organization:human rights watch

  • Au Japon, la prison comme maison de retraite, Philippe Pons
    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2019/01/14/au-japon-la-prison-comme-maison-de-retraite_5408603_3210.html

    Pour pallier pauvreté et solitude, des Japonais de plus de 65 ans se font arrêter pour de menus larcins, contraignant les prisons à s’adapter à de nouvelles contraintes.

    Il se chauffait au soleil d’hiver dans ce petit parc désert du quartier à la population aux revenus modestes d’Arakawa, au nord de Tokyo. Agé, emmitouflé dans une parka qui avait connu des jours meilleurs, un bonnet sur le crâne, il portait une barbichette clairsemée. Echange de sourires. La conversation s’engage sur l’hiver ensoleillé japonais, la vie d’autrefois, la pension insuffisante, la #solitude des personnes âgées… « Demain j’irai à la #prison voir un ami, ce n’est pas un criminel, il a mon âge [78 ans] et il a été arrêté pour un #vol à l’étalage dans une supérette. Il voulait se faire arrêter. En prison, il a chaud, il est nourri et s’il est malade, on s’occupe de lui… Comme il est récidiviste, il en a pris pour deux ans… Un jour il faudra peut-être que je fasse comme lui. »

    Le Japon a le plus faible taux de criminalité du monde et une population carcérale relativement peu nombreuse par rapport à d’autres démocraties avancées. Mais celle-ci vieillit vite. Reflet de l’évolution démographique de l’archipel ? Pas seulement.

    Sénilité et incontinence

    Le Japon a la médaille d’or en espérance de vie mais la proportion des actifs dans la population se réduit et un quart de la population a plus de 65 ans (40 % en 2050). La délinquance de Japonais âgés (et surtout des femmes de la même tranche d’âge) est un phénomène apparu depuis une décennie qui va en s’aggravant.

    Selon le « Livre blanc sur la criminalité » de décembre 2018, 21,1 % des personnes arrêtées en 2017 avaient plus de 65 ans alors qu’en 2000, cette tranche d’âge ne représentait que 5,8 % de la population carcérale. Les délinquants âgés sont arrêtés pour de menus larcins. La majorité vole des produits alimentaires pour se nourrir ou améliorer l’ordinaire. Une minorité dit préférer la prison à une vie au seuil de la #pauvreté (ou en dessous) et à la solitude.

    L’arrivée de seniors dans les prisons a créé de nouvelles charges pour l’administration pénitentiaire. Ces détenus âgés présentent souvent les symptômes dus à la #vieillesse : ils entendent mal et tardent à exécuter les ordres ; certains sont incontinents, d’autres ont des problèmes de mobilité et il faut parfois les aider à se nourrir et à se laver : un surcroît de travail pour les gardiens. « Certains errent sans savoir où ils sont », écrit Yamamoto Joji dans Ceux qui ont élu domicile en prison, livre de souvenirs sur l’année que l’auteur a passé derrière les barreaux, publié en 2018.

    Des détenus âgés présentent en outre des symptômes de sénilité : selon le ministère de la justice, en 2016, c’était le cas d’un sur dix des plus de 65 ans. À partir de 2019 a été institué un examen psychologique pour les prisonniers de plus de 60 ans. Ceux qui sont diagnostiqués séniles bénéficient d’un traitement spécial. Des prisons ont aussi commencé à aménager des quartiers réservés aux détenus âgés. La prison devient pour certains l’équivalent d’une maison de retraite et leur incarcération revient à une sorte de prise en charge par l’Etat compensant l’insuffisance des #retraites.

    Hausse des « morts solitaires »

    Au lendemain de la guerre, trois générations pouvaient vivre sous le même toit puis la famille monoparentale s’est imposée et les seniors ont commencé à vivre seuls… et de plus en plus vieux. Divorcés ou ayant perdu leur conjoint, sans famille ou se refusant par fierté à demander de l’aide, six millions de Japonais âgés vivent dans un isolement quasi total et meurent ainsi. Les « #morts_solitaires » sont en augmentation constante : plus de 30 000 en 2016. Selon une enquête de la municipalité de Tokyo, 40 % de ces morts solitaires n’avaient pas de famille ni d’amis.

    Les #femmes sont les plus touchées par la détresse de la vieillesse : dans leur cas, la solitude se conjugue à la précarité financière. Beaucoup de Japonaises âgées vivent sous le seuil de pauvreté en raison d’une retraite insuffisante à la suite du décès du mari. Et elles seraient plus nombreuses que les hommes à chercher à se faire emprisonner : en 2017, une détenue sur cinq était âgée de plus de 65 ans. Quand elles sortent, elles récidivent plus que les hommes. Globalement, un quart des anciens détenus de plus de 65 ans récidive dans les deux ans qui suivent leur libération. Ce taux, le plus élevé toutes tranches d’âge confondues, contribue à l’augmentation des seniors dans la population carcérale.

    « La prison est une oasis pour moi. J’ai perdu ma liberté mais je n’ai plus à m’occuper de rien. Je peux parler avec d’autres détenues, je mange trois fois par jour, disait une détenue de 78 ans interrogée par l’agence Bloomberg en mars 2018. Ma fille me rend visite une fois par mois. Elle me trouve pathétique. Elle a sans doute raison. »

    L’homme à la barbichette du parc est pensif : « On peut comprendre les récidivistes. La vie est dure dehors. Mon ami dit qu’en prison au moins, il ne se préoccupe de rien… Et dehors, personne ne l’attendra quand il sortira. Sinon moi, si je suis en vie. » Des détenus âgés meurent en prison. Après la crémation (obligatoire au Japon), leurs cendres sont envoyées à un parent – s’il en existe un connu de l’administration.


  • 430,000 flee Cameroon’s restive Anglophone areas, says group

    An international refugee agency says that more than 430,000 people have fled violence in Cameroon’s restive English-speaking regions and are hiding in rural areas with few resources.

    The Norwegian Refugee Council, one of several humanitarian organizations offering support, said Wednesday it is assisting the displaced by providing shelter and supplies to needy families. David Manan, the Norwegian group’s country director for Cameroon, called for more international aid.

    He said there are too few agencies on the ground to provide the amount of aid needed. He said many people are hiding in the bush.

    Cameroon’s English-speaking separatists have been protesting since 2016 against what they claim is discrimination by the French-speaking majority. Their protests were initially peaceful, but in response to a government crackdown some separatists are waging a violent campaign.

    https://www.thestate.com/news/nation-world/world/article223306000.html
    #Cameroun #Cameroun_anglophone #asile #migrations #réfugiés #COI #IDPs #déplacés_internes

    • Conflict in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions forces 430,000 people to flee

      The number of people displaced as a result of the crisis in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions has spiked to more than 430,000 during the last months. Many people are hiding in the bush with no support, warns the Norwegian Refugee Council.

      “We are deeply worried by the ongoing conflict and the increasing displacement figures. Parties to the conflict must ensure that civilians in the area are protected and are able to safely access life-saving assistance,” said David Manan, Country Director for the Norwegian Refugee Council in Cameroon.

      The number of people displaced from their homes in Cameroon’s Anglophone Southwest and Northwest regions and in neighbouring Littoral and West regions has reached 437.000, according to the latest UN estimates.

      NRC is assisting people displaced by this crisis. However, many people are left without any support, as insecurity is hindering organisations from accessing many areas. People are without proper shelter and sanitation facilities, clean water, food and access to medical care.

      “The needs we are witnessing in the Southwest and Northwest regions are alarming and there are too few agencies on the ground to provide the necessary aid due to limited funding. We call for more donors to prioritise this crisis to allow more agencies to respond so that we can stem the rising tide of suffering and displacement,” said Manan.

      “Displaced families who receive our assistance have told us that they share it or give it to their relatives who did not yet receive any assistance and desperately need help. Many people are hiding in the bush with no support, fearing for their lives,” added Manan.

      “This is the first time I am being helped since I fled,” said Annoh, who received essential household items, including materials to build a shelter. “I will share what I have received with my husband who is hiding in the bush. He has nothing but the clothes he was wearing when he fled,” she added.

      NRC is distributing household items, shelter and hygiene kits in Northwest and Southwest regions with support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA) and European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO).


      https://www.nrc.no/news/2018/december/conflict-in-cameroons-anglophone-regions-forces-430000-people-to-flee

    • A generation of unschooled Cameroonians, another generation of conflict?

      “As we trekked, they kept on telling us that they don’t want us to go to school again,” says 15-year-old Martha Lum, four weeks after being released by the armed gunmen who kidnapped her along with 78 other children and staff members in Cameroon.

      Lum’s story is becoming common across the country’s Northwest and Southwest regions, where the conflict between anglophone separatists and francophone armed forces that’s claimed hundreds of lives has made schools a battlefield.

      Since the anglophone conflict escalated in late 2017, more than 430,000 people have been forced to flee their homes. In May, the UN’s emergency aid coordination body, OCHA, said approximately 42,500 children were out of school. However, local rights groups estimate that number has now increased fourfold following frequent abductions.

      Some 20,000 school-age children now live in the bush. With no learning materials or trained teachers, they have no access to a formal education. Parents and local officials worry that the children could be driven to take up arms, becoming a lost generation that perpetuates the conflict and the humanitarian crisis.

      “Imagine that these children miss school for five or 10 years because of the fighting, hearing the sound of guns every day, and seeing people being killed; what will become of them?” says 45-year-old mother of four *Elizabeth Tamufor.

      “We have been hiding in the bush for more than a year,” she tells IRIN. “I am sure the children have forgotten what they were taught in school. You think in five years they will still be hiding here? They will probably pick up guns and start fighting.”

      The fear of schoolchildren and young students joining the armed separatists is already a reality for some. *Michael, 20, used to be a student before the conflict started. He joined the separatists when his friend was killed by government forces.

      “I replaced books with the gun since then. But I will return to school immediately we achieve our independence,” he says.
      Right from the start

      The roots of Cameroon’s anglophone conflict can be traced back to education. The separatists fighting for independence from French-majority Cameroon say the current school system symbolises the marginalisation of the English language and culture.

      After years of discontent, in November 2016, anglophone teachers began an indefinite strike to protest what they said amounted to systematic discrimination against English-speaking teachers and students. In response, government security forces clamped down on protests, arresting hundreds of demonstrators, including children, killing at least four people and wounding many more.

      This caused widespread anger across the Southwest and Northwest regions, which a year later led to the rise of the armed separatist groups now fighting for independence and a new English-speaking nation called “#Ambazonia”.

      Although the majority of teacher trade unions called off their strike in February 2017, separatists continue to impose curfews and abduct people as a means to push the local population to refrain from sending children back to school.

      As a result, tens of thousands of children haven’t attended school since 2016. Local media is awash with stories of kidnappings of children and teachers who do not comply with the boycott, while rights groups say the disruption of education puts children at risk of exploitation, child labour, recruitment by armed groups, and early marriage.

      “Schools have become targets,” a July 2018 Human Rights Watch report notes. “Either because of these threats, or as a show of solidarity by parents and teachers with the separatist cause, or both, school enrollment levels have dropped precipitously during the crisis.”

      In June, Amnesty International said at least 42 schools had been attacked since February last year. While latest statistics are not available, it is believed that at least 100 separate incidents of school kidnapping have taken place since the separatist movement turned violent in 2017. More than 100 schools have also been torched and at least a dozen teachers killed or wounded, according to Issa Tchiroma, Cameroon’s minister of communication.
      The separatist view

      Speaking to IRIN last month in Bali, a town neighbouring Bamenda – the capital of Northwest region – armed separatist leader *Justin says his group is enforcing the school boycott started by the teacher trade unions.

      “They (teachers) started a strike action to resist the ‘francophonisation’ of the anglophone system of education, and the evil francophone regime arrested and detained their colleagues, shot dead schoolchildren, and you expect us to sit down and watch them killing our people?”

      “We don’t want the schoolchildren of Ambazonia to be part of the corrupt francophone system of education,” he said. “We have designed a new school programme for them which will start as soon as we achieve our independence.“

      *Laba, who controls another group of armed separatists, is more categorical. “When we say no school, we mean no school,” he says emphatically. “We have never and will never kill a student or teacher. We just want them to stay home until we get our independence and begin implementing our own system of education.”

      There are about 20 armed separatist groups across the two English-speaking regions. They operate independently, and separatists have publicly disagreed on the various methods of imposing the school boycott.

      Both Justin and Laba accuse the government of staging “some” of the school abductions in order “to discredit the image of the separatists internationally”. But they also admit that some armed separatist groups are guilty of kidnapping and killing children and teachers.

      “We don’t kidnap schoolchildren,” Justin says. “We just impose curfews to force them to stay home.”

      But for many parents and schoolchildren, staying at home for this long is already having devastating consequences.
      School children in uniforms walk on the street toward camera.

      ‘Everything is different’

      Parents who can afford it have enrolled their children in schools in the French-speaking part of the country – mostly Douala and Yaoundé. But the influx has caused fees to rise in the francophone zones. Tuition fees that normally cost $150 annually have now more than doubled to $350.

      Beyond the costs, parents also need to transport their children from the troubled regions, along a very insecure highway, to apply for enrollment.

      When they get there, success is far from guaranteed. A lot of the francophone schools are now at full capacity and have stopped accepting students from anglophone regions, meaning many children will likely have to stay home for yet another year.

      Those studying in a new environment can also take quite a while to adapt.

      George Muluh, 16, had been at a school in the Southwest region before the conflict but is now attending Government Bilingual High School Deido in Douala.

      “Everything is just different,” he says. “I don’t understand French. The classrooms are overcrowded. The teaching method is different. I am getting more and more confused every day. I just want the conflict to end so I can go back to the Southwest to continue my studies.”

      It might be a long while before George has that opportunity. To the Cameroonian government, the teachers’ grievances have already been solved.

      “The government has employed 1,000 bilingual teachers, allocated two billion CFA ($4 million) to support private education, transferred teachers who could not speak French and redeployed them to French zones. These were the demands of the teachers. What do they want again?” asks Tchiroma, the minister of communication.

      But Sylvester Ngan, from the Teachers Association of Cameroon (TAC), which defends the rights of English-speaking teachers in the country, says most of these measures are cosmetic and don’t solve key issues related to French-only exams and francophone teachers in English schools.
      Leave the children alone

      While the government and teachers’ unions argue about who is right and what education system to implement, the war is ongoing, people are dying, and tens of thousands of children are not in school.

      “No reason can be advanced to justify the unwarranted attacks on children in general and pupils who are seeking to acquire knowledge and skills,” says Jacques Boyer, UNICEF representative in Cameroon. “All children in the regions must be able to go to school in peace.”

      President Paul Biya, 85, who just won another seven-year term after 36 years in power, has ignored calls for an inclusive dialogue to end the conflict. The first related measure he undertook after the October election was the creation of a commission to disarm and reintegrate former armed separatists.

      Cameroonian political analyst Michael Mbah describes the move as “a joke”, saying that a ceasefire and dialogue must precede any serious attempt at disarmament and reintegration.

      Meanwhile, the next year looks bleak for children like Lum whose futures are being decided by a war beyond their control. “I have always wanted to become a medical doctor,” Lum tells IRIN, but she now fears her dream will be shattered by the persistent conflict.

      “Leave the children alone,” says *Raymond, a father of four whose offspring haven’t been able to study for close to two years now.

      “We, parents, cannot afford to raise a generation of illiterates,” he says. “The future of the children is being sacrificed, just like that.”

      *Names changed at the request of the interviewees for security reasons.

      https://www.irinnews.org/news-feature/2018/12/19/cameroon-generation-unschooled-children-could-fuel-long-term-conflict
      #éducation #droit_à_l'éducation #école #scolarisation #enfants #enfance #conflit

    • République d’#Ambazonie

      « Le nom Ambazonia a été préféré à Southern British Cameroons afin de ne pas confondre cette zone avec la région territoriale du sud (Southern Cameroon). Les « autonomistes ambazoniens » avaient à cœur de trouver un nom local afin de bannir « Cameroun » qu’ils considéraient comme le symbole du lourd fardeau de l’héritage colonial. Pour cela, ils ont fouillé dans les livres d’histoire et inventé le nom Ambazonia. Celui-ci dérive d’Ambas, nom donné à la région de l’embouchure du fleuve Wouri. Ce site, en forme de baie, avait alors reçu le nom anglais Baie d’Ambas1. »

      https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%A9publique_d%27Ambazonie


  • #Jessica_Neuwirth : Atteinte injustifiable aux droits humains des femmes piégées dans l’industrie du sexe
    https://tradfem.wordpress.com/2018/12/15/atteinte-injustifiable-aux-droits-humains-des-femmes-piegees-dans

    Il y a soixante-dix ans, la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme (DUDH) était signée au Palais de Chaillot à Paris. Après deux guerres mondiales dévastatrices, l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies définissait une toute nouvelle vision des droits humains que le monde entier pourrait accepter d’adopter. C’est encore aujourd’hui la référence pour la plupart des organisations de défense de ces droits.

    La première ligne de la Déclaration affirme de manière claire et convaincante que tous les êtres humains naissent libres et égaux. Dans la pratique, la liberté et l’égalité sont les fondements sur lesquels reposent tous les autres droits humains fondamentaux.

    La Déclaration universelle reconnaît également que nul ne doit être tenu en esclavage ou en servitude. Cela comprend les millions de femmes et de filles qui sont captives d’une industrie du sexe dévastatrice.

    Malgré la clarté de cette question dans l’esprit des défenderesses des droits des femmes et des survivantes de la prostitution, certains organismes des Nations Unies – dont ONUSIDA et le PNUD, ainsi que certains groupes de défense des droits de l’homme de premier plan comme Human Rights Watch et Amnesty International – ont ignoré ce principe fondamental et ont plutôt réclamé la décriminalisation du proxénétisme, de la tenue de bordels et de la consommation de sexe par les prostitueurs.

    Traduction : #Tradfem
    Version originale : http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/12/undermining-human-rights-women-trapped-sex-trade
    #système_prostitutionnel #déclaration_des_droits_humains #vulnérabilité #violences


  • EN TUNISIE, L’EGALITE DEVANT L’HERITAGE ENCOURAGERAIT L’ENTREPRENEURIAT FEMININ (Le Monde Arabe-Mounira ELBOUTI-2018-12-04)

    Aujourd’hui, les Tunisiennes sont considérées comme « non capables d’assurer une succession appropriée », indique un entrepreneur tunisien.

    Fin novembre dernier, le Conseil des ministres adoptait le projet de loi consacrant l’égalité entre les femmes et les hommes devant l’héritage en Tunisie. Et dans la foulée, le président tunisien, Béji Caïd Essebsi, à l’origine de la réforme, le soumettait à l’Assemblée des représentants du peuple (ARP), qui ne devrait pas se prononcer dessus avant plusieurs mois. L’initiative, une première dans le monde arabe, résulte notamment des recommandations de la Commission des libertés individuelles et de l’égalité (COLIBE). Qui, en juin dernier, avait estimé que Tunis devait effectuer des réformes substantielles concernant l’égalité entre les sexes et les libertés individuelles dans le pays. Réformes qui, longtemps revendiquées par une partie de la société civile tunisienne, doivent in fine servir à remettre en cause le système patriarcal en Tunisie, largement fondé sur la subordination des femmes.
    Ce n’est pas un hasard si le « berceau » des printemps arabes a décidé de s’emparer le premier du sujet. Le pays accorde bien plus de droit aux femmes que tout autre dans la région, et permet depuis un an aux Tunisiennes de confessions musulmane, d’épouser des hommes non musulmans. Ce qui n’empêche pas une fracture, dans la société, entre les pro et les anti-égalité de genre devant l’héritage. (Le système actuel, fondé sur la loi islamique, permet généralement aux hommes d’hériter du double de ce qu’une femme recevrait.) Face aux vives critiques provenant, notamment, d’Ennahdha – le parti islamiste, qui dispose de 30 % des sièges parlementaires, est le seul à avoir annoncé son opposition au projet de loi -, le président tunisien a assorti son texte de quelques exceptions. Les familles désirant poursuivre sous le régime de la charia étant autorisées à le faire.

    « Dynamisme, prudence et conformité »

    Si l’adoption de la loi est fondamentale pour le droit des femmes – dont les revendications doivent nécessairement s’émanciper de la question de l’ « identité arabo-musulmane » afin d’être traitées sur le terrain des droits humains, nous expliquait Leïla Tauil, chercheure et spécialiste de la question féministe, en octobre dernier -, elle s’avère également très intéressante d’un point de vue économique.
    Au printemps dernier, la Société financière internationale, filiale de la Banque mondiale pour le secteur privé, a publié un rapport, intitulé « Miser sur les femmes en Tunisie », soulignant l’importance des prêts bancaires aux Tunisiennes pour l’économie du pays. Or, lors de l’évaluation d’un projet, les banques ne s’intéressent en général pas à sa qualité ni à celle de l’entrepreneur, mais aux garanties apportés par ce dernier. Et la loi sur l’héritage actuelle, qui réduit de facto l’autonomie économique des femmes, les empêche d’accéder à la propriété – les Tunisiennes ne sont que 12 % à posséder une maison et 14 % un terrain. Difficile, dans ces conditions, d’obtenir un prêt bancaire pour démarrer ou poursuivre une activité entrepreneuriale. Si bien que les femmes, en Tunisie, ne possèdent qu’entre 18 et 23 % des entreprises, selon le rapport de la Société financières internationale. Qui indique également que la différence de crédit combiné, pour les petites sociétés, entre les femmes et les hommes, atteint près de 600 millions de dollars…
    « Bien que la Tunisie dispose des lois les plus progressistes de la région en matière de droits des femmes […] cela ne s’est pas traduit proportionnellement par une participation économique à grande échelle des femmes », pointe du doigt le rapport de la Société financière internationale.
    Un sacré frein au développement de leur business, qui pourrait cependant être un peu plus lâche, si les Tunisiennes obtenaient davantage de biens, et donc de garanties, grâce à… un héritage égalitaire. La Société financière internationale l’a bien compris et incite vivement à accélérer les opportunités financières pour les Tunisiennes – et, globalement, toutes les citoyennes. D’autant plus que les établissements bancaires en sortiraient gagnants. Selon l’enquête de l’organisation internationale, les femmes seraient plus fidèles que les hommes à leur banque, à condition d’être traitées sur un même pied d’égalité et d’y recevoir des services satisfaisants. Sans compter que les entreprises qu’elles gèrent affichent de meilleurs résultats, et « sont connues, en particulier parmi les institutions de micro-finance, pour leur dynamisme, leur prudence et leur conformité ».

    Le paradoxe Ennahdha

    Interrogé sur l’impact de l’égalité entre femmes et hommes devant l’héritage en Tunisie, Wajdi Ben Rjeb, entrepreneur tunisien, estime que la loi donnerait « un coup de pouce au leadership féminin, par le biais de l’entrepreneuriat ou de la succession ». Aujourd’hui, explique-t-il, les femmes, souvent considérées comme « non prioritaires ou non capables d’assurer une succession appropriée », se voient attribuer « un héritage moins intéressant que leurs frères, aussi bien en terme de valeur que de potentiel ». Ce qui explique qu’il y a « peu de femmes aux commandes des entreprises familiales tunisiennes ayant passé le cap de la 2ème génération », dirigées plutôt par les fils. Un tropisme qui pourrait s’équilibrer avec la loi sur l’héritage, qui, selon Wajdi Ben Rjeb, « va apporter une égalité des chances en matière de succession et encouragera l’accès des femmes aux postes de haute direction et aux conseils d’administration des entreprises familiales. »
    Car cela n’est pas encore assez le cas. D’après l’OCDE (Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques), qui a publié en mars dernier un rapport sur l’économie tunisienne, en termes d’emplois, « les disparités hommes-femmes sont moins importantes que dans les autres pays MENA [Moyen-Orient et Afrique du Nord, ndlr] mais le taux d’emploi est bien plus faible pour les femmes que pour les hommes et les femmes occupent souvent des emplois moins qualifiés. » Et si les autorités tunisiennes, qui composent avec une embellie économique, veulent rendre la croissance davantage inclusive, elles doivent « favoriser le recrutement des femmes par des campagnes de sensibilisation sur les conséquences des choix éducatifs et de la formation sur les possibilités d’emploi et d’entrepreneuriat », estime l’OCDE.
    A charge pour Tunis, si la loi est adoptée à l’ARP, de faire progresser la notion d’entrepreneuriat féminin, en multipliant ainsi les initiatives éducatives pour aider les Tunisiennes à comprendre comment tirer parti de leurs nouveaux droits et atouts. Les débats, en raison des postures conservatrices d’une partie des politiques, promettent d’être mouvementés. Mais « le Parlement devrait adopter ce projet de loi et réaffirmer la place de la Tunisie comme leader régional dans le démantèlement de la discrimination juridique fondée sur le sexe », a déclaré Ahmed Benchemsi, directeur de la communication et du plaidoyer pour le Moyen-Orient et l’Afrique du Nord chez Human Rights Watch. Ce dernier de noter toutefois le paradoxe Ennahdha, luttant « contre l’égalité dans les lois relatives aux successions, alors que le parti a soutenu d’autres réformes en faveur des droits de femmes. » Réponse dans quelques mois.


  • Tracking China’s Muslim Gulag
    https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/muslims-camps-china

    China is accused of incarcerating hundreds of thousands of Muslims in detention camps that are rising from the desert sands in Xinjiang. A forensic analysis of satellite images of 39 of these facilities shows they are expanding at a rapid rate.

    #chine #camps_de_travail #musulman #Ouïghours #détention

    • Très belle illustration visuelle !

      La légende des différentes étapes :

      Here are the footprints of all 39 camps. Prior to April 2017, these facilities had a total of 539 buildings covering 379,000 square meters.

      By August this year, the number of buildings at these facilities had more than doubled to 1,129. The area they covered had almost tripled to more than 1 million square meters - roughly the size of 140 soccer fields.

      And the expansion continues. A further 67 buildings, covering an area of 210,000 square meters, are now under construction in these compounds, according to the most recent satellite imagery that was analyzed.

      Infographie vraiment remarquable.

      #merci @odilon

    • Opinion: The Strange Silence Over China’s Muslim Crackdown

      President Trump says trade talks between the United States and China have been, “going very well.” The United States put $250 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods last year, to counter what it considers unfair trade practices and theft of U.S. technology.

      But there are no indications the United States, the United Nations, or any government is prepared to use any economic or diplomatic leverage to oppose China locking up between 800,000 and 2 million Uighurs, Kazakhs and other Chinese Muslims into internment camps in the western Xinjiang region.

      The camps are in remote locations — closed to the world — and ringed with barbed wire. But they have been photographed by satellite. The Chinese government calls them “re-education centers,” a phrase that carries a sinister history from the murderous purges of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution.

      The people in the camps are forced to denounce their faith and pledge loyalty to the Communist Party. According to multiple reports, a number of people in the camps have also been tortured.

      As Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch, told The Independent, “If any other government in the world was locking up a million Muslims I think we can reasonably expect to have seen demands for a debate at the U.N. Security Council or an international investigation. That’s generally unlikely to happen with China.”

      There were calls in the U.S. Congress last fall for the Trump administration to consider sanctions against China for what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced as “awful abuses.”

      But China is America’s largest creditor: it holds more than a trillion dollars in U.S. Treasury securities. Look down at whatever you’re wearing, carrying, riding in or working on right now. American businesses get rich relying on Chinese workers who earn low wages to produce our clothing, mobile phones, building materials, and dazzling new tech devices.

      The Trump administration imposed tariffs on China over unfair trade practices. But it has offered no more than a few rhetorical flourishes over human rights crimes. Neither did the Obama administration, or the European Union.

      And Muslim countries — including Saudi Arabia and Iran — have been similarly, conspicuously, silent. China invests heavily, and strategically in their nations too.

      Sometimes, the price of human rights just cannot compete.

      https://www.npr.org/2019/01/12/684687441/opinion-the-strange-silence-over-chinas-muslim-crackdown
      #disparitions


  • A l’occasion du G20, le criminel en chef saoudien va-t-il devoir rendre des comptes ?
    27 novembre 2018 – Al Jazeera – Traduction : Chronique de Palestine
    http://www.chroniquepalestine.com/occasion-g20-criminel-en-chef-saoudien-va-t-il-rendre-des-compte

    Human Rights Watch a soumis une demande d’enquête à l’Argentine avant l’arrivée de Mohammed bin Salman au sommet du G20.

    L’Argentine a été fermement sollicitée pour interroger le prince héritier saoudien Mohammed bin Salman pour des crimes de guerre au Yémen et pour le meurtre du journaliste Jamal Khashoggi.

    Human Rights Watch, basé à New York, a déclaré avoir soumis lundi la demande au juge fédéral argentin Ariel Lijo.

    Sarah Leah Whitson, directrice de HRW pour le Moyen-Orient et l’Afrique du Nord, a déclaré que le groupe de défense des droits de l’homme s’était rendu en Argentine parce que le prince Mohammed, également, connu sous le nom de MBS, assistera à l’ouverture du sommet du G20 cette semaine à Buenos Aires.

    La constitution argentine reconnaît la compétence universelle en matière de crimes de guerre et de torture, ce qui signifie que les autorités judiciaires peuvent enquêter sur ces crimes et engager des poursuites, quel que soit le lieu où ils ont été commis. (...)


  • L’Europe utilisera-t-elle les drones israéliens contre les réfugiés ?

    En matière de sécurité, #Israël en connait un rayon. Ses entreprises sont particulièrement actives sur ce marché lucratif et peuvent démontrer l’efficacité de leurs produits en prenant les Palestiniens comme cobayes. Pour contrôler l’arrivée de réfugiés, l’agence européenne #Frontex s’intéresse ainsi de près au drone #Heron. L’engin a fait ses “preuves au combat” durant l’#opération_Plomb durci. (IGA)

    En septembre, l’Agence de surveillance des frontières de l’Union européenne Frontex a annoncé le démarrage de vols d’essais de drones en #Italie, en #Grèce et au #Portugal. Il y avait une omission majeure dans la déclaration de Frontex : le type de drones testé avait été utilisé auparavant pour attaquer Gaza.

    Certains détails sur les compagnies impliquées dans ces essais ont été publiés plus tôt cette année. Un « avis d’attribution de marché » a révélé qu’#Israel_Aerospace_Industries était l’un des deux fournisseurs sélectionnés.

    Israel Aerospace Industries a reçu 5.,5 millions de dollars pour jusqu’à 600 heures de vols d’essais.

    Le drone qu’Israel Aerospace Industries offre pour la #surveillance maritime s’appelle le #Heron.

    Selon le propre site web de la compagnie, le Heron a « fait ses preuves au combat ». C’est une expression codée signifiant qu’il a été employé pendant trois attaques majeures d’Israël contre Gaza pendant la dernière décennie.

    Après l’opération Plomb durci, l’attaque israélienne sur Gaza de fin 2008 et début 2009, une enquête de Human Rights Watch a conclu que des dizaines de civils avaient été tués par des missiles lancés à partir de drones. Le Heron a été identifié comme l’un des principaux drones déployés dans cette offensive.

    Frontex – qui expulse fréquemment des réfugiés d’Europe – a étudié les #drones depuis un certain temps. Déjà en 2012, Israel Aerospace Industries avait présenté le Heron à un événement organisé par Frontex.

    Par ses vols d’essais, Frontex permet à l’industrie de guerre israélienne d’adapter la technologie testée sur les Palestiniens à des fins de surveillance. Alors que les dirigeants de l’Union européenne professent couramment leur souci des droits humains, l’implication de fabricants d’armes pour surveiller les frontières partage plus que quelques similitudes avec les politiques belliqueuses poursuivies par le gouvernement de Donald Trump aux USA.

    Des opportunités commerciales

    Les entreprises israéliennes bénéficient des décisions prises des deux côtés de l’Atlantique.

    L’année dernière, #Elta – une filiale d’Israel Aerospace Industries – a été engagée pour dessiner un prototype pour le mur controversé que Trump a proposé d’établir le long de la frontière USA- Mexique. Elbit, un autre fabricant israélien de drones, a gagné en 2014 un contrat pour construire des tours de surveillance entre l’Arizona et le Mexique.

    Les mêmes compagnies poursuivent les opportunités commerciales en Europe.

    Elta a été en contact avec divers gouvernements à propos de leur système « de #patrouille_virtuelle des #frontières » – qui est basé sur l’interception des communications téléphoniques des mobiles et l’#espionnage des usagers d’internet. Pour fournir un prétexte à une telle intrusion, la compagnie joue sur la politique de la #peur. Amnon Sofrin, un dirigeant d’Elta qui occupait auparavant une position de premier plan dans l’agence israélienne d’espionnage et d’assassinat du Mossad, a recommandé que l’Europe choisisse en priorité la « #sécurité » plutôt que les libertés civiles.

    L’entreprise israélienne #Magal_Systems cherche aussi des contrats en Europe. Magal a installé ce qu’elle appelle une barrière « intelligente » — livrée avec des capteurs et un équipement avancé de caméras – le long de la frontière d’Israël avec Gaza.

    Saar Koush, jusqu’à récemment le PDG de Magal, a argué que le rôle de l’entreprise dans la mise en place d’un siège des deux millions d’habitants de Gaza leur donnait un argument commercial unique – ou au moins rare. « Tout le monde peut vous donner un très joli Powerpoint, mais peu de gens peuvent vous montrer un projet aussi complexe que Gaza, qui est constamment testé en combat », a dit Koush.

    Apprendre d’Israël ?

    Frontex est en contact avec d’autres entreprises israéliennes.

    En juin de cette année, l’Union européenne a publié une notice montrant que la compagnie israélienne #Windward avait gagné un contrat de près d’ 1 million de dollars pour travailler à un projet d’« analyse maritime » organisé par Frontex. #Gabi_Ashkenazi, un ancien chef de l’armée israélienne, est conseiller à Windward ; #David_Petraeus, qui a commandé les troupes US occupant l’Irak et l’Afghanistan, est l’un de ses investisseurs.

    Dans son rapport annuel 2016, Frontex déclarait que « les premiers pas avaient été faits afin de développer des relations « stratégiques » avec Israël. Frontex a ultérieurement exprimé son intention d’accroître cette coopération d’ici 2020.

    Un point clé est « l’apprentissage mutuel ». Il est plus que probable qu’il s’agisse d’un euphémisme pour échanger des notes sur les tactiques qui devraient être utilisées contre les gens fuyant la pauvreté ou la persécution.

    Israël a une réputation effroyable en ce qui concerne le traitement des réfugiés. Des Africains vivant en Israël ont été sujets à des mauvais traitements racistes de la part des plus hauts niveaux du gouvernement. Benjamin Netanyahou, le Premier ministre, les a étiquetés comme des « infiltrés ».

    Un autre ministre du gouvernement a soutenu que les Africains ne peuvent être considérés comme des humains.

    Selon l’institut de sondage Gallup, Israël est l’un des pays les moins hospitaliers du monde pour les demandeurs d’asile. Malgré sa proximité géographique avec la Syrie, Israël a refusé l’entrée aux victimes de la guerre en cours.

    L’an dernier, Netanyahou a été entendu disant aux dirigeants du groupe de Visegrad (ou Visegrad 4) – la Hongrie, la Pologne, la République tchèque et la Slovaquie – qu’ils devraient fermer leurs frontières aux réfugiés. Il a aussi déclaré qu’Israël joue un rôle important dans la réduction de la migration vers l’Europe et suggéré qu’Israël devrait être récompensé pour cela.

    L’identification d’Israël comme partenaire pour une « coopération stratégique » avec Frontex est inquiétante en soi. Les préparatifs pour utiliser les outils de répression d’Israël contre les réfugiés faisant route vers l’Europe le sont encore plus.

    https://www.investigaction.net/fr/leurope-utilisera-t-elle-les-drones-israeliens-contre-les-refugies

    #surveillance_frontalière #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #asile #migrations #réfugiés #sécurité #Méditerranée #Heron #Israeli_Aerospace_Industries #Gaza #business

    • #Leonardo deploys its #Falco_EVO_RPAS for drone-based maritime surveillance as part of the Frontex test programme

      Leonardo’s Falco EVO Remotely-Piloted Air System (RPAS), in a maritime patrol configuration, has been deployed from Lampedusa airport (Lampedusa Island) as part of the Frontex surveillance research programme to test its ability to monitor the European Union’s external borders.

      Frontex is exploring the surveillance capability of medium-altitude, long-endurance RPAS as well as evaluating cost efficiency and endurance. Leonardo was selected by the European agency under a service contract tender for drone operations for maritime surveillance across the Italian and Maltese civil airspace. The current agreement provides for 300 flight hours and may be extended into a longer-term agreement.

      Under the deployment, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) activities are organised by Guardia di Finanza under coordination of the Ministry of Interior and are undertaken by Leonardo from Lampedusa also thanks to the decisive support and collaboration of ENAC and ENAV. Leonardo’s flight crews and maintenance teams are present to support the operations with the Falco EVO, which is equipped with a complete on-board sensor suite including the Company’s Gabbiano TS Ultra Light radar. This configuration allows it to carry out extended-range day and night-time missions.

      “We are proud to be able to demonstrate the capabilities of our Falco EVO to Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, which is facing the on-going and evolving surveillance challenges posed by maritime borders. We are ready to leverage our years of experience in drone-based surveillance operations, working with the United Nations and many other international customers,” said Alessandro Profumo, CEO of Leonardo. “I wish to thank all the Italian stakeholders who contributed to this important achievement and I am convinced that this fruitful partnering approach will allow Frontex to define the best possible use for drone-based technologies.”

      The Falco EVO will operate under a “Permit to Fly” issued by the Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC), which authorizes flights in the Italian and Maltese Flight Information Region (FIR)’s civil airspace. The innovative agreement reached with ENAC guarantees compliance with national and international regulations and coordination with relevant authorities. The agreement also provides for close involvement from the Guardia di Finanza as subject matter experts with operational experience in defining mission profiles and ensuring the best operational conditions in which to undertake the 300- hours test programme.

      The Falco EVO configuration being deployed includes a high-definition InfraRed (IR) electro-optical system, a Beyond-Line-Of-Sight (BLOS) satellite data-link system, a new propulsion system based on a heavy-fuel engine, an Automatic Identification System (AIS) and a complete communications relay suite.

      Leonardo is the only European company providing a comprehensive RPAS ISR capability, from the design of each system element all the way through to operations. Today the Company is an international pioneer in the operation of unmanned flights on behalf of civil organizations in “non-segregated”, transnational airspace.

      Under an innovative business model, Leonardo owns and operates its Falco family of RPAS and provides surveillance information and data directly to its customers. This ‘managed service’ model is expected to be an area of growth for Leonardo which is expanding its ‘drones as a service’ offering to customers such as the police and emergency responders in line with the growth path outlined in the Company’s industrial plan.


      https://www.edrmagazine.eu/leonardo-deploys-its-falco-evo-rpas-for-drone-based-maritime-surveillanc

    • Leonardo: il #Falco_Evo inizia i voli per il programma Frontex

      Il Falco Evo, il velivolo a pilotaggio remoto di Leonardo, ha iniziato la campagna di voli in una configurazione specifica per il monitoraggio marittimo, nell’ambito del programma Frontex, finalizzato alla sperimentazione di droni per il controllo delle frontiere esterne dell’Unione europea. Frontex, l’agenzia europea della guardia di frontiera e costiera, sta infatti analizzando la capacità di sorveglianza a media altitudine e lunga persistenza offerta dai velivoli pilotati a distanza, valutando efficienza economica ed efficacia operativa di tali sistemi. Leonardo è stata selezionata a seguito di una gara per un contratto di servizio per fornire attività di sorveglianza marittima attraverso l’uso di droni nello spazio aereo civile italiano e maltese. L’accordo attuale prevede un totale di 300 ore di volo con possibili ulteriori estensioni contrattuali. Le operazioni di sorveglianza e ricognizione effettuate da Leonardo con il Falco Evo vengono pianificate dalla Guardia di Finanza sotto il coordinamento del ministero dell’Interno, con il supporto di Enac, Enav e AST Aeroservizi Società di Gestione dell’aeroporto di Lampedusa, dove si svolgono i voli.
      “Siamo orgogliosi di dimostrare le capacità del Falco EVO all’agenzia europea Frontex e alle Forze di Sicurezza, che affrontano quotidianamente la sfida del controllo e della protezione dei confini marittimi – ha commentato Alessandro Profumo, amministratore delegato di Leonardo -. Leonardo mette a disposizione di questo programma la lunga esperienza acquisita anche grazie alle attività svolte per le Nazioni Unite e molti altri clienti internazionali con i propri sistemi pilotati da remoto”.
      Il Falco Evo opera grazie ad un “Permit to Fly” rilasciato dall’Enac, che autorizza i voli nello spazio aereo civile italiano e maltese. L’accordo innovativo raggiunto con Enac garantisce quindi la conformità alle normative nazionali e internazionali e il coordinamento con le relative autorità. L’attività prevede, inoltre, un forte coinvolgimento della Guardia di Finanza in virtù della significativa esperienza del Corpo nella definizione dei profili di missione, assicurando le migliori condizioni operative per lo svolgimento delle 300 ore di volo programmate. La configurazione del Falco Evo impiegato nel programma include un sistema ottico all’infrarosso ad alta definizione, un collegamento dati satellitari oltre la linea di vista (Beyond-Line-Data-Of-Sight - BLOS), un nuovo sistema di propulsione basato su un motore a combustibile pesante, un sistema di identificazione automatico (Automatic Identification System - AIS) e una suite completa per le comunicazioni. Leonardo è l’unica azienda europea in grado di fornire capacità complete RPAS e ISR, progettando e sviluppando tutti gli elementi che compongono un sistema pilotato da remoto, anche nell’ambito di contratti di servizio per operazioni “unmanned” e tra i pochi player al mondo a poter operare per conto di enti civili in spazi aerei non segregati trasnazionali.

      https://www.trasporti-italia.com/focus/leonardo-il-falco-evo-inizia-i-voli-per-il-programma-frontex/36521


  • En Israël, la culture est prise entre deux feux
    Pierre Sorgue, Le Monde, le 16 novembre 2018
    https://www.lemonde.fr/m-actu/article/2018/11/16/en-israel-la-culture-est-prise-entre-deux-feux_5384505_4497186.html

    Lana Del Rey, Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel ou Arcade Fire… L’appel au boycott d’Israël pour dénoncer le sort des Palestiniens rencontre de plus en plus d’écho chez les artistes. Un dilemme pour le monde de la culture israélien.

    A trois heures du matin, The Block est à bloc. Le plus célèbre club électro de Tel-Aviv, enfoui sous le béton de la gare routière centrale, reçoit Carl Craig, ponte de la techno de Detroit (Michigan) aux Etats-Unis.

    La foule ondule, saute, tressaute au rythme des basses, dans le brouillard bleu que découpent les faisceaux de projecteurs épileptiques.

    BDS pour Boycott, désinvestissement, sanctions

    Yaron Trax, le maître des lieux, s’est glissé entre les danseurs pour s’assurer des bons réglages de sa sono analogique, réputée l’une des meilleures du monde. Le quadragénaire aux airs adolescents est aux anges parmi ces jeunes gens dont beaucoup sont venus au club comme ils étaient à la plage, en short et tee-shirt. Celui que porte Yaron ce soir-là reproduit les briques et la typographie reconnaissable entre toutes : Pink Floyd, The Wall. Lorsqu’on lui fait remarquer, il sourit comme un enfant contrit : « C’est un tee-shirt formidable et l’album l’est aussi. Quel dommage que Roger Waters soit devenu aussi décevant… »

    Car le musicien britannique, ex-membre de Pink Floyd, est le spectre qui hante la scène israélienne et dérange l’intelligentsia de gauche, celui qui empêche la bulle libérale et hédoniste qu’est Tel-Aviv de flotter innocemment à cinquante kilomètres du mouroir à ciel ouvert qu’est la bande de Gaza.

    Depuis des années, Roger Waters offre sa voix aux militants internationaux du BDS (Boycott, désinvestissement, sanctions), mouvement né en 2005 de la société civile palestinienne, un an après que la Cour internationale de justice a jugé illégal le mur de séparation construit entre Israël et les territoires occupés.

    Il prône les pressions sur l’État d’Israël pour parvenir à ce que n’ont jamais obtenu des décennies de guerre, de résolutions de l’ONU et de vains processus de paix pendant lesquels le nombre des colons n’a cessé de croître (500 000 aujourd’hui) : la fin de l’occupation des territoires, la pleine égalité pour les citoyens palestiniens d’Israël, le droit au retour des réfugiés chassés de leurs terres.

    La scène musicale comme estrade politique

    Il suffit de voir les gratte-ciel bleutés qui poussent à Tel-Aviv pour s’en convaincre : le boycott économique n’a que peu d’effets. La « start-up nation » se porte bien, ses relations commerciales et diplomatiques n’ont cessé de se développer avec l’Afrique, l’Inde, la Chine, voire certains pays arabes. En ce mois d’octobre encore estival, les plages sont noires de monde, les ruelles de la vieille ville de Jérusalem, pleines de visiteurs : le pays aura accueilli plus de 4 millions de touristes à la fin de l’année, soit 46 % de plus qu’en 2016.

    Au-delà du portefeuille, le BDS s’attaque aussi aux cœurs et aux têtes. Il appelle au boycott culturel et académique, comme celui qui s’exerçait sur l’Afrique du Sud au temps de l’apartheid. Et celui-là trouve, ces derniers mois, un écho bien supérieur. Depuis longtemps, la scène musicale sert d’estrade politique. D’un côté, Roger Waters, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Elvis Costello, Lauryn Hill (The Fugees), Arcade Fire et d’autres ont annoncé qu’ils ne joueront plus en Israël tant qu’ils ne pourront en accepter la politique.

    De l’autre, Nick Cave, Radiohead, Paul McCartney, Alicia Keys, parmi beaucoup, sont venus au nom du dialogue et du refus de se voir dicter leur conduite. Mais, récemment, deux chanteuses moins politisées et plus populaires parmi les adolescents ont suivi le mouvement : en décembre, Lorde, la jeune rockeuse néo-zélandaise, annulait son concert après avoir été « alertée » par une lettre ouverte signée de deux fans – l’une Juive, l’autre Palestinienne –, puis en septembre, après de nombreux appels dont celui de Roger Waters, Lana Del Rey faisait faux bond. Parce qu’elle ne pourrait pas se produire également dans les territoires palestiniens, dit-elle, elle renonçait à jouer au festival Meteor qui devait être une sorte de Coachella version kibboutznik, dans le nord d’Israël.

    Un « tsunami d’annulations »

    Après le refus, en avril, de l’actrice Natalie Portman de recevoir le Genesis Prize (considéré comme un « Nobel » israélien) pour exprimer son désaccord avec le gouvernement Nétanyahou et les violences commises à Gaza, après la défection de l’équipe d’Argentine de Lionel Messi qui, en juin, a annulé une rencontre amicale avec celle d’Israël à la suite de pressions internationales (de menaces, dit-on du côté israélien), le retrait de Lana Del Rey fut une autre secousse médiatique.

    « Une belle surprise qui aidera peut-être les jeunes à se poser des questions sur une politique insoutenable dans les territoires occupés, mais aussi en Israël, où les Palestiniens, qui représentent 20 % de la population, sont victimes d’une cinquantaine de lois discriminatoires, à commencer par le logement et la terre », explique Kobi Snitz, chercheur en neurobiologie au Weizmann Institute et cofondateur de Boycott from Within (« boycott de l’intérieur »), qui rassemble une poignée de militants suffisamment téméraires pour affronter les torrents de haine qu’ils suscitent au sein du pouvoir, des médias et sur les réseaux sociaux.

    Dans la foulée de Lana Del Rey, quatorze artistes, dont plusieurs DJ, ont décliné l’invitation du festival. Des dizaines d’autres ont exprimé leur soutien au boycott sur les réseaux sociaux. Yaron Trax commence à se faire du souci pour « la capitale du clubbing » qu’est Tel-Aviv. Idit Frenkel, qui officie souvent derrière les platines de The Block, a signé un long article dans le quotidien israélien Haaretz, pour évoquer le « tsunami d’annulations ». Le titre de la tribune était emprunté aux paroles d’une chanson de Don McLean, American Pie (1971) : « The day the music died » [« le jour où la musique est morte »].

    Le boycott la laisse amère : « On peut comprendre ceux qui veulent lutter de manière non violente contre les morts de Gaza, le développement des colonies ou la décision de Trump d’installer l’ambassade des Etats-Unis à Jérusalem. Mais ne pas venir, c’est punir ceux qui essaient de changer les choses, y compris dans la minuscule scène underground qu’abhorrent les nationalistes et les religieux du gouvernement. »

    Si certaines figures de l’électro, comme l’Américano-Chilien Nicolas Jaar ou les Français d’Acid Arab, viennent encore en Israël, ils ne jouent plus à Tel-Aviv mais à Haïfa, au Kabareet, tenu et animé par Jazar Crew, un collectif d’artistes palestiniens. Haïfa, la cité portuaire qui soigne sa réputation de tolérance et de coexistence entre Juifs et Arabes…

    Une forme d’apartheid ?

    Attablé dans un café du centre-ville, Ayez Fadel, 31 ans, l’un des fondateurs et DJ de Jazar Crew, connaît l’antienne par cœur : « Mais même ici, grandir en étant palestinien, c’est éprouver la discrimination. Les écoles publiques arabes moins dotées que les établissements juifs, les boîtes de nuit où l’on te demande ton “Hoger”, le livret militaire que tu n’as pas [la majorité des Arabes citoyens d’Israël n’effectuent pas leur service militaire], la langue… Une nouvelle loi fait de l’hébreu la seule langue officielle, elle dit aussi que le pays est “l’Etat-nation du peuple juif”, alors que je suis un Palestinien vivant ici par la force de l’histoire, que mes impôts servent à protéger les colonies juives et à financer une armée qui a tué 44 enfants palestiniens ces trois derniers mois… Parler d’apartheid ne me paraît pas exagéré. »

    Ayez Fadel comprend le boycott et revendique la dimension politique de Jazar Crew : « Une manière de sensibiliser les jeunes. Nous n’avons plus honte d’être palestiniens, nous sommes éduqués et confiants. Et nous ne cessons de répéter que nos positions ne sont pas contre les Juifs mais contre ce régime. » Le jeune homme se dit prêt à collaborer avec Yaron Trax, qui l’a appelé pour que The Block et Kabareet « organisent quelque chose ensemble ». Mais, précise-t-il, « à condition qu’il fasse une déclaration claire sur l’occupation des territoires et les droits des Palestiniens ».

    Les turbulences qui agitent le microcosme underground reflètent assez bien le désarroi du monde de la culture devant ces appels au boycott. « En ce moment, pas un dîner sans qu’on en parle », reconnaît la responsable d’une galerie d’art installée aux franges de Florentine, ancien quartier d’entrepôts et d’ateliers de Tel-Aviv devenu le préféré des artistes et des bobos. Comme beaucoup d’opposants à l’occupation, elle refuse d’acheter les produits des colonies – certaines se sont spécialisées dans l’agriculture et l’élevage bio – ou le vin venu du Golan. « Mais le BDS culturel, dit-elle, frappe ce qui reste de l’élite de gauche, celle que Nétanyahou et son gouvernement détestent. Si on la muselle, on n’entendra plus que les voix des plus réactionnaires… »

    C’est aussi ce que pense Avi Pitchon, écrivain, critique et commissaire d’expositions : « Le boycott culturel réduit le débat à une polarisation extrême entre les activistes et le gouvernement, il déshumanise et nourrit la paranoïa, ce “nous” contre “eux” dont joue un régime de moins en moins démocratique. Ce tout ou rien est un piège, quoi que disent les créateurs ils seront perdants. Alors, ils préfèrent laisser parler leur art… »

    C’est peut-être pour cela que chercher à les rencontrer pour évoquer la question relève de la chasse au dahu. Groupe pop connu pour ses textes radicaux, écrivain loué comme l’une des « grandes voix morales » du pays, cinéastes, producteurs de concerts, responsables de théâtre, de centre d’art contemporain… tous se disent trop occupés. D’autres se ravisent après avoir parlé et demandent à n’être plus cités.

    Pnina Blayer, la directrice artistique du Festival international du film de Haïfa qui s’est déroulé fin septembre sans les « grands noms » invités, exige les questions par courriel et adresse des réponses aussi sèches que le fleuve Jourdain surexploité : selon elle, la situation dans la bande Gaza et la guerre en Syrie sont les motifs des absences, dont aucune n’a été motivée par le BDS, qui n’aura découragé qu’un film marocain, et si Agnès Varda, à qui le festival rendait hommage, n’est pas venue, ce n’est pas pour des raisons politiques.

    Il faut comprendre sa prudence : pendant que le festival est soumis aux pressions de l’étranger, sa propre ministre de la culture, la très droitière Miri Regev, demande à celui des finances de lui couper les vivres pour avoir accueilli deux films israéliens qui « sapent les valeurs et symboles » de l’Etat (l’un d’eux raconte l’histoire d’un metteur en scène palestinien qui monte une pièce narrant un amour entre une Juive et un Arabe…).

    Le projet de loi « Loyauté dans la culture »

    La même ministre se démène pour l’adoption d’un projet de loi « Loyauté dans la culture » qui veut supprimer les fonds à toute organisation déniant « Israël comme un Etat juif et démocratique » ou qui ferait du jour de l’indépendance celui de la Nakba, la « catastrophe » que vécurent 700 000 Palestiniens expulsés en 1948.

    Le monde de la culture a manifesté le 27 octobre contre ce texte, de nombreux cinéastes israéliens, comme Amos Gitaï ou Ari Folman, sont parmi les signataires d’une tribune parue lundi 12 novembre dans Le Monde pour demander le retrait du texte. En attendant, des députés ont également proposé de punir de sept ans de prison tout appel au boycott et l’entrée du pays est déjà interdite à tout étranger qui soutient activement le BDS.

    Car, pour le gouvernement, c’est la guerre. Au vingt-neuvième étage d’une tour de Bnei Brak, dans la banlieue de Tel-Aviv, une trentaine de personnes travaillent au sein de la National Task Force for Countering Delegitimization (« force d’intervention contre la délégitimisation »), qui dépend du ministère des affaires étrangères.

    « Nous révélons les relations entre le BDS et des organisations terroristes comme le Hamas ou le Front populaire de libération de la Palestine ; comment, sous couvert de droits de l’homme, il s’attaque à la légitimité d’Israël ; comment il bombarde les artistes par des cyberattaques menées par des robots. Nous travaillons avec des centaines d’organisations pro-israéliennes en leur offrant articles, vidéos et autres outils pour affronter les arguments du BDS », résume Tzahi Gavrieli, le directeur.

    Le bureau a lancé la plate-forme 4il sur Internet, Facebook et Twitter : des images de jolies filles montrent la diversité du pays, des vidéos soulignent la réussite de certains « Arabes israéliens ». Des posts saluent la criminalisation du boycott en France (en 2015, la justice a confirmé la condamnation de militants ayant appelé au boycott des produits israéliens) ou en Allemagne (le BDS a été jugé antisémite par l’Office fédéral de la protection de la constitution de Berlin).

    Un post du 23 octobre relaie le rapport de Human Rights Watch sur la torture pratiquée par le Hamas et l’Autorité palestinienne en demandant si la communauté internationale va exercer sur eux les mêmes pressions que sur Israël… Des messages vantent le concours Eurovision de la chanson de mai prochain : avec ses 186 millions de téléspectateurs, la manifestation est une vitrine que le gouvernement ne veut pas voir entachée, malgré l’appel au boycott lancé par 140 artistes internationaux.

    L’« instrumentalisation » du monde de la culture ?

    La lutte contre le BDS est aussi l’affaire d’Adam Shay au sein du Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, un think tank niché dans un quartier tranquille de la ville sainte. Il « scrute » les militants locaux, conseille les promoteurs de spectacles, essaie de convaincre des artistes ciblés que ce qu’on leur raconte est un tissu de mensonges et qu’ils ne regretteront pas de venir.

    « David Guetta était là la semaine dernière », se réjouit le jeune homme avant de confier qu’il cherchait à faire venir Rachid Taha, peu avant sa mort, en septembre : « Cela aurait été un gros truc » (vu les relations qui liaient le rockeur français à Brian Eno, très impliqué dans le BDS, on imagine mal une réponse positive).

    C’est cette « instrumentalisation » du monde de la culture qui, aux yeux des militants du BDS, justifie les appels au boycott de ceux dont les travaux ou les voyages sont financés par le gouvernement. Ils aident, disent-ils, le pays à soigner son image de démocratie favorable à la liberté d’expression. Les artistes se retrouvent coincés entre le marteau du gouvernement, qui tient (et serre) les cordons de la bourse, et l’enclume des pressions internationales.

    « À l’étranger, nous sommes considérés par certains comme des collaborateurs ; ici, comme des traîtres. Mais l’argent du ministère est aussi celui de mes impôts. Si la solution est de dire non, où va-t-il aller et qui va dire ce que l’on dit ? », demande Hillel Kogan, danseur et chorégraphe de la célèbre compagnie Batsheva, qui dut affronter cet été quelques militants pro-BDS à Montpellier et à Toulouse alors que, invité de la très diplomatique saison « France-Israël », il s’apprêtait, avec le Palestinien d’Israël Adi Boutros, à interpréter sa pièce We Love Arabs.

    Certains dans le pays ont regretté que l’écrivain David Grossman, considéré comme une « conscience » par le camp de la paix, se laisse « enrôler » par le pouvoir en acceptant le prix Israël de littérature 2018 des mains du ministre de l’éducation ou, en 2017, lorsqu’il accompagne à New York une pièce tirée de l’un de ses romans et adaptée par deux troupes israéliennes qui s’étaient produites dans les colonies (ce que l’auteur désapprouve). Ce, sous les yeux de la ministre de la culture qui avait fait le voyage. « Une manière de résister au BDS qui est une nouvelle forme d’antisémitisme », avait dit Miri Regev ce jour-là.

    Car c’est l’argument massue des contempteurs du BDS. Le mouvement a beau condamner racisme et antisémitisme, le public hétéroclite qu’il mobilise laisse parfois suinter des attaques haineuses, voire négationnistes. Dans le petit théâtre de Jérusalem où il travaille avec de jeunes comédiens juifs et arabes, Arik Eshet se souvient du festival de théâtre d’Édimbourg de 2014, lorsque des militants « agressifs » avaient fait annuler son spectacle : « Tu entends des gens crier qu’Israël ne devrait pas exister. C’est traumatisant… »

    La nécessaire mobilisation de la société civile

    Roger Waters est systématiquement accusé d’infamie. Du coup, Gideon Levy, le journaliste de Haaretz qui se démène inlassablement pour évoquer le sort des Palestiniens, ne cesse de défendre le chanteur. « J’ai passé de longues nuits à discuter avec lui, rien ne lui est plus étranger que les sentiments antisémites, ces accusations sont intolérables », assène-t-il dans le salon de sa maison, dont un mur est orné d’une vieille publicité ensoleillée où est inscrit : « Visit Palestine ».

    Un BDS efficace, ajoute-t-il, serait le seul moyen d’en finir avec les bains de sang : « Le changement ne viendra pas de l’intérieur d’Israël, la vie est trop bonne ici. Or les Etats-Unis soutiennent le pays et l’Europe est une plaisanterie : le seul espoir est la mobilisation de la société civile. La gauche sioniste appelle depuis des lustres à deux Etats mais n’a rien fait pour ça, nous devons en payer le prix. La criminalisation du BDS est un scandale : pourquoi serait-il légitime de boycotter l’Iran et pas Israël ? »

    En les réduisant au rang de producteurs de « biens culturels » ou d’instruments du soft power d’un Etat dont ils n’approuvent pas la politique, le BDS interroge les artistes de manière inconfortable sur leurs responsabilités de créateurs et de citoyens au cœur d’une opinion publique au mieux indifférente, au pis de plus en plus xénophobe. Et dans les conversations un nom revient souvent, comme s’ils étaient orphelins d’une figure capable d’indignation, de « courage », disent certains.

    « Il nous manque un penseur comme Leibowitz », glisse le photographe Miki Kratsman, l’un des fondateurs de l’ONG Breaking the Silence qui recueille les témoignages des soldats sur les exactions auxquelles les contraint l’occupation. C’est aussi ce que dit Zeev Tene, un vieux rockeur dont Ari Folman utilisa une chanson pour son film Valse avec Bachir et qui, depuis deux ans, part, le 6 juin, date anniversaire de la guerre des Six-Jours, le long du mur de séparation avec quelques musiciens et un camion en guise d’estrade pour jouer devant une banderole qui proclame « Make Israel small again ».

    Yeshayahu Leibowitz, mort en 1994, grand penseur et moraliste, religieux convaincu et sioniste affirmé, fut un critique féroce de l’occupation qui « détruit la moralité du conquérant ». Outré par la torture, il alla jusqu’à employer le terme de « judéo-nazis »… Or, constate l’historien « post-sioniste » Shlomo Sand, qui fait lui aussi référence à Leibowitz, « je n’ai pas vu l’Université se mettre en grève lorsqu’une succursale a été ouverte dans la colonie d’Ariel. Je n’ai entendu aucune de nos voix de la gauche sioniste prôner l’objection de conscience dans les territoires ou soutenir les refuzniks [qui refusent de servir dans l’armée]. Le BDS les met devant leurs contradictions… »

    Mais le malaise, explique-t-il, vient aussi du fait que, « en posant le droit au retour des réfugiés, le BDS questionne les conditions mêmes de la naissance d’Israël dans un pays encore hanté par la Shoah. Ce droit au retour ne peut être ignoré, mais il faut être honnête : on ne pourra pas accueillir 5 millions de réfugiés. Je soutiens le BDS à condition qu’il ne mette pas en danger l’existence d’Israël. »

    Une situation parfois absurde

    L’historien déplore aussi la « stupidité » de certains appels au boycott culturel. Les musiciens d’Apo and the Apostles, un Arménien de Jérusalem et trois Palestiniens de Bethléem, partagent sûrement son avis. Lorsque ces talentueux garçons qui mêlent leur folk-rock à des nuances orientales doivent se produire dans un festival de musique alternative arabe à Tel-Aviv, le BDS décrète que ce n’est pas acceptable parce qu’ils ne sont pas des « Palestiniens de 48 », ceux restés en Israël…

    Shady Srour aussi a quelques remarques à faire sur les censeurs du BDS : cinéaste palestinien de Nazareth, il a tourné un très joli film dans sa ville natale, Holy Air, où comment un homme essaie de s’en sortir en vendant de l’« air saint » aux touristes venus sur les traces de Jésus. C’est drôle, féministe, sexy, acide, « beckettien », plus grave lorsque les rêves sont empêchés par le seul fait de n’être pas un citoyen comme les autres.

    Mais le BDS ne rit pas : il a demandé son retrait d’un festival du film israélien à Londres, puis du Festival des cinémas arabes de l’Institut du monde arabe, à Paris, qui a congédié le réalisateur d’un bref courrier. « Je suis palestinien, mon père fut l’un de ceux chassés vers le Liban. Me boycotter, c’est m’empêcher d’affirmer mon propre récit face à celui des Israéliens. Le BDS vient chez moi pour me couper la langue… Aucun financement arabe ne m’est accordé parce que j’ai un passeport israélien, où est-ce que je trouve l’argent ? » On comprend que son film soit teinté de tristesse et d’absurde.

    #Palestine #Culture #Apartheid #BDS #Boycott_culturel


  • Detainees Evacuated out of Libya but Resettlement Capacity Remains Inadequate

    According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (#UNHCR) 262 migrants detained in Libya were evacuated to Niger on November 12- the largest evacuation from Libya carried out to date. In addition to a successful airlift of 135 people in October this year, this brings the total number of people evacuated to more than 2000 since December 2017. However Amnesty International describes the resettlement process from Niger as slow and the number of pledges inadequate.

    The evacuations in October and November were the first since June when the Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) centre in Niger reached its full capacity of 1,536 people, which according to Amnesty was a result of a large number of people “still waiting for their permanent resettlement to a third country.”

    57,483 refugees and asylum seekers are registered by UNHCR in Libya; as of October 2018 14,349 had agreed to Voluntary Humanitarian Return. Currently 3,886 resettlement pledges have been made by 12 states, but only 1,140 have been resettled.

    14,595 people have been intercepted by the Libyan coast guard and taken back to Libya, however it has been well documented that their return is being met by detention, abuse, violence and torture. UNHCR recently declared Libya unsafe for returns amid increased violence in the capital, while Amnesty International has said that “thousands of men, women and children are trapped in Libya facing horrific abuses with no way out”.

    In this context, refugees and migrants are currently refusing to disembark in Misrata after being rescued by a cargo ship on November 12, reportedly saying “they would rather die than be returned to land”. Reuters cited one Sudanese teenager on board who stated “We agree to go to any place but not Libya.”

    UNHCR estimates that 5,413 refugees and migrants remain detained in #Directorate_for_Combatting_Illegal_Migration (#DCIM) centres and the UN Refugee Agency have repetedly called for additional resettlement opportunities for vulnerable persons of concern in Libya.

    https://www.ecre.org/detainees-evacuated-out-of-libya-but-resettlement-capacity-remains-inadequate
    #réinstallation #Niger #Libye #évacuation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #HCR #détention #centres_de_détention

    • ET DES INFORMATIONS PLUS ANCIENNES DANS LE FIL CI-DESSOUS

      Libya: evacuations to Niger resumed – returns from Niger begun

      After being temporarily suspended in March as the result of concerns from local authorities on the pace of resettlement out of Niger, UNHCR evacuations of vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers from Libya through the Emergency Transit Mechanism has been resumed and 132 vulnerable migrants flown to the country. At the same time the deportation of 132 Sudanese nationals from Niger to Libya has raised international concern.

      Niger is the main host for refugees and asylum seekers from Libya evacuated by UNHCR. Since the UN Refugee Agency began evacuations in cooperation with EU and Libyan authorities in November 2017, Niger has received 1,152 of the 1,474 people evacuated in total. While UNHCR has submitted 475 persons for resettlement a modest 108 in total have been resettled in Europe. According to UNHCR the government in Niger has now offered to host an additional 1,500 refugees from Libya through the Emergency Transit Mechanism and upon its revival and the first transfer of 132 refugees to Niger, UNHCR’s Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean Situation, Vincent Cochetel stated: “We now urgently need to find resettlement solutions for these refugees in other countries.”

      UNHCR has confirmed the forced return by authorities in Niger of at least 132 of a group of 160 Sudanese nationals arrested in the migrant hub of Agadez, the majority after fleeing harsh conditions in Libya. Agadez is known as a major transit hub for refugees and asylum seekers seeking passage to Libya and Europe but the trend is reversed and 1,700 Sudanese nationals have fled from Libya to Niger since December 2017. In a mail to IRIN News, Human Rights Watch’s associate director for Europe and Central Asia, Judith Sunderland states: “It is inhuman and unlawful to send migrants and refugees back to Libya, where they face shocking levels of torture, sexual violence, and forced labour,” with reference to the principle of non-refoulement.

      According to a statement released by Amnesty International on May 16: “At least 7,000 migrants and refugees are languishing in Libyan detention centres where abuse is rife and food and water in short supply. This is a sharp increase from March when there were 4,400 detained migrants and refugees, according to Libyan officials.”

      https://www.ecre.org/libya-evacuations-to-niger-resumed-returns-from-niger-begun

    • Libya: return operations running but slow resettlement is jeopardizing the evacuation scheme

      According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) 15.000 migrants have been returned from Libya to their country of origin and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has assisted in the evacuation of more than 1,300 refugees from Libya thereby fulfilling the targets announced at the AU-EU-UN Taskforce meeting in December 2017. However, a modest 25 of the more than 1000 migrants evacuated to Niger have been resettled to Europe and the slow pace is jeopardizing further evacuations.

      More than 1000 of the 1300 migrants evacuated from Libya are hosted by Niger and Karmen Sakhr, who oversees the North Africa unit at the UNHCR states to the EU Observer that the organisation: “were advised that until more people leave Niger, we will no longer be able to evacuate additional cases from Libya.”

      During a meeting on Monday 5 March with the Civil Liberties Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs, members of the Delegation for relations with Maghreb countries, Commission and External Action Service representatives on the mistreatment of migrants and refugees in Libya, and arrangements for their resettlement or return, UNHCR confirmed that pledges have been made by France, Switzerland, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Malta as well as unspecified non-EU countries but that security approvals and interviewing process of the cases is lengthy resulting in the modest number of resettlements, while also warning that the EU member states need to put more work into resettlement of refugees, and that resettlement pledges still fall short of the needs. According to UNHCR 430 pledges has been made by European countries.

      An estimated 5000 people are in government detention and an unknown number held by private militias under well documented extreme conditions.

      https://www.ecre.org/libya-return-operations-running-but-slow-resettlement-is-jeopardizing-the-evac

    • Libya: migrants and refugees out by plane and in by boat

      The joint European Union (EU), African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) Task Force visited Tripoli last week welcoming progress made evacuating and returning migrants and refugees out of Libya. EU has announced three new programmes, for protecting migrants and refugees in Libya and along the Central Mediterranean Route, and their return and reintegration. Bundestag Research Services and NGOs raise concerns over EU and Member State support to Libyan Coast Guard.

      Representatives of the Task Force, created in November 2017, met with Libyan authorities last week and visited a detention centres for migrants and a shelter for internally displaced people in Tripoli. Whilst they commended progress on Voluntary Humanitarian Returns, they outlined a number of areas for improvement. These include: comprehensive registration of migrants at disembarkation points and detention centres; improving detention centre conditions- with a view to end the current system of arbitrary detention; decriminalizing irregular migration in Libya.

      The three new programmes announced on Monday, will be part of the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. €115 million will go towards evacuating 3,800 refugees from Libya, providing protection and voluntary humanitarian return to 15,000 migrants in Libya and will support the resettlement of 14,000 people in need of international protection from Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Burkina Faso. €20 million will be dedicated to improving access to social and protection services for vulnerable migrants in transit countries in the Sahel region and the Lake Chad basin. €15 million will go to supporting sustainable reintegration for Ethiopian citizens.

      A recent report by the Bundestag Research Services on SAR operations in the Mediterranean notes the support for the Libyan Coast Guard by EU and Member States in bringing refugees and migrants back to Libya may be violating the principle of non-refoulement as outlined in the Geneva Convention: “This cooperation must be the subject of proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights, because the people who are being forcibly returned with the assistance of the EU are being inhumanely treated, tortured or killed.” stated Andrej Hunko, European policy spokesman for the German Left Party (die Linke). A joint statement released by SAR NGO’s operating in the Mediterranean calls on the EU institutions and leaders to stop the financing and support of the Libyan Coast Guard and the readmissions to a third country which violates fundamental human rights and international law.

      According to UNHCR, there are currently 46,730 registered refugees and asylum seekers in Libya. 843 asylum seekers and refugees have been released from detention so far in 2018. According to IOM 9,379 people have been returned to their countries of origin since November 2017 and 1,211 have been evacuated to Niger since December 2017.

      https://www.ecre.org/libya-migrants-and-refugees-out-by-plane-and-in-by-boat

      Complément de Emmanuel Blanchard (via la mailing-list Migreurop):

      Selon le HCR, il y aurait actuellement environ 6000 personnes détenues dans des camps en Libye et qui seraient en attente de retour ou de protection (la distinction n’est pas toujours très claire dans la prose du HCR sur les personnes à « évacuer » vers le HCR...). Ces données statistiques sont très fragiles et a priori très sous-estimées car fondées sur les seuls camps auxquels le HCR a accès.

    • First group of refugees evacuated from new departure facility in Libya

      UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in coordination with Libyan authorities, evacuated 133 refugees from Libya to Niger today after hosting them at a Gathering and Departure Facility (GDF) in Tripoli which opened on Tuesday.

      Most evacuees, including 81 women and children, were previously detained in Libya. After securing their release from five detention centres across Libya, including in Tripoli and areas as far as 180 kilometres from the capital, they were sheltered at the GDF until the arrangements for their evacuation were concluded.

      The GDF is the first centre of its kind in Libya and is intended to bring vulnerable refugees to a safe environment while solutions including refugee resettlement, family reunification, evacuation to emergency facilities in other countries, return to a country of previous asylum, and voluntary repatriation are sought for them.

      “The opening of this centre, in very difficult circumstances, has the potential to save lives. It offers immediate protection and safety for vulnerable refugees in need of urgent evacuation, and is an alternative to detention for hundreds of refugees currently trapped in Libya,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

      The centre is managed by the Libyan Ministry of Interior, UNHCR and UNHCR’s partner LibAid. The initiative is one of a range of measures needed to offer viable alternatives to the dangerous boat journeys undertaken by refugees and migrants along the Central Mediterranean route.

      With an estimated 4,900 refugees and migrants held in detention centres across Libya, including 3,600 in need of international protection, the centre is a critical alternative to the detention of those most vulnerable.

      The centre, which has been supported by the EU and other donors, has a capacity to shelter up to 1,000 vulnerable refugees identified for solutions out of Libya.

      At the facility, UNHCR and partners are providing humanitarian assistance such as accommodation, food, medical care and psychosocial support. Child friendly spaces and dedicated protection staff are also available to ensure that refugees and asylum-seekers are adequately cared for.

      https://www.unhcr.org/news/press/2018/12/5c09033a4/first-group-refugees-evacuated-new-departure-facility-libya.html

    • Migration : à Niamey, des migrants rapatriés de Libye protestent contre leurs conditions de séjour

      Les manifestants protestent contre leur détention de vie qu’ils jugent « déplorables » et pour amplifier leurs mouvements, ils ont brandi des pancartes sur lesquelles ils ont écrit leurs doléances. Les migrants manifestant s’indignent également de leur séjour qui ne cesse de se prolonger, sans véritable alternatives ou visibilité sur leur situation. « Ils nous ont ramené de la Libye pour nous laisser à nous-mêmes ici », « on ne veut pas rester ici, laisser nous partir là où on veut », sont entre autres les slogans que les migrants ont scandés au cours de leur sit-in devant les locaux de l’agence onusienne. Plusieurs des protestataires sont venus à la manifestation avec leurs bagages et d’autres avec leurs différents papiers, qui attestent de leur situation de réfugiés ou demandeurs d’asiles.

      La situation, quoique déplorable, n’a pas manqué de susciter divers commentaires. Il faut dire que depuis le début de l’opération de rapatriement des migrants en détresse de Libye, ils sont des centaines à vivre dans la capitale mais aussi à Agadez où des centres d’accueil sont mis à leurs dispositions par les agences onusiennes (UNHCR, OIM), avec la collaboration des autorités nigériennes. Un certain temps, leur présence de plus en plus massive dans divers quartiers de la capitale où des villas sont mises à leur disposition, a commencé à inquiéter les habitants sur d’éventuels risques sécuritaires.

      Le gouvernement a signé plusieurs accords et adopté des lois pour lutter contre l’immigration clandestine. Il a aussi signé des engagements avec certains pays européens notamment la France et l’Italie, pour l’accueil temporaire des réfugiés en provenance de la Libye et en transit en attendant leur réinstallation dans leur pays ou en Europe pour ceux qui arrivent à obtenir le sésame pour l’entrée. Un geste de solidarité décrié par certaines ONG et que les autorités regrettent presque à demi-mot, du fait du non-respect des contreparties financières promises par les bailleurs et partenaires européens. Le pays fait face lui-même à un afflux de réfugiés nigérians et maliens sur son territoire, ainsi que des déplacés internes dans plusieurs régions, ce qui complique davantage la tâche dans cette affaire de difficile gestion de la problématique migratoire.

      Le Niger accueille plusieurs centres d’accueil pour les réfugiés et demandeurs d’asiles rapatriés de Libye. Le 10 décembre dernier, l’OFPRA français a par exemple annoncé avoir achevé une nouvelle mission au Niger avec l’UNHCR, et qui a concerné 200 personnes parmi lesquelles une centaine évacuée de Libye. En novembre dernier, le HCR a également annoncé avoir repris les évacuations de migrants depuis la Libye, avec un contingent de 132 réfugiés et demandeurs d’asiles vers le Niger.

      Depuis novembre 2017, le HCR a assuré avoir effectué vingt-trois (23) opérations d’évacuation au départ de la Libye et ce, « malgré d’importants problèmes de sécurité et les restrictions aux déplacements qui ont été imposées ». En tout, ce sont 2.476 réfugiés et demandeurs d’asile vulnérables qui ont pu être libérés et acheminés de la Libye vers le Niger (2.069), l’Italie (312) et la Roumanie (95).


      https://www.actuniger.com/societe/14640-migration-a-niamey-des-migrants-rapatries-de-libye-protestent-contr

      Je découvre ici que les évacuations se sont faites aussi vers l’#Italie et... la #Roumanie !

    • Destination Europe: Evacuation. The EU has started resettling refugees from Libya, but only 174 have made it to Europe in seven months

      As the EU sets new policies and makes deals with African nations to deter hundreds of thousands of migrants from seeking new lives on the continent, what does it mean for those following dreams northwards and the countries they transit through? From returnees in Sierra Leone and refugees resettled in France to smugglers in Niger and migrants in detention centres in Libya, IRIN explores their choices and challenges in this multi-part special report, Destination Europe.

      Four years of uncontrolled migration starting in 2014 saw more than 600,000 people cross from Libya to Italy, contributing to a populist backlash that is threatening the foundations of the EU. Stopping clandestine migration has become one of Europe’s main foreign policy goals, and last July the number of refugees and migrants crossing the central Mediterranean dropped dramatically. The EU celebrated the reduced numbers as “good progress”.

      But, as critics pointed out, that was only half the story: the decline, resulting from a series of moves by the EU and Italy, meant that tens of thousands of people were stuck in Libya with no way out. They faced horrific abuse, and NGOs and human rights organisations accused the EU of complicity in the violations taking place.

      Abdu is one who got stuck. A tall, lanky teenager, he spent nearly two years in smugglers’ warehouses and official Libyan detention centres. But he’s also one of the lucky ones. In February, he boarded a flight to Niger run (with EU support) by the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, to help some of those stranded in Libya reach Europe. Nearly 1,600 people have been evacuated on similiar flights, but, seven months on, only 174 have been resettled to Europe.

      The evacuation programme is part of a €500-million ($620-million) effort to resettle 50,000 refugees over the next two years to the EU, which has a population of more than 500 million people. The target is an increase from previous European resettlement goals, but still only represents a tiny fraction of the need – those chosen can be Syrians in Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon as well as refugees in Libya, Egypt, Niger, Chad, Sudan, and Ethiopia – countries that combined host more than 6.5 million refugees.

      The EU is now teetering on the edge of a fresh political crisis, with boats carrying people rescued from the sea being denied ports of disembarkation, no consensus on how to share responsibility for asylum seekers and refugees within the continent, and increasing talk of further outsourcing the management of migration to African countries.

      Against this backdrop, the evacuation and resettlement programme from Libya is perhaps the best face of European policy in the Mediterranean. But, unless EU countries offer more spots for refugees, it is a pathway to safety for no more than a small handful who get the luck of the draw. As the first evacuees adjust to their new lives in Europe, the overwhelming majority are left behind.

      Four months after arriving in Niger, Abdu is still waiting to find out if and when he will be resettled to Europe. He’s still in the same state of limbo he was in at the end of March when IRIN met him in Niamey, the capital of Niger. At the time, he’d been out of the detention centre in Libya for less than a month and his arms were skeletally thin.

      “I thought to go to Europe [and] failed. Now, I came to Niger…. What am I doing here? What will happen from here? I don’t know,” he said, sitting in the shade of a canopy in the courtyard of a UNHCR facility. “I don’t know what I will be planning for the future because everything collapsed; everything finished.”
      Abdu’s story

      Born in Eritrea – one of the most repressive countries in the world – Abdu’s mother sent him to live in neighbouring Sudan when he was only seven. She wanted him to grow up away from the political persecution and shadow of indefinite military service that stifled normal life in his homeland.

      But Sudan, where he was raised by his uncle, wasn’t much better. As an Eritrean refugee, he faced discrimination and lived in a precarious legal limbo. Abdu saw no future there. “So I decided to go,” he said.

      Like so many other young Africans fleeing conflict, political repression, and economic hardship in recent years, he wanted to try to make it to Europe. But first he had to pass through Libya.

      After crossing the border from Sudan in July 2016, Abdu, then 16 years old, was taken captive and held for 18 months. The smugglers asked for a ransom of $5,500, tortured him while his relatives were forced to listen on the phone, and rented him out for work like a piece of equipment.

      Abdu tried to escape, but only found himself under the control of another smuggler who did the same thing. He was kept in overflowing warehouses, sequestered from the sunlight with around 250 other people. The food was not enough and often spoiled; disease was rampant; people died from malaria and hunger; one woman died after giving birth; the guards drank, carried guns, and smoked hashish, and, at the smallest provocation, spun into a sadistic fury. Abdu’s skin started crawling with scabies, his cheeks sank in, and his long limbs withered to skin and bones.

      One day, the smuggler told him that, if he didn’t find a way to pay, it looked like he would soon die. As a courtesy – or to try to squeeze some money out of him instead of having to deal with a corpse – the smuggler reduced the ransom to $1,500.

      Finally, Abdu’s relatives were able to purchase his freedom and passage to Europe. It was December 2017. As he finally stood on the seashore before dawn in the freezing cold, Abdu remembered thinking: “We are going to arrive in Europe [and] get protection [and] get rights.”

      But he never made it. After nearly 24 hours at sea, the rubber dinghy he was on with around 150 other people was intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard, which, since October 2016, has been trained and equipped by the EU and Italy.

      Abdu was brought back to the country he had just escaped and put in another detention centre.

      This one was official – run by the Libyan Directorate for Combating Irregular Migration. But it wasn’t much different from the smuggler-controlled warehouses he’d been in before. Again, it was overcrowded and dirty. People were falling sick. There was no torture or extortion, but the guards could be just as brutal. If someone tried to talk to them about the poor conditions “[they are] going to beat you until you are streaming blood,” Abdu said.

      Still, he wasn’t about to try his luck on his own again in Libya. The detention centre wasn’t suitable for human inhabitants, Abdu recalled thinking, but it was safer than anywhere he’d been in over a year. That’s where UNHCR found him and secured his release.

      The lucky few

      The small village of Thal-Marmoutier in France seems like it belongs to a different world than the teeming detention centres of Libya.

      The road to the village runs between gently rolling hills covered in grapevines and winds through small towns of half-timbered houses. About 40 minutes north of Strasbourg, the largest city in the region of Alsace, bordering Germany, it reaches a valley of hamlets that disrupt the green countryside with their red, high-peaked roofs. It’s an unassuming setting, but it’s the type of place Abdu might end up if and when he is finally resettled.

      In mid-March, when IRIN visited, the town of 800 people was hosting the first group of refugees evacuated from Libya.

      It was unseasonably cold, and the 55 people housed in a repurposed section of a Franciscan convent were bundled in winter jackets, scarves, and hats. Thirty of them had arrived from Chad, where they had been long-time residents of refugee camps after fleeing Boko Haram violence or conflict in the Sudanese region of Darfur. The remaining 25 – from Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Sudan – were the first evacuees from Libya. Before reaching France, they, like Abdu, had been flown to Niamey.

      The extra stop is necessary because most countries require refugees to be interviewed in person before offering them a resettlement spot. The process is facilitated by embassies and consulates, but, because of security concerns, only one European country (Italy) has a diplomatic presence in Libya.

      To resettle refugees stuck in detention centres, UNHCR needed to find a third country willing to host people temporarily, one where European resettlement agencies could carry out their procedures. Niger was the first – and so far only – country to volunteer.

      “For us, it is an obligation to participate,” Mohamed Bazoum, Niger’s influential interior minister, said when interviewed by IRIN in Niamey. Niger, the gateway between West Africa and Libya on the migration trail to Europe, is the top recipient of funds from the EU Trust Fund for Africa, an initiative launched in 2015 to “address the root causes of irregular migration”.

      “It costs us nothing to help,” Bazoum added, referring to the evacuation programme. “But we gain a sense of humanity in doing so.”

      ‘Time is just running from my life’

      The first evacuees landed in Niamey on 12 November. A little over a month later, on 19 December, they were on their way to France.

      By March, they had been in Thal-Marmoutier for three months and were preparing to move from the reception centre in the convent to individual apartments in different cities.

      Among them, several families with children had been living in Libya for a long time. But most of the evacuees were young women who had been imprisoned by smugglers and militias, held in official detention centres, or often both.

      “In Libya, it was difficult for me,” said Farida, a 24-year-old aspiring runner from Ethiopia. She fled her home in 2016 because of the conflict between the government and the Oromo people, an ethnic group.

      After a brief stay in Cairo, she and her husband decided to go to Libya because they heard a rumour that UNHCR was providing more support there to refugees. Shortly after crossing the border, Farida and her husband were captured by a militia and placed in a detention centre.

      “People from the other government (Libya has two rival governments) came and killed the militiamen, and some of the people in the prison also died, but we got out and were taken to another prison,” she said. “When they put me in prison, I was pregnant, and they beat me and killed the child in my belly.”

      Teyba, a 20-year-old woman also from Ethiopia, shared a similar story: “A militia put us in prison and tortured us a lot,” she said. “We stayed in prison for a little bit more than a month, and then the fighting started…. Some people died, some people escaped, and some people, I don’t know what happened to them.”

      Three months at the reception centre in Thal-Marmoutier had done little to ease the trauma of those experiences. “I haven’t seen anything that made me laugh or that made me happy,” Farida said. “Up to now, life has not been good, even after coming to France.”

      The French government placed the refugees in the reception centre to expedite their asylum procedures, and so they could begin to learn French.

      Everyone in the group had already received 10-year residency permits – something refugees who are placed directly in individual apartments or houses usually wait at least six months to receive. But many of them said they felt like their lives had been put on pause in Thal-Marmoutier. They were isolated in the small village with little access to transportation and said they had not been well prepared to begin new lives on their own in just a few weeks time.

      “I haven’t benefited from anything yet. Time is just running from my life,” said Intissar, a 35-year-old woman from Sudan.

      A stop-start process

      Despite their frustrations with the integration process in France, and the still present psychological wounds from Libya, the people in Thal-Marmoutier were fortunate to reach Europe.

      By early March, more than 1,000 people had been airlifted from Libya to Niger. But since the first group in December, no one else had left for Europe. Frustrated with the pace of resettlement, the Nigerien government told UNHCR that the programme had to be put on hold.

      “We want the flow to be balanced,” Bazoum, the interior minister, explained. “If people arrive, then we want others to leave. We don’t want people to be here on a permanent basis.”

      Since then, an additional 148 people have been resettled to France, Switzerland, Sweden and the Netherlands, and other departures are in the works. “The situation is improving,” said Louise Donovan, a UNHCR communications officer in Niger. “We need to speed up our processes as much as possible, and so do the resettlement countries.”

      A further 312 people were evacuated directly to Italy. Still, the total number resettled by the programme remains small. “What is problematic right now is the fact that European governments are not offering enough places for resettlement, despite continued requests from UNHCR,” said Matteo de Bellis, a researcher with Amnesty International.
      Less than 1 percent

      Globally, less than one percent of refugees are resettled each year, and resettlement is on a downward spiral at the moment, dropping by more than 50 percent between 2016 and 2017. The number of refugees needing resettlement is expected to reach 1.4 million next year, 17 percent higher than in 2018, while global resettlement places dropped to just 75,000 in 2017, UNHCR said on Monday.

      The Trump administration’s slashing of the US refugee admissions programme – historically the world’s leader – means this trend will likely continue.

      Due to the limited capacity, resettlement is usually reserved for people who are considered to be the most vulnerable.

      In Libya alone, there are around 19,000 refugees from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sudan registered with UNHCR – a number increasing each month – as well as 430,000 migrants and potential asylum seekers from throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Many have been subjected to torture, sexual violence, and other abuses. And, because they are in Libya irregularly, resettlement is often the only legal solution to indefinite detention.

      In the unlikely scenario that all the sub-Saharan refugees in Libya were to be resettled, they would account for more than one third of the EU’s quota for the next two years. And that’s not taking into account people in Libya who may have legitimate grounds to claim asylum but are not on the official radar. Other solutions are clearly needed, but given the lack of will in the international community, it is unclear what those might be.

      “The Niger mechanism is a patch, a useful one under the circumstance, but still a patch,” de Bellis, the Amnesty researcher, said. “There are refugees… who cannot get out of the detention centres because there are no resettlement places available to them.”

      It is also uncertain what will happen to any refugees evacuated to Niger that aren’t offered a resettlement spot by European countries.

      UNHCR says it is considering all options, including the possibility of integration in Niger or return to their countries of origin – if they are deemed to be safe and people agree to go. But resettlement is the main focus. In April, the pace of people departing for Europe picked up, and evacuations from Libya resumed at the beginning of May – ironically, the same week the Nigerien government broke new and dangerous ground by deporting 132 Sudanese asylum seekers who had crossed the border on their own back to Libya.

      For the evacuees in Niger awaiting resettlement, there are still many unanswered questions.

      As Abdu was biding his time back in March, something other than the uncertainty about his own future weighed on him: the people still stuck in the detention centres in Libya.

      He had started his travels with his best friend. They had been together when they were first kidnapped and held for ransom. But Abdu’s friend was shot in the leg by a guard who accused him of stealing a cigarette. When Abdu tried to escape, he left his friend behind and hasn’t spoken to him or heard anything about him since.

      “UNHCR is saying they are going to find a solution for me; they are going to help me,” Abdu said. “It’s okay. But what about the others?”

      https://www.irinnews.org/special-report/2018/06/26/destination-europe-evacuation


  • Airbnb to remove listings in Jewish West Bank settlements
    Noa Landau, Yotam Berger, Jack Khoury and Reuters Nov 19, 2018 6:11 PM
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/airbnb-to-remove-listings-in-jewish-west-bank-settlements-1.6662443

    Home-renting company Airbnb Inc said on Monday that it had decided to remove its listings in Jewish settlements in the West Bank, enclaves that most world powers consider illegal for taking up land where Palestinians seek statehood. In response, Israel’s Tourism Minister Yariv Levin instructed the ministry to restrict the company’s operations across the country.

    A statement on Airbnb’s website said: “We concluded that we should remove listings in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank that are at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.”

    It did not say when the decision, which according to Airbnb affects some 200 listings, would take effect. (...)

    #BDS

    • Airbnb se retire des colonies de Cisjordanie, menaces de sanctions israéliennes
      Par AFP — 19 novembre 2018 à 19:09 (mis à jour à 21:05)
      https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2018/11/19/airbnb-se-retire-des-colonies-de-cisjordanie-menaces-de-sanctions-israeli

      La plateforme de réservation de logements en ligne Airbnb a annoncé lundi qu’elle renonçait à faire des offres dans les colonies israéliennes de Cisjordanie occupée, provoquant des menaces de sanctions de la part d’Israël.

      La Cisjordanie est un territoire palestinien occupé par l’armée israélienne depuis plus de 50 ans. Les colonies qui y sont construites par Israël sont considérées comme illégales par la communauté internationale qui les voient comme l’un des principaux obstacles à la paix. Le gouvernement israélien conteste cette vision.

      « Nous avons conclu que nous devrions retirer de nos listes les logements dans les colonies israéliennes en Cisjordanie occupée qui sont au cœur de la dispute entre Israéliens et Palestiniens », a indiqué dans un communiqué Airbnb.

      « Nous savons que des gens vont être en désaccord avec cette décision et nous respectons leur perspective. C’est une question controversée », a ajouté le texte.

      La plateforme indique que 200 logements sont répertoriés dans les colonies, mais ne précise pas quand cette mesure entrera en vigueur.

      Le ministre israélien du Tourisme Yariv Levin a immédiatement dénoncé dans un communiqué la décision « honteuse et malheureuse » d’Airbnb. « Notre ministère a commencé à préparer des mesures immédiates pour limiter les activités d’Airbnb » en Israël.

      Il a ajouté qu’il comptait lancer un programme pour encourager la location de courte durée de logements dans les colonies de Cisjordanie.

    • Airbnb n’offrira plus de locations dans les colonies juives de Cisjordanie
      Par Piotr Smolar Publié le 19 novembre à 22h03, mis à jour le 20 novembre 2018 à 08h59
      https://www.lemonde.fr/proche-orient/article/2018/11/19/airbnb-supprime-les-locations-dans-les-colonies-juives-de-cisjordanie-israel

      La chambre est vraiment peu séduisante mais le prix attractif – 36 euros la nuit – et les collines environnantes offrent un cadre naturel magnifique. Il était encore possible de la louer, mardi 20 novembre, sur le site d’Airbnb.

      Située dans la colonie juive d’Itamar au nord de la Cisjordanie, à proximité de Naplouse, cette offre doit pourtant être retirée, à une date inconnue. La célèbre plate-forme de location a choisi d’anticiper la publication d’un rapport de l’ONG Human Rights Watch (HRW) et s’est engagée dans un communiqué, publié le 19 novembre, à ne plus proposer de logements sis dans les colonies, soit environ 200 annonces.

      « Il existe des opinions opposées pour savoir si les entreprises devraient conduire des activités dans les territoires occupés qui sont soumis à des disputes historiques entre Israéliens et Palestiniens », commence prudemment le texte. Après une longue réflexion, l’entreprise a décidé de ne pas se réfugier uniquement derrière la loi américaine, qui l’autorise à mener ses activités en Cisjordanie.

      Elle évoque, parmi les motifs de son choix, les « souffrances humaines » que ces annonces peuvent susciter et leur lien avec le conflit. En revanche, Airbnb ne précise pas si Jérusalem-Est et le plateau du Golan, annexés par Israël sans reconnaissance internationale, étaient concernés par sa mesure.(...)

    • Airbnb efface de son site les propositions de location dans les colonies israéliennes
      19 novembre 2019 – Al Jazeera – Traduction : Chronique de Palestine
      http://www.chroniquepalestine.com/airbnb-efface-de-son-site-les-propositions-de-location-dans-les-

      Al Jazeera – Le service mondial de location en ligne, Airbnb, a annoncé qu’il supprimerait ses annonces dans les colonies israéliennes illégales en Cisjordanie occupée.

      La décision de lundi entraînera la suppression d’environ 200 annonces du site Web populaire d’hébergement, qui permet aux propriétaires de louer des chambres, des appartements et des maisons à des individus.

      « Nous avons conclu que nous devrions supprimer les inscriptions dans les colonies de peuplement israéliennes situées en Cisjordanie occupée qui sont au cœur du différend entre Israéliens et Palestiniens », indique un communiqué publié sur le site Internet d’Airbnb.

      La suppression des inscriptions aura lieu dans les prochains jours, a déclaré un porte-parole d’Airbnb à l’agence de presse Reuters.

      La société a déclaré être parvenue à cette conclusion sur la base d’un rapport interne servant à évaluer la manière dont elle gère les propositions dans les territoires occupés du monde entier.

      « La législation américaine autorise des sociétés telles qu’Airbnb à exercer des activités sur ces territoires. Parallèlement, de nombreux membres de la communauté internationale ont déclaré que les sociétés ne devraient pas y exercer leurs activités, estimant qu’elles ne devraient pas tirer profit de terres accaparées », dit la déclaration.

      « D’autres pensent que les entreprises ne devraient pas retirer leurs activités de ces zones », a ajouté le responsable.

      « Nous savons que des gens ne seront pas d’accord avec cette décision et tiendront à leur point de vue. C’est une question controversée. »

      Toutes les colonies israéliennes sont illégales au regard du droit international.

      Les listes d’hébergement de Airbnb en Cisjordanie occupée ont longtemps été critiquées par la communauté palestinienne et les défenseurs des droits de l’homme.



  • Why is Canada denying its indigenous peoples clean water? - The Globe and Mail
    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/why-is-canada-denying-its-indigenous-peoples-clean-water/article31599791

    Amanda Klasing, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, specializes in the right to clean water.

    “She likes to take a bath, but [the water] irritates her skin,” Susan said of her active two-year-old daughter. When the little girl was 18 months old, Susan started to notice rashes all over her daughter’s legs. “I thought it was something from the grass,” she said. Instead, a doctor informed her that the baby’s rash was probably from her water. Susan can’t bathe her daughter at home now; she takes her to a daycare centre or relative’s house.

    Susan lives in Grassy Narrows First Nation in Ontario, where I spoke to her and other families in February to learn about living under a “do not consume” water advisory.

    #canada #eau #premières_nations


  • #Pakistan: Girls Deprived of Education. Barriers Include Underinvestment, Fees, Discrimination

    The Pakistan government is failing to educate a huge proportion of the country’s girls, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

    The 111-page report, “‘Shall I Feed My Daughter, or Educate Her?’: Barriers to Girls’ Education in Pakistan,” concludes that many girls simply have no access to education, including because of a shortage of government schools – especially for girls. Nearly 22.5 million of Pakistan’s children – in a country with a population of just over 200 million – are out of school, the majority of them girls. Thirty-two percent of primary school age girls are out of school in Pakistan, compared with 21 percent of boys. By ninth grade, only 13 percent of girls are still in school.

    https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/11/12/pakistan-girls-deprived-education
    #éducation #genre #filles #femmes #discriminations #inégalités #rapport #école


  • Tunisia: Privacy Threatened by ‘Homosexuality’ Arrests

    Tunisian authorities are confiscating and searching the phones of men they suspect of being gay and pressuring them to take anal tests and to confess to homosexual activity, Human Rights Watch said today. Prosecutors then use information collected in this fashion to prosecute them for homosexual acts between consenting partners, under the country’s harsh sodomy laws.

    “The Tunisian authorities have no business meddling in people’s private sexual practices, brutalizing and humiliating them under the guise of enforcing discriminatory laws,” said Amna Guellali, Tunisia director at Human Rights Watch. “Tunisia should abolish its antiquated anti-sodomy laws and respect everyone’s right to privacy.”

    Human Rights Watch spoke with six men prosecuted in 2017 and 2018 under article 230 of the penal code, which punishes consensual same-sex conduct with up to three years in prison. One person interviewed was only 17 years old the first time he was arrested. Human Rights Watch also reviewed the judicial files in these cases and five others that resulted in prosecutions under either article 230 or article 226, which criminalizes “harming public morals.” In addition to violating privacy rights, these cases included allegations of mistreatment in police custody, forced confessions, and denial of access to legal counsel.

    Police arrested some of these men after disputes arose between them or after neighbors reported them. Two had gone to the police to report being raped.

    Some of the men spent months in prison. At least three have left Tunisia and applied for asylum in European countries.

    K.S., a 32-year-old engineer, entered a police station in Monastir in June 2018 to file a complaint of gang rape, and to get an order for a medical examination of his injuries. Instead of treating him as a victim, he said, the police ordered an anal test to determine whether K.S. was “used to practicing sodomy.” “How they treated me was insane,” K.S. told Human Rights Watch. “How is it their business to intrude into my intimate parts and check whether I am ‘used to sodomy’?”

    In another case, a 17-year-old was arrested three times on sodomy charges and was forced to undergo an anal examination, as well as months of conversion therapy at a juvenile detention center. Both harmful practices are discredited.

    Tunisian prosecutors have relied extensively in recent years on forced anal examinations to seek “evidence” of sodomy, even though the exams are highly unreliable and constitute cruel, degrading, and inhuman treatment that can rise to the level of torture.

    On September 21, 2017, during the Universal Periodic Review at the United Nations Human Rights Council, Tunisia formally accepted a recommendation to end forced anal exams. However, Tunisia’s delegation stated: “Medical examinations will be conducted based on the consent of the person and in the presence of a medical expert.” This stance is not credible because trial courts can presume that a refusal to undergo the exam signals guilt, Human Rights Watch said. Tunisia should abandon anal exams altogether.

    Prosecutions for consensual sex in private and between adults violate the rights to privacy and nondiscrimination guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Tunisia is a party. The United Nations Human Rights Committee, which monitors compliance with the covenant, has stated that sexual orientation is a status protected against discrimination. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has found that arrests for same-sex conduct between consenting adults are, by definition, arbitrary.

    Tunisia’s 2014 constitution, in article 24, obliges the government to protect the rights to privacy and the inviolability of the home. Article 21 provides that “All citizens, male and female, have equal rights and duties, and are equal before the law without any discrimination.” Article 23 prohibits “mental and physical torture.”

    The Code of Criminal Procedure prohibits house searches and seizure of objects that could serve a criminal investigation without a judicial warrant, except in cases of flagrante delicto, that is when catching someone in the act.

    Article 1 of Law No. 63 on the protection of personal data stipulates that “every person is entitled to the protection of their personal data and privacy of information, viewed as a fundamental right guaranteed by the constitution. This data can only be used with transparency, loyalty and respect for the dignity of the person whose data is subject of treatment.” However, neither Law No. 63 nor any other domestic law regulates the conditions for seizing private data during a police investigation or its use.

    On June 12, the Commission on Individual Freedoms and Equality, appointed by President Beji Caid Essebsi, proposed, among other actions, to decriminalize homosexuality and to end anal testing in criminal investigations into homosexuality. It also proposed criminalizing the unlawful “interception, opening, recording, spreading, saving and deleting” of an electronic message.

    On October 11, 13 members of the Tunisian Parliament introduced draft legislation for a code on individual freedoms. It incorporated several proposals from the presidential commission including abolition of article 230.

    Parliament should move quickly on this draft legislation and abolish article 230, Human Rights Watch said. It should enact a law that effectively protects people’s privacy, through regulating the seizure and use of private data during criminal investigations, with consequences if such a law is violated.

    The Justice Ministry should meanwhile direct public prosecutors to abandon prosecutions under article 230. The Interior Ministry should investigate reports of the ill-treatment of people arrested based on their gender identity or sexual orientation.

    Human Rights Watch conducted face to face interviews with men in Tunisia and phone interviews with men who fled to European countries. Pseudonyms have been used to protect their privacy.

    Shams and Damj, local LGBT rights groups, provided assistance.

    Accounts by Men Prosecuted

    K.S., 32, engineer

    K.S. used to work for an international company in Tunis. He said that on June 8, he went to spend the weekend in at a friend’s house in Monastir, a coastal city. He had earlier chatted with a man from Monastir on Grindr, a social network application for gays. They made a date and they met that day in a café. The man invited K.S. to his house, but once there, the man became aggressive and showed K.S. a police badge. Two other men arrived, and they started insulting him, calling him “sick.” “One said, ‘You people of Loth [a demeaning term derived from the Biblical and Quranic story of Lot], you deserve to be killed, you are like microbes.’”

    They punched and slapped him on the face, he said. Then the man who had invited him said, “We will show you what sodomy is like.” The men then forced him to take off his clothes and bend over. Two of them held K.S. by the arms while the third inserted a baton in his anus. “It was unbearable, I felt that I will faint,” K.S. said. They finally let him leave.

    I was shivering and bleeding [when I reached my friend’s house]. The next day, I went to Fattouma Bourguiba hospital in Monastir. I just wanted to get medical treatment and to check that I did not have internal hemorrhaging.

    But, he said, the doctor refused to examine him without a police order:

    I went to the Skanes district police station in Monastir, to try to get the requisition order. I did not want to tell the police the full story, so I just said that three men had raped me. The policeman who was typing my statement left the room at some point, and that’s when I saw on the screen that he was instructing the doctor at Fatouma Bourguiba hospital to examine whether I am ‘used to practicing sodomy.’ I felt the blood freeze in my body.

    Human Rights Watch reviewed the June 9 police requisition order, in which the chief instructs the doctor to examine whether K.S. was “used to practicing sodomy” and whether he was victim of anal rape.

    K.S. said that, when the policeman returned to the office, K.S. asked if he could leave. The policeman replied: “And go where? You can’t leave before we check what kind of stuff you do.” The policeman called for a patrol car to drive K.S. to the hospital.

    The doctor told me that he has a requisition order to perform an anal test. “We want to check whether this is a habit,” he said. I was terrified. I told him that I didn’t want to do the test. But he insisted that he had to perform it. He told me to remove my pants and assume a prayer position [on hand and knees] on top of the medical bed. He put on gloves and started to examine me with his fingers. As soon as he did, I felt sick and told him I wanted to go to the toilet. I wanted to stop this humiliation. He let me go. I managed to avoid the policemen who were waiting for me in the corridor and left the hospital. Once in the parking lot, I started running until I felt safe, and then went to my friend’s house.

    K.S. said he took a flight on June 13 to Belgium, where he has filed a request for asylum.

    K. B., 41, documentary filmmaker

    K.B. spent 13 months in pretrial detention on accusation of sodomy and unlawful detention. He is married and the father of an 8-year-old girl. He told Human Rights Watch that on March 3, 2017, at around 9 p.m., he went to downtown Tunis for drinks. While he was sitting in a bar, S.Z., a young man, approached him. They chatted for a while, then K.B. invited him to his place. He said that, after having sex, he went to the kitchen to prepare some food. When he came back to the living room, he caught the man stealing money from his wallet. K.B. tried to force him out of his apartment, but the man locked himself in a bedroom, went to the balcony, and screamed for help. Policemen arrived, arrested them, and took them to the Aouina district police station.

    Police treated me with contempt. The first question the interrogator asked was whether I had sex with S.Z. I denied it categorically and told him we only had drinks together. But he said that S.Z. had confessed. The interrogator asked me: “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself?”
    K.B. said the police at the station confiscated his phone and looked at his social media history and his photo archives. They switched the phone off and did not allow him to call his family or a lawyer. They presented him with a statement to sign, but he refused. At 4 a.m., they transferred both men to Bouchoucha detention center. Later that morning, the police took the men to the Tunis first instance court, where a prosecutor ordered them to undergo an anal test. The police took them to Charles Nicole hospital, K.B. said, where he refused the test. “The idea of them intruding into my intimacy and into my body was so humiliating to me.”

    He was returned to detention and after a few weeks decided to undergo the test in the hope that negative results would prove his innocence. He said he informed the investigative judge during a hearing and the judge issued a requisition. Police officers took him again to Charles Nicole Hospital.

    It was the worst thing that ever happened to me. The doctor asked me to strip and get on the examination table. He asked me to bend over. There was one policeman in the room and one medical assistant, watching. The doctor put one finger into my anus and moved it around. I was so ashamed. It was very dehumanizing.

    K.B. said that even though the test result was negative, the investigative judge indicted him for sodomy. The order referring the case to trial said that the time elapsed between the alleged act and the test prevented the court from ruling out that K.B. was “used to the practice of sodomy.”

    In May 2018, 13 months after the court placed K.B. in pretrial detention, it acquitted and freed him.

    In the indictment, the investigative judge wrote that S.Z. had confessed to the police to “committing the crime of sodomy in exchange for money” and that he admitted that he “approached and dated men he met via Facebook.” The judge quotes the police report, which describes in crude terms the sexual intercourse between K.B. and S.Z. The judge also states that K.B has denied the accusation of sodomy, and instead stated that he and S.Z. were only having drinks at his place and did not have sex.

    The investigative judge notes that S.Z. later retracted his confession and says that he gave instructions for the forensic doctor in the Charles Nicole Hospital to administer an anal test to determine whether K.B “bore signs of the practice of homosexual activity” recently or whether he “practices sodomy in a habitual way.”

    The judge’s indictment of K. B. was based on S.Z.’s confession to the police, later repudiated, from “the circumstances of the case, which show that the two men had no other reason to go to K. B.’s house” and K. B.’s refusal to take the anal test. The judge wrote: “given that the test was performed 20 days after the reported incident, the forensic doctor was not able to find signs of anal penetration because those signs disappear five days after the act.”

    “Free” (nickname), 32, hairdresser

    Free said that on the night of April 5, 2018, he went with a female friend from Sousse to Monastir for drinks and to meet his boyfriend. When they arrived at around 9 p.m., he said, a police patrol stopped them and asked for their papers, then told the woman to accompany them to the station for further identity checks. Free waited outside the station.

    While waiting, Free received an angry message from his boyfriend asking him why he was late. Free explained where he was and snapped a photo of the station as proof. A police officer saw him and confiscated Free’s telephone, saying he had endangered state security. The officer took him to an interrogation room, where another officer handcuffed him to a chair. An officer searched the phone and finding nude photos of Free, then searched his social media activity and read the conversations he had with men on gay dating apps and his chats with his boyfriend on Facebook Messenger, some of them sexually explicit.

    Free said that the police officer turned to him and said, “I hate you, you sodomites. You will have to pay for your depravity.” Other police officers in the room insulted Free, he said. The officer interrogated him about his sexual activity, wrote a report, and told him to sign it. When Free refused, a policeman slapped him in the face and said, “Ah, now you are trying to be a man. Just sign here, you scum.” Free signed the report without reading it.

    At no point during the interrogation did the police advise Free of his right to speak to a lawyer. At around midnight, they moved him into a cell, where he spent the night. The following day, he was taken before a prosecutor, who charged him with sodomy but decided to release him provisionally pending trial. On June 6, he appeared before the first instance court in Monastir. The presiding judge closed the courtroom to the public.

    The first question he asked me was whether I am used to the practice of sodomy. I told him I was not. He asked the question again, then asked, “Then why did you confess?” I answered, “Because the police forced me to.” The judge asked, “But if you are not a sodomite, why do you dress like this, why do you look like one of them?”

    He said the judge adjourned the trial to June 14, when he convicted Free and sentenced him to a four-months sentence with probation, based on his phone conversations and his forced confession. Free has appealed.

    M. R., 26, paramedic

    M.R. worked in a hospital in Tebourba, a city 40 kilometers west of Tunis. He fled to France and applied for asylum after being charged under article 230 and granted pretrial release.

    M.R. said he had always hidden his sexual orientation because of severe social stigma. In November 2017, he chatted with a man on Facebook. The man, called A.F., sent him photos, and they decided to meet. When they did, M.R. realized that the photos were fake and told A.F. that he would not have sex with him. A few days later, on November 28, A.F. banged on his door at around 4 a.m. Fearing scandal, M.R. opened the door to find A.F. drunk and wielding a knife. A.F. slapped him on the face, ordered him to remove his clothes, and raped him, he said, threatening to cut his throat. After a few hours, A.F. told M.R. to buy A.F. cigarettes. M.R. went to the Tebourba police station and filed a rape complaint.

    When I told the police officers about the rape, they asked me how I knew the man and how we met. I dodged the questions, but they insisted. I told them that I am gay, and their behavior changed instantly. The station chief said: “Ah, so you were the one who initiated this, you are an accomplice to the crime, there is no rape here – you deserve this.” Then, he handed me a requisition order and told me to go get an anal test the following day at Charles Nicole Hospital.

    The police interrogated M.R., then accompanied him to his apartment, where they arrested A.F. The police told M.R. to undergo the anal examination, then report to the First Instance Court in Manouba. M.R. consulted the nongovernmental association Shams, which defends sexual minorities, and decided to skip the anal test. When he reported to the court, the investigative judge treated him as a criminal, not a victim. M.R. said:

    He asked questions about my sex life and when I started practicing sodomy with other men. He said that I deserved everything that had happened to me and that I should be ashamed of myself.

    M.R. said that the judge charged him with sodomy and granted him pretrial release. A.F. was kept in custody and charged with sodomy and rape.

    The indictment of M.R., prepared by the investigative judge and dated December 13, 2017, provides purported details from M.R.’s intimate life, including confessions that he is gay. The indictment also relies on the confession from A.F. and cites a condom seized at M. R.’s house as evidence.

    M.R. said that, three days after the encounter with A.F., he reported to work at the hospital. The director handed him a dismissal notice on the grounds that he was facing trial.

    I had to go back to my family’s place, as I had no salary anymore. It was like living in a prison. My father and older brother beat me many times, my father even burned me with a cigarette. They did not allow me to go out, they said they were ashamed of me.

    Having lost everything, he left Tunisia for France.

    I had no other choice, I felt rejected by everyone, my family, society, my colleagues. And I was afraid of going to prison.

    Mounir Baatour, M.R.’s lawyer, told Human Rights Watch that the case is stalled in the first instance court in Manouba, and has yet to go to trial. On May 15, 2018, indictment chamber sent the indictment to the cassation court for a legal review, which is pending.

    R. F., 42, day laborer, and M.J. 22, unemployed

    On June 12, 2018, police in Sidi Bouzaiane arrested R.F. and M.J. after R.F. went to the police to say that M.J. had refused to leave R.F.’s house.

    M.J. said that the police came to his house and took both men to the police station at around midnight. They interrogated them in the same room, asking them how they met. A police officer took R.F.’s phone and watched videos stored on it, then said to R.F., “So you are a miboun [a degrading term for gay]. M.J. said:

    One of the four officers present during interrogation slapped R.F. on the face. Then he turned toward me and asked, “So what were you both doing in the house? I’m sure you were having sex, so you too must be a miboun. You are staining this country,” he said.

    M.J. said that policemen beat him on his face, head, and back. When the police finished the interrogation at 3 a.m., they presented a written report and told M.J. to sign it. He said he asked to have a lawyer first, but they refused to let him call one and insulted him. He signed the report.

    The police report, reviewed by Human Rights Watch, states that neither man requested a lawyer. R.F.’s purported statement, as the police recorded it, describes in graphic terms how he habitually practices sodomy and has sex with men. The police report states that officers searched R.F.’s smartphone and found videos of R.F. having sex with men. The police confiscated his phone, the report says, as “evidence of the crime.”

    Two days after the arrest, M.J. said, he and R.F. appeared before a prosecutor, who asked them: “Aren’t you afraid of God’s judgment?” He ordered pretrial detention, and they were sent to the Sidi Bouzid prison. M.J. said that one of the prison guards harassed him and asked him vulgar questions such as: “How you do this? Are you getting fucked for money? Why are you fucking men? Aren’t there enough women to fuck in this country?”

    He said he was put in a cell with 100 other men, who seemed to have been informed about his “crime.” Over the following days, his cellmates insulted, beat, and sexually harassed him. He said that one night, he refused to have sex with the cell “strongman”, so the man and two others beat him. He said they held his arms, while the strongman slapped him on the face and punched him on the chin.

    After a week in detention, he appeared before an investigative judge, who asked him about his sexual behavior. M.J. said he admitted that he is gay. He said he had done nothing wrong, but the judge replied, “You are harming society.”

    The first instance court in Sidi Bouzid sentenced the two men on June 12 to three months in prison for sodomy. The appeals court upheld the sentence.

    S.C., 24 and A.B., 22

    Police arrested S.C. and A.B. in Sousse on December 8, 2016, when they were allegedly caught committing sodomy in public. They were sentenced, on March 10, 2017, to eight months in prison under article 230 of the penal code and not on charges related to public indecency. The police report describes their sexual intercourse in detail and concludes that S.C. “committed active sodomy,” while A.B. was a “passive sodomite.”

    The judgment from the first instance court in Sousse, which Human Rights Watch reviewed, states that both denied committing sodomy or being homosexuals. It states that they were both subjected to anal examinations on December 9, 2016, that turned out “negative.” The judge concluded that: “the results of the anal tests cannot exonerate the accused of the crime, especially given that the [tests] were performed sometime after the facts.” The court based the guilty verdict only on the declarations by police officers and wrote that: “it is appropriate to sentence them to eight months as an adequate and dissuasive sentence proportional to the offense that they have committed.”

    A.C., 18, student

    A.C. was arrested three times for sodomy. The first time was in August 2017, when he was 17. Police forces arrested him at his house after his two sisters denounced him as gay and took him to the Kasba police station in Tunis. He said that they interrogated him extensively about his sexual orientation and took his smart phone and searched his personal data. The next day, they took him to a forensic doctor in the Charles Nicole hospital for an anal examination. He said he did not have a lawyer and that the police did not inform him of his right to have one.

    I did not understand what was going on. The police told me that the test is mandatory. The doctor told me to go on an examination bed and to bend, and then he inserted his fingers in my insides. The doctor did not explain what the test is about.

    A.C. said he was released without charge after spending two days in the Kasba police station.

    On May 15, 2018, he went to the police station in Sijoumi, in Tunis, in response to a summons. He said police officers told him his family had filed a complaint and questioned him for almost four hours. A.C. confessed to being gay. The police took him to Bouchoucha detention center in Tunis, where he spent the night. The next day, May 16, he appeared before the Tunis first instance court in Sidi Hassine, where an investigative judge interviewed him. The judge asked him: “Why are you like this? Don’t you know that what you’re doing is haram [forbidden under Islam]?”

    I told the judge that I didn’t break any laws, that what I do is my personal business. I did not hurt anyone. This is my private life and should not be the concern of anyone else.

    He said the judge ordered his detention for two months in a juvenile rehabilitation center, as he was still a minor, and forced him to undergo “conversion therapy,” a thoroughly discredited method to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. At the center, a psychiatrist visited him twice, telling him that “he should work on changing himself and his mind.” He appeared before another investigative judge, on June 25, who released him.

    A.C. said that on September 2, he was running some errands with his boyfriend when the police stopped them and asked for their identity cards. The police told A.C. that his family had filed a complaint against him. They took him to Hay Hlel police station in Tunis, where they questioned him about his sexual life, confiscated his phone, and looked at his photos and personal conversations. A prosecutor issued a warrant to detain him, and he spent eight days in the Bouchoucha detention center. On September 20, he appeared before a judge, who released him without charge.

    F.B, 28; N.A, 21 and B.K., 27, day laborers

    In Sousse, a coastal city, the police arrested three men in January 2017, after neighbors complained that they suspected the men were gay. In the indictment, which Human Rights Watch reviewed, the investigative judge states that the police went to the house where the men were staying, seized their phones, on which they found “evidence that they were sodomites,” as well as “women’s clothing,” and took the men to the police station.

    The investigative judge ruled that the men harmed public morals based on the content of the seized phones and “because they dressed up like women, used lipstick, and talked in a languid way.” The police report and the indictment, which usually would include information about a judicial warrant, did not indicate that the police had one. The three men were sentenced to two months in prison for the charge of harming public morals and served their terms.

    https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/11/08/tunisia-privacy-threatened-homosexuality-arrests

    #Tunisie #homophobie #homosexualité #COI #LGBT


  • Palestine.
    Le droit à l’appel au boycott reconnu par la Cour d’appel de l’Angleterre et du pays de Galles - AURDIP
    https://www.aurdip.org/le-droit-a-l-appel-au-boycott.html

    La Cour d’appel de l’Angleterre et du pays de Galles (Division civile) a rendu le 3 juillet 2018 un arrêt dans une affaire opposant l’association « Jewish Human Rights Watch » à la mairie de Leicester. La Cour estime que l’appel au boycott des produits des colonies israéliennes, même lancé par un conseil municipal, relève de la liberté d’expression politique et n’y voit aucune incitation à la discrimination raciale (texte de l’arrêt).

    L’affaire porte sur la légalité de la résolution adoptée par le conseil municipal de Leicester le 13 novembre 2014. La résolution appelle « au boycott de tout produit originaire des colonies israéliennes illégales de Cisjordanie jusqu’à ce qu’Israël respecte le droit international et se retire des territoires palestiniens occupés ». L’association « Jewish Human Rights Watch » demande à la justice anglaise d’annuler la résolution, en faisant valoir son caractère discriminatoire et les risques qu’elle comporterait vis-à-vis de la communauté juive de la ville, notamment en ce qu’elle conforterait l’idéologie du mouvement BDS.

    Dans un jugement du 28 juin 2016, la Haute cour de justice (division administrative) considère que la résolution n’a pas violé la règlementation anglaise, notamment les lois relatives à l’égalité de 2010 et aux collectivités locales de 1988 (texte du jugement). L’arrêt du 3 juillet 2018 de la Cour d’appel confirme le jugement du 28 juin 2016.

    L’arrêt rendu est commenté en anglais par le professeur Robert Wintemute (professeur de droits de l’homme au King’s College de Londres), dans un article publié dans la newsletter de septembre 2018 (p. 5) de l’association « British Committee for the Universities of Palestine » (BRICUP).


  • In Sri Lanka, old land issues and a new prime minister highlight post-war traumas

    Sri Lanka’s civil war ended nearly a decade ago, but Maithili Thamil Chilwen’s barren plot of land still resembles a battlefield.

    There is only a mound of dirt where her home once stood in Keppapilavu village in the country’s northeast; the rest is just dirt, gravel, and broken shards of doors and windows from her demolished home.

    Sri Lanka’s military occupied thousands of hectares of land during and after the country’s bitter 26-year civil war, which came to a brutal end in 2009 when the military crushed remaining Tamil fighters here in the north. Almost a decade later, rights groups say reconciliation between the country’s majority Sinhalese community and its Tamil minority is at a standstill, and occupied land is one glaring example.

    Thamil Chilwen, an ethnic Tamil, said the military seized her property at the end of the war. It took almost nine years, until earlier this year, for the military to give it back. But by then, her home and fields were destroyed.

    “We were happy when the military told us we could go back to our land. But when I saw the state of the land, I had to cry,” she said.

    The military has been slow to return land to civilians, or to even acknowledge just how much territory it still occupies. It’s symptomatic of wider post-conflict fissures across the country: rights groups say Sri Lanka’s government hasn’t taken significant steps to address rampant war-era abuses – including enforced disappearances and thousands of civilian deaths in the conflict’s final months.

    Hopes for national reconciliation took another blow last week when the country’s president, Maithripala Sirisena, abruptly appointed the controversial former leader who oversaw the 2009 military offensive, Mahinda Rajapaksa, as prime minister. The surprise move has locked Sri Lanka in a political crisis: the ousted prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, has vowed to stay in office; government ministers who support him have denounced his dismissal as “an anti-democratic coup”.

    Human Rights Watch said any return to office for Rajapaksa raises “chilling concerns” for rights in the country. Rajapaksa is accused of widespread rights abuses, particularly in his role overseeing the military offensive that crushed the Tamil insurgency.

    “The current government’s failure to bring justice to victims of war crimes under the Rajapaksa government reopens the door for past abusers to return to their terrible practices,” said the group’s Asia director, Brad Adams.

    For most Tamils, a return to their ancestral land is one key part of finding justice, says Ruki Fernando, a Colombo-based rights activist who has documented war-time disappearances.

    More than 40,000 people remain displaced since the end of the war, mostly concentrated in the Tamil heartlands of northern and northeastern Sri Lanka.

    “It’s about culture and religious life. It’s where they buried their ancestors,” Fernando said. “It’s their identity.”

    Alan Keenan, a Sri Lanka analyst with the International Crisis Group, says land is among a range of issues that have largely gone unresolved over the last decade.

    “Most Tamils don’t feel that they have gotten as much they were promised in terms of dealing with the legacy of war, having their land returned, discovering the fate of their tens of thousands of missing relatives, having crimes committed by the military addressed judicially,” Keenan said. “For a whole range of things, they think they didn’t get what they were promised.”
    Reparations

    Estimates for the amount of land occupied by the military vary wildly. The military last year said it had returned roughly 20,000 hectares of private and state land in the north. In a report released this month, Human Rights Watch said the government claimed the military was occupying about 48,000 hectares of private and state land in the north and east.

    Rights groups say the military has converted some of the occupied land into for-profit businesses. They have set up plantation farms, restaurants, and even resorts catering to tourists, in addition to large military bases.

    An army spokesman did not respond to IRIN’s requests for comment. But in an interview with the Indian newspaper The Hindu this year, Mahesh Senanayake, the Sri Lankan army chief, said 80 percent of occupied land has been returned. He claimed the military had been the only organisation capable of running key services in the north after decades of war.

    “The government machinery was not functioning for decades,” he said. “There was a big gap and our services are needed to address it.”

    Early this month, President Sirisena ordered the release of all civilian land by the end of the year. However, rights groups say such promises have gone unfulfilled for years.

    Sirisena was elected in 2015 on the back of a reformist agenda to boost reconciliation between the divided Sinhalese and Tamil communities. When he came to office, Sirisena broke from his predecessor and promised to set up a national truth commission, an office to investigate missing persons, and provide reparations for war-era abuses.

    The government has held public consultations to solicit feedback on reconciliation, and legislated the creation of an office for reparations. But rights groups say progress has been achingly slow, even before last week’s political crisis. The UN’s special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism last year said government actions on transitional justice have “ground to a virtual halt”.

    Analysts say Sirisena has been reluctant to push a reform agenda too forcefully in the face of resurgent Sinhalese nationalism. Rajapaksa, the former president, is popular among Sinhalese nationalists; the political party he leads nearly swept local elections held in February, seen as a bellwether for the current political mood in the country.

    “The government is afraid the Sinhala constituency will be unhappy that they are giving back the land, that they are shrinking the footprint of the military,” Keenan said.

    In a country that has held an uneasy peace since the civil war’s remarkably violent end in 2009, there are signs of discontent. A Tamil nationalist party, the Tamil National People’s Front, also made significant gains during the February elections here in Sri Lanka’s north, where it took control of the two largest councils in populous Jaffna district.

    In Keppapilavu village, an army tank sits outside an imposing military base surrounded by tall cement walls. A few metres away, a group of men and women have held a protest for the last year, under tents made of tin and tarpaulin.

    Arumuham Weluthapillayi, a Hindu priest, started the protest last year with other displaced families. He says half of his land is still occupied by the army – in addition to homes, places of worship, schools, a cemetery, and numerous shops around the village.

    This area was once a stronghold of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, commonly known as the Tamil Tigers. But nine years after the insurgency was routed, Weluthapillayi says he can’t understand why the army hasn’t left.

    “The war is over,” he said. “There are no security issues. Why are they still here?”

    https://www.irinnews.org/news/2018/10/30/sri-lanka-old-land-issues-and-new-appointment-threaten-reconciliation
    #Sri_Lanka #COI #terres #tamouls #déplacés_internes #IDPs #dédommagement #indemnisations #Keppapilavu


  • “You Cry at Night but Don’t Know Why”. Sexual Violence against Women in North Korea

    Oh Jung Hee is a former trader in her forties from Ryanggang province. She sold clothes to market stalls in Hyesan city and was involved in the distribution of textiles in her province. She said that up until she left the country in 2014, guards would regularly pass by the market to demand bribes, sometimes in the form of coerced sexual acts or intercourse. She told Human Rights Watch:

    I was a victim many times … On the days they felt like it, market guards or police officials could ask me to follow them to an empty room outside the market, or some other place they’d pick. What can we do? They consider us [sex] toys … We [women] are at the mercy of men. Now, women cannot survive without having men with power near them.

    She said she had no power to resist or report these abuses. She said it never occurred to her that anything could be done to stop these assaults except trying to avoid such situations by moving away or being quiet in order to not be noticed.

    Park Young Hee, a former farmer in her forties also from Ryanggang province who left North Korea for the second time in 2011, was forced back to North Korea from China in the spring of 2010 after her first attempt to flee. She said, after being released by the secret police (bowiseong) and put under the jurisdiction of the police, the officer in charge of questioning her in the police pre-trial detention facility (kuryujang) near Musan city in North Hamgyong province touched her body underneath her clothes and penetrated her several times with his fingers. She said he asked her repeatedly about the sexual relations she had with the Chinese man to whom she had been sold to while in China. She told Human Rights Watch:

    My life was in his hands, so I did everything he wanted and told him everything he asked. How could I do anything else? … Everything we do in North Korea can be considered illegal, so everything can depend on the perception or attitude of who is looking into your life.

    Park Young Hee said she never told anybody about the abuse because she did not think it was unusual, and because she feared the authorities and did not believe anyone would help.

    The experiences of Oh Jung Hee and Park Young Hee are not isolated ones. While sexual and gender-based violence is of concern everywhere, growing evidence suggests it is endemic in North Korea.

    This report–based largely on interviews with 54 North Koreans who left the country after 2011, when the current leader, Kim Jong Un, rose to power, and 8 former North Korean officials who fled the country–focuses on sexual abuse by men in official positions of power. The perpetrators include high-ranking party officials, prison and detention facility guards and interrogators, police and secret police officials, prosecutors, and soldiers. At the time of the assaults, most of the victims were in the custody of authorities or were market traders who came across guards and other officials as they traveled to earn their livelihood.

    Interviewees told us that when a guard or police officer “picks” a woman, she has no choice but to comply with any demands he makes, whether for sex, money, or other favors. Women in custody have little choice should they attempt to refuse or complain afterward, and risk sexual violence, longer periods in detention, beatings, forced labor, or increased scrutiny while conducting market activities.

    Women not in custody risk losing their main source of income and jeopardizing their family’s survival, confiscation of goods and money, and increased scrutiny or punishment, including being sent to labor training facilities (rodong danryeondae) or ordinary-crimes prison camps (kyohwaso, literally reform through labor centers) for being involved in market activities. Other negative impacts include possibly losing access to prime trading locations, being fired or overlooked for jobs, being deprived of means of transportation or business opportunities, being deemed politically disloyal, being relocated to a remote area, and facing more physical or sexual violence.

    The North Koreans we spoke with told us that unwanted sexual contact and violence is so common that it has come to be accepted as part of ordinary life: sexual abuse by officials, and the impunity they enjoy, is linked to larger patterns of sexual abuse and impunity in the country. The precise number of women and girls who experience sexual violence in North Korea, however, is unknown. Survivors rarely report cases, and the North Korean government rarely publishes data on any aspect of life in the country.

    Our research, of necessity conducted among North Koreans who fled, does not provide a generalized sample from which to draw definitive conclusions about the prevalence of sexual abuse by officials. The diversity in age, geographic location, social class, and personal backgrounds of the survivors, combined with many consistencies in how they described their experiences, however, suggest that the patterns of sexual violence identified here are common across North Korea. Our findings also mirror those of other inquiries that have tried to discern the situation in this sealed-off authoritarian country.

    A 2014 United Nations Commission of Inquiry (UN COI) on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) concluded that systematic, widespread, and gross human rights violations committed by the North Korean government constituted crimes against humanity. These included forced abortion, rape, and other sexual violence, as well as murder, imprisonment, enslavement, and torture on North Koreans in prison or detention. The UN COI stated that witnesses revealed that while “domestic violence is rife within DPRK society … violence against women is not limited to the home, and that it is common to see women being beaten and sexually assaulted in public.”

    The Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU), a South Korean government think tank that specializes in research on North Korea, conducted a survey with 1,125 North Koreans (31.29 percent men and 68.71 percent women) who re-settled in South Korea between 2010 and 2014. The survey found that 37.7 percent of the respondents said sexual harassment and rape of inmates at detention facilities was “common,” including 15.9 percent that considered it “very common.” Thirty-three women said they were raped at detention and prison facilities, 51 said they witnessed rapes in such facilities, and 25 said they heard of such cases. The assailants identified by the respondents were police agents–45.6 percent; guards–17.7 percent; secret police (bowiseong) agents –13.9 percent; and fellow detainees–1.3 percent. The 2014 KINU survey found 48.6 percent of the respondents said that rape and sexual harassment against women in North Korea was “common.”

    The North Koreans we spoke with stressed that women are socialized to feel powerless to demand accountability for sexual abuse and violence, and to feel ashamed when they are victims of abuse. They said the lack of rule of law and corresponding support systems for survivors leads most victims to remain silent–not seek justice and often not even talk about their experiences.

    While most of our interviewees left North Korea between2011 and 2016, and many of the abuses date from a year or more before their departure, all available evidence suggests that the abuses and near-total impunity enjoyed by perpetrators continue to the present.

    In July 2017, the North Korean government told the UN committee that monitors the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) that just nine people in all of North Korea were convicted of rape in 2008, seven in 2011, and five in 2015. The government said that the numbers of male perpetrators convicted for the crime of forcing a woman who is his subordinate to have sexual intercourse was five in 2008, six in 2011, and three in 2015. While North Korean officials seem to think such ridiculously low numbers show the country to be a violence-free paradise, the numbers are a powerful indictment of their utter failure to address sexual violence in the country.

    Sexual Abuse in Prisons and Detention Facilities

    Human Rights Watch interviewed eight former detainees or prisoners who said they experienced a combination of verbal and sexual violence, harsh questioning, and humiliating treatment by investigators, detention facility personnel, or prison guards that belong to the police or the secret police (bowiseong).

    Six interviewees had experienced sexual, verbal, and physical abuse in pre-trial detention and interrogation facilities (kuryujang)–jails designed to hold detainees during their initial interrogations, run by the MSS or the police. They said secret police or police agents in charge of their personal interrogation touched their faces and their bodies, including their breasts and hips, either through their clothes or by putting their hands inside their clothes.

    Human Rights Watch also documented cases of two women who were sexually abused at a temporary holding facility (jipkyulso) while detainees were being transferred from interrogation facilities (kuryujang) to detention facilities in the detainees’ home districts.

    Sexual Abuse of Women Engaged in Trade

    Human Rights Watch interviewed four women traders who experienced sexual violence, including rape, assault, and sexual harassment, as well as verbal abuse and intimidation, by market gate-keeper officials. We also interviewed 17 women who were sexually abused or experienced unwanted sexual advances by police or other officials as they traveled for their work as traders. Although seeking income outside the command economy was illegal, women started working as traders during the mass famine of the 1990s as survival imperatives led many to ignore the strictures of North Korea’s command economy. Since many married women were not obliged to attend a government-established workplace, they became traders and soon the main breadwinners for their families. But pursuing income in public exposed them to violence.

    Traders and former government officials told us that in North Korea traders are often compelled to pay bribes to officials and market regulators, but for women the “bribes” often include sexual abuse and violence, including rape. Perpetrators of abuses against women traders include high-ranking party officials, managers at state-owned enterprises, and gate-keeper officials at the markets and on roads and check-points, such as police, bowiseong agents, prosecutors, soldiers, and railroad inspectors on trains.

    Women who had worked as traders described unwanted physical contact that included indiscriminately touching their bodies, grabbing their breasts and hips, trying to touch them underneath their skirts or pants, poking their cheeks, pulling their hair, or holding their bodies in their arms. The physical harassment was often accompanied by verbal abuse and intimidation. Women also said it was common for women to try to help protect each other by sharing information about such things, such as which house to avoid because it is rumored that the owner is a rapist or a child molester, which roads not to walk on alone at night, or which local high-ranking official most recently sexually preyed upon women.

    Our research confirms a trend already identified in the UN COI report:

    Officials are not only increasingly engaging in corruption in order to support their low or non-existent salaries, they are also exacting penalties and punishment in the form of sexual abuse and violence as there is no fear of punishment. As more women assume the responsibility for feeding their families due to the dire economic and food situation, more women are traversing through and lingering in public spaces, selling and transporting their goods.

    The UN COI further found “the male dominated state, agents who police the marketplace, inspectors on trains, and soldiers are increasingly committing acts of sexual assault on women in public spaces” and “received reports of train guards frisking women and abusing young girls onboard.” This was described as “the male dominated state preying on the increasingly female-dominated market.”

    Almost all of the women interviewed by Human Rights Watch with trading experience said the only way not to fall prey to extortion or sexual harassment while conducting market activities was to give up hopes of expanding one’s business and barely scrape by, be born to a powerful father with money and connections, marry a man with power, or become close to one.

    Lack of Remedies

    Only one of the survivors of sexual violence Human Rights Watch interviewed for this report said she had tried to report the sexual assault. The other women said they did not report it because they did not trust the police and did not believe police would be willing to take action. The women said the police do not consider sexual violence a serious crime and that it is almost inconceivable to even consider going to the police to report sexual abuse because of the possible repercussions. Family members or close friends who knew about their experience also cautioned women against going to the authorities.

    Eight former government officials, including a former police officer, told Human Rights Watch that cases of sexual abuse or assault are reported to police only when there are witnesses and, even then, the reports invariably are made by third parties and not by the women themselves. Only seven of the North Korean women and men interviewed by Human Rights Watch were aware of cases in which police had investigated sexual violence and in all such cases the victims had been severely injured or killed.

    All of the North Koreans who spoke to Human Rights Watch said the North Korean government does not provide any type of psycho-social support services for survivors of sexual violence and their families. To make matters worse, they said, the use of psychological or psychiatric services itself is highly stigmatized.

    Two former North Korean doctors and a nurse who left after 2010 said there are no protocols for medical treatment and examination of victims of sexual violence to provide therapeutic care or secure medical evidence. They said there are no training programs for medical practitioners on sexual assault and said they never saw a rape victim go to the hospital to receive treatment.

    Discrimination Against Women

    Sex discrimination and subordination of women are pervasive in North Korean. Everyone in North Korea is subjected to a socio-political classification system, known as songbun, that grouped people from its creation into “loyal,” “wavering,” or “hostile” classes. But a woman’s classification also depends, in critical respects, on that of her male relatives, specifically her father and her father’s male relations and, upon marriage, that of her husband and his male relations. A woman’s position in society is lower than a man’s, and her reputation depends largely on maintaining an image of “sexual purity” and obeying the men in her family.

    The government is dominated by men. According to statistics provided by the DPRK government to the UN, as of 2016 women made up just 20.2 percent of the deputies selected, 16.1 percent of divisional directors in government bodies, 11.9 percent of judges and lawyers, 4.9 percent of diplomats, and 16.5 per cent of the officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    On paper, the DPRK says that it is committed to gender equality and women and girl’s rights. The Criminal Code criminalizes rape of women, trafficking in persons, having sexual relations with women in a subordinate position, and child sexual abuse. The 2010 Law on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Women bans domestic violence. North Korea has also ratified five international human rights treaties, including ones that address women and girl’s rights and equality, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and CEDAW.

    During a meeting of a North Korean delegation with the CEDAW Committee, which reviewed North Korean compliance between 2002 and 2015, government officials argued all of the elements of CEDAW had been included in DPRK’s domestic laws. However, under questioning by the committee, the officials were unable to provide the definition of “discrimination against women” employed by the DPRK.

    Park Kwang Ho, Councilor of the Central Court in the DPRK, stated that if a woman in a subordinate position was forced to engage in sexual relations for fear of losing her job or in exchange for preferential treatment, it was her choice as to whether or not she complied. Therefore, he argued, in such a situation the punishment for the perpetrator should be lighter. He later amended his statement to say that if she did not consent to having sexual relations, and was forced to do so, the perpetrator was committing rape and would be punished accordingly.

    https://www.hrw.org/report/2018/10/31/you-cry-night-dont-know-why/sexual-violence-against-women-north-korea
    #abus_sexuels #violence_sexuelle #viols #Corée_du_nord #femmes #rapport


  • ’They considered us toys’: North Korean women reveal extent of sexual violence | World news | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/01/north-korea-women-sexual-violence-report

    Women in North Korea are routinely subjected to sexual violence by government officials, prison guards, interrogators, police, prosecutors, and soldiers, according to a new report, with groping and unwanted advances a part of daily life for women working in the country’s burgeoning black markets.

    The widespread nature of abuse by North Korea officials was documented in a new report by Human Rights Watch that interviewed 54 people who fled North Korea since 2011, the year Kim Jong-un came to power. It took more than two years amass the stories collected in the report, with subjects interviewed in countries across Asia.

    #corée_du_nord


  • Reporter’s Diary: Heal Somalia’s former child soldiers, heal a nation

    Even by Mogadishu standards, late September was particularly violent.

    Amino Hussein Hassan, a female law student, was shot dead on her university campus. Yahye Amir, a prominent economics professor and political analyst, escaped an assassination attempt when a bomb strapped to his car exploded, killing his brother. And Ahmed Mukhtar Salah, from the long-marginalised minority Bantu community, was beaten and burnt to death by a mob after his nephew married an ethnic Somali woman.

    Violence has been a way of life in Somalia since the outbreak of the civil war in 1991, seeping deep into the nation’s marrow as clan conflict gradually morphed into an all-out war against the al-Qaeda affiliated Islamist group #al-Shabab. “The layers of violence that people have had to digest is one of the key problems for building a peaceful and healthier society,” Laetitia Bader, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch (HRW), told me recently.

    Most often, those who bear the life-long consequences are the poor, the politically marginalised, and young people. In particular, the thousands of children who must deal with the trauma of years on the front lines.

    In May, I travelled to the capital, Mogadishu – as I have done regularly since 2012 – to report on a crisis that, save for some international NGOs and human rights organisations, few seem to talk about: child soldiers.

    There, I met Abdi, 16, a former child soldier. Intelligent and eloquent, he had been a star pupil at the Koranic school in his home town, about 55 miles from the capital. In 2009, at the age of seven, his teacher took him and seven other boys to join al-Shabab.

    For two years, Abdi lived in a camp with about three dozen other young recruits. By the time he was eight, he had learned how to drive a car and shoot a gun. By nine, he took part in his first raid in the village of Darussalam Mubarak, where he witnessed an assassination: a man killed by three bullets to the back.

    As horrific as that experience was, the image that has most haunted Abdi for years is that of the severed head of a young man his al-Shabab camp commander brandished before the recruits as a warning: this is what happens to informants.

    “Even now after all these years, I have nightmares,” Abdi told me. “Sometimes I wake up screaming in the middle of the night.”
    A disposable front line

    While al-Shabab’s use of children as soldiers is nothing new, in the last several years the number of child soldiers has increased markedly.

    In al-Shabab’s heyday around 2010, when it controlled vast swaths of the country, including a sizable chunk of the capital, persuasion and indoctrination were enough to ensure a steady supply of young fighters. Since 2016, increased attacks by the Somali national army and US and African Union troops have resulted in a loss of territory for the group. Most recently, on October 16, the US military announced that it had carried out one of the deadliest airstrikes against al-Shabab, killing 60 militants in the Mudug region.

    So, desperate for more foot soldiers, al-Shabab has turned to the abduction and forced recruitment of minors. Accurate numbers are difficult to come by. Child Soldiers International calculates that there has been a 269 percent increase in the number of children within the ranks of armed groups in Somalia between 2015, when there were 903 documented cases, to 2017, with 3,335 cases. Meanwhile, according to a May report on children and armed conflict presented by the UN secretary-general to the General Assembly, 1,770 children were recruited as soldiers in 2017 alone, with al-Shabab doing the vast majority of the recruitment. The overall number is likely even higher: UNICEF Somalia estimates that as many as 6,000 children and youths are part of armed groups in the country.

    In a single military operation carried out by the Somali National Army and US troops in January on a base near the town of Baledogle, 70 miles northwest of Mogadishu, for instance, 36 child soldiers between the ages of eight and 13 were rescued.

    Often untrained and ill-equipped, these child soldiers make for a disposable front line on the battlefield, protecting older, more experienced fighters. This makes them more likely to suffer physical wounds and psychological trauma.
    Young defectors

    I first met Abdi and other boys through a man I’ll call Hussein. I am not using his real name, or identifying his location, since in addition to running an orphanage he manages a centre that works with young al-Shabab defectors. About 120 boys now live there, two hours’ drive from the capital, but at one point it housed as many 520.


    https://www.irinnews.org/opinion/2018/10/22/heal-somalia-former-child-soldiers-heal-nation-al-shabab
    #enfants-soldat #Somalie #guerre


  • Torture et persécution : la face sombre de l’Autorité palestinienne et du Hamas
    L’ONG Human Rights Watch dénonce le climat de violence, de répression et d’impunité instauré en Cisjordanie et à Gaza.
    LE MONDE | 23.10.2018 | Par Piotr Smolar (Jérusalem, correspondant)
    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2018/10/23/un-rapport-denonce-la-pratique-systematique-de-la-torture-par-les-forces-de-

    « Nous allons te dévorer. » C’est la phrase qu’entendit le journaliste Sami As-Sai, en février 2017, peu après son transfert dans les locaux des services de renseignement de l’Autorité palestinienne (AP), à Jéricho. Interrogé sur ses liens supposés avec le Hamas, Sami As-Saï a été traîné avec une corde, les mains attachées, dans un couloir. Les policiers ont accroché la corde à une porte avant de la pousser lentement, pour étirer les membres. Il s’est évanoui. A son réveil, il a été frappé à la plante des pieds une vingtaine de fois. La douleur était si forte qu’après avoir été conduit aux toilettes, il n’était plus capable de remonter son pantalon seul.

    Lors d’un autre interrogatoire, il a été menotté dans le dos, puis suspendu ainsi au plafond. Les policiers ont menacé de l’accuser publiquement d’adultère, de l’empêcher de revoir son son fils de 10 ans, gravement malade. Au bout de treize jours de détention, Sami As-Sai a plaidé coupable pour « incitation au conflit sectaire » et « blanchiment ». La peine prononcée de quinze mois fut ramenée à trois, puis supprimée, dès lors que l’accusé accepta de payer une simple amende. Il a donc été remis en liberté à la fin de sa garde à vue. (...)

    • On compte à peu près 6000 prisonniers palestiniens dans les prisons israéliennes, un compte tenu régulièrement à jour par l’association Addameer :
      http://www.addameer.org

      On n’a en revanche à ma connaissance aucun chiffre sur le nombre de détenus par l’Autorité Palestinienne.

      Dans ce rapport de HRW, le Hamas reconnaît 4071 détenus dans les prisons de #Gaza.

      Aucune info sur la #Cisjordanie, sauf sur les cas d’atteinte à la liberté d’expression politique (manifestations, réseaux sociaux, journalistes, étudiants...) sur lesquels ce rapport insiste, à savoir les détentions préventives, les détentions administratives, et celles liées aux services de sécurité. Les chiffres tournent entre 100 et 500 personnes concernées, donc probablement loin du nombre total de détenus... Où trouver cette info ?

    • Palestinian Cabinet vows to investigate HRW report findings
      Oct. 25, 2018 1:49 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 25, 2018 3:52 P.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=781589

      RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, reviewed, during its weekly meeting on Wednesday, the latest Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, regarding the situation of human rights in Palestine, and vowed to investigate its findings and recommendations in cooperation with all related parties and authorities.

      In a statement issued following the meeting, the cabinet approved the formation of a ministerial committee to lead discussions related to the Social Security Law, welcomed the visit of the Chinese Vice-President and the meetings of the joint Palestinian-Turkish ministerial committee.

      During the meeting, Hamdallah stated that “The State of Palestine, the democratic state, the state of law and institution-building, and the responsible member in the international community, is committed to its obligations and is making great efforts to comply with the standards of international human rights.”

      “The State of Palestine positively considers that the law enforcement agencies within the State must respect and protect human rights, in accordance with our beliefs in the value of human beings and our responsibility for preserving the human dignity.” (...)

    • Gaza interior ministry criticises HRW’s report on torture
      October 25, 2018 at 11:30 am
      https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20181025-gaza-interior-ministry-criticises-hrws-report-on-torture

      The Palestinian Ministry of Interior and National Security accused Human Rights Watch of ignoring the reality and facts about the situation of freedoms in the Gaza Strip.

      “With great concern, we followed up the report issued by Human Rights Watch (HRW) on October 23, 2018, that included allegations against the Security Forces in the Gaza Strip accusing them of repressing dissent,” the ministry said.

      The ministry stressed that the HRW’s report “lacks accuracy and objectivity and does not reflect reality” in the Gaza Strip.

      In a statement, the ministry said that the it had “received some inquiries” from HRW “on issues related to freedoms in the Gaza Strip,” stating that the organisation “asked about certain persons who were being allegedly arrested in the Gaza Strip.”

      The ministry “clarified and elaborated all issues, explaining the grounds of all the cases in question,” stating that it was “shocked” because the organisation “ignored our explanations”.

      Meanwhile, the ministry said that it sent another message to the organisation on 22 October asking why its reply was ignored, but it received no response.

      The ministry reiterated that it maintains continuous contact with the different human rights groups, including the International Committee for the Red Cross and visit its jails and meet those held in custody.

      “We do protect the Palestinian citizens and implement the Basic Palestinian law in terms of freedom of expression and prisoners’ rights,” the ministry added.


  • Affaire Khashoggi : les dernières révélations turques qui accablent Riyad
    France 24 - Dernière modification : 22/10/2018 - Avec AFP et Reuters
    https://www.france24.com/fr/20181022-affaire-khashoggi-jamal-revelations-turquie-arabie-mbs-riyad-erdo

    De nouveaux développements dans l’assassinat du journaliste saoudien jamal Khashoggi sont apparus, lundi, à la veille d’un discours très attendu de Recep Tayyip Erdogan, qui entend révéler « toute la vérité » sur cette affaire. (...)

    #Khashoggi #Arabie_saoudite
    #Jamal_Khashoggi


  • The Vulnerability Contest

    Traumatized Afghan child soldiers who were forced to fight in Syria struggle to find protection in Europe’s asylum lottery.

    Mosa did not choose to come forward. Word had spread among the thousands of asylum seekers huddled inside Moria that social workers were looking for lone children among the general population. High up on the hillside, in the Afghan area of the chaotic refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, some residents knew someone they suspected was still a minor. They led the aid workers to Mosa.

    The boy, whose broad and beardless face mark him out as a member of the Hazara ethnic group, had little reason to trust strangers. It was hard to persuade him just to sit with them and listen. Like many lone children, Mosa had slipped through the age assessment carried out on first arrival at Moria: He was registered as 27 years old. With the help of a translator, the social worker explained that there was still time to challenge his classification as an adult. But Mosa did not seem to be able to engage with what he was being told. It would take weeks to establish trust and reveal his real age and background.

    Most new arrivals experience shock when their hopes of a new life in Europe collide with Moria, the refugee camp most synonymous with the miserable consequences of Europe’s efforts to contain the flow of refugees and migrants across the Aegean. When it was built, the camp was meant to provide temporary shelter for fewer than 2,000 people. Since the European Union struck a deal in March 2016 with Turkey under which new arrivals are confined to Greece’s islands, Moria’s population has swollen to 9,000. It has become notorious for overcrowding, snowbound tents, freezing winter deaths, violent protests and suicides by adults and children alike.

    While all asylum systems are subjective, he said that the situation on Greece’s islands has turned the search for protection into a “lottery.”

    Stathis Poularakis is a lawyer who previously served for two years on an appeal committee dealing with asylum cases in Greece and has worked extensively on Lesbos. While all asylum systems are subjective, he said that the situation on Greece’s islands has turned the search for protection into a “lottery.”

    Asylum claims on Lesbos can take anywhere between six months and more than two years to be resolved. In the second quarter of 2018, Greece faced nearly four times as many asylum claims per capita as Germany. The E.U. has responded by increasing the presence of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and broadening its remit so that EASO officials can conduct asylum interviews. But the promises that EASO will bring Dutch-style efficiency conceal the fact that the vast majority of its hires are not seconded from other member states but drawn from the same pool of Greeks as the national asylum service.

    Asylum caseworkers at Moria face an overwhelming backlog and plummeting morale. A serving EASO official describes extraordinary “pressure to go faster” and said there was “so much subjectivity in the system.” The official also said that it was human nature to reject more claims “when you see every other country is closing its borders.”

    Meanwhile, the only way to escape Moria while your claim is being processed is to be recognized as a “vulnerable” case. Vulnerables get permission to move to the mainland or to more humane accommodation elsewhere on the island. The term is elastic and can apply to lone children and women, families or severely physically or mentally ill people. In all cases the onus is on the asylum seeker ultimately to persuade the asylum service, Greek doctors or the United Nations Refugee Agency that they are especially vulnerable.

    The ensuing scramble to get out of Moria has turned the camp into a vast “vulnerability contest,” said Poularakis. It is a ruthless competition that the most heavily traumatized are often in no condition to understand, let alone win.

    Twice a Refugee

    Mosa arrived at Moria in October 2017 and spent his first night in Europe sleeping rough outside the arrivals tent. While he slept someone stole his phone. When he awoke he was more worried about the lost phone than disputing the decision of the Frontex officer who registered him as an adult. Poularakis said age assessors are on the lookout for adults claiming to be children, but “if you say you’re an adult, no one is going to object.”

    Being a child has never afforded Mosa any protection in the past: He did not understand that his entire future could be at stake. Smugglers often warn refugee children not to reveal their real age, telling them that they will be prevented from traveling further if they do not pretend to be over 18 years old.

    Like many other Hazara of his generation, Mosa was born in Iran, the child of refugees who fled Afghanistan. Sometimes called “the cursed people,” the Hazara are followers of Shia Islam and an ethnic and religious minority in Afghanistan, a country whose wars are usually won by larger ethnic groups and followers of Sunni Islam. Their ancestry, traced by some historians to Genghis Khan, also means they are highly visible and have been targets for persecution by Afghan warlords from 19th-century Pashtun kings to today’s Taliban.

    In recent decades, millions of Hazara have fled Afghanistan, many of them to Iran, where their language, Dari, is a dialect of Persian Farsi, the country’s main language.

    “We had a life where we went from work to home, which were both underground in a basement,” he said. “There was nothing (for us) like strolling the streets. I was trying not to be seen by anyone. I ran from the police like I would from a street dog.”

    Iran hosts 950,000 Afghan refugees who are registered with the U.N. and another 1.5 million undocumented Afghans. There are no official refugee camps, making displaced Afghans one of the largest urban refugee populations in the world. For those without the money to pay bribes, there is no route to permanent residency or citizenship. Most refugees survive without papers on the outskirts of cities such as the capital, Tehran. Those who received permits, before Iran stopped issuing them altogether in 2007, must renew them annually. The charges are unpredictable and high. Mostly, the Afghan Hazara survive as an underclass, providing cheap labor in workshops and constructions sites. This was how Mosa grew up.

    “We had a life where we went from work to home, which were both underground in a basement,” he said. “There was nothing (for us) like strolling the streets. I was trying not to be seen by anyone. I ran from the police like I would from a street dog.”

    But he could not remain invisible forever and one day in October 2016, on his way home from work, he was detained by police for not having papers.

    Sitting in one of the cantinas opposite the entrance to Moria, Mosa haltingly explained what happened next. How he was threatened with prison in Iran or deportation to Afghanistan, a country in which he has never set foot. How he was told that that the only way out was to agree to fight in Syria – for which they would pay him and reward him with legal residence in Iran.

    “In Iran, you have to pay for papers,” said Mosa. “If you don’t pay, you don’t have papers. I do not know Afghanistan. I did not have a choice.”

    As he talked, Mosa spread out a sheaf of papers from a battered plastic wallet. Along with asylum documents was a small notepad decorated with pink and mauve elephants where he keeps the phone numbers of friends and family. It also contains a passport-sized green booklet with the crest of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is a temporary residence permit. Inside its shiny cover is the photograph of a scared-looking boy, whom the document claims was born 27 years ago. It is the only I.D. he has ever owned and the date of birth has been faked to hide the fact that the country that issues it has been sending children to war.

    Mosa is not alone among the Hazara boys who have arrived in Greece seeking protection, carrying identification papers with inflated ages. Refugees Deeply has documented the cases of three Hazara child soldiers and corroborated their accounts with testimony from two other underage survivors. Their stories are of childhoods twice denied: once in Syria, where they were forced to fight, and then again after fleeing to Europe, where they are caught up in a system more focused on hard borders than on identifying the most damaged and vulnerable refugees.

    From Teenage Kicks to Adult Nightmares

    Karim’s descent into hell began with a prank. Together with a couple of friends, he recorded an angsty song riffing on growing up as a Hazara teenager in Tehran. Made when he was 16 years old, the song was meant to be funny. His band did not even have a name. The boys uploaded the track on a local file-sharing platform in 2014 and were as surprised as anyone when it was downloaded thousands of times. But after the surprise came a creeping sense of fear. Undocumented Afghan refugee families living in Tehran usually try to avoid drawing attention to themselves. Karim tried to have the song deleted, but after two months there was a knock on the door. It was the police.

    “I asked them how they found me,” he said. “I had no documents but they knew where I lived.”

    Already estranged from his family, the teenager was transported from his life of working in a pharmacy and staying with friends to life in a prison outside the capital. After two weeks inside, he was given three choices: to serve a five-year sentence; to be deported to Afghanistan; or to redeem himself by joining the Fatemiyoun.

    According to Iranian propaganda, the Fatemiyoun are Afghan volunteers deployed to Syria to protect the tomb of Zainab, the granddaughter of the Prophet Mohammad. In reality, the Fatemiyoun Brigade is a unit of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard, drawn overwhelmingly from Hazara communities, and it has fought in Iraq and Yemen, as well as Syria. Some estimates put its full strength at 15,000, which would make it the second-largest foreign force in support of the Assad regime, behind the Lebanese militia group Hezbollah.

    Karim was told he would be paid and given a one-year residence permit during leave back in Iran. Conscripts are promised that if they are “martyred,” their family will receive a pension and permanent status. “I wasn’t going to Afghanistan and I wasn’t going to prison,” said Karim. So he found himself forced to serve in the #Fatemiyoun.

    His first taste of the new life came when he was transferred to a training base outside Tehran, where the recruits, including other children, were given basic weapons training and religious indoctrination. They marched, crawled and prayed under the brigade’s yellow flag with a green arch, crossed by assault rifles and a Koranic phrase: “With the Help of God.”

    “Imagine me at 16,” said Karim. “I have no idea how to kill a bird. They got us to slaughter animals to get us ready. First, they prepare your brain to kill.”

    The 16-year-old’s first deployment was to Mosul in Iraq, where he served four months. When he was given leave back in Iran, Karim was told that to qualify for his residence permit he would need to serve a second term, this time in Syria. They were first sent into the fight against the so-called Islamic State in Raqqa. Because of his age and physique, Karim and some of the other underage soldiers were moved to the medical corps. He said that there were boys as young as 14 and he remembers a 15-year-old who fought using a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

    “One prisoner was killed by being hung by his hair from a tree. They cut off his fingers one by one and cauterized the wounds with gunpowder.”

    “I knew nothing about Syria. I was just trying to survive. They were making us hate ISIS, dehumanizing them. Telling us not to leave one of them alive.” Since media reports revealed the existence of the Fatemiyoun, the brigade has set up a page on Facebook. Among pictures of “proud volunteers,” it shows stories of captured ISIS prisoners being fed and cared for. Karim recalls a different story.

    “One prisoner was killed by being hung by his hair from a tree. They cut off his fingers one by one and cauterized the wounds with gunpowder.”

    The casualties on both sides were overwhelming. At the al-Razi hospital in Aleppo, the young medic saw the morgue overwhelmed with bodies being stored two or three to a compartment. Despite promises to reward the families of martyrs, Karim said many of the bodies were not sent back to Iran.

    Mosa’s basic training passed in a blur. A shy boy whose parents had divorced when he was young and whose father became an opium addict, he had always shrunk from violence. He never wanted to touch the toy guns that other boys played with. Now he was being taught to break down, clean and fire an assault rifle.

    The trainees were taken three times a day to the imam, who preached to them about their holy duty and the iniquities of ISIS, often referred to as Daesh.

    “They told us that Daesh was the same but worse than the Taliban,” said Mosa. “I didn’t listen to them. I didn’t go to Syria by choice. They forced me to. I just needed the paper.”

    Mosa was born in 2001. Before being deployed to Syria, the recruits were given I.D. tags and papers that deliberately overstated their age: In 2017, Human Rights Watch released photographs of the tombstones of eight Afghan children who had died in Syria and whose families identified them as having been under 18 years old. The clerk who filled out Mosa’s forms did not trouble himself with complex math: He just changed 2001 to 1991. Mosa was one of four underage soldiers in his group. The boys were scared – their hands shook so hard they kept dropping their weapons. Two of them were dead within days of reaching the front lines.

    “I didn’t even know where we were exactly, somewhere in the mountains in a foreign country. I was scared all the time. Every time I saw a friend dying in front of my eyes I was thinking I would be next,” said Mosa.

    He has flashbacks of a friend who died next to him after being shot in the face by a sniper. After the incident, he could not sleep for four nights. The worst, he said, were the sudden raids by ISIS when they would capture Fatemiyoun fighters: “God knows what happened to them.”

    Iran does not release figures on the number of Fatemiyoun casualties. In a rare interview earlier this year, a senior officer in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard suggested as many as 1,500 Fatemiyoun had been killed in Syria. In Mashhad, an Iranian city near the border with Afghanistan where the brigade was first recruited, video footage has emerged of families demanding the bodies of their young men believed to have died in Syria. Mosa recalls patrols in Syria where 150 men and boys would go out and only 120 would return.

    Escaping Syria

    Abbas had two weeks left in Syria before going back to Iran on leave. After 10 weeks in what he describes as a “living hell,” he had begun to believe he might make it out alive. It was his second stint in Syria and, still only 17 years old, he had been chosen to be a paramedic, riding in the back of a 2008 Chevrolet truck converted into a makeshift ambulance.

    He remembers thinking that the ambulance and the hospital would have to be better than the bitter cold of the front line. His abiding memory from then was the sound of incoming 120mm shells. “They had a special voice,” Abbas said. “And when you hear it, you must lie down.”

    Following 15 days of nursing training, during which he was taught how to find a vein and administer injections, he was now an ambulance man, collecting the dead and wounded from the battlefields on which the Fatemiyoun were fighting ISIS.

    Abbas grew up in Ghazni in Afghanistan, but his childhood ended when his father died from cancer in 2013. Now the provider for the family, he traveled with smugglers across the border into Iran, to work for a tailor in Tehran who had known his father. He worked without documents and faced the same threats as the undocumented Hazara children born in Iran. Even more dangerous were the few attempts he made to return to Ghazni. The third time he attempted to hop the border he was captured by Iranian police.

    Abbas was packed onto a transport, along with 23 other children, and sent to Ordugah-i Muhaceran, a camplike detention center outside Mashhad. When they got there the Shia Hazara boys were separated from Sunni Pashtuns, Afghanistan’s largest ethnic group, who were pushed back across the border. Abbas was given the same choice as Karim and Mosa before him: Afghanistan or Syria. Many of the other forced recruits Abbas met in training, and later fought alongside in Syria, were addicts with a history of substance abuse.

    Testimony from three Fatemiyoun child soldiers confirmed that Tramadol was routinely used by recruits to deaden their senses, leaving them “feeling nothing” even in combat situations but, nonetheless, able to stay awake for days at a time.

    The Fatemiyoun officers dealt with withdrawal symptoms by handing out Tramadol, an opioid painkiller that is used to treat back pain but sometimes abused as a cheap alternative to methadone. The drug is a slow-release analgesic. Testimony from three Fatemiyoun child soldiers confirmed that it was routinely used by recruits to deaden their senses, leaving them “feeling nothing” even in combat situations but, nonetheless, able to stay awake for days at a time. One of the children reiterated that the painkiller meant he felt nothing. Users describe feeling intensely thirsty but say they avoid drinking water because it triggers serious nausea and vomiting. Tramadol is addictive and prolonged use can lead to insomnia and seizures.

    Life in the ambulance had not met Abbas’ expectations. He was still sent to the front line, only now it was to collect the dead and mutilated. Some soldiers shot themselves in the feet to escape the conflict.

    “We picked up people with no feet and no hands. Some of them were my friends,” Abbas said. “One man was in small, small pieces. We collected body parts I could not recognize and I didn’t know if they were Syrian or Iranian or Afghan. We just put them in bags.”

    Abbas did not make it to the 12th week. One morning, driving along a rubble-strewn road, his ambulance collided with an anti-tank mine. Abbas’ last memory of Syria is seeing the back doors of the vehicle blasted outward as he was thrown onto the road.

    When he awoke he was in a hospital bed in Iran. He would later learn that the Syrian ambulance driver had been killed and that the other Afghan medic in the vehicle had lost both his legs. At the time, his only thought was to escape.

    The Toll on Child Soldiers

    Alice Roorda first came into contact with child soldiers in 2001 in the refugee camps of Sierra Leone in West Africa. A child psychologist, she was sent there by the United Kingdom-based charity War Child. She was one of three psychologists for a camp of more than 5,000 heavily traumatized survivors of one of West Africa’s more brutal conflicts.

    “There was almost nothing we could do,” she admitted.

    The experience, together with later work in Uganda, has given her a deep grounding in the effects of war and post-conflict trauma on children. She said prolonged exposure to conflict zones has physical as well as psychological effects.

    “If you are chronically stressed, as in a war zone, you have consistently high levels of the two basic stress hormones: adrenaline and cortisol.”

    Even after reaching a calmer situation, the “stress baseline” remains high, she said. This impacts everything from the immune system to bowel movements. Veterans often suffer from complications related to the continual engagement of the psoas, or “fear muscle” – the deepest muscles in the body’s core, which connect the spine, through the pelvis, to the femurs.

    “With prolonged stress you start to see the world around you as more dangerous.” The medial prefrontal cortex, the section of the brain that interprets threat levels, is also affected, said Roorda. This part of the brain is sometimes called the “watchtower.”

    “When your watchtower isn’t functioning well you see everything as more dangerous. You are on high alert. This is not a conscious response; it is because the stress is already so close to the surface.”

    Psychological conditions that can be expected to develop include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Left untreated, these stress levels can lead to physical symptoms ranging from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS or ME) to high blood pressure or irritable bowel syndrome. Also common are heightened sensitivity to noise and insomnia.

    The trauma of war can also leave children frozen at the point when they were traumatized. “Their life is organized as if the trauma is still ongoing,” said Roorda. “It is difficult for them to take care of themselves, to make rational well informed choices, and to trust people.”

    The starting point for any treatment of child soldiers, said Roorda, is a calm environment. They need to release the tension with support groups and physical therapy, she said, and “a normal bedtime.”

    The Dutch psychologist, who is now based in Athens, acknowledged that what she is describing is the exact opposite of the conditions at #Moria.

    Endgame

    Karim is convinced that his facility for English has saved his life. While most Hazara boys arrive in Europe speaking only Farsi, Karim had taught himself some basic English before reaching Greece. As a boy in Tehran he had spent hours every day trying to pick up words and phrases from movies that he watched with subtitles on his phone. His favorite was The Godfather, which he said he must have seen 25 times. He now calls English his “safe zone” and said he prefers it to Farsi.

    When Karim reached Greece in March 2016, new arrivals were not yet confined to the islands. No one asked him if he was a child or an adult. He paid smugglers to help him escape Iran while on leave from Syria and after crossing through Turkey landed on Chios. Within a day and a half, he had passed through the port of Piraeus and reached Greece’s northern border with Macedonia, at Idomeni.

    When he realized the border was closed, he talked to some of the international aid workers who had come to help at the makeshift encampment where tens of thousands of refugees and migrants waited for a border that would not reopen. They ended up hiring him as a translator. Two years on, his English is now much improved and Karim has worked for a string of international NGOs and a branch of the Greek armed forces, where he was helped to successfully apply for asylum.

    The same job has also brought him to Moria. He earns an above-average salary for Greece and at first he said that his work on Lesbos is positive: “I’m not the only one who has a shitty background. It balances my mind to know that I’m not the only one.”

    But then he admits that it is difficult hearing and interpreting versions of his own life story from Afghan asylum seekers every day at work. He has had problems with depression and suffered flashbacks, “even though I’m in a safe country now.”

    Abbas got the help he needed to win the vulnerability contest. After he was initially registered as an adult, his age assessment was overturned and he was transferred from Moria to a shelter for children on Lesbos. He has since been moved again to a shelter in mainland Greece. While he waits to hear the decision on his protection status, Abbas – like other asylum seekers in Greece – receives 150 euros ($170) a month. This amount needs to cover all his expenses, from food and clothing to phone credit. The money is not enough to cover a regular course of the antidepressant Prozac and the sleeping pills he was prescribed by the psychiatrist he was able to see on Lesbos.

    “I save them for when it gets really bad,” he said.

    Since moving to the mainland he has been hospitalized once with convulsions, but his main worry is the pain in his groin. Abbas underwent a hernia operation in Iran, the result of injuries sustained as a child lifting adult bodies into the ambulance. He has been told that he will need to wait for four months to see a doctor in Greece who can tell him if he needs another operation.

    “I would like to go back to school,” he said. But in reality, Abbas knows that he will need to work and there is little future for an Afghan boy who can no longer lift heavy weights.

    Walking into an Afghan restaurant in downtown Athens – near Victoria Square, where the people smugglers do business – Abbas is thrilled to see Farsi singers performing on the television above the door. “I haven’t been in an Afghan restaurant for maybe three years,” he said to explain his excitement. His face brightens again when he catches sight of Ghormeh sabzi, a herb stew popular in Afghanistan and Iran that reminds him of his mother. “I miss being with them,” he said, “being among my family.”

    When the dish arrives he pauses before eating, taking out his phone and carefully photographing the plate from every angle.

    Mosa is about to mark the end of a full year in Moria. He remains in the same drab tent that reminds him every day of Syria. Serious weight loss has made his long limbs – the ones that made it easier for adults to pretend he was not a child – almost comically thin. His skin is laced with scars, but he refuses to go into detail about how he got them. Mosa has now turned 18 and seems to realize that his best chance of getting help may have gone.

    “Those people who don’t have problems, they give them vulnerability (status),” he said with evident anger. “If you tell them the truth, they don’t help you.”

    Then he apologises for the flash of temper. “I get upset and angry and my body shakes,” he said.

    Mosa explained that now when he gets angry he has learned to remove himself: “Sometimes I stuff my ears with toilet paper to make it quiet.”

    It is 10 months since Mosa had his asylum interview. The questions he expected about his time in the Fatemiyoun never came up. Instead, the interviewers asked him why he had not stayed in Turkey after reaching that country, having run away while on leave in Iran.

    The questions they did ask him point to his likely rejection and deportation. Why, he was asked, was his fear of being persecuted in Afghanistan credible? He told them that he has heard from other Afghan boys that police and security services in the capital, Kabul, were arresting ex-combatants from Syria.

    Like teenagers everywhere, many of the younger Fatemiyoun conscripts took selfies in Syria and posted them on Facebook or shared them on WhatsApp. The images, which include uniforms and insignia, can make him a target for Sunni reprisals. These pictures now haunt him as much as the faces of his dead comrades.

    Meanwhile, the fate he suffered two tours in Syria to avoid now seems to be the most that Europe can offer him. Without any of his earlier anger, he said, “I prefer to kill myself here than go to Afghanistan.”

    #enfants-soldats #syrie #réfugiés #asile #migrations #guerre #conflit #réfugiés_afghans #Afghanistan #ISIS #EI #Etat_islamique #trauma #traumatisme #vulnérabilité

    ping @isskein


  • Centrafrique : HRW dénonce la tuerie d’au moins 27 civils par des rebelles à #Bria

    Au moins 27 civils sont tués par les rebelles de la #Séléka et des #Anti-Balaka depuis juin 2018 à Bria. C’est ce qu’a dénoncé dans un communiqué l’organisation de défense des Droits de l’Homme Human Rights Watch (HRW).

    Les violences à Bria ont connu un pic depuis 2017 et ont repris en 2018 malgré plusieurs messages et menaces de la #Minusca contre les #bandes_armées qui écument cette région. Ce rapport est publié quelques jours après une scène de #réconciliation entre des factions Anti-Balaka et Séléka dans le contexte où les principaux leaders des #groupes_armés ont signé le 28 aout dernier à Khartoum une entente pour cesser les #violences contre les civils et acteurs humanitaires.

    « Le 6 septembre 2018, des rebelles de la Séléka ont capturé et exécuté au moins neuf civils, dont sept femmes », a déclaré Human Rights Watch dans un communiqué.

    Ces exécutions ont été perpétrées aux abords de la ville de Bria, dans la préfecture de la #Haute-Kotto, près de deux semaines après les meurtres de 11 civils par le même groupe armé à l’issue d’un affrontement avec une milice rivale des Anti-Balaka.

    « Ces #exécutions et #assassinats sont des #crimes_de_guerre flagrants commis par des combattants qui se sentent libres de tuer à volonté, malgré la présence des soldats de la paix de l’#ONU », a déclaré Lewis Mudge, chercheur senior auprès de la division Afrique de Human Rights Watch.

    Pour Lewis Mudge, « les #Casques_bleus, qui sont autorisés à recourir à la force pour protéger les civils, devraient chercher à anticiper ces attaques et à intervenir rapidement. Les combattants des #FPRC ne craignent apparemment pas les soldats de la paix, et des Anti-Balaka se trouvent à l’intérieur du camp », déplore-t-il.

    Selon le communiqué, Human Rights Watch a également recueilli des preuves de #meurtres d’au moins huit autres civils dans la région depuis juin dernier, tous tués par des groupes Anti-Balaka.

    Les tensions entre les deux #milices connaissent une escalade depuis 2017 dans cette région riche en minerais, se soldant par des meurtres de part et d’autre. Mais es deux groupes nient avoir attaqués des civils.


    http://rjdh.org/centrafrique-hrw-denonce-la-tuerie-dau-moins-27-civils-par-des-rebelles-a-bria

    #conflit #guerre #Centrafrique #République_Centrafricaine


  • Sri Lanka: Government Slow to Return Land. Create Consultative Process to End Military Occupation

    The Sri Lankan government has yet to fully restore civilian ownership of land and property nearly a decade since the end of the civil war in 2009, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Progress, particularly since the election of a new government in 2015, has been hindered by broad military claims of national security and the lack of a transparent process.

    The 80-page report, “‘Why Can’t We Go Home?’: Military Occupation of Land in Sri Lanka,” details security force occupation of land both during and after the armed conflict. It identifies the lack of transparency and due process, failure to map occupied land, inadequate support to affected people and communities, and prolonged delays in providing appropriate reparations for decades of loss and suffering. The military has also used some confiscated lands for commercial profit rather than national security and returned damaged or destroyed property to owners without compensation.

    “All those displaced during Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war are entitled to return to their homes,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director. “Despite repeated pledges by the authorities, the military has been frustratingly slow to restore land to its rightful owners.”

    The report is based on over 100 interviews between August 2017 to May 2018 with members of affected communities, activists, local officials, and lawyers. It looks into cases of military occupation and land release in 20 areas in six districts, primarily in Sri Lanka’s north and east.

    The three-decade civil war in Sri Lanka ended with the decisive defeat of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009. Large areas, including those previously held by the LTTE in the north and east, came under military control. At the end of the war, some 300,000 people ended up in a military detention camp.

    While the administration of then-President Mahinda Rajapaksa released some land to its original owners, the military retained control over large areas for military but also non-military purposes, such as agriculture, tourism, and other commercial ventures.

    The new government, led by President Maithripala Sirisena, took some steps to release civilian land held by the security forces. At the United Nations Human Rights Council in October 2015, the government promised to address conflict-related issues, including returning land to its original owners. However, the government’s response has fallen far short of its promises. On October 4, 2018, the president ordered the state to release all civilian land by December 31, 2018.

    The military has also retained control of land it previously announced it would return. For instance, in April 2017, the navy responded to protests by displaced communities from the Mullikulam area in Mannar by announcing it would release 100 acres of the land that security forces had been occupying. More than a year later, people are still waiting.

    “Now there is no war,” said Francis Crooss, a village elder. “It’s now peacetime. So why can’t we go back home?”

    State agencies have exchanged properties without releasing the land to civilians. In Pallimunai in Mannar, land belonging to residents displaced since 1990 was occupied first by the army and then the police. At war’s end, the police promised to release their land and homes, but instead, the navy took control.

    “We’ve been made refugees in our own village,” said Helena Perera, one of the residents.

    All three major ethnic communities in the country – the Sinhalese, Tamils, and Muslims – are affected by military occupation of land in the north and east. However, the vast majority of cases impact the Tamil community.

    Human Rights Watch documented a number of cases in which properties were destroyed while held by the military after the war, including Hindu temples, churches, mosques, and Buddhist shrines.

    Government authorities have also carried out land grabs since the end of the war. In July 2010, the military forcibly evicted residents of Ragamwela, Panama, in southeastern Ampara district. In November 2011, 200 soldiers arrived in Ashraf Nagar village in Ampara district and demanded that all its occupants leave. In such cases, the security forces set up military camps or used the land for other purposes, including commercial use.

    The government’s failure to establish a uniform policy on resettlement remains a critical problem, Human Rights Watch said. Some displaced families did not receive proper resettlement assistance when they returned to formerly occupied lands. The government transferred others from displacement camps, but they then entered into other forms of displacement, such as living with friends and relatives, or moving to other camps closer to their original properties, which the military still occupied. Those resettled more than once were denied full resettlement assistance when their land was eventually released.

    A 70-year-old fisherman from Myliddy said his family had moved 24 times in 27 years until the military released his property in July 2017. But without resettlement assistance, he is severely in debt. “We hope the government will at least help us restart our lives this one last time,” he said.

    Partial releases pose particular problems for returnee communities. Military control of neighboring areas hinders access to services and jobs, and heightens fears of surveillance and harassment by soldiers.

    Establishing ownership of land where multiple displacements have occurred over decades is difficult, Human Rights Watch said. But instead of leaving it exclusively to the military, the government should urgently set up a transparent and consultative process, including displaced communities, to establish land claims and restore civilian ownership.

    “The government has adopted an arbitrary, piecemeal approach to land returns, which is fomenting deep distrust among communities wary that the military is still in charge,” Ganguly said. “It should address rights violations and provide remedies to end the distress of those who have long suffered because of the military’s occupation of land.”


    https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/10/09/sri-lanka-government-slow-return-land
    #terre #Sri-Lanka #guerre #conflit #occupation #occupation_militaire #retour #rapport #IDPs #déplacés_internes #réfugiés #restitution_des_terres

    Lien vers le rapport:
    https://www.hrw.org/report/2018/10/09/why-cant-we-go-home/military-occupation-land-sri-lanka


  • Paris : Situation toujours critique pour les #adolescents migrants arrivant seuls

    Des procédures défectueuses les privent de services essentiels.
    À Paris, les autorités de protection de l’enfance ont recours à des procédures défectueuses qui aboutissent à des refus arbitraires de reconnaissance du statut de mineur à des enfants migrants non accompagnés, privant nombre d’entre eux d’une assistance dont ils ont désespérément besoin.

    A l’instar de la situation décrite dans son rapport en juillet 2018, Human Rights Watch a constaté que les autorités procèdent toujours à des évaluations sommaires de l’âge des jeunes migrants pour déterminer leur éligibilité à des services, enfreignant les normes internationales et la réglementation française. Des enfants sont ainsi privés des services essentiels auxquels ils ont droit, comme l’accès à l’hébergement, à l’éducation et à la santé. En conséquence, beaucoup d’entre eux sont forcés de dormir dans la rue.

    « Des enfants migrants non accompagnés arrivés à Paris sont à la rue en raison de procédures injustes », selon Bénédicte Jeannerod, directrice France de Human Rights Watch. « Les autorités de protection de l’enfance devraient s’assurer qu’aucun enfant n’est en danger à cause de procédures d’évaluation de leur âge bâclées et arbitraires. »

    Des responsables des autorités en charge de la protection de l’enfance à Paris ont affirmé avoir déjà pris des mesures pour régler ces problèmes, alors même que Human Rights Watch évoquait ces préoccupations dans son rapport de juillet. Mais des entretiens avec des enfants s’étant présentés pour faire évaluer leur âge en août et septembre 2018, ainsi qu’un examen des documents qui leur ont été remis indiquent que peu de choses ont changé.

    Selon la réglementation française, les autorités sont censées suivre une procédure d’évaluation de l’âge étendue et pluridisciplinaire, ce qui implique normalement des entretiens de plusieurs heures.

    Par exemple, un jeune Afghan de seize ans a confié à Human Rights Watch que les autorités avaient conclu qu’il n’était pas un enfant après lui avoir parlé pendant vingt minutes, le jour de son arrivée à Paris. De même, une association humanitaire ayant suivi une centaine de jeunes cherchant à être formellement reconnus en tant qu’enfants, a constaté que 60 % d’entre eux avaient été soumis à un entretien d’évaluation sommaire d’une vingtaine de minutes seulement.

    Selon la loi française, les enfants migrants non accompagnés ont droit à un hébergement, à l’éducation et à d’autres services sociaux. Cependant, ils doivent pour cela être officiellement reconnus mineurs par les autorités. Les différences significatives en matière d’accès aux services et de statut légal accordé aux enfants migrants, en vertu du Code de l’action sociale et des familles, par rapport aux adultes migrants, peuvent inciter des jeunes adultes à donner de fausses informations sur leur âge. Si les autorités ont de sérieux doutes quant à l’âge d’une personne affirmant avoir moins de 18 ans, elles peuvent prendre des mesures adéquates pour déterminer son âge, à condition qu’elles le fassent dans le respect des normes en vigueur garantissant le respect de leurs droits et de leur dignité.

    La réglementation permet également aux enfants non accompagnés de bénéficier d’un accueil provisoire d’urgence d’une durée de cinq jours, et parfois plus, avant leur entretien. Les travailleurs humanitaires insistent sur l’importance de laisser aux enfants non accompagnés le temps de récupérer après leur voyage, avant de passer les entretiens d’évaluation de l’âge. Sophie Laurant, Coordinatrice du programme Mineurs non Accompagnés de Médecins du Monde, a expliqué à Human Rights Watch qu’un temps de répit lorsque l’enfant arrive dans la ville est impérativement nécessaire à la bonne conduite de l’évaluation.

    Mais dans de nombreux cas, les autorités interviewent les enfants non accompagnés dès leur arrivée au DEMIE (Dispositif d’évaluation des mineurs isolés étrangers), impliquant que ces derniers aient à répondre à des questions détaillées sans comprendre le but de l’entretien. Certains enfants ont confié à Human Rights Watch qu’ils venaient juste d’arriver à Paris, qu’ils n’avaient pas pu dormir, se doucher ni changer de vêtements avant leur entretien « J’étais vraiment fatigué. Je ne me souviens même pas de ce qu’ils m’ont demandé ni de ce que je leur ai dit », a dit un jeune de seize ans au sujet de son entretien, qui a eu lieu mi-septembre.

    Les autorités continuent de se baser sur des motifs non-valables pour conclure qu’une personne est adulte. Les jeunes se voient souvent refuser le statut de mineur s’ils n’ont pas de documents d’identité. Le fait d’avoir travaillé dans le pays d’origine ou pendant le parcours migratoire vers l’Europe est également souvent invoqué comme motif d’une décision négative, alors que de nombreux enfants à travers le monde travaillent. Les autorités de protection de l’enfances se sont aussi fréquemment basées sur des critères subjectifs comme la « posture d’ensemble » ou le comportement.

    Notre enquête montre de légères améliorations dans les procédures des autorités de protection de l’enfance au cours des trois derniers mois. Un seul des enfants que nous avons interviewés en août et en septembre a été refusé à l’entrée de la structure, alors que c’était une pratique courante plus tôt dans l’année. Pour autant, des organisations humanitaires nous ont indiqué avoir eu d’autres cas d’enfants ainsi rejetés et ce, début septembre.

    Autre amélioration, tous les enfants interviewés, sauf un, ont reçu une lettre de la Direction de l’action sociale, de l’enfance et de la santé (DASES) indiquant les motifs du refus de reconnaissance de leur minorité. Une notification écrite permet aux jeunes migrants de déposer un recours contre cette décision devant le juge des enfants.

    Un recours prend plusieurs mois voire plus, durant lesquels les jeunes migrants ne peuvent avoir accès ni aux services de protection de l’enfance, ni aux hébergements d’urgence pour migrants adultes. Certains reçoivent de l’aide d’associations et de réseaux bénévoles. Mais beaucoup vivent dans la rue, où ils sont exposés à de nombreux risques, notamment l’exploitation et le travail illégal ou dangereux. « Dans la rue, on voit des enfants vendre du hashish ou d’autres drogues – ils n’ont rien à manger », nous a dit un jeune Guinéen de quinze ans. « Tu es obligé de prendre des risques ».

    Pendant toute la durée de leur recours contre une évaluation négative de l’âge, les enfants non accompagnés n’ont pas non plus accès à la scolarité ou à l’apprentissage auxquels ils auraient pu prétendre en tant qu’enfant.

    Les autorités de protection de l’enfance de Paris devraient veiller à ce que tous les enfants migrants non accompagnés bénéficient de l’évaluation complète et pluridisciplinaire à laquelle ils ont droit en vertu de la réglementation française, a déclaré Human Rights Watch. Les autorités chargées de la protection de l’enfance devraient également veiller à ce que les enfants non accompagnés bénéficient d’un hébergement d’urgence et d’informations préalables adéquates sur l’objet de l’évaluation, afin de leur permettre de se remettre de leur voyage, de se préparer et de participer efficacement à l’évaluation. Les jeunes devraient bénéficier d’un hébergement en attendant que leur recours soit examiné.

    « Les autorités de protection de l’enfance de Paris ont entamé le processus pour remplir leurs obligations au titre de la réglementation française et des normes internationales », a déclaré Bénédicte Jeannerod. « Elles doivent d’urgence mettre en place de nouvelles mesures pour s’assurer que les procédures d’évaluation de l’âge soient conformes à ces normes. »

    Dans un rapport publié en juillet sur la base d’une enquête effectuée entre février et juin 2018, Human Rights Watch a documenté le caractère arbitraire et défectueux des procédures d’évaluation de l’âge d’enfants migrants non accompagnés cherchant à faire reconnaître leur statut d’enfant par les services de protection de l’enfance à Paris. Human Rights Watch a poursuivi son enquête en août et septembre pour examiner les mesures que les autorités disent avoir prises pour mettre fin aux graves manquements identifiés dans le rapport de juillet.

    Human Rights Watch s’est entretenu avec 19 adolescents migrants à Paris se présentant comme étant des enfants de moins de 18 ans. Ce total comprend ceux s’étant présentés au Dispositif d’évaluation des mineurs isolés étrangers de Paris (DEMIE) entre le 4 juillet et le 20 septembre pour faire évaluer leur âge. Human Rights Watch s’est également entretenu avec des travailleurs humanitaires et des avocats travaillant avec des jeunes migrants, et a examiné 21 lettres de refus émises par la Direction de l’action sociale, de l’enfance et de la santé (DASES).

    Entretiens sommaires et défectueux

    Des enfants qui se sont rendus au DEMIE au mois d’août et septembre affirment avoir été évalués lors d’entretiens d’une durée allant de deux à vingt minutes, exception faite d’un enfant interrogé pendant plus d’une heure.

    Les témoignages concordants de deux organisations humanitaires suggèrent qu’un grand nombre d’enfants qui se rendent au DEMIE font l’objet d’une courte entrevue d’environ vingt minutes, qui semble presque toujours se terminer par un refus verbal et des instructions de revenir le lendemain pour récupérer la décision écrite. Chaque semaine, quelques enfants reçoivent un rendez-vous pour un entretien complet.

    Certains jeunes continuent d’être refoulés sommairement à la porte sans être interviewés (la pratique dite du « refus de guichet »). Un jeune Guinéen de seize ans a affirmé à Human Rights Watch le 20 septembre que la personne à l’accueil l’avait sommairement rejeté à la porte ce matin-là. « Ils m’ont dit qu’ils m’avaient déjà vu (...) et moins d’une minute plus tard, j’ai dû partir », a-t-il dit, ajoutant qu’il ne s’était jamais rendu au DEMIE auparavant. Deux associations humanitaires ont décrit des cas similaires, quoiqu’en moins grand nombre qu’au premier semestre 2018.

    Les autorités en charge de la protection de l’enfance sont autorisées à refuser sommairement l’accès aux personnes qui ont manifestement plus de 18 ans. Lorsque Human Rights Watch a rencontré un responsable de la Croix-Rouge française, l’association en charge des évaluations de l’âge à Paris dans le cadre d’une délégation du département, il a affirmé, à titre d’exemple, qu’une personne qui semblait avoir la quarantaine serait renvoyée sans entretien. Or, aucun des jeunes à qui Human Rights Watch a parlé et affirmant s’être vu refuser un entretien ne semblait avoir clairement plus de 18 ans aux yeux des chercheurs de Human Rights Watch.

    La réglementation française stipule que les entretiens doivent être conduits de manière « empreinte de neutralité et de bienveillance », et les normes internationales exigent un environnement « sûr » et un traitement « équitable », d’une manière qui tienne compte de l’âge, du sexe, de la maturité psychologique et de l’état émotionnel des enfants.

    L’enquête menée entre février et juin 2018 a fait ressortir que les autorités ne respectaient pas pleinement ces normes, et les témoignages de jeunes interrogés en août et septembre indiquent que ces problèmes persistent. Dans un récit emblématique, un Ivoirien de seize ans a déclaré le 29 août que son entrevue deux semaines plus tôt l’avait mis mal à l’aise, l’empêchant de raconter son histoire : « Je me suis senti gêné. Il [l’évaluateur] ne me mettait pas à l’aise. Je vois bien qu’ils sont méchants, pas sympas avec moi. »

    Le personnel ne mène pas toujours les entretiens dans une langue que les enfants non accompagnés comprennent. Médecins Sans Frontières a eu plusieurs cas de ce genre, comme celui d’un garçon éthiopien évalué en anglais, alors qu’il n’avait pas été en mesure de communiquer dans cette langue les détails de ses antécédents au personnel de Médecins Sans Frontières.

    Accès adéquat à un hébergement temporaire

    La réglementation française exige que les autorités fournissent un accueil provisoire d’urgence de cinq jours pendant qu’elles évaluent la situation de l’enfant. La plupart des jeunes interrogés ont pourtant été évalués dès leur présentation au dispositif et n’ont pas eu le temps de se reposer, alors même que beaucoup venaient d’arriver à Paris après des semaines ou des mois de parcours migratoire.

    Au lieu de cela, de nombreux enfants migrants non accompagnés n’ont accès qu’à une nuit d’hébergement, et seulement après leur entretien. Seuls deux enfants interviewés ont dit avoir bénéficié d’une mise à l’abri provisoire avant leur entretien, l’un pendant une semaine et demie, l’autre pendant deux semaines.

    L’association qui a recueilli une centaine de témoignages de jeunes qui se sont rendus au DEMIE en août et en septembre a estimé sur cette base « [qu’] environ 60 % sont évalués immédiatement puis mis à l’hôtel une seule nuit avant de recevoir leur lettre de refus le lendemain et [qu’]environ 40 % sont mis à l’abri quelques nuits avant d’être évalués plus longuement, en moyenne dix nuits en ce moment. »

    Le temps de repos et de récupération avant d’être évalué est crucial pour une évaluation précise de l’âge. Comme l’a expliqué Sophie Laurant, Coordinatrice du programme Mineurs non Accompagnés de Médecins du Monde : « Compte tenu de leur profil, de leur histoire, de leur état [de santé] à leur arrivée en France, un temps de répit est impérativement nécessaire et un accès aux soins somatiques et psychiques requis sans délai. Un jeune ne peut correctement être évalué que s’il n’est plus en état de souffrance (traumatisme physique, errance psychique, sidération, syndrome de stress post traumatique, etc.), s’il comprend ce qu’il se passe, pourquoi l’évaluateur pose telle ou telle question. »

    Selon Médecins Sans Frontières, qui a accueilli 129 enfants dans son Centre pour enfants migrants non accompagnés entre le 1er juillet et le 31 août, ces enfants sont physiquement et psychologiquement épuisés lorsqu’ils arrivent, après des voyages très difficiles, quel que soit leur itinéraire.

    Motifs de refus arbitraires

    Dans une évolution positive par rapport à une pratique en cours début 2018, les jeunes reçoivent maintenant régulièrement des notifications écrites de refus de leur minorité. Pour autant, les lettres de refus délivrées en juillet, août et septembre que Human Rights Watch a pu examiner continuent de se baser sur des motifs qui semblent à la fois subjectifs et arbitraires.

    Les lettres utilisent des arguments génériques, souvent rédigés dans des termes identiques, avec peu ou pas de références aux antécédents individuels de l’enfant ou à d’autres détails de l’entretien. La DASES a fourni la plupart de ces lettres de refus dès le lendemain de l’entretien.

    L’absence de documents d’identité, ou le fait que ceux présentés « ne peuvent être directement rattachés » à l’enfant évalué, continuent d’être invoqués comme des motifs de rejet, alors même que de nombreuses personnes quittent leur domicile sans leurs papiers d’identité ou les perdent en route, et que les actes de naissance ne comportent pas de photo. L’un des enfants que nous avons interviewés en août a expliqué : « La personne m’a dit directement ‘on ne peut rien faire pour toi’ car je n’ai pas d’extrait de naissance. On m’a dit de revenir le lendemain pour récupérer le papier de refus. »

    Le fait d’avoir travaillé avant ou pendant le parcours migratoire, ou de voyager seul, continue d’être vu comme un signe de maturité, et donc de majorité, alors que de nombreux enfants à travers le monde voyagent seuls ou travaillent, comme Human Rights Watch l’a documenté dans de nombreux pays du monde. Dix-huit des 21 lettres consultées évoquent le fait d’avoir voyagé seul, d’avoir travaillé ou été autonome pendant le parcours migratoire, ou d’avoir financé seul le voyage comme des signes que la personne n’est pas un enfant.

    Par exemple, la lettre remise à un jeune Camerounais disant avoir 17 ans indique refuser de reconnaître sa minorité au motif que « l’autonomie dont [il a] fait preuve durant [son] parcours migratoire – en travaillant pour le financer – n’est pas compatible avec l’âge qu’[il déclare] ».

    Comme l’avait déjà souligné Human Rights Watch dans son rapport de juillet, si un enfant livre un récit jugé trop détaillé de sa vie et communique bien, cela peut être une cause de rejet car perçu comme un signe de maturité. À l’inverse, le manque de précisions ou de cohérence est invoqué comme un motif de rejet.

    Par exemple, la lettre d’un jeune Sénégalais de quinze ans explique que « [son] récit est relaté de manière non spontanée » et que « [son] parcours migratoire est insuffisamment détaillé et manque de précisions ».

    Ces exigences semblent excessives pour des adolescents arrivant tout juste d’un périple migratoire long, éprouvant et parfois traumatisant, vivant souvent à la rue, et devant passer un entretien stressant. Cette exigence de précision et de cohérence semble aussi contradictoire avec la courte durée des entretiens, ne permettant pas un récit détaillé.

    Un autre motif de rejet fréquent est le fait que les « connaissances scolaires [de l’individu évalué] ne correspondent pas au parcours décrit et sont en net décalage avec celles d’un adolescent de l’âge [déclaré] », ou considèrent que le jeune fait preuve de « capacités de raisonnement et d’élaboration » ou d’« un mode de communication mature ». Des évaluations brèves et ponctuelles ne permettent pas de saisir les multiples facteurs pouvant expliquer qu’une personne peut paraître plus éloquente, avoir plus d’assurance, ou généralement paraître avoir davantage de connaissances que d’autres enfants du même âge ayant des expériences de vie différentes.

    Seize des 21 lettres de refus examinées s’appuient sur la « posture d’ensemble » du jeune pour lui refuser la minorité. Ce critère subjectif ne s’appuie sur aucun instrument validé permettant d’évaluer l’âge par le biais du comportement.

    Le Délégué national de la Croix-Rouge « Enfants et Familles » a admis lors de son entrevue avec Human Rights Watch fin mai 2018 que les agents de la Croix-Rouge qui mènent les évaluations à Paris ne disposaient en effet pas d’outil d’évaluation reconnu pour évaluer l’âge sur la base de l’attitude et du comportement. Au lieu de cela, les évaluateurs semblent se fier à des jugements subjectifs pour déterminer arbitrairement qui est un enfant et qui ne l’est pas. Ces décisions ont des conséquences immédiates et à long terme pour les enfants migrants non accompagnés.

    La réglementation française et les normes internationales exigent que l’évaluation de l’âge se fasse dans un cadre qui tienne compte des facteurs psychologiques, développementaux et culturels, et que les évaluations soient effectuées avec compétence et sensibilité. Les procédures utilisées devraient accorder le bénéfice du doute « de sorte que s’il existe une possibilité que l’individu soit un enfant, il devrait être traité comme tel ».

    Délais de recours

    Un enfant qui a été évalué majeur peut saisir le juge des enfants, mais les recours peuvent prendre des mois. Ladji, un jeune Ivoirien de quatorze ans, a expliqué avoir été refusé par la DASES en décembre 2017, mais ne toujours pas avoir reçu la décision du juge en septembre.

    Les délais augmentent pendant l’été, selon les avocats, parce que les vacances d’été ralentissent l’activité du tribunal pour enfants, de sorte que les juges convoquent moins d’enfants pour examiner leurs recours.

    Enfants à la rue

    L’une des conséquences des procédures d’évaluation de l’âge défectueuses est que de nombreux enfants sont livrés à eux-mêmes. À moins que des citoyens ne les accueillent, ils vivent à la rue.

    Sébastien D. dormait à la rue depuis que sa demande avait été refusée le 1er août. Au moment où Human Rights Watch s’est entretenu avec lui, cela faisait 17 jours qu’il dormait sur une place à Paris. « Depuis que j’ai été rejeté par le DEMIE, je dors à la rue, Place de la République. […] Pour dormir, tu cherches un angle, tu mets un carton. Si tu trouves un ancien gentil, il te donne une couverture. Car la nuit, il peut faire très froid. », nous a-t-il expliqué.

    Mamadou, un Malien de seize ans, nous a expliqué : « Le DEMIE m’a donné un papier m’expliquant d’appeler le 115 [le numéro d’urgence que les adultes en France peuvent appeler pour trouver un hébergement provisoire] pour avoir un endroit où dormir. J’ai appelé le 115, mais ils m’ont dit qu’ils ne pouvaient pas me prendre parce que je suis mineur. Je ne vais tout de même pas dire que je suis majeur juste pour ne pas dormir à la rue ! »

    Alioune, un Sénégalais de seize ans, dormait dans un parc depuis trois semaines au moment où Human Rights Watch s’est entretenu avec lui au mois d’août. Les autorités avaient rejeté sa demande de minorité deux mois plus tôt et il attendait toujours la réponse quant à son recours devant le juge.

    La solidarité et la générosité des citoyens acceptant d’héberger les enfants non accompagnés sont louables mais ne peuvent constituer une solution durable. L’aide de particuliers est trop incertaine et variable, et tributaire à la fois du nombre de citoyens se proposant comme hébergeurs et du nombre d’enfants non accompagnés arrivant sur le territoire français. Des associations humanitaires ont expliqué à Human Rights Watch que de nombreux enfants se sont retrouvés à la rue car beaucoup d’hébergeurs sont partis en vacances pendant l’été.

    https://www.hrw.org/fr/news/2018/10/05/paris-situation-toujours-critique-pour-les-adolescents-migrants-arrivant-seuls
    #France #MNA #mineurs_non_accompagnés #âge #mineurs #asile #migrations #réfugiés #hébergement #logement #SDF #sans-abri

    ping @isskein