• La radio publique en plein #capitalisme_de_surveillance

    Comme beaucoup d’internautes, j’écoute des podcasts. Plein de podcasts en fait, de tous les styles. J’aime beaucoup les émissions de #Radio_France (Inter, Culture notamment). Et j’ai donc toujours utilisé un logiciel de #podcast pour m’abonner à mes émissions préférées et les écouter.

    Mais ça, c’était avant que Radio France ne se lance dans le capitalisme de surveillance, verrouille ses podcasts et force la consommation par ses canaux (site web et application) bourrés de traceurs. Un scandale, car on parle ici d’un #service_public payé par nos impôts, qui ne se contente pas de compléter son modèle économique par de la #publicité (discutable, mais entendable), mais qui se complait dans les pires techniques du capitalisme de surveillance. Démonstration en trois actes.

    https://louisderrac.com/2022/11/28/la-radio-publique-en-plein-capitalisme-de-surveillance

  • Auteurs influenceurs
    https://laviedesidees.fr/Auteurs-influenceurs.html

    À propos de : Myriam Boucharenc, L’Écrivain et la publicité. Histoire d’une tentation, Champ Vallon. Bien des écrivains, de Valéry, Cocteau et Colette à Frédéric Dard ou Beigbeder, ont prêté leur talent, leur signature et parfois leur image à la promotion publicitaire. Myriam Boucharenc retrace la « destinée occultée de ce couple controversé ».

    #Arts #littérature #publicité
    https://laviedesidees.fr/IMG/docx/202211_pub.docx
    https://laviedesidees.fr/IMG/pdf/20221123_pub.pdf

  • Vass Bednar: Digital ads are a desperate gamble in a fantasy economy
    https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/vass-bednar-digital-ads-desperate-163558047.html
    https://media.zenfs.com/en/financial_post_articles_610/07c92d7b4ca7e6725f456de8b3c0c3a3

    Digital advertising brings in billions of dollars in revenue to Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook and Alphabet Inc.’s Google in Canada, with Amazon.com Inc. also emerging as a significant third player, according to recent research from Carleton University’s global media and internet concentration project. Advertising on Google’s search engine and YouTube brought in an estimated $6.2 billion, or $162 per Canadian, in 2021. Meta earned just under $4 billion last year across Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, claiming one-third of Canada’s online advertising market, and derives almost all of its revenue from such ads globally. Amazon, a more recent entrant, made an estimated $1.2 billion in revenue from advertising, or almost 10 per cent of all online advertising in Canada. Together, these three tech conglomerates accounted for around 90 per cent of the online advertising market and more than two-thirds of all ad money in Canada.

    The online advertising industry is clearly profitable for massive platforms. But we should not confuse its profitability with effectiveness. Platforms earn money when an ad is viewed or listened to by a captive consumer, but that digestion doesn’t guarantee a purchase will occur. Indeed, that elusive purchase is nothing more than a reverie, and we’re all crushing the Kool-Aid in believing it’s a sure thing.

    Other research demonstrates that micro-targeted digital ads simply don’t work. As former Google employee Tim Hwang said in his 2020 book Subprime Attention Crisis, ad tech could be the next internet bubble. Further, the returns on investment in digital marketing have been proven to be embarrassingly poor for the companies advertising. One study found that ad-tech middlemen are substantially enriched by the online advertising game, sucking up as much as 50 per cent of all online spending. Another study found that automated micro-targeting performed slightly worse than random guessing. Meanwhile, digital ads are often credited for purchases that would have been made anyway, making them “the most widely used shell game in business today,” writes Sinan Aral in The Hype Machine.

    Nonetheless, the ability to collect information about people as they prowl the internet predicates online giants’ ability to command advertising dollars for totally random results. That’s led to a company policy knife-fight between Apple Inc. and everyone else after the tech giant forced developers to obtain explicit consent from users. This has resulted in even less accurate micro-targeting — Facebook’s recent software update practically begs people to subject themselves to being tracked. Apple’s change means online advertising now generally costs more, translating into increased costs for small businesses hoping to reach new and relevant audiences online, on top of the digital fees extorted from developers on mobile application stores. All of this expenditure and effort hinges on the promise that advertising expenditure is richly rewarding, a necessary investment for e-commerce players.

    Maybe it is time we start seeing online ads for what they really are: a desperate gamble in a fantasy economy.

    #Tim_Hwang #Publicité

  • #nécrologie
    Wilko Johnson, mort du plus punk des guitar heroes
    https://www.telerama.fr/musique/wilko-johnson-mort-du-plus-punk-des-guitar-heroes-7013112.php

    Neuf ans de sursis. Lorsque Wilko Johnson, guitariste fondateur et légendaire de Dr. Feelgood, annonça en 2013 qu’on lui avait diagnostiqué un cancer du pancréas en phase terminale, on pensait, lui le premier, que ses jours étaient comptés. Après tout, les médecins lui donnaient, au mieux, encore dix mois à vivre. Il ne s’est éteint finalement que le 21 novembre dernier, à 75 ans. Autant dire que pendant près de dix ans, refusant de capituler, en tournant régulièrement avec une énergie insolente, Johnson a tenu du miraculé.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-63728503

    #punk_rock #rock'n'roll #rythm'n'blues

  • Afghan Families Left Drifting in #Life_Rafts Outside Lesvos

    https://aegeanboatreport.com/2022/11/22/afghan-families-left-drifting-in-life-rafts-outside-lesvos

    In the morning of Thursday, November 10, a boat carrying 33 people landed west of Gavathas, Lesvos north west.

    The flimsy rubber boat had started out from Turkey in cover of darkness, 33 people packed into this small boat, people with hopes for a better future, away from war and persecution, to finally be able to be safe, or it was at least what they had hoped for.

    After arriving people fled to the Woodson in the surrounding area to hide from Greek authorities, fearing that if they were found they would be illegally returned to Turkey.

    At 09.00 they contacted Aegean Boat Report and asked for assistance, they wanted help so that they could be taken to a camp, and be able to apply for asylum, but they were afraid of Greek authorities and Police, since they had been violently pushed back several times in the past.

    https://aegeanboatreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Lesvos-10-11-2022.mp3

    The group provided pictures, videos and geolocation data, there was no doubt that this group also had arrived on Lesvos.

    We provide them with the necessary means, so that they themselves could act, what happened afterwards is not clear, since we lost contact with them shortly after. The last thing they said before they went offline was that they would contact organizations on the island, if they actually did, we don’t know.

    Due to the fact that this group arrived on a weekend, means that they would have had problems finding an organization who would respond on the phone, even do they were given numbers who usually works, these numbers are mostly only operational on weekdays, during daytime.

    What we do know is that this group never made it to any camp, they were found by authorities and removed from the island. This is what usually happens when Greek authorities finds people who has arrived, and there is no organization to intervene.

    At 20.05 Thursday November 10, 33 people was found drifting in two life rafts outside Dikili, Turkey, families, old people, women, children, even small babies was forced into these two rafts without life jackets. [ https://www.sg.gov.tr/izmir-aciklarinda-33-duzensiz-gocmen-kurtarilmistir-11-11-22- ]

    From pictures sent to us while they were on Lesvos, we can clearly see that they had belongings, bags. When they were found drifting in the rafts outside Dikili 10 hours later, they had nothing, what little they had left in life was stolen from them, bags, papers, money and phones, taken by the same people who forced them back out to sea, the Greek coast guard.

    From pictures and videos received while on Lesvos, compared to pictures and videos from the time they were rescued by Turkish coast guard outside Dikili, there is absolutely no doubt: it is the same group.

    https://videopress.com/v/v0mFF4ok

    For normal people, it’s actually quite difficult to comprehend, that a European country, a member of the European Union, would force families, small children, women, old people who can barely walk, back out to sea in the middle of the night, throw them into life rafts and leave them helplessly drifting. When we also know that these atrocities are supported by the European Border And Coast Guard Agency FRONTEX, and handsomely funded by The European Union, it just gets totally incomprehensible.

    Why would anyone do such a thing, and why would nobody try to stop it? it’s not as if nobody knows, everyone knows what is being done at Europes borders, it’s not a secret, not any more. EU border agency Frontex and Greek authorities, has been proven to have been involved in hundreds of refugee pushbacks in the Aegean Sea, investigated by EU’s own Anti-Fraud Office, OLAF, and what has so far been done about this, absolutely nothing.

    Since March 2020, we have registered 1.826 pushback cases in the Aegean Sea, performed by the Hellenic coast guard, involving 48.486 men, women and children: 642 of these cases was performed by using rescue equipment/life rafts, 16,754 people have so far been found drifting in 993 life rafts in the Aegean Sea.

    Almost 1000 life rafts with families, men, women and children who tried to seek safety in Europe, close to 17.000 people, have been found drifting in the Aegean Sea, and so far nobody has bothered to try to do anything about it, if that’s not deafening, noting is.

    Just imagine if just one of these life rafts, just one, had been found drifting in the English Channel, placed there by the British authorities, there would have been a political outcry demanding answers, heads would have rolled, huge investigations would have been undertaken. For the almost 1000 life rafts found drifting in the Aegean Sea the last three years, close to 17.000 victims, not one single official investigation has been carried out, not one.

    We all know who is responsible, question is, why is nothing done to try to stop it?

    Reçu par Erini Markidi, via la mailing-list Migreurop, 22.11.2022

    #refoulements_collectifs #migrations #asile #réfugiés #Grèce #refoulement #push-backs #refoulements #frontières
    #migrations #asile #réfugiés #refoulement #push-back #Mer_Egée #Turquie #frontières #life_raft #liferafts #orange #Lesbos

    –---

    ajouté à la métaliste sur les #structures_flottantes pour l’asile (soit des centres de détention et/ou procédure, ou alors des objets flottants utilisés à des fins d’#expulsion) :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/879396

  • The Perth dog that’s probably smarter than you | PerthNow
    https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/wa/the-perth-dog-thats-probably-smarter-than-you-ng-a4de0d201ce420e0302c69

    Quand un chercheur fait inscrire son chien dans le conseil scientifique de revues scientifiques voyous ("predatory")

    MOVE aside quokkas and black swans, Perth is now home to the world’s smartest dog, at least on paper.

    Local “academic” Dr Olivia Doll — also known as Staffordshire terrier Ollie — sits on the editorial boards of seven international medical journals and has just been asked to review a research paper on the management of tumours.

    Her impressive curriculum vitae lists her current role as senior lecturer at the Subiaco College of Veterinary Science and past associate of the Shenton Park Institute for Canine Refuge Studies — which is code for her earlier life in the dog refuge.

    Ollie’s owner, veteran public health expert Mike Daube, decided to test how carefully some journals scrutinised their editorial reviewers, by inventing Dr Doll and making up her credentials.

    The five-year-old pooch has managed to dupe a range of publications specialising in drug abuse, psychiatry and respiratory medicine into appointing her to their editorial boards.

    Dr Doll has even been fast-tracked to the position of associate editor of the Global Journal of Addiction and Rehabilitation Medicine.

    Several journals have published on their websites a supplied photo of Dr Doll, which is actually of a bespectacled Kylie Minogue.

    Professor Daube said none of them smelt a rat, despite Dr Doll’s listed research interests in “the benefits of abdominal massage for medium-sized canines” and “the role of domestic canines in promoting optimal mental health in ageing males”.

    Today Ollie is being featured in a more reputable publication, the Medical Journal of Australia’s Insight magazine, which is looking at the surge in journals which charge desperate would-be researchers up to $3000 to get their studies published.

    “While this started as something lighthearted, I think it is important to expose shams of this kind which prey on the gullible, especially young or naive academics and those from developing countries,” Professor Daube said.

    He said the authors would be gutted to know their papers were being reviewed by a dog, who often needed to be offered a treat before she dragged herself in front of the laptop. “It gives all researchers paws for thought,” Professor Daube said.

    Dr Doll refused to comment unless she was taken for walkies.

    #Publications_scientifiques #Revues_scientifiques #Au_voleurs

  • Port d’Anvers : les incinérateurs agréés ne peuvent traiter la totalité de la cocaïne saisie Victor de Thier - RTBF
    https://www.rtbf.be/article/port-d-anvers-les-incinerateurs-agrees-ne-peuvent-traiter-la-totalite-de-la-coc

    La douane, la police et la justice ont saisi près de 90 tonnes de cocaïne dans le port d’Anvers en 2021. Un record historique qui, selon toute vraisemblance, sera à nouveau battu cette année. La douane estime en effet que la barre des 100 tonnes pourrait être atteinte en 2022.

    Cette quantité pose toutefois un important problème de sécurité, rapportent samedi De Standaard et Gazet van Antwerpen. Les incinérateurs agréés ne pouvant traiter la totalité de la drogue saisie, elle doit être stockée dans les entrepôts de la douane avant d’être détruite, parfois tardivement.

    Risque de vol
    Le procureur d’Anvers Franky De Keyser a tiré la sonnette d’alarme auprès du ministre de la Justice Vincent Van Quickenborne (Open VLD) il y a quelques semaines. Le stock de stupéfiants est désormais si important que des bandes criminelles pourraient tenter de le dérober.

    Le bourgmestre d’Anvers, Bart De Wever (N-VA), s’est également entretenu avec le ministre de la Justice à ce sujet. Les cabinets Van Quickenborne et De Wever affirment rechercher ensemble des solutions.

    #cocaïne #cocaine #oligarchie #oligarchies #manager #publicistes #showbizz #drogue #drogues #mafia #société #trafic #douane

  • Greece Using Other Migrants to Expel Asylum Seekers
    (un article qui date d’avril 2022)

    Stripped, Robbed, and Forced Back to Turkey; No Chance to Seek Asylum.

    Greek security forces are employing third country nationals, men who appear to be of Middle Eastern or South Asian origin, to push asylum seekers back at the Greece-Turkey land border, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

    The 29-page report “‘Their Faces Were Covered’: Greece’s Use of Migrants as Police Auxiliaries in Pushbacks,” found that Greek police are detaining asylum seekers at the Greece-Turkey land border at the Evros River, in many cases stripping them of most of their clothing and stealing their money, phones, and other possessions. They then turn the migrants over to masked men, who force them onto small boats, take them to the middle of the Evros River, and force them into the frigid water, making them wade to the riverbank on the Turkish side. None are apparently being properly registered in Greece or allowed to lodge asylum claims.

    “There can be no denying that the Greek government is responsible for the illegal pushbacks at its borders, and using proxies to carry out these illegal acts does not relieve it of any liability,” said Bill Frelick, refugee and migrant rights director at Human Rights Watch. “The European Commission should urgently open legal proceedings and hold the Greek government accountable for violating EU laws prohibiting collective expulsions.”

    Human Rights Watch interviewed 26 Afghan migrants and asylum seekers, 23 of whom were pushed back from Greece to Turkey across the Evros River between September 2021 and February 2022. The 23 men, 2 women, and a boy said they were detained by men they believed to be Greek authorities, usually for no more than 24 hours with little to no food or drinking water, and pushed back to Turkey. The men and boy provided firsthand victim or witness accounts of Greek police or men they believed to be Greek police beating or otherwise abusing them.
    Sixteen of those interviewed said the boats taking them back to Turkey were piloted by men who spoke Arabic or the South Asian languages common among migrants. They said most of these men wore black or commando-like uniforms and used balaclavas to cover their faces. Three people interviewed were able to talk with the men ferrying the boats. The boat pilots told them they were also migrants who were employed by the Greek police with promises of being provided with documents enabling them to travel onward.

    A 28-year-old former commander in the Afghan army who was pushed back to Turkey in late December, said he had a conversation in Pashto with the Pakistani man ferrying the boat that took him back to Turkey: “The boat driver said, ‘We are … here doing this work for three months and then they give us … a document. With this, we can move freely inside Greece and then we can get a ticket for … another country.’”

    An 18-year-old Afghan youth described his experience after the Greek police transported him from the detention center to the river: “At the border, there were other people waiting for us.… From their language, we could recognize they were Pakistanis and Arabs. These men took our money and beat us. They beat me with sticks. They dropped us in the middle of the river. The water was to my chest, and we waded the rest of the way [to Turkey].”

    Pushbacks violate multiple human rights norms, including the prohibition of collective expulsion under the European Convention on Human Rights, the right to due process in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the right to seek asylum under EU asylum law and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, and the principle of nonrefoulement under the 1951 Refugee Convention.

    The Greek government routinely denies involvement in pushbacks, labeling such claims “fake news” or “Turkish propaganda” and cracking down, including through the threat of criminal sanctions, against those reporting on such incidents. On March 29, Greece’s independent authority for transparency tasked by the government to investigate pushbacks “found no basis for reports that Greek authorities have illegally turned back asylum-seekers entering the country from Turkey.”

    Major General Dimitrios Mallios, chief of the Aliens & Border Protection Branch in Hellenic Police Headquarters, denied the Human Rights Watch allegations. He said that “police agencies and their staff will continue to operate in a continuous, professional, lawful and prompt way, taking all necessary measures to effectively manage the refugees/migration flows, in a manner that safeguards on the one hand the rights of the aliens and on the other hand the protection of citizens especially in the first line border regions.”

    Greece should immediately halt all pushbacks from Greek territory, and stop using third country nationals for collective expulsions, Human Rights Watch said. The European Commission, which provides financial support to the Greek government for migration control, should require Greece to end all summary returns and collective expulsions of asylum seekers to Turkey, press the authorities to establish an independent and effective border monitoring mechanism that would investigate allegations of violence at borders, and ensure that none of its funding contributes to violations of fundamental rights and EU laws. The European Commission should also open legal proceedings against Greece for violating EU laws prohibiting collective expulsions.

    Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, which is under increased scrutiny for complicity in migrant pushbacks in Greece, should trigger article 46 of its regulation, under which the agency has a duty to suspend or terminate operations in case of serious abuses, if no concrete improvements are made by Greece to end these abuses within three months.

    On March 1, Greece’s migration minister, Notis Mitarachi, declared before the Hellenic Parliament that Ukrainians were the “real refugees,” implying that those on Greece’s border with Turkey are not.

    “At a time when Greece welcomes Ukrainians as ‘real refugees,’ it conducts cruel pushbacks on Afghans and others fleeing similar war and violence,” Frelick said. “The double standard makes a mockery of the purported shared European values of equality, rule of law, and human dignity.”

    https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/04/07/greece-using-other-migrants-expel-asylum-seekers

    #Grèce #asile #migrations #réfugiés #pushback_helpers #Evros #frontières

    • Pushback helpers: A new level of violence

      In October 2020, Salam*, together with 15 people from Syria and Afghanistan, crossed the Evros River from #Edirne, Turkey to Greece. They walked until the next morning through the forest on the Greek side of the border area. When they rested for a few hours, they were discovered by the Greek border police.

      “At 10 a.m., after two hours, I was very tired. When I slept, the ’commando’ [Greek border police] told us ’Wake-up! Wake-up!’ They had sticks. One of our group ran away and two ’commandos’ caught him and struck him again and again.”

      The Greek police officers threatened the group, beat them, and robbed them of all their belongings. After an hour all were brought to a prison. There the group was searched again and threatened with being killed if they hid any belongings. There were about 70 to 80 people in the prison none of the detainees was provided with water or food.

      “The prison was not a [real] prison. It was a waiting room. No Food, no water, no beds. There were only two toilets, which were not clean. We stayed there from 1 p.m. and waited until midnight.”

      At midnight, armed officers whom the respondent identified not as police but rather as a private army force, came to the prison. Using brutal violence, the people were forced to undress down to their underwear and all 70 to 80 were crammed into a van without windows. For an hour the group had to wait in the overloaded van until they were taken back to the river Evros.

      Back at the river, the group had to sit in a row, still stripped to their underwear and without shoes, and were not allowed to look up. The officers tortured people for at least one hour.

      „He [the ’commando’] told us: ’If you come back, another time to Greece, I will kill you! We will kill you!’ We were around 80 and there were two [officers] on each side of us. [They struck us] for one hour or two hours, I don’t remember about this.“

      They were then forced back onto a boat driven by two people who did not appear to be members of the Greek police:

      „Two people were talking in Arabic and Turkish languages. They were not from the ’commandos’ or the Greek police. They [drove] the boat across to the other side to Turkey. One took a rope from the trees on the Turkish side to the tree on the Greek side. He didn’t have to row, he could just pull the boat with the rope. […] When we got inside the boat, the ’commando’ struck us and when we were in the boat, this person struck us. Struck, struck, struck us. All the time they struck us. My eye was swollen, and my leg, and my hand all were bad from this. After we crossed the river, he went back to the ’commandos’.“

      Back on the Turkish side, Salam and others of the group were discovered by the Turkish police. The officers chased the group. Fortunately, Salam was able to escape.

      The Pushback Helper System

      Salam’s experience of a pushback by the Greek police assisted by migrants is not an isolated case. The exploitation of the so-called Pushback Helpers, migrants who are coerced to work for the Greek police at the Turkish-Greek border and illegally push back other migrants, has been known for a long time.

      Since 2020, the Border Violence Monitoring Network has been publishing testimonies from people on the move who have had similar experiences to Salam. In April 2022, Human Rights Watch published a report based on the experiences of 16 pushback survivors on the Evros River. They reported that the boats that brought them back to Turkey were steered by non-Greek men who spoke Arabic or South Asian languages common among migrants in this area. They all reported that Greek police were nearby when the men forced the migrants onto small boats. These non-Greek men were often described as wearing black or commando uniforms, as well as balaclavas to disguise their identities. An investigation by Der Spiegel published in June 2022 came to similar findings. The testimonies of six men who reported being forced to participate in pushbacks to Turkey were affirmed with the help of the reporter team.

      The numerous testimonies of pushback survivors and the published investigations on the topic reveal a very precise pattern. The system behind the so-called pushback helpers is as follows:

      When the Greek authorities arrest a group of people on the move who have just crossed the border into Greece from Turkey, they usually choose young men who speak English, but also Arabic or Turkish. They offer them money, reportedly around $200 per month, sometimes more, and a so-called “exit document” that allows them to stay in Greece or leave for another European country. In exchange, they have to help the Greek border police with illegal pushbacks for about three to six months. For many people on the move, the fear of another pushback to Turkey and the lack of prospects to get Asylum in Greece eventually leads them to cooperate with the Greek authorities. However, most have no choice but to accept, because if migrants refuse this offer, they are reportedly beaten up and deported back to Turkey. Also, not all people receive money for such “deals”, but are forced to work for the Greek border police without payment. There are reports that people cannot move freely because the Greek police is controlling them. Some people are detained by the Greek police almost all the time and were only released at night to carry out pushbacks.

      Their task is to push other migrants who have been caught by the Greek authorities and are detained in Greek security points or -centres back across the border. The pushback helpers drive the boats to cross the river Evros and bring the protection seekers back to Turkey. They are often forced to rob the helpless people and take their money, their mobile phones and their clothes or they get to keep the stolen things that the Greek authorities have taken beforehand. When the helpers are released after a few months, some get the promised papers and make their way to Europe. However, some migrants are reported to work for the Greek border police on a long-term basis. Gangs are formed to take care of the pushback of people on the move. They also serve as a deterrent for people who are still in Turkey and considering crossing the border.

      This is a cruel, but profitable business for the Greek border police. The Greek officers do not have to cross the river Evros themselves. Firstly, it is life-threatening to cross the wide river with a small boat, and secondly, they do not have to go near the Turkish border themselves, which would lead to conflicts with the Turkish military during the pushbacks. The two countries have been in a territorial conflict for a long time.

      Modern slavery of people on the move

      Forcing people seeking protection back over a border is not only inhumane but also illegal. Pushbacks violate numerous human rights norms, such as the prohibition of collective expulsion, the right to asylum, and the principle of non-refoulment. This practice has become a regular pattern of human rights violations against people on the move by the European border regime. Although it has been proven several times in Greece that pushbacks are regularly carried out by the Hellenic Coast Guard and the Greek Border Police, the Greek government categorically denies that pushbacks exist, calling such claims “fake news” or “Turkish propaganda”.

      The fact that people on the move themselves are forced to carry out pushbacks represents a new level of brutality in the Greek pushback campaign. Not only are migrants systematically denied human rights, but they are also forced to participate in these illegal practices. Those seeking protection are exploited by the Greek authorities to carry out illegal operations on other people seeking protection. The dimension of the deployment is unknown. What is clear is that the Greek authorities are using the fear of pushbacks to Turkey by people on the move and the repressive asylum system to force people seeking protection to do their dirty work. This practice is effectively modern slavery and the dreadful reality of migrants trying to seek safety in Europe.

      Since there are no safe and legal corridors into the EU and the asylum system in Greece is extremely restrictive, most people seeking protection have no choice but to try to cross the border between Turkey and Greece clandestinely. This lack of safe and legal corridors thus makes spaces for abuse of power and exploitation of people on the move possible in the first place. Those responsible for these human rights crimes must be held accountable immediately for these human rights crimes.

      *Name changed

      https://mare-liberum.org/en/pushback-helpers-a-new-level-of-violence

      #refoulement #push-backs #refoulements #exploitation

  • Italy’s government is targeting NGOs saving people at sea. It is nothing new.

    I was there the first time around – and so were many journalists. At @open_migration we told the story of the dirty war waged against NGOs saving lives.

    This story starts on Easter weekend, 2017.
    During that weekend, 8,300 people were rescued in the Mediterranean: 1,300 by Frontex and the others by several NGOs in coordination with the Italian Coast Guard.

    @Giu_Bertoluzzi was on board of one of the ships – this is her logbook:
    https://openmigration.org/en/analyses/the-eight-thousand-migrants-saved-at-easter-logbook-of-a-rescue-missi

    “Too smart for their own good” (Renzi, then Italy’s PM), “Taxi cabs for migrants” (Di Maio).

    That weekend marked the start of the smear campaign against NGOs: @Lorenzo_Bagnoli @FraFloris made sense of the mix of unfounded claims and accusations:
    https://openmigration.org/en/analyses/accusations-against-ngos-at-sea-what-is-false-or-misleading-in-that-s

    It was also the start of the infamous “pull factor” claim, coming – no surprise – from Fabrice Leggeri, then executive director of Frontex.

    He would become a central figure in this political game - this is the last we heard of him:
    https://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/fabrice-leggeri-s-resignation-the-final-days-of-the-frontex-chief-a-a238224a

    That summer the Mediterranean was the scene of a brutal political game, with the Italian government working to delegitimize NGOs.

    “They have been forced to back away from, sometimes even renounce, their role in rescuing migrants” explained @alaskaHQ.
    https://openmigration.org/en/analyses/eight-things-we-have-learnt-from-the-papers-on-the-iuventa

    A main feature was of course the Minniti-sponsored code of conduct for NGOs.

    This legitimized the idea that they were acting in anarchy before this measures, while all the while they had been working under the Rome command of the Italian Coast Guard.
    https://openmigration.org/en/analyses/what-is-changing-in-the-med-five-things-you-must-know

    The militarisation of the Mediterranean continued throughout 2018, with a critical point with the seizure of Open Arms and accusations of criminal conspiracy and aiding illegal immigration.

    @alaskaHQ @Lorenzo_Bagnoli and @clatorrisi reported:
    https://openmigration.org/en/analyses/the-prosecutors-case-against-the-rescue-ship-open-arms

    Accusations were dropped and one month later the Open Arms was free to sail again.

    (Meanwhile Frontex was relaunching fears of terrorist attacks while introducing its new programme to secure European borders)
    https://openmigration.org/en/analyses/the-open-arms-case-continued-new-documents-and-malta

    I’d like for this story to have an end but there isn’t one.

    In 2017, Easter weekend marked the start of a dirty, dirty war that has claimed thousand of lives. NGOs were witnesses that the EU and the Italian government did not want around.
    And that is still the case.

    #chronologie #criminalisation_du_sauvetage #sauvetage #migrations #asile #réfugiés #Méditerranée #mer_Méditerranée #taxi #taxi_del_mare #pull_factor #facteur_pull #rhétorique #solidarité #Di_Maio #Luigi_Di_Maio #Matteo_Renzi #Renzi #Italie #rhétorique #accusations #Leggeri #Fabrizio_Leggeri #Frontex #codice_di_condotta #Minniti

  • I dati non mentono

    Ong e #migranti: i dati non mentono.
    Un rapporto Frontex sostiene che le Ong siano state «pull factor» dal 1° gennaio al 18 maggio 2021.
    Così sono andato a controllare.

    Partenze di migranti con Ong in area SAR: 125 al giorno.
    Con nessuna Ong: 135 al giorno.

    https://twitter.com/emmevilla/status/1592422778174861312

    Article publié sur Il Manifesto:
    Il mistero del rapporto di #Frontex sul «pull-factor» citato dal governo
    https://ilmanifesto.it/il-mistero-del-rapporto-di-frontex-sul-pull-factor-citato-dal-governo

    #fact-checking #pull-factor #facteur_pull #appel_d'air #sauvetage #mer #Méditerranée #mer_Méditerranée #chiffres #statistiques

    –-

    ajouté à ce fil de discussion sur les pull-factors:
    https://seenthis.net/messages/788928

  • Reckoning With the AFL-CIO’s Imperialist History
    https://jacobin.com/2020/01/afl-cio-cold-war-imperialism-solidarity

    1.9.2020 by Jeff Schuhrke - Two days after Bolivia’s socialist president Evo Morales was forced from office in a right-wing military coup last November, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka condemned the coup on Twitter and praised Morales for reducing poverty and championing indigenous rights. In doing so, Trumka joined Bernie Sanders, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and other prominent figures of the Left in countering the US political and media establishments’ dominant narrative that Morales’s violent ouster was a win for democracy.

    While it’s fitting for the president of the nation’s largest union federation to denounce a right-wing coup against a leftist foreign leader — which was endorsed by the State Department and CIA — it also represents an important break from precedent for the AFL-CIO. Though rarely discussed, the federation has a long record of supporting the US government in disrupting leftist movements around the world, including through coups d’état in Latin America.

    Throughout the Cold War, the AFL-CIO’s Executive Council and International Affairs Department were run by zealous anticommunists determined to undercut the rise of left-wing trade unions overseas. Like their counterparts in the US government, George Meany, AFL-CIO president from 1955–1979, and Lane Kirkland, his successor who served until 1995, understood that if allowed to thrive, class-conscious labor movements would pose a serious threat to global capital.

    Meany, Kirkland, and other AFL-CIO officials subscribed to a philosophy of “business unionism,” meaning they had no desire to topple capitalism but instead promoted the idea that class collaboration and limited workplace bargaining over “bread and butter” issues would bring workers all the prosperity they needed. They championed economic nationalism over transnational labor solidarity, reasoning that US workers would see higher wages and lower unemployment as long as US corporations had easy access to foreign markets to sell products made in the United States — a version of the kind of nationalist ideology that has fueled racism and xenophobia among segments of the US working class and aided Trump’s rise to power.

    From aiding US-backed military coups in Brazil and Chile to cheerleading ruthless counterinsurgency wars in Vietnam and El Salvador, the AFL-CIO’s foreign policy during the Cold War was fundamentally geared toward the interests of US empire. By the 1970s — just as capital launched a renewed, decades-long attack on workers’ rights around the globe — the US labor federation had lost whatever credibility it might have had as a vehicle for international working-class liberation, derided by anti-imperialists at home and abroad as the “AFL-CIA.”

    As we enter a new decade, the prospects for a rejuvenated US labor movement are strong: a new generation of exploited workers are eager to unionize, the number of workers on strike just hit a thirty-year high, the rapidly growing Democratic Socialists of America is aiming to pull unions leftward through the rank-and-file strategy, longtime labor ally Bernie Sanders has plans to double union membership if elected president, and militant labor leaders like Sara Nelson (who could be the AFL-CIO’s next president) are rising in prominence.

    It’s a good time, then, for both labor activists and left labor leaders to reckon with the history of US labor imperialism — a history largely unknown to younger labor activists and leftists who came of age in the early twenty-first century. Wrestling with that history can help ensure that a resurgent US labor movement plays a positive and effective role in building global worker solidarity rather than one that props up an imperialist order that hurts the working class both within the United States and around the world.

    Though decades of corporate propaganda have tried to tell us otherwise, there is power in a union. Not only the power to raise wages or win paid time off, but the power to overthrow governments and bring national economies to a screeching halt. During the Cold War, the US government understood this very well. To US officials determined to preserve and expand international capitalism in the face of an increasingly influential global left, trade unions around the world posed a serious threat.

    Unions abroad therefore became a crucial target of US imperial intervention: rather than allow them to mount an effective challenge to capital by radicalizing workers and fueling leftist political movements, unions would need to be turned into instruments for containing the revolutionary potential of the working class. In the process, organized labor’s most powerful weapon — the strike — would be co-opted and used to pursue reactionary goals, namely, to undermine leftist governments.

    To subvert overseas unions for their own imperial ends, the State Department and CIA found an enthusiastic ally in the AFL-CIO. The Cold War largely coincided with the period when the US labor movement was at its strongest. More US workers were unionized in the 1950s and 1960s than at any other time in history, giving labor leaders like Meany considerable political clout.

    As anticommunists, AFL-CIO officials chose to use this power to assist the US government in undermining leftist influence in foreign trade unions. In practice, this meant interfering in the internal processes of other countries’ trade unions, stoking internecine rivalries, creating and financially propping up splinter labor organizations, grooming cadres of conservative business unionists, and using the power of the strike to sabotage progressive governments.

    After decades of such imperial interventions, organized labor across the world was left divided and weakened, making it easier for transnational capital to exploit workers in the era of neoliberalism.

    Thanks to the Left’s steadfast resistance to fascism, the Communist parties of Western Europe won widespread popular support during World War II, especially among the working class. By the end of the war, labor federations like France’s Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT) and Italy’s Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro (CGIL) were led or heavily influenced by Communists.

    In 1945, the labor movements of the Allied nations — including Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States — formed the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), a sort of United Nations for labor. At this time, the AFL and the CIO were still separate, competing entities. Established in 1886, the politically conservative AFL included unions of skilled, craft workers, while the CIO — founded in 1935 as a breakaway organization from the AFL — represented workers in mass industries like auto and steel. The newer and more progressive CIO, which owed its growth to the work of Communist and other leftist organizers, readily joined the WFTU. But the larger and staunchly anticommunist AFL refused to have anything to do with the new global organization because it included unions from the USSR.

    AFL leaders like Meany argued that leftists — particularly Communists — were inherently “totalitarians,” and that any unions they led were illegitimate as representatives of workers. He and the AFL’s other anticommunist internationalists contended that only “democratic” or “free” trade unions — that is, pro-capitalist, business unions — had any claim to legitimacy.

    The irony of “free” trade unionists was that they frequently trampled on union democracy and autonomy while claiming to champion these very principles. Whenever Communists or other leftists attained leadership positions in foreign unions through democratic methods and with rank-and-file support, outsiders from the AFL would jump in to make sure their own handpicked, anticommunist unionists would have the resources to mount a robust, disruptive opposition.

    In 1944, before the Cold War battle lines had even been drawn, the AFL established the Free Trade Union Committee (FTUC) with the goal of undermining Communist-led unions in Western Europe. Tapped to run the FTUC was Jay Lovestone, who had once been a leader of the Communist Party USA but was expelled in 1929, because Stalin believed he was too close to his Politburo rival Nikolai Bukharin.

    Lovestone made his way into the labor movement in the 1930s through the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union. Eager for revenge against his ex-comrades, he then went to work for the UAW’s anticommunist president Homer Martin, using his intimate knowledge of the party to help Martin red-bait and oust his intra-union opponents. This experience made him the perfect choice to run the FTUC.

    As FTUC director, Lovestone sent his associate, Irving Brown, to be his point man in Europe. From an office in Paris, Brown set about dividing the international labor movement by loudly accusing the WFTU of being a Soviet-dominated organization. He particularly worked to split the French CGT by backing its internal, noncommunist faction, Force Ouvrière. While Force Ouvrière started as a small CGT caucus willing to coexist with Communists, Brown helped transform it into a separate, anticommunist labor organization in direct competition with the CGT, propped up more by US funds than popular support.

    By 1947–48, the US government caught up with the AFL on the Cold War, creating the CIA and launching the Marshall Plan to ensure the “containment” of communism by reconstructing Western Europe’s war-shattered economy within a capitalist framework. Recognizing the labor movement as a crucial Cold War battleground, the CIA was drawn to Lovestone’s FTUC. In 1949, the Agency agreed to finance the FTUC’s efforts to subvert Communist unions abroad in exchange for intelligence on foreign labor organizations. AFL leaders Meany, David Dubinsky, and Matthew Woll were in on the new partnership, as were Lovestone and Brown, but other AFL officials and rank-and-file US unionists were kept in the dark and knew little of what the FTUC was up to.

    That US union leaders forged a secret alliance with the CIA to undemocratically divide unions overseas may justifiably be difficult to understand. But AFL leaders and the CIA shared the belief that Left-oriented unions were literally capable of bringing about proletarian revolution.

    To prevent this from happening, the CIA needed the expertise of the AFL. Since the AFL’s pro-capitalist, anticommunist officials were already working to undermine leftist labor movements before the CIA was even established, they didn’t need any convincing.

    Now flush with CIA money, in the early 1950s, Brown was reputed to carry around suitcases full of cash, buying the loyalty of union officials in France, Italy, West Germany, and elsewhere. Wherever Communist unions were strong, anticommunist splinter unions were created and financially backed by the FTUC/CIA. The AFL similarly partnered with the State Department, which developed a corps of labor attachés and stationed them at US embassies abroad. Often plucked from the ranks of AFL unions and vetted by Lovestone, the State Department’s labor attachés used their diplomatic leverage to isolate and discredit Europe’s Communist-led unions.

    Lovestone also dispatched FTUC operatives to Asia. After the 1949 Communist revolution in China, FTUC representative Willard Etter set up shop in Formosa (Taiwan). With resources provided by the CIA, Etter supported the Free China Labor League, which served as a front for espionage and sabotage activities. Teams of anticommunist Chinese agents secretly traveled from Formosa to mainland China, where they not only reported intelligence back to Etter via radio transmitters, but also blew up fuel supplies (causing substantial civilian casualties) and attempted to stir up worker unrest in state-owned factories.

    Through the FTUC’s China operation, then, the AFL became complicit in CIA-sponsored terrorist activities, straying far from its basic purpose of empowering workers. Most of Etter’s agents were captured and executed by the Chinese government after the CIA lost interest and abandoned them once the Korean War started.

    The relationship between the AFL and CIA was fraught. Lovestone chafed at the Agency’s bureaucracy and oversight, continuously demanding greater independence for his FTUC. For their part, some in the CIA’s top ranks — typically Ivy League-educated WASPs — looked scornfully at their AFL contacts, who were mostly Jews and Irish Catholics with immigrant and working-class upbringings. The feeling was mutual, with Lovestone frequently ridiculing his CIA partners as “fizz kids” in letters to Brown. Such acrimony though was a trivial byproduct of the unsavory partnership between the nominal voice of the US working class and the US imperial state.

    Despite the interpersonal tensions, the FTUC-CIA alliance in Western Europe achieved its main goal of splitting the WFTU in 1949. Increasingly pressured by Cold War geopolitics, the CIO and British Trades Union Congress disaffiliated from the WFTU early that year. The break came down to disagreements over the Marshall Plan, which the Communist-led unions opposed on grounds that it constituted an attempt to undermine their influence and reconsolidate the international capitalist system with the United States at its center.

    1949 was also the year that the US labor movement fell victim to the same divisions the AFL had been sowing abroad. Wanting to stay in the government’s good graces, CIO leaders took a decidedly rightward turn that year, purging Communist organizers from their ranks and chasing out their Left-led affiliate unions. The result was devastating. The CIO — which had previously been at the center of a multiracial, working-class movement for social and economic justice — was rendered a shell of its former self without its dedicated leftist organizers. Facing obsolescence, the CIO was absorbed into the larger, more conservative AFL in 1955, and the US labor movement began its decades-long decline.

    In December 1949, the CIO and British Trades Union Congress joined the AFL and other anticommunist national labor centers to found the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), which presented itself as the “free” world’s alternative to the WFTU. Thanks to the machinations of the AFL, CIA, and State Department, the international labor movement was now divided into two hostile camps, with US labor leaders more fixated on fighting the Left than fighting capital.

    Following the reconstruction of Western Europe, US labor leaders and their allies in the US government increasingly turned their attention to the developing countries of the Global South, or what was then called the Third World.

    In the Western Hemisphere, Lovestone had a minimal presence. Instead, the AFL’s “Inter-American Representative” was Italian émigré and former socialist Serafino Romualdi. Forced to flee Italy for opposing Mussolini, Romualdi settled in New York. Like Lovestone, he found his way into the labor movement through David Dubinsky’s International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union in the 1930s, working for the union’s news service.

    During World War II, Romualdi toured Latin America on behalf of Nelson Rockefeller’s Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs before briefly returning to Italy as an operative with the Office of Strategic Services — the precursor to the CIA — where he attempted to sideline Communist influence in the CGIL.

    In 1946, Romualdi became the AFL’s chief representative in Latin America and the Caribbean. Much as Irving Brown worked to divide the WFTU, Romualdi’s mission was to weaken the Left-led Confederación de Trabajadores de América Latina (CTAL), which had been founded by Mexican labor leader Vicente Lombardo Toledano in 1938 to unite Latin America’s class-conscious trade unions.

    The CTAL served as an authentic voice for pan-American labor, led by Latin American unionists and free from US imperial dominance. Like the WFTU with which it was affiliated, it brought Communists and noncommunists together around the common purpose of improving the lot of workers. Romualdi and the AFL sought to undermine the CTAL and replace it with a US-led inter-American labor confederation, ensuring the Latin American working class would not become a strong, independent force capable of challenging North American control.

    With the support of Latin America’s social-democratic parties and the State Department’s labor attachés, Romualdi succeeded in convincing many Latin American worker organizations to break from the CTAL, bringing the region’s anticommunist unions together in 1948 with the establishment of the Confederación Interamericana de Trabajadores. Three years later, it was reconstituted as the Organización Regional Inter-Americana de Trabajadores (ORIT) to serve as the ICFTU’s regional arm in the Western Hemisphere. Under Romualdi’s influence, ORIT would battle leftist, Peronist, and Catholic trade unions across the region throughout the 1950s, with the result that the Latin American working class remained fractured.

    In the aftermath of the 1959 Cuban Revolution, Meany, like his allies in the US foreign policy establishment, quickly made Latin America his new priority for “containment.” Unfortunately for him, the FTUC had recently been shuttered at the insistence of UAW president Walter Reuther, after Reuther’s CIO merged with the AFL.

    Though an anticommunist in his own right, Reuther believed there could be peaceful coexistence between East and West and didn’t wish to escalate tensions with the Soviet Union. Despising Lovestone for his divisive tactics in the UAW years earlier, Reuther wanted the AFL-CIO to conduct its foreign policy through the multilateral ICFTU and not Lovestone’s FTUC. Although the ICFTU was formed at the urging of the AFL, during the 1950s, Meany had become disenchanted with the European unionists who ran it, believing they were not belligerent enough in their anticommunism.

    Hoping to refocus labor’s Cold War in Latin America after the Cuban Revolution, but not willing to rely on the ICFTU, Meany wanted a new, unilateral organization in the mold of the now-defunct FTUC. He would get it with the creation of the American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD — usually pronounced “A-field”). AIFLD would become the AFL-CIO’s most significant instrument for waging the global Cold War.

    The idea for AIFLD was first proposed by Communications Workers of America president Joseph Beirne, who held a seat on the AFL-CIO Executive Council. In 1959, Beirne brought sixteen ORIT-affiliated union officials from Latin America to Virginia for a training course on how to be an effective business unionist. Beirne sought to scale up this program and turn it into a permanent organization, persuading Meany to get behind the plan.

    Meany then convinced the incoming Kennedy administration that the proposed organization, AIFLD, would serve as the perfect labor auxiliary to the Alliance for Progress — a Marshall Plan-type initiative to provide generous US aid to anticommunist Latin American governments to prevent the outbreak of another Cuba-style revolution. As it had in postwar Europe, US labor would once again willingly assist the US government in carrying out its Cold War objectives.

    In 1962, AIFLD went into operation. Almost exclusively funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to the tune of several million dollars per year, the Institute quickly extended its presence into nearly every country in Latin America, coordinating its activities with the US foreign policy apparatus.

    AIFLD’s main activity was labor education, particularly training participants on how to combat left-wing influence in their respective unions. Trainees who were considered to have exceptional potential would be brought to a facility at Front Royal, Virginia for a three-month residential course — a kind of School of the Americas for trade unionists — before being sent back to their home countries with nine-month stipends to fund their anti-leftist organizing efforts.

    The Institute also used its USAID funds to carry out development projects across Latin America, including the construction of affordable worker housing for members of ORIT-affiliated unions, signaling to workers the benefits of joining the US-sponsored “free” trade union movement (though the AIFLD often overpromised on how quickly it would complete its housing developments and how many units would be available). Prospective residents were required to fill out long, detailed questionnaires about their unions, information possibly supplied to the CIA.

    To showcase the AFL-CIO’s commitment to class collaboration, AIFLD invited US businessmen with interests in Latin America to serve on its board of trustees, including the heads of the Anaconda Company, Pan-American Airways, and W.R. Grace & Co., among others. These companies were no strangers to union-busting, which made the AFL-CIO’s eagerness to partner with them especially disturbing. That they agreed to be part of AIFLD demonstrates how US capitalists saw no threat — only opportunity — in the kind of unionism the Institute was encouraging.

    Romualdi directed the Institute for its first three years until his retirement, when he was replaced by William Doherty, Jr. Doherty, whose father had been both president of the National Association of Letter Carriers and US ambassador to Jamaica, was an alleged friend to the CIA and would serve as AIFLD’s director for the next thirty years.

    In the early 1960s, AIFLD helped undermine the democratically elected, leftist government of Cheddi Jagan in the tiny South American nation of Guyana, which was then a colony called British Guiana. The colony was on the path to a planned transition to independence, and Jagan hoped to reorganize the economy along socialist lines. But the Kennedy administration, fearing Jagan would be another Fidel Castro, pressured the UK to stall the transition until he could be driven out of power.

    In the summer of 1962, eight Guyanese union officials from a labor federation tied to Jagan’s political opposition participated in AIFLD’s training course in the United States, returning home with stipends provided by the Institute. The following spring, they helped lead a general strike to protest Jagan’s government. The three-month strike crippled the colony’s economy and escalated into a race riot pitting the Afro-Guyanese opposition against Jagan’s Indo-Guyanese base.

    Representatives from two AFL-CIO-affiliated unions — AFSCME and the Retail Clerks — went to British Guiana to aid the strikers by coordinating food relief and replenishing the strike fund, using CIA money secretly channeled through private foundations. What turned out to be one of the longest general strikes in history was sustained by the US imperial state, with help from US union officials, in order to weaken a democratic, progressive government.

    Elections were held a year later, with British Guiana still reeling from the strike. Again using secret CIA funds, a representative from the AFL-CIO-affiliated American Newspaper Guild traveled to the colony to saturate the electorate with anti-Jagan propaganda. After the bitter divisions sowed by AIFLD, the AFL-CIO, and CIA, Jagan’s People’s Progressive Party was unable to win a majority of parliamentary seats, losing the election. The British then allowed the transition to independence to move forward. The new leader, Forbes Burnham, soon revealed himself to be a corrupt autocrat, remaining in power until his death twenty years later.

    AIFLD also played an important role in the US-backed military coup against Brazil’s left-wing president, João Goulart. Like their fellow travelers in the US government, AFL-CIO leaders believed Goulart was too close to the Brazilian Communist Party and needed to be replaced. In 1963, AIFLD’s training program hosted an all-Brazilian class of thirty-three unionists. Their course included fifty hours’ worth of instruction on how to fight Communist influence in their unions, taught by Lovestone and Romualdi.

    When the coup against Goulart was executed on April 1, 1964, the AIFLD graduates helped ensure it went smoothly. While leftist unionists called for a general strike to disrupt the coup, the Institute-trained union officials convinced their fellow workers to ignore these calls and allow the military takeover to proceed unobstructed. The new military regime put allegedly Communist-led unions into trusteeships, sending “intervenors” — some of them AIFLD graduates — to purge these unions of leftists and Goulart sympathizers.

    Three months later, Doherty boasted in a radio interview that AIFLD’s Brazilian trainees “became intimately involved in some of the clandestine operations” of the coup. “Many of the trade union leaders — some of whom were actually trained in our institute — were involved in… the overthrow of the Goulart regime,” he said. Doherty also defended a wage freeze that was imposed by the new government, arguing the Brazilian poor would need to “suffer” no less than the rich in the pursuit of national economic growth. The coup regime turned into a nineteen-year dictatorship, imprisoning, torturing, and murdering untold numbers of trade unionists.

    The State Department and USAID were so pleased with AIFLD’s work that they gladly accepted the AFL-CIO’s proposal to create similar institutes for Africa and Asia. In late 1964 to early 1965, the African American Labor Center was established, and in 1968, the Asian American Free Labor Institute was launched. Like AIFLD, both of these nonprofits were almost entirely funded by USAID to carry out training and development programs in order to prop up anticommunist, anti-Left unions. In 1977, a fourth nonprofit — the Free Trade Union Institute — was created to focus on Europe.

    At the 1965 AFL-CIO convention in San Francisco, Meany presented a resolution, written by Lovestone, pledging the labor federation’s “unstinting support” of President Lyndon Johnson’s policy of escalating the Vietnam War. When the resolution was about to be voted on without discussion or debate, a group of college students, observing the proceedings from the balcony, stood up and chanted “Get out of Vietnam!” and “Debate!” Meany responded by having them thrown out of the convention hall, dismissing them as “kookies.” The pro-war resolution was then adopted unanimously.

    A handful of independent unions, union locals, and mid-ranking labor officials had already expressed skepticism about the war, if not outright opposition. After witnessing Meany’s hostility toward the anti-war movement and his unwillingness to allow debate, more union leaders — particularly from the UAW — began to openly voice their disagreements with the AFL-CIO’s foreign policy.

    Reuther, president of the UAW, tepidly opposed military escalation in Vietnam, wanting to see the war end through peaceful negotiations. Further, he disliked Meany’s aggressive, go-it-alone approach to international issues, preferring to work through the ICFTU. Reuther also did not trust Lovestone, who by now was the director of the AFL-CIO’s International Affairs Department. Still, he was reluctant to make his disagreements public, not wanting to create a rift between the UAW and AFL-CIO.

    Instead, Victor Reuther — Walter’s younger brother in charge of the UAW’s foreign relations — decided to speak up, telling reporters in 1966 that Lovestone and the AFL-CIO were “involved” with the CIA and criticizing AIFLD’s role in the Brazilian coup. The following year, a series of journalistic exposés helped substantiate Victor’s claim by revealing the CIA’s ties to the labor federation and its affiliates going back to the FTUC. Of course, Meany and the AFL-CIO’s other internationalists vigorously denied any relationship with the CIA.

    Along with Meany’s hawkish stance on Vietnam — which included attempts to bolster South Vietnam’s anticommunist Confédération Vietnamienne du Travail — the CIA revelations badly damaged the AFL-CIO’s credibility among liberals and members of the New Left. Disagreements over foreign policy, as well as several domestic issues, finally led the UAW to disaffiliate from the federation in 1968. (The union would return to the AFL-CIO in 1981.)

    Despite these controversies, Meany, Lovestone, and AIFLD did not alter course. When the socialist Salvador Allende was elected president of Chile in 1970, they decided to assist the Nixon administration in destabilizing his government. While the Chilean working class was overwhelmingly behind Allende, AIFLD supported gremios — associations of right-wing, middle-class professionals — along with the country’s conservative union of maritime workers. In 1972, at least twenty-nine Chileans attended the Institute’s training course in Virginia, far more than had ever attended in previous years.

    With the help of AIFLD, in 1972 and 1973, truck-owners and merchants across Chile staged a series of strikes aimed at creating economic chaos and subverting Allende’s government. As in British Guiana nine years earlier, the strikers were supported with funds from the CIA. US efforts to undermine Allende culminated in the violent military coup on September 11, 1973. The new military dictatorship AIFLD helped bring to power by using traditional working-class tactics like the strike would ironically — and tragically — trample workers’ rights, jailing and murdering thousands of Chilean labor activists.

    After researchers like Ruth Needleman and Fred Hirsch helped expose the Institute’s role in the Chilean coup by obtaining documents, conducting interviews, and circulating their findings, rank-and-file union members across the United States began demanding more transparency around AIFLD in the mid-1970s. Several union locals and local labor councils called on the AFL-CIO to fund its foreign programs independently instead of relying on USAID. While these demands went ignored, Lovestone finally retired in 1974, with Meany following suit five years later.

    Upon Meany’s retirement, his longtime lieutenant Lane Kirkland became president of the AFL-CIO. Like his predecessor, Kirkland was a hardline anticommunist. Groomed to be a diplomat at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, he was a close personal friend of Henry Kissinger, spending every Thanksgiving with him.

    Under Kirkland, the AFL-CIO applauded the Reagan administration’s aggressive foreign policy aimed at reigniting the Cold War, even as Reagan ushered in a new era of union busting by firing 11,000 air traffic controllers in 1981. At the AFL-CIO’s urging, Reagan oversaw the creation of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in 1983, a government-funded grant-making foundation to disburse monies to the same kinds of overseas anticommunist organizations previously funded covertly by the CIA. With Kirkland serving on NED’s board of directors, AIFLD and the AFL-CIO’s other foreign institutes became core grant recipients.

    Kirkland backed Reagan’s Central America policy of arming repressive state security forces in El Salvador and terroristic counterrevolutionaries in Nicaragua. AIFLD was especially active in El Salvador in the 1980s, playing a critical role in the development and implementation of an agrarian reform program meant to undercut rural support for the leftist revolutionary movement. El Salvador’s counterinsurgency government — entirely propped up by generous US military aid — combined the agrarian reform with a state of siege that saw thousands of campesinos brutally murdered in a wave of massacres.

    Alarmed by Kirkland’s support for Reagan’s foreign policy, rank-and-file US union members became active in the Central American peace and solidarity movement, demanding the AFL-CIO change direction. In one of the most significant developments for US labor internationalism since the start of the Cold War, the presidents of several national unions affiliated with the AFL-CIO came together to form the National Labor Committee in Support of Democracy and Human Rights in El Salvador (NLC).

    The NLC openly opposed Kirkland and the Executive Council, lobbying Congress to cut off US military aid to the Salvadoran government. The NLC also sent delegations of US union members to El Salvador and Nicaragua to witness first-hand how US assistance was helping rightists murder and intimidate Central American workers. The NLC would later evolve into an anti-sweatshop organization, helping expose the complicity of major clothing brands in worker rights abuses in Central America, the Caribbean, and Asia.

    While facing internal opposition to its Central America program, the AFL-CIO gave financial and political support to Solidarność, the Polish trade union led by Lech Wałęsa that eventually helped bring down Poland’s Communist government. Opposed by foreign policy officials who feared stirring up hostilities with the Soviet Union, the AFL-CIO’s foray into Poland has since been touted by interventionists as a case study in the heroics of “democracy-promotion.”

    Though Kirkland claimed a victory for “free” trade unionism in Poland, by the 1990s, the labor leaders associated with the NLC were convinced the federation badly needed to improve its overseas image. What’s more, several union presidents on the AFL-CIO’s Executive Council believed the federation had become lethargic in the face of years of declining union density.

    Following the AFL-CIO’s failure to stop the passage of NAFTA, a group of labor officials led by SEIU president John Sweeney gathered enough support to force Kirkland to retire and take control of the federation in 1995. Calling themselves the “New Voice” slate, Sweeney and his allies aimed to revitalize the AFL-CIO by organizing new workers and abandoning outdated anticommunist priorities.

    Under Sweeney, in 1997, AIFLD and the other foreign institutes were shut down and reorganized into a new NGO called the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, or Solidarity Center, which continues to be the AFL-CIO’s operational arm in the Global South.

    Active in over sixty countries, the Solidarity Center does good work, helping to improve safety standards in the Bangladeshi garment industry, amplifying workers’ voices at the International Labor Organization, and bringing workers from the United State and the Global South together to share stories and strategies.

    But like its predecessor organizations, the Solidarity Center is primarily bankrolled by the US government, particularly USAID, the State Department, and NED. It is one of only four NED core grantees. NED is known for meddling in the democratic processes of other countries and promoting “regime change” to maintain US global dominance, including in Venezuela, Haiti, Ukraine, and multiple Central American nations.

    Given the history of the FTUC and AIFLD, the Solidarity Center’s dependence on government funding and association with NED should be a cause for concern in the labor movement and merits closer inspection. But there is virtually no discussion about it within the AFL-CIO.

    This is not especially surprising considering the federation has yet to formally acknowledge or apologize for the significant role it played during the Cold War in dividing labor movements abroad, undermining foreign democracies, and endorsing militarism — all of which only served to strengthen transnational capital and weaken the power of workers.

    In 2004, the California Labor Federation passed the “Build Unity and Trust Among Workers Worldwide” resolution, which called on the AFL-CIO to “clear the air” by fully accounting for its record of hostile foreign interventions and renouncing its CIA ties. The resolution then headed to the national AFL-CIO convention in Chicago the following year, where it was effectively killed in committee. Since then, there has been no coordinated, sustained attempt to confront the federation’s imperialist history.

    In 2006, the ICFTU merged with the traditionally more progressive World Confederation of Labour to form the Brussels-based International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), of which the AFL-CIO is an affiliate. Meanwhile, the WFTU, now headquartered in Greece, continues to be led by Communists as it has been since the 1949 split. Today’s WFTU routinely accuses the much larger ITUC of being class-collaborationist and pro-imperialist.

    While the ITUC is far from being an explicitly radical organization, it frequently levels strong criticisms of the World Bank and IMF, has repeatedly condemned Israel’s occupation of Palestine, and wasted no time in denouncing not only the recent coup in Bolivia, but also Juan Guaidó’s attempted coup in Venezuela and the US assasination of Qassem Soleimani. That the AFL-CIO is a prominent member of such an organization is a positive sign given the history described here.

    Whether the trade unions of the world can ever be truly united remains to be seen. But perhaps hope for transnational labor unity lies less in the politics of large bureaucracies like the ITUC and WFTU, and more in the ability of workers to put class solidarity before national allegiance and to take action with our fellow workers, whoever and wherever they may be, for our collective liberation (and, in the context of a planetary ecological crisis, our collective survival).

    Discovering the extent to which the AFL-CIO is willing to use its resources and influence to encourage this kind of solidarity-driven consciousness — which would necessitate a thorough reckoning with its own ugly history of assisting US imperialism — will be crucial in determining whether the federation serves any real purpose for the working class.

    #USA #syndicalisme #impérialisme #AFL-CIO #putsch

  • Reprenons le contrôle de notre vie numérique | La Mule Philosophe
    https://lamulephilosophe.fr/posts/reprenons-controle-vie-numerique

    Tristan Harris, ex Design Ethicist chez Google, a notamment publié un billet très intéressant sur son blog où il dénonce 5 techniques utilisées par les entreprises du numérique pour capter notre attention avec une seule limite fixée : la saturation physique des utilisateurs. Je vous encourage vivement à aller lire son article plus en détail mais voici rapidement les 5 points qu’il aborde :

    Le fait de contrôler nos choix en nous proposant des interfaces orientées. De par les algorithmes de recommandation et la façon dont sont présentés les résultats, nous nous restreignons notre champ des possibles en ne nous demandant pas quelles sont les options qui ne sont pas proposées.
    Le fait de créer de la dépendance via des techniques addictives, inspirées de celles utilisées dans des casinos. L’idée est de susciter l’incertitude et l’espoir pour nous faire de nous des addicts virtuels. Le mode SnapStreak sur Snapchat en est un excellent exemple : une petite flamme apparaît sur notre profil lorsque l’on échange photos et vidéos avec nos amis pendant au moins trois jours d’affilés. Cette petite fonctionnalité qui semble anodine a pour unique but de nous faire utiliser l’application tous les jours de crainte de perdre cette récompense.
    Le fait de jouer sur notre crainte de rater quelque chose d’important. Les entreprises du numérique créent et entretiennent un sentiment d’anxiété pour nous inciter à rester sur leur plateforme en nous faisant percevoir leur service comme l’endroit où se passent les choses : conversations, rencontres, suivi de l’actualité, organisation d’évènements. Ces applications deviennent alors difficilement désactivables car trop importantes socialement. En réalité Tristan HARRIS rappelle que cette peur est illimitée (on ratera toujours quelque chose) et qu’elle existe surtout avant la déconnexion et non pas après.
    Le fait d’utiliser notre besoin d’approbation sociale. Chaque action que nous réalisons sur ces plateformes, et qui les nourrit en contenu mais donc aussi en données à collecter, nous sont soufflées directement par l’application. HARRIS prend l’exemple d’un ami qui en taggue un autre sur Facebook et qui est en réalité le fruit d’un design construit pour conduire à ce genre d’action en appuyant sur ce besoin d’approbation sociale.
    Le fait de manipuler notre besoin de réciprocité sociale. En rendant asymétrique cette réciprocité sociale, les entreprises du numériques se nourrissent de nos pulsions inconscientes pour générer des actions de l’utilisateur et donc des données à exploiter. Par exemple, lorsque nous recevons une demande d’ajout sur Facebook ou LinkedIn, cela nous paraît être une action forte de la part de notre interlocuteur alors qu’en réalité celui-ci n’a réalisé qu’un clic suggéré par les algorithmes de recommandations de ces plateformes.

    En réalité il y existe même un conflit fondamental entre le besoin des utilisateurs et les intérêts de la plateforme.

    https://medium.com/thrive-global/how-technology-hijacks-peoples-minds-from-a-magician-and-google-s-design-eth

    #Internet #GAFAM #EMI #Algorithme #Publicité #Numérique

  • At the heart of Fortress Europe: A new study about Austria’s role in border externalization policies in the Balkans

    On the 28th of September 2020, Ayoub N. and six of his friends were chain pushed back from Austria to Slovenia, Croatia, and eventually back to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), from where Ayoub had begun his journey to Austria a few weeks earlier. Ayoub, like many others, had been stuck for years in between the EU member states, in the Balkans, and this was just another attempt to reach the Schengen Zone. He continued trying even after this push-back. In July 2022, Ayoub was still stuck inside the Balkan Circuit (Stojić Mitrović and Vilenica 2019), a region of transit with many loops, within which movement is circular, going forward and backwards because of border violence.

    Exactly one year after Ayoub and his group of friends experienced the chain push-back, Austrian Interior Minister, Karl Nehammer, finished his trip to Kosovo, Albania, and Montenegro meant to coordinate joint frameworks for fighting what he calls illegal migration, terrorism, and organized crime. During the trip, he announced that a “Return Conference” would take place a few months later in Vienna. The gathering in February 2022 brought together high-ranking officials from more than 22 countries, including representatives of EU agencies and think tanks. The main focus of the event was supporting Western Balkan[1] states with effective deportation practices through the newly established “Joint Coordination Platform against irregular migration.” BiH was mentioned as one of the platform’s main partners, and during the press conference organized after the event BiH Security Minister Selmo Cikotić stated that “With the support of the EU and some proactive partners, like Austria, we could move from a crisis situation to migration management.”

    It is not known to the public how the “return mechanisms” discussed would materialize and on what legal grounds the return of people would take place. In 2021, a parliamentary request for information focused specifically on Austria’s plans to return people to the Western Balkans, while another asked details about the role of BiH. In response to the queries, the interior minister emphasized that Austria is “only” providing good practice, expertise, and training, while partner countries can state their specific needs and are, in the end, responsible for ensuring that the human rights of those concerned will be upheld. This is a common rhetorical practice in the context of EU border externalization policies, with EU countries only providing knowledge and equipment, while “accession” countries in the Balkans have to fulfil the dark side of Europeanization.

    Austria took over a key role in building up a network of multilateral stakeholders that enables the fortification of Europe on diplomatic and informal levels, while states and locations near and far from Central Europe face the consequences of these policies; BiH is one example.

    Lobbying for Externalization

    In July 1998, Austria took over the EU presidency. As its first intervention on the issue of EU-migration policy, it introduced the Strategy Document on Immigration and Asylum Policies, which was sent to the European Council for further discussion. In this document, Austria advocated for a unified approach to migration in the Schengen area, which at that moment comprised 15 countries. It proposed the “Europeanization of migration policy,” while describing the existing approach and structures dealing with migration as “relatively clumsy.” The document called for more cooperation with “third states” in exchange for economic and other benefits. The Strategy envisaged that “Fortress Europe” should be replaced by the “concentric circles of the migration policy,” which included EU neighboring countries. Further, the neighboring partners “should be gradually linked into a similar system” that would eventually be similar to the “first circle,” meaning the EU member states. As for “transit countries,” the main approach would be to “eliminate push factors” in them. The Strategy called for the “tightening of the pre-accession strategy… as far as migration policies are concerned.” In addition, it stressed the need for agreements with third countries that would allow the return of people whose asylum applications were rejected, as well as the introduction of policies that would deter migration in general. The paper also argued that the Geneva Convention was outdated and that individual rights should be replaced with “political offers” of EU membership, or other types of cooperation.

    By the end of the year, this proposal had been amended twice, but in the end it was rejected. A number of non-governmental organizations, including the International Federation for Human Rights, condemned the document on account of its harsh language and the restrictive measures proposed. Even though it was never adopted, the document remains a guideline, and some of its measures were put in place, especially in Austria. Along with several Balkan neighboring countries, Austria became more involved in security-related questions in the region, establishing various organizations and groups that are visibly active in the field, including the Salzburg Forum as one key intergovernmental group. Since the early 1990s, the forum functioned as a lobbying group, not only within the framework of the EU and on a regional level between its partners, but also on an often invisible level that reaches far beyond the EU. Austria played a key role in establishing the forum and is also one of its leading members. While the forum did not always achieve its strategic goals (Müller 2016, 28), it became a testing ground for fueling anti-Muslim and anti-migrant sentiments in Europe, and spearheaded plans for the dark future of EU border externalization policies. The multilateral cooperation within the Forum was based on debate, dialogue, exchange of ideas, and strategic planning; the establishment of its operative tool, the Joint Coordination Platform, is another step in cementing the externalization of border management to the Balkans.

    Coordinating “Migration Management”

    The Joint Coordination Platform (JCP) is a network that coordinates political and strategic intervention outside the Schengen Area, monitoring and controlling the EU’s external borders, as well as actions in third countries. Although it was already in the planning for several years, the JCP was inaugurated in Vienna after the Return Conference in February 2022. The JCP office is led by former Frontex Vice-President Berndt Körner and by lawyer Bohumil Hnidek,[2] and will provide a hinge function for Frontex operations in the Balkans (Monroy 2022). As the Frontex agency is not allowed to organize deportations to third countries, in the future it may support deportations from different EU countries to the Balkans, while the JCP would coordinate and monitor the rest of the “local” operations. In September 2022, the first deportations from Bosnia to Morocco with the support of the JCP already took place.

    The investigative journalist Matthias Monroy further links the Vienna-based think tank ICMPD, led by former Austrian Vice-Chancellor Michael Spindelegger (ÖVP), to the operational implementation of regional return mechanisms to the Balkans. As early as 2020, the JCP started training police officers from BiH for conducting deportations. The training of 50 “return specialists” was recently described by Austrian Interior Minister Karner: “We help with training, impart standards, but that doesn’t change the responsibility that remains in the respective countries. It is about observing all international standards.”

    To understand ICMPD’s practices on the ground, it is worth reviewing the project descriptions of its Western Balkans and Turkey office in recent years. The long-standing partner of the Salzburg Forum implements migration management, border management, and capacity building in the Balkans, for example by providing the border police in Kosovo[3] with technical and biometric equipment to register people on the move; and supporting the border police in Albania[4] with equipment for land border surveillance and maritime border surveillance and control. Capacity building in Albania means in particular providing patrol boats and surveillance vehicles. The regional capacity building projects further cover information campaigns for people in Afghanistan, Iraq, and people on the move in the Western Balkans.[5] Labelled as protection and support for migrants, ICMPD invests in the enhancement of migrant information systems[6] for authorities in BiH to implement entry control, registration, and data collection mechanisms. The “electronic biometric residence permit cards,” which should be made available through such projects, point not only to the on-ground preparation but also to the implementation of what investigative journalists call “extra-European Dublin.” This includes for example “Balkandac,” a fingerprint database in the Balkans that would allow countries to deport third-country nationals to countries with readmission agreements before entering the EU Schengen area.

    It is important to highlight that ICMPD has entered the Joint Coordination Platform with years of experience in implementing EU border externalization projects in Africa and the Middle East (Naceur 2021).

    Another active regional partner of the Joint Coordination Platform is Hilfswerk International. Next to the 1 million Euro in Austrian Development Aid that was used as an emergency relief fund through IOM in BiH in 2021, the Upper Austrian Federal Government donated 100,000 Euro to support the construction of a water system in the Lipa camp.[7] The project was implemented by Hilfswerk International, which has been working in the Balkans and especially in BiH as a humanitarian aid organization since 1996. While the organization covers a broad range of services in BiH, it recently joined the niche of network and capacity building in the field of “migration management” in BiH, Serbia, North Macedonia, and Montenegro.

    Hilfswerk International has joined the field of migration management in Bosnia and Herzegovina as a player that can offer extensive experience on the ground. Considering the top-down and dysfunctional approach implemented by IOM in the region, Hilfswerk International is an organization that is closely linked to Austria-based actors and accessible for unbureaucratic and, according to its managing director, pragmatic solutions. As Regional Director Jašarević stated in an interview about their most recent project:

    … we all know, and it is not a secret, that the EU does not want migrants on their territory. And what now? Should we leave them here to suffer or to disappear? It’s not possible.

    They [the JCP] can use our infrastructure here if needed, but they also organize some events themselves. They are connecting donors and infrastructure. They know what is going on at a much deeper level than we do. And we are happy to contribute. They are working very hard as far as I know. Very few people and very big plans, but very capable people. I think it will be more visible this year. But it has only just started.[8]

    Balkan Route: better coordination with Austrian aid

    Even at the end of the 1990s, Austria’s political landscape paved the way for defining the Western Balkans as a strategic buffer zone for Europe’s increasingly restrictive migration and asylum policies. What has been drafted as a strategy to contain migration in “concentric circles” has since developed into the full-scale implementation of land and sea border zones that legitimate legislation, control, tracking, management of, and violence against people moving in circuits while trying to reach the EU Schengen zone.

    Our study can be used as a tool to further investigate Austrian-based and Austrian-initiated organizations, security corporations, and individual actors that are heavily involved in violent EU border externalization from Vienna to Sarajevo and beyond.

    The full study can be accessed here.

    References:

    Müller, Patrick. 2016. “Europeanization and regional cooperation initiatives: Austria’s participation in the Salzburg Forum and in Central European Defence Cooperation.” Österreichische Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft 45, no. 2: 24-34.

    Stojić Mitrović, Marta, and Ana Vilenica. 2019. “Enforcing
    and disrupting circular movement in an EU
    Borderscape: housingscaping in Serbia.” Citizenship Studies 23, no. 6: 540-55.

    Stojić Mitrović, Marta, Nidzara Ahmetašević, Barbara Beznec, and Andrej Kurnik. 2020. The Dark Sides of Europeanisation: Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the European Border Regime. Belgrade: Rosa-Luxemburg Stiftung Southeast Europe; and Ljubljana: Inštitut Časopis za kritiko znanosti. https://rosalux.rs/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/169_the-dark-side-of-europeanisation-_vladan_jeremic_and_wenke_christoph_rls.

    [1] The authors only use the term Western Balkans in relation to the process of EU border externalization and accession plans of Albania, BiH, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia. See Stojić Mitrović et al. 2020, 20-22.

    [2] Bohumil Hnidek is a lawyer and the former Director for International Cooperation and EU Affairs to the Ministry of interior of the Czech Republic.

    [3] MIK: Manage increased influx of migrants in Kosovo, April, March 2021 (Fact Sheet ICMPD, 4).

    [4] EU4SAVEALB: EU Support for the Effective Management of Green and Blue Borders in Albania, February 2019-April 2022 (Fact Sheet ICMPD, 7-8).

    [5] IKAM: Information and capacity building on asylum, legal and irregular migration in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Western Balkans, March 2021-March 2022 (ICMPD Fact Sheet, 9).

    [6] MiS BiH: Enhancement of Migration Information System for Strengthening Migration, Asylum and Border Management in Bosnia and Herzegovina, November 2021-March 2023 (ICMPD Fact Sheet, 9-10).

    [7] In mid-June 2022, people living in Lipa reached out to local volunteers in BiH to inform them that for a week they did not have running water. At that moment, the temperatures were over 40 degrees. Even though less than 400 people were in the camp (capacity is 1,500), people were crammed in containers (six in each) with one small fan, and were receiving a gallon of water per person a day. Every day, one cistern was used. According to the testimony, there was no water in the bathrooms and toilets, either. After the information was published on social media, people in the camp told local volunteers that the employees in the camp threatened some of the residents, warning them that they cannot talk about the camp and saying that if they did not like the place they could leave.

    [8] Interview Suzana Jašarević online, 15 March 2022.

    https://lefteast.org/fortress-europe-austria-border-externalization

    #Autriche #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #push-backs #refoulements #refoulements_en_chaîne #Slovénie #Croatie #migrerrance #violence #Balkan_Circuit #Return_Conference #Joint_Coordination_Platform_against_irregular_migration #renvois #expulsions #Joint_Coordination_Platform (#JCP) #Frontex #ICMPD #Michael_Spindelegger #return_specialists #spécialistes_du_retour #Salzburg_Forum #Kosovo #militarisation_des_frontières #complexe_militaro-industriel #Albanie #surveillance #surveillance_des_frontières #biométrie #Balkandac #empreintes_digitales #réadmission #Hilfswerk_International #Lipa #Bosnie #Bosnie_et_Herzégovine #Serbie #Macédoine_du_Nord #Monténégro

    • At the Heart of Fortress Europe

      The study provides a broad mapping of Austrian-based multilateral cooperation, actors, and or­ganisations that are heavily involved in EU border externalisation policies far beyond Austrian borders – and therefore in the violent and sometimes lethal approach to people on the move.

      Since the ‘long summer of migration’ in 2015 and the sealing of the Balkan Route in 2016, people on the move are trying to make their way to the European Schengen area via Bosnia-Herzegovina. According to Frontex, the Western Balkans has become one of the main migrant routes to Europe. The actors examined here are therefore of particular importance.

      https://www.transform-network.net/publications/issue/at-the-heart-of-fortress-europe

      #rapport

    • Balkans : la #Serbie, la #Hongrie et l’Autriche s’unissent contre l’immigration illégale

      La Serbie a accepté mercredi, en concertation avec la Hongrie et l’Autriche, de déployer des forces de police supplémentaires à sa frontière Sud avec la Macédoine du Nord, afin de lutter contre l’immigration illégale. L’Autriche va envoyer 100 policiers en renfort dans cette zone.

      La Serbie est parvenue à un accord avec la Hongrie et l’Autriche, mercredi 16 novembre, sur le déploiement de patrouilles de police conjointes le long de sa frontière Sud.

      « Nous avons convenu d’engager plus de police (...) à la frontière avec la Macédoine du Nord », a déclaré le président serbe Aleksandar Vucic, lors d’une conférence de presse organisée après la signature de l’accord avec les Premiers ministres hongrois et autrichien, Viktor Orban et Karl Nehammer.

      L’accord vise à freiner en amont les arrivées dans l’Union européenne (UE), la Serbie étant utilisée comme un pays de transit par les migrants. La route des Balkans occidentaux, via la Turquie, la Bulgarie, la Macédoine du Nord et la Serbie, reste la principale porte d’entrée dans l’UE pour les migrants. Près de 130 000 entrées irrégulières dans l’UE à partir de la route des Balkans occidentaux ont été enregistrées sur les dix premiers mois de l’année 2022, soit le nombre le plus fort depuis le pic de la crise migratoire de 2015, selon Frontex.
      « La migration illégale ne devrait pas être gérée, elle devrait être stoppée »

      Karl Nehammer a annoncé que son pays allait déployer 100 officiers de police pour aider son voisin serbe à patrouiller la frontière avec la Macédoine du Nord. Ces patrouilles seront secondées par des moyens techniques tels que « des caméras à vision thermique, des drones et des véhicules », a précisé le Premier ministre autrichien. Le même genre de matériel est déjà utilisé à la frontière serbo-hongroise où, depuis 2017, une clôture s’étend sur 160 km.

      Viktor Orban a, de son côté, affirmé que, depuis le début de l’année 2022, la Hongrie avait empêché 250 000 franchissements illégaux de frontières, dont beaucoup organisés par des passeurs armés. « La migration illégale ne devrait pas être gérée, elle devrait être stoppée », a-t-il ajouté, décrivant la situation à la frontière avec la Serbie comme « difficile ».

      Conséquence du mur érigé entre la Serbie et la Hongrie : les migrants se tournent vers les passeurs, seuls espoirs pour les aider à franchir. Résultat, dans la zone, leur mainmise s’exerce partout, dans les camps informels comme à l’intérieur des centres officiels, comme a pu le constater InfoMigrants sur place en octobre.
      En finir avec le « tourisme de l’asile »

      Toujours mercredi, Aleksandar Vucic a déclaré que son pays imposait désormais des visas aux ressortissants de la Tunisie et du Burundi, une mesure déjà annoncée en octobre mais qui entre ces jours-ci en vigueur.

      L’UE et la Suisse avaient fait pression pendant plusieurs semaines sur la Serbie afin qu’elle modifie sa politique des visas. Ces pays avaient reproché à la Serbie de servir de porte d’entrée vers l’UE à des migrants turcs, indiens, tunisiens, cubains et burundais, dispensés de visas jusque là pour venir dans le pays. C’est maintenant chose faite.

      Le président de la Serbie, du pays candidat à l’UE depuis 2012, avait promis que Belgrade alignerait sa politique des visas sur celle de Bruxelles « d’ici la fin de l’année » en commençant par la révocation des dispenses accordées aux Tunisiens, Burundais et Indiens. « Bientôt, deux autres pays seront soumis à cette même mesure car nous devrons avoir le même régime de visas que l’UE », a-t-il prévenu, sans préciser de quels pays il s’agissait.

      « Je suis reconnaissant envers le président de la Serbie pour tout ce qu’il fait pour en finir avec le ’tourisme de l’asile’ », a réagi, mercredi, Karl Nehammer.

      Ensemble, les Tunisiens, les Burundais, les Indiens, les Cubains et les Turcs représentent seulement 20% des migrants passés par la route des Balkans occidentaux depuis janvier 2022. La grande majorité des personnes qui transitent par la Serbie ne sont donc pas des exilés exemptés de visas. La plupart sont originaires d’Afghanistan et de Syrie.

      http://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/44816/balkans--la-serbie-la-hongrie-et-lautriche-sunissent-contre-limmigrati

  • Pourquoi les puces électroniques taïwanaises sont-elles au coeur de la guerre économique sino-américaine ? (9mn)

    https://www.radiofrance.fr/franceculture/podcasts/la-question-du-jour/pourquoi-les-puces-electroniques-taiwanaises-sont-elles-au-coeur-de-la-g

    Avec en toile de fond, la guerre économique entre les Etats-Unis et la Chine, les tensions grandissantes entre la Chine et Taïwan, fabricant numéro un de puces électroniques, menacent l’économie mondiale.

    Avec Mary-Françoise Renard Economiste, professeure à l’université Clermont-Auvergne, responsable de l’Institut de recherches sur l’économie de la Chine (IDREC) autrice de « La Chine dans l’économie mondiale ». Entre dépendance et domination, paru aux Presses universitaires Blaise Pascal en 2021.

    #Chine#USA#Taiwan#TSMC#Puces_electroniques#Technologie#IA

  • Respingimenti alla frontiera: la nomina di Matteo Piantedosi al Viminale vista da Trieste

    Il nuovo governo Meloni non si è ancora praticamente insediato che già a livello locale in Friuli-Venezia Giulia le forze politiche dell’estrema destra propongono di tornare ai respingimenti illegali delle persone, richiedenti asilo inclusi, alla frontiera tra Italia e Slovenia. Siamo stati a Trieste per fare il punto della situazione

    Il nuovo governo Meloni non si è ancora praticamente insediato che già a livello locale in Friuli-Venezia Giulia le forze politiche dell’estrema destra propongono di tornare alle “riammissioni informali attive” -cioè ai respingimenti illegali delle persone, richiedenti asilo inclusi- alla frontiera tra Italia e Slovenia.
    Una misura (https://altreconomia.it/respingimenti-migranti-trieste-documenti-negati) attivata nella primavera 2020 proprio dall’allora capo di gabinetto al ministero dell’Interno, Matteo Piantedosi, appena nominato al Viminale. Siamo stati a Trieste per fare il punto della situazione anche dell’operato del centro diurno a pochi passi dalla piazza della stazione ferroviaria.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsiIm6NH1zA&feature=emb_logo


    https://altreconomia.it/respingimenti-alla-frontiera-la-nomina-di-matteo-piantedosi-al-viminale

    #frontière_sud-alpine #Italie #Slovénie #push-backs #refoulements #réadmissions #Matteo_Piantedosi #Trieste

  • La farsa del confine

    In Alta Val Susa, là dove molti percorrono le piste da sci di Claviere o d’estate passeggiano tra i boschi, altre persone aspettano il favore della notte per passare il confine che divide l’Italia dalla Francia. Qualcuno sfida la luce e si camuffa tra i turisti. Ma tutti rischiano la vita nel tentativo di scappare dagli occhi attenti della polizia francese. Per i pochi fortunati che riescono a passare, tanti altri, almeno una volta, vengono respinti indietro, verso l’Italia. Il limbo della frontiera è fatto di attesa e paura per chi vuole raggiungere parenti e amici in altri Paesi europei, oppure scappa ancora in cerca di diritti. È nel muro invisibile tra Italia e Francia che si ripete da anni la farsa del confine. “Limbo - Le vite sospese di chi si fa migrante” è un podcast scritto da Silvia Baldetti e Luca Rondi. È prodotto da Engim Internazionale in collaborazione con Altreconomia nell’ambito di SEMI - Storie, Educazione, Migrazioni e Impegno, finanziato dall’Unione Europea, attraverso la regione Piemonte nel contesto del progetto Mindchangers – Regions and Youth for Planet and People. I contenuti non riflettono necessariamente le posizioni dell’Unione Europea e di chi è intervenuto nel podcast come ospite. Hanno collaborato Francesca Prandi e Daniela Pizzuto. Il montaggio è a cura di Border Radio con la collaborazione di Silvia Baldetti. Mix, master e composizione colonna di Raja Scudella.La sigla è di Federico Sgarzi.

    https://open.spotify.com/episode/25UgHDMVRJU9EeUZyWKWDA?si=259a80a8603c42bf

    #Val_de_Suse #Italie #France #migrations #asile #réfugiés #frontière_sud-alpine #frontières #Claviere #Montgenèvre #Oulx #Diaconia_Valdese #rifugio_Massi #PAF #gardes-frontière #Briançon #Hautes-Alpes #refoulements #Fréjus #refus_d'entrée #push-backs
    #podcast #audio #militarisation_des_frontières #farce #risques #décès #mourir_aux_frontières #morts_aux_frontières #contrôles_systématiques_aux_frontières

    Min. 23’18 : on cite la base de données sur les mort·es aux frontières alpines que Sarah Bachellerie et moi-même avons compilé à l’occasion de la contre-enquête pour Blessing :
    https://www.borderforensics.org/fr/investigations/la-mort-de-blessing-matthew-une-contre-enquete-sur-la-violence-aux-

  • With New Crackdown, Biden Wages Global Campaign on Chinese Technology
    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/13/us/politics/biden-china-technology-semiconductors.html

    “In weaponizing its dominant choke-point positions in the global semiconductor value chain, the United States is exercising technological and geopolitical power on an incredible scale,” [Gregory C. Allen] wrote in an analysis.

    The package of restrictions allows the administration to cut off China from certain advanced chips made by American and foreign companies that use U.S. technology.

    #sanctions #Chine #semi-conducteur #puce

  • Revealed : The #OLAF report on Frontex

    An infamous internal report by the EU anti-fraud agency OLAF shows how Frontex tried to cover up human rights violations. We are publishing it for the first time.

    “The plane circled over our heads again and again, but no one helped us,” says Samuel Abraham. On 10 April 2021, he left the Libyan shore in a rubber boat with 62 other people. They were on the high seas for five days. “We didn’t think this trip would take so long. That’s why, and to save space, we didn’t bring much food and water.” Out of desperation, they drank sea water.

    Last year, Samuel Abraham reported to us his attempted crossing and we published it with Buzzfeed News Germany. We changed his name to protect him.

    He told us that, at one point, a cargo ship had appeared in sight and that three people had jumped into the water. They did not reach the ship, they drowned. On the last day at sea, the remaining people were picked up by a supposed fishing boat and taken back to Libya. Only 51 of them reached Libya alive, next to the dead bodies of the others who had died on the way back.

    The plane Samuel Abraham saw circling over his head was operated by Frontex, the EU border and coast guard agency who witnessed what constituted a human rights violation. This was not only researched and documented by journalists and NGOs, but also by EU bodies.

    In cooperation with Der Spiegel and Lighthouse Reports, we are publishing the report on Frontex by the EU’s anti-fraud agency OLAF. A report that has been talked about throughout the last year, that led to the resignation of former Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri, but until now has not been revealed to the public in full – it was never meant to be revealed.
    Human rights violations swept under the carpet

    In fact, up until today, only a very reduced group of EU officials have been able to read the document in full: this includes European Commission representatives, the former Frontex Management Board, a few selected Members of the European Parliament, and OLAF itself.

    The Frontex OLAF report shows that Samuel Abraham’s story is not exceptional; a serious human rights violation witnessed and later brushed under the carpet. It is neither exceptional nor a matter of chance.

    It was finalised in February 2022; 16 months, 20 witnesses and over 120 pages after the moment the EU anti-fraud watchdog first received a whistleblower alert by post warning about serious wrongdoing within the agency.

    Under EU and international law, Frontex has the legal obligation to guarantee respect for human rights during its operations. But what OLAF found is that instead of taking steps to prevent human rights violations from happening, Frontex took recurrent, deliberate measures to make sure the violations that were indeed taking place, would not be witnessed, documented, investigated or accounted for.

    More precisely, it shows how the Fundamental Rights Officer was sidelined; internal reports on human rights violations were manipulated; and how Frontex misled the European Commission and Parliament.
    “Not one of us”: the isolation of the Frontex Fundamental Rights Officer

    As the OLAF report shows, on 3 September 2020 Frontex’s main operational departments met to discuss the following: some officials had become convinced that the Greek-Turkish relationship was evolving into a “kind of ‘war’”, where Frontex’s operational information was subject to being “misused” and could therefore cause potential reputational damage to the agency.

    The cornerstone of all this suspicion was the Frontex Fundamental Rights Office. This department had been created to ensure violations of human rights during Frontex operations were prevented by design. If violations do take place, it is the Office’s duty to conduct an investigation and recommend appropriate action.

    This department and, in particular, its head, the Fundamental Rights Officer (FRO), had been encountering resistance internally. Labelled as “leftists” who were too close to NGOs, WhatsApp messages exchanged among Frontex officials qualified the FRO’s pro-rights stance as an “intellectual dictatorship” comparable to “Khmer Rouge terror”. Frontex staff was encouraged to consider their fundamental rights peers not as colleagues, but as “externals”; “not one of us”.

    As such, Frontex’s leadership considered the information the FRO had access to needed to be limited – even in cases relating to a violation of human rights. At the 3 September 2020 meeting, this rationale was clearly set out: “Fundamental Rights has a right of access to all information. But it does not mean that we give all information. (...) Fundamental Rights asks and we try to be friendly. That’s the trap.”

    The trap was an information shutdown which, in practice, would make it substantially harder and, in some cases, impossible, for the FRO to monitor and investigate the human rights violations that were, at this point, certainly taking place during Frontex operations. Efforts had started already in 2016, and were well underway by the time the 3 September 2020 meeting was held.

    The OLAF report describes how already in 2016, e-mails from the FRO in which she required details and clarifications in the context of a potential human rights violation that had been reported “remained long unanswered or did not receive a reply at all.” In January 2018, Frontex leadership took the decision to severely restrict the FRO’s access to the agency’s main border surveillance and information-management tool, the EUROSUR system. This required a redesign of the EUROSUR architecture so that the FRO, from now on, would only be able to view a limited amount of operational information, while all classified information would not only be inaccessible, but also invisible: it became “impossible for FRO to be aware of the existence of that specific document in the system”.

    The FRO’s EUROSUR cut-off would cost 15.000 euros of taxpayer money. The justification reflects how human rights monitoring was considered a danger to effective border control: “At stake is the possibility to use EUROSUR as a reliable security tool for MS [Member States] in full compliance with security standards”.

    Shortly after, a new idea emerges: Frontex Serious Incident Reports should be considered classified information.
    Control of the paper trail

    Serious Incident Reports (SIRs) are at the heart of Frontex’s internal reporting system. These reports are meant to be filed by Frontex agents deployed on mission when they witness or become part of a serious incident. This could be, for example, when Frontex staff has a car accident while deployed; wakes up to their property having been vandalised with anti-police messages; exposed to Covid-19; and, most importantly, when Frontex officers witness or become involved in a human rights violation.

    SIRs are the agency’s primary paper trail for wrongdoing. As such, the existence and distribution of these reports became uncomfortable for an agency that considers its human rights obligations an obstacle for its ultimate goal and mission: border control.

    The OLAF report lays out the measures taken to undermine and circumvent SIRs as a reporting mechanism, in order to downplay or ignore severe human rights violations that were taking place to the knowledge of Frontex. In 2020, an essential step was taken in this direction: “In case a SIR is generated based on operational data collected by FRONTEX (…) this SIR must be restricted,” reads an internal e-mail. This could be done by scaling up the classification of SIRs. Internally, some officials warned the efforts to classify these reports “would be illegal”.

    The process for handling SIRs was also manipulated. Frontex’s internal rules establish four categories of SIRs – incident reports relating to a possible violation of human rights should be allocated Category 4, which would immediately trigger an involvement of the FRO, investigation, and adequate follow-up.

    On the day Samuel Abraham was in distress at high sea, Frontex staff wrote an internal e-mail stressing the need to launch a Serious Incident Report and asked for guidance about the categorisation. OLAF notes, that all information about the incident “highlighted strong indications of violations of human rights”, which would fall under Category 4. But internally this was waved off to avoid involving the FRO.

    In other occasions, a decision was taken not to create a SIR in the first place; it appears that in Frontex’s eyes, a human rights violation that is not recorded is a violation that doesn’t exist.

    Letters to Greek authorities with regards to serious rights violations were re-drafted into a “politically softer” version, “less explicit on the gravity of the facts in question”. In April 2020, a SIR was launched after Frontex-deployed officers witnessed Greek authorities “towing an overcrowded fragile boat in the night towards the open sea is a situation that can seriously endanger the lives of the passengers”. Der Spiegel reported about this case end of October 2020. The FRO’s evaluation of the case found it a likely “case of an unprocessed return and violation of the principle of non-refoulement”. However, during its investigation, OLAF found no further follow-up: “no formal request for information or clarification was sent to the Hellenic Authorities in relation to this incident”. Human rights violation, once again, left unaddressed.
    Intimidation “bears fruit”: the silencing of officers

    But not only incidents were silenced, also those who report them. In summer of 2019, an internal e-mail warned: “we fear/have indications that potential violations are not always reported to Frontex [headquarters] because of possible repercussions of deployed officers in the Host MS [Member State]”. There had been at least one case where an officer deployed in a Frontex operation had filed a SIR and had later been relocated; the assumption was that “it could be linked to the fact of reporting”.

    Furthermore, Frontex-deployed officers were not making use of official reporting channels but were instead leaving mentions of what pointed to human rights violations in “unofficial reports”. When an officer was asked for the reason, (s)he argued that “it happened in the past that because of the initiation of a SIR the debriefing expert had serious conflict with the Greek Authorities and could that made [REDACTED] stay unbearable“. In order to avoid a similar situation, the officer had chosen to report incidents “via alternative channels”.

    Intimidation and threats to Frontex officers, notably by Greek authorities, in order to avoid formal reporting of violations of human rights, were well known to Frontex management. The topic had been “thoroughly discussed” internally, recognising that “threats of EL [Greek] authorities to sanction ‘critical’ deployed staff bears fruit”.

    However, no action was ever taken to address this problem or to prevent it from happening again. Out of “the need to keep a good relationship with the Greek authorities”, Frontex did “not ask for any specific action to be taken or checks to be done”. The matter was set aside.
    “So not to witness…”

    On 5 August 2020, the Frontex plane FSA METIS was surveilling the Aegean Sea when it witnessed a boat with approximately 30 people on board, in Greek territorial waters, being towed by Greek authorities towards Turkish territorial waters. The sighting amounted to a human rights violation. A Serious Incident Report was launched.

    Within a month, the Frontex plane was no longer operating in the Aegean but had instead been relocated to the Central Mediterranean “to support activities in the region”.

    Three months later, during a raid to the Frontex headquarters in Warsaw, OLAF finds a report mentioning the FSA METIS relocation. A handwritten note of a high representative on the last page of the document reads: “We have withdrawn our FSA some time ago, so not to witness...”.

    In an interview with OLAF, (s)he would elaborate on his handwritten remark: “the withdrawing of aerial surveillance served the purpose for FRONTEX to avoid witnessing incidents and alleged pushbacks by Greece, so avoiding to have to deal internally at the Agency with sensitive cases. Personally, the solution was good for me as I was in the middle of two different and opposite demands: [REDACTED] wanted to cover possible irregularities by Greece and [REDACTED] [REDACTED] wanted to deal with those cases in full compliance with the SOP [Standard Operating Procedure]”.

    Frontex’s choice was in fact much more effective than a cover-up of “irregularities”. It was a carte blanche for impunity.
    Disloyalty to the Union

    Internal control mechanisms disabled, there were few avenues left to hold Frontex accountable – mainly, EU institutions. When in 2020, media and civil society reports on Frontex became more and more frequent, the European Commission started seeking answers from the EU’s border agency. The Commission wanted to know whether progress had been made on several of the human rights protection mechanisms – as it is Frontex’s legal obligation.

    OLAF found Frontex misled the Commission when responding to its questions, offering “a partial view of the dynamics of the events“ and showed “lack of cooperation and the reluctance” to implement the Commission’s recommendations. Cooperating and following the EU Commission’s guidance was indeed not in Frontex’s plans, since for some years now, Frontex leadership had been harvesting an increasingly derogatory view of the EU legislative body which it saw less as a respectable authority and more like an enemy.

    Private messages exchanged among Frontex high-level reveal a view of the European Commission as “the legislator who makes Frontex a legal smuggler/taxi”.

    Demeaning messages, which harden in tone from 2019 onwards following the appointment of Ylva Johansson as Commissioner for Home Affairs, criticised the EU institution for “amateurism on operational subjects, obsession on FR [Fundamental Rights] subjects, and bureaucratic cretinism”.

    By 2020, the Commission had become an adversary: “Today the biggest risk for the European corps and Frontex comes from the Commission” – a striking conclusion since the proposal for a Frontex standing corps of 10,000 border guards initially originated, in 2018, from the European Commission itself.

    But it wasn’t only the European Commission’s questions getting shunned – also the European Parliament’s. In multiple occasions, the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Homme Affairs (LIBE) summoned Frontex and requested explanations and clarifications with regards to the recurrent reports of human rights violations. During its investigation, OLAF identified at least eleven stances where Frontex lied or misled the European Parliament in its responses.

    These lies, misleading statements and antagonistic views with respect to the European Commission and Parliament were found by OLAF as a “lack of loyalty towards the Union”.
    Eight months later: the aftermath of the OLAF report

    For almost eight months, some EU representatives have known about the explosive facts and findings of the report: the recurrent human rights violations taking place under Frontex’s eyes; Frontex’s studied efforts to brush off and conceal these violations; an unlawful system of impunity built by an agency of the EU, financed with EU taxpayer money.

    And yet the fact is, very little has changed in the aftermath of the OLAF investigation. Only the resignation of one person, former Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri, is the most visible consequence of the report’s findings to date, besides the fact that the European Parliament continues to refuse to approve the agency’s budget. A climate of silence and inaction seems to have been established, incomprehensibly to anyone familiar with the content of the OLAF report.

    In this context, on 21 September, Frontex issued a statement announcing “recent changes within the agency”, presenting in six vague bullet points. But the reality seems to be different: Crucially, a noticeable absence from Frontex’s “recent changes” press release is the suspension of operations in the Aegean. This is a provision set by Article 46 of the Frontex Regulation, which states that the Frontex Executive Director should “suspend or terminate any activity by the Agency, in whole or in part, if he or she considers that there are violations of fundamental rights or international protection obligations related to the activity concerned that are of a serious nature or are likely to persist.”

    These violations have been well-established by the OLAF report, which includes among its findings that, while being aware of the human rights violations taking place in Greece, Frontex “did not ensure appropriate follow-up, including taking any actions in relation to the scope of the Article 46 of the FRONTEX Regulation”. And yet Frontex continues to contradict OLAF’s findings, reiterating in the media that “Frontex’s actions in the Aegean Sea region had been carried out in compliance with the applicable legal framework, including in accordance with the responsibilities stemming from fundamental rights.”

    At the same time, some signs already point at some of Frontex’s “recent changes” which could be failing to materialise. Frontex argues that in 2021 it conducted a revision of its Serious Incident Reporting Mechanism “to improve the reporting on events at the external borders, including fundamental rights violations”. However, civil society has alerted to the fact that it has been over 1,000 days since Frontex last filed a SIR in the Greek island of Samos. It was precisely in Samos, as documented in the OLAF report, where Greek authorities’ intimidation tactics to discourage incident reporting had been bearing fruit.

    We have asked Frontex for a statement concerning the OLAF report and its investigations, but they have not replied to it yet.
    Commission remains inactive

    Meanwhile, the European Commission’s reluctance to take a stance, let alone any action, in response to the OLAF report has been remarkable. When questioned about Der Spiegel’s previous reporting on OLAF’s findings, the Commission merely made vague references to the one change in Frontex leadership, a “new Action Plan” for a Fundamental Rights Strategy, and the hiring of Fundamental Rights Monitors – which has been a legal obligation of Frontex since 2019. “A lot of work is being done,” stated the Commission spokesperson, who did not deliver specifics and made no mention of Article 46.

    In all, the OLAF report reveals the making of a system of impunity by Frontex: continuous efforts to downplay, conceal and enable serious violations of human rights and international law taking place on an ongoing basis at the EU’s borders. Despite OLAF’s investigation, Frontex’s system of impunity remains largely untouched.

    https://fragdenstaat.de/en/blog/2022/10/13/frontex-olaf-report-leaked

    #rapport #OLAF #Frontex #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #push-backs #refoulements #Libye #droits_humains #Grèce #Turquie #Serious_Incident_Reports (#SIRs) #omerta #silence #intimidation #EU #Union_européenne #UE

    • Migration : un rapport pointe la gestion accablante de Frontex dans les eaux grecques

      L’agence européenne Frontex aurait-elle fermé les yeux face à des refoulements de migrants dans les eaux grecques ? C’est ce qui ressort d’un rapport confidentiel de l’OLAF, l’Office européen de lutte antifraude, rendu public par la plateforme FragDenStaat, basée en Allemagne, en collaboration avec Der Spiegel et Lighthouse Reports (Pays-Bas).

      Selon l’OLAF, des cadres de l’agence chargée des frontières extérieures de l’UE ont commis « des fautes graves », en ne signalant pas des refoulement de migrants de la part des garde-frontières grecs.

      Ce rapport indique que dans un cas, l’avion de l’agence de l’UE s’est volontairement éloigné d’une zone en mer Egée, pour ne pas être témoin d’un incident en cours. Le rapport pointe par ailleurs une multitude de manquements, face à l’arrivée de bateaux de fortune, souvent en provenance de Turquie.

      Ces conclusions confirment les accusations de plusieurs ONG, qui pointaient depuis plusieurs années les manquements de l’Union européenne dans la gestion de la crise migratoire, due notamment à la guerre en Syrie. En avril dernier, mis sous pression, le patron Frontex Fabrice Leggeri a démissionné.

      https://fr.euronews.com/my-europe/2022/10/14/migration-un-rapport-pointe-la-gestion-accablante-de-frontex-dans-les-e

    • "Des pratiques du passé" : Frontex réagit au rapport accablant ses dirigeants

      L’agence de garde-frontières Frontex a réagi aujourd’hui à la publication par des ONG et médias de l’intégralité du rapport de l’OLAF, l’organe anti-fraude de l’Union européenne. Ce rapport accusant les dirigeants de Frontex d’avoir dissimulé des refoulements, en violation du droit international, avait fait grand bruit il y a plusieurs mois, jusqu’à pousser à la démission l’ex-patron Fabrice Leggeri.

      Ce vendredi, l’agence des garde-frontières et des garde-côtes de l’Union européenne, Frontex, a réagi à la publication de l’intégralité du rapport de l’OLAF (office européen de lutte anti-fraude) par plusieurs ONG et médias. "L’Agence prend au sérieux les conclusions des enquêtes, audits et examens, et les utilise comme des opportunités pour changer et s’améliorer", a déclaré Frontex dans un communiqué de presse paru aujourd’hui.

      Ce rapport de l’OLAF se concentrait sur les activités de Frontex en Grèce du printemps à l’automne 2020. Il révélait que Frontex n’avait pas traité correctement des preuves de refoulements d’exilés aux frontières maritimes et terrestre, allant jusqu’à les dissimuler. Or, ces "puschback" sont contraire au droit international et européen, puisqu’ils empêchent tout examen d’une demande de protection.

      L’agence ne nie plus sa responsabilité dans les accusations détaillées par l’enquête de l’OLAF. Elle reconnaît volontiers de "graves fautes de conduites" commises par les dirigeants de Frontex d’alors. Le numéro un, Fabrice Leggeri, directeur général depuis 2015, avait démissionné fin avril face aux accusations relayées dans la presse.
      Changements dans les procédures de signalement

      Plusieurs enquêtes journalistiques menées par le consortium Lighthouse Reports et publiées notamment dans Le Monde, avaient ainsi démontré qu’entre mars 2020 et septembre 2021, Frontex avait enregistré des renvois illégaux dans les eaux grecques comme de simples "opérations de prévention au départ, menées dans les eaux turques".

      Or, toutes les investigations menées par des médias menaient à la conclusion "que les responsables de Frontex [étaient] conscients des pratiques illégales des gardes-frontières grecs et [étaient] en partie impliqués dans les refoulements eux-mêmes", écrivait le journal allemand Der Spiegel en octobre 2021.

      Aujourd’hui, Frontex qualifie ces actes répréhénsibles de "pratiques du passé" dans son communiqué. L’agence affirme ainsi avoir pris, depuis, des "mesures correctives". Par exemple, Frontex déclare avoir renforcé les procédures de signalement des incidents graves, y compris en ce qui concerne les refoulements.
      D’autres conclusions d’enquêtes à venir

      Enfin, Frontex assure avoir établi à la fin de l’été 2022 "un plan d’action pour réparer les torts du passé et du présent et pour engager un dialogue structuré" avec les autorités grecques.

      InfoMigrants reçoit depuis plusieurs années des témoignages d’exilés victimes de "pushbacks" par les garde-côtes et garde-frontières grecs. À l’été 2021, une Congolaise avait expliqué comment les garde-côtes avaient refoulé son embarcation en mer, mettant les passagers en danger. "Ils nous ont menacé avec leur armes (…) Ils ont tourné autour de nous, ce qui a fait de grandes vagues et du courant", avait-elle rapporté. Au mois de mai 2021, Samuel, un autre migrant d’Afrique subsaharienne, avait raconté comment son embarcation avait été refoulée vers les côtes turques.

      Au-delà de ces refoulements, d’autres enquêtes visent actuellement Frontex, notamment au sujet de dissimulations de maltraitances commises sur des exilés en Hongrie et en Bulgarie. Frontex nie, jusqu’ici, avoir couvert ces violences. Elle avait expliqué officiellement n’avoir “pas autorité sur le comportement des polices aux frontières locales".

      En attendant la progression de ces enquêtes, l’agence européenne prévoit de disposer d’un effectif propre de 10 000 garde-frontières et garde-côtes, à l’horizon 2027. Dans cette perspective, elle programme déjà des commandes d’armes "létales et non-létales".

      http://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/44017/des-pratiques-du-passe--frontex-reagit-au-rapport-accablant-ses-dirige

    • Certificate le pratiche illegali di Frontex. Ma l’Agenzia resta a operare sulle frontiere

      L’Ufficio europeo per la lotta antifrode ha ricostruito le gravi violazioni dei diritti umani commesse in questi anni dall’Agenzia europea chiamata a sorvegliare i confini dell’Ue. Dalla copertura di centinaia di respingimenti al contrasto a chi voleva denunciare. Il cambio al vertice non è sufficiente, segnala il Parlamento europeo

      Frontex ha coperto centinaia di respingimenti illegali ai confini esterni dell’Unione europea e al suo interno ha ostacolato chi voleva denunciare queste pratiche. Il rapporto dell’Ufficio europeo per la lotta antifrode (Olaf) sull’Agenzia, che aveva portato nell’aprile 2022 alle dimissioni dell’ex direttore esecutivo Fabrice Leggeri, è stato reso pubblico a metà ottobre 2022 dal settimanale tedesco Der Spiegel, testata che con le sue inchieste aveva dato avvio proprio all’indagine dell’Olaf sull’operato di Frontex. E martedì 18 ottobre il Parlamento europeo ha approvato una risoluzione (con 345 voti favorevoli, 284 contrari e otto astenuti) contro la cosiddetta “procedura di discarico” del bilancio dell’Agenzia, ovvero una valutazione ex post che ha l’obiettivo di monitorarne l’attività degli anni precedenti (in questo caso del 2020). “Un segnale importante ma dalle conseguenze solo politiche: l’Agenzia purtroppo continuerà a fare quello che ha sempre fatto e di certo questo voto non bloccherà le sue attività -spiega Laura Salzano, dottoranda in Diritto europeo dell’immigrazione presso l’Università di Barcellona-. Questo significa che Frontex continua a poter utilizzare il suo ampio budget nonostante la votazione degli eurodeputati”. Un bilancio che per il 2022 ammonta a 754 milioni di euro: un aumento di più del 100% rispetto al 2006, il primo anno di piena operatività dell’Agenzia e che continuerà a crescere fino a toccare i 5,6 miliardi di euro entro il 2027 come ricostruito anche nel nostro libro “Respinti“.

      Scorrendo il report di 123 pagine dell’Olaf emergono chiaramente le lacune nei meccanismi di denuncia di situazioni di violazione dei diritti umani delle persone coinvolte (direttamente o indirettamente) nell’attività dell’Agenzia e come queste non siano emerse in precedenza per motivi politici. In altri termini le istituzioni europee hanno fatto finta di nulla perché l’obiettivo perseguito da Frontex, “chiudere” le frontiere, doveva essere raggiunto a qualsiasi costo. “L’Agenzia ha avuto un’espansione molto ampia con l’approvazione di due regolamenti (2016 e 2019) nel giro di tre anni e non accompagnati da un parallelo monitoraggio -sottolinea Salzano-. Le sue competenze, le sue capacità di incidere sui diritti umani dei rifugiati sono esponenzialmente aumentate ma senza adeguati meccanismi di ‘responsabilità’ interna”. Su questo punto secondo la ricercatrice è un “controsenso” che Frontex non sia mai responsabile di quanto succede durante le operazioni a cui partecipa: “Il direttore esecutivo ha grandi poteri, può prendere tantissime decisioni ma la responsabilità di quanto avviene lungo i confini ricade sugli Stati membri. Non può funzionare”.

      E che non funzioni lo si capisce analizzando alcuni stralci del rapporto. Parte dell’inchiesta di Olaf si concentra sui cosiddetti “Serious incident report”, ovvero le segnalazioni di “gravi incidenti” che, secondo il regolamento dell’Agenzia, sono “avvenimenti naturali o causati dall’azione umana che possono influire negativamente o essere rilevanti per una particolare attività di Frontex” che possono mettere a repentaglio la sua reputazione e includere situazioni di potenziali “violazione dei diritti fondamentali e di quanto stabilito dal diritto Ue e internazionale con particolare riferimento alla possibilità di richiedere asilo”. Una volta ricevuta una segnalazione di tali incidenti, l’ufficio del Frontex situation center individua un “coordinatore” che ha il compito di procedere con indagini interne per chiarire la situazione. Ci sono quattro categorie di segnalazioni classificate in base alla pericolosità: la quarta, la più grave, che riguarda proprio la possibile violazione dei diritti fondamentali delle persone coinvolte, prevede un particolare meccanismo per cui le indagini sono di responsabilità del “Fundamental rights officer”, l’ufficio che si occupa di monitorare il rispetto dei diritti umani.

      Tra il 10 e il 12 aprile 2020 l’aereo di Frontex che sorveglia il Mediterraneo centrale individua quattro imbarcazioni con a bordo circa 250 persone che si muovono dalla “zona Sar” libica a quella maltese. Le autorità de La Valletta non collaborano con l’Agenzia nell’implementare un’operazione di salvataggio. Alle 12.34 di mercoledì 13 aprile al Frontex situation center arriva una segnalazione in cui si sottolinea che le imbarcazioni sono “sovraffollate” e le persone sono “senza giubbotti di salvataggio”. Un’ora dopo, un ulteriore messaggio inviato al centro di comando sottolinea la mancanza di cooperazione delle autorità maltesi e segnala che due delle barche sono arrivate in Italia e avevano bottiglie d’acqua a bordo. “Probabilmente la Guardia costiera maltese le ha trainate fino alle coste italiane. Mi chiedo -scrive l’ufficiale di Frontex- se a livello politico si possa fare pressione su Malta dato che questa diventa una situazione umanamente irresponsabile”. Ventiquattr’ore dopo, l’ufficiale pretende che sia lanciato un “Serious incident report” e che sia classificato nella “Categoria quattro” dato che l’attività osservata è in chiara violazione di diritti fondamentali dei naufraghi. Ma dagli uffici dell’Agenzia non sono d’accordo: viene assegnata la “Categoria 2” -ovvero un incidente dall’alto interesse pubblico e politico- perché quanto osservato è avvenuto al di fuori delle operazioni di Frontex ed è necessario “tenere un profilo neutrale nelle discussioni tra Italia e Malta”. Solo successivamente si scopre che il 15 aprile 2020 una delle barche è arrivata a Tripoli dopo aver ricevuto l’assistenza di una nave commerciale nella zona Sar maltese: 51 persone superstiti, cinque morti. Il 4 maggio 2020 sempre il Frontex situation center chiede di riclassificare l’incidente nella “Categoria quattro”. Ma da Varsavia, sede dell’Agenzia, l’obiettivo è uno: fare in modo che la competenza non passi all’ufficio che si occupa dei diritti umani. La giustificazione? “Non vedo l’interesse di cambiare la classificazione, né il valore aggiunto di avere un Fundamental rights officer in sovrapposizione con le inchieste giudiziarie a Malta”. L’Olaf osserva, tra l’altro, come sia lo stesso regolamento che, in caso di incidenti gravi, non distingue tra “operazioni congiunte di Frontex con gli Stati membri o semplici attività messe in atto dalla stessa Agenzia”. Come in questo caso.

      Il copione si ripete, pochi giorni dopo, nel Mar Egeo. Nella notte tra il 18 e il 19 aprile dello stesso anno la sorveglianza area di Frontex permette di osservare le attività della Guardia costiera greca: dopo aver intercettato, già nelle acque territoriali di competenza, una barca con a bordo alcuni naufraghi questi vengono caricati su un vascello delle autorità elleniche. Poco dopo, vengono nuovamente trasferiti sulla loro imbarcazione e trainati verso le acque territoriali turche dove vengono lasciati in balia delle onde, senza motore, alle sei del mattino. Come nel caso descritto precedentemente viene richiesta la “Categoria quattro” anche perché in questo episodio un video ricostruisce quanto avvenuto: l’ufficiale scrive via WhatsApp che si tratta di “un nuovo caso, molto più problematico” a dimostrazione del “sistematico” utilizzo di questi metodi di respingimento. Ma da Varsavia arriva lo steso messaggio: “Frontex non ha assetti coinvolti, la segnalazione ricade nella ‘Categoria due’”. Nei giorni successivi si susseguono le richieste per riclassificare la segnalazione. Tutto resta uguale e addirittura il report viene classificato come “riservato” e raggiunge un numero ristretto di destinatari. Il Fundamental rights officer non riceverà mai il report finale di questo evento.

      Quando sul confine greco-turco si susseguono i casi descritti (dall’aprile 2020 a oggi secondo la ricerca del Forensic Architecture, l’Agenzia è stata coinvolta in 122 casi drift-back ed era a conoscenza di 417 che sono stati registrati negli archivi operativi e mascherati come “prevenzioni nell’ingresso”) la soluzione di Frontex va alla radice. Viene messo in discussione il termine respingimenti “che giuridicamente non esiste e non è possibile dire con certezza che siano tali anche considerando che la Turchia e le Ong hanno interessi comuni” ma soprattutto vengono “rimossi gli occhi scomodi”. Così il 5 agosto 2020 (“Senza alcun senso da un punto di vista di operazione Sar”, ha spiegato all’Olaf un agente) a seguito dell’ennesima procedura di traino della Guardia costiera greca verso la Turchia l’aereo dell’Agenzia viene “spostato a sorvegliare il confine terrestre greco facendolo muovere avanti e indietro per nove volte tra due punti in cui nessuna attività era stata osservata”. Il 7 settembre, un mese dopo, il velivolo viene ricollocato nel Mediterraneo centrale. Meglio non vedere quello che succede in Grecia.

      Dal rapporto emergono anche marcate fratture interne. Un membro del personale afferma che l’ufficio per i diritti fondamentali “non sono veri colleghi” mentre un altro agente osserva che “è il primo [nemico, ndr] di Frontex perché riferisce tutto alle Ong e fa regnare all’interno dell’Agenzia un regime di terrore simile a quello dei Khmer rossi”. E non stupisce che l’Ufficio non abbia mai avuto accesso a Eurosur, il Sistema europeo di sorveglianza delle frontiere che è il “cuore” delle prove dei respingimenti. A tutto questo si aggiunge la pessima gestione interna: si registra un suicidio di un membro legato a “presunte pratiche di molestie sessuali” e nel 2020 su 17 casi segnalati di molestie, 15 sono stati chiusi senza seguito.

      Questa è Frontex. Nonostante dal board dell’Agenzia si siano affrettati a dichiarare che “queste pratiche appartengono al passato” così come la Commissaria agli affari interni Ylva Johansson che si è definita “scioccata” ma “sicura che il consiglio di amministrazione si è assunto pienamente le proprie responsabilità”. “L’Agenzia ha problemi strutturali -osserva Salzano-. Finché non si risolvono è difficile che il suo mandato possa rispettare il diritto internazionale e quello dell’Unione europea. E l’unico passo possibile in questa direzione è una sentenza della Corte di giustizia che ristabilisca i confini del suo operato. Olaf segna un punto di svolta perché l’illegalità è finalmente certificata da un corpo dell’Ue ma resta un ente amministrativo, non una Corte”.

      L’Agenzia infatti è ancora lì (e nessun provvedimento disciplinare è stato preso contro l’ex direttore Leggeri e il suo ex capo di gabinetto, come nota con “rammarico” il Parlamento europeo), sulle frontiere tra Grecia e Turchia (e non solo) dove i respingimenti, così come le condanne della Corte europea dei diritti dell’uomo nei confronti del governo di Atene, sono proseguiti sistematicamente. E la scusa del “se c’è Frontex si rispettano maggiormente i diritti umani” oggi vacilla ancora di più. Fa poi riflettere che il rapporto Olaf, chiuso nel febbraio 2022, sia rimasto per mesi inaccessibile anche agli stessi parlamentari europei e che solo la sua pubblicazione da parte di alcuni quotidiani e Ong abbia portato l’assemblea di Strasburgo a votare nuovamente il discarico sul bilancio di Frontex e a parlare apertamente di quanto successo.

      https://altreconomia.it/certificate-le-pratiche-illegali-di-frontex-ma-lagenzia-resta-a-operare

  • #Latvia: Refugees and migrants arbitrarily detained, tortured and forced to ‘voluntarily’ return to their countries

    Latvian authorities have violently pushed back refugees and migrants at the country’s borders with Belarus, subjecting many to grave human rights violations, including secret detention and even torture, according to new findings published in a report by Amnesty International.

    Latvia: Return home or never leave the woods reveals the brutal treatment of migrants and refugees – including children – who have been held arbitrarily in undisclosed sites in the Latvian forest, and unlawfully and violently returned to Belarus. Many faced beatings and electric shocks with tasers, including on their genitals. Some were unlawfully forced to return ‘voluntarily’ to their home countries.

    “Latvia has given refugees and migrants a cruel ultimatum: accept to return ‘voluntarily’ to their country, or remain stranded at the border facing detention, unlawful returns and torture. In some cases, their arbitrary detention at the border may amount to enforced disappearance,” said Eve Geddie, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office.

    “The Latvian authorities have left men, women and children to fend for themselves in freezing temperatures, often stranded in forests or held in tents. They have violently pushed them back to Belarus, where they have no chance of seeking protection. These actions have nothing to do with border protection and are brazen violations of international and EU law.”

    On 10 August 2021, Latvia introduced a state of emergency following an increase in numbers of people encouraged to come to the border by Belarus. In contrast with EU and international law and the principle of non-refoulement, the emergency rules suspended the right to seek asylum in four border areas and allowed Latvian authorities to forcibly and summarily return people to Belarus.

    Latvian authorities have repeatedly extended the state of emergency, currently until November 2022, despite the decrease of movements over time, and their own admission that the number of attempted entries were the result of multiple crossings by the same people.

    Dozens of refugees and migrants have been arbitrarily held in tents at the border in unsanitary conditions, A small percentage of people were allowed into Latvia, the vast majority of whom were placed in detention centres and offered limited or no access to asylum processes, legal assistance or independent oversight.

    Amnesty’s report on Latvia follows and supplements similar reports focussing on abuses against refugees and migrants by Belarus, Poland and Lithuania.
    Violent pushbacks, arbitrary detention and possible enforced disappearances

    Under the state of emergency, Latvian border guards, in cooperation with unidentified “commandos”, the army and the police, repeatedly subjected people to summary, unlawful and violent forced returns. In response, Belarusian authorities would then systematically push people back to Latvia.

    Zaki, a man from Iraq who was stranded at the border for around three months, told Amnesty International that he had been pushed back more than 150 times, sometimes eight times in a single day.

    Hassan, another man from Iraq who spent five months at the border, said: “They forced us to be completely naked, sometimes they beat us when naked and then they forced us to cross back to Belarus, sometimes having to cross a river which was very cold. They said they would shoot us if we didn’t cross.”

    In between pushbacks, people were forced to spend prolonged periods stranded at the border or in tents set up by the authorities in isolated areas of the forest. Latvian authorities have so far denied using tents for anything other than providing “humanitarian assistance”, but Amnesty International’s findings show that tents were heavily guarded sites used to arbitrarily hold refugees and migrants and as outposts for illegal returns.

    Those not held in tents sometimes ended up stranded in the open at the border, as winter temperatures at times fell to -20C. Adil, a man from Iraq, who spent several months in the forest since August 2021, told Amnesty International: “We used to sleep in the forest on the snow. We used to light fire to get warm, there were wolves, bears.”

    At the border and in the tents, authorities confiscated people’s mobile phones to prevent any communication with the outside world. Some families searched for people who were last known to be in Latvia but could not be reached by phone. A Latvian NGO reported that between August and November 2021, they were contacted by the relatives of more than 30 refugees and migrants feared to have gone missing.

    Holding migrants and refugees in tents in undisclosed locations or leaving them stranded at the border without access to communication or safe alternatives to being continuously shuttled back and forth between Latvia and Belarus constitutes ‘secret detention’ and could amount to enforced disappearance.
    Forced returns, abuse and torture

    With no effective access to asylum under the state of emergency, Latvian officers coerced some people held at the border into agreeing to return ‘voluntarily’ to their countries of origin as the only way to be taken out of the forest.

    Others were coerced or misled into accepting voluntary returns in detention centres or police stations.

    Hassan, from Iraq, told Amnesty International that he tried to explain that his life would be in danger if he was returned: “The commando responded: ‘You can die here too’”.

    Another Iraqi, Omar, described how an officer hit him from behind and forced him to sign a return paper: “He held my hand and said you should do the signature, and then with force, he made me do the signature.”

    In some cases, the IOM representative for Latvia ignored evidence that people transferred as part of “voluntary” return procedures had not provided their genuine consent to returning.

    “Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, continue to commit grave abuses, under the pretext of being under a ‘hybrid attack’ from Belarus. As winter approaches and movements at the border have resumed, the state of emergency continues to allow Latvian authorities to unlawfully return people to Belarus. Many more could be exposed to violence, arbitrary detention and other abuses, with limited or no independent oversight,” said Eve Geddie.

    “Latvia’s shameful treatment of people arriving at its borders presents a vital test for European institutions, which must take urgent measures to ensure that Latvia ends the state of emergency and restores the right to asylum across the country for everyone seeking safety, irrespective of their origin or how they crossed the border.”
    Background

    As pushbacks at the Belarus border with Latvia, Lithuania and Poland re-intensify, the EU Council is prioritizing the adoption of a Regulation on the “instrumentalization” of migrants and asylum seekers. This would allow member states facing situations of “instrumentalization” – as experienced by Latvia – to derogate from their obligations under EU asylum and migration law. The proposal disproportionately impacts the rights of refugees and migrants and risks undermining the uniform application of EU asylum law.

    In June, the Court of Justice of the EU ruled that the Lithuanian law on asylum and migration, which limited people’s ability to make asylum applications under the state of emergency and provided for the automatic detention of asylum seekers, was incompatible with EU law.

    The Court’s analysis and conclusions should apply directly to the situation in Latvia, where, since August 2021, the state of emergency effectively prevents most people entering or attempting to enter “irregularly” from Belarus from accessing asylum.

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2022/10/latvia-refugees-and-migrants-arbitrarily-detained-tortured-and-forced-to-vo

    #Lettonie #réfugiés #asile #migrations #détention #détention_arbitraire #torture #retour_volontaire (sic) #renvois_forcés #pays_baltes #rapport #Amnesty #Amnesty_international #Biélorussie #forêt #push-backs #refoulements #état_d'urgence #police #gardes-frontière #armée #militarisation_des_frontières #violence #abandon #limbe #encampement #commando #milices

    ping @isskein @reka

  • Service national universel : la punition collective nocturne dans un lycée strasbourgeois passe mal Guillaume Krempp et Lucie Lefebvre (Rue89 Strasbourg)

    Strasbourg (Bas-Rhin).– Ce mardi 5 juillet à 22 h 30, plus d’une centaine de jeunes volontaires au Service national universel (SNU) sont appelés à descendre dans la cour du lycée Jean-Rostand. Un ancien lieutenant-colonel et directeur adjoint de la session SNU a décidé de punir plus d’une centaine d’adolescents de 15 à 17 ans pour la faute commise par deux jeunes filles.


    Ces dernières auraient été surprises dans un dortoir pour garçons à une heure où elles auraient dû être dans leur chambre, selon Agathe (le prénom a été modifié), tutrice de cette session SNU qui a démarré le 3 juillet et qui finira le 15. « Ils étaient près de cent trente à faire des pompes et du gainage, dehors. Une fille était en pleurs, obligée de faire les exercices alors qu’elle se plaignait de maux de ventre déjà dans la journée. Plusieurs gamins sont rentrés en pleurs », témoigne Agathe.

    Plusieurs vidéos, que Rue89 Strasbourg s’est procurées, montrent des dizaines et des dizaines d’élèves les mains et les genoux au sol. Ils semblent sur le point de faire des pompes ou du gainage. En fond, un encadrant donne les consignes aux adolescents : « À partir de maintenant, on ne dérange plus les voisins. Et on continue, on en fait encore [des pompes – ndlr]. Vous allez rentrer dans le petit hall. S’il y a du bruit, s’il y a quoi que ce soit, tout le monde redescend et y retourne. Allez, on en fait cinq de plus. »

    Deux encadrants sont impliqués dans cette affaire de punition collective : le chef adjoint Alain M. et le cadre Jean-Pierre P-G, tous deux anciens militaires. Le premier a connu une longue carrière dans l’armée de terre jusqu’à devenir lieutenant-colonel. Le second a travaillé dans la marine, où il a exercé trente ans comme lieutenant de vaisseau.

    Deux témoignages de tuteurs, diplômés du Bafa et actifs au sein de plusieurs sessions de SNU, font état de difficultés récurrentes liées à l’expérience de certains cadres : « Ce sont d’anciens militaires, sans aucune connaissance de l’animation ou du fait de s’occuper d’enfants de moins de 18 ans », affirme l’un d’eux. « Les tuteurs n’étaient pas d’accord avec la punition collective. Mais on n’a pas notre mot à dire », lâche une tutrice de stage au lycée Jean-Rostand.

    Selon la tutrice Agathe, les encadrants à la rigueur militaire ne se rendent pas compte que les journées « de 6 heures à 22 h 30, c’est très long. Les adolescents n’ont pas l’habitude de faire tant d’activités. En tant qu’animateurs, on aurait privilégié un temps calme à cette heure-là. Et puis il faut rappeler que le public a entre 15 et 17 ans. Certains viennent tout juste de rentrer en seconde. Ils sont tous épuisés de leur année scolaire ».

    Suspension puis démission des mis en cause
    Le rectorat de Strasbourg dispose d’un service dédié à l’organisation des sessions SNU au sein du département. « Ce service a vocation à repérer les lieux d’accueil (le lycée Jean-Rostand à Strasbourg et le lycée agricole d’Obernai) et désigne un directeur de centre qui recrute une équipe d’encadrants », décrit le directeur académique des services départementaux de l’éducation nationale. Jean-Pierre Geneviève rappelle aussi les objectifs du SNU : « Il y a une volonté de favoriser l’engagement des jeunes, dans des démarches collectives, avec un volet d’éducation à la citoyenneté, le partage d’une expérience collective, autour d’un programme d’activités, qui permet aux jeunes de découvrir le patrimoine de la région. »

    Interrogé sur les faits ayant eu lieu dans la soirée du mardi 5 juillet dans la cour du lycée Jean-Rostand, le directeur académique déplore une punition dont « la dimension collective paraît inappropriée. Si sanction il y a, il faut que ce soit circonstancié et individualisé ». Jean-Pierre Geneviève indique que les deux encadrants mis en cause n’étaient plus en exercice dès le lendemain de la punition collective.

    L’un d’eux, Alain M. a été suspendu à titre conservatoire, « le temps d’obtenir plus d’informations », puis il a démissionné. L’autre encadrant a démissionné de son propre chef. Jean-Pierre Geneviève tient à relativiser : « Le SNU est un dispositif nouveau, mis en place l’année dernière. C’est la première fois que nous sommes amenés à prendre cette décision de suspension. C’est une situation très circonscrite. » C’est à espérer…

    Source : https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/france/130722/service-national-universel-la-punition-collective-nocturne-dans-un-lycee-s

    #violences #enfants #armée #snu #service_national_universel #punitions #punition_collective #Strasbourg

  • Une « pub » pour les femmes orthodoxes soulève des questions sur la tsniout Jackie Hajdenberg - Time of israel
    https://fr.timesofisrael.com/une-pub-pour-les-femmes-orthodoxes-souleve-des-questions-sur-la-ts

    Alors que le débat fait rage pour savoir si l’offre de vente de faux orteils est sérieuse, certains affirment que le problème réside dans le fait que personne ne puisse en être sûr


    Une publicité pour les femmes orthodoxes de vente de faux orteils.(Crédit : Twitter/Design/Jackie Hajdenberg)
    TA – Dès que cette publicité incongrue a commencé à circuler sur les groupes WhatsApp haredim dimanche, le débat a été ouvert : les orteils « de pudeur » existent-ils vraiment ?

    S’adressant aux femmes orthodoxes qui veulent être élégantes tout en se conformant aux normes vestimentaires conservatrices de leur communauté, l’annonce propose des orteils en silicone « durables » et « de haute qualité » que les acheteuses peuvent enfiler par-dessus les leurs, ce qui leur permet de porter des sandales sans que leurs propres pieds ne soient visibles.

    « Voulez-vous être à la mode tout en étant tzniuysdyig ? », propose la publicité, en utilisant une forme yiddish du mot pudeur se référant à la « pudeur vestimentaire ». « Vous voulez être à la mode, alors que vous refusez de porter des chaussures ouvertes ? ».

    La publicité ressemble à de nombreuses vraies publicités qui circulent sur le marché haredi. Sur ce marché, où les innovations qui facilitent l’observance religieuse se multiplient, les commandes doivent souvent être passées par téléphone ou en personne, l’utilisation d’Internet étant fortement désapprouvée.

    Pourtant cette annonce a aussi des allures de parodie, dans un contexte où certaines femmes juives orthodoxes tentent de s’opposer aux normes qui dictent leur tenue vestimentaire, contrôlent les accessoires autorisés et empêchent leur visage d’apparaître dans de nombreuses publications orthodoxes.

    Les spéculations sur l’authenticité de la mystérieuse publicité et sur sa signification pour les communautés orthodoxes ont préoccupé une partie du monde orthodoxe cette semaine. Beaucoup appellent ce produit, le « sheitel à orteil » dû au rôle similaire des sheitels https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/hair-coverings-for-married-women , ou perruques que certaines femmes orthodoxes mariées portent pour couvrir leurs propres cheveux conformément à la loi juive, ou Halakha .

    « Certains pensent que c’est réel. D’autres pensent que c’est une blague », a déclaré Sharon Weiss-Greenberg, militante de longue date du féminisme orthodoxe, à la Jewish Telegraphic Agency au sujet des sheitels à orteils. « Je pense que c’est une blague. Mais plus encore, le simple fait que tant de personnes pensent que ce n’en soit pas une est un réel problème – le simple fait que ce soit plausible est ennuyeux. »


    Illustration : Une femme marchant en sandales élégantes à talons hauts. (Crédit : Nadtochiy/Stock by Getty Images)
    Pour passer commande, l’annonce indique un numéro de téléphone avec un indicatif régional dans la région de la vallée de l’Hudson, à New York. Les multiples appels passés depuis lundi par la Jewish Telegraphic Agency sont directement tombés sur une messagerie vocale – ce qui atteste peut-être du manque de sérieux de toute cette affaire.

    Il semble qu’au moins une personne soit parvenue à joindre l’entreprise. Dans une vidéo largement diffusée, prise lundi matin, un homme se retient de rire pendant un appel de sept minutes avec la personne lui ayant répondu au téléphone, qui s’est identifiée sous le nom de Chana. L’interlocuteur s’enquiert des différentes offres et apprend que les couvre-orteils peuvent être personnalisés dans différentes couleurs de peau pour des clientes ashkénazes et séfarades. Ils peuvent également être accompagnés de vernis à ongles dans des teintes portant le nom d’écoles orthodoxes.

    Si des acheteurs veulent un oignon ou des grains de beauté pour rendre leurs faux orteils plus réalistes, cela est possible à condition qu’ils soient prêts à payer le prix, explique Chana à son interlocuteur.

    « Vous savez, parfois, quand une femme reçoit un sheitel, elle la saupoudre de fausses pellicules ? Et bien cela revient au même », explique Chana.

    La polémique relève de plusieurs controverses actuelles au sein des communautés orthodoxes. « Les commandes peuvent prendre un certain temps car la chaîne d’approvisionnement en faux orteils en provenance de Chine a été interrompue par la fausse maladie de la COVID », dit la représentante, faisant allusion à la désinformation médicale qui a sévi dans le monde orthodoxe pendant la pandémie de la COVID-19.

    La couleur du nom de la Yeshiva University pourrait changer, dit-elle, si la Cour suprême lui permet de rejeter ce qu’elle appelle « le club gay », en référence au groupe d’étudiants LGBTQ qui se bat contre l’université phare de la mouvance Modern Orthodox pour obtenir le droit d’exister sur le campus. La Yeshiva University de New York City devra reconnaître https://fr.timesofisrael.com/la-yeshiva-university-devra-reconnaitre-son-club-lgbt-dit-la-cour- un club LGBTQ, au moins temporairement, après le refus opposé par la Cour suprême américaine, mercredi, d’intervenir dans ce dossier.

    Après avoir dit à son interlocuteur que les personnes qui s’offrent des vacances coûteuses pendant la période de Pessah peuvent probablement se permettre ce nouveau produit, Chana fait une critique explicite de la consommation ostentatoire qui caractérise certaines communautés orthodoxes.

    « Ce n’est pas censé être une autre mesure de la quantité d’argent que vous avez et du degré de fantaisie que vous pouvez vous offrir », dit-elle. « Bien que nous ayons peur que cela puisse arriver. »

    L’appel était authentique, a publié l’épouse de l’appelant sur Facebook, ajoutant que le couple n’était aucunement lié à l’entreprise ou à la farce, quelle qu’elle soit. Plusieurs personnes, susceptibles de correspondre au profil, ont également déclaré qu’elles n’étaient pas impliquées, tant publiquement qu’auprès de la Jewish Telegraphic Agency , qui a contacté une demi-douzaine de femmes proposées comme suspectes probables en raison de leur militantisme féministe ou de leur publications de vidéos parodiques orthodoxes.

    La tradition de se couvrir les cheveux après le mariage est fermement ancrée dans la Halakha  ; les Juives orthodoxes qui militent pour un plus grand leadership des femmes ne s’y opposent généralement pas. Les orteils ne sont pas soumis à des lois spécifiques, mais il existe un commandement général qui exige de s’habiller pudiquement, ainsi que d’innombrables exemples de décrets rabbiniques et de normes communautaires élargissant les limites de ce qui est considéré comme respectueux de la pudeur.

    Cependant, dans certaines parties du monde orthodoxe, l’utilisation de perruques en cheveux humains, qui peuvent coûter jusqu’à 3 000 dollars et nécessiter des soins, suscite des controverses. Certaines femmes orthodoxes choisissent plutôt de se couvrir les cheveux avec un foulard ou un chapeau. L’existence de perruques de marque peut également exercer une pression financière sur les femmes qui se sentent dans l’obligation de se fondre dans la masse de leur communauté.

    Les sheitels à orteils peuvent être considérés comme relevant de cette dynamique. Mais les images de la publicité ne permettent pas de savoir si ce produit est réel. Les prothèses d’orteils comme celles de l’annonce sont utilisées par des personnes souffrant de blessures aux pieds ou de maladies congénitales, ainsi que par des personnes amputées en raison de complications liées au diabète ; elles peuvent être trouvées facilement en effectuant une recherche rapide sur Google. Les faux orteils de la publicité ressemblent également à ceux utilisés par les prothésistes ongulaires pour pratiquer le nail art , autrement connu sous le nom de stylisme ongulaire.

    D’autres répliques de parties du corps ont été produites pour les Juifs pratiquants par le passé, mais pour de toutes autres raisons. Entre autres exemples, un barbier israélien a sorti en 2015 https://www.jta.org/2015/01/23/culture/magic-kippa-designed-for-attack-wary-observant-jews une kippa en cheveux synthétiques pour que les hommes puissent répondre à l’obligation de se couvrir la tête sans être immédiatement identifiés comme Juifs religieux.

    Hokhmat Nashim, une organisation dont le nom signifie « la sagesse des femmes » et qui vise à inclure les femmes dans la prise de décision orthodoxe, a déclaré en ligne qu’elle n’était pas à l’origine de la publicité. Cette semaine, le groupe s’est concentré sur un nouveau livre de cuisine publié par ArtScroll, un éditeur orthodoxe, dans lequel les femmes sont représentées par des photos d’ingrédients, et non d’elles-mêmes. De nombreuses publications orthodoxes ne montrent pas de femmes, invoquant des raisons de pudeur, une pratique qui, selon Hokhmat Nashim entre autres, exclue les femmes de leurs propres communautés.

    Hokhmat Nashim a déclaré que la publicité pour le sheitel à orteil et la réponse qu’elle avait suscitée avaient soulevé une question importante.

    « Que se passe-t-il lorsque l’on ne sait plus faire la différence entre la réalité et la satire ? », a écrit le groupe dans une publication Instagram. Une personne a commenté qu’elle était certaine qu’il s’agissait bien d’une blague – bien qu’elle ait personnellement entendu un rabbin dire que les orteils des femmes devaient rester couverts.

    « Pour info, il s’agit bien d’une satire », a ajouté plus tard Hokhmat Nashim, sans expliquer ses sources. « La question est de savoir comment faire pour qu’il en soit toujours ainsi. Comment repousser la sexualisation de tout ce qui est féminin et la déformation du judaïsme que nous voyons aujourd’hui et qui, avouons-le, n’est pas très éloignée ? »

    En milieu de semaine, les parodies de ce qui aurait pu être ou ne pas être une blague se sont multipliées, telles que des publicités pour de faux seins ainsi que des T-shirts représentant des seins, conçus pour permettre un « topless pudique », et pour des « dissimulateurs de cou » en plastique destinés à permettre le port de hauts sans bretelles sans trop révéler la clavicule. Des chemises partielles fines couvrant le col et les épaules sous des vêtements qui révèlent ces zones, sont déjà vendues dans les communautés orthodoxes.

    L’adresse électronique de la société qui vend des cache-cols s’est empressée d’envoyer une réponse enthousiaste à une demande de renseignements.

    « La société de cache-cols n’est pas liée à la société de prothèses d’orteils », ont-ils répondu. « Nous ne faisons que présenter le même concept, à savoir essayer d’être pudique… tout en étant capable de porter sa robe (ou sa chemise) préférée. … Nous essayons tous deux d’apporter une rédemption ultime. »

    Un autre courriel a rapidement suivi, exprimant ce que la société de sheitel à orteils n’avait pas dit, à savoir que « toute cette histoire était censée être une blague entre quelques amis, puisque nous avons tous ri de celle des orteils ! »

    #publicité #Canular ? #fake ? #Blague ? #religion #israel #pieds #orteils #mode #religion #vêtements #parodie #blague #orteils #Femmes

  • Steam’s First Fully AI-Generated PC Game Was Met With Hostility
    https://kotaku.com/steam-pc-ai-generated-art-midjourney-youtube-valve-1849531585

    Enter This Girl Does Not Exist, a recent Steam game with simple puzzle gameplay that nonetheless signals a massive change that will soon hit the gaming industry. The developer claims that everything, from the art to the story to the music has been generated by AI of some kind. If you haven’t heard of it that’s not surprising, as the game currently only has one review on Steam, and it’s not a positive one. But the story behind the game is curious, and indicative of larger tensions that will only become more visible within the space.

    This Girl Does Not Exist sur Steam
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/2095900/This_Girl_Does_Not_Exist

    The description makes the game sound more interesting and in-depth than it really is. It’s a jigsaw puzzle game with a very limited selection of about 5-6 girls that have about 5 pictures each.

    The game has you select 3 of the girls, then you complete jigsaws of each in turn, after two round of pictures, you dismiss one of the three girls, then complete another 2 rounds, and dismiss the 2nd, to unlock all the pictures for the final remaining girl.

    Once you’ve unlocked one of the girls and the “prompt” used to generate the pictures (the game doesn’t give any details of what benefit the prompt would be), you have to start the game again from the beginning to unlock another girl - which includes completing jigsaws for 3 girls, dismissing one again, etc. - meaning that you end up completing the same jigsaws multiple times for the girls you dismiss each time.

    […]

    #jeu_vidéo #jeux_vidéo #ia #ia_midjourney #art #jeu_vidéo_this_girl_does_not_exist #datingsim #puzzle #steam #déception #échec