che è stato alimentato e ha beneficiato di un aumento considerevole della spesa pubblica dedicata alla sicurezza delle frontiere dall’Unione Europea (EU) e dai suoi Stati membri. Alcune imprese beneficiarie sono delle multinazionali che approfittano di un mercato globale per la sicurezza delle frontiere che si stima valere approssimativamente 17,5 miliardi di euro nel 2018, con una crescita annuale prevista almeno dell’8% nei prossimi anni.

      È importante guardare sia oltre che dietro i muri e le barriere d’Europa, perché i reali ostacoli alla migrazione contemporanea non sono tanto le recinzioni, quanto la vasta gamma di tecnologie che vi è alla base, dai sistemi radar ai droni, dalle telecamere di sorveglianza ai sistemi biometrici di rilevamento delle impronte digitali. Allo stesso modo, alcuni tra i più pericolosi muri d’Europa non sono nemmeno fisici o sulla terraferma. Le navi, gli aerei e i droni usati per pattugliare il Mediterraneo hanno creato un muro marittimo e un cimitero per i migliaia di migranti e di rifugiati che non hanno un passaggio legale verso la salvezza o per esercitare il loro diritto di asilo.

      Tutto ciò rende insignificanti le dichiarazioni della Commissione Europea secondo le quali essa non finanzierebbe i muri e le recinzioni. Il portavoce della Commissione, Alexander Winterstein, per esempio, nel rifiutare la richiesta dell’Ungheria di rimborsare la metà dei costi delle recinzioni costruite sul suo confine con la Croazia e la Serbia, ha affermato: “Noi sosteniamo le misure di gestione delle frontiere presso i confini esterni. Queste possono consistere in misure di sorveglianza o in equipaggiamento di controllo delle frontiere... . Ma le recinzioni, quelle non le finanziamo”. In altre parole, la Commissione è disposta a pagare per qualunque cosa che fortifichi un confine fintanto che ciò non sia visto come propriamente costruire dei muri.

      Questo rapporto è il seguito di “Building Walls - Fear and securitizazion in the Euopean Union”, co-pubblicato nel 2018 con Centre Delàs e Stop Wapenhandel, che per primi hanno misurato e identificato i muri che attraversano l’Europa.

      Questo nuovo rapporto si focalizza sulle imprese che hanno tratto profitto dai tre differenti tipi di muro in Europa:
      – Le imprese di costruzione ingaggiate per costruire i muri fisici costruiti dagli Stati membri UE e dall’Area Schengen in collaborazione con le imprese esperte in sicurezza e tecnologia che provvedono le tecnologie, l’equipaggiamento e i servizi associati;
      – le imprese di trasporto marittimo e di armamenti che forniscono le navi, gli aerei, gli elicotteri e i droni che costituiscono i muri marittimi dell’Europa per tentare di controllare i flussi migratori nel Mediterraneo, in particolare le operazioni di Frontex, l’operazione Sophia e l’operazione italiana Mare Nostrum;
      – e le imprese specializzate in informatica e in sicurezza incaricate di sviluppare, eseguire, estendere e mantenere i sistemi dell’UE che controllano i movimento delle persone, quali SIS II (Schengen Information System) e EES (Entry/Exii Scheme), che costituiscono i muri virtuali dell’Europa.
      Dei budget fiorenti

      Il flusso di denaro dai contribuenti ai costruttori di muri è stato estremamente lucrativo e non cessa di aumentare. Il report rivela che dalla fine della guerra fredda, le imprese hanno raccolto i profitti di almeno 900 milioni di euro di spese dei paesi dell’UE per i muri fisici e per le recinzioni. Con i dati parziali (sia nella portata e che negli anni), i costi reali raggiungerebbero almeno 1 miliardo di euro. Inoltre, le imprese che forniscono la tecnologia e i servizi che accompagnano i muri hanno ugualmente beneficiato di un flusso costante di finanziamenti da parte dell’UE, in particolare i Fondi per le frontiere esterne (1,7 miliardi di euro, 2007-2013) e i Fondi per la sicurezza interna - Fondi per le Frontiere (2,76 miliardi di euro, 2014-2020).

      Le spese dell’UE per i muri marittimi hanno raggiunto almeno 676,4 milioni di euro tra il 2006 e il 2017 (di cui 534 milioni sono stati spesi da Frontex, 28 milioni dall’UE nell’operazione Sophia e 114 milioni dall’Italia nell’operazione Mare Nostrum) e sarebbero molto superiori se si includessero tutte le operazioni delle guardie costiera nazionali nel Mediterraneo.

      Questa esplosione dei budget per le frontiere ha le condizioni per proseguire. Nel quadro del suo budget per il prossimo ciclo di bilancio dell’Unione Europea (2021-2027), la Commissione europea ha attribuito 8,02 miliardi di euro al suo fondo di gestione integrata delle frontiere (2021-2027), 11,27 miliardi a Frontex (dei quali 2,2 miliardi saranno utilizzati per l’acquisizione, il mantenimento e l’utilizzo di mezzi aerei, marittimi e terrestri) e almeno 1,9 miliardi di euro di spese totali (2000-2027) alle sue banche dati di identificazione e a Eurosur (il sistemo europeo di sorveglianza delle frontiere).
      I principali attori del settore degli armamenti

      Tre giganti europei del settore della difesa e della sicurezza giocano un ruolo cruciale nei differenti tipi di frontiere d’Europa: Thales, Leonardo e Airbus.

      – Thales è un’impresa francese specializzata negli armamenti e nella sicurezza, con una presenza significativa nei Paesi Bassi, che produce sistemi radar e sensori utilizzati da numerose navi della sicurezza frontaliera. I sistemi Thales, per esempio, sono stati utilizzati dalle navi olandesi e portoghesi impiegate nelle operazioni di Frontex.
      Thales produce ugualmente sistemi di sorveglianza marittima per droni e lavora attualmente per sviluppare una infrastruttura di sorveglianza delle frontiere per Eurosus, che permetta di seguire e controllare i rifugiati prima che raggiungano l’Europa con l’aiuto di applicazioni per Smartphone, e studia ugualmente l’utilizzo di “High Altitude Pseudo-Satellites - HAPS” per la sicurezza delle frontiere, per l’Agenzia spaziale europea e Frontex. Thales fornisce attualmente il sistema di sicurezza del porto altamente militarizzato di Calais.
      Con l’acquisto nel 2019 di Gemalto, multinazionale specializzata nella sicurezza e identità (biometrica), Thales diventa un attore importante nello sviluppo e nel mantenimento dei muri virtuali dell’UE. L’impresa ha partecipato a 27 progetti di ricerca dell’UE sulla sicurezza delle frontiere.

      – La società di armamenti italiana Leonardo (originariamente Finmeccanica o Leonardo-Finmeccanica) è uno dei principali fornitori di elicotteri per la sicurezza delle frontiere, utilizzati dalle operazioni Mare Nostrum, Hera e Sophia in Italia. Ha ugualmente fatto parte dei principali fornitori di UAV (o droni), ottenendo un contratto di 67,1 milioni di euro nel 2017 con l’EMSA (Agenzia europea per la sicurezza marittima) per fornire le agenzie di guardia costiera dell’UE.
      Leonardo faceva ugualmente parte di un consorzio che si è visto attribuire un contratto di 142,1 milioni di euro nel 2019 per attuare e assicurare il mantenimento dei muri virtuali dell’UE, ossia il Sistema di entrata/uscita (EES). La società detiene, con Thales, Telespazio, che partecipa ai progetti di osservazione dai satelliti dell’UE (React e Copernicus) utilizzati per controllare le frontiere. Leonardo ha partecipato a 24 progetti di ricerca dell’UE sulla sicurezza e il controllo delle frontiere, tra cui lo sviluppo di Eurosur.

      – Il gigante degli armamenti pan-europei Airbus è un importante fornitore di elicotteri utilizzati nella sorveglianza delle frontiere marittime e di alcune frontiere terrestri, impiegati da Belgio, Francia, Germania, Grecia, Italia, Lituania e Spagna, in particolare nelle operazioni marittime Sophia, Poseidon e Triton. Airbus e le sue filiali hanno partecipato almeno a 13 progetti di ricerca sulla sicurezza delle frontiere finanziati dall’UE, tra cui OCEAN2020, PERSEUS e LOBOS.

      Il ruolo chiave di queste società di armamenti in realtà non è sorprendente. Come è stato dimostrato da “Border Wars” (2016), queste imprese, in quanto appartenenti a lobby come EOS (Organizzazione europea per la sicurezza) e ASD (Associazione delle industrie aerospaziali e della difesa in Europa), hanno ampiamente contribuito a influenzare l’orientamento della politica delle frontiere dell’UE. Paradossalmente, questi stessi marchi fanno ugualmente parte dei quattro più grandi venditori europei di armi al Medio Oriente e all’Africa del Nord, contribuendo così ad alimentare i conflitti all’origine di queste migrazioni forzate.

      Allo stesso modo Indra gioca un ruolo non indifferente nel controllo delle frontiere in Spagna e nel Mediterraneo. L’impresa ha ottenuto una serie di contratti per fortificare Ceuta e Melilla (enclavi spagnole nel Nord del Marocco). Indra ha ugualmente sviluppato il sistema di controllo delle frontiere SIVE (con sistemi radar, di sensori e visivi) che è installato nella maggior parte delle frontiere della Spagna, così come in Portogallo e in Romania. Nel luglio 2018, Indra ha ottenuto un contratto di 10 milioni di euro per assicurare la gestione di SIVE su più siti per due anni. L’impresa è molto attiva nel fare lobby presso l’UE. È ugualmente una dei grandi beneficiari dei finanziamenti per la ricerca dell’UE, che assicurano il coordinamento del progetto PERSEUS per lo sviluppo di Eurosur e il Seahorse Network, la rete di scambio di informazioni tra le forze di polizia dei paesi mediterranei (in Europa e in Africa) per fermare le migrazioni.

      Le società di armamenti israeliane hanno anch’esse ottenuto numerosi contratti nel quadro della sicurezza delle frontiere in UE. Nel 2018, Frontex ha selezionato il drone Heron delle Israel Aerospace Industries per i voli di sorveglianza degli esperimenti pilota nel Mediterraneo. Nel 2015, la società israeliana Elbit Systems ha venduto sei dei suoi droni Hermes al Corpo di guardie di frontiera svizzero, nel quadro di un contratto controverso di 230 milioni di euro. Ha anche firmato in seguito un contratto per droni con l’EMSA (Agenzia europea per la sicurezza marittima), in quanto subappaltatore della società portoghese CEIIA (2018), così come dei contratti per equipaggiare tre navi di pattugliamento per la Hellenic Coast Guard (2019).
      Gli appaltatori dei muri fisici

      La maggioranza di muri e recinzioni che sono stati rapidamente eretti attraverso l’Europa, sono stati costruiti da società di BTP nazionali/società nazionali di costruzioni, ma un’impresa europea ha dominato nel mercato: la European Security Fencing, un produttore spagnolo di filo spinato, in particolare di un filo a spirale chiamato “concertina”. È famosa per aver fornito i fili spinati delle recinzioni che circondano Ceuta e Melilla. L’impresa ha ugualmente dotato di fili spinati le frontiere tra l’Ungheria e la Serbia, e i suoi fili spinati “concertina” sono stati installati alle frontiere tra Bulgaria e Turchia e tra l’Austria e la Slovenia, così come a Calais e, per qualche giorno, alla frontiera tra Ungheria e Slovenia, prima di essere ritirati. Dato che essi detengono il monopolio sul mercato da un po’ di tempo a questa parte, è probabile che i fili spinati “concertina” siano stati utilizzati presso altre frontiere in Europa.

      Tra le altre imprese che hanno fornito i muri e le tecnologie ad essi associate, si trova DAT-CON (Croazia, Cipro, Macedonia, Moldavia, Slovenia e Ucraina), Geo Alpinbau (Austria/Slovenia), Indra, Dragados, Ferrovial, Proyectos Y Tecnología Sallén e Eulen (Spagna/Marocco), Patstroy Bourgas, Infra Expert, Patengineeringstroy, Geostroy Engineering, Metallic-Ivan Mihaylov et Indra (Bulgaria/Turchia), Nordecon e Defendec (Estonia/Russia), DAK Acélszerkezeti Kft e SIA Ceļu būvniecības sabiedrība IGATE (Lettonia/Russia), Gintrėja (Lituania/Russi), Minis e Legi-SGS (Slovenia/Croazia), Groupe CW, Jackson’s Fencing, Sorhea, Vinci/Eurovia e Zaun Ltd (Francia/Regno Unito).

      I costi reali dei muri e delle tecnologie associate superano spesso le stime originali. Numerose accuse e denunce per corruzione sono state allo stesso modo formulate, in certi casi perché i progetti erano stati attribuiti a delle imprese che appartenevano ad amici di alti funzionari. In Slovenia, per esempio, accuse di corruzione riguardanti un contratto per la costruzione di muri alle frontiere hanno portato a tre anni di battaglie legali per avere accesso ai documenti; la questione è passata poi alla Corte suprema.

      Malgrado tutto ciò, il Fondo europeo per le frontiere esterne ha sostenuto finanziariamente le infrastrutture e i servizi tecnologici di numerose operazioni alle frontiere degli Stati membri. In Macedonia, per esempio, l’UE ha versato 9 milioni di euro per finanziare dei veicoli di pattugliamento, delle telecamere a visione notturna, dei rivelatori di battito cardiaco e sostegno tecnico alle guardie di frontiera nell’aiuto della gestione della sua frontiera meridionale.
      Gli speculatori dei muri marittimi

      I dati che permettono di determinare quali imbarcazioni, elicotteri e aerei sono utilizzati nelle operazioni marittime in Europa mancano di trasparenza. È dunque difficile recuperare tutte le informazioni. Le nostre ricerche mostrano comunque che tra le principali società implicate figurano i giganti europei degli armamenti Airbus e Leonardo, così come grandi imprese di costruzione navale come l’olandese Damen e l’italiana Fincantieri.

      Le imbarcazioni di pattugliamento di Damen sono servite per delle operazioni frontaliere portate avanti da Albania, Belgio, Bulgaria, Portogallo, Paesi Bassi, Romania, Svezia e Regno Unito, così come per le vaste operazioni di Frontex (Poseidon, Triton e Themis), per l’operazione Sophia e hanno ugualmente sostento la NATO nell’operazione Poseidon.

      Al di fuori dell’Europa, la Libia, il Marocco, la Tunisia e la Turchia utilizzano delle imbarcazioni Damen per la sicurezza delle frontiere, spesso in collaborazione con l’UE o i suoi Stati membri. Per esempio, le sei navi Damen che la Turchia ha comprato per la sua guardia costiera nel 2006, per un totale di 20 milioni di euro, sono state finanziate attraverso lo strumento europeo che contribuirebbe alla stabilità e alla pace (IcSP), destinato a mantenere la pace e a prevenire i conflitti.

      La vendita di imbarcazioni Damen alla Libia mette in evidenza l’inquietante costo umano di questo commercio. Nel 2012, Damen ha fornito quattro imbarcazioni di pattugliamento alla guardia costiera libica, che sono state vendute come equipaggiamento civile col fine di evitare la licenza di esportazione di armi nei Paesi Bassi. I ricercatori hanno poi scoperto che non solo le imbarcazioni erano state vendute con dei punti di fissaggio per le armi, ma che erano state in seguito armate ed utilizzate per fermare le imbarcazioni di rifugiati. Numerosi incidenti che hanno implicato queste imbarcazioni sono stati segnalati, tra i quali l’annegamento di 20 o 30 rifugiati. Damen si è rifiutata di commentare, dichiarando di aver convenuto col governo libico di non divulgare alcuna informazione riguardante le imbarcazioni.

      Numerosi costruttori navali nazionali, oltre a Damen, giocano un ruolo determinante nelle operizioni marittime poiché sono sistematicamente scelti con priorità dai paesi partecipanti a ogni operazione di Frontex o ad altre operazioni nel Mediterraneo. Tutte le imbarcazioni fornite dall’Italia all’operazione Sophia sono state costruite da Fincantieri e tutte quelle spagnole sono fornite da Navantia e dai suoi predecessori. Allo stesso modo, la Francia si rifornisce da DCN/DCNS, ormai Naval Group, e tutte le imbarcazioni tedesche sono state costruite da diversi cantieri navali tedeschi (Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, HDW, Lürssen Gruppe). Altre imprese hanno partecipato alle operazioni di Frontex, tra cui la società greca Motomarine Shipyards, che ha prodotto i pattugliatori rapidi Panther 57 utilizzati dalla guardia costiera greca, così come la Hellenic Shipyards e la Israel Shipyards.

      La società austriaca Schiebel, che fornisce i droni S-100, gioca un ruolo importante nella sorveglianza aerea delle attività marittime. Nel novembre 2018, è stata selezionata dall’EMSA per un contratto di sorveglianza marittima di 24 milioni di euro riguardante differenti operazioni che includevano la sicurezza delle frontiere. Dal 2017, Schiebel ha ugualmente ottenuto dei contratti con la Croazia, la Danimarca, l’Islanda, l’Italia, il Portogallo e la Spagna. L’impresa ha un passato controverso: ha venduto dei droni a numerosi paesi in conflitto armato o governati da regimi repressivi come la Libia, il Myanmar, gli Emirati Arabi Uniti e lo Yemen.

      La Finlandia e i Paesi Bassi hanno impiegato degli aerei Dornier rispettivamente nel quadro delle operazioni Hermès, Poseidon e Triton. Dornier appartiene ormai alla filiale americana della società di armamenti israeliana Elbit Systems.
      CAE Aviation (Lussemburgo), DEA Aviation (Regno Unito) e EASP Air (Paesi Bassi) hanno tutte ottenuto dei contratti di sorveglianza aerea per Frontex.
      Airbus, Dassault Aviation, Leonardo e l’americana Lockheed Martin hanno fornito il più grande numero di aerei utilizzati per l’operazione Sophia.

      L’UE e i suoi Stati membri difendono le loro operazioni marittime pubblicizzando il loro ruolo nel salvataggio dei rifugiati in mare. Ma non è questo il loro obiettivo principale, come sottolinea il direttore di Frontex Fabrice Leggeri nell’aprile 2015, dichiarando che “le azioni volontarie di ricerca e salvataggio” non fanno parte del mandato affidato a Frontex, e che salvare delle vite non dovrebbe essere una priorità. La criminalizzazione delle operazioni di salvataggio da parte delle ONG, gli ostacoli che esse incontrano, così come la violenza e i respingimenti illegali dei rifugiati, spesso denunciati, illustrano bene il fatto che queste operazioni marittime sono volte soprattutto a costituire muri piuttosto che missioni umanitarie.
      I muri virtuali

      I principali contratti dell’UE legati ai muri virtuali sono stati affidati a due imprese, a volte in quanto leader di un consorzio.
      Sopra Steria è il partner principale per lo sviluppo e il mantenimento del Sistema d’informazione dei visti (SIV), del Sistema di informazione Schengen (SIS II) e di Eurodac (European Dactyloscopy) e GMV ha firmato una serie di contratti per Eurosur. I sistemi che essi concepiscono permettono di controllare e di sorvegliare i movimenti delle persone attraverso l’Europa e, sempre più spesso, al di là delle sue frontiere.

      Sopra Steria è un’impresa francese di servizi per consultazioni in tecnologia che ha, ad oggi, ottenuto dei contratti con l’UE per un valore totale di più di 150 milioni di euro. Nel quadro di alcuni di questi grossi contratti, Sopra Steria ha formato dei consorzi con HP Belgio, Bull e 3M Belgio.

      Malgrado l’ampiezza di questi mercati, Sopra Steria ha ricevuto importanti critiche per la sua mancanza di rigore nel rispetto delle tempistiche e dei budget. Il lancio di SIS II è stato costantemente ritardato, costringendo la Commissione a prolungare i contratti e ad aumentare i budget. Sopra Steria aveva ugualmente fatto parte di un altro consorzio, Trusted Borders, impegnato nello sviluppo del programma e-Borders nel Regno Unito. Quest’ultimo è terminato nel 2010 dopo un accumulo di ritardi e di mancate consegne. Tuttavia, la società ha continuato a ottenere contratti, a causa del suo quasi monopolio di conoscenze e di relazioni con i rappresentanti dell’UE. Il ruolo centrale di Sopra Steria nello sviluppo dei sistemi biometrici dell’UE ha ugualmente portato alla firma di altri contratti nazionali con, tra gli altri, il Belgio, la Bulgaria, la Repubblica ceca, la Finlandia, la Francia, la Germania, la Romania e la Slovenia.

      GMV, un’impresa tecnologica spagnola, ha concluso una serie di grossi contratti per Eurosur, dopo la sua fase sperimentale nel 2010, per almeno 25 milioni di euro. Essa rifornisce ugualmente di tecnologie la Guardia Civil spagnola, tecnologie quali, ad esempio, i centri di controllo del suo Sistema integrato di sorveglianza esterna (SIVE), sistema di sicurezza delle frontiere, così come rifornisce di servizi di sviluppo logistico Frontex. L’impresa ha partecipato ad almeno dieci progetti di ricerca finanziati dall’UE sulla sicurezza delle frontiere.

      La maggior parte dei grossi contratti riguardanti i muri virtuali che non sono stati conclusi con consorzi di cui facesse parte Sopra Steria, sono stati attribuiti da eu-LISA (l’Agenzia europea per la gestione operazionale dei sistemi di informazione su vasta scale in seno allo spazio di libertà, di sicurezza e di giustizia) a dei consorzi di imprese specializzate nell’informazione e nelle nuove tecnologie, tra questi: Accenture, Atos Belgium e Morpho (rinominato Idemia).
      Lobby

      Come testimonia il nostro report “Border Wars”, il settore della difesa e della sicurezza, grazie ad una lobbying efficace, ha un’influenza considerabile nell’elaborazione delle politiche di difesa e di sicurezza dell’UE. Le imprese di questo settore industriale sono riuscite a posizionarsi come esperti della sicurezza delle frontiere, portando avanti il loro discorso secondo il quale la migrazione è prima di tutto una minaccia per la sicurezza che deve essere combattuta tramite mezzi militari e securitari. Questo crea così una domanda continua del catalogo sempre più fornito di equipaggiamenti e servizi che esse forniscono per la sicurezza e il controllo delle frontiere.

      Un numero alto di imprese che abbiamo nominato, in particolare le grandi società di armamenti, fanno parte dell’EOS (Organizzazione europea per la sicurezza), il più importante gruppo di pressione sulla sicurezza delle frontiere.

      Molte imprese informatiche che hanno concepito i muri virtuali dell’UE sono membri dell’EAB (Associazione Europea per la Biometria). L’EOS ha un “Gruppo di lavoro sulla sicurezza integrata delle frontiere” per “permettere lo sviluppo e l’adozione delle migliori soluzioni tecnologiche per la sicurezza delle frontiere sia ai checkpoint che lungo le frontiere marittime e terrestri”.
      Il gruppo di lavoro è presieduto da Giorgio Gulienetti, della società di armi italiana Leonardo, Isto Mattila (diplomato all’università di scienze applicate) e Peter Smallridge di Gemalto, multinazionale specializzata nella sicurezza numerica, recentemente acquisita da Thales.

      I lobbisti di imprese e i rappresentanti di questi gruppi di pressione incontrano regolarmente le istituzioni dell’UE, tra cui la Commissione europea, nel quadro di comitati di consiglio ufficiali, pubblicano proposte influenti, organizzano incontri tra il settore industriale, i policy-makers e i dirigenti e si ritrovano allo stesso modo in tutti i saloni, le conferenze e i seminari sulla difesa e la sicurezza.

      Airbus, Leonardo e Thales e l’EOS hanno anche assistito a 226 riunioni ufficiali di lobby con la Commissione europea tra il 2014 e il 2019. In queste riunioni, i rappresentanti del settore si presentano come esperti della sicurezza delle frontiere, e propongono i loro prodotti e servizi come soluzione alle “minacce alla sicurezza” costituite dall’immigrazione. Nel 2017, queste stesse imprese e l’EOS hanno speso fino a 2,56 milioni di euro in lobbying.

      Si constata una relazione simile per quanto riguarda i muri virtuali: il Centro comune della ricerca della Commissione europea domanda apertamente che le politiche pubbliche favoriscano “l’emergenza di una industria biometrica europea dinamica”.
      Un business mortale, una scelta

      La conclusione di questa inchiesta sul business dell’innalzamento di muri è chiara: la presenza di un’Europa piena di muri si rivela molto fruttuosa per una larga fetta di imprese del settore degli armamenti, della difesa, dell’informatica, del trasporto marittimo e delle imprese di costruzioni. I budget che l’UE ha pianificato per la sicurezza delle frontiere nei prossimi dieci anni mostrano che si tratta di un commercio che continua a prosperare.

      Si tratta altresì di un commercio mortale. A causa della vasta militarizzazione delle frontiere dell’Europa sulla terraferma e in mare, i rifugiati e i migranti intraprendono dei percorsi molto più pericolosi e alcuni si trovano anche intrappolati in terribili condizioni in paesi limitrofi come la Libia. Non vengono registrate tutte le morti, ma quelle che sono registrate nel Mediterraneo mostrano che il numero di migranti che annegano provando a raggiungere l’Europa continua ad aumentare ogni anno.

      Questo stato di cose non è inevitabile. È il risultato sia di decisioni politiche prese dall’UE e dai suoi Stati membri, sia dalle decisioni delle imprese di trarre profitto da queste politiche. Sono rare le imprese che prendono posizione, come il produttore tedesco di filo spinato Mutinox che ha dichiarato nel 2015 che non avrebbe venduto i suoi prodotti al governo ungherese per il seguente motivo: “I fili spinati sono concepiti per impedire atti criminali, come il furto. Dei rifugiati, bambini e adulti, non sono dei criminali”.

      È tempo che altri politici e capi d’impresa riconoscano questa stessa verità: erigere muri contro le popolazioni più vulnerabili viola i diritti umani e costituisce un atto immorale che sarà evidentemente condannato dalla storia.

      Trent’anni dopo la caduta del muro di Berlino, è tempo che l’Europa abbatta i suoi nuovi muri.

      https://www.meltingpot.org/La-costruzione-di-muri-un-business.html

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

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

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

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

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


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

    ping @karine4

  • #Méditerranée centrale : les #garde-côtes libyens assurent la moitié des sauvetages - B2 Bruxelles2
    http://www.bruxelles2.eu/2019/09/23/le-dernier-bilan-en-mediterranee-de-loperation-sophia

    Selon les dernières données de l’#opération_Sophia, 10.137 personnes ont été secourues au total lors de 153 opérations de #sauvetage menées par différents navires en Méditerranée centrale au large des côtes libyennes, en quasiment un an (entre le 1er septembre 2018 et le 2 août 2019). Un chiffre en baisse drastique par rapport à 2018. Il y avait eu 41.961 personnes récupérées lors de 543 opérations de secours, durant la même période en 2018, soit quatre fois plus.

    […] Les opérations de sauvetage et les interceptions durant ces onze derniers mois ont été en grande partie assurées par la marine et les garde-côtes libyens qui ont assuré presque la moitié des sauvetages : 72 opérations (sur 153).

    […] Les navires italiens (des garde-côtes, de la marine et de la Guardia di Finanza, des Carabinieri) assurant avec les forces armées maltaises (respectivement 21 et 18 opérations) un quart des sauvetages. Tandis que le dernier quart des sauvetages se répartit entre les navires des #ONG (17 opérations), des navires marchands (13 opérations) et des navires de pêche (3 opérations), ainsi que les forces tunisiennes (9 opérations).

    #[…] Au cours du premier semestre 2019, 333 décès sur l’itinéraire central ont été enregistrés pour 2130 arrivées. Soit un taux de mortalité de un sur six, contre un sur 14 personnes en 2018 (1132 décès pour 15.537 arrivées) et un pour 38 en 2017 (2851 décès pour 108.255 arrivées)

    #sauvetage_en_mer #migrants #migrations #morts

  • Militarisation des frontières en #Mer_Egée

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

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

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

    –-----------

    Commentaire de Martin Clavey sur twitter :

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

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

    • Σε δοκιμαστική λειτουργία το αερόσταστο της FRONTEX

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Zeppelin over the island of Samos to monitor migrants trafficking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      #Méditerranée #mer_Méditerranée #Libye

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Sophia : The EU naval mission without any ships

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


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

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

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

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

      Juan Fernando López Aguilar, EU Civil Liberties Committee

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

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

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

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

      Operation Sophia has saved 45,000 lives

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

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

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

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

      Matteo de Bellis, Amnesty International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • EU to end ship patrols in scaled down Operation Sophia

    The European Union will cease the maritime patrols that have rescued thousands of migrants making the perilous Mediterranean Sea crossing from North Africa to Europe, but it will extend air missions, two diplomats said on Tuesday (26 March).

    A new agreement on the EU’s Operation Sophia was hammered out after Italy, where anti-migrant sentiment is rising, said it would no longer receive those rescued at sea.

    Operation Sophia’s mandate was due to expire on Sunday but should now continue for another six months with the same aim of deterring people smugglers in the Mediterranean. But it will no longer deploy ships, instead relying on air patrols and closer coordination with Libya, the diplomats said.

    “It is awkward, but this was the only way forward given Italy’s position, because nobody wanted the Sophia mission completely shut down,” one EU diplomat said.

    A second diplomat confirmed a deal had been reached and said it must be endorsed by all EU governments on Wednesday.

    The tentative deal, however, could weaken Operation Sophia’s role in saving lives in the sea where nearly 2,300 people perished last year, according to United Nations figures.

    From the more than one million refugees and migrants who made it to the bloc during a 2015 crisis, sea arrivals dropped to 141,500 people in 2018, according to the United Nations.

    Still, Italy’s deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini, has said his country would no longer be the main point of disembarkation for people trying to cross the Mediterranean by boat and rescued by Sophia’s patrol ships.

    Rome called for other countries to open up their ports instead, but no other EU states came forward. Diplomats said countries including Spain, France and Germany signalled they were not willing to host more rescued people – most of whom are fleeing wars and poverty in Africa and the Middle East.

    However, EU governments did want the mission to continue because they felt it had been effective in dissuading smugglers.

    The compromise discussion in Brussels did not discuss military aspects of the role of air patrols. But the new arrangement will involve more training of the coast guard in Libya, where lawlessness has allowed smugglers to openly operate sending people to Europe by sea.

    But it would be in line with the EU’s policy of turning increasingly restrictive on Mediterranean immigration since the surge in 2015 and discouraging people from risking their lives in the sea in trying to cross to Europe where governments do not want them.

    The bloc has already curbed operations of EU aid groups in the part of the Mediterranean in question and moved its own ships further north where fewer rescues take place.

    https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/eu-to-end-ship-patrols-in-scaled-down-operation-sophia
    #opération_sophia #méditerranée #asile #réfugiés #sauvetage #missions_aériennes #migrations #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #mer_Méditerranée #sauvetages

    • Commissioner calls for more rescue capacity in the Mediterranean

      I take note of the decision taken by the EU’s Political and Security Committee with regards to Operation Sophia. I regret that this will lead to even fewer naval assets in the Mediterranean, which could assist the rescue of persons in distress at sea. Lives are continuing to be lost in the Mediterranean. This should remind states of the urgency to adopt a different approach, one that should ensure a sufficiently resourced and fully operational system for saving human lives at sea and to safeguard rescued migrants’ dignity.

      Whilst coastal states have the responsibility to ensure effective coordination of search and rescue operations, protecting lives in the Mediterranean requires concerted efforts of other states as well, to begin with the provision of naval assets specifically dedicated to search and rescue activities, deployed in those areas where they can make an effective contribution to saving human lives. Furthermore, I reiterate my call to all states to refrain from hindering and criminalising the work of NGOs who are trying to fill the ever-increasing gap in rescue capacity. States should rather support and co-operate with them, including by ensuring that they can use ports for their life-saving activities.

      Finally, the decision to continue only with aerial surveillance and training of the Libyan Coast Guard further increases the risks that EU member states, directly or indirectly, contribute to the return of migrants and asylum seekers to Libya, where it is well-documented, in particular recently by the United Nations, that they face serious human rights violations. So far, calls to ensure more transparency and accountability in this area, including by publishing human rights risk assessments and setting up independent monitoring mechanisms, have not been heeded. The onus is now on EU member states to show urgently that the support to the Libyan Coast Guard is not contributing to human rights violations, and to suspend this support if they cannot do so.

      https://www.coe.int/en/web/commissioner/-/commissioner-calls-for-more-rescue-capacity-in-the-mediterranean
      #droits_humains #gardes-côtes_libyens #Libye

    • EU to end ship patrols in scaled down migrant rescue operation: diplomats

      The European Union will cease the maritime patrols that have rescued thousands of migrants making the perilous Mediterranean Sea crossing from North Africa to Europe, but it will extend air missions, two diplomats said on Tuesday.
      A new agreement on the EU’s Operation Sophia was hammered out after Italy, where anti-migrant sentiment is rising, said it would no longer receive those rescued at sea.

      Operation Sophia’s mandate was due to expire on Sunday but should now continue for another six months with the same aim of detering people smugglers in the Mediterranean. But it will no longer deploy ships, instead relying on air patrols and closer coordination with Libya, the diplomats said.

      “It is awkward, but this was the only way forward given Italy’s position, because nobody wanted the Sophia mission completely shut down,” one EU diplomat said.

      A second diplomat confirmed a deal had been reached and said it must be endorsed by all EU governments on Wednesday.

      The tentative deal, however, could weaken Operation Sophia’s role in saving lives in the sea where nearly 2,300 people perished last year, according to United Nations figures.

      From the more than one million refugees and migrants who made it to the bloc during a 2015 crisis, sea arrivals dropped to 141,500 people in 2018, according to the United Nations.

      Still, Italy’s deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini, has said his country would no longer be the main point of disembarkation for people trying to cross the Mediterranean by boat and rescued by Sophia’s patrol ships.

      Rome called for other countries to open up their ports instead, but no other EU states came forward. Diplomats said countries including Spain, France and Germany signaled they were not willing to host more rescued people - most of whom are fleeing wars and poverty in Africa and the Middle East.

      However, EU governments did want the mission to continue because they felt it had been effective in dissuading smugglers.

      The compromise discussion in Brussels did not discuss military aspects of the role of air patrols. But the new arrangement will involve more training of the coast guard in Libya, where lawlessness has allowed smugglers to openly operate sending people to Europe by sea.

      But it would be in line with the EU’s policy of turning increasingly restrictive on Mediterranean immigration since the surge in 2015 and discouraging people from risking their lives in the sea in trying to cross to Europe where governments do not want them.

      The bloc has already curbed operations of EU aid groups in the part of the Mediterranean in question and moved its own ships further north where fewer rescues take place.

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-sophia/eu-weighs-up-awkward-migration-compromise-on-mediterranean-mission-idUSKCN1

    • En Méditerranée, l’UE retire ses navires militaires qui ont sauvé 45.000 migrants

      Les États membres de l’Union européenne ont décidé, mercredi 27 mars, de retirer leurs navires militaires engagés en Méditerranée dans le cadre de l’opération militaire dite « Sophia », au moins temporairement. Depuis 2015, ces bateaux ont pourtant permis de sauver 45 000 migrants environ.

      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/280319/en-mediterranee-l-ue-retire-ses-navires-militaires-qui-ont-sauve-45000-mig

    • #EUNAVFOR_MED Operation Sophia : mandate extended until 30 September 2019

      The Council today extended the mandate of EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia until 30 September 2019.

      The Operation Commander has been instructed to suspend temporarily the deployment of the Operation’s naval assets for the duration of this extension for operational reasons. EU member states will continue to work in the appropriate fora on a solution on disembarkation as part of the follow-up to the June 2018 European Council conclusions.

      The Operation will continue to implement its mandate accordingly, strengthening surveillance by air assets as well as reinforcing support to the Libyan Coastguard and Navy in law enforcement tasks at sea through enhanced monitoring, including ashore, and continuation of training.

      The operation’s core mandate is to contribute to the EU’s work to disrupt the business model of migrant smugglers and human traffickers in the Southern Central Mediterranean. The operation has also supporting tasks. It trains the Libyan Coastguard and Navy and monitors the long-term efficiency of the training and it contributes to the implementation of the UN arms embargo on the high seas off the coast of Libya. In addition, the operation also conducts surveillance activities and gathers information on illegal trafficking of oil exports from Libya, in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions. As such, the operation contributes to EU efforts for the return of stability and security in Libya and to maritime security in the Central Mediterranean region.

      EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia was launched on 22 June 2015. It is part of the EU’s comprehensive approach to migration. The Operation Commander is Rear Admiral Credendino, from Italy. The headquarters of the operation are located in Rome.

      Today’s decision was adopted by the Council by written procedure.

      https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2019/03/29/eunavfor-med-operation-sophia-mandate-extended-until-30-september-2

  • Drone Surveillance Operations in the Mediterranean: The Central Role of the Portuguese Economy and State in EU Border Control

    Much has been written in the past years about the dystopic vision of EU borders increasingly equipped with drone surveillance (see here: http://www.europeanpublicaffairs.eu/high-tech-fortress-europe-frontex-and-the-dronization-of-borde, here: http://eulawanalysis.blogspot.com/2018/10/the-next-phase-of-european-border-and.html, here: https://www.heise.de/tp/features/EU-startet-Langstreckendrohnen-zur-Grenzueberwachung-4038306.html and here: https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/research-subject-groups/centre-criminology/centreborder-criminologies/blog/2018/11/role-technology). Yet, when the first joint drone surveillance operation of #Frontex, the #European_Maritime_Safety_Agency (#EMSA) and Portuguese authorities was launched on 25 September 2018, there was a lack of response both from the media and concerned activists or researchers. Yet, the EMSA offered details about the operation on its website, and Frontex as well. In addition, Frontex mentioned in its press statement parallel operations undertaken in Italy and Greece in the same period.

    These operations were a crucial step for the setup of the joint European information system for border surveillance, #EUROSUR. The drone surveillance program in the context of Frontex operations is a major step in the operational setup of the EUROSUR program that aims to integrate databases and national coordination centres of 24 European countries. EUROSUR was officially introduced with a policy paper in 2008, and the system itself was launched on 1 December 2013 as a mechanism of information exchange among EU member states. But it is not yet fully operational, and drone surveillance is commonly seen as a central component for full operationability. Thus, the cooperation between the EMSA, Frontex and the Portuguese state in the recent operation is a crucial milestone to achieve the aim of EUROSUR to create a unified European border surveillance system.

    This is why the operation launched in Portugal in September 2018 is of higher significance to the ones in Italy and Greece since it includes not only national authorities but also the EMSA, located in Lisbon, as a new key actor for border surveillance. EMSA was founded in 2002 as a response to various shipping disasters that lead to environmental pollution and originally focuses on monitoring the movement of ships, with a focus on the safety of shipping operations, environmental safety at sea and the trading of illegal goods via maritime transport.

    In 2016 the EMSA was allocated 76 million Euros in a bid for the production of drones for the surveillance of the Mediterranenan in the context of Frontex missions. EMSA`s bid foresaw that drones would be hired by EMSA itself. EMSA would run the operation of drones and share real-time data with Frontex. The largest part of this bid, 66 million Euros, went to the Portuguese company #Tekever, while smaller portions went to the Italian defence company #Leonardo and to the Portuguese air force that will operate drones produced by the Portuguese company #UA_Vision. At the same time, the successful bid of Tekever and the integration of Portuguese authorities in surveillance operations catapults Portugal onto the map of the defence and surveillance industry that profits immensely from the recent technological craze around border surveillance (see here, here and here).

    Lisbon-based Tekever set up a factory for the production of drones in the Portuguese mainland in #Ponte_de_Sor, an emerging new hub for the aerospace industry. Together with French #Collecte_Localisation_Service, which specialises in maritime surveillance, Tekever founded the consortium #REACT in order to produce those specific drones. Under the Portuguese operation, ground control, i.e. the technical coordination of the flight of the drones, was located in Portugal under the authority of the Portuguese air force, while the operation was coordinated remotely by Frontex experts and Portuguese authorities in the #Frontex_Situational_Centre in Poland where data were shared in real-time with EMSA. This first operation is a crucial step, testing the technical and administrative cooperation between EMSA and Frontex, and the functionality of the drones that were specifically produced for this purpose. These drones are lighter than the ones used in Greece and Italy, and they are equipped with special cameras and #radars that can detect ship movements and receive emergency calls from the sea. This allows to run data collected by the drones through an algorithm that is programmed to distinguish so-called ´#migrant_vessels´ from other ships and boats.

    The Portuguese government has set up a number of initiatives to foster this industry. For example, a national strategy called #Space_2030 (#Estratégia_Portugal_Espaço_2030) was launched in 2018, and the newly founded #Portuguese_Space_Agency (#Agência_Espacial_Portuguesa) will begin to work in the first months of 2019. The fact that border surveillance is one of the larger European programs boosting the defence and surveillance industry financially has not generated any controversy in Portugal; neither the fact that a center-left government, supported by two radical left parties is propping up surveillance, aerospace and defence industries. The colonial continuities of this industrial strategy are all too visible since narratives like ‘from the discovery of the sea to the technology of space’ are used not only by industry actors, but also, for example, by the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in the UK on its website. In this way, social and political #domination of non-European territories and the control of the movement of racialized bodies are reduced to the fact of technological capability – in the colonial period the navigation of the seas with optical instruments, astronomic knowledge and ships, and today the electronic monitoring of movements on the sea with drones and integrated computer systems. The Portuguese aerospace industry is therefore presented as a cultural heritage that continues earlier technological achievements that became instruments to set up a global empire.

    The lack of any mention about the start of the drone surveillance programme does not only demonstrate that border surveillance goes largely unquestioned in Europe, but also that the sums spent for surveillance and defence by EU agencies create incentives to engage more in the defence and surveillance industry. This goes all the more for countries that have been hit hard by austerity and deindustrialisation, such as Portugal. The recent increase of 9.3 billion Euros for the period 2021 to 2027 for border surveillance funding in the EU with the creation of the #Integrated_Border_Management_Fund focused on border protection, is a telling example of the focus of current EU industrial policies. For the same period, the European Commission has earmarked 2.2 billion Euro for Frontex in order to acquire, operate and maintain surveillance assets like drones, cameras, fences, and the like. In this situation, the political consensus among EU governments to restrict migration reinforces the economic interests of the defence industry and vice versa, and the interest of national governments to attract #high-tech investment adds to this. Those lock-in effects could probably only be dismantled through a public debate about the selective nature of the entrepreneurial state whose funding has decisive influence on which industries prosper.

    While the Portuguese government does not currently have a single helicopter operating in order to control and fight forest fires that have caused more than 100 deaths in the past two years, much EU and national public funding goes into technology aimed at the control of racialized bodies and the observation of earth from space. At the same time, there is considerable concern among experts that surveillance technology used for military means and border security will be rolled out over the entire population in the future for general policing purposes. For this reason, it remains important to keep an eye on which technologies are receiving large public funds and what are its possible uses.


    https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/research-subject-groups/centre-criminology/centreborder-criminologies/blog/2019/02/drone
    #drones #contrôles_frontaliers #frontières #technologie #complexe_militaro-industriel #technologie_de_la_surveillance #externalisation #business #algorithme #colonialisme #néo-colonialisme #impérialisme #héritage_culturel #austérité #désindustrialisation

    ping @daphne @marty @albertocampiphoto @fil

    • Des drones en renfort dans l’#opération_Sophia

      Pour renforcer la surveillance aérienne, après le départ des navires, l’opération Sophia déployée en Méditerranée (alias #EUNAVFOR_Med) va bénéficier d’un renfort d’au moins un drone #Predator de l’aeronautica militare.

      L’#Italie a indiqué sa disponibilité à fournir un drone à l’opération Sophia, selon nos informations confirmées à bonne source. Ce pourrait être un #MQ-9A Predator B, la version la plus avancée et la plus récente du drone, d’une longueur de 10,80 m avec une envergure de plus de 20 mètres, qui peut voler à 445 km / heure. De façon alternative, selon les moyens disponibles, un MQ-1C Predator A, plus modeste (longueur de 8,20 m et envergure de 14,80 m), pouvant voler à 160 km/heure, pourrait aussi être déployé.

      http://www.bruxelles2.eu/2019/04/09/des-drones-en-renfort-dans-loperation-sophia
      #operation_Sophia

  • Europe’s deadly migration strategy. Officials knew EU military operation made Mediterranean crossing more dangerous.

    Since its creation in 2015, Europe’s military operation in the Mediterranean — named “#Operation_Sophia” — has saved some 49,000 people from the sea. But that was never really the main objective.

    The goal of the operation — which at its peak involved over a dozen sea and air assets from 27 EU countries, including ships, airplanes, drones and submarines — was to disrupt people-smuggling networks off the coast of Libya and, by extension, stem the tide of people crossing the sea to Europe.

    European leaders have hailed the operation as a successful joint effort to address the migration crisis that rocked the bloc starting in 2015, when a spike in arrivals overwhelmed border countries like Greece and Italy and sparked a political fight over who would be responsible for the new arrivals.

    But a collection of leaked documents from the European External Action Service, the bloc’s foreign policy arm, obtained by POLITICO (https://g8fip1kplyr33r3krz5b97d1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/OperationSophia.pdf), paint a different picture.

    In internal memos, the operation’s leaders admit Sophia’s success has been limited by its own mandate — it can only operate in international waters, not in Libyan waters or on land, where smuggling networks operate — and it is underfunded, understaffed and underequipped.

    “Sophia is a military operation with a very political agenda" — Barbara Spinelli, Italian MEP

    The confidential reports also show the EU is aware that a number of its policies have made the sea crossing more dangerous for migrants, and that it nonetheless chose to continue to pursue those strategies. Officials acknowledge internally that some members of the Libyan coast guard that the EU funds, equips and trains are collaborating with smuggling networks.

    For the operation’s critics, the EU’s willingness to turn a blind eye to these shortcomings — as well as serious human rights abuses by the Libyan coast guard and in the country’s migrant detention centers — are symptomatic of what critics call the bloc’s incoherent approach to managing migration and its desire to outsource the problem to non-EU countries.

    “Sophia is a military operation with a very political agenda,” said Barbara Spinelli, an Italian MEP and member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs in the European Parliament. “It has become an instrument of refoulement, legitimizing militias with criminal records, dressed up as coast guards.”

    Now the operation, which is managed by Italy and has been dogged by political disagreements since it began, is coming under increasing pressure as the deadline for its renewal approaches in March.

    Italy’s deputy prime minister, far-right leader Matteo Salvini, has said the operation should only be extended if there are new provisions to resettle rescued people across the bloc. Last month, Germany announced it would be discontinuing its participation in the program, claiming that Italy’s refusal to allow rescued migrants to disembark is undermining the mission.

    Named after a baby girl born on an EU rescue ship, Sophia is the uneasy compromise to resolve a deep split across the bloc: between those who pushed for proactive search-and-rescue efforts to save more lives and those who favored pulling resources from the sea to make the crossing more dangerous.

    The naval operation sits uncomfortably between the two, rescuing migrants in distress at sea, but insisting its primary focus is to fight smugglers off the coast of Libya. The two activities are frequently in conflict.

    The operation has cycled through a number of strategies since its launch: a campaign to destroy boats used by smugglers; law-enforcement interviews with those rescued at sea; extensive aerial surveillance; and training and funding a newly consolidated Libyan coast guard.

    But the success of these approaches is highly disputed, and in some cases they have put migrants’ lives at greater risk.

    The EU’s policy of destroying the wooden boats used by smugglers to avoid them being reused, for example, has indeed disrupted the Libyan smuggling business, but at a substantial human cost.

    As Libyan smugglers lost their wooden boats, many started to rely more heavily on smaller, cheaper rubber boats. The boats, which smugglers often overfill to maximize profit, are not as safe as the wooden vessels and less likely to reach European shores. Instead, Libyan smugglers started to abandon migrants in international waters, leaving them to be pulled out of peril by European rescue ships.

    Sophia officials tracked the situation and were aware of the increased risk to migrants as a result of the policy. “Smugglers can no longer recover smuggling vessels on the high seas, effectively rendering them a less economic option for the smuggling business and thereby hampering it,” they wrote in a 2016 status report seen by POLITICO.

    The report acknowledged however that the policy has pushed migrants into using rubber boats, putting them in greater danger. “Effectively, with the limited supply and the degree of overloading, the migrant vessels are [distress] cases from the moment they launch,” it said.

    These overfilled rubber boats, which officials described as shipwrecks waiting to happen, also present a problem for the EU operation.

    International maritime law compels vessels to respond to people in distress at sea and bring the rescued to a nearby safe port. And because European courts have held that Libya has no safe port, that means bringing migrants found at sea to Europe — in most cases, Italy.

    This has exacerbated political tensions in the country, where far-right leader Salvini has responded to the influx of new arrivals by closing ports to NGO and humanitarian ships carrying migrants and threatening to bar Sophia vessels from docking.

    Meanwhile, Sophia officials have complained that rescuing people from leaking, unseaworthy boats detracted from the operation’s ability to pursue its primary target: Libyan smugglers.

    In a leaked status report from 2017, Sophia officials made a highly unusual suggestion: that the operation be granted permission to suspend its rescue responsibilities in order to focus on its anti-smuggling operations.

    “Consideration should be given to an option that would allow the operation to be authorized for being temporarily exempt from search and rescue when actively conducting anti-smuggling operations against jackals in international waters,” the report read.

    The EU has also wilfully ignored inconvenient aspects of its policies when it comes to its collaboration with Libya’s municipal coast guard.

    The intention of the strategy — launched one year into the Sophia operation — was to equip Libyan authorities to intercept migrant boats setting off from the Libyan coast and bring people back to shore. This saved Europe from sending its own ships close to coast, and meant that people could be brought back to Libya, rather than to Europe, as required by international maritime law — or more specifically, Italy.

    Here too, the EU was aware it was pursuing a problematic strategy, as the Libyan coast guard has a well-documented relationship with Libyan smugglers.

    A leaked report from Frontex, the EU’s coast guard, noted in 2016: “As mentioned in previous reports, some members of Libya’s local authorities are involved in smuggling activities.” The report cited interviews with recently rescued people who said they were smuggled by Libyans in uniform. It also noted that similar conclusions were reported multiple times by the Italian coast guard and Operation Sophia.

    “Many of [the coast guard officers] were militia people — many of them fought with militias during the civil war" — Rabih Boualleg, Operation Sophia translator

    In Sophia’s leaked status report from 2017, operation leaders noted that “migrant smuggling and human trafficking networks remain well ingrained” throughout the region and that smugglers routinely “pay off authorities” for passage to international waters.

    “Many of [the coast guard officers] were militia people — many of them fought with militias during the civil war,” said Rabih Boualleg, who worked as a translator for Operation Sophia in late 2016 on board a Dutch ship involved in training the coast guard from Tripoli.

    “They were telling me that many of them hadn’t gotten their government salaries in eight months. They told me, jokingly, that they were ‘forced’ to take money from smugglers sometimes.”

    The coast guards talked openly about accepting money from smuggling networks in exchange for escorting rubber boats to international waters instead of turning them back toward the shore, Boualleg said.

    “If the [on-duty] coast guard came,” Boualleg added, “they would just say they were fishermen following the rubber boats, that’s all.”

    Frontex’s 2016 report documents similar cases. Two officials with close knowledge of Sophia’s training of the Libyan coast guard also confirmed that members of the coast guard are involved in smuggling networks. A spokesperson for the Libyan coast guard did not return repeated requests for comment.

    EU governments have, for the most part, simply looked the other way.

    And that’s unlikely to change, said a senior European official with close knowledge of Operation Sophia who spoke on condition of anonymity. For the first time since the start of the operation, Libyan authorities are returning more people to Libya than are arriving in Italy.

    “If Italy decides — since it is the country in command of Operation Sophia — to stop it, it is up to Italy to make this decision" — Dimitris Avramopoulos, immigration commissioner

    “Europe doesn’t want to upset this balance,” the official said. “Any criticism of the coast guards could lead to resentment, to relaxing.”

    Two years into the training program, leaked reports also show the Libyan coast guard was unable to manage search-and-rescue activities on its own. Sophia monitors their operations with GoPro cameras and through surveillance using ships, airplanes, drones and submarines.

    The operation is limited by its mandate, but it has made progress in difficult circumstances, an EEAS spokesperson said. Operation Sophia officials did not respond to multiple interview requests and declined to answer questions via email.

    “The provision of training the Libyan coast guard and navy, as well as continued engagement with them have proven to be the most effecting complementary tool to disrupt the activities of those involved in trafficking,” the EEAS spokesperson said in an email.

    The spokesperson maintained that Libyan coast guards who are trained by Operation Sophia undergo a “thorough vetting procedure." The spokesperson also stated that, while Operation Sophia does advise and monitor the Libyan coast guard, the operation is not involved “in the decision-making in relation to operations.”

    *

    With the March deadline for the operation’s renewal fast approaching, pressure is mounting to find a way to reform Sophia or disband it altogether.

    When Salvini closed Italy’s ports to NGO and humanitarian ships last July, the country’s foreign minister turned to the EU to negotiate a solution that would ensure migrants rescued as part of Operation Sophia would be resettled among other countries. At the time, Italy said it expected results “within weeks.” Six months later, neither side has found a way through the impasse.

    “The fate of this operation is not determined yet,” European Commissioner for Immigration Dimitris Avramopoulos told reporters last month, adding that discussions about allowing migrants to disembark in non-Italian ports are still underway among member countries.

    “If Italy decides — since it is the country in command of Operation Sophia — to stop it, it is up to Italy to make this decision.”

    The political fight over the future of the operation has been made more acute by an increase in criticism from human rights organizations. Reports of violence, torture and extortion in Libyan detention centers have put the naval operation and EEAS on the defensive.

    A Human Rights Watch report published in January found that Europe’s support for the Libyan coast guard has contributed to cases of arbitrary detention, and that people intercepted by Libyan authorities “face inhuman and degrading conditions and the risk of torture, sexual violence, extortion, and forced labor.” Amnesty International has also condemned the conditions under which migrants are being held, and in an open letter published earlier this month, 50 major aid organizations warned that “EU leaders have allowed themselves to become complicit in the tragedy unfolding before their eyes.”

    These human rights violations have been well documented. In 2016, the U.N. Human Rights Office said it considered “migrants to be at high risk of suffering serious human rights violations, including arbitrary detention, in Libya and thus urges States not to return, or facilitate the return of, persons to Libya.”

    Last June, the U.N. sanctioned six men for smuggling and human rights violations, including the head of the coast guard in Zawiya, a city west of Tripoli. A number of officials under his command, a leaked EEAS report found, were trained by Operation Sophia.

    An EEAS spokesperson would not comment on the case of the Zawiya coast guards trained by Operation Sophia or how the officers were vetted. The spokesperson said that none of the coast guards “trained by Operation Sophia” are on the U.N. sanctions list.

    The deteriorating human rights situation has prompted a growing chorus of critics to argue the EU’s arrangement with Libya is unsustainable.

    “What does the EU do in Libya? They throw money at projects, but they don’t have a very tangible operation on the ground" — Tarek Megerisi, Libyan expert

    “Returning anyone to Libya is against international law,” said Salah Margani, a former justice minister in Libya’s post-civil war government. “Libya is not a safe place. They will be subject to murder. They will be subjected to torture.”

    “This is documented,” Margani added. “And [Europe] knows it.”

    Sophia is also indicative of a larger, ineffective European policy toward Libya, said Tarek Megerisi, a Libya specialist at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

    “What does the EU do in Libya? They throw money at projects, but they don’t have a very tangible operation on the ground. They really struggle to convert what they spend into political currency — Operation Sophia is all they’ve got,” he said.

    The project, he added, is less a practical attempt to stop smuggling or save migrants than a political effort to paper over differences within the EU when it comes to migration policy.

    With Sophia, he said, Europe is “being as vague as possible so countries like Italy and Hungary can say this is our tool for stopping migration, and countries like Germany and Sweden can say we’re saving lives.”

    “With this operation, there’s something for everyone,” he said.

    https://www.politico.eu/article/europe-deadly-migration-strategy-leaked-documents

    Commentaire ECRE :

    Leaked documents obtained by @POLITICOEurope show that the #EU knew its military operation “Sophia” in the Mediterranean made sea crossing more dangerous.

    https://twitter.com/ecre/status/1101074946057482240

    #responsabilité #Méditerranée #mourir_en_mer #asile #migrations #réfugiés #mer_Méditerranée #Frontex #EU #UE
    #leaks #sauvetage #externalisation #frontières

    –-----------------------------------------

    Mise en exergue de quelques passages de l’article qui me paraissent particulièrement intéressants :

    The confidential reports also show the EU is aware that a number of its policies have made the sea crossing more dangerous for migrants, and that it nonetheless chose to continue to pursue those strategies. Officials acknowledge internally that some members of the Libyan coast guard that the EU funds, equips and trains are collaborating with smuggling networks.

    Named after a baby girl born on an EU rescue ship, Sophia is the uneasy compromise to resolve a deep split across the bloc: between those who pushed for proactive search-and-rescue efforts to save more lives and those who favored pulling resources from the sea to make the crossing more dangerous.
    The naval operation sits uncomfortably between the two, rescuing migrants in distress at sea, but insisting its primary focus is to fight smugglers off the coast of Libya. The two activities are frequently in conflict.

    The report acknowledged however that the policy has pushed migrants into using rubber boats, putting them in greater danger. “Effectively, with the limited supply and the degree of overloading, the migrant vessels are [distress] cases from the moment they launch,” it said.

    In a leaked status report from 2017 (https://g8fip1kplyr33r3krz5b97d1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/ENFM-2017-2.pdf), Sophia officials made a highly unusual suggestion: that the operation be granted permission to suspend its rescue responsibilities in order to focus on its anti-smuggling operations.

    “Consideration should be given to an option that would allow the operation to be authorized for being temporarily exempt from search and rescue when actively conducting anti-smuggling operations against jackals in international waters,” the report read.

    A leaked report from #Frontex (https://theintercept.com/2017/04/02/new-evidence-undermines-eu-report-tying-refugee-rescue-group-to-smuggl), the EU’s coast guard, noted in 2016: “As mentioned in previous reports, some members of Libya’s local authorities are involved in smuggling activities.” The report cited interviews with recently rescued people who said they were smuggled by Libyans in uniform. It also noted that similar conclusions were reported multiple times by the Italian coast guard and Operation Sophia.

    In Sophia’s leaked status report from 2017, operation leaders noted that “migrant smuggling and human trafficking networks remain well ingrained” throughout the region and that smugglers routinely “pay off authorities” for passage to international waters. “Many of [the coast guard officers] were militia people — many of them fought with militias during the civil war,” said Rabih Boualleg, who worked as a translator for Operation Sophia in late 2016 on board a Dutch ship involved in training the coast guard from Tripoli. The coast guards talked openly about accepting money from smuggling networks in exchange for escorting rubber boats to international waters instead of turning them back toward the shore, Boualleg said.

    Frontex’s 2016 report documents similar cases. Two officials with close knowledge of Sophia’s training of the Libyan coast guard also confirmed that members of the coast guard are involved in smuggling networks. A spokesperson for the Libyan coast guard did not return repeated requests for comment.

    Two years into the training program, leaked reports (https://g8fip1kplyr33r3krz5b97d1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/ENFM-Monitoring-of-Libyan-Coast-Guard-and-Navy-Report-October-2017-January-2018.pdf) also show the Libyan coast guard was unable to manage search-and-rescue activities on its own. Sophia monitors their operations with GoPro cameras and through surveillance using ships, airplanes, drones and submarines.

    A Human Rights Watch report (https://www.hrw.org/report/2019/01/21/no-escape-hell/eu-policies-contribute-abuse-migrants-libya) published in January found that Europe’s support for the Libyan coast guard has contributed to cases of arbitrary detention, and that people intercepted by Libyan authorities “face inhuman and degrading conditions and the risk of torture, sexual violence, extortion, and forced labor.” Amnesty International has also condemned (https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/LY/DetainedAndDehumanised_en.pdf) the conditions under which migrants are being held, and in an open letter published earlier this month, 50 major aid organizations warned that “EU leaders have allowed themselves to become complicit in the tragedy unfolding before their eyes.”

    “Returning anyone to Libya is against international law,” said Salah Margani, a former justice minister in Libya’s post-civil war government. “Libya is not a safe place. They will be subject to murder. They will be subjected to torture.”

    “This is documented,” Margani added. “And [Europe] knows it.”
    Sophia is also indicative of a larger, ineffective European policy toward Libya, said Tarek Megerisi, a Libya specialist at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
    “What does the EU do in Libya? They throw money at projects, but they don’t have a very tangible operation on the ground. They really struggle to convert what they spend into political currency — Operation Sophia is all they’ve got,” he said.

    With Sophia, he said, Europe is “being as vague as possible so countries like Italy and Hungary can say this is our tool for stopping migration, and countries like Germany and Sweden can say we’re saving lives.”
    “With this operation, there’s something for everyone,” he said.

    #flou

  • Germany pulls out of Mediterranean migrant mission Sophia

    Germany is suspending participation in Operation Sophia, the EU naval mission targeting human trafficking in the Mediterranean. The decision reportedly relates to Italy’s reluctance to allow rescued people to disembark.
    Germany will not be sending any more ships to take part in the anti-people smuggling operation Sophia in the Mediterranean Sea, according to a senior military officer.

    The decision means frigate Augsburg, currently stationed off the coast of Libya, will not be replaced early next month, Bundeswehr Inspector General Eberhard Zorn told members of the defense and foreign affairs committees in the German parliament.

    The 10 German soldiers currently working at the operation’s headquarters will, however, remain until at least the end of March.

    The European Union launched Operation Sophia in 2015 to capture smugglers and shut down human trafficking operations across the Mediterranean, as well as enforce a weapons embargo on Libya. Sophia currently deploys three ships, three airplanes, and two helicopters, which are permitted to use lethal force if necessary, though its mandate also includes training the North African country’s coast guard. The EU formally extended Operation Sophia by three months at the end of December.

    The Bundeswehr reported that, since its start, the naval operation had led to the arrest of more than 140 suspected human traffickers and destroyed more than 400 smuggling boats.

    But Operation Sophia’s efforts have largely focused on rescuing thousands of refugees from unseaworthy vessels attempting to get to Europe. According to the Bundeswehr, Operation Sophia has rescued some 49,000 people from the sea, while German soldiers had been involved in the rescue of 22,534 people.

    European impasse

    The operation has caused some friction within the EU, particularly with Italy, where the headquarters are located, and whose Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has threatened to close ports to the mission.

    Salvini, chairman of the far-right Lega Nord party, demanded on Wednesday that the mission had to change, arguing that the only reason it existed was that all the rescued refugees were brought to Italy. “If someone wants to withdraw from it, then that’s certainly no problem for us,” he told the Rai1 radio station, but in future he said the mission should only be extended if those rescued were distributed fairly across Europe. This is opposed by other EU member states, particularly Poland and Hungary.

    Italy’s position drew a prickly response from German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, who accused Sophia’s Italian commanders of sabotaging the mission by sending the German ship to distant corners of the Mediterranean where there were “no smuggling routes whatsoever” and “no refugee routes.”

    “For us it’s important that it be politically clarified in Brussels what the mission’s task is,” von der Leyen told reporters at the Davos forum in Switzerland.

    Fritz Felgentreu, ombudsman for the Bundestag defense committee, told public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk that Italy’s refusal to let migrants rescued from the sea disembark at its ports meant the operation could no longer fulfill its original mandate.

    The EU played down Germany’s decision. A spokeswoman for the bloc’s diplomatic service, the EEAS, told the DPA news agency that Germany had not ruled out making other ships available for the Sophia Operation in future, a position confirmed by a German Defense Ministry spokesman.

    Decision a ’tragedy’

    The decision sparked instant criticism from various quarters in Germany. Stefan Liebich, foreign affairs spokesman for Germany’s socialist Left party, called the government’s decision to suspend its involvement a “tragedy.”

    “As long as Sophia is not replaced by a civilian operation, even more people will drown,” he told the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung.

    The Green party, for its part, had a more mixed reaction. “We in the Green party have always spoken out against the military operation in the Mediterranean and have consistently rejected the training of the Libyan coast guard,” said the party’s defense spokeswoman, Agnieszka Brugger. But she added that Wednesday’s announcement had happened “for the wrong reasons.”

    Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, defense policy spokeswoman for the Free Democratic Party (FDP), called the decision a sign of the EU’s failure to find a common refugee policy.

    Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), meanwhile, defended the decision. “The core mission, to fight trafficking crimes, cannot currently be effectively carried out,” the party’s defense policy spokesman, Henning Otte, said in a statement. “If the EU were to agree to common procedure with refugees, this mission could be taken up again.”

    Otte also suggested a “three-stage model” as a “permanent solution for the Mediterranean.” This would include a coast guard from Frontex, the European border patrol agency; military patrols in the Mediterranean; and special facilities on the North African mainland to take in refugees and check asylum applications.

    https://www.dw.com/en/germany-pulls-out-of-mediterranean-migrant-mission-sophia/a-47189097
    #Allemagne #résistance #Operation_Sophia #asile #migrations #réfugiés #retrait #espoir (petit mais quand même)

    • EU: Italy’s choice to end or continue Operation Sophia

      The European Commission says it is up to Italy to decide whether or not to suspend the EU’s naval operation Sophia.

      “If Italy decides, it is the country in command of operation Sophia, to stop it - it is up to Italy to make this decision,” Dimitris Avramopoulos, the EU commissioner for migration, told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday (23 January).

      The Italian-led naval operation was launched in 2015 and is tasked with cracking down on migrant smugglers and traffickers off the Libyan coast.

      It has also saved some 50,000 people since 2015 but appears to have massively scaled back sea rescues, according to statements from Germany’s defence minster.

      German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen was cited by Reuters on Wednesday saying that the Italian command had been sending the Germany navy “to the most remote areas of the Mediterranean where there are no smuggling routes and no migrant flows so that the navy has not had any sensible role for months.”

      Germany had also announced it would not replace its naval asset for the operation, whose mandate is set to expire at the end of March.

      But the commission says that Germany will continue to participate in the operation.

      “There is no indication that it will not make another asset available in the future,” said Avramopoulos.

      A German spokesperson was also cited as confirming Germany wants the mission to continue beyond March.

      The commission statements follow threats from Italy’s far-right interior minister Matteo Salvini to scrap the naval mission over an on-going dispute on where to disembark rescued migrants.

      Salvini was cited in Italian media complaining that people rescued are only offloaded in Italy.

      The complaint is part of a long-outstanding dispute by Salvini, who last year insisted that people should be disembarked in other EU states.

      The same issue was part of a broader debate in the lead up to a renewal of Sophia’s mandate in late December.

      https://euobserver.com/migration/143997

    • #Operazione_Sophia

      In riferimento alle odierne dichiarazioni relative all’operazione Sophia dell’UE, il Ministro degli Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale Enzo Moavero Milanesi ricorda che «L’Italia non ha mai chiesto la chiusura di Sophia. Ha chiesto che siano cambiate, in rigorosa e doverosa coerenza con le conclusioni del Consiglio Europeo di giugno 2018, le regole relative agli sbarchi delle persone salvate in mare». Infatti, gli accordi dell’aprile 2015 prevedono che siano sbarcate sempre in Italia, mentre il Consiglio Europeo del giugno scorso ha esortato gli Stati UE alla piena condivisione di tutti gli oneri relativi ai migranti.

      https://www.esteri.it/mae/it/sala_stampa/archivionotizie/comunicati/operazione-sophia.html

  • ‘It’s an Act of Murder’: How Europe Outsources Suffering as Migrants Drown

    This short film, produced by The Times’s Opinion Video team and the research groups #Forensic_Architecture and #Forensic_Oceanography, reconstructs a tragedy at sea that left at least 20 migrants dead. Combining footage from more than 10 cameras, 3-D modeling and interviews with rescuers and survivors, the documentary shows Europe’s role in the migrant crisis at sea.

    On Nov. 6, 2017, at least 20 people trying to reach Europe from Libya drowned in the Mediterranean, foundering next to a sinking raft.

    Not far from the raft was a ship belonging to Sea-Watch, a German humanitarian organization. That ship had enough space on it for everyone who had been aboard the raft. It could have brought them all to the safety of Europe, where they might have had a chance at being granted asylum.

    Instead, 20 people drowned and 47 more were captured by the Libyan Coast Guard, which brought the migrants back to Libya, where they suffered abuse — including rape and torture.

    This confrontation at sea was not a simplistic case of Europe versus Africa, with human rights and rescue on one side and chaos and danger on the other. Rather it’s a case of Europe versus Europe: of volunteers struggling to save lives being undercut by European Union policies that outsource border control responsibilities to the Libyan Coast Guard — with the aim of stemming arrivals on European shores.

    While funding, equipping and directing the Libyan Coast Guard, European governments have stymied the activities of nongovernmental organizations like Sea-Watch, criminalizing them or impounding their ships, or turning away from ports ships carrying survivors.

    More than 14,000 people have died or gone missing while trying to cross the central Mediterranean since 2014. But unlike most of those deaths and drownings, the incident on Nov. 6, 2017, was extensively documented.

    Sea-Watch’s ship and rescue rafts were outfitted with nine cameras, documenting the entire scene in video and audio. The Libyans, too, filmed parts of the incident on their mobile phones.

    The research groups Forensic Architecture and Forensic Oceanography of Goldsmiths, University of London, of which three of us — Mr. Heller, Mr. Pezzani and Mr. Weizman — are a part, combined these video sources with radio recordings, vessel tracking data, witness testimonies and newly obtained official sources to produce a minute-by-minute reconstruction of the facts. Opinion Video at The New York Times built on this work to create the above short documentary, gathering further testimonials by some of the survivors and rescuers who were there.

    This investigation makes a few things clear: European governments are avoiding their legal and moral responsibilities to protect the human rights of people fleeing violence and economic desperation. More worrying, the Libyan Coast Guard partners that Europe is collaborating with are ready to blatantly violate those rights if it allows them to prevent migrants from crossing the sea.

    Stopping Migrants, Whatever the Cost

    To understand the cynicism of Europe’s policies in the Mediterranean, one must understand the legal context. According to a 2012 ruling by the European Court of Human Rights, migrants rescued by European civilian or military vessels must be taken to a safe port. Because of the chaotic political situation in Libya and well-documented human rights abuses in detention camps there, that means a European port, often in Italy or Malta.

    But when the Libyan Coast Guard intercepts migrants, even outside Libyan territorial waters, as it did on Nov. 6, the Libyans take them back to detention camps in Libya, which is not subject to European Court of Human Rights jurisdiction.

    For Italy — and Europe — this is an ideal situation. Europe is able to stop people from reaching its shores while washing its hands of any responsibility for their safety.

    This policy can be traced back to February 2017, when Italy and the United Nations-supported Libyan Government of National Accord signed a “memorandum of understanding” that provided a framework for collaboration on development, to fight against “illegal immigration,” human trafficking and the smuggling of contraband. This agreement defines clearly the aim, “to stem the illegal migrants’ flows,” and committed Italy to provide “technical and technological support to the Libyan institutions in charge of the fight against illegal immigration.”

    Libyan Coast Guard members have been trained by the European Union, and the Italian government donated or repaired several patrol boats and supported the establishment of a Libyan search-and-rescue zone. Libyan authorities have since attempted — in defiance of maritime law — to make that zone off-limits to nongovernmental organizations’ rescue vessels. Italian Navy ships, based in Tripoli, have coordinated Libyan Coast Guard efforts.

    Before these arrangements, Libyan actors were able to intercept and return very few migrants leaving from Libyan shores. Now the Libyan Coast Guard is an efficient partner, having intercepted some 20,000 people in 2017 alone.

    The Libyan Coast Guard is efficient when it comes to stopping migrants from reaching Europe. It’s not as good, however, at saving their lives, as the events of Nov. 6 show.

    A Deadly Policy in Action

    That morning the migrant raft had encountered worsening conditions after leaving Tripoli, Libya, over night. Someone onboard used a satellite phone to call the Italian Coast Guard for help.

    Because the Italians were required by law to alert nearby vessels of the sinking raft, they alerted Sea-Watch to its approximate location. But they also requested the intervention of their Libyan counterparts.

    The Libyan Coast Guard vessel that was sent to intervene on that morning, the Ras Jadir, was one of several that had been repaired by Italy and handed back to the Libyans in May of 2017. Eight of the 13 crew members onboard had received training from the European Union anti-smuggling naval program known as Operation Sophia.

    Even so, the Libyans brought the Ras Jadir next to the migrants’ raft, rather than deploying a smaller rescue vessel, as professional rescuers do. This offered no hope of rescuing those who had already fallen overboard and only caused more chaos, during which at least five people died.

    These deaths were not merely a result of a lack of professionalism. Some of the migrants who had been brought aboard the Ras Jadir were so afraid of their fate at the hands of the Libyans that they jumped back into the water to try to reach the European rescuers. As can be seen in the footage, members of the Libyan Coast Guard beat the remaining migrants.

    Sea-Watch’s crew was also attacked by the Libyan Coast Guard, who threatened them and threw hard objects at them to keep them away. This eruption of violence was the result of a clash between the goals of rescue and interception, with the migrants caught in the middle desperately struggling for their lives.

    Apart from those who died during this chaos, more than 15 people had already drowned in the time spent waiting for any rescue vessel to appear.

    There was, however, no shortage of potential rescuers in the area: A Portuguese surveillance plane had located the migrants’ raft after its distress call. An Italian Navy helicopter and a French frigate were nearby and eventually offered some support during the rescue.

    It’s possible that this French ship, deployed as part of Operation Sophia, could have reached the sinking vessel earlier, in time to save more lives — despite our requests, this information has not been disclosed to us. But it remained at a distance throughout the incident and while offering some support, notably refrained from taking migrants onboard who would then have had to have been disembarked on European soil. It’s an example of a hands-off approach that seeks to make Libyan intervention not only possible but also inevitable.

    A Legal Challenge

    On the basis of the forensic reconstruction, the Global Legal Action Network and the Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration, with the support of Yale Law School students, have filed a case against Italy at the European Court of Human Rights representing 17 survivors of this incident.

    Those working on the suit, who include two of us — Mr. Mann and Ms. Moreno-Lax — argue that even though Italian or European personnel did not physically intercept the migrants and bring them back to Libya, Italy exercised effective control over the Libyan Coast Guard through mutual agreements, support and on-the-ground coordination. Italy has entrusted the Libyans with a task that Rome knows full well would be illegal if undertaken directly: preventing migrants from seeking protection in Europe by impeding their flight and sending them back to a country where extreme violence and exploitation await.

    We hope this legal complaint will lead the European court to rule that countries cannot subcontract their legal and humanitarian obligations to dubious partners, and that if they do, they retain responsibility for the resulting violations. Such a precedent would force the entire European Union to make sure its cooperation with partners like Libya does not end up denying refugees the right to seek asylum.

    This case is especially important right now. In Italy’s elections in March, the far-right Lega party, which campaigned on radical anti-immigrant rhetoric, took nearly 20 percent of the vote. The party is now part of the governing coalition, of which its leader, Matteo Salvini, is the interior minister.

    His government has doubled down on animosity toward migrants. In June, Italy took the drastic step of turning away a humanitarian vessel from the country’s ports and has been systematically blocking rescued migrants from being disembarked since then, even when they had been assisted by the Italian Coast Guard.

    The Italian crackdown helps explain why seafarers off the Libyan coast have refrained from assisting migrants in distress, leaving them to drift for days. Under the new Italian government, a new batch of patrol boats has been handed over to the Libyan Coast Guard, and the rate of migrants being intercepted and brought back to Libya has increased. All this has made the crossing even more dangerous than before.

    Italy has been seeking to enact a practice that blatantly violates the spirit of the Geneva Convention on refugees, which enshrines the right to seek asylum and prohibits sending people back to countries in which their lives are at risk. A judgment by the European Court sanctioning Italy for this practice would help prevent the outsourcing of border control and human rights violations that may prevent the world’s most disempowered populations from seeking protection and dignity.

    The European Court of Human Rights cannot stand alone as a guardian of fundamental rights. Yet an insistence on its part to uphold the law would both reflect and bolster the movements seeking solidarity with migrants across Europe.

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/12/26/opinion/europe-migrant-crisis-mediterranean-libya.html
    #reconstruction #naufrage #Méditerranée #Charles_Heller #Lorenzo_Pezzani #asile #migrations #réfugiés #mourir_en_mer #ONG #sauvetage #Sea-Watch #gardes-côtes_libyens #Libye #pull-back #refoulement #externalisation #vidéo #responsabilité #Ras_Jadir #Operation_Sophia #CEDH #cour_européenne_des_droits_de_l'homme #justice #droits_humains #droit_à_la_vie

    ping @reka

    • È un omicidio con navi italiane” L’accusa del Nyt

      Video-denuncia contro Roma e l’Ue per un naufragio di un anno fa: botte dei libici ai migranti, 50 morti.

      Patate scagliate addosso ai soccorritori della Sea Watch invece di lanciare giubbotti e salvagente ai naufraghi che stavano annegando. E poi botte ai migranti riusciti a salire sulle motovedette per salvarsi la vita. Ecco i risultati dell’addestramento che l’Italia ha impartito ai libici per far fuori i migranti nel Mediterraneo. È un video pubblicato dal New York Times che parte da una delle più gravi tra le ultime stragi avvenute del Canale di Sicilia, con un commento intitolato: “‘È un omicidio’: come l’Europa esternalizza sofferenza mentre i migranti annegano”.

      Era il 6 novembre 2017 e le operazioni in mare erano gestite dalla guardia costiera libica, in accordo con l’allora ministro dell’Interno, Marco Minniti. Il dettaglio non è secondario, lo stesso video mostra la cerimonia di consegna delle motovedette made in Italy ai partner nordafricani. Una delle imbarcazioni, la 648, la ritroviamo proprio al centro dell’azione dove, quel giorno, cinquanta africani vennero inghiottiti dal mare. Al tempo era consentito alle imbarcazioni di soccorso pattugliare lo specchio di mare a cavallo tra le zone Sar (Search and rescue, ricerca e soccorso) di competenza. Al tempo i porti italiani erano aperti, ma il comportamento dei militari libici già al limite della crudeltà. Il video e le foto scattate dal personale della Sea Watch mostrano scene durissime. Un migrante lasciato annegare senza alcun tentativo da parte dei libici di salvarlo: il corpo disperato annaspa per poi sparire sott’acqua, quando il salvagente viene lanciato è tardi. Botte, calci e pugni a uomini appena saliti a bordo delle motovedette, di una violenza ingiustificabile. Il New York Times va giù duro e nel commento, oltre a stigmatizzare attacca i governi italiani. Dalla prova delle motovedette vendute per far fare ad altri il lavoro sporco, al nuovo governo definito “di ultradestra” che “ha completato la strategia”. Matteo Salvini però non viene nominato. L’Italia, sottolinea il Nyt, ha delegato alle autorità della Tripolitania il pattugliamento delle coste e il recupero di qualsiasi imbarcazione diretta a nord. Nulla di nuovo, visto che la Spagna, guidata dal socialista Sanchez e impegnata sul fronte occidentale con un’ondata migratoria senza precedenti, usa il Marocco per “bonificare” il tratto di mare vicino allo stretto di Gibilterra da gommoni e carrette. Gli organismi europei da una parte stimolano il blocco delle migrazioni verso il continente, eppure dall’altra lo condannano. Per l’episodio del 6 novembre 2017, infatti, la Corte europea dei diritti umani sta trattando il ricorso presentato dall’Asgi (Associazione studi giuridici sull’immigrazione) contro il respingimento collettivo. Sempre l’Asgi ha presentato due ricorsi analoghi per fatti del dicembre 2018 e gennaio 2018; infine altri due, uno sulla cessione delle motovedette e l’altro sull’implementazione dell’accordo Italia-Libia firmato da Minniti.

      https://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/premium/articoli/e-un-omicidio-con-navi-italiane-laccusa-del-nyt

    • Comment l’Europe et la Libye laissent mourir les migrants en mer

      Il y a un peu plus d’un an, le 6 novembre 2017, une fragile embarcation sombre en mer avec à son bord 150 migrants partis de Tripoli pour tenter de rejoindre l’Europe. La plupart d’entre eux sont morts. Avec l’aide de Forensic Oceanography – une organisation créée en 2011 pour tenir le compte des morts de migrants en Méditerranée – et de Forensic Architecture – groupe de recherche enquêtant sur les violations des droits de l’homme –, le New York Times a retracé le déroulement de ce drame, dans une enquête vidéo extrêmement documentée.

      Depuis l’accord passé en février 2017 entre la Libye et l’Italie, confiant aux autorités libyennes le soin d’intercepter les migrants dans ses eaux territoriales, le travail des ONG intervenant en mer Méditerranée avec leurs bateaux de sauvetage est devenu extrêmement difficile. Ces dernières subissent les menaces constantes des gardes-côtes libyens, qui, malgré les subventions européennes et les formations qu’ils reçoivent, n’ont pas vraiment pour but de sauver les migrants de la noyade. Ainsi, en fermant les yeux sur les pratiques libyennes régulièrement dénoncées par les ONG, l’Europe contribue à aggraver la situation et précipite les migrants vers la noyade, s’attache à démontrer cette enquête vidéo publiée dans la section Opinions du New York Times. Un document traduit et sous-titré par Courrier international.

      https://www.courrierinternational.com/video/enquete-comment-leurope-et-la-libye-laissent-mourir-les-migra

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=10&v=dcbh8yJclGI

    • How We Made an Invisible Crisis at Sea Visible

      An ambitious Opinion Video project produced across three continents — in collaboration with a pioneering forensic research group — shines a spotlight on the more than 16,000 migrants who have died trying to cross the Mediterranean since 2014.

      Forensic Oceanography had created a report and a minute-by-minute reconstruction of the episode (http://www.forensic-architecture.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/2018-05-07-FO-Mare-Clausum-full-EN.pdf) intended partly to support a case that was about to be filed on behalf of survivors at the European Court of Human Rights.

      Their reporting was deep, but it was very technical. We wanted to build on the original research to create a short film that would sharpen the story while still embracing complexity.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/23/reader-center/migrants-mediterranean-sea.html
      #visibilité #invisibilité #in/visiblité #Mare_clausum

  • Fires in the Void : The Need for Migrant Solidarity

    For most, Barcelona’s immigrant detention center is a difficult place to find. Tucked away in the Zona Franca logistics and industrial area, just beyond the Montjuïc Cemetery, it is shrouded in an alien stillness. It may be the quietest place in the city on a Saturday afternoon, but it is not a contemplative quiet. It is a no-one-can-hear-you-scream quiet.

    The area is often described as a perfect example of what anthropologist Marc Augé calls a non-place: neither relational nor historical, nor concerned with identity. Yet this opaque institution is situated in the economic motor of the city, next to the port, the airport, the public transportation company, the wholesale market that provides most of the city’s produce and the printing plant for Spain’s most widely read newspaper. The detention center is a void in the heart of a sovereign body.

    Alik Manukyan died in this void. On the morning of December 3, 2013, officers found the 32-year-old Armenian dead in his isolation cell, hanged using his own shoelaces. Police claimed that Manukyan was a “violent” and “conflictive” person who caused trouble with his cellmates. This account of his alleged suicide was contradicted, however, by three detainees. They claimed Alik had had a confrontation with some officers, who then entered the cell, assaulted him and forced him into isolation. They heard Alik scream and wail all through the night. Two of these witnesses were deported before the case made it to court. An “undetectable technical error” prevented the judge from viewing any surveillance footage.

    The void extends beyond the detention center. In 2013, nearly a decade after moving to Spain, a young Senegalese man named #Alpha_Pam died of tuberculosis. When he went to a hospital for treatment, Pam was denied medical attention because his papers were not in order. His case was a clear example of the apartheid logic underlying a 2012 decree by Mariano Rajoy’s right-wing government, which excluded undocumented people from Spain’s once-universal public health care system. As a result, the country’s hospitals went from being places of universal care to spaces of systematic neglect. The science of healing, warped by nationalist politics.

    Not that science had not played a role in perpetuating the void before. In 2007, during the Socialist government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, #Osamuyi_Aikpitanyi died during a deportation flight after being gagged and restrained by police escorts. The medical experts who investigated Aikpitanyi’s death concluded that the Nigerian man had died due to a series of factors they called “a vicious spiral”. There was an increase in catecholamine, a neurotransmitter related to stress, fear, panic and flight instincts. This was compounded by a lack of oxygen due to the flight altitude and, possibly, the gag. Ultimately, these experts could not determine what percentage of the death had been directly caused by the gag, and the police were fined 600 euros for the non-criminal offense of “light negligence”.

    The Romans had a term for lives like these, lives that vanish in the void. That term was #homo_sacer, the “sacred man”, who one could kill without being found guilty of murder. An obscure figure from archaic law revived by the philosopher #Giorgio_Agamben, it was used to incorporate human life, stripped of personhood, into the juridical order. Around this figure, a state of exception was produced, in which power could be exercised in its crudest form, opaque and unaccountable. For Agamben, this is the unspoken ground upon which modern sovereignty stands. Perhaps the best example of it is the mass grave that the Mediterranean has become.

    Organized Hypocrisy

    Its name suggests that the Mediterranean was once the world’s center. Today it is its deadliest divide. According to the International Organization for Migration, over 9,000 people died trying to cross the sea between January 1, 2014 and July 5, 2018. A conservative estimate, perhaps. The UN Refugee Agency estimates that the number of people found dead or missing during this period is closer to 17,000.

    Concern for the situation peaks when spectacular images make the horror unavoidable. A crisis mentality takes over, and politicians make sweeping gestures with a solemn sense of urgency. One such gesture was made after nearly 400 people died en route to Lampedusa in October 2013. The Italian government responded by launching Operation #Mare_Nostrum, a search-and-rescue program led by the country’s navy and coast guard. It cost €11 million per month, deploying 34 warships and about 900 sailors per working day. Over 150,000 people were rescued by the operation in one year.

    Despite its cost, Mare Nostrum was initially supported by much of the Italian public. It was less popular, however, with other European member states, who accused the mission of encouraging “illegal” migration by making it less deadly. Within a year, Europe’s refusal to share the responsibility had produced a substantial degree of discontent in Italy. In October 2014, Mare Nostrum was scrapped and replaced by #Triton, an operation led by the European border agency #Frontex.

    With a third of Mare Nostrum’s budget, Triton was oriented not towards protecting lives but towards surveillance and border control. As a result, the deadliest incidents in the region’s history occurred less than half a year into the operation. Between April 13 and April 19, 2015, over one thousand people drowned in the waters abandoned by European search and rescue efforts. Once again, the images produced a public outcry. Once again, European leaders shed crocodile tears for the dead.

    Instead of strengthening search and rescue efforts, the EU increased Frontex’s budget and complemented Triton with #Operation_Sophia, a military effort to disrupt the networks of so-called “smugglers”. #Eugenio_Cusumano, an assistant professor of international relations at the University of Leiden, has written extensively on the consequences of this approach, which he describes as “organized hypocrisy”. In an article for the Cambridge Review of International Affairs (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0010836718780175), Cusumano shows how the shortage of search and rescue assets caused by the termination of Mare Nostrum led non-governmental organizations to become the main source of these activities off the Libyan shore. Between 2014 and 2017, NGOs aided over 100,000 people.

    Their efforts have been admirable. Yet the precariousness of their resources and their dependence on private donors mean that NGOs have neither the power nor the capacity to provide aid on the scale required to prevent thousands of deaths at the border. To make matters worse, for the last several months governments have been targeting NGOs and individual activists as smugglers or human traffickers, criminalizing their solidarity. It is hardly surprising, then, that the border has become even deadlier in recent years. According to the UN Refugee Agency, although the number of attempted crossings has fallen over 80 percent from its peak in 2015, the percentage of people who have died or vanished has quadrupled.

    It is not my intention, with the litany of deaths described here, to simply name some of the people killed by Europe’s border regime. What I hope to have done instead is show the scale of the void at its heart and give a sense of its ruthlessness and verticality. There is a tendency to refer to this void as a gap, as a space beyond the reach of European institutions, the European gaze or European epistemologies. If this were true, the void could be filled by simply extending Europe’s reach, by producing new concepts, mapping new terrains, building new institutions.

    But, in fact, Europe has been treating the void as a site of production all along. As political theorist #Sandro_Mezzadra writes, the border is the method through which the sovereign machine of governmentality was built. Its construction must be sabotaged, subverted and disrupted at every level.

    A Crisis of Solidarity

    When the ultranationalist Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini refused to allow the MV #Aquarius to dock in June 2018, he was applauded by an alarmingly large number of Italians. Many blamed his racism and that of the Italians for putting over 600 lives at risk, including those of 123 unaccompanied minors, eleven young children and seven pregnant women.

    Certainly, the willingness to make a political point by sacrificing hundreds of migrant lives confirms that racism. But another part of what made Salvini’s gesture so horrifying was that, presumably, many of those who had once celebrated increasing search and rescue efforts now supported the opposite. Meanwhile, many of the same European politicians who had refused to share Italy’s responsibilities five years earlier were now expressing moral outrage over Salvini’s lack of solidarity.

    Once again, the crisis mode of European border politics was activated. Once again, European politicians and media talked about a “migrant crisis”, about “flows” of people causing unprecedented “pressure” on the southern border. But attempted crossings were at their lowest level in years, a fact that led many migration scholars to claim this was not a “migrant crisis”, but a crisis of solidarity. In this sense, Italy’s shift reflects the nature of the problem. By leaving it up to individual member states, the EU has made responding to the deaths at the border a matter of national conviction. When international solidarity is absent, national self-interest takes over.

    Fortunately, Spain’s freshly sworn-in Socialist Party government granted the Aquarius permission to dock in the Port of #Valencia. This happened only after Mayor Ada Colau of Barcelona, a self-declared “City of Refuge”, pressured Spanish President Pedro Sánchez by publicly offering to receive the ship at the Port of Barcelona. Party politics being as they are, Sánchez authorized a port where his party’s relationship with the governing left-wing platform was less conflictive than in Barcelona.

    The media celebrated Sánchez’s authorization as an example of moral virtue. Yet it would not have happened if solidarity with refugees had not been considered politically profitable by institutional actors. In Spain’s highly fractured political arena, younger left-wing parties and the Catalan independence movement are constantly pressuring a weakened Socialist Party to prove their progressive credentials. Meanwhile, tireless mobilization by social movements has made welcoming refugees a matter of common sense and basic human decency.

    The best known example of this mobilization was the massive protest that took place in February 2017, when 150,000 people took to the streets of Barcelona to demand that Mariano Rajoy’s government take in more refugees and migrants. It is likely because of actions like these that, according to the June 2018 Eurobarometer, over 80 percent of people in Spain believe the country should help those fleeing disaster.

    Yet even where the situation might be more favorable to bottom-up pressure, those in power will not only limit the degree to which demands are met, but actively distort those demands. The February 2017 protest is a good example. Though it also called for the abolition of detention centers, racial profiling and Spain’s racist immigration law, the march is best remembered for the single demand of welcoming refugees.

    The adoption of this demand by the Socialist Party was predictably cynical. After authorizing the Aquarius, President Sánchez used his momentarily boosted credibility to present, alongside Emmanuel Macron, a “progressive” European alternative to Salvini’s closed border. It involved creating detention centers all over the continent, with the excuse of determining people’s documentation status. Gears turn in the sovereign machine of governmentality. The void expands.

    Today the border is a sprawling, parasitic entity linking governments, private companies and supranational institutions. It is not enough for NGOs to rescue refugees, when their efforts can be turned into spot-mopping for the state. It is not enough for social movements to pressure national governments to change their policies, when individual demands can be distorted to mean anything. It is not enough for cities to declare themselves places of refuge, when they can be compelled to enforce racist laws. It is not enough for political parties to take power, when they can be conditioned by private interests, the media and public opinion polls.

    To overcome these limitations, we must understand borders as highly vertical transnational constructions. Dismantling those constructions will require organization, confrontation, direct action, sabotage and, above all, that borderless praxis of mutual aid and solidarity known as internationalism. If we truly hope to abolish the border, we must start fires in the void.

    https://roarmag.org/magazine/migrant-solidarity-fires-in-the-void
    #solidarité #frontières #migrations #réfugiés #asile #détention_administrative #rétention #Barcelone #non-lieu #Espagne #mourir_en_détention_administrative #mort #décès #mourir_en_rétention #Alik_Manukyan #renvois #expulsions #vie_nue #Méditerranée #hypocrisie #hypocrisie_organisée #ONG #sauvetage #sabotage #nationalisme #crise #villes-refuge #Valence #internationalisme #ouverture_des_frontières #action_directe

    signalé par @isskein

  • CE FIL DE DISCUSSION COMPLÈTE CELUI COMMENCÉ ICI :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/724156

    v. aussi la métaliste sur les ONG et les sauvetages en Méditerranée :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/706177

    –-----------

    Un bateau de pêche espagnol « coincé » en mer Méditerranée après avoir secouru 12 migrants

    Un navire de pêche espagnol est « coincé » en mer Méditerranée depuis plusieurs jours avec 12 migrants à son bord. Aucun pays n’a en effet accepté de les accueillir depuis leur sauvetage la semaine dernière, a indiqué mardi 27 novembre le capitaine du bateau.

    « Nous sommes coincés en mer, nous ne pouvons aller nulle part », a déclaré à l’AFP Pascual Durá, capitaine du « #Nuestra_Madre_Loreto ». Depuis jeudi dernier, les 13 membres de l’équipage du navire cohabitent avec 12 migrants originaires du Niger, de Somalie, du Soudan, du Sénégal et d’Egypte. Ils ont été secourus après le naufrage de leur bateau pneumatique en provenance de Libye.

    « Renvoyés vers l’endroit qu’ils fuient »

    L’Italie et Malte leur ont refusé l’entrée dans leurs ports. Quant aux services espagnols de sauvetage maritime, avec lesquels les marins sont en contact, ils ont seulement offert la possibilité de les renvoyer en Libye. ""Si nous allons vers la Libye, nous risquons une mutinerie", a indiqué le capitaine, précisant que « dès qu’ils entendent le mot ’Libye’, ils deviennent très nerveux et hystériques, il est difficile de les rassurer »."

    « Nous ne voulons pas renvoyer ces pauvres gens en Libye. Après ce qu’ils ont accompli pour venir jusqu’ici, nous ne voulons pas les renvoyer vers l’endroit qu’ils fuient », a-t-il ajouté. Le capitaine du navire assure qu’il ne dispose plus que de six ou sept jours de provisions et qu’une tempête approche.

    Depuis le début de l’année, plus de 106.000 migrants sont arrivés en Europe par la mer, selon l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations, qui a enregistré 2.119 décès pendant cette période.

    https://www.nouvelobs.com/monde/migrants/20181128.OBS6155/un-bateau-de-peche-espagnol-coince-en-mer-mediterranee-apres-avoir-secour
    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #sauvetage #Méditerranée #frontières

    • #Nuestra_Madre_de_Loreto”: appello urgente dei parlamentari europei per l’apertura di porti sicuri.

      “NUESTRA MADRE DE LORETO”. APPELLO URGENTE DEI PARLAMENTARI EUROPEI PER L’APERTURA DI PORTI SICURI.

      RICHIESTA URGENTE ALL´UE ED AI GOVERNI EUROPEI PER CONSENTIRE AL PESCHERECCIO “NUESTRA MADRE LORETO” DI SBARCARE IN UN PORTO SICURO.

      Stiamo rischiando di essere testimoni di un’altra tragedia nel Mar Mediterraneo. Un peschereccio spagnolo, “Nuestra Madre de Loreto”, è bloccato da giorni in mare dopo aver salvato 12 persone che tentavano di raggiungere la costa Europea dalla Libia a bordo di un gommone.

      Nessun Paese Europeo ha consentito all’imbarcazione spagnola di attraccare e probabilmente sono in corso negoziati per riportare questi migranti, che potrebbero avere diritto di protezione internazionale, in Libia.

      Secondo l’UNHCR e la Commissione Europea la Libia non è un Paese sicuro. Per cui non può essere considerato un porto sicuro per lo sbarco. Non ha mai sottoscritto la Convenzione di Ginevra sui rifugiati, mentre media e organizzazioni internazionali riportano violazioni sistematiche dei diritti umani nei centri di detenzione per migranti.

      Mentre si attende l’autorizzazione allo sbarco, le condizioni metereologiche stanno peggiorando e l’imbarcazione scarseggia beni essenziali, cibo e carburante. Si sta esaurendo il tempo a disposizione: abbiamo urgentemente bisogno di una soluzione sensata, nel pieno rispetto delle leggi internazionali ed Europee, inclusa la Convenzione SAR. I governi Europei non possono chiedere all’imbarcazione spagnola di violare il principio di “non-respingimento”.

      Chiediamo ai governi Europei di rispettare pienamente la legge internazionale e la Convenzione SAR e di offrire un porto sicuro alla “Nuestra Madre de Loreto”, evitando così un’altra tragedia nel Mediterraneo. Chiediamo alla Commissione Europea di prendere una posizione chiara e di facilitare una soluzione rapida.

      Questo è un appello aperto, chiediamo a ciascuno di condividerlo e di chiedere ai nostri governi di rispettare i diritti umani e di dimostrare solidarietà alle persone in pericolo in mare.

      Marina Albiol, Sergio Cofferati, Eleonora Forenza, Ska Keller, Elly Schlein, Miguel Urban Crespo, Ernest Urtasun, Gabriele Zimmer (Parlamentari Europei)

      https://mediterranearescue.org/news/nuestra-madre-de-loreto-appello-urgente-dei-parlamentari-europei

    • Faute de port d’accueil, un bateau espagnol erre toujours en Méditerranée avec 12 migrants à bord

      Le Nuestra Madre Loreto, un navire espagnol, erre depuis une semaine en Méditerranée avec 12 migrants à son bord. Les rescapés refusent d’être renvoyés en Libye. Le navire demande à l’Europe l’autorisation de débarquer dans l’un de ses ports.

      Le gouvernement espagnol a indiqué mercredi 28 novembre être en contact avec l’Italie et Malte en vue de trouver un port d’accueil pour un bateau de pêche espagnol errant en mer Méditerranée avec 12 migrants à bord.

      Depuis jeudi dernier, les 13 membres de l’équipage du « Nuestra Madre Loreto » cohabitent avec 12 migrants originaires du Niger, de Somalie, du Soudan, du Sénégal et d’Egypte rescapés d’un bateau pneumatique en provenance de Libye.

      « Nous sommes coincés en mer, nous ne pouvons aller nulle part », a déclaré Pascual Durá, le capitaine du bateau.

      Le gouvernement espagnol a dans un premier temps demandé à la Libye de prendre les réfugiés en charge, comme le prévoit le droit international. Les embarcations de migrants secourues dans la SAR zone (zone de détresse en Méditerranée où ont lieu les opérations de recherche et de sauvetage) relèvent en effet de l’autorité de Tripoli depuis le mois de juin 2018.

      Les migrants refusent d’être ramenés en Libye. Face à leur refus, le navire espagnol « fait des démarches auprès des gouvernements de l’Italie et de Malte, dont les côtes sont proches du lieu où se trouve le bateau, dans le but de favoriser une solution alternative, rapide et satisfaisante » pour les accueillir, a indiqué la vice-présidente de l’exécutif Carmen Calvo dans un communiqué.

      « En aucune circonstance, [les migrants] ne devraient être renvoyées en Libye, où elles risquent d’être victimes de détention arbitraire, de torture et d’autres violences. Toute instruction donnée au capitaine du Nuestra Madre de Loreto de transférer les survivants en Libye serait contraire au droit international », s’est alarmé de son côté Matteo de Bellis, chercheur sur l’asile et les migrations à Amnesty International.

      « Si nous allons en Libye, nous risquons une mutinerie »

      Face à l’aggravation des conditions météorologiques, le bateau a pris mardi la direction de l’île italienne de Lampedusa, selon le gouvernement espagnol.

      Le capitaine du « Nuestra Madre Loreto », avait indiqué de son côté mardi que l’Italie, dont le ministre de l’Intérieur Matteo Salvini (Ligue, extrême droite) s’oppose à l’arrivée de nouveaux migrants dans son pays, et Malte lui avaient refusé l’entrée dans leurs ports.

      Il avait également souligné que les services espagnols de sauvetage maritime lui avaient seulement offert la possibilité de les renvoyer en Libye.

      Selon le capitaine, les migrants à bord de son bateau « deviennent très nerveux et hystériques dès qu’ils entendent le mot ‘Libye’ ». « Si nous allons vers la Libye, nous risquons une mutinerie », avait-il averti.

      Depuis l’arrivée du socialiste Pedro Sanchez au pouvoir, l’Espagne a accueilli un navire humanitaire, l’Aquarius, refusé par l’Italie et Malte et à trois reprises un bateau de l’ONG Open Arms. Mais elle a refusé un retour de l’Aquarius, préférant négocier avec d’autres États européens la répartition des migrants qu’il avait à bord.


      http://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/13639/faute-de-port-d-accueil-un-bateau-espagnol-erre-toujours-en-mediterran

    • #Sophia mission will cease unless rules changed - Salvini

      The EU’s anti-human trafficking Sophia naval mission in the Mediterranean will stop when its current mandate expires at the end of the year unless the rules of the operation are changed, Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said on Wednesday. The government says the operation currently puts too much of the burden of rescued migrants on Italy.

      “We are staying firm in our unwillingness to accept landing procedures that involve dockings only in Italian ports,” Salvini told a Schengen committee hearing.

      “Unless there is convergence on our positions, we do not consider it opportune to continue the mission”.

      http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/en/news/sections/politics/2018/12/05/sophia-mission-will-cease-unless-rules-changed-salvini_05836d11-3f8c-474c-
      #Opération_Sophia #EUNAVFOR_MED

      #Salvini (encore lui)

    • MSF et SOS Méditerranée mettent un terme aux opérations de sauvetage de l’« Aquarius »

      Déplorant les « attaques » répétées, les ONG étudient des options pour un nouveau navire et un futur pavillon. Depuis février 2016, le bateau a secouru 30 000 personnes.

      L’Aquarius est devenu le symbole de la crise politique autour de l’accueil des migrants. Il ne sera bientôt plus. Médecins sans frontières (MSF) et SOS Méditerranée ont annoncé, jeudi 6 décembre, devoir « mettre un terme » aux opérations de sauvetage de leur navire humanitaire, privé de pavillon depuis deux mois.

      « Renoncer à l’Aquarius a été une décision extrêmement difficile à prendre », a déclaré dans un communiqué Frédéric Penard, directeur des opérations de SOS Méditerranée, en déplorant « les attaques incessantes dont le navire et ses équipes ont fait l’objet ». Mais l’ONG basée à Marseille « explore déjà activement les options pour un nouveau navire et un nouveau pavillon », et « étudie sérieusement toutes les propositions d’armateurs qui lui permettraient de poursuivre sa mission de sauvetage ». « Nous refusons de rester les bras croisés sur le rivage alors que des gens continuent de mourir en mer », a assuré M. Penard.

      https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2018/12/07/msf-et-sos-mediterranee-mettent-un-terme-aux-operations-de-sauvetage-de-l-aq

    • MSF forced to terminate search and rescue operations as Europe condemns people to drown

      As men, women and children continue to die in the Mediterranean Sea, international medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and its partner SOS Méditerranée have been forced to terminate the lifesaving operations of their search and rescue vessel, Aquarius.

      Over the last two months as people have continued to flee by sea on the world’s deadliest migration route, the Aquarius has remained in port, unable to carry out its vital humanitarian work.

      This is due to a sustained smear campaign, spearheaded by the Italian government and backed by other European countries to delegitimise, slander and obstruct aid organisations trying to save the lives of vulnerable people in the Mediterranean.

      Coupled with ill-conceived policies aimed at trapping people outside Europe’s borders, this campaign has undermined international law and humanitarian principles.

      With no immediate solution to these attacks, MSF and SOS Méditerranée have no option but to end the operations of the Aquarius.

      https://www.msf.org.uk/article/msf-forced-terminate-search-and-rescue-operations-europe-condemns-people-dro

    • « Aquarius » : « La #non-assistance_à_personnes_en_danger est revenue en force en Méditerranée »

      Mego Terzian, président de MSF-France et Michaël Neuman, directeur d’études à MSF expliquent dans une tribune au « Monde » pourquoi leur ONG et SOS Méditerranée, l’Association européenne de sauvetage en mer, mettent un terme aux opérations de sauvetage de l’« Aquarius ».

      « Dont acte, la politique de harcèlement judiciaire, administratif, politique aura eu raison de l’“Aquarius”, déployé entre 2015 et le milieu de l’année 2018 en mer Méditerranée. » usage worldwide/DPA / Photononstop

      Tribune. Dont acte, la politique de harcèlement judiciaire, administratif, politique aura eu raison de l’« Aquarius », déployé entre 2015 et le milieu de l’année 2018 en mer Méditerranée.
      En 2014, l’opération « Mare Nostrum », mise en place par les autorités italiennes inaugurait pourtant une séquence pendant laquelle le sauvetage d’embarcations de migrants en détresse fut pourtant considéré comme légitime.

      Ce qui est d’abord, rappelons-le, une obligation légale était alors politiquement et publiquement acceptable. En 2018, les Italiens furent de nouveau à la manœuvre, signifiant cette fois-ci qu’ils ne sauraient accepter davantage que se poursuivent ces interventions : dès le début de l’été, Matteo Salvini, tout récent ministre de l’intérieur, œuvra pour fermer ses ports aux bateaux de secours, accélérant une politique de dissuasion largement entamée par Marco Minniti, son prédécesseur, qui aboutit, in fine, à la liquidation des moyens destinés à secourir les personnes fuyant la Libye.

      Bien sûr, des organisations de la société civile tentent vaille que vaille et, avec une
      remarquable ténacité, de maintenir leurs activités de secours en mer : Sea Watch, Mare Jonio, Proactiva Open Arms sont de celles-là. Les pilotes volontaires du Moonbird et du Colibri poursuivent leurs survols, tentant de déceler entre les vagues des embarcations à la dérive et d’éviter ainsi que la longue liste des décès – plus de 17 000 depuis 2014 – ne s’allonge davantage.

      Pressions italiennes

      Mais toutes le font avec d’extrêmes difficultés : ennuis administratifs récurrents, obstacles posés aux escales techniques, interdiction d’accoster en Europe, et poursuites judiciaires, comme c’est le cas de l’« Aquarius », navire de secours affrété en partenariat avec SOS Méditerranée. Celui-ci, déjà privé de pavillon sous pressions italiennes, est maintenant menacé d’une mise sous séquestre à la suite des accusations grotesques de crime organisé, de nouveau, en Italie.

      Une partie de l’équipage et des membres des équipes de MSF sont mis en cause : leur activité de secours est criminalisée. Force est de constater que ce dispositif de secours en mer, auquel nous avons participé depuis 2015 avec cinq navires différents, quelquefois en partenariat avec d’autres organisations, est mis hors-la-loi.

      Les victimes de ce combat à armes inégales sont évidemment ces personnes migrantes, demandeuses d’asiles ou réfugiées, dont plus grand monde ne semble désormais se soucier. D’ailleurs combien sont-elles, ces victimes ? Aujourd’hui, sans témoin en mer, personne ne le sait, tandis que le piège libyen se referme, un piège dont la maintenance est assurément l’œuvre d’autorités libyennes disparates mais dont la mécanique est bien due à l’ingéniosité européenne.

      Des milliers de personnes sont condamnées à tenter de survivre dans l’entrelacs de centres de détention dits « officiels » et de prisons clandestines en Libye. On ne saurait suffisamment conseiller à nos décideurs d’aller visiter ces geôles pour se faire une idée de l’avenir qu’ils promettent à leurs frères humains. Beaucoup d’autres personnes, enfin, prises dans les mailles serrées d’un dispositif militaro-technique de pointe, meurent plus en amont sur les routes dans la vaste région sahélienne.

      Absence de l’Europe

      S’il est beaucoup question d’Italie, il ne faudrait pas négliger l’unanimisme européen dans lequel cette dynamique mortifère s’est mise en place : ni la France, ni l’Espagne, ni aucun Etat ou institution européenne ne s’est réellement opposé à la mise en coupe réglée de la politique européenne de gestion des frontières par des dirigeants aux pratiques racistes et violentes. Rien de surprenant puisque la manœuvre était en cours depuis quelque temps déjà.

      Ainsi, on ne trouva personne ou presque, pour se résoudre à accueillir quelques centaines de personnes qui, par une chance inouïe, bénéficiaient ça et là du programme de relocalisation du Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés (HCR). Depuis longtemps, le refoulement des indésirables aux frontières, notamment franco-italienne, était acté, tout comme l’abandon de 15 000 personnes sur les îles grecques dans des conditions épouvantables, laissés-pour-compte d’une mise en scène sordide de la frontière.

      L’errance durant plus d’une semaine du Nuestra Madre de Loreto, en est le dernier avatar : ayant secouru douze personnes, ce chalutier espagnol s’est vu refuser l’autorisation de débarquer dans les ports européens, y compris de l’Espagne, jusque-là bonne élève dans l’accueil des rescapés de la mer mais qui là prôna leur retour dans l’univers carcéral libyen. Ce n’est qu’après la décision du capitaine de faire, malgré tout, route vers l’Espagne, que le navire obtint le transfert des rescapés vers Malte.

      Non-assistance généralisée

      Aujourd’hui s’ouvre une séquence bien plus lourde de menaces. Aux côtés de la délégation du secours en mer aux gardes-côtes libyens, la généralisation de la non-assistance à personnes en danger est revenue en force en Méditerranée. On se souvient, en effet, qu’en 2011, en pleine intervention militaire occidentale en Libye, des dizaines de migrants étaient morts noyés, au terme d’une dérive de plusieurs jours, malgré les survols et observations d’un nombre important d’avions et de bateaux de l’OTAN.

      Ces pratiques de non-assistance ressurgissent : par crainte de ne pas savoir où débarquer leurs rescapés, les navires commerciaux se détournent de leurs routes habituelles, ou s’écartent lorsqu’ils aperçoivent l’embarcation redoutée. Telle est, en tout cas, la teneur des témoignages que nos équipes travaillant en Libye ont recueillis auprès des rescapés du Nivin, un porte-véhicules dont l’histoire raconte l’ensemble des lâchetés des responsables politiques européens et des agences internationales.

      Tous ceux-là avaient, pourtant, affirmé, à un moment ou à un autre, que les migrants interceptés ne sauraient être ramenés en Libye contre leur gré. Ce fut pourtant exactement ce qu’il s’est passé avec le Nivin, duquel les quatre-vingt-quinze rescapés qu’il transportait refusèrent de débarquer au port de Misrata, à l’est de Tripoli. L’occupation du navire se poursuivit une dizaine jours pendant lesquels nos équipes apportèrent de l’aide médicale à bord et constatèrent qu’aucune solution alternative à la remise en détention ne fut sérieusement examinée.

      Elle prit fin lorsque les forces libyennes lancèrent un assaut, au cours duquel une dizaine de personnes furent blessées, dont certaines grièvement. Certains sont aujourd’hui poursuivis par la justice libyenne pour crimes de piraterie. Telle est donc l’alternative pour les migrants de Libye : la folie, la torture, ou la mort. Et pour les marins, fuir leurs obligations ou subir les persécutions européennes.

      Alors que, de part et d’autre de la Méditerranée, les Etats s’arrogent le droit de vie et de mort sur des gens n’ayant pour motivation que celle de rendre leur vie meilleure, nous ne renonçons pas pour autant à porter secours là où nous le pouvons encore, à soutenir les initiatives de secours en mer et participer à en renouveler le modèle. Spectateurs et acteurs lucides, nous ne renonçons pas à contester ces logiques de sacrifice.

      Mego Terzian (Médecin, président de Médecins sans frontières (MSF)) et Michaël Neuman(Directeur d’études à MSF)

      https://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2018/12/07/aquarius-la-non-assistance-a-personnes-en-danger-est-revenue-en-force-en-med

    • Le accuse a Open Arms, ovvero il mondo capovolto.

      Proactiva Open Arms è compagna di viaggio di Mediterranea fin dall’inizio. Insieme noi e a Sea Watch è parte dell’alleanza United4Med: una piattaforma aperta per un’Europa solidale in mare e in terra.
      Ma le ipotesi di reato contenute nell’avviso di conclusione delle indagini preliminari depositate dalla Procura della Repubblica presso il Tribunale di Ragusa non ci lasciano sgomenti solo perché colpiscono ancora una volta delle persone di cui conosciamo direttamente l’integrità, e perché rilanciano la criminalizzazione del salvataggio della vita umana in mare e del rispetto della dignità delle persone salvate.

      L’accusa di violenza privata, unita a quella del favoreggiamento dell’immigrazione illegale, rappresenta un pericolosissimo uso del diritto che estende all’inverosimile il concetto di violenza, e, rispetto al soggetto offeso che in questo caso sarebbe il Ministero dell’Interno come Istituzione, rappresenta un precedente particolarmente inquietante che potrebbe estendersi praticamente ad ogni azione giuridicamente rilevante. Rimandando per i dettagli all’articolata e preziosa analisi elaborata in merito dal Giudice del Tribunale di Torino Andrea Natale, quello che emerge sempre più chiaramente è che davvero il mondo per come lo conoscevamo appare capovolto.
      Il comandante della nave Proactiva Open Arms, Marc Reig Creus, e la capo missione Ana Isabel Montes avrebbero esercitato violenza privata, disattendendo gli ordini dell’Italia e poi delle autorità libiche di non intervenire, per avere salvato centinaia di persone che stavano rischiando di annegare in mare. Successivamente, quando la cosiddetta guardia libica si è presentata sul posto, la violenza privata sarebbe consistita nel rifiuto di riconsegnare le persone salvate ai libici, ovvero nel fatto di non restituire 216 donne, bambini e giovani uomini alle sevizie e alle torture già subite nei campi della Libia.
      Anabel e Marc avrebbero poi esercitato violenza privata per non aver chiesto a Malta di fornire un porto sicuro, cosa che Malta negli anni precedenti aveva rifiutato sistematicamente di fare, ed essersi diretti verso l’Italia. Il culmine della violenza privata sarebbe stato quindi quello di avere obbligato l’Italia a fornire un porto sicuro di approdo, e quindi di avere costretto il nostro governo a non avere anche questi profughi sulla propria coscienza.
      Cosa ci sia di violento e di privato in tutti questi accadimenti, e come possa un Ministero dell’Interno in quanto Istituzione essere soggetto a violenza privata è qualcosa che davvero appare ad oggi circondata da un alone di mistero, a meno che non si guardi a queste accuse come a ipotesi di reato fortemente ideologiche e orientate da una precisa visione politica.
      Appare già distintamente, a prescindere da quello che accadrà in sede processuale, che il diritto rischia sempre di più di diventare uno strumento di potere che colpisce in maniera arbitraria, paradossalmente, il rispetto del diritto stesso, proprio mentre la violazione dei diritti diventa normale maniera di procedere dei decisori politici europei e italiani innanzitutto. E questa riflessione andrebbe estesa ad ogni ambito e non solo alle politiche migratorie che colpendo le persone rese più vulnerabili sono, come sempre, un campanello d’allarme che ci dice fino a che punto le garanzie di libertà e i diritti di ogni persona siano sempre più messi in discussione.
      Rispettare i diritti umani è un reato, violarli è un merito: c’è ancora qualcuno che crede che questo capovolgimento del mondo vada arrestato prima che travolga tutti? La storia di Mediterranea, la sua comunità di mare e quella sempre più grande di terra ci racconta di sì. E si stringe intorno a Open Arms, Marc e Anabel, ringraziandoli profondamente per ogni singola vita sottratta alla morte e portata in salvo, per tutto il coraggio, per avere difeso da anni la nostra possibilità di essere umani e di immaginare una società più giusta.

      https://mediterranearescue.org/news/accuse-open-arms

    • L’Italie ferme ses ports à un navire d’une ONG et 300 migrants à bord

      Les ports italiens seront fermés aux quelque 310 migrants sauvés en Méditerranée par l’ONG espagnole, Proactiva Open Arms, a déclaré samedi le ministre italien de l’Intérieur, Matteo Salvini, après un premier refus des autorités de Malte.

      « Ma réponse est claire : les ports italiens sont fermés ! », a twitté le ministre d’extrême droite. « Pour les trafiquants d’êtres humains et pour ceux qui les aident, la fête est terminée ».

      M. Salvini a précisé que la demande de l’ONG de permettre l’accès au territoire italien des hommes, femmes, enfants et bébés sauvés vendredi, avait été déposée après une réponse négative de Malte.

      L’ONG a précisé que parmi les migrants, une femme et son bébé, né sur une plage libyenne, ont été emmenés à Malte par un hélicoptère des gardes-côtes.

      « Nous restons avec 311 personnes à bord, sans port où accoster, et avec des besoins », a twitté l’ONG de son côté.

      Proactiva Open Arms a annoncé vendredi avoir secouru près de 300 migrants au large de la Libye, dont des femmes enceintes, qui se trouvaient à bord de trois embarcations.

      L’ONG a posté en ligne une vidéo de certains des migrants secourus « d’une mort certaine en mer ». « Si vous pouviez aussi ressentir le froid, il serait plus facile de comprendre l’urgence. Aucun port pour débarquer, et refus de Malte de nous donner de la nourriture. Ceci n’est pas Noël ».

      Le navire avait repris fin novembre, avec deux autres bateaux d’ONG, ses missions de sauvetage en Méditerranée centrale, au large de la Libye.

      Cet itinéraire de l’immigration clandestine est le plus mortel, avec plus de 1.300 migrants morts en tentant de gagner l’Italie ou Malte depuis le début de l’année, selon l’Organisation internationale pour les Migrations (OIM).

      Les navires humanitaires opèrent dans cette zone malgré l’opposition farouche de M. Salvini, qui leur ferme les ports en les accusant de favoriser les affaires des passeurs, et les réticences de Malte.

      Une autre ONG, l’allemande Sea-Eye, a annoncé vendredi soir le départ, depuis Algésiras dans le sud de l’Espagne, d’un nouveau bateau vers le large des côtes libyennes, le « Professor Albrecht-Penck ».

      Une partie des 18 membres de son équipage sont d’anciens volontaires de l’Aquarius, ce bateau qui avait déclenché l’été dernier une crise diplomatique entre les États européens et mis définitivement à l’arrêt début décembre.

      https://www.courrierinternational.com/depeche/litalie-ferme-ses-ports-un-navire-dune-ong-et-300-migrants-bo

    • Sea Watch 3 e Sea Eye: le due navi che nessuno vuole far attraccare

      Le navi delle due Ong vagano da giorni nel Mediterraneo con decine di migranti a bordo, senza un porto sicuro dove approdare e in condizioni sempre più complicate. I sogni delle persone salvate

      32 esseri umani, tra cui 3 minori non accompagnati, 2 bambini piccoli e un neonato, sono da 10 giorni in mare. Sono stati salvati dalla Ong tedesca Sea Watch. A questi si sono aggiunti altre 17 persone salvati da un’altra Ong tedesca, Sea Eye.
      Nessuno li vuole, nessun Paese europeo vuol farsi carico del destino di queste persone. L’Agenzia delle Nazioni Unite per i rifugiati ha chiesto agli Stati Ue di garantire lo sbarco delle due navi.

      «Non vogliamo che le persone che ci hanno salvato la vita, i nostri fratelli, passino dei guai per averci soccorso in mare», dice Youssef. «Siamo sfuggiti a torture e violenze. Quando abbiamo lasciato la nostra casa abbiamo perso i nostri affetti più cari, e proprio per questi motivi la nostra vita in futuro non potrà che essere migliore», aggiunge Lamin.

      Nonostante tutto, in queste parole c’è speranza. Se i loro nomi sono di fantasia, per proteggerne le identità, i loro sogni, ma anche le loro paure e le loro attese sono autentiche: così come lo sono le loro vite sottratte alla morte dal coraggio dei volontari della nave Sea Watch 3. Da dieci giorni è con queste 32 persone salvate dai marosi che l’equipaggio del comandante Anne Paul Lancet condivide umanità, cibo e riparo: «Durante la notte stiamo stretti sotto coperta, in questo modo tutti quanti possiamo stare all’asciutto ed evitare che qualcuno debba dormire sul ponte esposto alle intemperie», racconta Ayla, uno dei medici a bordo della nave della Ong tedesca.
      «Stamattina ho quasi pianto - aggiunge l’altro medico a bordo - perché tante persone mi pregavano solo di poter contattare le loro famiglie almeno per dire loro che erano al sicuro e stavano arrivando in Europa: volevano solo sentire le voci dei loro cari per qualche secondo. E noi non possiamo far nulla: e se io mi trovassi al loro posto, e se io avessi quegli stessi bisogni e desideri?», si chiede ancora il medico tedesco, guardando fuori l’orizzonte.
      L’inverno e il mare alto non perdonano, le temperature sono rigide e i rischi per l’incolumità delle 54 persone che si trovano sulla nave Sea Watch non dovrebbero venire sottovalutati. Al tavolo della politica europea, però, lontano dalle onde alte due metri, non si è ancora presa alcuna decisione sulla sicurezza di queste persone, tenute in “ostaggio” senza l’indicazione di un porto sicuro di approdo.
      Malta, Italia, Spagna, Germania e Olanda hanno rifiutato nei giorni scorsi di aiutarli e a bordo della Sea Watch 3 così come della Sea Eye si sta vivendo un’altra odissea umanitaria: molto simile nelle modalità alle crisi che avevano tenuto in scacco in estate le navi Aquarius, Open Arms e Lifeline delle ong internazionali, e i pescherecci Sarost5 e Nuestra Madre de Loreto che dovettero attendere giorni e giorni prima di potersi mettere al riparo in porto. E perfino della Diciotti, la nave della Guardia Costiera Italiana, costretta a navigare da Lampedusa a Catania e infine rimasta bloccata nel porto etneo in attesa che dal Viminale arrivasse l’ok allo sbarco dei migranti, in gran parte profughi di guerra dal Corno d’Africa.

      La situazione a bordo della Sea Watch inizia a farsi proibitiva, anche a causa del peggioramento delle condizioni meteo: «Non abbiamo problemi con il carburante - rassicura il capitano - ma lentamente stiamo esaurendo le provviste di cibo fresco e di sicuro nelle prossime settimane, pur cercando a bordo di sprecare meno acqua possibile, avremo problemi ad avere acqua a disposizione a causa del nostro sistema di filtraggio».
      «Ma perché non ci permettono di entrare in Europa?», chiede Amina che ha 31 anni e viene dal Sudan: lei è la portavoce dei sogni di tanti dei suoi compagni di sventura, ma riesce anche a dare voce all’interrogativo di tantissimi soccorritori che in mare hanno speso le loro vite per salvarne altre. «Oramai è diventato sempre più difficile spiegare alle persone che abbiamo tratto in salvo e con cui stiamo condividendo tantissime emozioni contrastanti e ore infinite di attesa, che dobbiamo restare in mare un giorno in più, perché dall’Europa non riceviamo indicazioni per un porto sicuro», spiega ancora Ayla, la dottoressa olandese, convinta che «i Paesi europei abbiano scelto finora di non assumersi la responsabilità delle vite delle persone in gioco sul confine mortale dell’Europa».
      Come abbiamo raccontato su Avvenire, Amina e le altre 31 persone sono state salvate dalla Sea Watch 3 lo scorso 22 dicembre grazie alla collaborazione con la ong Pilotes Volontaires che sorvola i cieli con l’obiettivo di avvistare gommoni e imbarcazioni in emergenza. Da allora e in attesa di ricevere indicazioni per approdare sulla terraferma l’equipaggio del capitano Lancet non si è arreso e - sostenuto anche dalle persone salvate «Sono qui per aiutare», ha detto subito Youssef mettendosi a disposizione del comandante - ha continuato a pattugliare la zona di search and rescue (Sar) libica, rispondendo alle chiamate di soccorso. Così era accaduto per le 75 persone che erano a bordo di un gommone pochi giorni fa, ma di cui non si sono più avuto notizie, probabilmente perché ingoiati dal mare o ripresi da una motovedetta libica che li ha riportati nei campi di detenzione.

      «Ho davvero paura di tornare in Libia, ho provato a scappare due volte senza riuscirci - ha raccontato ancora Amina lasciando uscire le parole con lentezza -. Quello che ho passato è stato terribile», così tanto da non riuscire quasi più a parlarne, come accade spesso con i traumi più violenti. «Avevamo molta paura quando eravamo sul gommone. Non abbiamo usato il telefono satellitare per il terrore di essere localizzati e ripresi dai libici - ha aggiunto Youssef -. Grazie a Dio siamo stati molto fortunati e i nostri fratelli ci hanno salvati. E ora possiamo prepararci a scoprire quello che sarà il nostro futuro in Europa».

      I bambini provano a raccontare i loro giorni più tristi e le paure attraverso i disegni. Uno di loro ha riportato su carta tre momenti: la vista del barcone su cui sarebbero saltati per lasciarsi alla spalle l’inferno libico, poi il gommone che si sgonfia, mentre i 32 temevano di perdere la vita, e infine la visione della Sea Watch 3, l’unico soggetto disegnato completamente a colori. Un passaggio, dal bianco e nero del gommone alla vivacità della nave di salvataggio, che da solo spiega i timori e le speranze di chi adesso, finalmente al sicuro, non si spiega il perché delle porte chiuse.
      Un sogno e un desiderio, quello dell’Europa, che emerge ancora dalle parole straziate dal dolore di Amina: «Noi donne dobbiamo essere forti – si lascia andare la donna, mentre i medici di bordo le prestano le cure –. Soprattutto possiamo essere libere in Europa. Lì possiamo vivere la nostra vita, ecco perché voglio raggiungerla». Quell’Europa che però sembra aver voltato loro le spalle.

      https://www.avvenire.it/attualita/pagine/sea-watch-migranti-bloccati-in-mare

    • E LA NAVE VA… È piena di naufraghi nessun porto la vuole

      Da dieci giorni in mare decine di profughi e nessuno li vuole

      C’è un bambino appena nato che ha trascorso la notte di Capodanno in mezzo al mare. Al largo di Malta. Le autorità europee hanno deciso che è bene così. Che se l’è meritata. Insieme a quel bambino ci sono due ragazzini un po’ più grandi, tre quattr’anni, altri tre adolescenti senza genitori, e poi ancora 26 adulti, tutti africani, tutti in fuga dalla guerra, scappati dai campi di prigionia in Libia. Stavano su un gommone il 22 dicembre, volevano arrivare in Sicilia, ma il gommone ha iniziato a sgonfiarsi, le onde erano alte, il vento gelido, e loro pensavano di essere a pochi minuti dalla morte. Poi li ha avvistati un piccolo aereo da ricognizione di una Ong tedesca, Dio lo benedica, ed ha lanciato la esseoesse ad una imbarcazione sempre della stessa Ong tedesca, la Sea Watch. L’aereo ha fornito al comandante della Sea Watch le coordinate del gommone, e la Sea Watch ha raggiunto i naufraghi in tempo. Li hanno fatti salire a bordo, li hanno asciugati, riscaldati, hanno dato loro da mangiare. Il bimbo neonato ha smesso di piangere. I 31 naufraghi hanno ringraziato il personale tedesco e olandese a bordo, erano commossi, non si aspettavano più di poter sopravvivere.

      Hanno raccontato a Ilaria Solaini, che è una giornalista inviata dell’Avvenire, i loro sentimenti, il terrore di morire o di finire nel lager libici. Hanno detto che avrebbero voluto poter parlare un minuto solo, al telefono, con i loro cari lasciati a casa. Ma non hanno potuto. Hanno chiesto di poter sbarcare in un porto europeo. Malta, Spagna e poi Italia hanno risposto con un no secco. Hanno detto che loro devono difendere i confini. Anche Germania e Olanda – che non dispongono di porti ( né di confini) nel Mediterraneo – hanno detto di no. Le onde da qualche ora si sono fatte più alte. Il meteo dice che da stanotte si va sottozero. Di acqua non ce n’è tantissima. Di cibo poco. I medici a bordo della nave temono che possano apparire delle malattie. I marinai temono che il mare possa alzarsi molto. Gli ausiliari temono il freddo. Fin qui sono riusciti a far dormire tutti, di notte, sottocoperta. Anche sottocoperta però, se si va sottozero, diventa dura. Intanto un’altra imbarcazione di una Ong tedesca, la See Eye, ha raccolto altri 17 naufraghi. Anche loro sono stati rifiutati da tutti i porti europei. Qui non c’è posto, hanno detto. Tornate in Libia. Buona Fortuna.

      L’altro giorno la Sea Watch ha ricevuto una richiesta di soccorso di un altro gommone ancora. Lo ha avvistato sempre l’aereo di ricognizione. Dall’aereo hanno detto che a bordo c’erano circa 75 persone. E hanno fornito alla Sea Watch, di nuovo, le coordinate. La Sea Watch però non ha trovato il gommone. Neanche l’aereo lo ha più visto. Spariti. Nella migliore delle ipotesi sono stati catturati dai libici, e portati in un lager sulla costa. Nella peggiore se li è mangiati il mare.

      E’ vero, i confini ora sono ben difesi. E i caduti tra le fila dei nemici aumentano a vista d’occhio. La vittoria è vicina. Vabbè, diciamo che comunque 32, più 17, più una ventina di persone di equipaggio, tra marinai, medici e ausiliari, in tutto fa un po’ meno di settanta persone. Cosa volete che sia se 70 persone passano il Capodanno in mare per decisione delle autorità europee. Con tutto quello che succede nel mondo volete scandalizzarvi per così poco?

      Facevo un po’ di conti. Se non calcoliamo i soccorritori, che comunque poi se ne torneranno a casa loro, si tratta di 48 persone più un neonato di un paio di chili. L’Europa comunitaria, secondo le statistiche ufficiali, ha 503 milioni, 679 mila e 730 abitanti. Voi dite che se ospita anche questi 48, più un neonato, scoppia? O dite che i suoi 15 mila 326 miliardi di Pil annuo potrebbero andare dispersi nel soccorrere questi 49 disperati?

      Eppure è così. Talvolta la politica è esattamente così. Succede che sia la ragion di Stato a prevalere sul senso di umanità. Succede spesso. Stavolta la ragion di stato non c’entra niente. C’entrano solo i calcoli politici dei leader europei. Quanto potranno costare 49 naufraghi? Qualche migliaia di euro, che sono niente per gli Stati. E diverse migliaia, o centinaia di migliaia di voti: che sono molto, molto per i partiti.

      P. S. Inizia così la dichiarazione dei diritti universali dell’uomo, redatta dall’Onu 70 anni fa: «Considerato che il riconoscimento della dignità inerente a tutti i membri della famiglia umana e dei loro diritti, uguali ed inalienabili, costituisce il fondamento della libertà, della giustizia e della pace nel mondo; Considerato che il disconoscimento e il disprezzo dei diritti umani hanno portato ad atti di barbarie che offendono la coscienza dell’umanità…» . Poi c’è l’articolo 13 che dice così: «Ogni individuo ha diritto alla libertà di movimento e di residenza entro i confini di ogni Stato. Ogni individuo ha diritto di lasciare qualsiasi paese, incluso il proprio, e di ritornare nel proprio paese».

      E infine l’articolo 14, che si potrebbe anche imparare a memoria, perché è molto breve: «Ogni individuo ha il diritto di cercare e di godere in altri paesi asilo dalle persecuzioni». Chissà se i governanti di Germania, Olanda, Spagna, Malta e Italia hanno mai letto questi articoli. Si potrebbe proporre agli Stati europei di chiedere a chiunque entri in un governo della Ue di superare un esamino nel quale dimostra di conoscere la dichiarazione dei diritti dell’Uomo…

      http://ildubbio.news/ildubbio/2019/01/02/e-la-nave-va-e-piena-di-naufraghi-nessun-porto-la-vuole

    • Le Sea Watch 3, avec à bord 32 migrants depuis le 22 décembre, a été autorisé par les autorités maltaises à pénétrer dans ses eaux territoriales, pour s’abriter de la très menaçante météo. Mais ni accostage, ni soins ni accueil

      Un bateau de l’alliance #United4Med (Sea Watch et Mediterranea) a rejoint aujourd’hui (4/1/19) SeaWatch3. A bord le témoignage d’Alessandra Sciurba (Mediterranea) :
      https://www.instagram.com/p/BsNom3NCA1X

      Instagram

    • Un nouveau bateau de sauvetage affrété par la société civile basque et andalouse

      Le 14 ou le 15 janvier, partira de Pasaia, port basque, l’ex-chalutier l’#Aita_Mari, pour secourir en Méditerranée les personnes fuyant la Libye.
      Il fera escale le 16 janvier à Bilbao, passera par Barcelone puis par Majorque - avant de rejoindre les eaux au large de la Libye.
      Ce bateau a été acheté, dans cet objectif, par le gouvernement basque et remis en état par la société civile.
      Le projet est soutenu par deux associations, une basque et une andalouse.
      Les rescapés à bord, le bateau tentera d’accoster à Malte ou en Italie, mais aura toujours la possibilité, en cas de refus, de faire route vers un port espagnol, puisqu’il navigue sous pavillon espagnol.
      A son bord, sept bénévoles, 5 secouristes, 2 médecins.
      Il y aussi un mécanicien et un cuisinier.
      Et les deux capitaines, celui du bateau, et celui des secours.
      Une cabine est prévue pour un.e journaliste.
      L’équipe communiquera régulièrement et aura besoin de relai.

      Reçu via la mailing-list Migreurop

    • EU nations deadlocked on rescued migrants

      Nearly 50 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean by two ships run by rights groups are still looking for countries to take them in, one of the groups told AFP Saturday.

      “The situation is still the same,” a spokeswoman for one of the groups, Sea Watch, said.

      Their vessel, Sea Watch 3, was sheltering from stormy weather off the coast of Malta, which like Italy, has refused to allow the boat into port.

      It has had 32 migrants on board, three of them children, since rescuing them on December 22.

      A one-year-old baby and two children, aged six and seven, “are vomiting continuously and are at risk of hypothermia and dehydration,” Alessandro Metz of rights group Mediterranean wrote on Twitter Friday.

      The German NGO Sea-Eye also has a ship stranded in the Mediterranean with 17 migrants on board.


      https://www.thenational.ae/world/europe/eu-nations-deadlocked-on-rescued-migrants-1.809725

    • Ecco la diffida al governo per accogliere i 49 migranti bloccati in mare

      Azione di cittadinanza attiva in almeno 90 Province italiane: «Abbiamo consegnato in Prefettura un documento che obbliga le autorità ad adempiere alle leggi di soccorso di mare», spiega Antonio Nigro del movimento Move to resist, che ha mutuato il testo diffuso da Possibile

      http://www.vita.it/it/article/2019/01/07/ecco-la-diffida-al-governo-per-accogliere-i-49-migranti-bloccati-in-ma/150262

    • “La Chiesa accoglierà i migranti della Sea Watch”

      L’annuncio di Nosiglia durante la festa dei Popoli: un gesto simbolico ma concreto.
      «Voglio dichiarare la disponibilità della Chiesa torinese ad accogliere alcune delle famiglie che si trovano a bordo delle navi Sea Watch 3 e Sea Eye». Lo ha annunciato l’arcivescovo di Torino, monsignor Cesare Nosiglia, oggi alla chiesa del Santo Volto, durante l’omelia nella Festa dei Popoli. «La nostra Chiesa, come si ricorderà - ha aggiunto Nosiglia - aveva già offerto questa disponibilità per i profughi della nave Diciotti, nel settembre scorso».


      https://www.lastampa.it/2019/01/06/cronaca/la-chiesa-accoglier-i-migranti-della-sea-watch-8uxIAoytx33U6r7hjA65UN/pagina.html

    • #Diaconia_Valdese e #FCEI pronti all’accompagnamento dei profughi della Sea-Watch
      Chiese evangeliche. “Il nostro sostegno alle ONG perché il soccorso in mare e l’accoglienza a terra sono un dovere umanitario. Per noi è anche la testimonianza dell’amore di Cristo”. FCEI e Diaconia valdese pronti all’accompagnamento e all’accoglienza dei 49 profughi della Sea-Watch e della Sea eye.

      “Confermiamo il nostro sostegno alle ONG che svolgono azioni di soccorso in mare e ci rendiamo disponibili a sostenere il trasferimento e l’accoglienza dei migranti salvati dalla Sea-Watch e dalla Sea eye”. Lo affermano congiuntamente il Presidente della Federazione delle chiese evangeliche in Italia, past. Luca M. Negro, e il Presidente della Diaconia Valdese, Giovanni Comba. “Come FCEI siamo impegnati in un partenariato con Open Arms, la ONG che nei giorni scorsi ha salvato oltre trecento persone in mare – aggiunge Negro – e oggi sentiamo nostro dovere esprimere il sostegno attivo alla altre navi impegnate in azioni di soccorso che da giorni aspettano un porto sicuro in cui attraccare”. E infatti la vicepresidente della FCEI, Christiane Groeben, oggi 4 gennaio parteciperà alla delegazione di politici, esponenti della società civile e del volontariato che saliranno a bordo della Sea-Watch per chiedere con forza una rapida soluzione a quella che rischia di diventare una drammatica violazione del diritto alla protezione internazionale. “Stiamo lavorando con i nostri partner per costruire un corridoio europeo e la città di Heidelberg e le sue chiese hanno già manifestato la loro disponibilità all’accoglienza. Siamo pronti a farci carico del trasporto dei migranti nella loro destinazione finale e a collaborare per la loro accoglienza" aggiunge il presidente Comba.

      https://www.diaconiavaldese.org/csd/news/diaconia-valdese-e-fcei-pronti-all-accompagnamento-e-all-accoglienz

    • #Malte profite de l’urgence pour se délester de 220 migrants

      Le Premier ministre maltais a annoncé un accord pour le débarquement des 49 migrants bloqués sur deux navires d’ONG allemandes et leur répartition dans huit pays européens. Il se débarrasse en passant de 220 migrants déjà accueillis à Malte.

      Les 49 migrants coincés depuis parfois plus de deux semaines en mer avaient été secourus dans les eaux internationales au large de la Libye, le 22 décembre par l’ONG Sea-Watch pour 32 d’entre eux, et le 29 décembre par l’ONG Sea-Eye pour les 17 autres.

      Les pays européens se sont finalement mis d’accord pour les secourir. Ils doivent être transférés « dès que possible » sur des vedettes de la marine maltaise, qui les conduiront à La Valette. Ensuite, Malte a prié les navires des deux ONG de s’éloigner « immédiatement ».

      Les deux navires avaient été autorisés il y a une semaine à s’abriter du mauvais temps dans les eaux maltaises, mais l’accord en vue d’un débarquement des migrants a pris du temps parce que Malte exigeait d’y inclure 249 autres migrants que ce petit pays méditerranéen avait secourus et accueillis ces derniers jours.

      « Un accord ad hoc a été trouvé. Sur les 249 (migrants) présents à Malte et les 49 à bord (des navires de) Sea-Watch and Sea-Eye, 220 personnes seront redistribuées dans d’autres pays membres ou rentreront dans leur pays d’origine », a déclaré Joseph Muscat au cours d’une conférence de presse à Malte.

      Les migrants seront répartis entre l’Allemagne, la France, le Portugal, l’Irlande, la Roumanie, le Luxembourg, les Pays-Bas et l’Italie, a précisé Joseph Muscat.

      Parallèlement, 44 Bangladais du groupe des migrants déjà présents à Malte seront renvoyés dans leur pays, La Valette estimant qu’ils n’ont pas de raison d’y demander l’asile. Au final, 78 des migrants du premier groupe resteront à Malte, le plus petit pays de l’UE avec 450 000 habitants.

      « Malte n’a jamais fermé ses ports et reste un port sûr. Nous voulons simplement que tous respectent les règles internationales que nous n’avons pas créées, nous », a assuré le Premier ministre, malgré l’interdiction jusqu’ici exprimée.

      « Un signe de faiblesse »

      « Nous voulions faire passer un message politique fort, à savoir que le fardeau devait être partagé car il s’agit d’un problème européen. Il ne s’agit pas d’un discours contre les ONG, nous voulons simplement que tous suivent les règles », a insisté le Maltais.

      « Chaque heure passée sans règlement n’était pas une heure dont j’étais fier », a-t-il ajouté, en regrettant que la solution n’implique que quelques pays et non l’ensemble de l’UE.

      Redoutant de voir les arrivées dans ses eaux se multiplier à l’avenir maintenant que les navires de secours plus au sud se sont raréfiés, Malte avait plaidé pour une solution « complète et globale ».

      « Malte est un très petit pays et il est dans notre nature d’aider les personnes en détresse, mais en tant que Premier ministre, je ne peux pas me soustraire à la responsabilité de préserver notre sécurité et nos intérêts nationaux », a expliqué Joseph Muscat, répétant que le présent accord ne constituait pas « un précédent ».

      Le commissaire européen chargé des migrations, Dimitris Avramopoulos, s’est réjoui qu’une solution ait été trouvée pour permettre aux migrants de débarquer et a salué le geste de solidarité de Malte et des États membres.

      En Italie, la question faisait encore débat : le ministre de l’Intérieur Matteo Salvini s’oppose farouchement à tout débarquement, mais le chef du gouvernement Giuseppe Conte s’est dit prêt à aller chercher les migrants « en avion ».

      « À Bruxelles, ils font semblant de ne rien comprendre et facilitent le travail des passeurs et des ONG. Je suis et je resterai absolument opposé à de nouvelles arrivées en Italie », a réagi Matteo Salvini, également patron de la Ligue (extrême droite), dans un communiqué.

      « Céder aux pressions et aux menaces de l’Europe et des ONG est un signe de faiblesse que les Italiens ne mérite pas », a ajouté le ministre, qui a lancé mardi soir sur Twitter le mot d’ordre #SalviniNonMollare (« Salvini tiens bon »), parmi les plus partagés depuis en Italie.

      https://www.euractiv.fr/section/migrations/news/malte-profite-de-lurgence-pour-se-delester-de-220-migrants

    • Migranti, anche in Spagna stretta sulle Ong: Open Arms bloccata a Barcellona

      Dopo aver fatto sbarcare ad #Algeciras 311 migranti il 28 dicembre scorso, la nave sarebbe dovuta ripartire l’8 gennaio per una nuova missione. Ma le autorità hanno negato l’autorizzazione: così nel Mediterraneo centrale non ci sono più imbarcazioni delle organizzazioni per il salvataggio

      https://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2019/01/14/news/migranti_open_arms_bloccata_in_spagna-216523058

    • "Je ne pourrai bientôt plus parler, je gèle" : faute de secours, 100 migrants ont passé plus de 12 heures en mer

      Pendant plus de 12h, la plateforme téléphonique Alarm Phone a alerté dimanche les autorités italiennes, maltaises et libyennes sur une embarcation en détresse au large de la Libye. Rome et La Valette ont, toute la journée, renvoyé la responsabilité à Tripoli qui a finalement coordonné le secours de ce canot en envoyant un navire marchand, plus de 12h après la première alerte.

      http://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/14641/je-ne-pourrai-bientot-plus-parler-je-gele-faute-de-secours-100-migrant

    • Navire Sea-Watch bloqué en Méditerranée : « La mer est agitée et certains migrants sont malades »

      Après avoir été bloqué deux semaines début janvier en Méditerranée dans l’attente d’être accepté par un port européen, le navire humanitaire Sea-Watch erre une nouvelle fois en mer depuis son dernier sauvetage. Cinq jours se sont déjà écoulés, avec 47 migrants rescapés à bord dont huit enfants, et aucun signe encourageant de la part des pays européens.

      L’histoire se répète. L’ONG allemande Sea Watch, dont le navire humanitaire a secouru le 19 janvier dernier 47 personnes qui se trouvaient à bord d’un bateau pneumatique, attend depuis maintenant cinq jours l’autorisation d’accoster en Europe. Lors d’une précédente opération de sauvetage, le même navire avait erré deux semaines en mer avant d’être autorisé à débarquer ses rescapés à Malte le 9 janvier dernier. Un épisode qualifié de “record de la honte” par plusieurs ONG.

      L’équipage et les passagers actuellement à bord sont “assez stressés”, confie une porte-parole de Sea Watch contactée par InfoMigrants. “La nuit a été difficile. La mer est agitée et certains sont malades”, poursuit-elle, précisant que le groupe compte huit mineurs non-accompagnés et neuf nationalités différentes : Guinée, Sénégal, Guinée-Bissau, Mali, Sierra Leone, Centrafrique, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambie et Soudan.

      "Une fois de plus, nous sommes à la merci des autorités"

      “Aucun État n’a encore répondu à nos requêtes pour un port sûr”, déplore l’ONG sur Twitter, estimant que “l’Union européenne empêche le dernier navire humanitaire de travailler, alors que des centaines de personnes meurent en Méditerranée”.

      Les 47 migrants actuellement à bord du Sea-Watch ont été pris en charge après qu’Alarm Phone et l’avion de repérage Moonbird ont donné l’alerte. “Juste après le sauvetage, nous avons informé le MRCC de Rome puisque le port sûr le plus proche de notre position était celui de Lampedusa. Ils nous ont renvoyés vers les garde-côtes libyens. Nous avons essayé de les joindre, en vain. Nous ne savons même pas s’ils lisent nos emails”, explique la porte-parole de l’ONG jointe par InfoMigrants.

      Dans l’impasse, l’équipage du Sea-Watch s’est donc tourné vers le MRCC de Malte puis celui de Den Helder, au Pays-Bas puisque le navire humanitaire bat pavillon néerlandais. “Tous les deux ont décliné toute responsabilité. Nous avons demandé un port sûr à plusieurs reprises à tous ces interlocuteurs, mais nous sommes une fois de plus à la merci des autorités, dans l’attente d’un ordre de leur part”, affirme-t-elle.

      "La détresse des migrants comme outil de chantage politique"

      Dix jours avant ce nouveau sauvetage, le Sea-Watch et un autre navire humanitaire, le Sea-Eye, avaient finalement pu débarquer 49 migrants à Malte après plus de deux semaines d’errance en Méditerranée. Une période particulièrement difficile, les installations à bord des navires humanitaires ne permettant pas d’héberger durablement autant de personnes et les conditions météorologiques rendant la vie à bord très pénible.

      Malgré les demandes répétées des ONG, pendant 19 jours, le gouvernement maltais avait refusé de laisser débarquer dans son port ces 49 migrants : 32 secourus au large de la Libye le 22 décembre par le Sea-Watch et 17 autres sauvés le 29 décembre par le Sea-Eye.

      Redoutant de voir les arrivées dans ses eaux se multiplier et de devenir la principale porte d’entrée des migrants en Europe – l’Italie ayant fermé ses ports aux navires humanitaires – Malte a finalement négocié avec plusieurs pays européens un accord de répartition des 49 migrants ainsi que 249 autres recueillis quelques jours plus tôt par les autorités maltaises.

      "Nous voulions faire passer un message politique fort, à savoir que le fardeau devait être partagé car il s’agit d’un problème européen. Il ne s’agit pas d’un discours contre les ONG, nous voulons simplement que tous suivent les règles", avait déclaré le Premier ministre maltais Joseph Muscat au moment où l’accord a été trouvé.

      Mais Sea Watch ne l’entend pas de la sorte. “Nous ne pouvons pas nous retrouver encore dans cette impasse, c’était trop difficile la dernière fois pour notre équipage comme pour les rescapés. Il est inacceptable que les gouvernements européens utilisent des personnes en détresse comme outils de chantage dans leurs luttes de pouvoir”, conclut la porte-parole.

      http://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/14700/navire-sea-watch-bloque-en-mediterranee-la-mer-est-agitee-et-certains-

    • Dutch refuse Italian request to accept 47 migrants on rescue ship: government

      The Netherlands refused on Monday an Italian request to take in 47 migrants on a humanitarian ship that is being blocked from Italian ports, saying there was a need to distinguish between genuine refugees and economic migrants.

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-italy-netherlands/dutch-refuse-italian-request-to-accept-47-migrants-on-rescue-ship-governmen
      #Pays-Bas #tri #catégorisation

      Dans l’article on parle de:
      #genuine_refugees and #economic_migrants
      #terminologie #mots #vocabulaire

      v. aussi le tweet de Sea Watch:
      Le comunicazioni intercorse tra #SeaWatch e l’Olanda per la richiesta di porto rifugio (POR).
      https://twitter.com/SeaWatchItaly/status/1089815346113069057

    • Caso Sea Watch. Il Garante, Mauro Palma: “E’ illecita detenzione”

      Inviata informativa alla Procura di Siracusa e richiesto al Ministro dei trasporti Toninelli di consentire urgentemente lo sbarco: «Le persone sono la nostra giurisdizione, anche se con bandiera straniera». Intanto 50 organizzazioni scrivono al premier Conte: «Sbarco Immediato». E il Cnca si dice disponibile ad accogliere i migranti nelle sue strutture

      http://www.agenzia.redattoresociale.it/Notiziario/Articolo/617603/Caso-Sea-Watch-Il-Garante-Mauro-Palma-E-illecita-detenzione

    • Les migrants du Sea-Watch 3 vont pouvoir débarquer grâce à un accord entre sept pays européens

      L’Italie a annoncé un accord avec six autres pays européens pour répartir les 47 migrants bloqués depuis 12 jours en mer sur le Sea-Watch. Le navire est attendu dans la nuit au port de Catane, dans l’est de la Sicile.

      Les 47 migrants bloqués depuis près de deux semaines à bord du Sea-Watch 3 au large de la Sicile vont pouvoir débarquer grâce à un accord conclu mercredi 30 janvier entre l’Italie et six autres pays européens pour répartir les migrants.

      Le Sea-Watch 3, qui se trouvait depuis vendredi au large du port sicilien de Syracuse pour s’abriter du mauvais temps, « a reçu l’instruction de se diriger vers le port de Catane », environ 70 km plus au nord, où il est attendu dans la nuit, a annoncé une source ministérielle italienne.

      A la mi-journée, le chef du gouvernement italien, Giuseppe Conte, avait annoncé que les opérations de débarquement allaient débuter « dans les prochaines heures ». Les six pays avec laquelle l’Italie a conclu un accord sont la France, le Portugal, l’Allemagne, Malte, le Luxembourg et la Roumanie. Il n’était pas clair si l’Italie elle-même garderait une partie des migrants. Giuseppe Conte l’a laissé entendre mais son ministre de l’Intérieur, Matteo Salvini, qui s’y est toujours opposé de manière catégorique, ne l’a pas confirmé.

      « Prise d’otages européenne »

      « Nous sommes heureux que cette prise d’otages européenne prenne fin », a déclaré le porte-parole de Sea-Watch, Ruben Neugebauer. « En même temps, c’est un mauvais jour pour l’Europe car les droits humains ont une fois de plus été subordonnés à des négociations au sein de l’UE. Encore un jour amer », a-t-il ajouté.

      Depuis des mois, diplomates européens et humanitaires réclament un mécanisme permanent de répartition des migrants secourus en mer pour leur épargner les interminables discussions au cas par cas.

      Mais les cas pourraient devenir de plus en plus rares avec le blocage progressif des navires humanitaires privés, comme l’Aquarius de SOS Méditerranée et Médecins sans frontières (MSF) ou l’Open Arms de l’ONG espagnole Proactiva Open Arms.

      Le choix d’envoyer à Catane le Sea-Watch 3, affrété par l’ONG allemande Sea-Watch et battant pavillon néerlandais, semble répondre au souhait formulé par M. Salvini de voir la justice enquêter sur les activités de l’équipage.

      Le gouvernement italien lui reproche de ne pas avoir laissé les garde-côtes libyens se charger des migrants, puis de s’être précipité vers l’Italie plutôt que de chercher refuge sur la côte tunisienne, qui était beaucoup plus proche. Mais l’ONG assure n’avoir jamais reçu de réponse de Tripoli ni de Tunis.

      Le procureur de Syracuse, Fabio Scavone, a estimé lundi que le commandant du Sea-Watch n’avait « commis aucun délit » et avait seulement « sauvé les migrants et choisi la route qui semblait la plus sûre sur le moment ».

      Mais à Catane, le procureur Carmelo Zuccaro s’est montré particulièrement incisif contre les ONG depuis deux ans. En mars 2018, il avait obtenu le placement sous séquestre de l’Open Arms dans le cadre d’une enquête pour aide à l’immigration clandestine contre les responsables du bateau qui avaient refusé de remettre des migrants secourus aux garde-côtes libyens.

      La source au ministère de l’Intérieur a expliqué que Catane avait été choisie parce qu’elle compte des centres pour l’accueil des 13 adolescents du groupe. Les migrants majeurs seront conduits dans un centre d’identification et de premier accueil à Messine, également en Sicile.

      « Mission accomplie ! », s’est réjoui M. Salvini mercredi. « Encore une fois (...), l’Europe a été contrainte à intervenir et à prendre ses responsabilités ».

      https://www.france24.com/fr/20190130-migrants-sea-watch-italie-catane-salvini-accord-europeen

    • No more civilian rescue boats off Libyan coast

      The civilian rescue vessel Sea Watch 3, which was detained in Italy on Friday, is the latest of such boats to stop operations in the central Mediterranean. Now, only the Libyan Coast Guard is able to save migrants risking their lives at sea in an attempt to reach Europe from North Africa.

      The main non-government organizations rescuing migrants off the coast of Libya stopped their efforts in mid-2017, mainly because of increased threats from the Libyan Coast Guard. The news agency AFP compiled this update on migrant rescue organizations and their activities:

      The Maltese aid group MOAS, which was the first to carry out migrant rescue operations in 2014 and had deployed two vessels, transferred its activities to helping the Rohingya in Bangladesh in September 2017.

      At about the same time, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) ended its operations with the Vos Prudence, the biggest private boat deployed off Libya with a record 1,500 people rescued at the same time.

      Save the Children ended its search and rescue operations with the Vos Hestia in October 2017.

      In August 2017, Italian authorities impounded the Juventa, operated by small German aid group Jugend Rettet, after it was accused of helping Libyan human traffickers. Jugend Rettet has denied the charge.

      The Lifeline rescue vessel, operated by a German aid group of the same name, was impounded on arrival in Valletta, Malta, in June 2018, for alleged registration issues.

      The aid groups SOS Mediterranee and MSF stopped search and rescue operations with the Aquarius in December 2018 after it was stuck in a French port for two months following the revocation of its registration.

      In January 2019, Spanish authorities refused to allow the Open Arms ship to leave Barcelona harbor. In early 2018 the boat, operated by the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, was impounded for a month by Italy. It was then forced to take rescued migrants to Spain several times after Malta and Italy refused to allow them to disembark.

      The Sea Eye charity from Germany had several vessels impounded during 2018 but deployed another ship, the Professor Albrecht Penck, in December, rescuing 12 migrants. The boat is currently in Majorca and plans to set sail again in around two weeks, according to AFP.

      SOS Mediterranee has said it is looking for another boat and flag so it can continue search and rescue operations.

      In Italy a collective of associations launched the Mediterranea, flying an Italian flag, mainly to witness the situation for migrants off Libya.

      There are also two light aircraft which overfly the Mediterranean trying to identify and locate boats in trouble: the Colibri operated by French aid group Pilotes Volontaires, and the Moonbird operated by Sea Watch.


      http://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/14966/no-more-civilian-rescue-boats-off-libyan-coast
      #the_end

    • Sea Watch 3 still held in Catania, despite rescue vessel vacuum in the Mediterranean

      The crew of the migrant rescue vessel Sea Watch 3 are ready to continue life saving operations in the central Mediterranean but the vessel remains without permission to leave from Catania harbour, the NGO said yesterday.

      With NGO vessels being barred from leaving ports and coast guard and navy ships withdrawn from the area, it is not known how many attempted crossings there have been over the past week.

      The Sea-Watch 3 vessel remains unable to leave Catania under orders of the port authority and is barred from performing essential search and rescue activities in the Central Mediterranean Sea.

      The vessel was recently caught up in another migrant stand-off between Malta and Sicily and was eventually allowed to disembark the migrants it had rescued in Catania.

      However, the vessel has not been allowed to leave, in what is reminiscent of the time it spent impounded in Malta during the summer of 2018.

      Earlier this year, the vessel, along with another ship operated by the Sea-Eye NGO, was left stranded off the coast of Malta for over two weeks.

      The rescued migrants were eventually disembarked in Malta after an agreement was reached between several member states. The vessels were then ordered to leave Maltese waters, with permission for a crew change reportedly denied.

      Maltese national Danny Mainwaring is among the crew members currently stuck on the Sea Watch in the port of Catania.

      In comments to The Malta Independent, Sea Watch said: “The Public Prosecutor’s Office of Catania stated that Sea-Watch and the crew of its last mission have committed no criminal offence and that all their actions in the rescue of 19 January were justified, as the vessel and her crew saved the lives of 47 people whose boat was bound to sink.

      “That mission culminated in a stand-off that saw vulnerable people stranded at sea on the coast of Syracuse as European leaders failed to provide a port of safety in a timely manner. Despite the public acknowledgement that Sea-Watch conducted itself within the law, the vessel remains barred from departing on technical grounds and awaits a visit from the Dutch flag state requested by the Italian Coast Guard.

      “The Sea-Watch 3 passed a flag state inspection in the summer of 2018, which also confirmed its correct registration. We find ourselves in a scenario reminiscent to that which unfolded in Malta that same summer, when the vessel was kept from leaving port for over four months while a record number of people drowned at sea.

      “EU governments have unanimously adopted a policy of attempting to criminalize sea rescue NGOs and instead finance, train and provide logistical support to the so-called Libyan Coast Guard.

      “Despite the fact that Libya remains in a state of civil war and migrants and refugees face well documented human rights abuses in its detention facilities, the EU is outsourcing a policy of forced return to the so-called Libyan Coast Guard in violation of the principle of non-refoulement.

      “This principle, enshrined in international law, prohibits governments from returning asylum seekers to a country in which they face a well-founded fear of persecution, and inhumane and degrading treatment.

      “With many national coast guard and navy assets withdrawn from the Central Mediterranean and no NGO vessels currently at sea, it is not known how many attempted crossings there have been over the past week. With absolute numbers of crossings declining but the death rate rising, one can only conclude that Europe has strayed from the spirit of cooperation and respect for human rights that it was founded on; the same spirit that breathed life into Operation Sophia when mass drownings alarmed the continent and the world in May 2015.

      “The Sea-Watch 3 and her crew are ready to sail and perform the essential life saving duties for which the organisation has been lauded across the world.

      “European governments must meet their responsibilities towards those in distress both at sea and on land. Rather than criminalize rescue NGOs, who are upholding this responsibility in Europe’s stead, governments must seek sustainable solutions while cooperating with NGOs and opening their ports to people rescued at sea.”


      http://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2019-02-11/local-news/Sea-Watch-3-still-held-in-Catania-despite-rescue-vessel-vacuum-in-th

    • When commercial ships tell migrants rescued at sea they are going to bring them to Europe

      Some commercial ships that have rescued people in danger have lied about their destination, according to a telephone hotline that helps migrants lost at sea. Alarm Phone says the crews of several ships led migrants to believe they would be dropped off in Europe, but instead returned them to Libya.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/15194/when-commercial-ships-tell-migrants-rescued-at-sea-they-are-going-to-b

    • When rescue is capture: kidnapping and dividing migrants in the Mediterranean

      EU member states are holding migrants hostage while playing pass the parcel with their fates. It’s a strategy that is as cruel as it is deliberate.

      The Italian minister of the interior, Matteo Salvini, is currently under investigation for abuse of power and the kidnapping of 177 migrants. These migrants were, on Salvini’s orders, confined to the coast guard vessel Diciotti for more than one week in late August last year. While this case received international media attention, it was not an isolated event. Over the last several years Italian ministers and politicians have repeatedly violated international and domestic law as they have sought to prevent individuals from migrating over the Mediterranean Sea. The disembarkation of rescued migrants has been denied or delayed many times. On a few occasions, Italy has arbitrarily closed its ports entirely.

      While the closure of ports and the kidnapping of migrants triggered a strong reaction from some citizens and municipalities, many seemingly do not care. They do not care about the kidnapping of people by the state, nor about an interior minister who violates the law. They just do not want the migrants to land in Italy. Yet, far from being an exclusive Italian affair, the above mentioned legal and political controversies are part of a European battle, in which member states compete to not take care of a few dozen people on a boat seeking asylum. In fact, the recurrent strategy of taking migrants hostage is a sign of how deep Europe’s crisis has become.

      Kidnapping migrants is a strategy designed to deter and exhaust migrants while putting pressure on other member states.
      Migrants as hostages of European politics

      31 January 2019: after being held on a ship of the NGO Sea Watch for 13 days by the Italian authorities, the 47 migrants who were rescued in central Mediterranean were finally authorised to disembark in Sicily, or to put it better they had been liberated. During the period of their captivity the Italian government had argued that the Netherlands should receive them, due to the Dutch flag on the Sea Watch vessel. The Dutch authorities refused to do so. The standoff resulted in a meeting at the European Commission in Brussels to discuss how to deal with the 47 migrants nobody wanted to take. After days of negotiations, the Vatican offered to host the minors while eight member states (France, Germany, Romania, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Luxembourg and Italy) agreed to take a few migrants each. Meanwhile, the NGO Sea Watch was defending itself against a cynical smear campaign in which the Italian government accused it of “putting migrants’ lives at risk”.

      This case is only the latest in a series of episodes that took place in central Mediterranean. The kidnapping of migrants has been repeatedly enacted by the Italian government and by Malta over the last year. It’s a strategy designed to deter and exhaust migrants, on the one hand, and to put pressure on the EU and on other member states, on the other. It is worth highlighting the continuity of this tactic. Among other episodes, in July 2018 the coast guard vessel Diciotti was prevented from disembarking rescued migrants in the port of Catania until the Italian president at the time successfully intervened. One month later, the Diciotti was again blocked for more than one week, this time with 177 migrants on board. In both these cases the rescue vessel was Italian. In more recent episodes the vessels have belonged to NGOs registered to other member states. In the closing days of 2018, 49 migrants had to wait 19 days after being rescued by the Sea Eye and Sea Watch vessels. They were finally disembarked in Malta on 9 January, and then relocated to other EU countries.

      The strategy of migrant kidnapping on the northern shore of the Mediterranean is part of a broader politics of migration containment. Together with the protracted detention of migrants on rescue vessels, the Libyan Coast Guard intercepts and rescues migrants in distress and takes them back to detention centres in Libya as a result of the 2017 Italy-Libya Memorandum of Understanding. International organisations like UNHCR and the IOM are involved in their containment in Libya once they arrive. In both cases – the confinement of migrants on rescue ships and the return of migrants to Libya – rescue at sea turns out to be a mode of capture.

      We might have been pulled out of the sea, the argument goes, but we are no less human and we are not to be bartered and haggled over.
      The European battle over numbers

      The migrants at the centre of these intra-European diplomatic battles are actually very few in number. Meetings, internal political crises, and struggles between states and non-state actors have resulted from a few dozen migrants seeking entry into Europe despite already being within European territory; confined to their rescue ships either in or just off European harbours for no other reason than member states’ refusal to take them. It is noticeable that the dispute among European countries was also predicated on migrants’ vulnerability: some member states have declared that they would welcome women and minors only. In this way, the right to protection and to mobility appear as a sort of “privilege” of those deemed to be the most vulnerable.

      The “fear of the small numbers”, as the anthropologist Ariun Appadurai calls it, has rarely been so evident. With just a few dozen migrants at issue, Salvini is by no means staving off a ‘crisis’ of quantity. Yet that is what makes recent events so troubling. They show that public sentiment does not soften when the counterargument focuses on how small the numbers are, as it has done so far. Both citizens’ active consensus and passive acceptance of migration containment has proved immoveable. The European front against migrants ultimately remains solid.

      At the same time, the anti-migrant front does not monopolise the field. Thousands of citizens mobilised across Europe and in Italy to demand the liberation of the detained migrants. Their solidaric reaction was not primarily driven by the fact that there were only a ‘few’ migrants to host, but by a conviction that those kidnapped – like with any other kidnapping – must be unconditionally released. As such, during the protests that haven taken place we have seen many more banners with the words “let them disembark!” than with more Italy-centric slogans like “not in my name”. In short, it’s not about Italy, it’s about the people on the ship.

      That central point is further enshrined in the “We are not fish” campaign, launched in Rome on 28 January 2019. We might have been pulled out of the sea, the argument goes, but we are no less human and we are not to be bartered and haggled over. The “We are not fish” campaign demands that Italian harbours remain open and that migrants are allowed to disembark. It opposes the fundamental inequality of lives that sustain the politics of migration, which is premised on the suggestion that migrants are not truly humans.

      The widespread citizen reaction against migrants’ seizure at sea and against deaths in the Mediterranean constitutes not only a fundamental ethical response, but also potentially a catalyst for actively refusing the leave-to-die politics playing out in the Mediterranean. Indeed, the ongoing civic mobilisation should be seized as an opportunity for moving beyond the horizon of a politics of rescue and the current debate that pivots around the question, should we rescue or not rescue the migrants?

      Indeed, a left-wing discourse on migration would require fighting the politics of migration containment as a whole, including the most recent bilateral agreement between Italy and Libya that the previous government led by the Democratic Party signed. It would also require challenging the racialisation and inequalities of lives enforced by the global visa regime, which forces many people across the world to become shipwrecked lives to be rescued. Neither the trial of Salvini nor the acceptance of the terms of the current debate centred around leave-to-die politics will liberate migrants from being held hostage to European politics. “We are not fish”. This motto is circulating widely. It posits the existence of a ‘we’, a common ground, between migrants and European citizens that refuses the reproduction of the asymmetries between ‘rescuers’ and ‘rescued’.

      https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/martina-tazzioli/when-rescue-is-capture-kidnapping-and-dividing-migrants-in-mediterran

    • Un seul navire humanitaire est actuellement présent au large de la Libye

      Près de 17 000 personnes sont mortes en mer Méditerranée ces quatre dernières années. Pour tenter d’enrayer la tragédie, des navires humanitaires se sont relayés dans la zone de détresse, au large des côtes libyennes pour les secourir. Mais actuellement, un seul patrouille dans cette zone.

      Actuellement, seul le bateau Aylan Kurdi (anciennement appelé Professor Albrecht Penck) est actuellement au large de la Libye. Il appartient à l’ONG allemande Sea Eye.

      Où sont les autres bateaux d’ONG ? InfoMigrants fait le point.

      Les navires humanitaires qui sont bloqués dans des ports européens :

      – Le Sea-Watch 3 de l’ONG Sea Watch est en escale dans le port de Marseille pour un problème administratif relatif à son pavillon néerlandais (et effectuer sa maintenance). Il devrait repartir en mer mi-mars.

      – Depuis un débarquement en juin 2018 à Malte, le Lifeline de l’ONG allemande eponyme est bloqué au port de La Valette, à Malte, où les autorités contestent sa situation administrative.

      – Depuis le mois de janvier 2019, l’Open Arms de l’ONG espagnole Proactiva Open Arms est bloqué à Barcelone par les autorités espagnoles. Au printemps 2018, ce navire avait été placé un mois sous séquestre en Italie avant d’être autorisé à repartir.

      – Début août 2017, la justice italienne a saisi le Juventa de l’ONG allemande Jugend Rettet, accusée de complicité avec les passeurs libyens mais qui clame depuis son innocence.

      Les ONG qui résistent :

      –Dans les airs, les petits avions Colibri de l’ONG française Pilotes volontaires et Moonbird de Sea-Watch mènent régulièrement des patrouilles pour tenter de repérer les embarcations en difficulté.

      –L’Astral, le voilier de l’ONG Open Arms, est actuellement à Barcelone.

      –En Italie, un collectif d’associations a lancé le Mare Jonio, un navire battant pavillon italien qui entend avant tout témoigner de la situation en mer. Il est actuellement à Palerme.

      Les navires humanitaires qui ont renoncé :

      Des ONG engagées au large des côtes libyennes ont suspendu leurs activités, face à la chute des départs de Libye et face à une intensification des menaces des garde-côtes libyens, qui considèrent les ONG comme complices des passeurs.

      – Suite aux pressions politiques, privé de pavillon, l’Aquarius de l’ONG SOS Méditerranée – qui a secouru près de 20 000 personnes en deux ans et demi - a mis fin à ses missions en décembre 2018. L’ONG espère toutefois trouver un nouveau bateau pour repartir rapidement en mer au printemps 2019.

      – Médecins sans frontières (MSF) a mis fin au même moment aux activités du Vos Prudence, le plus gros navire humanitaire privé actif au large de la Libye avec un record de de 1 500 personnes secourues en même temps.

      – Save the Children a également mis fin aux activités de sauvetage du navire Vos Hestia.

      – L’ONG maltaise Moas, la première à s’engager dans les opérations de secours en 2014 et qui a compté jusqu’à deux navires dans la zone, a transféré ses activités auprès des Rohingyas au Bangladesh.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/15426/un-seul-navire-humanitaire-est-actuellement-present-au-large-de-la-lib

    • Sea Watch segreto di Stato. Viminale e Infrastrutture: no accesso agli atti

      Non è possibile sapere da chi e come fu bloccata la nave. Ed è giallo anche sull’omesso sbarco dei minori. Cortocircuito tra Prefettura, Comune e Tribunale di minori

      Nel Paese dei misteri irrisolti anche la sorte dei migranti rischia di diventare un “segreto di Stato”. Non sarà infatti possibile sapere chi, nello scorso gennaio, ha dato l’ordine di bloccare a Siracusa la nave umanitaria Sea Watch, né chi e perché ha impedito lo sbarco immediato dei 15 minorenni, dirottando poi il vascello verso il porto di Catania.

      La conferma dello stato di riservatezza degli atti arriva dal Viminale, che ha respinto la richiesta di divulgazione dei documenti depositati presso il ministero delle Infrastrutture. Intorno al caso, dopo che Avvenire aveva documentato la smentita del ministero che esclude sia mai stato dato l’ordine di «porti chiusi», è stato eretto un muro di gomma. Nei giorni scorsi il Viminale aveva assicurato che da Salvini, contrariamente alle reiterate dichiarazioni pubbliche, non era mai partito alcun ordine di stop alle navi umanitarie né alcun «divieto di sbarco».

      Non restava che interpellare il dicastero guidato da Danilo Toninelli, competente per la Guardia costiera e i porti. Ma la nuova richiesta di accesso ai documenti è stata respinta. Motivo? «La tipologia di atti richiesti non è soggetta a pubblicazione obbligatoria». Così il capo di gabinetto del ministro Salvini ha risposto all’istanza «indirizzata – viene precisato nella risposta – anche al ministero delle Infrastrutture», a cui era stata originariamente rivolta. Nella missiva, che reca la data del 26 febbraio, viene escluso per il caso Sea Watch l’obbligo di divulgazione delle informazioni.

      Secondo la legge richiamata nello scambio di documenti tra l’avvocato Alessandra Ballerini, che aveva chiesto trasparenza per contro di Adif (Associazione Diritti e Frontiere), e il prefetto a capo del gabinetto del ministro, viene invocata la norma che giustifica il rifiuto alla conoscibilità per «la sicurezza pubblica e l’ordine pubblico; la sicurezza nazionale; la difesa e le questioni militari; le relazioni internazionali; la politica e la stabilità finanziaria ed economica dello Stato; la conduzione di indagini sui reati e il loro perseguimento; il regolare svolgimento di attività ispettive». In quale di queste categorie rientri il caso della Sea Watch e dei minorenni bloccati a bordo per 13 giorni non è dato da sapere.

      Indirettamente, però, una cosa il Viminale la conferma. Se nei giorni scorsi era stata negata l’esistenza di deliberazioni riconducibili al ministro Matteo Salvini, adesso viene implicitamente riconosciuto che le decisioni furono prese formalmente dal ministero delle Infrastrutture. Una circostanza che di fatto esenta Salvini, che aveva dato “indicazioni politiche”, da responsabilità che eventualmente ricadrebbero su Toninelli.

      La gestione dei 15 minori non accompagnati e l’omissione dello sbarco immediato (come previsto dalle norme per i minorenni non accompagnati) potrebbe avere seguiti giudiziari. Da uno scambio di comunicazioni tra la prefettura di Siracusa, il Tribunale dei minori di Catania e il Comune di Siracusa risulta, infatti, che la scelta di trasferire la nave al porto di Catania, dopo giorni alla fonda davanti al “Porto rifugio” siracusano, sarebbe stata assunta dal Comando generale delle Capitanerie di porto, che dipende dal ministero delle Infrastrutture. Disposizione necessaria «in ragione della presenza di minori a bordo».

      A scriverlo è proprio la prefettura aretusea in una nota trasmessa il 31 gennaio (giorno dello sbarco) al Tribunale per i minorenni di Catania. Eppure ventiquattr’ore prima lo stesso tribunale aveva inviato i decreti di affido dei 15 minori ai Servizi sociali del Comune di Siracusa, che immediatamente aveva individuato e messo a disposizione 4 strutture del circondario. Invece, nessuno viene fatto sbarcare e in serata la Sea Watch, dopo una settimana di attesa in Sicilia, riceve l’ordine di procedere verso Catania. Una decisione, come sostiene il prefetto Luigi Pizzi in uno dei documenti ottenuti da Avvenire, dovuta alla mancanza di strutture di prima accoglienza idonee. Una carenza che però non risulta, vista la disponibilità certificata dal Comune e che sorprende anche il Tribunale che proprio dall’ente locale aveva ricevuto l’elenco dei centri di accoglienza.

      «Non c’era nessun bisogno che intervenisse il tribunale per far sbarcare i minori. La legge è chiara: andavano fatti sbarcare subito», dice Sandra Zampa, ex parlamentare del Pd e autrice della legge sui minori non accompagnati votata nella precedente legislatura con il sostegno del M5s. L’intervento del tribunale dei minorenni ha confermato l’efficacia delle norme, «interrompendo – spiega Zampa – l’omissione che si stava compiendo».

      https://www.avvenire.it/attualita/pagine/sea-watch-segreto-di-stato

    • Sea Watch, inchieste sugli atti «top secret». Si muovono le procure

      Dopo che il Viminale si è rifiutato di rendere pubblici gli ordini, i pm accendono un faro. Il sindaco di Siracusa: «Anomalie, abbiamo le prove. Fare chiarezza». E accusa: «Ci furono ordini politici»

      Il caso Sea Watch, con lo stallo davanti al porto di Siracusa e poi il trasferimento nello scalo di Catania, avrà seguiti giudiziari. Sono almeno due le procure che stanno esaminando i fatti riguardanti l’omesso sbarco immediato dei 15 minorenni e le modalità con cui le autorità politiche hanno eretto un muro intorno alla catena di comando. Una barriera contro cui è disposta a fare breccia la giunta di Siracusa, che si dichiara pronta ad andare davanti ai magistrati per riferire tutte le anomalie registrate a fine gennaio.
      Le inchieste, a quanto trapela, riguardano non solo Sea Watch, ma anche altri sbarchi con le navi umanitarie costrette al largo per giorni prima di poter mettere al sicuro, sulla terraferma, i naufraghi scampati ai lager libici e alle tempeste. Vari esposti erano da tempo sui tavoli della procura di Roma e di alcune procure siciliane, che hanno acquisito quanto rivelato da «Avvenire» giovedì scorso. A cominciare dalla massima riservatezza apposta dal ministero dell’Interno sugli atti relativi alla Sea Watch, mentre il dicastero guidato da Danilo Toninelli ha lasciato trascorrere i 30 giorni previsti dalle norme per rispondere alle richieste di accesso civico agli atti presentata dall’Associazione Diritti e frontiere. Uniche spiegazioni sono arrivate dal Viminale con due risposte in apparente contraddizione. La prima, firmata dal Dipartimento Immigrazione, escludeva che fosse mai stato dato l’ordine di porti chiusi e divieto di sbarco. La seconda, siglata dal capo di gabinetto del ministro, precisava che «la tipologia di atti richiesti non è soggetta a pubblicazione obbligatoria». Da qualche parte, dunque, ci sono documenti che non si vuole rendere noti. Perché?
      Quanto all’ipotetico cavillo usato per trasferire la Sea Watch copn i suoi 47 naufraghi improvvisamente da Siracusa a Catania, emerge un dettaglio da un documento della prefettura di Siracusa, che come è noto risponde al Viminale. La lettera, visionata da “Avvenire”, è del 31 gennaio 2019, giorno in cui la nave ricevette l’ordine di lasciare le acque antistanti il “Porto Rifugio” di Siracusa per recarsi, scortata da Guardia costiera e Guardia di finanza, verso Catania. La missiva, indirizzata al presidente e al procuratore del Tribunale dei minorenni, rivela che la nave è stata dirottata «proprio in ragione della presenza di minori a bordo che in quella sede saranno immediatamente accolti in idonee strutture. Diversamente da quanto sarebbe avvenuto in questa provincia, ove non si dispone di centri destinati ai minori in argomento». Sarebbe questo, dunque, uno dei grimaldelli adottati per sottrarre la Sea Watch alla procura di Siracusa - che aveva escluso irregolarità commesse in mare dall’equipaggio - consegnando la nave umanitaria alla procura di Catania, mai stata tenera con le Ong. Il procuratore Zuccaro (Catania) ha però dato ragione alle indagini del collega Scavone (Siracusa) non ravvisando comportamenti illeciti dell’equipaggio.

      I fatti emersi in questi giorni hanno provocato la reazione del Comune di Siracusa, accusato di non avere a disposizione luoghi di accoglienza per minori non accompagnati. «Bisognerà far chiarezza su come si sono svolti i fatti», afferma Alessandra Furnari, assessore alle Pari opportunità sociali. Su richiesta del Tribunale dei minorenni erano invece state individuate strutture adeguate presenti nel comprensorio. «Sul trasferimento dei minori a Catania – prosegue l’assessore Furnari - non abbiamo mai avuto notizie ufficiali, ma solo colloqui telefonici con la prefettura». Scambi verbali senza che mai «la prefettura – insiste l’assessore - desse riscontro per iscritto». Una costante durante quei giorni ad alta tensione. «Ciò che ha caratterizzato tutta la vicenda - osserva il sindaco di Siracusa, Francesco Italia – è stata proprio l’assenza di risposte formali». Come se si avesse il timore di lasciare tracce. «In tutti gli sbarchi avvenuti a Siracusa precedentemente – ricorda Italia – i minori sono sempre stati accolti nelle strutture di II livello (le stesse predisposte per la Sea Watch, in linea con l’ordine del tribunale), senza che ciò creasse alcun problema». Per il primo cittadino c’è una sola spiegazione: «Si è trattato di decisioni di tipo politico».
      Ora a Siracusa attendono solo una convocazione da parte dei magistrati inquirenti. «Non abbiamo alcun problema a raccontare quello che è successo», ribadisce l’assessore Alessandra Furnari. E a differenza del muro di gomma eretto nei ministeri, le accuse della giunta possono essere «documentalmente provate, perché molti rapporti con il tribunale e con la prefettura, almeno da parte nostra, sono avvenuti per iscritto».

      https://www.avvenire.it/attualita/pagine/sea-watch-inchiesta-su-atti-top-secret

    • Migrants on hunger strike in Malta after stuck for 2 months

      Many of the 49 people rescued in December by the #Sea_Watch and #Sea_Eye ships are engaged in a hunger strike, the platform Mediterranea Saving Humans reports. The migrants have been in a Malta center for two months and are protesting “against the de facto detention that they are illegally subjected to.”

      https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/15616/migrants-on-hunger-strike-in-malta-after-stuck-for-2-months
      #Malte #grève_de_la_faim #attente #limbe #détention #Marsa

    • Migranti, la nave ong Alan Kurdi diretta a Malta. Esposto di Mediterranea contro il governo

      Dopo il rifiuto delle madri con figli di sbarcare a Lampedusa senza i loro mariti. La Procura di Agrigento dovrà aprire un fascicolo sulla mancata autorizzazione a entrare in acque italiane e la non assegnazione di un porto sicuro. E il capitano De Falco andrà sulla nave che partirà verso la Libia per soccorrere naufraghi

      https://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2019/04/06/news/migranti-223409223

    • Italy’s prime minister and Matteo Salvini under investigation over detention of migrants

      Far-right politician Matteo Salvini and Italy’s prime minister Giuseppe Conte have been placed under investigation over the detention of 47 migrants.

      Mr Salvini said he was once again under investigation for alleged false imprisonment on Monday after a dispute earlier this year over whether the interior minister and Lega Nord party leader should be tried over the detention of 177 asylum seekers last August.

      The current case concerns the decision to prevent migrants from leaving a Sea-Watch ship, which rescued them off the coast of Libya on 19 January.

      Deputy prime minister Luigi Di Maio and infrastructure minister Danilo Toninelli, also face charges with Mr Salvini and Mr Conte.

      The 47 migrants were forced to wait off the coast of Sicily for more than a week after the ship was denied the right to dock in Palermo, inspiring an emergency appeal to the European Court of Human Rights and criticism from the United Nations.

      The Sea-Watch ship was only allowed to dock after other European countries agreed to accept the migrants.

      In March, senators stopped a criminal case against Mr Salvini for blocking a rescue ship in August 2018 after an Italian court ruled that he should be tried.

      Mr Salvini has repeatedly berated rescue ships and accused charitable organisations of aiding and abetting illegal immigration.

      “I am under investigation again, but as long as I am the interior minister, the government colleagues can say what they want, the Italian ports remain closed,” he said, maintaining his hardline stance on immigration.

      “Another 18 criminal proceedings can be opened, I don’t change my mind."

      Before the senate vote on Mr Salvini’s case in March, Mr Conte and Mr Di Maio, who leads the Five Star Movement (M5S), formally defended the minister.

      “If Salvini is responsible for the seizure [of the boat] then the whole government is responsible,” they said in a statement.

      Giorgia Linardi, a spokesperson for Sea-Watch in Italy, said the organisation had worked within the law and the boat was unjustly detained.

      “The detention on board for propaganda purposes cannot once again be unjustified, because it is protected be politics,” she said.

      “People fleeing Libya must be rescued and protected, not exploited.”

      The court will reportedly have three months to decide whether the four politicians should face trial.

      If the court decides to bring charges, the senate will vote on whether their parliamentary immunity should be removed.

      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/matteo-salvini-italy-prime-minister-conte-migrants-detention-a8872301

  • 21.11.2018 – UE - Tunisie - Conseil d’association - Priorités stratégiques

    Décision n° 1/2018 du Conseil d’association UE-Tunisie du 9 novembre 2018 adoptant les priorités stratégiques UE-Tunisie pour la période 2018-2020

    (...)

    Consolider le partenariat privilégié UE-Tunisie : priorités stratégiques pour la période 2018-2020

    (...)

    2.3. Rapprochement entre les peuples, mobilité et migration

    Le rapprochement entre les sociétés tunisiennes et européennes constitue un pilier essentiel du partenariat privilégié, à travers le renforcement des échanges entre peuples, sociétés et cultures. Cette dimension mobilité revêt une importance particulière dans la mise en œuvre du partenariat pour la Jeunesse. La mise en œuvre effective de l’association de la Tunisie à Horizon 2020 et sa participation à Europe Créative et Erasmus+ seront les pierres angulaires de ces efforts.

    La gestion concertée de la migration est une priorité politique, tant pour la Tunisie que pour l’Union européenne. Les deux parties s’engagent à intensifier le dialogue et la coopération, notamment par la mise en œuvre du partenariat pour la mobilité, le renforcement de la lutte contre les causes profondes de la migration irrégulière, ainsi qu’une disponibilité européenne pour soutenir la mise en place d’un système d’asile tunisien. Cette coopération, qui reflétera aussi la dimension régionale de ces problématiques, inclura :

    -- la mise en œuvre de la stratégie nationale tunisienne en matière de migration, couvrant également l’asile et la protection internationale, y inclus la mise en œuvre d’un cadre législatif approprié,

    -- la conclusion des négociations d’accords de réadmission et de facilitation des visas,

    -- la bonne gouvernance de la migration légale, par une meilleure coordination avec les États membres de l’Union européenne dans le respect de leurs compétences, y compris à travers la mise en place de schémas pilotes de mobilité et une meilleure intégration des migrants dans les pays hôtes,

    --

    le soutien à la mobilisation des Tunisiens de l’étranger pour les investissements dans les secteurs innovants en Tunisie,

    -- le soutien à la prévention de la migration irrégulière, en particulier par une meilleure prise en compte des questions migratoires dans les stratégies de développement ; ceci passe également par une gestion des frontières renforcée et par des campagnes de sensibilisation sur les risques de la migration irrégulière,

    -- le soutien aux activités de prévention, et de lutte contre le trafic des migrants et la traite des êtres humains, y compris à travers la détection et la poursuite des réseaux criminels, et

    -- la consolidation de la coopération en matière de retour et réadmission, y compris à travers le soutien à la réinsertion durables des Tunisiens de retour.

    –-> https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/FR/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2018.293.01.0039.01.FRA&toc=OJ:L:2018:293:TOC

    http://www.europeanmigrationlaw.eu/fr/articles/actualites/ue-tunisie-conseil-d-association-priorites-strategiques.html
    #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Tunisie #EU #UE #Europe

    Commentaire de Claudia Charles sur la mailing-list Migreurop :

    En complément du message envoyé par Alizée, voici un article sur la décision n° 1/2018 du conseil d’association (en vertu de l’#accord_d'association UE - Tunisie) "adoptant les priorités stratégiques UE - Tunisie pour la période 2018 - 2020

    Le point sur « rapprochement entre les peuples, mobilité et migration » se résume (rien de nouveau) à l’adoption, par la Tunisie, d’une réglementation en matière de migration et d’asile, des mesurettes concernant la mobilité (ce qui était déjà dit à multiples occasions et enceintes (processus de Rabat, Sommet de Malte, FFU, partenariat pour la mobilité), et les #accords_de_réadmission / facilitation de #visa.

    L’#OIM aura sa part du gâteau : « la consolidation de la coopération en matière de retour et #réadmission, y compris à travers le soutien à la #réinsertion durables des Tunisiens de retour. »

    #IOM #retours #renvois #expulsions

    ping @_kg_

    • L’émigration irrégulière : Conception de l’opération et parade

      L’émigration vers l’Europe n’est pas un phénomène nouveau en Tunisie car elle date depuis 1970. Par contre, l’émigration irrégulière (la #Harga) entre les côtes tunisiennes et italiennes a commencé en 1990 lorsque l’#Italie a ratifié les accords #Schengen imposant ainsi des #visas d’entrée pour les ressortissants tunisiens.

      Une étude élaborée par le Forum tunisien des droits économiques et sociaux (FTDES) montre qu’avant la révolution de 2011, 30% des Tunisiens de moins de 35 ans exprimaient le désir de migrer vers l’Europe. En raison de la #crise_économique qui ne cesse de frapper le pays durant la période de transition démocratique, ce chiffre a grimpé à 54% en 2017.

      La recrudescence de l’#émigration clandestine à partir de 2015 s’est traduite par des chiffres très alarmants. En effet, 119.369 migrants sont arrivés en Italie en 2017 alors que le nombre de victimes en 2016 est de 5000 selon un rapport publié par les Nations Unies.

      Face à cette situation préoccupante, l’Europe cherche à coordonner avec les #pays_de_transit en vue de trouver une solution à ce quelle considère une menace asymétrique qui pèse sur la sécurité de l’Occident.

      Aujourd’hui, les causes de l’émigration irrégulière sont connues et toute solution au problème doit passer par une combinaison de mesures politiques, économiques, sociales et sécuritaires.
      Sachant que les mesures politiques et socio-économiques ont fait l’objet de plusieurs études, le présent article est consacré à l’explication du volet opérationnel de l’émigration irrégulière. Une explication sans laquelle toute mesure sécuritaire reste incomplète et non concluante.

      Ainsi, après une présentation succincte de l’importance géographique de la Tunisie qui fait du pays un tremplin pour l’Europe, je prendrai en détails la conception de l’opération d’émigration clandestine avant de proposer les actions à entreprendre pour interdire ou contrer cette opération.

      1. Importance géographique de la Tunisie

      Selon une carte tracée par l’Union Européenne, les flux de l’émigration clandestine à destination de l’Europe suivent trois routes en mer méditerranéenne : La route occidentale qui passe par Gibraltar, la route centrale qui passe par la Tunisie et la Libye (carte nr1) et la route orientale qui passe par la Turquie et la mer Egée.

      Sur cette route centrale, la Tunisie occupe une place privilégiée. En effet, située sur le canal de Sicile qui constitue un pont entre l’Afrique et l’Europe et marquée par des conditions météorologiques clémentes sur la quasi-totalité de l’année, elle offre plusieurs possibilités pour rallier l’Italie (carte nr2) :

      Au nord, on trouve deux routes : La Galite-La Sardaigne (130 km) et Bizerte-Mazzara (175km).
      le nord-est présente trois options : Kélébia-Pantelleria (70km), Al Hawaria-Mazzara (160km) et Béni Khiar-Lampedusa (195km).
      au sud, trois autres itinéraires vers Lampedusa : à partir de Chebba (135km), de Kerkennah (140km) et de Zarzis (250km).

      En outre, la Tunisie est devenue le seul pays de transit après la fermeture des routes partant de la Libye. En effet, le flux d’émigrés à partir de ce pays a significativement tari suite à la signature d’un mémorandum d’entente le 2 février 2017 entre Rome et Tripoli (appuyé par les dirigeants européens dans la déclaration de Malte). Aux termes de cet accord, l’Italie doit coopérer avec les forces armées et les garde-frontières libyennes afin de juguler l’afflux de migrants illégaux. Un dispositif a été alors mis en place et 20.000 émigrants ont été interceptés en 2017 et reconduits en Libye, dans des centres de détention. Ainsi, le flux venant essentiellement des pays du Sahel africain a basculé sur le territoire tunisien.
      2. Déroulement d’une opération d’émigration clandestine

      De prime abord, il est à signaler que Les voyages clandestins sont organisés par des réseaux criminels. Le trafic est devenu transnational et apporte beaucoup d’argent. Une étude publiée par le journal d’actualités américain « The Christian Science Monitor » souligne « l’apparition de groupes mafieux d’envergure internationale italiens, albanais, libyens et autres » qui se livrent à ce trafic et gagnent 400 milliards de dollars à travers leurs actions qui englobent toute la région. Selon la même étude, Le candidat à l’émigration clandestine à partir de la Tunisie doit dépenser entre 3000 et 8000 dinars.
      L’organisation d’une opération d’émigration irrégulière passe par trois phases :
      2.1. La phase de recrutement

      Il s’agit de se servir d’agents et intermédiaires pour chercher et d’identifier les postulants à l’émigration sur le territoire national. Les quartiers pauvres et les zones grises du pays sont visés en priorité. Le contact se fait soit directement de bouche à l’oreille dans les cafés et les lieux publics soit par internet et notamment à travers les réseaux sociaux. Ceux qui viennent des pays étrangers sont recrutés et regroupés dans les pays limitrophes avant de les transférer par des passeurs en Tunisie.
      2.2. La phase de préparation logistique

      Tout d’abord, il faut trouver des caches (locaux) où regrouper les postulants au voyage et stocker des vivres pour subvenir à leur besoin durant la période d’attente. Ensuite, on prévoit le moyen de transport. Il est généralement un moyen vétuste acheté à moindre coût pour effectuer un aller sans retour (canot pneumatique, embarcation ou un vieux chalutier). Ce moyen est dépourvu de tout équipement de sécurité, de navigation et de communication. Enfin, le chef de réseau doit coordonner avec ses agents locaux et ses pairs à l’étranger pour fixer les moyens et les procédures nécessaires pour passer et/ou diriger les émigrés sur le lieu du regroupement. Cette phase englobe aussi une collecte de renseignement sur les dispositifs de sécurité déployés sur le théâtre de l’opération.
      2.3. Phase de préparation du transit

      C’est la phase la plus importante car elle fait appel à une bonne expérience pour choisir l’itinéraire, la période propice au voyage et le passeur (patron) qui sera chargé de la traversée.

      2.3.1. Choix de l’itinéraire : Le choix de la route doit prendre en compte la caractéristique physique du milieu marin, la sûreté du transit et le temps mis pour la traversée :

      La route La Galite-La Sardaigne est relativement longue (130km). Elle traverse une zone connue par la faible densité du trafic maritime et le mauvais temps. Elle est donc favorable à la détection radar (difficulté de dissimulation) et défavorable à la navigation des petites embarcations.
      Les deux routes à destination de Mazzara à partir de Bizerte (175km) et de Hawaria (160km) sont similaires. Elles sont longues et traversent une zone de séparation de trafic par laquelle passe plusieurs centaines de navires par jour. La zone est caractérisée par des courants giratoires relativement forts. Elle est donc favorable à la dissimulation mais défavorable à la navigation des petites embarcations.
      La route Kélébia-Pantellaria est la plus courte (70km). Cependant, elle est risquée en raison des patrouilles, de la couverture radar et du dispositif de sécurité mis en place par les autorités italiennes.
      La route Béni Khiar-Lampedusa (195km) est longue et traverse une zone peu fréquentée sur une grande partie de l’année. Elle est donc très défavorable à l’emploi des embarcations pneumatiques qui sont handicapées par le manque d’autonomie et le mode de propulsion.
      Les deux routes à destination de Lampedusa à parir de Chebba (135km) et de Kerkenah (140km) sont très similaires. Elles ont la même distance et traversent la zone de pêche réservée délimitée par l’isobathe de 50m (la zone verte sur la carte nr3). C’est une zone de haut fond qui s’étend jusqu’aux approches de Lampedusa. Cette zone est très hospitalière pour les petits navires. Elle est fréquentée par plusieurs milliers de chalutiers et embarcations. L’environnement est donc très favorable à la navigation et la dissimulation.

      La route Zarzis-Lampedusa est la plus longue (250km). L’emploi de petites embarcations sur cette route est très risqué à moins qu’elles soient utilisées comme relais pour rallier une plate-forme plus grande stationnée au large (navire ou chalutier).

      2.3.2. Le critère de compétence : Les iles Kerkennah se distinguent par le nombre de compétences (des anciens pêcheurs) qui coopèrent avec les réseaux criminels. Ces pêcheurs reconvertis en passeurs sont chargés de la traversée. Cette reconversion s’explique par une pollution maritime qui a mis ces gens de mer au chômage. En effet, les déchets chimiques provenant des industriels dont notamment Thyna Petroleum Services (TPS) et Petrofac ont dégradé l’environnement marin détruisant ainsi la faune marine (poissons, poulpes et éponges). victime de cette pollution et de la pêche illicite, la mer n’est plus généreuse comme au bon vieux temps. D’après The Christian Science Monitor, “les pêcheurs gagnaient jusqu’à 40$ - 100$ par jour (entre 100 et 250 dinars tunisiens). Maintenant, ils ont du mal à gagner 4 à 7$ (entre 10 et 17 dinars) par jour”. Ils ce sont alors livrés aux contrebondiers et leurs embarcations sont vendues aux réseaux criminels à un coût qui fait trois fois le prix réel.

      C’est cette qualité de pêcheur qui explique l’enrôlement des Kerkéniens dans les réseaux de trafic de migrants. Les statistiques du ministère de l’intérieur montrent que la majorité des patrons d’embarcations arrêtés lors des opérations avortées sont originaires de l’archipel.

      2.3.3. Le choix de la période et lieu d’embarquement :

      C’est le critère le plus important pour décider de l’exécution de l’opération. Tout s’explique par la force et la direction du vent. Une étude élaborée par l’Institut Tunisien des Etudes Stratégiques ( ITES) montre des chiffres très significatifs tirés à partir des opérations avortées en 2017 :

      le gouvernorat de Sfax est classé premier sur la liste avec 62 opérations suivi par Nabeul (34 opérations), Bizerte (24 opérations) et Zarzis (11 opérations). En outre, les statistiques montrent que 60% de ces opérations sont effectuées pendant les mois de septembre et d’octobre, 14% pendant juin et juillet. Le reste (26%) est réparti sur toute l’année. Ceci s’explique par la force et la direction (moyenne sur toute l’année) du vent dans ces régions (voir tableau).
      En effet, dans la région de Sfax, le vent atteint sa force la plus faible durant septembre et octobre (inférieur à 10 km/h). Il souffle du secteur Est engendrant de petites vagues qui ne gênent pas le mouvement des embarcations qui naviguent bout au vent (face au vent). Les accidents qui surviennent durant cette période sont causés essentiellement par un manque de stabilité en raison d’un excès de chargement. Ces caractéristiques du vent qui s’ajoutent aux caractéristiques physiques de l’environnement et aux compétences des pêcheurs font de Kerkénah le port préféré pour l’embarquement.
      Le fait que Nabeul et Bizerte occupent respectivement la deuxième et la troisième place s’explique par le vent du secteur Ouest qui souffle sur ces régions et qui pousse les embarcations (vent arrière) sur les côtes de Pantellaria et Mazzara. Les itinéraires partant de la Galite vers la Sardaigne et de Béni Khiar vers Lampeduza, qui sont déjà discriminés par le facteur physique, sont écartés en raison du vent très défavorable (vent de travers).
      La place occupée par Zarzis (4ème place) s’explique uniquement par sa proximité des frontières libyennes et par le vent modéré qui domine la région.

      3. Comment lutter contre le fléau ?

      Tout d’abord, il faut signaler que nos voisins européens déploient leur force (Opération Sofia) sur nos frontières et cherchent à s’ingérer dans nos affaires intérieures sous prétexte de lutter contre l’immigration clandestine. Plusieurs déclarations de responsables européens rentrent dans ce sens :

      Le 15 février 2011, le ministre de l’intérieur italien Roberto Maroni propose de déployer des policiers italiens en Tunisie. Le 9 avril de la même année, il parle de « débarquement » de 22.000 Tunisiens sur les côtes italiennes.
      Le 26 mai 2011, le député maire de Nice, Christian Estrosi, déclare “On constate aussi qu’une partie d’entre eux (les imigrés) – et cela est plus grave – appartiennent aux 10 000 délinquants condamnés et évadés des prisons.”
      Le 3 juin 2018, le nouveau ministre italien de l’Intérieur Matteo Salvini déclare « Il y a de plus en plus de migrants clandestins qui arrivent de Tunisie ici. Ce ne sont pas des réfugiés de guerre mais bien souvent des délinquants et ex-détenus. »
      Dans son projet de rapport 2018/2044(INI), la commission spéciale sur le terrorisme demande au parlement européen « que le mandat de l’opération #EUNAVFOR_MED Sophia soit étendu et que sa portée territoriale soit élargie afin de mieux répondre à l’évolution des schémas migratoires tels que les débarquements fantômes en provenance de la Tunisie, et que la lutte contre le terrorisme soit spécifiquement couverte par son mandat ». Elle propose aussi de « saisir Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU en vue d’adopter une résolution permettant à Sophia d’accéder aux eaux territoriales des États côtiers afin d’effectuer des contrôles sur les navires suspects ».
      Ensuite, il faut appliquer les textes juridiques propres à la matière :
      le Protocole contre le trafic illicite de migrants par terre, air et mer, additionnel à la Convention des Nations unies contre la criminalité transnationale organisée en 2000.
      notre réglementation intérieure en matière de lutte contre l’émigration clandestine et notamment la loi du 3 février 2004 relative à la traite des personnes et au trafic des migrants.
      Les accords bilatéraux (avec la France et l’Italie) concernant les migrants.

      Sur le plan opérationnel, la lutte doit se baser sur deux volets ; le renseignement et l’intervention. Le renseignement est la seule solution pour compenser le manque de moyens matériels dont souffrent nos unités.

      Aujourd’hui, l’intervention est handicapée par le manque d’unités navales et la diversité des intervenants en mer qui appartiennent aux différents ministères (marine nationale, garde maritime nationale et douane). Pour assurer notre souveraineté sur les espaces maritimes qui nous reviennent de droit et remplir nos missions en mer (dont la lutte contre l’émigration clandestine), il faut agir en deux directions :

      Adopter le concept de la sauvegarde maritime pour assurer la synergie des efforts entre tous les intervenants en mer,
      Déployer nos unités en fonction des impératifs du moment. A titre d’exemple, basculer des unités sur le port de Sfax, durant les mois de septembre et d’octobre pour couper la route à l’émigration clandestine entre Kerkennah et Lampedusa.

      Ainsi, ce sont quelques idées proposées aux décideurs pour les éclairer sur le coté opérationnel de l’émigration irrégulière. La guerre contre ce fléau ne peut être gagnée qu’avec la combinaison de mesures d’ordre économique et social.

      http://www.leaders.com.tn/article/25601-l-immigration-irreguliere-conception-de-l-operation-et-parade
      #émigration_irrégulière #migrations #asile #réfugiés #Tunisie #statistiques #chiffres #histoire #opération_sophia #externalisation
      ping @_kg_

  • #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