organization:north atlantic treaty organization

  • Greek election: Voters crave return to mainstream politics
    https://apnews.com/3f6cb9737cda457282ede8e9e43417ed

    Left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called the snap poll after being trounced in May’s European parliamentary elections and several months after his coalition with a nationalist partner collapsed. It followed a grueling four years in office for Tsipras, largely defined by economic hardship and a slow recovery after Greece limped out of an international bailout.

    si c’est vrai, ça fait quand même bien chier.

  • Victoria Nuland, US midwife to Maidan-2014, denied visa to Russia — RT World News
    https://www.rt.com/news/460124-victoria-nuland-denied-visa-russia

    Former US diplomat Victoria Nuland, best known for distributing cookies to protesters during the US-backed 2014 Maidan coup in Ukraine, has found out she was on a visa blacklist as she sought to enter Russia.

    The former US ambassador to NATO and assistant secretary of state for Eurasia is best known for supporting the coup that ousted the government in Kiev, and dismissing the concerns of Washington’s European allies about meddling in Ukraine (“F*** the EU”) in the same conversation she mentioned bringing then-VP Joe Biden to “midwife this thing.”

    • L’épave du pire naufrage de migrants en Méditerranée exposée à Venise

      L’épave du pire naufrage de migrants en Méditerranée, en avril 2015, sera exposée à la Biennale d’art contemporain qui s’ouvre samedi à Venise, comme une invitation à la réflexion sur un des phénomènes majeurs du XXIe siècle.

      Dans la nuit du 18 au 19 avril 2015, ce bateau de pêche chargé d’un millier de migrants a percuté un cargo portugais envoyé à son secours et a coulé à pic, sous les yeux horrifiés de l’équipage qui n’a pu sauver que 28 personnes.

      Le gouvernement de l’époque, dirigé par Matteo Renzi (centre gauche), a déboursé 10 millions d’euros pour renflouer l’épave, qui gisait à 370 mètres de profondeurs, et l’amener en 2016 en Sicile afin de tenter d’identifier les victimes et leur donner une sépulture digne.

      Par une ouverture rectangulaire que l’on distingue nettement sur les flancs balafrés de cette grosse barque à la peinture bleue et rouge écaillée, les pompiers sont allés récupérer les restes des centaines de personnes entassés dans la coque.

      Des dizaines de médecins-légistes se sont relayés pour participer à l’examen des 800 à 900 victimes. Ils ont retrouvé des documents du Soudan, de Somalie, du Mali, de Gambie, d’Ethiopie, du Sénégal, de Côte d’Ivoire, d’Erythrée, de Guinée Bissau et du Bangladesh.

      Ils ont aussi trouvé des petits sachets de terre que certains emmenaient de leur pays et le bulletin scolaire qu’un adolescent avait cousu dans ses vêtements comme passeport pour une nouvelle vie.

      Les victimes sont désormais inhumées dans différents cimetières de Sicile et l’épave, au départ promise à la destruction, a été finalement été préservée pour intégrer un projet de « Jardin de la mémoire » en Sicile.
      « Invitation au silence »

      Mais en attendant, l’artiste suisse Christoph Buchel a obtenu l’autorisation des autorités italiennes et du Comité du 18 avril - qui représente les victimes - pour transporter et exposer l’épave à Venise dans le cadre de son projet « Barca Nostra » (Notre barque).

      Lors de la Biennale de 2015, cet artiste avait créé la polémique en installant une mosquée dans une ancienne église de Venise.

      Portée sur une barge, l’épave est arrivée à Venise, où elle offre un contraste saisissant avec les élégants palais byzantins et les ponts délicatement ornés de la cité des doges.

      Elle est exposée à l’Arsenal, les immenses chantiers navals vénitiens. Aucune installation autour, aucune explication devant.

      « C’est un lieu silencieux, à l’abri du bruit, une invitation au silence et à la réflexion », a expliqué à la presse le président de la Biennale, Paolo Baratta.

      Au-delà de l’épave, le commissaire de cette Biennale, l’Américain Ralph Rugoff, a invité 79 artistes contemporains à créer des oeuvres sur les drames du monde moderne. Le Coréen Lee Bul a dédié une installation à un autre naufrage, celui du ferry Sewol, qui a fait 304 morts, pour l’essentiel des lycéens, en avril 2014 au large de la Corée du Sud : une montagne de vieux chiffons se gonfle pour représenter la douleur, la peur, l’étonnement et l’impuissance.

      C’est encore la rage, l’impuissance et la mort qui émanent du travail de la Mexicaine Teresa Margolles : elle expose un mur érigé de barbelés et constitué des blocs de ciment d’une école où l’on peut voir les impacts de balles là où quatre personnes ont été tuées.

      https://www.lepoint.fr/monde/l-epave-du-pire-naufrage-de-migrants-en-mediterranee-exposee-a-venise-07-05-

    • I have seen the tragedy of Mediterranean migrants. This ‘art’ makes me feel uneasy

      The vessel that became a coffin for hundreds has gone on display at the Venice Biennale. It intends to stir our conscience – but is it a spectacle that exploits disaster?


      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/12/venice-biennale-migrant-tragedy-art-makes-me-uneasy?CMP=fb_gu

  • Turkey’s Policy in the Balkans: More than Neo-Ottomanism

    There is a fundamental misperception with regard to Turkey’s relationship with the Balkans. Turkey is not external to the region, the way Russia is for instance. Its history and geographic location make it a part of southeast Europe. Millions of Turks have their family roots in what was once known as ‘Turkey-in-Europe.’ This includes the founder of the republic, the Salonika-born Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Ties run deep at the political, economic, and societal levels.

    All those connections have drawn Turkey to the Balkans, especially after the end of the Cold War. The notion that Turks are now coming back does not hold. Closer engagement in the region started under President Turgut Özal in the early 1990s. But back then, Turkey balanced between bilateralism and multilateralism. It invested in economic and security ties with friendly countries such as Albania, Macedonia, Romania and Bulgaria while adhering to NATO as its response to the wars in ex-Yugoslavia. What changed under the Justice and Development (AK) Party, notably over the past decade, is the switch to bilateralism. That is understandable given the cracks in relations between Ankara and the West. All the same, it is concerning since it is coinciding with the push against the EU and NATO by Russia, which leverages history, religious identity and anti-Western rhetoric to legitimize its actions.

    Pundits and politicians often use ‘Neo-Ottomanism’ to describe Turkey’s forays. The label can be often misleading. Yes, Turkish President Recep Erdogan praises the Ottoman Empire and its legacy, domestically and beyond Turkey’s borders. But so did his predecessors in office. Within the country, liberals and Islamist conservatives alike all rediscovered the Ottomans from the 1980s onwards in questioning the Kemalist political order. The government has been reaching out to Balkan Muslims through TIKA, the Turkish developmental agency, and the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) for decades.

    Neo-Ottomanism is therefore the packaging, not the substance. Turkey’s objective is not to recreate the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans. That is far beyond the country’s resources and capacity. The region is gravitating in economic, social, institutional and political terms to the West. What we have instead is Erdogan using the Balkans to make a case that he is the leader of the wider (Sunni) Muslim community in Europe and the Middle East. The main audience is his electorate in Turkey and only secondly Muslims abroad. The pre-election rally he held in Sarajevo in the run-up to last year’s presidential and parliamentary elections is a case in point.

    But Turkish policy in the Balkans cannot be reduced to the promotion of Islamic solidarity. Erdogan’s main achievement is the fact that he has built relations with leaders from countries that are majority non-Muslim. In October 2017, for instance, he was welcomed in Serbia by President Aleksandar Vucic. The visit gave some credence to complaints by Bosniaks (Slavic Muslims) that Turkey loves to talk brotherhood in Bosnia but when it comes to investing money it goes for Serbia. Similarly, Erdogan has strong links to Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, who hosted the EU-Turkey summit a year ago. Bulgaria and Serbia are interested in hosting an extension of the TurkStream gas pipeline, a joint Russo-Turkish venture. Greece’s Alexis Tsipras also received the red carpet treatment during his latest visit to Turkey where he discussed ideas on decreasing tensions in the Aegean.

    Despite its quest for strategic autonomy, Turkey is still partnering with Western institutions. In addition, Ankara has been supportive of the Prespa Agreement and newly renamed North Macedonia’s accession to NATO, its quarrels with the U.S. and other key members of the Alliance notwithstanding. Collectively, EU members Romania, Bulgaria and Greece account for the bulk of Turkish trade with southeast Europe, with the Western Balkans trailing far behind. Greece and Bulgaria see Turkey as key to stemming the flow of asylum seekers from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and further afield. They are highly supportive of the EU-Turkey deal on migration from March 2016, renewed last year.

    Does the authoritarian system built by Erdogan pose an ideological challenge in the Balkans? Perhaps yes. For instance, pressure on governments to close educational institutions and surrender, without due process, members of the Fethullah Gülen community, which is implicated in the coup attempt in July 2016, undermine the rule of law. At the same time, the authoritarian drift observed in the Balkans is an indigenous product. It is not imported from Vladimir Putin’s Russia nor from Turkey under its new ‘sultan’.

    https://www.ispionline.it/it/pubblicazione/turkeys-policy-balkans-more-neo-ottomanism-22835

    #néo-ottomanisme #Turquie #Balkans

  • Here Are The US Government Damage Reports Made In The #WikiLeaks Aftermath Obtained Through Freedom Of Information Laws
    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/jasonleopold/here-are-the-never-before-seen-us-government-damage-reports

    The Department of Defense authorized several damage assessment reports after WikiLeaks released its massive cache of classified documents, and BuzzFeed News can reveal some of their contents for the first time.

    The heavily redacted reports cover a roughly three-year time span. BuzzFeed News obtained more than 300 pages in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

    [...]

    Several damage assessment reports say that the records released by WikiLeaks contained details about previously undisclosed civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, which “could be used by the press or our adversaries to negatively impact support for current operations in the region .”

    Regarding the hundreds of thousands of Iraq-related military documents and State Department cables, the report assessed “with high confidence that disclosure of the Iraq data set will have no direct personal impact on current and former U.S. leadership in Iraq .”

    One heavily redacted damage assessment report determined that a different set of documents published the same year, relating to the US war in Afghanistan, would not result in “significant impact” to US operations .

    It did, however, have the potential to cause “serious damage” to “intelligence sources, informants and the Afghan population,” and US and NATO intelligence collection efforts. The most significant impact of the leaks, the report concluded, would likely be on the lives of “cooperative Afghans, Iraqis, and other foreign interlocutors.”

    #etats-unis #propagande #punition

  • Iceland Builds Arctic Port as Global Shipping Routes Get Redrawn - Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-11/iceland-builds-arctic-port-as-global-shipping-routes-get-redrawn


    hotographer: David Lomax/robertharding/Getty Images

    As global warming creates shipping routes that can cut across the northern tip of the planet, a new port is being built on the fringe of the Arctic circle.

    Germany’s Bremenports GmbH has entered a deal to develop a deep vessel port together with Icelandic partners, according to a statement on Thursday. Bremenports will initially own two-thirds of the joint venture, while Icelandic engineering firm Efla will control about a quarter. The rest will be co-owned by two Icelandic municipalities.

  • Carne da cannone. In Libia i profughi dei campi sono arruolati a forza e mandati a combattere

    Arruolati di forza, vestiti con vecchie divise, armati con fucili di scarto e spediti a combattere le milizie del generale #Haftar che stanno assediando Tripoli. I profughi di Libia, dopo essere stati trasformati in “merce” preziosa dai trafficanti, con la complicità e il supporto del’Italia e dall’Europa, sono diventati anche carne da cannone.

    Secondo fonti ufficiali dell’Unhcr e di Al Jazeera, il centro di detenzione di Qaser Ben Gashir, è stato trasformato in una caserma di arruolamento. “Ci viene riferito – ha affermato l’inviato dell’agenzia Onu per i rifugiati, Vincent Cochetel – che ad alcuni migranti sono state fornite divise militari e gli è stati promesso la libertà in cambio dell’arruolamento”. Nel solo centro di Qaser Ben Gashir, secondo una stima dell’Unhcr, sono detenuti, per o più arbitrariamente, perlomeno 6 mila profughi tra uomini e donne, tra i quali almeno 600 bambini.

    Sempre secondo l’Unhcr, tale pratica di arruolamento pressoché forzato – è facile intuire che non si può dire facilmente no al proprio carceriere! – sarebbe stata messa in pratica perlomeno in altri tre centri di detenzione del Paese. L’avanzata delle truppe del generale Haftar ha fatto perdere la testa alle milizie fedeli al Governo di accordo nazionale guidato da Fayez al Serraj, che hanno deciso di giocarsi la carta della disperazione, mandando i migranti – che non possono certo definirsi militari sufficientemente addestrati – incontro ad una morte certa in battaglia. Carne da cannone, appunto.

    I messaggi WhatsUp che arrivano dai centri di detenzione sono terrificanti e testimoniano una situazione di panico totale che ha investito tanto i carcerieri quanto gli stessi profughi. “Ci danno armi di cui non conosciamo neppure come si chiamano e come si usano – si legge su un messaggio riportato dall’Irish Time – e ci ordinano di andare a combattere”. “Ci volevano caricare in una camionetta piena di armi. Gli abbiamo detto di no, che preferivamo essere riportato in cella ma non loro non hanno voluto”.

    La situazione sta precipitando verso una strage annunciata. Nella maggioranza dei centri l’elettricità è già stata tolta da giorni. Acque e cibo non ne arrivano più. Cure mediche non ne avevano neppure prima. I richiedenti asilo sono alla disperazione. Al Jazeera porta la notizia che ad Qaser Ben Gashir, qualche giorno fa, un bambino è morto per semplice denutrizione. Quello che succede nei campi più lontani dalla capitale, lo possiamo solo immaginare. E con l’avanzare del conflitto, si riduce anche la possibilità di intervento e di denuncia dell’Unhcr o delle associazioni umanitarie che ancora resistono nel Paese come Medici Senza Frontiere.

    Proprio Craig Kenzie, il coordinatore per la Libia di Medici Senza Frontiere, lancia un appello perché i detenuti vengano immediatamente evacuati dalle zone di guerra e che le persone che fuggono e che vengono intercettate in mare non vengano riportate in quell’Inferno. Ma per il nostro Governo, quelle sponde continuano ad essere considerate “sicure”.

    https://dossierlibia.lasciatecientrare.it/carne-da-cannone-in-libia-i-profughi-dei-campi-sono-a
    #Libye #asile #migrations #réfugiés #armées #enrôlement_militaire #enrôlement #conflit #soldats #milices #Tripoli

    • ’We are in a fire’: Libya’s detained refugees trapped by conflict

      Detainees at detention centre on the outskirts of Tripoli live in fear amid intense clashes for control of the capital.

      Refugees and migrants trapped on the front line of fierce fighting in Libya’s capital, Tripoli, are pleading to be rescued from the war-torn country while being “surrounded by heavy weapons and militants”.

      Hit by food and water shortages, detainees at the #Qasr_bin_Ghashir detention centre on the southern outskirts of Tripoli, told Al Jazeera they were “abandoned” on Saturday by fleeing guards, who allegedly told the estimated 728 people being held at the facility to fend for themselves.

      The refugees and migrants used hidden phones to communicate and requested that their names not be published.

      “[There are] no words to describe the fear of the women and children,” an Eritrean male detainee said on Saturday.

      “We are afraid of [the] noise... fired from the air and the weapons. I feel that we are abandoned to our fate.”
      Fighting rages on Tripoli outskirts

      Tripoli’s southern outskirts have been engulfed by fighting since renegade General Khalifa Haftar’s eastern forces launched an assault on the capital earlier this month in a bid to wrestle control of the city from Libya’s internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).

      The showdown threatens to further destabilise war-wracked Libya, which splintered into a patchwork of rival power bases following the overthrow of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

      At least 121 people have been killed and 561 wounded since Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) started its offensive on April 4, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

      Both sides have repeatedly carried out air raids and accuse each other of targeting civilians.

      The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), for its part, estimates more than 15,000 people have been displaced so far, with a “significant number” of others stuck in live conflict zones.

      Amid the fighting, refugees and migrants locked up in detention centres throughout the capital, many of whom fled war and persecution in countries including Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan, are warning that their lives are at risk.

      “We find ourselves in a fire,” a 15-year-old detainee at Qasr bin Ghashir told Al Jazeera.
      Electricity outage, water shortages

      Others held at the centre described the abject conditions they were subject to, including a week-long stint without electricity and working water pumps.

      One detainee in her 30s, who alleged the centre’s manager assaulted her, also said they had gone more than a week until Saturday with “no food, [and] no water”, adding the situation “was not good” and saying women are particularly vulnerable now.

      This is the third time since August that detainees in Qasr bin Ghashir have been in the middle of clashes, she said.

      Elsewhere in the capital, refugees and migrants held at the #Abu_Salim detention centre also said they could “hear the noise of weapons” and needed protection.

      “At this time, we want quick evacuation,” said one detainee at Abu Salim, which sits about 20km north of Qasr bin Ghashir.

      “We’ve stayed years with much torture and suffering, we don’t have any resistance for anything. We are (under) deep pressure and stressed … People are very angry and afraid.”
      ’Take us from Libya, please’

      Tripoli’s detention centres are formally under the control of the GNA’s Department for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM), though many are actually run by militias.

      The majority of the approximately 6,000 people held in the facilities were intercepted on the Mediterranean Sea and brought back to the North African country after trying to reach Europe as part of a two-year agreement under which which the European Union supports the Libyan coastguard with funds, ships and training, in return for carrying out interceptions and rescues.

      In a statement to Al Jazeera, an EU spokesperson said the bloc’s authorities were “closely monitoring the situation in Libya” from a “political, security and humanitarian point of view” though they could not comment on Qasr bin Ghashir specifically.

      DCIM, for its part, did not respond to a request for comment.

      The UN, however, continues to reiterate that Libya is not a safe country for refugees and migrants to return.

      Amid the ongoing conflict, the organisation’s human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, warned last week of the need to “ensure protection of extremely vulnerable civilians”, including refugees and migrants who may be living “under significant peril”.

      Bachelet also called for authorities to ensure that prisons and detention centres are not abandoned, and for all parties to guarantee that the treatment of detainees is in line with international law.

      In an apparent move to safeguard the refugees and migrants being held near the capital, Libyan authorities attempted last week to move detainees at Qasr bin Ghashir to another detention centre in #Zintan, nearly 170km southwest of Tripoli.

      But those being held in Qasr bin Ghashir refused to leave, arguing the solution is not a move elsewhere in Libya but rather a rescue from the country altogether.

      “All Libya [is a] war zone,” an Eritrean detainee told Al Jazeera.

      “Take us from Libya, please. Where is humanity and where is human rights,” the detainee asked.

      https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/04/fire-libya-detained-refugees-trapped-conflict-190414150247858.html

      700+ refugees & migrants - including more than 150 women & children - are trapped in a detention centre on the front lines, amid renewed clashes in Tripoli. The below photos, taken today, show where a jet was downed right beside them.


      https://twitter.com/sallyhayd/status/1117501460290392064

    • ESCLUSIVO TPI: “Senza cibo né acqua, pestati a sangue dai soldati”: la guerra in Libia vista dai migranti rinchiusi nei centri di detenzione

      “I rifugiati detenuti in Libia stanno subendo le più drammatiche conseguenze della guerra civile esplosa nel paese”.

      È la denuncia a TPI di Giulia Tranchina, avvocato che, a Londra, si occupa di rifugiati per lo studio legale Wilson Solicitor.

      Tranchina è in contatto con i migranti rinchiusi nei centri di detenzione libici e, da tempo, denuncia abusi e torture perpetrate ai loro danni.

      L’esplosione della guerra ha reso le condizioni di vita delle migliaia di rifugiati presenti nei centri governativi ancora più disumane.

      La gestione dei centri è stata bocciata anche dagli organismi internazionali in diversi rapporti, ignorati dai governi europei e anche da quello italiano, rapporti dove si evidenzia la violazione sistematica delle convenzioni internazionali, le condizioni sanitarie agghiaccianti e continue torture.

      https://www.tpi.it/2019/04/13/guerra-libia-migranti-centri-di-detenzione
      #guerre_civile

    • The humanitarian fallout from Libya’s newest war

      The Libyan capital of Tripoli is shuddering under an offensive by forces loyal to strongman Khalifa Haftar, with the city’s already precarious basic services in danger of breaking down completely and aid agencies struggling to cope with a growing emergency.

      In the worst and most sustained fighting the country has seen since the 2011 uprising that ousted Muammar Gaddafi, the Haftar-led Libyan National Army, or LNA, surged into the city – controlled by the UN-backed Government of National Accord, or GNA – on 4 April.

      Fighting continues across a string of southern suburbs, with airstrikes and rocket and artillery fire from both sides hammering front lines and civilians alike.

      “It is terrible; they use big guns at night, the children can’t sleep,” said one resident of the capital, who declined to give her name for publication. “The shots land everywhere.”

      The violence has displaced thousands of people and trapped hundreds of migrants and refugees in detention centres. Some analysts also think it has wrecked years of diplomacy, including attempts by the UN to try to build political consensus in Libya, where various militias support the two major rivals for power: the Tripoli-based GNA and the Haftar-backed House of Representatives, based in the eastern city of Tobruk.

      “Detained migrants and refugees, including women and children, are particularly vulnerable.”

      “Pandora’s box has been opened,” said Jalel Harchaoui, a research fellow at Clingendael Institute think tank in The Hague. “The military operation [to capture Tripoli] has inflicted irreversible damage upon a modus vivendi and a large set of political dialogues that has required four years of diplomatic work.”
      Civilians in the line of fire

      Media reports and eyewitnesses in the city said residents face agonising decisions about when to go out, and risk the indiscriminate fire, in search of food and other essentials from the few shops that are open.

      One resident said those in Tripoli face the dilemma of whether to stay in their homes or leave, with no clear idea of what part of the city will be targeted next.

      The fighting is reportedly most intense in the southern suburbs, which until two weeks ago included some of the most tranquil and luxurious homes in the city. Now these districts are a rubble-strewn battleground, made worse by the ever-changing positions of LNA forces and militias that support the GNA.

      This battle comes to a city already struggling with chaos and militia violence, with residents having known little peace since the NATO-backed revolt eight years ago.

      “Since 2011, Libyans have faced one issue after another: shortages of cooking gas, electricity, water, lack of medicines, infrastructure in ruin and neglect,” said one woman who lives in an eastern suburb of Tripoli. “Little is seen at community level, where money disappears into pockets [of officials]. Hospitals are unsanitary and barely function. Education is a shambles of poor schools and stressed teachers.”
      Aid agencies scrambling

      Only a handful of aid agencies have a presence in Tripoli, where local services are now badly stretched.

      The World Health Organisation reported on 14 April that the death toll was 147 and 614 people had been wounded, cautioning that the latter figure may be higher as some overworked hospitals have stopped counting the numbers treated.

      “We are still working on keeping the medical supplies going,” a WHO spokesperson said. “We are sending out additional surgical staff to support hospitals coping with large caseloads of wounded, for example anaesthetists.”

      The UN’s emergency coordination body, OCHA, said that 16,000 people had been forced to flee by the fighting, 2,000 on 13 April alone when fighting intensified across the front line with a series of eight airstrikes. OCHA says the past few years of conflict have left at least 823,000 people, including 248,000 children, “in dire need of humanitarian assistance”.

      UNICEF appealed for $4.7 million to provide emergency assistance to the half a million children and their families it estimates live in and around Tripoli.
      Migrants and refugees

      Some of the worst off are more than 1,500 migrants trapped in a string of detention centres in the capital and nearby. The UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, said over the weekend it was trying to organise the evacuation of refugees from a migrant camp close to the front lines. “We are in contact with refugees in Qaser Ben Gashir and so far they remain safe from information received,” the agency said in a tweet.

      At least one media report said migrants and refugees at the centre felt they had been abandoned and feared for their lives.

      UNHCR estimates there are some 670,000 migrants and refugees in Libya, including more than 6,000 in detention centres.

      In its appeal, UNICEF said it was alarmed by reports that some migrant detention centres have been all but abandoned, with the migrants unable to get food and water. “The breakdown in the food supply line has resulted in a deterioration of the food security in detention centres,” the agency said. “Detained migrants and refugees, including women and children, are particularly vulnerable, especially those in detention centres located in the vicinity of the fighting.”

      Many migrants continue to hope to find a boat to Europe, but that task has been made harder by the EU’s March decision to scale down the rescue part of Operation Sophia, its Mediterranean anti-smuggling mission.

      “The breakdown in the food supply line has resulted in a deterioration of the food security in detention centres.”

      Search-and-rescue missions run by nongovernmental organisations have had to slow down and sometimes shutter their operations as European governments refuse them permission to dock. On Monday, Malta said it would not allow the crew of a ship that had been carrying 64 people rescued off the coast of Libya to disembark on its shores. The ship was stranded for two weeks as European governments argued over what to do with the migrants, who will now be split between four countries.

      Eugenio Cusumano, an international security expert specialising in migration research at Lieden University in the Netherlands, said a new surge of migrants and refugees may now be heading across the sea in a desperate attempt to escape the fighting. He said they will find few rescue craft, adding: “If the situation in Libya deteriorates there will be a need for offshore patrol assets.”
      Failed diplomacy

      Haftar’s LNA says its objective is to liberate the city from militia control, while the GNA has accused its rival of war crimes and called for prosecutions.

      International diplomatic efforts to end the fighting appear to have floundered. Haftar launched his offensive on the day that UN Secretary-General António Guterres was visiting Tripoli – a visit designed to bolster long-delayed, UN-chaired talks with the various parties in the country, which were due to be held this week.

      The UN had hoped the discussions, known as the National Conference, might pave the way for elections later this year, but they ended up being cancelled due to the upsurge in fighting.

      Guterres tried to de-escalate the situation by holding emergency talks with the GNA in Tripoli and flying east to see Haftar in Benghazi. But as foreign powers reportedly line up behind different sides, his calls for a ceasefire – along with condemnation from the UN Security Council and the EU – have so far been rebuffed.


      https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news/2019/04/15/humanitarian-fallout-libya-s-newest-war

    • Detained refugees in Libya moved to safety in second UNHCR relocation

      UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, today relocated another 150 refugees who were detained in the #Abu_Selim detention centre in south Tripoli to UNHCR’s #Gathering_and_Departure_Facility (#GDF) in the centre of Libya’s capital, safe from hostilities.

      The Abu Selim detention centre is one of several in Libya that has been impacted by hostilities since clashes erupted in the capital almost a fortnight ago.

      Refugees at the centre told UNHCR that they were petrified and traumatised by the fighting, fearing for their lives.

      UNHCR staff who were present and organizing the relocation today reported that clashes were around 10 kilometres away from the centre and were clearly audible.

      While UNHCR intended to relocate more refugees, due to a rapid escalation of fighting in the area this was not possible. UNHCR hopes to resume this life-saving effort as soon as conditions on the ground allow.

      “It is a race against time to move people out of harm’s way. Conflict and deteriorating security conditions hamper how much we can do,” said UNHCR’s Assistant Chief of Mission in Libya, Lucie Gagne.

      “We urgently need solutions for people trapped in Libya, including humanitarian evacuations to transfer those most vulnerable out of the country.”

      Refugees who were relocated today were among those most vulnerable and in need and included women and children. The relocation was conducted with the support of UNHCR’s partner, International Medical Corps and the Libyan Ministry of Interior.

      This relocation is the second UNHCR-organized transfer since the recent escalation of the conflict in Libya.

      Last week UNHCR relocated more than 150 refugees from the Ain Zara detention centre also in south Tripoli to the GDF, bringing the total number of refugees currently hosted at the GDF to more than 400.

      After today’s relocation, there remain more than 2,700 refugees and migrants detained and trapped in areas where clashes are ongoing. In addition to those remaining at Abu Selim, other detention centres impacted and in proximity to hostilities include the Qasr Bin Ghasheer, Al Sabaa and Tajoura centres.

      Current conditions in the country continue to underscore the fact that Libya is a dangerous place for refugees and migrants, and that those rescued and intercepted at sea should not be returned there. UNHCR has repeatedly called for an end to detention for refugees and migrants.

      https://www.unhcr.org/news/press/2019/4/5cb60a984/detained-refugees-libya-moved-safety-second-unhcr-relocation.html

    • Libye : l’ONU a évacué 150 réfugiés supplémentaires d’un camp de détention

      L’ONU a annoncé mardi avoir évacué 150 réfugiés supplémentaires d’une centre de détention à Tripoli touché par des combats, ajoutant ne pas avoir été en mesure d’en déplacer d’autres en raison de l’intensification des affrontements.

      La Haut-commissariat aux réfugiés (HCR) a précisé avoir évacué ces réfugiés, parmi lesquels des femmes et des enfants, du centre de détention Abou Sélim, dans le sud de la capitale libyenne, vers son Centre de rassemblement et de départ dans le centre-ville.

      Cette opération a été effectuée au milieu de violents combats entre les forces du maréchal Khalifa Haftar et celles du Gouvernement d’union nationale (GNA) libyen.

      « C’est une course contre la montre pour mettre les gens à l’abri », a déclaré la cheffe adjointe de la mission du HCR en Libye, Lucie Gagne, dans un communiqué. « Le conflit et la détérioration des conditions de sécurité entravent nos capacités », a-t-elle regretté.

      Au moins 174 personnes ont été tuées et 758 autres blessés dans la bataille pour le contrôle de Tripoli, a annoncé mardi l’Organisation mondiale de la Santé (OMS).

      Abu Sélim est l’un des centres de détention qui ont été touchés par les combats. Le HCR, qui avait déjà évacué la semaine dernière plus de 150 migrants de centre de détention d’Ain Zara, a indiqué qu’il voulait en évacuer d’autres mardi mais qu’il ne n’avait pu le faire en raison d’une aggravation rapide des combats dans cette zone.

      Les réfugiés évacués mardi étaient « traumatisés » par les combats, a rapporté le HCR, ajoutant que des combats avaient lieu à seulement une dizaine de km.

      « Il nous faut d’urgence des solutions pour les gens piégés en Libye, y compris des évacuations humanitaires pour transférer les plus vulnérables hors du pays », a déclaré Mme Gagne.

      Selon le HCR, plus de 400 personnes se trouvent désormais dans son centre de rassemblement et de départ, mais plus de 2.700 réfugiés sont encore détenus et bloqués dans des zones de combats.

      La Libye « est un endroit dangereux pour les réfugiés et les migrants », a souligné le HCR. « Ceux qui sont secourus et interceptés en mer ne devraient pas être renvoyés là-bas ».

      https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1166761/libye-lonu-a-evacue-150-refugies-supplementaires-dun-camp-de-detentio

    • Footage shows refugees hiding as Libyan militia attack detention centre

      At least two people reportedly killed in shooting at Qasr bin Ghashir facility near Tripoli.

      Young refugees held in a detention centre in Libya have described being shot at indiscriminately by militias advancing on Tripoli, in an attack that reportedly left at least two people dead and up to 20 injured.

      Phone footage smuggled out of the camp and passed to the Guardian highlights the deepening humanitarian crisis in the centres set up to prevent refugees and migrants from making the sea crossing from the north African coast to Europe.

      The footage shows people cowering in terror in the corners of a hangar while gunshots can be heard and others who appear to have been wounded lying on makeshift stretchers.

      The shooting on Tuesday at the Qasr bin Ghashir detention centre, 12 miles (20km) south of Tripoli, is thought to be the first time a militia has raided such a building and opened fire.

      Witnesses said men, women and children were praying together when soldiers they believe to be part of the forces of the military strongman Khalifa Haftar, which are advancing on the Libyan capital to try to bring down the UN-backed government, stormed into the detention centre and demanded people hand over their phones.

      When the occupants refused, the soldiers began shooting, according to the accounts. Phones are the only link to the outside world for many in the detention centres.

      Amnesty International has called for a war crimes investigation into the incident. “This incident demonstrates the urgent need for all refugees and migrants to be immediately released from these horrific detention centres,” said the organisation’s spokeswoman, Magdalena Mughrabi.

      Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said a review of the video evidence by its medical doctors had concluded the injuries were consistent with gunshot wounds. “These observations are further supported by numerous accounts from refugees and migrants who witnessed the event and reported being brutally and indiscriminately attacked with the use of firearms,” a statement said.

      The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said it evacuated 325 people from the detention centre after the incident. A statement suggested guns were fired into air and 12 people “endured physical attacks” that required hospital treatment, but none sustained bullet wounds.

      “The dangers for refugees and migrants in Tripoli have never been greater than they are at present,” said Matthew Brook, the refugee agency’s deputy mission chief in Libya. “It is vital that refugees in danger can be released and evacuated to safety.”

      The Guardian has previously revealed there is a network of 26 Libyan detention centres where an estimated 6,000 refugees are held. Children have described being starved, beaten and abused by Libyan police and camp guards. The UK contributes funding to humanitarian assistance provided in the centres by NGOs and the International Organization for Migration.

      Qasr bin Ghashir is on the frontline of the escalating battle in Libya between rival military forces. Child refugees in the camp started sending SOS messages earlier this month, saying: “The war is started. We are in a bad situation.”

      In WhatsApp messages sent to the Guardian on Tuesday, some of the child refugees said: “Until now, no anyone came here to help us. Not any organisations. Please, please, please, a lot of blood going out from people. Please, we are in dangerous conditions, please world, please, we are in danger.”

      Many of the children and young people in the detention centres have fled persecution in Eritrea and cannot return. Many have also tried to cross the Mediterranean to reach Italy, but have been pushed back by the Libyan coastguard, which receives EU funding.

      Giulia Tranchina, an immigration solicitor in London, has been raising the alarm for months about the plight of refugees in the centres. “I have been in touch with seven refugees in Qasr Bin Gashir since last September,. Many are sick and starving,” she said.

      “All of them tried to escape across the Mediterranean to Italy, but were pushed back to the detention centre by the Libyan coastguard. Some were previously imprisoned by traffickers in Libya for one to two years. Many have been recognised by UNHCR as genuine refugees.”

      Tranchina took a statement from a man who escaped from the centre after the militia started shooting. “We were praying in the hangar. The women joined us for prayer. The guards came in and told us to hand over our phones,” he said.

      “When we refused, they started shooting. I saw gunshot wounds to the head and neck, I think that without immediate medical treatment, those people would die.

      “I’m now in a corrugated iron shack in Tripoli with a few others who escaped, including three women with young children. Many were left behind and we have heard that they have been locked in.”

      A UK government spokesperson said: “We are deeply concerned by reports of violence at the Qasr Ben Ghashir detention centre, and call on all parties to allow civilians, including refugees and migrants, to be evacuated to safety.”

      • Amnesty International, Médecins Sans Frontières and other NGOs are suing the French government to stop the donation of six boats to Libya’s navy, saying they will be used to send migrants back to detention centres. EU support to the Libyan coastguard, which is part of the navy, has enabled it to intercept migrants and asylum seekers bound for Europe. The legal action seeks a suspension on the boat donation, saying it violates an EU embargo on the supply of military equipment to Libya.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/25/libya-detention-centre-attack-footage-refugees-hiding-shooting

    • From Bad to Worse for Migrants Trapped in Detention in Libya

      Footage (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/25/libya-detention-centre-attack-footage-refugees-hiding-shooting) revealed to the Guardian shows the panic of migrants and refugees trapped in the detention facility Qasr bin Ghashir close to Tripoli under indiscriminate fire from advancing militia. According to the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR more than 3,300 people trapped in detention centres close to the escalating fighting are at risk and the agency is working to evacuate migrants from the “immediate danger”.

      Fighting is intensifying between Libyan National Army (LNA) loyal to Khalifa Haftar and the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) around the capital Tripoli. There have been reports on deaths and forced enlistment among migrants and refugees trapped in detention centres, which are overseen by the Libyan Department for Combating Illegal Migration but often run by militias.

      Amid the intense fighting the EU-backed Libyan coastguard continues to intercept and return people trying to cross the Mediteranean. According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) 113 people were returned to the Western part of the country this week. In a Tweet the UN Agency states: “we reiterate that Libya is not a safe port and that arbitrary detention must end.”

      Former UNHCR official, Jeff Crisp, calls it: “…extraordinary that the UN has not made a direct appeal to the EU to suspend the support it is giving to the Libyan coastguard”, and further states that: “Europe has the option of doing nothing and that is what it will most likely do.”

      UNHCR has evacuated 500 people to the Agencies Gathering and Departure Facility in Tripoli and an additional 163 to the Emergency Transit Mechanism in Niger. However, with both mechanisms “approaching full capacity” the Agency urges direct evacuations out of Libya. On April 29, 146 refugees were evacuated from Libya to Italy in a joint operation between UNHCR and Italian and Libyan authorities.

      https://www.ecre.org/from-bad-to-worse-for-migrants-trapped-in-detention-in-libya

    • Libia, la denuncia di Msf: «Tremila migranti bloccati vicino ai combattimenti, devono essere evacuati»

      A due mesi dall’inizio dei combattimenti tra i militari del generale Khalifa Haftar e le milizie fedeli al governo di Tripoli di Fayez al-Sarraj, i capimissione di Medici Senza Frontiere per la Libia hanno incontrato la stampa a Roma per fare il punto della situazione. «I combattimenti hanno interessato centomila persone, di queste tremila sono migranti e rifugiati bloccati nei centri di detenzione che sorgono nelle aree del conflitto - ha spiegato Sam Turner -. Per questo chiediamo la loro immediata evacuazione. Solo portandoli via da quelle aree si possono salvare delle vite».

      https://video.repubblica.it/dossier/migranti-2019/libia-la-denuncia-di-msf-tremila-migranti-bloccati-vicino-ai-combattimenti-devono-essere-evacuati/336337/336934?ref=twhv

    • Libia, attacco aereo al centro migranti. 60 morti. Salvini: «E’ un crimine di Haftar, il mondo deve reagire»

      Il bombardamento è stato effettuato dalle forze del generale Khalifa Haftar, sostenute dalla Francia e dagli Emirati. Per l’inviato Onu si tratta di crimine di guerra. Il Consiglio di sicurezza dell’Onu si riunisce domani per una sessione d’urgenza.

      Decine di migranti sono stati uccisi nel bombardamento che ieri notte un aereo dell’aviazione del generale Khalifa Haftar ha compiuto contro un centro per migranti adiacente alla base militare di #Dhaman, nell’area di #Tajoura. La base di Dhaman è uno dei depositi in cui le milizie di Misurata e quelle fedeli al governo del presidente Fayez al-Serraj hanno concentrato le loro riserve di munizioni e di veicoli utilizzati per la difesa di Tripoli, sotto attacco dal 4 aprile dalle milizie del generale della Cirenaica.

      https://www.repubblica.it/esteri/2019/07/03/news/libia_bombardato_centro_detenzione_migranti_decine_di_morti-230198952/?ref=RHPPTP-BH-I230202229-C12-P1-S1.12-T1

    • Le HCR et l’OIM condamnent l’attaque contre Tajoura et demandent une enquête immédiate sur les responsables

      Le nombre effroyable de blessés et de victimes, suite à l’attaque aérienne de mardi soir à l’est de Tripoli contre le centre de détention de Tajoura, fait écho aux vives préoccupations exprimées par le HCR, l’Agence des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés, et l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM), concernant la sécurité des personnes dans les centres de détention. Ce tout dernier épisode de violence rend également compte du danger évoqué par l’OIM et le HCR concernant les retours de migrants et de réfugiés en Libye après leur interception ou leur sauvetage en mer Méditerranée.

      Nos deux organisations condamnent fermement cette attaque ainsi que toute attaque contre la vie des civils. Nous demandons également que la détention des migrants et des réfugiés cesse immédiatement. Nous appelons à ce que leur protection soit garantie en Libye.

      Cette attaque mérite davantage qu’une simple condamnation. Selon le HCR et l’OIM, une enquête complète et indépendante est nécessaire pour déterminer comment cela s’est produit et qui en est responsable, ainsi que pour traduire les responsables en justice. La localisation de ces centres de détention à Tripoli est bien connue des combattants, qui savent également que les personnes détenues à Tajoura sont des civils.

      Au moins 600 réfugiés et migrants, dont des femmes et des enfants, se trouvaient au centre de détention de Tajoura. La frappe aérienne a causé des dizaines de morts et de blessés. Nous nous attendons de ce fait que le nombre final de victimes soit beaucoup plus élevé.

      Si l’on inclut les victimes de Tajoura, environ 3300 migrants et réfugiés sont toujours détenus arbitrairement à Tripoli et en périphérie de la ville dans des conditions abjectes et inhumaines. De plus, les migrants et les réfugiés sont confrontés à des risques croissants à mesure que les affrontements s’intensifient à proximité. Ces centres doivent être fermés.

      Nous faisons tout notre possible pour leur venir en aide. L’OIM et le HCR ont déployé des équipes médicales. Par ailleurs, une équipe interinstitutions plus large des Nations Unies attend l’autorisation de se rendre sur place. Nous rappelons à toutes les parties à ce conflit que les civils ne doivent pas être pris pour cible et qu’ils doivent être protégés en vertu à la fois du droit international relatif aux réfugiés et du droit international relatif aux droits de l’homme.

      Le conflit en cours dans la capitale libyenne a déjà forcé près de 100 000 Libyens à fuir leur foyer. Le HCR et ses partenaires, dont l’OIM, ont transféré plus de 1500 réfugiés depuis des centres de détention proches des zones de combat vers des zones plus sûres. Par ailleurs, des opérations de l’OIM pour le retour volontaire à titre humanitaire ont facilité le départ de plus de 5000 personnes vulnérables vers 30 pays d’origine en Afrique et en Asie.

      L’OIM et le HCR exhortent l’ensemble du système des Nations Unies à condamner cette attaque et à faire cesser le recours à la détention en Libye. De plus, nous appelons instamment la communauté internationale à mettre en place des couloirs humanitaires pour les migrants et les réfugiés qui doivent être évacués depuis la Libye. Dans l’intérêt de tous en Libye, nous espérons que les États influents redoubleront d’efforts pour coopérer afin de mettre d’urgence un terme à cet effroyable conflit.

      https://www.unhcr.org/fr/news/press/2019/7/5d1ca1f06/hcr-loim-condamnent-lattaque-contre-tajoura-demandent-enquete-immediate.html

    • Affamés, torturés, disparus : l’impitoyable piège refermé sur les migrants bloqués en Libye

      Malnutrition, enlèvements, travail forcé, torture : des ONG présentes en Libye dénoncent les conditions de détention des migrants piégés dans ce pays, conséquence selon elles de la politique migratoire des pays européens conclue avec les Libyens.

      Le point, minuscule dans l’immensité de la mer, est ballotté avec violence : mi-mai, un migrant qui tentait de quitter la Libye dans une embarcation de fortune a préféré risquer sa vie en plongeant en haute mer en voyant arriver les garde-côtes libyens, pour nager vers un navire commercial, selon une vidéo mise en ligne par l’ONG allemande Sea-Watch et tournée par son avion de recherche. L’image illustre le désespoir criant de migrants, en grande majorité originaires d’Afrique et de pays troublés comme le Soudan, l’Érythrée, la Somalie, prêts à tout pour ne pas être à nouveau enfermés arbitrairement dans un centre de détention dans ce pays livré au conflit et aux milices.

      Des vidéos insoutenables filmées notamment dans des prisons clandestines aux mains de trafiquants d’êtres humains, compilées par une journaliste irlandaise et diffusées en février par Channel 4, donnent une idée des sévices de certains tortionnaires perpétrés pour rançonner les familles des migrants. Allongé nu par terre, une arme pointée sur lui, un migrant râle de douleur alors qu’un homme lui brûle les pieds avec un chalumeau. Un autre, le tee-shirt ensanglanté, est suspendu au plafond, un pistolet braqué sur la tête. Un troisième, attaché avec des cordes, une brique de béton lui écrasant dos et bras, est fouetté sur la plante des pieds, selon ces vidéos.

      Le mauvais traitement des migrants a atteint un paroxysme dans la nuit de mardi à mercredi quand plus de 40 ont été tués et 70 blessés dans un raid aérien contre un centre pour migrants de Tajoura (près de Tripoli), attribué aux forces de Khalifa Haftar engagées dans une offensive sur la capitale libyenne. Un drame « prévisible » depuis des semaines, déplorent des acteurs humanitaires. Depuis janvier, plus de 2.300 personnes ont été ramenées et placées dans des centres de détention, selon l’ONU.

      « Plus d’un millier de personnes ont été ramenées par les gardes-côtes libyens soutenus par l’Union européenne depuis le début du conflit en avril 2019. A terre, ces personnes sont ensuite transférées dans des centres de détention comme celui de Tajoura… », a ce réagi mercredi auprès de l’AFP Julien Raickman, chef de mission de l’ONG Médecins sans frontières (MSF) en Libye. Selon les derniers chiffres de l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM), au moins 5.200 personnes sont actuellement dans des centres de détention en Libye. Aucun chiffre n’est disponible pour celles détenues dans des centres illégaux aux mains de trafiquants.

      L’UE apporte un soutien aux gardes-côtes libyens pour qu’ils freinent les arrivées sur les côtes italiennes. En 2017, elle a validé un accord conclu entre l’Italie et Tripoli pour former et équiper les garde-côtes libyens. Depuis le nombre d’arrivées en Europe via la mer Méditerranée a chuté de manière spectaculaire.
      « Les morts s’empilent »

      Fin mai, dans une prise de parole publique inédite, dix ONG internationales intervenant en Libye dans des conditions compliquées – dont Danish Refugee Council, International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, Première Urgence Internationale (PUI) – ont brisé le silence. Elles ont exhorté l’UE et ses Etats membres à « revoir en urgence » leurs politiques migratoires qui nourrissent selon elles un « système de criminalisation », soulignant que les migrants, « y compris les femmes et les enfants, sont sujets à des détentions arbitraires et illimitées » en Libye dans des conditions « abominables ».

      « Arrêtez de renvoyer les migrants en Libye  ! La situation est instable, elle n’est pas sous contrôle ; ils n’y sont en aucun cas protégés ni par un cadre législatif ni pour les raisons sécuritaires que l’on connaît », a réagi ce mercredi à l’AFP Benjamin Gaudin, chef de mission de l’ONG PUI en Libye. Cette ONG intervient dans six centres de détention dans lesquels elle est une des seules organisations à prodiguer des soins de santé.

      La « catastrophe ne se situe pas seulement en Méditerranée mais également sur le sol libyen ; quand ces migrants parviennent jusqu’aux côtes libyennes, ils ont déjà vécu l’enfer », a-t-il témoigné récemment auprès de l’AFP, dans une rare interview à un média. Dans certains de ces centres officiels, « les conditions sont terribles », estime M. Gaudin. « Les migrants vivent parfois entassés les uns sur les autres, dans des conditions sanitaires terribles avec de gros problèmes d’accès à l’eau – parfois il n’y a pas d’eau potable du tout. Ils ne reçoivent pas de nourriture en quantité suffisante ; dans certains centres, il n’y a absolument rien pour les protéger du froid ou de la chaleur. Certains n’ont pas de cours extérieures, les migrants n’y voient jamais la lumière du jour », décrit-il.
      Human Rights Watch, qui a eu accès à plusieurs centres de détention en 2018 et à une centaine de migrants, va plus loin dans un rapport de 2019 – qui accumule les témoignages de « traitements cruels et dégradants » : l’organisation accuse la « coopération de l’UE avec la Libye sur les migrations de contribuer à un cycle d’abus extrêmes ».

      « Les morts s’empilent dans les centres de détention libyens – emportés par une épidémie de tuberculose à Zintan, victimes d’un bombardement à Tajoura. La présence d’une poignée d’acteurs humanitaires sur place ne saurait assurer des conditions acceptables dans ces centres », a déploré M. Raickman de MSF. « Les personnes qui y sont détenues, majoritairement des réfugiés, continuent de mourir de maladies, de faim, sont victimes de violences en tout genre, de viols, soumises à l’arbitraire des milices. Elles se retrouvent prises au piège des combats en cours », a-t-il dénoncé.

      Signe d’une situation considérée comme de plus en plus critique, la Commissaire aux droits de l’Homme du Conseil de l’Europe a exhorté le 18 juin les pays européens à suspendre leur coopération avec les gardes-côtes libyens, estimant que les personnes récupérées « sont systématiquement placées en détention et en conséquence soumises à la torture, à des violences sexuelles, à des extorsions ». L’ONU elle même a dénoncé le 7 juin des conditions « épouvantables » dans ces centres. « Environ 22 personnes sont décédées des suites de la tuberculose et d’autres maladies dans le centre de détention de Zintan depuis septembre », a dénoncé Rupert Colville, un porte-parole du Haut-Commissariat de l’ONU aux droits de l’Homme.

      MSF, qui a démarré récemment des activités médicales dans les centres de Zintan et Gharyan, a décrit une « catastrophe sanitaire », soulignant que les personnes enfermées dans ces deux centres « viennent principalement d’Érythrée et de Somalie et ont survécu à des expériences terrifiantes » durant leur exil. Or, selon les ONG et le HCR, la très grande majorité des milliers de personnes détenues dans les centres sont des réfugiés, qui pourraient avoir droit à ce statut et à un accueil dans un pays développé, mais ne peuvent le faire auprès de l’Etat libyen. Ils le font auprès du HCR en Libye, dans des conditions très difficiles.
      « Enfermés depuis un an »

      « Les évacuations hors de Libye vers des pays tiers ou pays de transit sont aujourd’hui extrêmement limitées, notamment parce qu’il manque des places d’accueil dans des pays sûrs qui pourraient accorder l’asile », relève M. Raickman. « Il y a un fort sentiment de désespoir face à cette impasse ; dans des centres où nous intervenons dans la région de Misrata et Khoms, des gens sont enfermés depuis un an. » Interrogée par l’AFP, la Commission européenne défend son bilan et son « engagement » financier sur cette question, soulignant avoir « mobilisé » depuis 2014 pas moins de 338 millions d’euros dans des programmes liés à la migration en Libye.

      « Nous sommes extrêmement préoccupés par la détérioration de la situation sur le terrain », a récemment déclaré à l’AFP une porte-parole de la Commission européenne, Natasha Bertaud. « Des critiques ont été formulées sur notre engagement avec la Libye, nous en sommes conscients et nous échangeons régulièrement avec les ONG sur ce sujet », a-t-elle ajouté. « Mais si nous ne nous étions pas engagés avec l’OIM, le HCR et l’Union africaine, nous n’aurions jamais eu cet impact : ces 16 derniers mois, nous avons pu sortir 38.000 personnes hors de ces terribles centres de détention et hors de Libye, et les raccompagner chez eux avec des programmes de retour volontaire, tout cela financé par l’Union européenne », a-t-elle affirmé. « Parmi les personnes qui ont besoin de protection – originaires d’Érythrée ou du Soudan par exemple – nous avons récemment évacué environ 2.700 personnes de Libye vers le Niger (…) et organisé la réinstallation réussie dans l’UE de 1.400 personnes ayant eu besoin de protection internationale », plaide-t-elle.

      La porte-parole rappelle que la Commission a « à maintes reprises ces derniers mois exhorté ses États membres à trouver une solution sur des zones de désembarquement, ce qui mettrait fin à ce qui passe actuellement : à chaque fois qu’un bateau d’ONG secoure des gens et qu’il y a une opposition sur le sujet entre Malte et l’Italie, c’est la Commission qui doit appeler près de 28 capitales européennes pour trouver des lieux pour ces personnes puissent débarquer : ce n’est pas viable ! ».

      Pour le porte-parole de la marine libyenne, le général Ayoub Kacem, interrogé par l’AFP, ce sont « les pays européens (qui) sabotent toute solution durable à l’immigration en Méditerranée, parce qu’ils n’acceptent pas d’accueillir une partie des migrants et se sentent non concernés ». Il appelle les Européens à « plus de sérieux » et à unifier leurs positions. « Les États européens ont une scandaleuse responsabilité dans toutes ces morts et ces souffrances », dénonce M. Raickman. « Ce qu’il faut, ce sont des actes : des évacuations d’urgence des réfugiés et migrants coincés dans des conditions extrêmement dangereuses en Libye ».

      https://www.charentelibre.fr/2019/07/03/affames-tortures-disparus-l-impitoyable-piege-referme-sur-les-migrants

    • « Mourir en mer ou sous les bombes : seule alternative pour les milliers de personnes migrantes prises au piège de l’enfer libyen ? »

      Le soir du 2 juillet, une attaque aérienne a été signalée sur le camp de détention pour migrant·e·s de #Tadjourah dans la banlieue est de la capitale libyenne. Deux jours après, le bilan s’est alourdi et fait état d’au moins 66 personnes tuées et plus de 80 blessées [1]. A une trentaine de kilomètres plus au sud de Tripoli, plusieurs migrant·e·s avaient déjà trouvé la mort fin avril dans l’attaque du camp de Qasr Bin Gashir par des groupes armés.

      Alors que les conflits font rage autour de Tripoli entre le Gouvernement d’union nationale (GNA) reconnu par l’ONU et les forces du maréchal Haftar, des milliers de personnes migrantes enfermées dans les geôles libyennes se retrouvent en première ligne : lorsqu’elles ne sont pas abandonnées à leur sort par leurs gardien·ne·s à l’approche des forces ennemies ou forcées de combattre auprès d’un camp ou de l’autre, elles sont régulièrement prises pour cibles par les combattant·e·s.

      Dans un pays où les migrant·e·s sont depuis longtemps vu·e·s comme une monnaie d’échange entre milices, et, depuis l’époque de Kadhafi, comme un levier diplomatique notamment dans le cadre de divers marchandages migratoires avec les Etats de l’Union européenne [2], les personnes migrantes constituent de fait l’un des nerfs de la guerre pour les forces en présence, bien au-delà des frontières libyennes.

      Au lendemain des bombardements du camp de Tadjourah, pendant que le GNA accusait Haftar et que les forces d’Haftar criaient au complot, les dirigeant·e·s des pays européens ont pris le parti de faire mine d’assister impuissant·e·s à ce spectacle tragique depuis l’autre bord de la Méditerranée, les un·e·s déplorant les victimes et condamnant les attaques, les autres appelant à une enquête internationale pour déterminer les coupables.

      Contre ces discours teintés d’hypocrisie, il convient de rappeler l’immense responsabilité de l’Union européenne et de ses États membres dans la situation désastreuse dans laquelle les personnes migrantes se trouvent sur le sol libyen. Lorsqu’à l’occasion de ces attaques, l’Union européenne se félicite de son rôle dans la protection des personnes migrantes en Libye et affirme la nécessité de poursuivre ses efforts [3], ne faut-il pas tout d’abord se demander si celle-ci fait autre chose qu’entériner un système de détention cruel en finançant deux organisations internationales, le HCR et l’OIM, qui accèdent pour partie à ces camps où les pires violations de droits sont commises ?

      Au-delà de son soutien implicite à ce système d’enfermement à grande échelle, l’UE n’a cessé de multiplier les stratégies pour que les personnes migrantes, tentant de fuir la Libye et ses centres de détention aux conditions inhumaines, y soient immédiatement et systématiquement renvoyées, entre le renforcement constant des capacités des garde-côtes libyens et l’organisation d’un vide humanitaire en Méditerranée par la criminalisation des ONG de secours en mer [4].

      A la date du 20 juin 2019, le HCR comptait plus de 3 000 personnes interceptées par les garde-côtes libyens depuis le début de l’année 2019, pour à peine plus de 2000 personnes arrivées en Italie [5]. Pour ces personnes interceptées et reconduites en Libye, les perspectives sont bien sombres : remises aux mains des milices, seules échapperont à la détention les heureuses élues qui sont évacuées au Niger dans l’attente d’une réinstallation hypothétique par le HCR, ou celles qui, après de fortes pressions et souvent en désespoir de cause, acceptent l’assistance au retour « volontaire » proposée par l’OIM.

      L’Union européenne a beau jeu de crier au scandale. La détention massive de migrant·e·s et la violation de leurs droits dans un pays en pleine guerre civile ne relèvent ni de la tragédie ni de la fatalité : ce sont les conséquences directes des politiques d’externalisation et de marchandages migratoires cyniques orchestrées par l’Union et ses États membres depuis de nombreuses années. Il est temps que cesse la guerre aux personnes migrantes et que la liberté de circulation soit assurée pour toutes et tous.

      http://www.migreurop.org/article2931.html
      aussi signalé par @vanderling
      https://seenthis.net/messages/791482

    • Migrants say militias in Tripoli conscripted them to clean arms

      Migrants who survived the deadly airstrike on a detention center in western Libya say they had been conscripted by a local militia to work in an adjacent weapons workshop. The detention centers are under armed groups affiliated with the Fayez al-Sarraj government in Tripoli.

      Two migrants told The Associated Press on Thursday that for months they were sent day and night to a workshop inside the Tajoura detention center, which housed hundreds of African migrants.

      A young migrant who has been held for nearly two years at Tajoura says “we clean the anti-aircraft guns. I saw a large amount of rockets and missiles too.”

      The migrants spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal.

      http://www.addresslibya.com/en/archives/47932

  • NATO Is Not Dying. It’s a Zombie. | The National Interest
    https://nationalinterest.org/feature/nato-not-dying-it%E2%80%99s-zombie-49747

    Walter Russell Mead checked the pulse of the Atlantic Alliance in a recent op-ed [https://www.wsj.com/articles/nato-is-dying-but-dont-blame-trump-11553555665] and concluded that NATO is dying. But Mead is wrong. NATO is simply a zombie periodically reanimated through various methods, usually voodoo magic.

    #OTAN

  • Driven to suicide in Tunisia’s UNHCR refugee shelter

    Lack of adequate care and #frustration over absence of resettlement plans prompt attempted suicides, refugees say.

    Last Monday night, 16-year-old Nato* slit his wrists and was rushed to the local hospital in Medenine.

    He had decided to end his life in a refugee facility run by the UN’s refugee agency, the UNHCR, in Medenine. After running for two years, escaping Eritrea and near-certain conscription into the country’s army, making it through Sudan, Egypt and Libya, he had reached Tunisia and despair.

    A few days later, Nato was transferred to a psychiatric hospital in #Sfax, 210km north of Medenine, where he was kept on lockdown and was frustrated that he was not able to communicate with anyone in the facility.

    Nato’s isn’t the only story of despair among refugees in Tunisia. A female refugee was taken to hospital after drinking bleach, while a 16-year-old unaccompanied young girl tried to escape over the borders to Libya, but was stopped at Ben Gardane.

    “I’m not surprised by what has happened to Nato,” a 16-year-old at the UNHCR facility told Al Jazeera on the condition of anonymity.

    “They just keep us here without providing any support and after we ... witnessed killings of our friends. We feel completely abandoned. We don’t feel secure and protected,” he said.

    The 30 to 35 unaccompanied minors living in UNHCR’s reception facility in Medenine share a room, spending their days remembering past images of violence and abuse.

    “I cannot get out of my mind the picture of my friend dying after they pointed a gun at his temple. He was sitting next to me. Sometimes at night, I cannot sleep,” the 16-year-old said.
    ’They’re trying to hide us here’

    The UNHCR facility in Medenine struggles to offer essential services to a growing number of arrivals.

    According to the information given to Al Jazeera, the asylum seekers and refugees have not received medical screenings or access to psychosocial support, nor were they informed clearly of their rights in Tunisia.

    “We feel they are trying to hide us here,” said Amin*. “How can we say we are safe if UNHCR is not protecting our basic rights? If we are here left without options, we will try to cross the sea.”

    Amin, 19, has no vision of what his life will be. He would like to continue his education or learn a new language but, since his arrival, he has only promises and hopes, no plans.

    The young people here find themselves having to take care of themselves and navigate the questions of what their future will be like, at times without even being able to reach out to their families back home for comfort.

    “My parents are in Eritrea and since more than a year, I was able to speak with them only for three minutes,” said Senait*, a 15-year-old boy from Eritrea.

    Aaron*, a 16-year-old boy who has been on the road for three years and three months, has not been able to call his relatives at all since his arrival in Tunisia.

    “Last time I have contacted them was in 2016 while I was in Sudan. I miss them so much,” he said.

    Last week, many of them participated in a peaceful demonstration, demanding medical care, support from the UNHCR and resettlement to third countries.

    Refugee lives in suspension

    Nato, as well as a number of refugee minors Al Jazeera spoke to, arrived in Tunisia over the Libyan border with the help of smugglers. The same is true for hundreds of refugees escaping Libya.

    Tunisia registered more than 1,000 refugees and 350 asylum seekers, mainly from Syria, Eritrea, Sudan and Somalia.

    But the country has neither the capacity nor the means to host refugees, and because it doesn’t have a coherent asylum system, the refugees find themselves living a largely suspended life.

    Officially, refugees are not allowed to work and, therefore, there is no formal system of protection for those that do work.

    Awate*, a 24-year-old man from Eritrea, had been working for nine days in a hotel in the seaside city of Zarzis when he was arrested and brought to a police station where he was interrogated for 30 minutes.

    “They told me ’why are you going to work without passport?’,” he said, adding that he has not worked since.

    The UNHCR in Tunisia is pushing alternatives, which include enhancing refugees’ self-reliance and livelihood opportunities.

    A month ago, a group of 32 people moved out of the reception centre with an offer of a monthly payment of 350 Tunisian dinars ($116) and help to find private accommodation. Among them, nine decided to go to the capital, Tunis. The plan is confirmed for three months, with no clarity on what happens next.

    Aklilu*, a 36-year-old former child soldier from Eritrea who took up the offer, is now renting a small apartment on the main road to Djerba for 250 Tunisian dinars ($83).

    “Why should I be forced to settle in a country that’s not ready to host refugees?” he said. “They are thinking of Tunisia as the final destination but there are no conditions for it. The UNHCR is not making any effort to integrate us. We don’t get any language courses or technical training.”


    https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/driven-suicide-tunisia-unhcr-refugee-shelter-190319052430125.html
    #Tunisie #HCR #UNHCR #camps_de_réfugiés #suicide #réinstallation #limbe #attente #transit #trauma #traumatisme #santé_mentale #MNA #mineurs_non_accompagnés #migrations #asile #réfugiés
    ping @_kg_

  • Don’t Believe the Russian Hype – Foreign Policy
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/03/07/dont-believe-the-russian-hype-a2-ad-missiles-sweden-kaliningrad-balti

    Moscow’s missile capabilities in the Baltic Sea region are not nearly as dangerous as they seem.
    […]
    Drawing on expertise at the Swedish Defense Research Agency, we have published a report—“Bursting the Bubble”—that takes a closer look at Russia’s A2/AD capabilities in the Baltic Sea Region. We find that Russia’s long-range missile systems, though capable, fall notably short of the Kremlin’s maximalist claims. The technological limitations of the Russian missile systems, vulnerabilities apparent from their field operations in Syria, and the range of possible countermeasures available to NATO, suggest that Russia’s no-go “bubbles” are smaller than claimed, more penetrable, and arguably also burstable.

    Claims of far-reaching Russian A2/AD capabilities are mainly based on three systems: the S-400, the Bastion anti-ship system, and the Iskander ballistic missile. But early analyses have often equated maximum range with effective range, underestimated the inherent problems of hitting moving targets at large distances, and ignored a wide range of possible countermeasures. Together, this has led to the widespread overestimation Russia’s missile capabilities.
    […]
    Finally, it is vital that nonspecialist security professionals critically examine Russian A2/AD capabilities. Exposed to a flurry of announcements in recent years about new Russian #Wunderwaffen, no one should accept Russia’s stated capabilities at face value at a time when Moscow has every incentive to exaggerate, both to gain political influence and boost export sales.

    • Bursting the Bubble? Russian A2/AD in the Baltic Sea Region: Capabilities, Countermeasures, and Implications.
      4/03/2019

      Rapportsammanfattning - Totalförsvarets forskningsinstitut - FOI
      https://www.foi.se/rapportsammanfattning?reportNo=FOI-R--4651--SE

      Abstract
      States with the ability to use a combination of sensors and long-range missiles to prevent adversaries from operating in an exclusion zone, or “bubble”, adjacent to their territory are said to possess anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capabilities. This study examines Russia’s A2/AD systems and their implications for the Baltic Sea region. Much has in recent years been made of Russia’s new capabilities and the impact they might have on the ability of NATO member states to reinforce or defend the vulnerable Baltic states in case of crisis or war. On closer inspection, however, Russia’s capabilities are not quite as daunting, especially if potential countermeasures are factored in. In particular, surface-to-air missile systems currently create much smaller A2/AD bubbles than is often assumed and a number of countermeasures are possible. Experiences from Syria also raise questions about the actual capabilities of such systems in combat, relative to their nominal capabilities.

      Anti-ship and anti-land systems pose a greater threat but, here too, countermeasures are available. The dynamics of this strategic vortex affect Sweden directly and indirectly. This is one of the reasons why Sweden’s security is increasingly interlocked with that of its neighbours and of the transatlantic alliance.

  • Poland defies green activists, EU with Baltic canal project | Reuters
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-poland-environment-vistulaspit-idUSKCN1QL1AN


    A general view of the harvested forest on Vistula Spit near Skowronki, Poland February 20, 2019.
    Agencja Gazeta/Michal Ryniak via REUTERS

    Poland is pressing ahead with plans to dig a waterway across a narrow strip of land that separates its main eastern coastline from the Baltic Sea despite concerns among activists and in the European Union that it could damage the environment.

    The #Vistula_Spit is a heavily wooded sandbank 55 km (34 miles) long but less than 2 km wide which encloses a coastal lagoon. Poland shares both the lagoon and the spit with the neighboring Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.

    Currently, the only access to the lagoon from the Baltic Sea is a channel at the Russian end of the spit. Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS), deeply distrustful of Russia, says a canal is needed for both security and economic reasons.

    Critics say it is a costly vanity project that could become another environment-related flashpoint between Warsaw and Brussels after increased logging in Poland’s Bialowieza Forest led to a ruling by the EU’s top court that it was illegal.

    Defending the project, which is estimated to cost 900 million zlotys ($237 million), Poland’s minister for maritime affairs, Marek Grobarczyk, said: “The first and basic reason for the construction ... is a threat from the east.

    This is the border of the EU, NATO, and above all of Poland, and it cannot really be controlled now because ships can only enter the Vistula Lagoon with Russia’s approval,” he said, adding that work would start in the second half of 2019.

    Russia has deployed advanced nuclear-capable Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad, while Warsaw is lobbying hard to have more NATO troops on its soil, especially since Moscow’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

    However an EU official said on Friday Poland should refrain from building the canal before getting the green light from the European Commission.

    As with the Bialowieza Forest, parts of the Vistula Spit are protected under the EU Natura 2000 program.

  • #Shamima_Begum: Isis Briton faces move to revoke citizenship

    The Guardian understands the home secretary thinks section 40(2) of the British Nationality Act 1981 gives him the power to strip Begum of her UK citizenship.

    He wrote to her family informing them he had made such an order, believing the fact her parents are of Bangladeshi heritage means she can apply for citizenship of that country – though Begum says she has never visited it.

    This is crucial because, while the law bars him from making a person stateless, it allows him to remove citizenship if he can show Begum has behaved “in a manner which is seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the UK” and he has “reasonable grounds for believing that the person is able, under the law of a country or territory outside the UK, to become a national of such a country or territory”.


    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/19/isis-briton-shamima-begum-to-have-uk-citizenship-revoked?CMP=Share_Andr
    #citoyenneté #UK #Angleterre #apatridie #révocation #terrorisme #ISIS #EI #Etat_islamique #nationalité #déchéance_de_nationalité

    • What do we know about citizenship stripping?

      The Bureau began investigating the Government’s powers to deprive individuals of their British citizenship two years ago.

      The project has involved countless hours spent in court, deep and detailed use of the freedom of information act and the input of respected academics, lawyers and politicians.

      The Counter-Terrorism Bill was presented to Parliament two weeks ago. New powers to remove passports from terror suspects and temporarily exclude suspected jihadists from the UK have focused attention on the Government’s citizenship stripping powers, which have been part of the government’s counter-terrorism tools for nearly a decade.

      A deprivation order can be made where the home secretary believes that it is ‘not conducive’ to the public good for the individual to remain in the country, or where citizenship is believed to have been obtained fraudulently. The Bureau focuses on cases based on ‘not conducive’ grounds, which are related to national security and suspected terrorist activity.

      Until earlier this year, the Government was only able to remove the citizenship of British nationals where doing so wouldn’t leave them stateless. However, in July an amendment to the British Nationality Act (BNA) came into force and powers to deprive a person of their citizenship were expanded. Foreign-born, naturalised individuals can now be stripped of their UK citizenship on national security grounds even if it renders them stateless, a practice described by a former director of public prosecutions as being “beloved of the world’s worst regimes during the 20th century”.

      So what do we know about how these powers are used?
      The numbers

      53 people have been stripped of their British citizenship since 2002 – this includes both people who were considered to have gained their citizenship fraudulently, as well as those who have lost it for national security reasons.
      48 of these were under the Coalition government.
      Since 2006, 27 people have lost their citizenship on national security grounds; 24 of these were under the current Coalition government.
      In 2013, home secretary Theresa May stripped 20 individuals of their British citizenship – more than in all the preceding years of the Coalition put together.
      The Bureau has identified 18 of the 53 cases, 17 of which were deprived of their citizenship on national security grounds.
      15 of the individuals identified by the Bureau who lost their citizenship on national security grounds were abroad at the time of the deprivation order.
      At least five of those who have lost their nationality were born in the UK.
      The previous Labour government used deprivation orders just five times in four years.
      Hilal Al-Jedda was the first individual whose deprivation of citizenship case made it to the Supreme Court. The home secretary lost her appeal as the Supreme Court justices unanimously ruled her deprivation order against Al-Jedda had made him illegally stateless. Instead of returning his passport, just three weeks later the home secretary issued a second deprivation order against him.
      This was one of two deprivation of citizenship cases to have made it to the Supreme Court, Britain’s uppermost court, to date.
      In November 2014 deprivation of citizenship case number two reached the Supreme Court, with the appellant, Minh Pham, also arguing that the deprivation order against him made him unlawfully stateless.
      Two of those stripped of their British citizenship by Theresa May in 2010, London-born Mohamed Sakr and his childhood friend Bilal al Berjawi, were later killed by US drone strikes in Somalia.
      One of the individuals identified by the Bureau, Mahdi Hashi, was the subject of rendition to the US, where he was held in secret for over a month and now faces terror charges.
      Only one individual, Iraqi-born Hilal al-Jedda, is currently known to have been stripped of his British citizenship twice.
      Number of Bureau Q&As on deprivation of citizenship: one.

      https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/stories/2014-12-10/what-do-we-know-about-citizenship-stripping
      #statistiques #chiffres

    • ‘My British citizenship was everything to me. Now I am nobody’ – A former British citizen speaks out

      When a British man took a holiday to visit relatives in Pakistan in January 2012 he had every reason to look forward to returning home. He worked full time at the mobile phone shop beneath his flat in southeast London, he had a busy social life and preparations for his family’s visit to the UK were in full flow.

      Two years later, the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is stranded in Pakistan, and claims he is under threat from the Taliban and unable to find work to support his wife and three children.

      He is one of 27 British nationals since 2006 who have had their citizenship removed under secretive government orders on the grounds that their presence in the UK is ‘not conducive to the public good’. He is the first to speak publicly about his ordeal.

      ‘My British citizenship was everything to me. I could travel around the world freely,’ he told the Bureau. ‘That was my identity but now I am nobody.’

      Under current legislation, the Home Secretary, Theresa May, has the power to strip dual nationals of their British citizenship if she deems their presence in the UK ‘not conducive to the public good’, or if their nationality was gained on fraudulent grounds. May recently won a Commons vote paving the way to allow her to strip the citizenship of foreign-born or naturalised UK nationals even if it rendered them stateless. Amendments to the Immigration Bill – including the controversial Article 60 concerning statelessness – are being tabled this week in the House of Lords.

      A Bureau investigation in December 2013 revealed 20 British nationals were stripped of their citizenship last year – more than in all previous years under the Coalition combined. Twelve of these were later revealed to have been cases where an individual had gained citizenship by fraud; the remaining eight are on ‘conducive’ grounds.

      Since 2006 when the current laws entered force, 27 orders have been made on ‘conducive’ grounds, issued in practice against individuals suspected of involvement in extremist activities. The Home Secretary often makes her decision when the individual concerned is outside the UK, and, in at least one case, deliberately waited for a British national to go on holiday before revoking his citizenship.

      The only legal recourse to these decisions, which are taken without judicial approval, is for the individual affected to submit a formal appeal to the Special Immigration and Asylum Committee (Siac), where evidence can be heard in secret, within 28 days of the order being given. These appeals can take years to conclude, leaving individuals – the vast majority of whom have never been charged with an offence – stranded abroad.

      The process has been compared to ‘medieval exile’ by leading human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce.

      The man, who is referred to in court documents as E2, was born in Afghanistan and still holds Afghan citizenship. He claimed asylum in Britain in 1999 after fleeing the Taliban regime in Kabul, and was granted indefinite leave to remain. In 2009 he became a British citizen.

      While his immediate family remained in Pakistan, E2 came to London, where he worked and integrated in the local community. Although this interview was conducted in his native Pashto, E2 can speak some English.

      ‘I worked and I learned English,’ he says. ‘Even now I see myself as a British. If anyone asks me, I tell them that I am British.’

      But, as of March 28 2012, E2 is no longer a British citizen. After E2 boarded a flight to Kabul in January 2012 to visit relatives in Afghanistan and his wife and children in Pakistan, a letter containing May’s signature was sent to his southeast London address from the UK Border Agency, stating he had been deprived of his British nationality. In evidence that remains secret even from him, E2 was accused of involvement in ‘Islamist extremism’ and deemed a national security threat. He denies the allegation and says he has never participated in extremist activity.

      In the letter the Home Secretary wrote: ‘My decision has been taken in part reliance on information which, in my opinion should not be made public in the interest of national security and because disclosure would be contrary to the public interest.’

      E2 says he had no way of knowing his citizenship had been removed and that the first he heard of the decision was when he was met by a British embassy official at Dubai airport on May 25 2012, when he was on his way back to the UK and well after his appeal window shut.

      E2’s lawyer appealed anyway, and submitted to Siac that: ‘Save for written correspondence to the Appellant’s last known address in the UK expressly stating that he has 28 days to appeal, i.e. acknowledging that he was not in the UK, no steps were taken to contact the Appellant by email, telephone or in person until an official from the British Embassy met him at Dubai airport and took his passport from him.’

      The submission noted that ‘it is clear from this [decision] that the [Home Secretary] knew that the Appellant [E2] is out of the country as the deadline referred to is 28 days.’

      The Home Office disputed that E2 was unaware of the order against him, and a judge ruled that he was satisfied ‘on the balance of probabilities’ that E2 did know about the removal of his citizenship. ‘[W]e do not believe his statement,’ the judge added.

      His British passport was confiscated and, after spending 18 hours in an airport cell, E2 was made to board a flight back to Kabul. He has remained in Afghanistan and Pakistan ever since. It is from Pakistan that he agreed to speak to the Bureau last month.

      Daniel Carey, who is representing E2 in a fresh appeal to Siac, says: ‘The practice of waiting until a citizen leaves the UK before depriving them of citizenship, and then opposing them when they appeal out of time, is an intentional attack on citizens’ due process rights.

      ‘By bending an unfair system to its will the government is getting worryingly close to a system of citizenship by executive fiat.’

      While rules governing hearings at Siac mean some evidence against E2 cannot be disclosed on grounds of national security, the Bureau has been able to corroborate key aspects of E2’s version of events, including his best guess as to why his citizenship was stripped. His story revolves around an incident that occurred thousands of miles away from his London home and several years before he saw it for the last time.

      In November 2008, Afghan national Zia ul-Haq Ahadi was kidnapped as he left the home of his infirmed mother in Peshawar, Pakistan. The event might have gone unnoticed were he not the brother of Afghanistan’s then finance minister and former presidential hopeful Anwar ul-Haq Ahadi. Anwar intervened, and after 13 months of tortuous negotiations with the kidnappers, a ransom was paid and Zia was released. E2 claims to have been the man who drove a key negotiator to Zia’s kidnappers.

      While the Bureau has not yet been able to confirm whether E2 had played the role he claimed in the release, a source with detailed knowledge of the kidnapping told the Bureau he was ‘willing to give [E2] some benefit of the doubt because there are elements of truth [in his version of events].’

      The source confirmed a man matching E2’s description was involved in the negotiations.

      ‘We didn’t know officially who the group was, but they were the kidnappers. I didn’t know whether they were with the Pakistani or Afghan Taliban,’ E2 says. ‘After releasing the abducted person I came back to London.’

      E2 guesses – since not even his lawyers have seen specific evidence against him – that it was this activity that brought him to the attention of British intelligence services. After this point, he was repeatedly stopped as he travelled to and from London and Afghanistan and Pakistan to visit relatives four times between the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2012.

      ‘MI5 questioned me for three or four hours each time I came to London at Heathrow airport,’ he says. ‘They said people like me [Pashtun Afghans] go to Waziristan and from there you start fighting with British and US soldiers.

      ‘The very last time [I was questioned] was years after the [kidnapping]. I was asked to a Metropolitan Police station in London. They showed me pictures of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar [former Afghan prime minister and militant with links to the Pakistani Taliban (TTP)] along with other leaders and Taliban commanders. They said: ‘You know these guys.’

      He claims he was shown a photo of his wife – a highly intrusive action in conservative Pashtun culture – as well as one of someone he was told was Sirajuddin Haqqani, commander of the Haqqani Network, one of the most lethal TTP-allied groups.

      ‘They said I met him, that I was talking to him and I have connections with him. I said that’s wrong. I told [my interrogator] that you can call [Anwar al-Ahady] and he will explain that he sent me to Waziristan and that I found and released his brother,’ E2 says.

      ‘I don’t know Sirajuddin Haqqani and I didn’t meet him.’

      The Haqqani Network, which operates in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas and across the border in Afghanistan, was designated as a terrorist organisation by the United States in September 2012. It has claimed responsibility for a score of attacks against Afghan, Pakistani and NATO security forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The UN accuses Sirajuddin Haqqani of being ‘actively involved in the planning and execution of attacks targeting International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF), Afghan officials and civilians.’

      E2 says he has no idea whether Haqqani was involved in Zia’s kidnapping, but he believes the security services may have started investigating him when he met the imam of a mosque he visited in North Waziristan.

      ‘The imam had lunch with us and he was with me while I was waiting for my father-in-law. I didn’t take his number but I gave him mine. That imam often called me on my shop’s BT telephone line [in London]. These calls put me in trouble,’ he says.

      If E2’s version of events is accurate, it would mean he gained his British citizenship while he was negotiating Zia’s release. He lost it less than three years later.

      The Home Office offered a boilerplate response to the Bureau’s questions: ‘The Home Secretary will remove British citizenship from individuals where she feels it is conducive to the public good to do so.’

      When challenged specifically on allegations made by E2, the spokesman said the Home Office does not comment on individual cases.

      E2 says he now lives in fear for his safety in Pakistan. Since word has spread that he lost his UK nationality, locals assume he is guilty, which he says puts him at risk of attack from the Pakistani security forces. In addition, he says his family has received threats from the Taliban for his interaction with MI5.

      ‘People back in Afghanistan know that my British passport was revoked because I was accused of working with the Taliban. I can’t visit my relatives and I am an easy target to others,’ he said. ‘Without the British passport here, whether [by] the government or Taliban, we can be executed easily.’

      E2 is not alone in fearing for his life after being exiled from Britain. Two British nationals stripped of their citizenship in 2010 were killed a year later by a US drone strike in Somalia. A third Briton, Mahdi Hashi, disappeared from east Africa after having his citizenship revoked in June 2012 only to appear in a US court after being rendered from Djibouti.

      E2 says if the government was so certain of his involvement in extremism they should allow him to stand trial in a criminal court.

      ‘When somebody’s citizenship is revoked if he is criminal he should be put in jail, otherwise he should be free and should have his passport returned,’ he says.

      ‘My message [to Theresa May] is that my citizenship was revoked illegally. It’s wrong that only by sending a letter that your citizenship is revoked. What kind of democracy is it that?’

      https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/stories/2014-03-17/my-british-citizenship-was-everything-to-me-now-i-am-nobody-a

  • Einladung zur gemeinsamen Veranstaltung BDSV und AFCEA Bonn e.V. am 26. März 2019
    https://framadrop.org/r/fehAAZ1v0e#Yl/mjnOeZ6iad5hxd4E3hmOmLbPi+EHrUzIntszZSKc=

    Si vous vous trouvez à Berlin et si vous vous intéressez à la coopération entre la recherche militaire et civile cet événement est pour vous. A noter : la participation de Markus Richter, le chef de l’administration fédérale qui gère les réfugiés.

    Der Bundesverband der Deutschen Sicherheits- und
    Verteidigungsindustrie e.V. – BDSV und die AFCEA Bonn e.V.
    laden ein zum

    Konvent zur Digitalen Konvergenz in der
    Sicherheits- und Verteidigungsindustrie

    am Mittwoch den 26. März 2019, ab 10:00 Uhr
    im Sheraton Berlin Grand Esplanade, Lützowufer 15, 10785 Berlin.

    Als Redner werden unter anderem erwartet:
    – Dr. Andreas Könen
    Abteilung IT- und Cybersicherheit, sichere Informationstechnik im
    Bundesministerium des Innern (BMI)
    – Dr. Markus Richter
    Bundesamt für Flüchtlinge und Migration (BAMF)
    – Brigadegeneral Michael Färber
    Abteilung Cyber/Informationstechnik (CIT) im Bundesministerium
    der Verteidigung (BMVg)

    Bundesverband der Deutschen Sicherheits- und Verteidigungsindustrie e.V. - BDSV - EN
    https://www.bdsv.eu

    The BDSV was founded in September 2009 and started its operations in January 2010. Its membership comprises of 221 companies (including subsidiaries). The German Security and Defence Industry (SDI) consists of major globally operating companies as well as highly innovative SMEs. All member companies are privately held and profit-oriented. The BDSV itself is member of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) and the NATO Industrial Advisory Group (NIAG).

    The member companies of the BDSV are highly qualified suppliers and partners of the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) and of the ministries entrusted with responsibilities regarding national security. Our industry is an indispensable part of German security interests and contributes to the protection and security of Germany’s citizens. The member companies of the BDSV are committed to intensify international and European security and defence cooperation. BDSV member companies export defence products and related material solely on the basis of Germany‘s constitution and existing legislation and in accordance with the political priorities as set out by the Federal Government of Germany.

    #Allemagne #Europe #réfugiés #militaires #science #industrie

  • La casa prima di tutto: nascita e sviluppo dell’approccio ’’#Housing_First''

    Supportare le persone senza dimora, avendo nella casa il punto di partenza e non di arrivo: tre pionieri di questa modalità di intervento hanno raccolto la loro esperienza in un libro, tradotto in italiano da FrancoAngeli

    http://secondowelfare.it/povert-e-inclusione/la-casa-prima-di-tutto-un-nuovo-volume-descrive-la-nascita-e-lo-svilu
    #SDF #sans-abrisme #sans-abri

    #Livre:
    Housing First. Una storia che cambia le storie

    Il volume ripercorre per la prima volta l’intero percorso dell’Housing First (HF), approccio nato negli Stati Uniti nel 1992 volto a combattere la homelessness e utilizzato oggi in numerosissimi altri paesi. Il libro riporta inoltre i risultati di numerosi percorsi di ricerca volti a valutare l’efficacia dell’approccio, nonché diverse testimonianze e storie di persone accolte nei servizi HF.


    https://www.francoangeli.it/Ricerca/Scheda_Libro.aspx?CodiceLibro=1175.1.3

    Traduit de l’anglais:

    Housing First: Ending Homelessness, Transforming Systems, and Changing Lives

    Little more than two decades ago, the “Housing First” (HF) approach pioneered by Pathways to Housing, Inc. was a small but determined challenge to the burgeoning yet ineffective service system for homeless persons. Today, the success of HF has brought about paradigm-shifting systems change not only in the homeless “industry” but in related service systems. Drawing on rigorous research and the hard work of “institutional entrepreneurs,” HF has been adopted both nationally and internationally, presenting an unusual blend of evidence-based practice and consumer choice. As a result, it has changed the conversation away from “housing readiness” and “managing homelessness” to the “right to housing” and “ending homelessness.” This book employs conceptual frameworks drawn from theories of institutional change and innovation, as well as from implementation science, to explore the rise in homelessness in the United States, the “lineages” of responses to the problem, and the subsequent rise of HF. Research on HF has produced consistent findings including rates of housing stability of 75% to 95% when compared with non-HF programs. In addition, qualitative studies describe the profound benefits of having a home as well as the challenges of recovering from a life of adversity. Findings from studies of HF in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia have converged on a bottom line: Providing immediate access to an apartment and support services to someone with mental illness and addiction is not only humane but effective. This book traces the origins of HF as a paradigm shift that has transformed homeless services in the United States and abroad.


    http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199989805.001.0001/acprof-9780199989805

  • Les #Etats-Unis, première #menace d’une #Europe divisée - Le Temps
    https://www.letemps.ch/monde/etatsunis-premiere-menace-dune-europe-divisee

    US poses bigger threat than Putin or Xi, say voters | World | The Times
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/trump-a-greater-threat-to-peace-than-xi-or-putin-polls-suggest-ds8qrr5s6

    The US under President Trump is perceived as a greater threat to Europe’s security than China or Russia, according to an international opinion poll.

    Mr Trump’s standing has fallen so low among America’s allies that people in France and Germany are now significantly more likely to say they trust President Putin or President Xi to “do the right thing” on the global stage. A clear majority of people in eastern European countries including Poland fear that war will break out with Russia as the US-backed liberal order threatens to dissolve into an era of renewed conflict.

  • Cantine fermée sur le chantier Google à Baudour : « un foutoir social » selon l’auditeur du travail
    https://www.rtbf.be/info/regions/detail_baudour-nouvelle-infraction-surle-chantier-fermeture-de-la-cantine?id=10

    Troisième descente en quelques mois sur le chantier Google de Baudour pour les services d’inspection du travail. Et troisième découverte d’une infraction sociale. Vendredi, l’auditorat du travail du Hainaut a découvert une fraude du côté de la cantine du chantier. Neuf travailleurs y étaient déclarés 3 à 4 heures par jour via une société d’intérim alors qu’ils prestaient entre 8 et 10 heures par jour.


    Une nouvelle infraction sociale sur le chantier Google à Baudour. A la cantine, le travail au noir était la règle (photo prétexte). - © DR

    « Le responsable de la cantine a tout de suite reconnu l’infraction », a indiqué l’auditeur du travail, Charles-Eric Clesse. « Le salaire afférent aux heures non déclarées était payé en noir à partir de la caisse de la cantine ». En attendant la remise en ordre et le paiement d’une amende, les scellés ont été placés sur la cantine et les badges des travailleurs ont été bloqués. La cantine est donc fermée et un millier d’ouvriers est privé de repas. Ils devront prévoir leur pique-nique, car "le sous-traitant en charge de cette cantine ne peut faire appel à un autre personnel, il doit absolument régulariser les salaires des travailleurs en place et payer la régularisation".

    Plus de trois millions pour les anciennes infractions
    Plusieurs infractions ont été découvertes depuis novembre 2018 par l’auditorat du travail sur le chantier Google à Baudour. Le géant américain de l’informatique y construit actuellement un nouveau centre de données. Selon l’auditeur du travail, entre 570 et 600 badges d’accès de travailleurs en situation sociale illégale ont été supprimés depuis novembre. Ces travailleurs non-déclarés et opérant pour des sociétés sous-traitantes étaient d’origine notamment roumaine, bulgare, hongroise ou encore britannique.

    La société Google avait réagi début décembre après la découverte des infractions sociales et avait demandé que les problèmes rencontrés soient réglés le plus rapidement possible. L’auditeur du travail a indiqué lundi que les amendes et régularisations ont été payées ou en passe de l’être, soit environ 1,5 million d’euros en amendes pénales et plus de 1,5 millions d’euros en régularisations.

    Face à ces infractions à répétition, l’auditorat du travail du Hainaut commence à s’impatienter. « Ça devient très problématique. Ce chantier est un foutoir social », estime Charles-Eric Clesse. « À un moment où un autre, mon office mettra les scellés sur l’ensemble du chantier. Et on ne le rouvrira que lorsque l’entreprise ISG, qui en est responsable, nous donnera les garanties que tout se qui se passe sur le site est légal ».

    #google #fraude #esclavage #Belgique #travailleurs_détachés #travail #intérim #dumping_social #exploitation #UE #union_européenne #gafa 
Baudour, en Belgique c’est à quelques Km du Shape, #OTAN #NATO

  • Greece - Macedonia

    from Zoe Mavroudi sur FB - Une réflexion intéressante à propos du différend sur le nom « Macédoine »

    If you don’t follow Greek politics you may have come across reports and photos from a protest in Athens on the “Macedonian” issue. The political dispute between Greece and Macedonia (the country) on this issue goes back more than a century, and is too complicated to parse in one post but, in brief, it centers on the right of Greece’s neighbouring State to use the word “Macedonia” in its official name. The Greek State has historically claimed that this right would be an infringement on its history because the Greek region of Macedonia (which covers the largest part of its northern territory) used to be the home of Alexander the Great, the place where his golden hair glowed under the sun and that only Greeks as his true descendants can claim this name and bask in his glory forever etc etc.

    Last week’s protest was held against a new pact scheduled for a vote tomorrow in Greece’s parliament, which will settle the issue once and for all between the two countries, binding Greece to accept the name “North Macedonia” in return for real concessions that Macedonians will never again attempt to steal Alexander’s glory from us...or something. The pact is advantageous for Greece and will be the end of a political hot potato.

    You might have seen pictures from last week’s protest of men wearing ancient garb, armour and helmets, looking like Pride gays with some kind of Greco-Roman fetish.

    Needless to say not everyone who is Greek, including myself, agrees with their bullshit.

    Among the reasons why their bullshit is such pure bullshit should be obvious: their argument imagines that “Greekness” involves racial and linguistic purity and that other ethnicities which lived in the region, a melting pot of different cultures for centuries, are impure and therefore unwelcome. Scratch the surface of Greek patriotic dissent and you get some good-old fascism. Fascist MPs have manipulated popular sentiment around this issue for years and were front line at the protest, where journos were attacked and beaten by fascist groups.

    The nationalism that has been unleashed about all this has existed on both sides of the border of course but ultimately, it is Greece, a member of the EU and NATO that has infringed on the right of its neighbour to self-determination by repeatedly vetoing its attempts to enter international organizations and doing this based on historical inaccuracies and fantasies of a supposedly uninterrupted continuum of its national identity. The Greek argument was also predicated on the erasure of the history of Slavo-Macedonians (I use the term “slavo” for the purposes of explaining the issue but don’t fully accept its accuracy) via systematic exclusion, confiscation of property through racist laws and linguistic oppression.

    As someone born and raised in Greece, I was only vaguely aware of these facts until relatively recently given that it was all omitted from our school manuals and suppressed in public discourse. I have received abuse on twitter for simply expressing support for the pact.

    The dangers of rejecting this new deal for Greece and Macedonia are multi-fold and involve the increased influence in the Balkans of Turkey’s Erdogan and the real danger that the region becomes inflamed by conflict. Though the pact is NATO and EU-approved, NATO being one of the main culprits of the war in Yugoslavia, there is imo no excuse for left-wing opposition against the deal, given the lack of alternatives. This is a case where Greece’s geopolitical interests happen to be aligned with those of NATO-EU and where workers in N. Macedonia, who have been suffering for too long under what is, essentially, an embargo aimed at their society, must have our support. On a personal note, I wouldn’t give one piece of my pure Greek hair for any argument that supports one imperialist influence in the Balkans over another (in this case, Putin-Erdogan over NATO-EU). I stand with citizens of another country, especially one weaker and poorer than mine and support their democratic right to self-determination.

    #grèce #macédoin #noms #terminologie #mots

  • Palestinian Authority tells U.S. it will stop taking aid to avoid multi-million dollar lawsuits - U.S. News - Haaretz.com

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-pa-informs-u-s-it-will-stop-receiving-aid-to-avoid-multi-million-d

    WASHINGTON – The Palestinian Authority informed the Trump administration that it will stop taking any form of government assistance from the United States at the end of the month, as a result of legislation passed last year by Congress.

    The law that led the PA to make this decision is the “Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act”, known as ATCA, which makes it possible for U.S. citizens to sue foreign entities that receive U.S. assistance for past acts of terrorism.

    The Palestinian decision could lead to the end of the U.S. support for the PA’s security forces. These forces work regularly with the Israeli military to thwart terror attacks. In his last appearance before the Israeli government last week, outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot said that the security coordination between Israel and the PA’s forces helps save lives and maintain stability in the region.

    >> Trump’s ’Arab NATO’ push against Iran comes to a head, and he’s the biggest obstacle | Analysis

    During 2018, the Trump administration cut all forms of U.S. civil assistance to the Palestinians, but it did not touch the security assistance, stating that the security coordination between the PA and Israel serves American foreign policy interests. Now, however, U.S. support for the PA security forces could end at the end of January, putting at risk the continuation of efficient security coordination.

    The ATCA bill, which the PA blamed for its decision, was promoted last year in Congress in response to rulings by U.S. courts that rejected multi-million dollar lawsuits against the PA. These lawsuits were filed by American citizens who were injured or lost loved ones in terror attacks committed by Palestinians, mostly during the Second Intifada. The Supreme Court in Washington affirmed a ruling by a lower court that the American legal system does not have jurisdiction to deal with such lawsuits.

    This led members of Congress to promote the ATCA bill, which states that U.S. courts will have jurisdiction to hear terrorism-related lawsuits against any foreign entity reviving U.S. government assistance. This means that if the PA will receive even one dollar of U.S. funding, it could face lawsuits asking for hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation. The law has also created concern in other countries in the Middle East that rely on U.S. assistance. It would not apply to Israel, however, because of the specific sources of funding through which Israel receives U.S. security assistance.
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    Only after the bill passed Congress and was signed into law by President Trump, senior administration officials became aware of its possible impact on security coordination. In recent months, the administration tried to negotiate a “fix” to the law together with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. As reported in Haaretz two weeks ago, these efforts have stalled because of the ongoing government shutdown.

    The PA’s letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which was first reported over the weekend by NPR, could create a sense of urgency in Washington to solve the security assistance question.

    Two sources who are involved in the negotiations on the subject told Haaretz that a possible solution could emerge with the involvement of the CIA or the Pentagon, but its exact mechanism hasn’t yet been drawn in full. “Everyone wants a fix, but it’s still not clear how we can get it,” explained one of the sources, who asked not to be named in order to discuss politicallly-sensitive negotiations.

  • Even as Greeks protest, a pro-Europe deal in the Balkans nears the finish line - The Washington Post

    Décidément les grecs ont du mal avec la Macédoine voisine qui entend garder son nom... et ça fait trente ans que ça dure.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/even-as-greeks-protest-a-pro-europe-deal-in-the-balkans-nears-the-finish-line/2019/01/20/b5011524-1b5a-11e9-b8e6-567190c2fd08_story.html

    For months, a proposed deal to end three decades of rivalry between Greece and Macedonia has teetered on the brink of failure. The leaders spearheading the agreement in both countries have been accused of betrayal. They’ve faced street protests and opposition allegedly fomented by Russia. Days ago, after some defections from the ruling coalition, Greece’s prime minister barely survived a no-confidence vote.

    But the agreement faces only one more hurdle, a vote in Greece’s Parliament that is expected this week. U.S. officials and political analysts are increasingly optimistic that one of Europe’s most enduring political fights is about to officially end, with Macedonia changing its name to the Republic of North Macedonia. Greece, in turn, would drop its long-standing opposition and allow its tiny neighbor to join NATO and the European Union.

    #grèce #macédoine #terrioire #manipulation #propagande #nationalisme #toponymie #nom #sémiologie #histoire

  • Trump Can’t Do That. Can He? – Foreign Policy
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/01/16/trump-cant-do-that-can-he-nato-russia-congress

    On NATO withdrawal and other issues, it turns out presidential powers are constrained by norms but not laws.

    If U.S. President Donald Trump decides to withdraw from NATO tomorrow, Congress might be unable to stop him.

    That’s the conclusion a group of top lawmakers and some legal experts have reached, as Trump over the past two years has repeatedly bashed the alliance and extended olive branches to Russian President Vladimir Putin—even while his administration has taken some steps to support NATO.

  • Trump Discussed Pulling U.S. From NATO, Aides Say Amid New Concerns Over Russia - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/14/us/politics/nato-president-trump.html

    There are few things that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia desires more than the weakening of NATO, the military alliance among the United States, Europe and Canada that has deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.

    Last year, President Trump suggested a move tantamount to destroying NATO: the withdrawal of the United States.

    Senior administration officials told The New York Times that several times over the course of 2018, Mr. Trump privately said he wanted to withdraw from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Current and former officials who support the alliance said they feared Mr. Trump could return to his threat as allied military spending continued to lag behind the goals the president had set.

    In the days around a tumultuous NATO summit meeting last summer, they said, Mr. Trump told his top national security officials that he did not see the point of the military alliance, which he presented as a drain on the United States.

    At the time, Mr. Trump’s national security team, including Jim Mattis, then the defense secretary, and John R. Bolton, the national security adviser, scrambled to keep American strategy on track without mention of a withdrawal that would drastically reduce Washington’s influence in Europe and could embolden Russia for decades.

    Now, the president’s repeatedly stated desire to withdraw from NATO is raising new worries among national security officials amid growing concern about Mr. Trump’s efforts to keep his meetings with Mr. Putin secret from even his own aides, and an F.B.I. investigation into the administration’s Russia ties.

    A move to withdraw from the alliance, in place since 1949, “would be one of the most damaging things that any president could do to U.S. interests,” said Michèle A. Flournoy, an under secretary of defense under President Barack Obama.

    “It would destroy 70-plus years of painstaking work across multiple administrations, Republican and Democratic, to create perhaps the most powerful and advantageous alliance in history,” Ms. Flournoy said in an interview. “And it would be the wildest success that Vladimir Putin could dream of.”

    Retired Adm. James G. Stavridis, the former supreme allied commander of NATO, said an American withdrawal from the alliance would be “a geopolitical mistake of epic proportion.”

    “Even discussing the idea of leaving NATO — let alone actually doing so — would be the gift of the century for Putin,” Admiral Stavridis said.

    Senior Trump administration officials discussed the internal and highly sensitive efforts to preserve the military alliance on condition of anonymity.

    After the White House was asked for comment on Monday, a senior administration official pointed to Mr. Trump’s remarks in July when he called the United States’ commitment to NATO “very strong” and the alliance “very important.” The official declined to comment further.

    American national security officials believe that Russia has largely focused on undermining solidarity between the United States and Europe after it annexed Crimea in 2014. Its goal was to upend NATO, which Moscow views as a threat.

    Comme on le voit au début et à la fin de cet extrait, si les #USA quittent l’#Otan ce sera pas mal la faute de la #Russie de #"Poutine

  • From Neo-Nazi to militant: The foreign fighters in Ukraine who Australia’s laws won’t stop - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-01/foreign-fighters-return-to-australia-with-military-training/9696784

    Australia’s former watchdog on national security laws, Bret Walker SC, called for changes to Australia’s foreign fighter laws in response to the ABC’s revelations that Australians had fought with militant groups in Ukraine.

    Mr Walker said Australia was vulnerable to any returned ultranationalist fighters who go on to become violent.

    “Those are people whose skills, experiences and lack of sensitivity are very likely to constitute dangers in this country,” he said.

    “There is a domestic concern, not just a concern about Australia’s obligations in relation to prohibiting war, but also domestic concern in terms of terrorist dangers in Australia.”

    Mr Walker said the inconsistency in the current legislation was highlighted by the fact Australians could legally fight with the forces of foreign government dictators like Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.

    As the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor in 2014, Mr Walker SC made a recommendation to Federal Parliament for the law to be changed so that all foreign fighting would be illegal unless officially approved by the Australian Government.

    His recommendations were ignored.

    “There’s very little sign that there was — let alone at parliamentary level — any consideration of them,” Mr Walker said.

    “They have been utterly silent in relation to the basic principle that Australians should not fight abroad except for Australia or with Australia’s approval.”

    Italy Moves To Crack Down On Its Fighters In Ukraine’s Donbas
    https://www.rferl.org/a/italy-moves-to-crack-down-on-its-fighters-in-ukraine-s-donbas/29437946.html

    On August 1, Italian police announced they had arrested three men accused of recruiting mercenaries to fight in eastern Ukraine. Three others are still being sought after prosecutors in the northern Italian city of Genoa accused the six of fighting in eastern Ukraine and recruiting others to the cause.

    It was the first time that Italian authorities have charged anyone with fighting in eastern Ukraine, where more than 10,300 people have died since the conflict erupted in April 2014.

    In a statement, Italian police said they searched the homes of another seven people as part of the investigation into the Italian-Ukrainian recruitment network. Some of the suspects allegedly had ties with the commander of a neo-Nazi paramilitary unit called Rusich, which operates in Ukraine’s Donbas region.

    Genoese prosecutors have also charged 15 others with being members of the recruitment ring.

    Authorities in Genoa carried out the probes and arrests in tandem with ROS, the anti-organized-crime and antiterrorism branch of the carabinieri, Italy’s paramilitary national police force.

    Police in Genoa have been investigating far-right networks in the area since 2016, according to the Genova Today newspaper.

    However, as UNIAN notes, the action comes months after a Ukrainian lawmaker submitted a list of 25 Italians believed to be fighting with the separatists in eastern Ukraine.

    Publication en 2017 et suite à un colloque NATO en Moldavie d’un receuil de recherches sur le phénomène des foreign fighters autre que le cas Syrie.
    Foreign Fighters in Ukraine : Risk analisys from the point of view of NATO.
    https://books.google.fr/books?hl=fr&lr=&id=QbUrDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA31&dq=foreign+fighters+donb

  • [Revision] « Tell Me How This Ends » | Harper’s Magazine
    https://harpers.org/archive/2019/02/american-involvement-in-syria

    Dans cet article très USA-centré, le récit des premiers temps de la guerre en #Syrie par l’ancien ambassadeur US à Damas. (J’ai grasseyé certains passages. Le récit US passe égaleemnt sous silence la présence à Hama de l’ambassadeur français et de quelques invités...) L’histoire de ce conflit commence petit à petit à s’écrire...

    The vulnerable regimes in early 2011 were in the American camp, a coincidence that the Syrian president, Bashar al-­Assad, interpreted as proof that the Arab Spring was a repudiation of American tutelage. As Russia’s and Iran’s only Arab ally, he foresaw no challenge to his throne. An omen in the unlikely guise of an incident at an open-­air market in the old city of Damascus, in February 2011, should have changed his mind. One policeman ordered a motorist to stop at an intersection, while another officer told him to drive on. “The poor guy got conflicting instructions, and did what I would have done and stopped,” recalled the US ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, who had only just arrived in the country. The second policeman dragged the driver out of his car and thrashed him. “A crowd gathered, and all of a sudden it took off,” Ford said. “No violence, but it was big enough that the interior minister himself went down to the market and told people to go home.” Ford reported to Washington, “This is the first big demonstration that we know of. And it tells us that this tinder is dry.”

    The next month, the security police astride the Jordanian border in the dusty southern town of Daraa ignited the tinder by torturing children who had scrawled anti-­Assad graffiti on walls. Their families, proud Sunni tribespeople, appealed for justice, then called for reform of the regime, and finally demanded its removal. Rallies swelled by the day. Ford cabled Washington that the government was using live ammunition to quell the demonstrations. He noted that the protesters were not entirely peaceful: “There was a little bit of violence from the demonstrators in Daraa. They burned the Syriatel office.” (Syriatel is the cell phone company of Rami Makhlouf, Assad’s cousin, who epitomized for many Syrians the ruling elite’s corruption.) “And they burned a court building, but they didn’t kill anybody.” Funerals of protesters produced more demonstrations and thus more funerals. The Obama Administration, though, was preoccupied with Egypt, where Hosni Mubarak had resigned in February, and with the NATO bombing campaign in Libya to support the Libyan insurgents who would depose and murder Muammar Qaddafi in October.

    Ambassador Ford detected a turn in the Syrian uprising that would define part of its character: “The first really serious violence on the opposition side was up on the coast around Baniyas, where a bus was stopped and soldiers were hauled off the bus. If you were Alawite, you were shot. If you were Sunni, they let you go.” At demonstrations, some activists chanted the slogan, “Alawites to the grave, and Christians to Beirut.” A sectarian element wanted to remove Assad, not because he was a dictator but because he belonged to the Alawite minority sect that Sunni fundamentalists regard as heretical. Washington neglected to factor that into its early calculations.

    Phil Gordon, the assistant secretary of state for European affairs before becoming Obama’s White House coordinator for the Middle East, told me, “I think the initial attitude in Syria was seen through that prism of what was happening in the other countries, which was, in fact, leaders—the public rising up against their leaders and in some cases actually getting rid of them, and in Tunisia, and Yemen, and Libya, with our help.”

    Ambassador Ford said he counseled Syria’s activists to remain non­violent and urged both sides to negotiate. Demonstrations became weekly events, starting after Friday’s noon prayer as men left the mosques, and spreading north to Homs and Hama. Ford and some embassy staffers, including the military attaché, drove to Hama, with government permission, one Thursday evening in July. To his surprise, Ford said, “We were welcomed like heroes by the opposition people. We had a simple message—no violence. There were no burned buildings. There was a general strike going on, and the opposition people had control of the streets. They had all kinds of checkpoints. Largely, the government had pulled out.”

    Bassam Barabandi, a diplomat who defected in Washington to establish a Syrian exile organization, People Demand Change, thought that Ford had made two errors: his appearance in Hama raised hopes for direct intervention that was not forthcoming, and he was accompanied by a military attaché. “So, at that time, the big question for Damascus wasn’t Ford,” Barabandi told me in his spartan Washington office. “It was the military attaché. Why did this guy go with Ford?” The Syrian regime had a long-standing fear of American intelligence interference, dating to the CIA-­assisted overthrow in 1949 of the elected parliamentary government and several attempted coups d’état afterward. The presence in Hama of an ambassador with his military attaché allowed the Assad regime to paint its opponents as pawns of a hostile foreign power.

  • Quoi qu’il en soit, Trump ne quittera pas la Syrie et l’Afghanistan Stephen Gowans - 2 Janvier 2019 - Investigaction
    https://www.investigaction.net/fr/117672

    Il ne fait que transférer le fardeau sur les alliés et compter davantage sur les mercenaires

    Le retrait annoncé des troupes américaines de #Syrie et la diminution des troupes d’occupation en #Afghanistan ne correspondent très probablement pas à l’abandon par les #États-Unis de leurs objectifs au #Moyen-Orient, mais bien plutôt à l’adoption de nouveaux moyens pour atteindre les buts que la politique étrangère américaine vise depuis longtemps. Plutôt que de renoncer à l’objectif américain de dominer les mondes arabe et musulman par un système colonialiste et une occupation militaire directe, le président #Donald_Trump ne fait que mettre en œuvre une nouvelle politique – une politique basée sur un transfert plus important du fardeau du maintien de l’#Empire sur ses alliés et sur des soldats privés financés par les monarchies pétrolières.

    Le modus operandi de Trump en matière de relations étrangères a été constamment guidé par l’argument que les alliés des États-Unis ne parviennent pas à peser leur poids et devraient contribuer davantage à l’architecture de la sécurité américaine. Recruter des alliés arabes pour remplacer les troupes américaines en Syrie et déployer des #mercenaires (appelés par euphémisme des fournisseurs de sécurité) sont deux options que la Maison-Blanche examine activement depuis l’année dernière. De plus, il existe déjà une importante présence alliée et mercenaire en Afghanistan et le retrait prévu de 7000 soldats américains de ce pays ne réduira que marginalement l’empreinte militaire occidentale.

    Le conflit entre le secrétaire américain à la Défense #Jim_Mattis et Trump quant à leurs visions du monde est perçu à tort comme l’expression d’opinions contradictoires sur les objectifs américains plutôt que sur la manière de les atteindre. Mattis privilégie la poursuite des buts impériaux des États-Unis par la participation significative de l’armée américaine tandis que Trump favorise la pression sur les alliés pour qu’ils assument une plus grande partie du fardeau que constitue l’entretien de l’empire américain, tout en embauchant des fournisseurs de sécurité pour combler les lacunes. Le but de Trump est de réduire la ponction de l’Empire sur les finances américaines et d’assurer sa base électorale, à qui il a promis, dans le cadre de son plan « #America_First », de ramener les soldats américains au pays.

    Fait significatif, le plan de Trump est de réduire les dépenses des activités militaires américaines à l’étranger, non pas comme fin en soi mais comme moyen de libérer des revenus pour l’investissement intérieur dans les infrastructures publiques. De son point de vue, les dépenses pour la république devraient avoir la priorité sur les dépenses pour l’#Empire. « Nous avons [dépensé] 7 mille milliards de dollars au Moyen-Orient », s’est plaint le président américain auprès des membres de son administration. « Nous ne pouvons même pas réunir mille milliards de dollars pour l’infrastructure domestique. »[1] Plus tôt, à la veille de l’élection de 2016, Trump se plaignait que Washington avait « gaspillé 6 trillions de dollars en guerres au Moyen-Orient – nous aurions pu reconstruire deux fois notre pays – qui n’ont produit que plus de terrorisme, plus de mort et plus de souffrance – imaginez si cet argent avait été dépensé dans le pays. […] Nous avons dépensé 6 trillions de dollars, perdu des milliers de vies. On pourrait dire des centaines de milliers de vies, parce qu’il faut aussi regarder l’autre côté. » [2]

    En avril de cette année, Trump « a exprimé son impatience croissante face au coût et à la durée de l’effort pour stabiliser la Syrie » et a parlé de l’urgence d’accélérer le retrait des troupes américaines. [3] Les membres de son administration se sont empressés « d’élaborer une stratégie de sortie qui transférerait le fardeau américain sur des partenaires régionaux ». [4]

    La conseiller à la Sécurité nationale, #John_Bolton, « a appelé Abbas Kamel, le chef par intérim des services de renseignement égyptiens pour voir si le Caire contribuerait à cet effort ». [5] Puis l’#Arabie_ saoudite, le #Qatar et les Émirats arabes unis ont été « approchés par rapport à leur soutien financier et, plus largement, pour qu’ils contribuent ». Bolton a également demandé « aux pays arabes d’envoyer des troupes ». [6] Les satellites arabes ont été mis sous pression pour « travailler avec les combattants locaux #kurdes et arabes que les Américains soutenaient » [7] – autrement dit de prendre le relais des États-Unis.

    Peu après, #Erik_Prince, le fondateur de #Blackwater USA, l’entreprise de mercenaires, a « été contactée de manière informelle par des responsables arabes sur la perspective de construire une force en Syrie ». [8] À l’été 2017, Prince – le frère de la secrétaire américaine à l’Éducation #Betsy_De_Vos – a approché la Maison Blanche sur la possibilité de retirer les forces étasuniennes d’Afghanistan et d’envoyer des mercenaires combattre à leur place. [9] Le plan serait que les monarchies pétrolières du golfe Persique paient Prince pour déployer une force mercenaire qui prendrait la relève des troupes américaines.

    En avril, Trump a annoncé : « Nous avons demandé à nos partenaires d’assumer une plus grande responsabilité dans la sécurisation de leur région d’origine. » [10] La rédaction en chef du Wall Street Journal a applaudi cette décision. Le plan de Trump, a-t-il dit, était « la meilleure stratégie » – elle mobiliserait « les opposants régionaux de l’Iran », c’est-à-dire les potentats arabes qui gouvernent à la satisfaction de Washington en vue du projet de transformer « la Syrie en un Vietnam pour l’Ayatollah ». [11]

    En ce moment, il y a 14 000 soldats américains reconnus en Afghanistan, dont la moitié, soit 7 000, seront bientôt retirés. Mais il y a aussi environ 47 000 soldats occidentaux dans le pays, y compris des troupes de l’#OTAN et des mercenaires (14 000 soldats américains, 7 000 de l’OTAN [12] et 26 000 soldats privés [13]). Diviser la contribution étasunienne de moitié laissera encore 40 000 hommes de troupes occidentales comme force d’occupation en Afghanistan. Et la réduction des forces américaines peut être réalisée facilement en engageant 7000 remplaçants mercenaires, payés par les monarques du golfe Persique. « Le retrait », a rapporté The Wall Street Journal, « pourrait ouvrir la voie à un plus grand nombre d’entrepreneurs privés pour assumer des rôles de soutien et de formation », comme le souligne « la campagne de longue date d’Erik Prince ». Le Journal a noté que le frère de la secrétaire à l’Éducation « a mené une campagne agressive pour convaincre M. Trump de privatiser la guerre ». [14]

    La démission de Mattis a été interprétée comme une protestation contre Trump, qui « cède un territoire essentiel à la Russie et à l’Iran » [15] plutôt que comme un reproche à Trump de se reposer sur des alliés pour porter le fardeau de la poursuite des objectifs étasuniens en Syrie. La lettre de démission du secrétaire à la Défense était muette sur la décision de Trump de rapatrier les troupes américaines de Syrie et d’Afghanistan et insistait plutôt sur « les alliances et les partenariats ». Elle soulignait les préoccupations de Mattis sur le fait que le changement de direction de Trump n’accordait pas suffisamment d’attention au « maintien d’alliances solides et de signes de respect » à l’égard des alliés. Alors que cela a été interprété comme un reproche d’avoir abandonné le fer de lance américain en Syrie, les Kurdes, Mattis faisait référence aux « alliances et aux partenariats » au pluriel, ce qui indique que ses griefs vont plus loin que les relations des États-Unis avec les Kurdes. Au contraire, Mattis a exprimé des préoccupations cohérentes avec une plainte durable dans le milieu de la politique étrangère américaine selon laquelle les efforts incessants de Trump pour faire pression sur ses alliés afin qu’ils supportent davantage le coût du maintien de l’Empire aliènent les alliés des Américains et affaiblissent le « système d’alliances et de partenariats » qui le composent. [16]

    L’idée, aussi, que la démission de Mattis est un reproche à Trump pour l’abandon des Kurdes, est sans fondement. Les Kurdes ne sont pas abandonnés. Des commandos britanniques et français sont également présents dans le pays et « on s’attend à ce qu’ils restent en Syrie après le départ des troupes américaines ». [17] Mattis semble avoir été préoccupé par le fait qu’en extrayant les forces américaines de Syrie, Trump fasse peser plus lourdement le poids de la sécurisation des objectifs étasuniens sur les Britanniques et les Français, dont on ne peut guère attendre qu’ils tolèrent longtemps un arrangement où ils agissent comme force expéditionnaire pour Washington tandis que les troupes américaines restent chez elles. À un moment donné, ils se rendront compte qu’ils seraient peut-être mieux en dehors de l’alliance américaine. Pour Mattis, soucieux depuis longtemps de préserver un « système global d’alliances et de partenariats » comme moyen de « faire progresser un ordre international le plus propice à la sécurité, à la prospérité et aux valeurs [des États-Unis], le transfert du fardeau par Trump ne parvient guère à « traiter les alliés avec respect » ou à « faire preuve d’un leadership efficace », comme Mattis a écrit que Washington devrait le faire dans sa lettre de démission.

    Le président russe #Vladimir_Poutine a accueilli l’annonce de Trump avec scepticisme. « Nous ne voyons pas encore de signes du retrait des troupes américaines », a-t-il déclaré. « Depuis combien de temps les États-Unis sont-ils en Afghanistan ? Dix-sept ans ? Et presque chaque année, ils disent qu’ils retirent leurs troupes. » [18] Le #Pentagone parle déjà de déplacer les troupes américaines « vers l’#Irak voisin, où environ 5000 soldats étasuniens sont déjà déployés », et qui ‘déferleront’ en Syrie pour des raids spécifiques ». [19] Cette force pourrait aussi « retourner en Syrie pour des missions spéciales si des menaces graves surgissent » [20] ce qui pourrait inclure les tentatives de l’armée syrienne de récupérer son territoire occupé par les forces #kurdes. De plus, le Pentagone conserve la capacité de continuer de mener des « frappes aériennes et de réapprovisionner les combattants kurdes alliés avec des armes et du matériel » depuis l’Irak. [21]

    Trump n’a jamais eu l’intention d’apporter à la présidence une redéfinition radicale des objectifs de la politique étrangère américaine, mais seulement une manière différente de les atteindre, une manière qui profiterait de ses prouesses autoproclamées de négociation. Les tactiques de négociation de Trump n’impliquent rien de plus que de faire pression sur d’autres pour qu’ils paient la note, et c’est ce qu’il a fait ici. Les Français, les Britanniques et d’autres alliés des Américains remplaceront les bottes étasuniennes sur le terrain, avec des mercenaires qui seront financés par les monarchies pétrolières arabes. C’est vrai, la politique étrangère des États-Unis, instrument pour la protection et la promotion des profits américains, a toujours reposé sur quelqu’un d’autre pour payer la note, notamment les Américains ordinaires qui paient au travers de leurs impôts et, dans certains cas, par leurs vies et leurs corps en tant que soldats. En tant que salariés, ils ne tirent aucun avantage d’une politique façonnée par « des #élites_économiques et des groupes organisés représentant les intérêts des entreprises », comme les politologues Martin Gilens et Benjamin I. Page l’ont montré dans leur enquête de 2014 portant sur plus de 1700 questions politiques américaines. Les grandes entreprises, concluaient les chercheurs, « ont une influence considérable sur la politique gouvernementale, tandis que les citoyens moyens et les groupes fondés sur les intérêts des masses n’ont que peu d’influence ou pas d’influence du tout ». [22] Autrement dit, les grandes entreprises conçoivent la politique étrangère à leur avantage et en font payer le coût aux Américains ordinaires. 

    C’est ainsi que les choses devraient être, selon Mattis et d’autres membres de l’élite de la politique étrangère américaine. Le problème avec Trump, de leur point de vue, est qu’il essaie de transférer une partie du fardeau qui pèse actuellement lourdement sur les épaules des Américains ordinaires sur les épaules des gens ordinaires dans les pays qui constituent les éléments subordonnés de l’Empire américain. Et alors qu’on s’attend à ce que les alliés portent une partie du fardeau, la part accrue que Trump veut leur infliger nuit est peu favorable au maintien des alliances dont dépend l’Empire américain. 

    Notes :
    1. Bob Woodward, Fear : Trump in the White House, (Simon & Shuster, 2018) 307.

    2. Jon Schwarz, “This Thanksgiving, I’m Grateful for Donald Trump, America’s Most Honest President,” The Intercept, November 21, 2018.

    3. Michael R. Gordon, “US seeks Arab force and funding for Syria,” The Wall Street Journal, April 16, 2018.

    4. Gordon, April 16, 2018.

    5. Gordon, April 16, 2018.

    6. Gordon, April 16, 2018.

    7. Gordon, April 16, 2018.

    8. Gordon, April 16, 2018.

    9. Michael R. Gordon, Eric Schmitt and Maggie Haberman, “Trump settles on Afghan strategy expected to raise troop levels,” The New York Times, August 20, 2017.

    10. Gordon, April 16, 2018.

    11. The Editorial Board, “Trump’s next Syria challenge,” The Wall Street Journal, April 15, 2018.

    12. Julian E. Barnes, “NATO announces deployment of more troops to Afghanistan,” The Wall Street Journal, June 29, 2017.

    13. Erik Prince, “Contractors, not troops, will save Afghanistan,” The New York Times, August 30, 2017.

    14. Craig Nelson, “Trump withdrawal plan alters calculus on ground in Afghanistan,” The Wall Street Journal, December 21, 2018.

    15. Helene Cooper, “Jim Mattis, defense secretary, resigns in rebuke of Trump’s worldview,” The New York Times, December 20, 2018.

    16. “Read Jim Mattis’s letter to Trump : Full text,” The New York Times, December 20, 2018.

    17. Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Eric Schmitt, “Pentagon considers using special operations forces to continue mission in Syria,” The New York Times, December 21, 2018.

    18. Neil MacFarquhar and Andrew E. Kramer, “Putin welcomes withdrawal from Syria as ‘correct’,” The New York Times, December 20, 2018.

    19. Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Eric Schmitt, “Pentagon considers using special operations forces to continue mission in Syria,” The New York Times, December 21, 2018.

    20. Gibbons-Neff and Schmitt, December 21, 2018.

    21. Gibbons-Neff and Schmitt, December 21, 2018.

    22. Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page, “Testing Theories of American Politics : Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens,” Perspectives on Politics, Fall 2014.
    Traduit par Diane Gilliard
    Source : https://gowans.wordpress.com/2018/12/22/no-matter-how-it-appears-trump-isnt-getting-out-of-syria-and-afgha

  • Widespread Blurring of Satellite Images Reveals Secret Facilities – Federation Of American Scientists
    https://fas.org/blogs/security/2018/12/widespread-blurring-of-satellite-images-reveals-secret-facilities

    Yandex Maps—Russia’s foremost mapping service—has also agreed to selectively blur out specific sites beyond recognition; however, it has done so for just two countries: Israel and Turkey. The areas of these blurred sites range from large complexes—such as airfields or munitions storage bunkers—to small, nondescript buildings within city blocks.

    (...) By complying with requests to selectively obscure military facilities, the mapping service has actually revealed their precise locations, perimeters, and potential function to anyone curious enough to find them all.

    #satellite #flou #secret #armée

    • Le billet de Matt Korda est fort intéressant.

      Although blurring out specific sites is certainly unusual, it is not uncommon for satellite imagery companies to downgrade the resolution of certain sets of imagery before releasing them to viewing platforms like Yandex or Google Earth; in fact, if you trawl around the globe using these platforms, you’ll notice that different locations will be rendered in a variety of resolutions. Downtown Toronto, for example, is always visible at an extremely high resolution; looking closely, you can spot my bike parked outside my old apartment. By contrast, imagery of downtown Jerusalem is always significantly blurrier; you can just barely make out cars parked on the side of the road.

      As I explained in my previous piece about geolocating Israeli Patriot batteries, a 1997 US law known as the Kyl-Bingaman Amendment (KBA) prohibits US companies from publishing satellite imagery of Israel at a Ground Sampling Distance lower than what is commercially available. This generally means that US-based satellite companies like DigitalGlobe and viewing platforms like Google Earth won’t publish any images of Israel that are better than 2m resolution.

      Foreign mapping services like Russia’s Yandex are legally not subject to the KBA, but they tend to stick to the 2m resolution rule regardless, likely for two reasons. Firstly, after 20 years the KBA standard has become somewhat institutionalized within the satellite imagery industry. And secondly, Russian companies (and the Russian state) are surely wary of doing anything to sour Russia’s critical relationship with Israel.
      […]
      My complete list of blurred sites in both Israel and Turkey totals over 300 distinct buildings, airfields, ports, bunkers, storage sites, bases, barracks, nuclear facilities, and random buildings—prompting several intriguing points of consideration:

      • Included in the list of Yandex’s blurred sites are at least two NATO facilities: Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) in Izmir, and Incirlik Air Base, which hosts the largest contingent of US B61 nuclear gravity bombs at any single NATO base.
      • Strangely, no Russian facilities have been blurred—including its nuclear facilities, submarine bases, air bases, launch sites, or numerous foreign military bases in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, or the Middle East.
      • Although none of Russia’s permanent military installations in Syria have been blurred, almost the entirety of Syria is depicted in extremely low resolution, making it nearly impossible to utilize Yandex for analyses of Syrian imagery. By contrast, both Crimea and the entire Donbass region are visible at very high resolutions, so this blurring standard applies only selectively to Russia’s foreign adventures.
      • All four Israeli Patriot batteries that I identified using radar interference in my previous post have been blurred out, confirming that these sites do indeed have a military function.

      lien vers le billet mentionné dans le dernier paragraphe : repérage des sites de batteries de Patriot en Israel https://seenthis.net/messages/743998