region:north africa

  • Rare Photos: European Refugee Camps in Syria — At The Height of World War II

    The whole world is aware that Europe is buckled under the biggest refugee crisis since World War II, with millions of people fleeing civil war and oppression in the Middle East, North Africa, and Western Asia, and landing on the continent’s shores by land and by sea. The UN estimates that more people have been displaced than at any time since the Second World War — there are close to 60 million war refugees, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

    While there is no denying the fact that the current humanitarian crisis is the worst refugee crisis of our generation; with continuous comparison to World War II, it is imperative that we share a small yet important fact with you: at the height of World War II, the Middle East Relief and Refugee Administration (MERRA) operated camps in Syria, Egypt and Palestine, where tens of thousands of people from across Europe sought refuge.

    Yes, you read it right. Refugees crossed the same passageways [which the Syrians, the Africans, and the Asians are taking to reach Europe TODAY] 70 years ago — BUT they were the Europeans (largely from Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Turkey and Yugoslavia) trying to find solace in the Middle East.

    How The Refugees Entered The Camps:

    According to the International Social Service records, refugees from Europe had to register at one of several camps in Egypt, Palestine and Syria and obtain camp-issued identification cards, which contained their full name, gender, marital status, passport number, and their educational and work history.

    After registration, they had to undergo a refugee medical examination at makeshift hospital facilities — where they took off their clothes, their shoes and were washed until officials believed they were sufficiently disinfected. When they were declared fit enough to join the refugee camp, they were divided into living quarters for families, unaccompanied children, single men and single women.

    How They Survived:

    Refugees in MERRA camps received a half portion of Army rations each day; sometimes supplemented with foods that reflected refugees’ national customs and religious practices. ‘Rich’ refugees could buy beans, olives, oil, fruit, tea, coffee and other staples from camp canteens. On the rare occasion, during supervised visits to local shops, they could buy soap, razor blades, pencils, paper, stamps and other items. Some camps provided space for refugees to prepare meals; one camp in Aleppo reserved a room for women so they could make macaroni with flour, which they received from camp officials.

    How They Found Work & Developed Skills:

    Some, but not all, camps required refugees to work — though they were not forced to earn to make ends meet. GlobalPost reports:

    In Aleppo, refugees were encouraged, but not required, to work as cooks, cleaners and cobblers. Labor wasn’t mandatory in Nuseirat, either, but camp officials did try to create opportunities for refugees to use their skills in carpentry, painting, shoe making and wool spinning so that they could stay occupied and earn a little income from other refugees who could afford their services. At Moses Wells, all able-bodied, physically fit refugees worked as shopkeepers, cleaners, seamstresses, apprentices, masons, carpenters or plumbers, while “exceptionally qualified persons” served as school masters or labor foremen. Women performed additional domestic work like sewing, laundry, and preparing food on top of any other work they had.

    How They Acquired Knowledge:

    Margaret G. Arnstein, a prominent nurse practitioner notes that students in a few camps at El Shatt and Moses Wells were taught practical nursing, anatomy, physiology, first aid, obstetrics, pediatrics, as well as the military rules and regulations that governed wartime refugee camps.

    How They Entertained Themselves:

    In their free time, the men played handball, football and socialized over cigarettes, beer and wine in camp canteens. In their free time, children played with swings, slides and seesaws.

    How They Prepared For A Brighter Future:

    Education was a crucial part of camp routines. GlobalPost writes:

    Classrooms in Middle Eastern refugee camps had too few teachers and too many students, inadequate supplies and suffered from overcrowding. Yet not all the camps were so hard pressed. In Nuseirat, for example, a refugee who was an artist completed many paintings and posted them all over the walls of a kindergarten inside the camp, making the classrooms “bright and cheerful.” Well-to-do people in the area donated toys, games, and dolls to the kindergarten, causing a camp official to remark that it “compared favorably with many in the United States.”

    https://anonhq.com/rare-photos-european-refugee-camps-syria-height-world-war-ii

    #quand_eux_c'était_nous #réfugiés_européens #histoire #syrie #camps_de_réfugiés #WWII #seconde_guerre_mondiale #photographie #deuxième_guerre_moniale
    ping @albertocampiphoto @philippe_de_jonckheere


  • A drinkable history of colonialism in North Africa, vol 2:

    LEMONADE 🍋🍊 You are probably familiar with the delicious orange sparkling soda #Orangina. What you may not know is that it was invented in Algeria, in a dramatic TALE OF TWO SODAS.
    Colonial Algeria was a great producer of citrus 🍊 so much so that a Catholic monk near Oran, frère Clément ended up giving his name to the clementine (which he supposedly ’discovered’)
    n the worldwide recession of the 1930s, Algeria had a crapload of oranges and nowhere to sell them to. So a man from Boufarik, Léon Béton, decided to use these excess oranges to make a refreshing sparkling drink: voilà, Orangina was invented in 1935... OR WAS IT?
    WHO 👏🏼 INVENTED 👏🏼ORANGINA👏🏼? Orangina was at the centre of a bitter controversy (geddit? Bitter fruit?) A Spanish doctor from Valencia, Trigo Miralles, claimed to have developed the recipe first - but follow me to an even shadier conspiracé
    This is the national drink of Algeria: #Selecto, a sweet soda made by the #Hamoud_Boualem company

    As you can see from their logo, the Boualem family has been in the soda business for a long time - IN FACT, they won a prize for their original lemonade (gazouz blanche pour les amateurs) all the way back in 1889 at the Paris World Fair
    The Boualems are a rare case of Algerian entrepreneurial success that made it through the entire colonial period with their delicious lemonades, while winning prizes and keeping ownership in the same family until this day
    o this day some claim that other lemonade companies including Beton’s Orangina stole recipes and techniques from the industrious Boualems
    So, pied-noir Orangina (now produced near Marseille) or Algerian Hamoud Boualem? Next time you sip, drink up the history

    https://twitter.com/ArthurAsseraf/status/1081849364342104064
    #limonade #alimentation #colonialisme #histoire #citronnade #géographie_culturelle #colonisation #Algérie


  • Accelerated remittances growth to low- and middle-income countries in 2018

    Remittances to low- and middle-income countries grew rapidly and are projected to reach a new record in 2018, says the latest edition of the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief, released today.

    The Bank estimates that officially recorded remittances to developing countries will increase by 10.8 percent to reach $528 billion in 2018. This new record level follows robust growth of 7.8 percent in 2017. Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, are projected to grow by 10.3 percent to $689 billion.

    Remittance flows rose in all regions, most notably in Europe and Central Asia (20 percent) and South Asia (13.5 percent), followed by Sub-Saharan Africa (9.8 percent), Latin America and the Caribbean (9.3 percent), the Middle East and North Africa (9.1 percent), and East Asia and the Pacific (6.6 percent). Growth was driven by a stronger economy and employment situation in the United States and a rebound in outward flows from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the Russian Federation.

    Among major remittance recipients, India retains its top spot, with remittances expected to total $80 billion this year, followed by China ($67 billion), Mexico and the Philippines ($34 billion each), and Egypt ($26 billion).

    As global growth is projected to moderate, future remittances to low- and middle-income countries are expected to grow moderately by 4 percent to reach $549 billion in 2019. Global remittances are expected to grow 3.7 percent to $715 billion in 2019.

    The Brief notes that the global average cost of sending $200 remains high at 6.9 percent in the third quarter of 2018. Reducing remittance costs to 3 percent by 2030 is a global target under #Sustainable_Development_Goals (SDG) 10.7. Increasing the volume of remittances is also a global goal under the proposals for raising financing for the SDGs.

    https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2018/12/08/accelerated-remittances-growth-to-low-and-middle-income-countries-in-2018

    #remittances #migrations #statistiques #chiffres #2018 #coût #SDGs


  • Funding gaps threaten to leave nearly 1 million children out in the cold in the Middle East and North Africa
    https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/funding-gaps-threaten-leave-nearly-1-million-children-out-cold-middle-east-a

    With cold and rainy weather sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa, nearly 1 million children affected by crises in the region risk being left out in the cold. UNICEF is facing a US$33 million funding gap – two-thirds of the total appeal - for lifesaving winter assistance for children including warm clothes, blankets and winter health, water, sanitation and hygiene supplies.

    “Years of conflict, displacement and unemployment have reduced families’ financial resources to almost nothing. Staying warm has simply become unaffordable,” said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “With little nutritious food and healthcare, children have grown weak, becoming prone to hypothermia and dangerous respiratory diseases. Without help to protect them from the freezing weather, these children are likely to face dire consequences.”

    Falling temperatures will bring even further hardship to thousands of families who are living in extremely basic conditions especially in camps or crowded shelters with little protection from the freezing cold. Last winter, two children died from the cold as they were attempting to flee the war in Syria to Lebanon in search of safety.

    Overall this winter, UNICEF aims to reach 1.3 million children in Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, the State of Palestine, Turkey and Egypt with warm clothes; thermal blankets; water, sanitation, health and hygiene support; and cash assistance for families. UNICEF’s winter response complements existing programmes in health, nutrition, water and sanitation, protection and education and aims to keep vulnerable children across the region warm, healthy and in school this winter.

    #réfugiés


  • Spotify’s Palestinian launch puts local artists on the map | MEO
    https://middle-east-online.com/en/spotifys-palestinian-launch-puts-local-artists-map

    Palestinian musicians are fast reaping dividends from their presence on Spotify, which launched its internet streaming service in the Middle East and North Africa last week.

    “The Arab hub provides a unique platform that brings the full spectrum of Arab culture and creativity, past and present,” said Suhel Nafar, a musician from the Israeli city of Lod who serves as the music streaming service’s senior Arab music and culture editor.

    Spotify is the first major streaming company to launch a programme specific to the occupied Palestinian territories, allowing local artists to reach new global audiences despite local challenges.

    #tic_arabes #palestine


  • Kuwait flood damages estimated at over $300 million
    https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2018/11/12/kuwait-flood-damages-estimated-at-over-300-million
    https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/file/getimagecustom/098e5608-0588-4406-bf44-c30f579a705a/600/338

    Flash floods after heavy rains in Kuwait have caused hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of damage in the country, wreaking havoc on roads, bridges and homes.
    […]
    Bad weather - accompanied by torrential rains and flash floods - have hit several countries in the region, including Jordan where 12 people have been killed and nearly 4,000 tourists forced to flee the famed ancient desert city of Petra.

    Kuwait City hit by Heavy rain and flash floods | Airport | 7th Ring road | 14-Nov-2018
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdhQn4J-4ck


  • Why Spain is a Window into the E.U. Migration Control Industry

    Spain’s migration control policies in North Africa dating back over a decade are now replicated across the E.U. Gonzalo Fanjul outlines PorCausa’s investigation into Spain’s migration control industry and its warning signs for the rest of Europe.

    There was a problem and we fixed it.” For laconic President José María Aznar, these words were quite the political statement. The then Spanish president was speaking in July 1996, after 103 Sub-Saharan migrants who had reached Melilla, a Spanish enclave in North Africa, were drugged, handcuffed and taken to four African countries by military aircraft.

    President Aznar lay the moral and political foundations of a system based on the securitization, externalization and, increasingly, the privatization of border management. This system was consolidated by subsequent Spanish governments and later extended to the rest of the European Union, setting the grounds for a thriving business: the industry of migration control.

    Between 2001 and 2010, long before Europe faced the so-called “refugee crisis,” Spain built two walls in its North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, signed combined development and repatriation agreements with nine African countries, passed two major pieces of legislation on migration, and fostered inter-regional migration initiatives such as the Rabat Process. Spain also designed and established the Integral System of External Surveillance, to this day one of the most sophisticated border surveillance mechanisms in the world.

    The ultimate purpose of these efforts was clear: to deter irregular migration, humanely if possible, but at any cost if necessary.

    Spain was the first European country to utilize a full array of control and cooperation instruments in countries along the migration route to Europe. The system proved effective during the “cayuco crisis” in 2005 and 2006. Following a seven-fold increase in the number of arrivals from West Africa to the Canary Islands by boat, Spain made agreements with several West African countries to block the route, forcing migrants to take the even riskier Sahel passage.

    Although the E.U. questioned the humanitarian consequences of these deals at the time, less than a decade later officials across the continent have replicated large parts of the Spanish system, including the E.U. Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and agreements between the Italian and the Libyan governments.

    Today, 2005 seems like different world. That year, the E.U. adopted its Global Approach on Migration and Mobility, which balanced the “prevention of irregular migration and trafficking” with promising language on the “fostering of well-managed migration” and the “maximization” of its development impact.

    Since then, the combined effect of the Great Recession – an institutional crisis – and the increased arrival of refugees has diluted reformist efforts in Europe. Migration policies are being defined by ideological nationalism and economic protectionism. Many politicians in Europe are electorally profiting from these trends. The case of Spain also illustrates that the system is ripe for financial profit.

    For over a year, Spanish investigative journalism organization porCausa mapped the industry of migration control in Spain. We detailed the ecosystem of actors and interests facilitating the industry, whose operations rely almost exclusively on public funding. A myriad private contractors and civil society organizations operate in four sectors: border protection and surveillance; detention and expulsion of irregular migrants; reception and integration of migrants; and externalization of migration control through agreements with private organisations and public institutions in third countries.

    We began by focusing on securitization and border management. We found that between 2002 and 2017 Spain allocated at least 610 million euros ($720 million) of public funding through 943 contracts related to the deterrence, detention and expulsion of migrants. Our analysis reached two striking conclusions and one question for future research.

    Firstly, we discovered the major role that the E.U. plays in Spain’s migration control industry. Just over 70 percent of the 610 million euros came from different European funds, such as those related to External Borders, Return and Internal Security, as well as the E.U. border agency Frontex. Thus, Spanish public spending is determined by the policy priorities established by E.U. institutions and member states. Those E.U. institutions have since diligently replicated the Spanish approach. With the E.U. now driving these policies forward, the approach is likely to be replicated in other European countries.

    Secondly, our data highlights how resources are concentrated in the hands of a few businesses. Ten out of the 350 companies included in our database received over half of the 610 million euros. These companies have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the Spanish government in other sectors such as defence, construction and communications, and are now gaining a privileged role in the highly sensitive areas of border surveillance and migration control.

    Our research also surfaced a troubling question that has shaped the second phase of our inquiry: to what extent are these companies influencing Spanish migration policy? The capture of rules and institutions by elites in an economic system has been documented in sectors such as defence, taxation or pharmaceuticals. That this could also be happening to borders and migration policy should alarm public opinion and regulators. For example, the key role played by private technology companies in the design and implementation of Spain’s Integral System of External Surveillance demonstrates the need for further investigation.

    Spain’s industry of migration control may be the prototype of a growing global phenomenon. Migration policies have been taken over by border deterrence goals and narratives. Meanwhile, border control is increasingly dependent on the technology and management of private companies. As E.U.-level priorities intersect with those of the highly-concentrated – and possibly politically influential – migration control industry, Europe risks being trapped in a political and budgetary vicious circle based on the premise of migration-as-a-problem, complicating any future reform efforts towards a more open migration system.

    https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/community/2018/05/21/why-spain-is-a-window-into-the-e-u-migration-control-industry
    #Afrique_du_Nord #externalisation #modèle_espagnol #migrations #contrôles_migratoires #asile #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #asile #réfugiés #histoire


  • Detainees Evacuated out of Libya but Resettlement Capacity Remains Inadequate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Libya: evacuations to Niger resumed – returns from Niger begun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      The lucky few

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      ‘Time is just running from my life’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      A stop-start process

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  • WATCH | “There is a minefield sign and the migrants will go into this area because they know the police won’t be there”. Hans von der Brelie (@euronewsreport) is reporting from the Bosnia-Herzegovina border.

    https://twitter.com/euronews/status/1058409250043633671

    #Bonsie_Herzégovine #Bosnie #migrations #asile #réfugiés #mines_anti-personnel #frontières #Croatie

    Ici le reportage:
    On the ground at the Bosnian-Croatian border where migrant tensions are rising

    Tensions are rising on the Bosnian-Croatian border, where scores of migrants are demanding entry to the European Union, amid reports this week of fresh police clashes, plummeting temperatures and inadequate living conditions.

    Thousands of migrants and refugees fleeing wars and poverty in North Africa and Asia are sleeping rough near the border, which they hope to cross to gain access to the EU.

    Several people were injured on Wednesday in clashes with Croatian police, with migrants accusing officers of beating them and smashing their phones.

    Meanwhile, Doctors Without Borders warned that “as temperatures drop the situation becomes more difficult and tensions are rising.”

    Euronews correspondent Hans von der Brelie is at the scene. Take a look at his pictures and videos below to find out what is really happening on the ground:
    https://twitter.com/euronews/status/1058409250043633671
    Matiola and Nazir want to enter the European Union without visas. However, they can’t cross the well-protected Bosnian border with Croatia.

    They are stuck in the northwestern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Bihac, sleeping rough — protected against rain by plastic sheets.

    Tensions are rising on the Bosnian-Croatian border, where scores of migrants are demanding entry to the European Union, amid reports this week of fresh police clashes, plummeting temperatures and inadequate living conditions.

    Thousands of migrants and refugees fleeing wars and poverty in North Africa and Asia are sleeping rough near the border, which they hope to cross to gain access to the EU.

    Several people were injured on Wednesday in clashes with Croatian police, with migrants accusing officers of beating them and smashing their phones.

    Meanwhile, Doctors Without Borders warned that “as temperatures drop the situation becomes more difficult and tensions are rising.”

    Euronews correspondent Hans von der Brelie is at the scene. Take a look at his pictures and videos below to find out what is really happening on the ground:

    Matiola and Nazir want to enter the European Union without visas. However, they can’t cross the well-protected Bosnian border with Croatia.

    They are stuck in the northwestern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Bihac, sleeping rough — protected against rain by plastic sheets.

    A torn EU umbrella lays on top of destroyed tents and garbage in a public park of #Bihac.

    Hundreds of migrants had put their tents here, but they are no longer tolerated and the camp was dismantled.


    Migrants rebuild a shelter in Bihac park.

    These friends from the Kurdish part of Iraq have stayed together throughout the difficult journey. They dream of building a future in Germany or France.

    This is 24-year-old Muhamed Suliman. He worked as a taxi driver in Dubai before heading towards Europe. It was "too hot to stay there. Not enough pay. Too many fines,” he said.

    Suliman said his dream is to reach Italy, but there is no way to cross into Croatia.

    “I will try again. Again and again,” he said.

    Wearing plastic sandals, he said Croatian police took his shoes.


    The remains of a dismantled tent camp in Bihac park.

    Kurdish Iraqi migrants discuss their broken smartphone. “The Croatian police smashed it,” they said.

    Ageed, Muhemed, Jalal, Karwan, Lawin, Ahmad, Tahiro are from Iraq. They speak Kurdish.

    They have been staying for many weeks in the public park of Bihac, the starting point to cross illegally over the external EU border.

    They have tried several times to enter Croatia but were always caught by border guards.

    Muhamed claims he was surrounded by seven Croatian policemen and beaten up.

    This is a former students dormitory building in Bihac park, where almost 1,000 migrants and refugees sleep rough. They mainly come from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Northern Africa, Bangladesh, Iran and Iraq.

    People cook on an open fire in front of a former students’ dormitory in Bihac.

    The migrants from Pakistan are aiming to cross the nearby external EU border illegally into Croatia and travel further towards Italy, Germany, France and Spain.

    This official tries to detect migrants crossing into Croatia illegally every day and night.

    Ivana and Josip are two of 6,300 police officers controlling the Croatian border with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    As it prepares to join the EU’s Schengen zone soon, Croatia has invested heavily in human resources.

    “We have really a lot of colleagues around here at the external border of the EU”, Ivana and Josip told Euronews.

    This is just one out of many watchtowers and observation posts on the Croatian side of the external EU border with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    “No need to build a border fence here,” says Damir Butina, head of the border police unit in Cetingrad.

    This is the famous “#green_border” between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The tiny creek marks the exact borderline.

    The left side of the picture is Croatia, the right is Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    Dozens of migrants try to cross the border every day and every night. While there is no fence, there is hidden high tech surveillance all around. You move — and you will be detected.

    https://www.euronews.com/2018/11/02/on-the-ground-at-the-bosnian-croatian-border-where-migrant-tensions-are-ri
    #frontière_verte #militarisation_des_frontières


  • 30 years on since first migrant death, still no end to tragedies at sea

    When the body of a Moroccan man washed up on a beach in #Tarifa in 1988, no one knew that it would be the first of more than 6,700 fatalities.

    The body lay face up in the sand with its arms in a cross. It was swollen but clothed. The small boat had run aground and swept up on the shores of a beach in Tarifa, a town in Spain’s southern province of Cádiz. Four survivors recounted in French the story of the shipwreck that “froze the heart.”

    It was November 1, 1988, a date that continues to haunt journalist Ildefonso Sena. He took 10 photos of the scene with his Nikon compact camera but only one was needed for the incident to send shock waves through Europe. Without intending to, he had immortalized the first migrant death in the Strait of Gibraltar.

    “I wasn’t aware of the number of deaths that would follow,” Sena told the local newspaper Diario de Cádiz. Two bodies were found the following day, another two on November 3 and one more in Ceuta, the Spanish exclave city in North Africa. A total of 11 people died and seven disappeared. It was the first time a migrant boat had shipwrecked off Spain’s southern border. Thirty years on, there is no sign of an end to the deaths. “There has not been one single year where there have not been deadly tragedies,” says Gabriel Delgado, who has been director of the Migration Office of the Cádiz and Ceuta Diocese since 1993.

    Since November 1, 1988, 6,714 migrants have died or gone missing in the Strait of Gibraltar, according to a report by the migrant support group Andalucía Acoge. As the sun sets one afternoon in late October, Antonio Ruiz and his son Francisco Ruiz visit the graves at Tarifa cemetery. Antonio was mayor for the Socialist Party (PSOE) when Tarifa was shocked by the first migrant death. Now his son is the mayor and the people of the town, home to 118,116 residents, jump into action to lend a hand and provide resources to hundreds of migrants when the system is unable to cope.

    In Tarifa, they now know that when the wind is calm or gently blowing from the west, boats will arrive to the shore. And, if there is a sudden easterly gust, that there will be more deaths at sea. “We have 30 years of experience. We have been living with this situation for many years and are used to it. You have to normalize providing shelter, but you must never normalize death,” says Francisco Ruiz.

    This is the unwritten wisdom of a town committed to solidarity at all costs – a hundred or so locals spent their summer helping migrants sheltered in the municipal pavilion – and one that is becoming increasingly more familiar with the arrival of bodies of North African and Sub-Saharan migrants to their shores.

    It was not like this in the 1980s, when the town had no idea about the scope of the problem. “We could not imagine that this was going to lead to what it has led to,” explains Antonio Ruiz. Sena agrees: “The migration phenomena was gradually revealed. Between 1982 and 1983, boats began to arrive and the Civil Guard thought at first they were bringing in drugs. Later it happened more frequently but nobody gave it any importance until November 1, 1988.” That was the day the journalist was told by a Civil Guard officer: “Go to Los Lances beach, a body has appeared.”

    Sena remembers the scene when he arrived: “There was an infernal wind. The dead young man was two meters from the bow of the boat. He was around 25 years old and covered with grime from the sea.”

    He squatted down to take the photos. An officer then approached him and asked if he could interpret from French for the four Moroccan survivors. “They told me that 23 of them had set sail at 12 from a beach in Tangier. Halfway into the trip, they were surprised by a very strong easterly wind. They got close to the coast but the ship capsized,” recalls the 67-year-old, who has now retired.

    The 11 migrants who were found dead in the following days had no name, affiliation or known family – a pattern that would become all too familiar. Their bodies were moved from the morgue to a common grave in Tarifa cemetery, which is marked by a simple tombstone: “In memory of the migrants who died in the Strait of Gibraltar.” Delgado placed the tombstone when he took office. Since then, he and his team have discovered that, unlike other dioceses, the brunt of their work is in assisting migrants, not emigrants.

    Delgado has 25 years of bittersweet experiences, of migrants who were able to move forward and others who became just another anonymous legal process of a tomb in the cemeteries of Tarifa, Barbate and Conil de la Frontera in Cádiz, and in Ceuta. In these years, Delgado has seen blood trails on beaches and dead children, like Samuel, who was found at the beginning of 2017 in Barbate. “Fatal tragedies hit me very hard. I cannot get used to it,” explains the priest, who has officiated dozens of migrant burials.

    Every second Wednesday of the month, Delgado organizes Circles of Silence meetings in cities in Ceuta and Cádiz. “We don’t want anyone to get used to tragedy. Now I fear that, what’s more, we have gone from the globalization of indifference to the globalization of rejection,” he says in a serious tone.

    Every date marks the death of a migrant at sea. But back on November 1, 1988, it was difficult to imagine the Strait of Gibraltar would become the mass grave it is today. That windy morning was just a day when Sena pressed the shutter on his camera, “without calibrating the importance the photo would have.”


    https://elpais.com/elpais/2018/11/01/inenglish/1541074865_689521.html?id_externo_rsoc=TW_CC
    #Etroit_de_Gibraltar #mourir_en_mer #30_ans triste (#anniversaire) #histoire #photographie #migrations #frontières #fermeture_des_frontières #Espagne #Méditerranée #Forteresse_Europe #1988

    ping @reka


  • Israa Al-Ghomgham, a Saudi woman facing the death penalty for peaceful protest · Global Voices
    https://globalvoices.org/2018/10/31/israa-al-ghomgham-a-saudi-woman-facing-the-death-penalty-for-peaceful-

    uman rights advocate Israa Al-Ghomgham is facing the death penalty in Saudi Arabia, for her non-violent human rights related activities.

    Al-Ghomgham was arrested in 2015 along with her husband, activist Mousa Al-Hashim, over their roles in anti-government protests in Al-Qatif back in 2011, when pro-democracy protests spread across the Middle East and North Africa.

    #arabie_saoudite #barbares #droits_humains


  • No man’s land at Paris airport: Where France keeps foreigners who’ve been refused entry

    Every day, foreigners suspected of trying to enter France illegally are taken to a special area of Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport where they are held at a facility dubbed #ZAPI. Located just a stone’s throw away from the airport’s runways, the ultra-secure area is closed to the general public. NGOs say ZAPI is just another name for a prison, where foreigner’s rights are flouted and where expulsions are fast-tracked. InfoMigrants was granted exclusive access to it.

    Audrey is pulling funny faces at the little girl she’s holding in her arms. “She’s not mine,” she says, and points to the girl’s mother who is sitting on another bench just a few metres away. “I’m just playing with her to pass the time,” she says. Twenty-eight-year-old Audrey from Gabon currently lives inside the four walls of the Charles de Gaulle airport’s “waiting zone”, or ZAPI, where people who have been refused entry onto French territory are being held while authorities decide what to do with them.

    Audrey’s laugh is barely audible. Neither is that of the little girl. The loud noise of the aircraft that just touched down some 50 metres away from them have drowned out all the surrounding sounds. “The noise, it’s hard… It prevents us from sleeping, we hear the planes all the time…,” the young woman complains without even looking at the giant aircraft whose wings are now gracing the fence of ZAPI.

    This tiny piece of no man’s land lies just next to one of the airport’s runways. “ZAPI is a bit like a protrusion of the international zone,” Alexis Marty explains, who heads up the immigration department at the French border police (PAF). In legal terms, the zone is not deemed to be a part of French territory. “It’s a zone where people end up when they’ve been refused entry into France and the Schengen area” by not having a visa, or because there are suspicions that their travel documents have been forged… Audrey, who’s been there for nearly a week, recalls how she was intercepted just as she was getting off the plane. She says she was placed at ZAPI because she didn’t have a “hotel” and “not enough money”.

    To visit France for a period lasting up to three months, foreigners need to fulfill certain conditions before being allowed to touch French ground: They need to have a valid passport, a visa (depending on the nationality), a medical insurance covering their stay, proof of lodging (hotel reservation or with family members), enough funds to cover their stay as well as a return ticket.

    Ill-prepared tourists or illegal immigrants?

    Foreigners who are stopped by customs officers because they don’t fulfill the conditions linked to their stay generally end up at ZAPI. “We don’t send everyone there,” Marty explains, however, pointing to certain nuances. “There are confused tourists who’ve just prepared their vacations really poorly, and who’ve forgotten essential documents. But there are also those who have different intentions, and who produce forged documents to try to enter European territory illegally.”

    It’s difficult to tell an ill-prepared tourist and a potential illegal immigrant apart. This is why the verification is done in several steps. “We don’t send people to ZAPI right away, we first carry out an initial check. When a suspicious person steps out of the plane, we bring them into a separate room to verify their documents, to ask them questions, listen to their replies and to verify any additional information they give us. If all goes well, we release them after a few hours,” he explains. “But if the incoherencies and the doubts persist, if the person produces fake documents or no documents at all, if a ‘migration risk’ exists for the person, we place them in ZAPI.”

    On this particular October day, the airport’s “waiting zone” houses a total of 96 people, of which one is an unaccompanied minor. The number of people changes on a daily basis. “Generally, a person spends four and a half days at ZAPI, so the rotation is pretty fast,” police commander Serge Berquier, who is the head of ZAPI, says. The maximum time a person can stay there is 20 days. Men, women and children – even minors traveling on their own – may be sent there. There is no age limit.

    After a three-week stay, a so-called “ZAPIst” is left with three options: Either they are finally granted entry into France (with a safe conduct), they are sent back to the country they traveled from, or a legal case is opened against them (for refusing to board, for forging documents, etc.). In 2016, some 7,000 people were held at the airport at some point, of which 53 percent were immediately refused entry into France.

    While “ZAPIsts” wait for their fates to be decided, they do what they can to kill time. They stroll in the outdoor space, they stay in their rooms, or they hang out in the TV room. The PAF makes a point of clarifying that the “ZAPIsts” are not “detainees” but rather “retainees”. This means that they have rights; family members can visit, they have access to catering services and can get legal and humanitarian assistance from the Red Cross which has a permanent presence at the facility.

    “It’s not a prison,” Marty says. “Here, you can keep your personal belongings, your mobile phone, you can go in and out of the rooms as much as you like. The only restriction is that you’re not allowed to exit the premises.”

    It may not be a prison, but it’s definitely a place of deprivation. Not all mobile phones are allowed, and those equipped with a camera are confiscated automatically.

    It’s 11.45am, but no one seems to be around on the ground floor. The TV is on in the communal room, but there’s no one there to watch it. No one is using the public payphones which are available to the “ZAPIsts” 24/7. On the first floor, where the rooms are located, the hallways are more or less empty. “They’re most likely downstairs, in the canteen, lunch will be served soon,” a police officer says. “Otherwise they might be outside, in the garden, talking or smoking.”

    The police presence is fairly discrete on the floor with the rooms, but every now and then the police officers can be heard calling someone through the loud-speakers that have been installed in the building. “We use it to call people who have a visit or a meeting. It helps us avoid having to run through the hallways to find them,” Berquier, the head of ZAPI, explains while showing us around the premises. “There are 67 rooms. Some are reserved for families, and others for people with reduced mobility […] There’s also an area reserved for unaccompanied minors and an area with games for them and for families.”

    La ZAPI compte au total une soixantaine de chambres Crdit InfoMigrants

    ‘Things can be improved’

    The atmosphere at ZAPI is calm, almost peaceful. Until Youssef, an Algerian who’s been held there for four days, turns up. He seems to be on his guard, and appears quite tense. “I’m still waiting for my suitcase, I don’t have any clothes to change with,” he complains and lights a cigarette. “The Red Cross is helping me out.” It can take several days for a person who’ve been placed in ZAPI to have their personal belongings returned to them. Checked-in luggage first has to be located and then controlled… During this period, the Red Cross does what it can in terms of clothing, offering T-shirts and underwear.

    Marty finds the situation with the luggage deplorable. “It’s evident that not everything is perfect, there are things that can be improved,” he admits. “To have a suitcase speedily returned to someone at ZAPI is among the things where progress can be made.”

    Returning home

    Audrey from Gabon and Youssef from Algeria, who have both found themselves blocked in this no-man’s land, have more or less the same story to tell. Both of them claim they came to France to visit family, insisting they did not intend to enter the country illegally. “But now, my situation isn’t very good,” the young woman says. Did she really come for the “tourist visit” she claims? Or did she try her chance at entering France by sneaking through the controls (customs)? It’s hard to know. The police have the same doubts when it comes to Youssef. “I came here to visit family, but I had a problem with my return ticket which didn’t match my visa,” he explains. Youssef says he wants to try to regularize his documents – “to buy a return ticket that conforms to the conditions” – in order to leave ZAPI and thereafter enter France. Audrey, on the other hand, says she has “given up”. She wants to go home now.

    The PAF sometimes comes across “people who ask to go home because they understand that their entry into France is compromised,” Marty explains. The costs of such returns are normally taken out of the pocket of the airline that flew the foreigner in question to France in the first place, and is undoubtedly a way for authorities to sanction the airlines and force them to be more vigilant when it comes to checking their passengers’ travel documents.

    The risk of failing an attempt to enter a country illegally is often higher for those who try to do so via air travel. “It’s an expensive trip, you have to pay for the ticket as well as the forged passport you need to fool the authorities, and this is before having to take the rigorous controls at the airports into account,” Marty says.

    The nationalities of migrants arriving by plane are often different from those who try to reach Europe by sea or by land. “The people at ZAPI are mainly from South America, Honduras, Brazil, and Nicaragua. Also from China and Russia. Some also come from North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, but they are fewer in numbers.” On this particular day, the people in ZAPI’s courtyard are from Gabon, Chad, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and South America.

    ’The aim is to deport’

    ZAPI also houses people seeking asylum. “There are people who demand protection in France as soon as they step off the plane,” Marty explains. “They tell border police […] Everything has been organized so that they know they have the right to demand asylum and that we’re ready to help them in their attempt to do so.”

    Charlene Cuartero-Saez works for Anafé, an association that helps foreigners who have been blocked between borders, and which has an office at ZAPI. She almost chokes when she hears the “model” description of the facility that Marty has given, saying it is far from the benevolent place he has been talking about.

    Cuartero-Saez has her desk in room 38 of the building, which has been converted into an Anafé office, Cuartero-Saez lists the different dysfunctions of the place: the poor ventilation, the restricted outdoor access, cameras in the communal areas, no laundry room… “It’s true that here, the material conditions are less difficult than elsewhere. Charles de Gaulle’s ZAPI is a bit like the display window for other ‘waiting zones’ in France. But that doesn’t prevent people from having their rights flouted, especially here.”

    ’Some are sent back just a few hours after their arrival in France’

    “[Police] say that people are informed of their rights in their native language, but in my opinion that is not always true. Many [officers] work on the principle that if the migrants speaks a few words of English, he or she doesn’t need an interpreter.”

    Anafé is also alarmed over the fast-speed returns of “ZAPIsts” – despite the existence of a “clear day” which normally gives a person 24 hours of respite at ZAPI. “This ‘clear day’ exists, yes, but you only get it if you ask for it! Many people don’t even know what it is,” Cuartero-Saez says. “There have been cases where people have been sent back to their countries just a few hours after arriving in France.”

    The law stipulates that asylum request can be filed at any moment – and thereby suspending an imminent deportation. In those cases, an Ofpra official comes to ZAPI to carry out a pre-assessment of the person’s request. The interview doesn’t decide on the asylum application itself, but evaluates the pertinence of the demand. A decision should be made within 20 days. If the demand is rejected, a deportation is imminent. A person filing a demand for asylum while at ZAPI can therefore receive a definite response within just a few days, whereas the average waiting time in France is between two and eight months or even more, depending on the case.

    Ces trois jeunes Sri-Lankais ont dpos une demande dasile aux frontires Crdit InfoMigrants

    “The aim of keeping [people in] this waiting area is to be able deport them, Cuartero-Saez states, and gives three asylum-seeking Sri Lankans who are currently staying at ZAPI as an example. The three men – all under the age of 30 – are in the courtyard and explain how they fear for their lives because they’re members of the separatist Tamil Tigers (LTTE) movement. All three have just been notified that their demands for asylum have been rejected.

    They show their rejection letters while seated on a bench in the sunshine. They speak neither French nor English and they don’t seem to know what to do next. They’ve been there for two weeks now. “We told them that they can appeal the decision. They didn’t know they could do that, no one had informed them of that,” Cuartero-Saez says.

    The three Tamils appear to be quite lost. They don’t seem to understand that they could face imminent deportation. In five days’ time, their retention at ZAPI will expire. “We don’t want to go back to Sri Lanka,” they say smiling. “We want to stay in France.”

    Aja, from Chad, and her two small daughters are in the same situation. They have been held at ZAPI for four days. Aja doesn’t want them to be returned to Chad, but she doesn’t want to demand asylum either. “I think I had a problem with money… That’s why they’re keeping me here. I’m here as a tourist,” she says, but adds that she “would very much like” to stay in France if it was possible. Because of this deadlock, she and her daughters also risk deportation.

    For those staying at ZAPI, the place is not synonymous with neither violence nor mistreatment but rather anxiety. At any given moment, PAF officers can try to force someone at ZAPI onboard a plane. “We have examples of people who don’t manage to register their asylum request in time,” Cuartero-Saez at Anafé says. “When the demand hasn’t been registered, the process is never launched… And so, without recourse, a person can be sent back in less than four days without even knowing his or her rights.”

    http://www.infomigrants.net/en/webdoc/146/no-man-s-land-at-paris-airport-where-france-keeps-foreigners-who-ve-be
    #Paris #aéroport #zone_de_transit #limbe #asile #migrations #réfugiés #déboutés #renvois #expulsions #détention #rétention #détention_administrative


  • Why the Khashoggi murder is a disaster for Israel -
    The grisly hit-job on Khashoggi has implications far beyond its exposure of the Saudi Crown Prince as brutal and reckless. In Jerusalem and D.C., they’re mourning their whole strategic concept for the Mideast - not least, for countering Iran

    Daniel B. Shapiro
    Oct 17, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-why-the-khashoggi-murder-is-a-disaster-for-israel-1.6569996

    For Israel, this sordid episode raises the prospects that the anchor of the new Middle East realities it has sought to promote - an Israeli-Sunni Arab coalition, under a U.S. umbrella, to check Iran and Sunni jihadists - cannot be counted upon.
    And Israel must be careful how it plays its hand. There will, without question, be a U.S. response to Khashoggi’s murder, even if it is resisted by the Trump administration. It will not lead to a total dismantlement of the U.S.-Saudi alliance, but Congressional and public revulsion will have its price. 

    President Hassan Rouhani giving a speech on Iranian TV in Tehran on May 8, 2018.HO/AFP
    The price could include significant restrictions on arms sales that had been contemplated. It is already leading key U.S. investors to distance themselves from the major development projects MBS has promoted. At a minimum, there will be no replay of the warm, PR-friendly visit by MBS to multiple U.S. cities last March, no more lionizing of him in the American press as a reformer who will reshape the Middle East.
    Israel, which has a clear interest in keeping Saudi Arabia in the fold of U.S. allies to maximize the strategic alignment on Iran, will need to avoid becoming MBS’s lobbyist in Washington. Israel’s coordination with its partners in the region is still necessary and desirable. Simple realpolitik requires it. But there is a new risk of reputational damage from a close association with Saudi Arabia. 
    It won’t be easy for Israel to navigate these waters, as the Washington foreign policy establishment has quickly splintered into anti-Iran and anti-Saudi camps. The idea that the United States should equally oppose Iranian and Saudi brutality toward their peoples, and not let MBS’s crimes lead to a lessening of pressure on Iran over its malign regional activities, is in danger of being lost.
    For Israelis, that may be the biggest blow in the fallout of Khashoggi’s murder. MBS, in his obsession with silencing his critics, has actually undermined the attempt to build an international consensus to pressure Iran.
    The damage is broad. Trump may be an outlier. But what Member of Congress, what European leader, would be willing to sit with MBS for a consultation on Iran now?
    That is the greatest evidence of MBS’s strategic blindness, and the damage will likely persist as long as he rules the kingdom.
    Daniel B. Shapiro is Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. He served as U.S. Ambassador to Israel, and Senior Director for the Middle East and North Africa in the Obama Administration. Twitter: @DanielBShapiro


  • L’Afrique, du #Sahel et du #Sahara à la #Méditerranée : intégrations, #circulations et #fragmentations

    Catherine Fournet-Guérin et Géraud Magrin
    L’Afrique, du Sahel et du Sahara à la Méditerranée : intégrations, circulations et fragmentations [Texte intégral disponible en juillet 2019]
    Africa, from the Sahel and the Sahara to the Mediterranean Sea. Integrations, circulations and fragmentations
    Alexis Gonin

    Le #foncier_pastoral au Sahel, des #mobilités fragilisées [Texte intégral disponible en juillet 2019]
    Pastoral land tenure in Sahel : jeopardized mobilities)
    #pastoralisme
    Ronan Mugelé

    La #Grande_muraille_verte au Sahel : entre ambitions globales et ancrage local [Texte intégral disponible en juillet 2019]
    The great green wall in Sahel : from global to local ambitions
    Géraud Magrin et Christine Raimond

    La région du lac #Tchad face à la crise #Boko_Haram : interdépendances et vulnérabilités d’une charnière sahélienne [Texte intégral disponible en juillet 2019]
    The Lake Chad region and Boko Haram crisis : links and vulnerability of a sahelian hinge
    Anne Bouhali

    Les places marchandes du #made_in_China au #Caire et à# Oran : #mondialisation et transformations des espaces et des pratiques de consommation [Texte intégral disponible en juillet 2019]
    The marketplaces of made-in-China goods in Cairo and Oran : globalization and transformations of consumption spaces and practices
    Nora Mareï et Olivier Ninot
    #Chine #Chinafrique

    Entre Afrique du Nord et de l’Ouest, les #relations_transsahariennes à un moment charnière [Texte intégral disponible en juillet 2019]
    Between north Africa and west Africa : trans-Saharan relations at a key moment
    Alice Franck

    L’échec de la partition d’un État à la charnière entre monde arabe et Afrique subsaharienne : le cas du #Soudan [Texte intégral disponible en juillet 2019]
    The failure of the partition of a pivotal State between the arab world and sub-saharan Africa : the case of Sudan
    Raphaëlle Chevrillon-Guibert et Géraud Magrin

    Ruées vers l’#or au #Soudan, au #Tchad et au Sahel : logiques étatiques, mobilités et contrôle territorial [Texte intégral disponible en juillet 2019]
    Gold rushes in Sudan, Chad and the Sahel : state logic, mobility, territorial control
    Laurent Gagnol
    #extractivisme #mines_d'or #mines

    Marginalité, spécificités et instabilité du #tourisme saharien [Texte intégral disponible en juillet 2019]
    Marginality, specificities and instability of Saharan tourism
    Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy

    Du #kif au #haschich : évolution de l’industrie du #cannabis au #Maroc [Texte intégral disponible en juillet 2019]
    From kif to hashish. the evolution of the cannabis industry in Morocco

    #drogues


    https://journals.openedition.org/bagf/2953
    #revue


  • Ancient shipwrecks found in Greek waters tell tale of trade routes | Reuters
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-greece-ancient-shipwrecks/ancient-shipwrecks-found-in-greek-waters-tell-tale-of-trade-routes-idUSKCN1

    Archaeologists in Greece have discovered at least 58 shipwrecks, many laden with antiquities, in what they say may be the largest concentration of ancient wrecks ever found in the Aegean and possibly the whole of the Mediterranean.

    The wrecks lie in the small island archipelago of Fournoi, in the Eastern Aegean, and span a huge period from ancient Greece right through to the 20th century. Most are dated to the Greek, Roman and Byzantine eras.

    Although shipwrecks can be seen together in the Aegean, until now such a large number have not been found together.

     Experts say they weave an exciting tale of how ships full of cargo traveling through the Aegean, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea met their fate in sudden storms and surrounded by rocky cliffs in the area.

    The excitement is difficult to describe, I mean, it was just incredible. We knew that we had stumbled upon something that was going to change the history books,” said underwater archaeologist and co-director of the Fournoi survey project Dr. Peter Campbell of the RPM Nautical Foundation.

    The foundation is collaborating on the project with Greece’s Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities, which is conducting the research.

    When the international team began the underwater survey in 2015, they were astounded to find 22 shipwrecks that year. With their latest finds that number has climbed to 58, and the team believe there are even more secrets lying on the seabed below.

    I would call it, probably, one of the top archaeological discoveries of the century in that we now have a new story to tell of a navigational route that connected the ancient Mediterranean,” Campbell told Reuters.

        The vessels and their contents paint a picture of ships carrying goods on routes from the Black Sea, Greece, Asia Minor, Italy, Spain, Sicily, Cyprus, the Levant, Egypt and north Africa.

    The team has raised more than 300 antiquities from the shipwrecks, particularly amphorae, giving archaeologists rare insight into where goods were being transported around the Mediterranean.


  • Migration: the riddle of Europe’s shadow population
    Lennys — not her real name — is part of a shadow population living in Europe that predates the arrival of several million people on the continent in the past few years, amid war and chaos in regions of the Middle East and Africa. That influx, which has fuelled Eurosceptic nativism, has if anything complicated the fate of Lennys and other irregular migrants.

    Now she is using a service set up by the Barcelona local administration to help naturalise irregular migrants and bring them in from the margins of society. She is baffled by the anti-immigrant rhetoric of politicians who suggest people like her prefer living in the legal twilight, without access to many services — or official protection.❞

    The fate of Lennys and other irregulars is likely to take an ever more central role in Europe’s deepening disputes on migration. They are a diverse group: many arrived legally, as Lennys did, on holiday, work or family visas that have since expired or become invalid because of changes in personal circumstances. Others came clandestinely and have never had any legal right to stay.

    The most scrutinised, and frequently demonised, cohort consists of asylum seekers whose claims have failed. Their numbers are growing as the cases from the surge in migrant arrivals in the EU in 2015 and 2016 — when more than 2.5m people applied for asylum in the bloc — work their way through the process of decisions and appeals. Almost half of first instance claims failed between 2015 and 2017, but many of those who are rejected cannot be returned to their home countries easily — or even at all.

    The question of what to do about rejected asylum applicants and the rest of Europe’s shadow population is one that many governments avoid. Bouts of hostile rhetoric and unrealistic targets — such as the Italian government’s pledge this year to expel half a million irregular migrants — mask a structural failure to deal with the practicalities.

    Many governments have sought to deny irregular migrants services and expel them — policies that can create their own steep human costs. But authorities in a growing number of cities from Barcelona to Brussels have concluded that the combination of hostile attitudes and bureaucratic neglect is destructive.

    These cities are at the frontline of dealing with irregular status residents from Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere. Local authorities have, to varying degrees, brought these populations into the system by offering them services such as healthcare, language courses and even legal help.

    The argument is part humanitarian but also pragmatic. It could help prevent public health threats, crime, exploitative employment practices — and the kind of ghettoisation that can tear communities apart.

    “If we provide ways for people to find their path in our city . . . afterwards probably they will get regularisation and will get their papers correct,” says Ramon Sanahuja, director of immigration at the city council in Barcelona. “It’s better for everybody.”

    The size of Europe’s shadow population is unknown — but generally reckoned by experts to be significant and growing. The most comprehensive effort to measure it was through an EU funded project called Clandestino, which estimated the number of irregular migrants at between 1.9m and 3.8m in 2008 — a figure notable for both its wide margin of error and the lack of updates to it since, despite the influx after 2015.

    A more contemporaneous, though also imprecise, metric comes from comparing the numbers of people ordered to leave the EU each year with the numbers who actually went. Between 2008 and 2017, more than 5m non-EU citizens were instructed to leave the bloc. About 2m returned to countries outside it, according to official data.

    While the two sets of numbers do not map exactly — people don’t necessarily leave in the same year they are ordered to do so — the figures do suggest several million people may have joined Europe’s shadow population in the past decade or so. The cohort is likely to swell further as a glut of final appeals from asylum cases lodged since 2015 comes through.

    “The volume of people who are in limbo in the EU will only grow, so it’s really problematic,” says Hanne Beirens, associate director at Migration Policy Institute Europe, a think-tank. “While the rhetoric at a national level will be ‘These people cannot stay’, at a local community level these people need to survive.”

    Barcelona: cities seek practical solutions to ease migrant lives

    Barcelona’s pragmatic approach to irregular migration echoes its history as a hub for trade and movement of people across the Mediterranean Sea.

    It is one of 11 cities from 10 European countries involved in a two-year project on the best ways to provide services to irregular status migrants. Other participants in the initiative — set up last year by Oxford university’s Centre on Migration, Policy, and Society — include Athens, Frankfurt, Ghent, Gothenburg, Lisbon, Oslo, Stockholm and Utrecht.

    A report for the group, published last year, highlights the restrictions faced by undocumented migrants in accessing services across the EU. They were able to receive only emergency healthcare in six countries, while in a further 12 they were generally excluded from primary and secondary care services.

    Some cities have made special efforts to offer help in ways that they argue also benefit the community, the report said. Rotterdam asked midwives, doctors, and schools to refer children for vaccinations, in case their parents were afraid to reveal their immigration status.

    The impact of some of these policies has still to be demonstrated. Ramon Sanahuja, director of immigration at the city council in Barcelona, says authorities there had an “intuition” their approach brought benefits, but he admits they need to do a cost-benefit analysis. As to the potential for the scheme to be exploited by anti-immigrant groups, he says Europe needs “brave politicians who explain how the world works and that the system is complicated”.

    “A lot of people in Barcelona are part of the system — they have [for example] a cleaning lady from Honduras who they pay €10 per hour under the counter,” he says. “Someone has to explain this, that everything is related.” Michael Peel

    https://www.ft.com/content/58f2f7f8-c7c1-11e8-ba8f-ee390057b8c9?segmentid=acee4131-99c2-09d3-a635-873e61754
    #naturalisation #villes-refuge #ville-refuge #citoyenneté #sans-papiers #migrerrance #régularisation #statistiques #chiffres #Europe #Etat-nation #limbe #pragmatisme #Barcelone

    cc @isskein

    –----

    Au niveau de la #terminologie (#mots, #vocabulaire), pour @sinehebdo:

    Belgian policy towards irregular migrants and undocumented workers has stiffened under the current government, which includes the hardline Flemish nationalist NVA party. It has prioritised the expulsion of “transmigrants”— the term used for people that have travelled to Europe, often via north Africa and the Mediterranean and that are seeking to move on from Belgium to other countries, notably the UK. Several hundred live rough in and around Brussels’ Gare du Nord.

    –-> #transmigrants


  • Israeli settlers flood Khan al-Ahmar with wastewater
    Oct. 2, 2018 4:16 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 2, 2018 4:42 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=781301

    JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — As Israel threatened to raid and demolish the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar at any moment since the evacuation period ended, Israeli settlers stormed the village and flooded the area with wastewater, on Tuesday afternoon.

    Locals said that Israeli settlers from the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Kfar Adummim stormed the village, and were confronted by international and local activists along with residents of Khan al-Ahmar.

    Israeli settlers managed to flood the area with wastewater before activists and residents were able to stop them.

    Following the Israeli High Court’s approval for the demolition, it had granted a deadline for the residents of Khan al-Ahmar to evacuate the village until October 1st.

    Since the deadline has ended, the village is in danger of being demolished by Israeli forces at any moment, which would displace 181 people, half of whom are children. (...)

    #Khan_al-Ahmar

    • Amnesty International: ’Demolition of Khan al-Ahmar is a war crime’
      Oct. 2, 2018 5:18 P.M.
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=781303

      BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Amnesty International said, on Tuesday, that the demolition of the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of occupied Jerusalem, and the displacement of its residents by Israeli forces as part of an illegal Israeli settlement expansion plan is a “war crime.”

      Saleh Higazi, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director, denounced Israel’s planned demolition of Khan al-Ahmar and stressed that “this act is not only heartless and discriminatory, it is illegal.”

      The demolition of the village would displace 181 residents, 53% of whom are children and 95% of whom are refugees registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

    • La démolition du village palestinien de Khan al Ahmar est un acte cruel et un crime de guerre
      2 octobre | Amnesty International
      https://www.aurdip.org/la-demolition-du-village.html

      La démolition prévue le 1er octobre d’un village en Cisjordanie et le transfert forcé de sa population pour laisser place à des colonies israéliennes illégales est un crime de guerre révélateur du mépris qu’entretient le gouvernement israélien à l’égard des Palestiniens, a déclaré Amnesty International le 1er octobre 2018.

      Quelque 180 habitants de la communauté bédouine de Khan al Ahmar, à l’est de Jérusalem, risquent d’être expulsés de force et transférés par l’armée israélienne. Les autorités israéliennes offrent aux villageois le choix entre deux destinations possibles : un site jouxtant l’ancienne décharge municipale de Jérusalem, non loin du village d’Abou Dis, ou un site à proximité d’une station d’épuration, non loin de la ville de Jéricho.

      « Après presque 10 ans de lutte contre cette démolition injuste, les habitants de Khan al Ahmar redoutent de voir se concrétiser le jour terrible où l’habitation qui est la leur depuis plusieurs générations sera mise en pièces, a déclaré Saleh Higazi, directeur adjoint du programme Afrique du Nord et Moyen-Orient à Amnesty International.


  • Italy’s closure to rescue ships drives up sea deaths: think tank | Reuters
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-italy/italys-closure-to-rescue-ships-drives-up-sea-deaths-think-tank-idUSKCN1MB35

    Italy’s closing of its ports to rescued migrants is driving up deaths at sea, an Italian think tank said on Monday, using calculations based on numbers collected by U.N. agencies.

    Since taking power in June, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who heads the far-right League party, has refused to allow charity rescue ships to dock in Italy, a policy that has broad popular support after the arrival of almost 650,000 people from North Africa since 2014.

    Though arrivals are down 80 percent from last year, Salvini’s hardline on immigration has helped more than double support for his party since the March national election.

    But International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates of the number of dead or missing at sea suggest there are dire consequences to this policy, according to Matteo Villa, a researcher at Italy’s ISPI think tank.

    In the four months since Salvini took power, the average number of deaths per day has risen to 8, compared with 3.2 in the period between July 16, 2017 and May 31, 2018, when the previous government was in charge, Villa’s calculations show.

    The death rate in September was 19 percent, so about one in five migrants who attempted to reach Italy from North Africa perished. That’s the highest monthly death rate recorded since at least 2012, when reliable data began to be collected, Villa said.

    These data show there’s a problem,” Villa told Reuters, adding that the lack of civilian ships at sea also likely means recent estimates of dead are too low because there are no witnesses.


  • Tunisian fishermen await trial after ’saving hundreds of migrants’

    Friends and colleagues have rallied to the defence of six Tunisian men awaiting trial in Italy on people smuggling charges, saying they are fishermen who have saved hundreds of migrants and refugees over the years who risked drowning in the Mediterranean.

    The men were arrested at sea at the weekend after their trawler released a small vessel it had been towing with 14 migrants onboard, 24 miles from the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa.

    Italian authorities said an aeroplane crew from the European border agency Frontex had first located the trawler almost 80 nautical miles from Lampedusa and decided to monitor the situation.They alerted the Italian police after the migrant vessel was released, who then arrested all crew members at sea.

    According to their lawyers, the Tunisians maintain that they saw a migrant vessel in distress and a common decision was made to tow it to safety in Italian waters. They claim they called the Italian coastguard so it could intervene and take them to shore.

    Prosecutors have accused the men of illegally escorting the boat into Italian waters and say they have no evidence of an SOS sent by either the migrant boat or by the fishermen’s vessel.

    Among those arrested were 45-year-old Chamseddine Ben Alì Bourassine, who is known in his native city, Zarzis, which lies close to the Libyan border, for saving migrants and bringing human remains caught in his nets back to shore to give the often anonymous dead a dignified burial.

    Immediately following the arrests, hundreds of Tunisians gathered in Zarzis to protest and the Tunisian Fishermen Association of Zarzis sent a letter to the Italian embassy in Tunis in support of the men.

    “Captain Bourassine and his crew are hardworking fishermen whose human values exceed the risks they face every day,” it said. “When we meet boats in distress at sea, we do not think about their colour or their religion.”

    According to his colleagues in Zarzis, Bourassine is an advocate for dissuading young Tunisians from illegal migration. In 2015 he participated in a sea rescue drill organised by Médecins Sans Frontières (Msf) in Zarzis.

    Giulia Bertoluzzi, an Italian filmmaker and journalist who directed the documentary Strange Fish, about Bourassine, said the men were well known in their home town.

    “In Zarzis, Bourassine and his crew are known as anonymous heroes”, Bertoluzzi told the Guardian. “Some time ago a petition was circulated to nominate him for the Nobel peace prize. He saved thousands of lives since.”

    The six Tunisians who are now being held in prison in the Sicilian town of Agrigento pending their trial. If convicted, they could face up to 15 years in prison.

    The Italian police said in a statement: “We acted according to our protocol. After the fishing boat released the vessel, it returned south of the Pelagie Islands where other fishing boats were active in an attempt to shield itself.”

    It is not the first time that Italian authorities have arrested fishermen and charged them with aiding illegal immigration. On 8 August 2007, police arrested two Tunisian fishermen for having guided into Italian waters 44 migrants. The trial lasted four years and both men were acquitted of all criminal charges.

    Leonardo Marino, a lawyer in Agrigento who had defended dozens of Tunisian fishermen accused of enabling smuggling, told the Guardian: “The truth is that migrants are perceived as enemies and instead of welcoming them we have decided to fight with repressive laws anyone who is trying to help them.”


    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/05/tunisian-fishermen-await-trial-after-saving-hundreds-of-migrants?CMP=sh
    #Tunisie #pêcheurs #solidarité #mourir_en_mer #sauvetage #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Méditerranée #pêcheurs_tunisiens #délit_de_solidarité
    Accusation: #smuggling #passeurs

    cc @_kg_

    • Commentaires de Charles Heller sur FB :

      Last year these Tunisian fishermen prevented the identitarian C-Star - chartered to prevent solidarity at sea - from docking in Zarzis. Now they have been arrested for exercising that solidarity.

      Back to the bad old days of criminalising Tunisian fishermen who rescue migrants at sea. Lets make some noise and express our support and solidarity in all imaginable ways!

    • Des pêcheurs tunisiens poursuivis pour avoir tracté des migrants jusqu’en Italie

      Surpris en train de tirer une embarcation de migrants vers l’Italie, des pêcheurs tunisiens -dont un militant connu localement- ont été écroués en Sicile. Une manifestation de soutien a eu lieu en Tunisie et une ONG essaie actuellement de leur venir en aide.

      Des citoyens tunisiens sont descendus dans la rue lundi 3 septembre à Zarzis, dans le sud du pays, pour protester contre l’arrestation, par les autorités italiennes, de six pêcheurs locaux. Ces derniers sont soupçonnés d’être des passeurs car ils ont été "surpris en train de tirer une barque avec 14 migrants à bord en direction de [l’île italienne de] Lampedusa", indique la police financière et douanière italienne.

      La contestation s’empare également des réseaux sociaux, notamment avec des messages publiés demandant la libération des six membres d’équipage parmi lesquels figurent Chamseddine Bourassine, président de l’association des pêcheurs de Zarzis. “Toute ma solidarité avec un militant et ami, le doyen des pêcheurs Chamseddine Bourassine. Nous appelons les autorités tunisiennes à intervenir immédiatement avec les autorités italiennes afin de le relâcher ainsi que son équipage”, a écrit lundi le jeune militant originaire de Zarzis Anis Belhiba sur Facebook. Une publication reprise et partagée par Chamesddine Marzoug, un pêcheur retraité et autre militant connu en Tunisie pour enterrer lui-même les corps des migrants rejetés par la mer.

      Sans nouvelles depuis quatre jours

      Un appel similaire a été lancé par le Forum tunisien pour les droits économiques et sociaux, par la voix de Romdhane Ben Amor, chargé de communication de cette ONG basée à Tunis. Contacté par InfoMigrants, il affirme n’avoir reçu aucune nouvelle des pêcheurs depuis près de quatre jours. “On ne sait pas comment ils vont. Tout ce que l’on sait c’est qu’ils sont encore incarcérés à Agrigente en Sicile. On essaie d’activer tous nos réseaux et de communiquer avec nos partenaires italiens pour leur fournir une assistance juridique”, explique-t-il.

      Les six pêcheurs ont été arrêtés le 29 août car leur bateau de pêche, qui tractait une embarcation de fortune avec 14 migrants à son bord, a été repéré -vidéo à l’appui- par un avion de Frontex, l’Agence européenne de garde-côtes et garde-frontières.

      Selon une source policière italienne citée par l’AFP, les pêcheurs ont été arrêtés pour “aide à l’immigration clandestine” et écroués. Le bateau a été repéré en train de tirer des migrants, puis de larguer la barque près des eaux italiennes, à moins de 24 milles de Lampedusa, indique la même source.

      Mais pour Romdhane Ben Amor, “la vidéo de Frontex ne prouve rien”. Et de poursuivre : “#Chamseddine_Bourassine, on le connaît bien. Il participe aux opérations de sauvetage en Méditerranée depuis 2008, il a aussi coordonné l’action contre le C-Star [navire anti-migrants affrété par des militant d’un groupe d’extrême droite]”. Selon Romdhane Ben Amor, il est fort probable que le pêcheur ait reçu l’appel de détresse des migrants, qu’il ait ensuite tenté de les convaincre de faire demi-tour et de regagner la Tunisie. N’y parvenant pas, le pêcheur aurait alors remorqué l’embarcation vers l’Italie, la météo se faisant de plus en plus menaçante.

      La Tunisie, pays d’origine le plus représenté en Italie

      Un nombre croissant de Tunisiens en quête d’emploi et de perspectives d’avenir tentent de se rendre illégalement en Italie via la Méditerranée. D’ailleurs, avec 3 300 migrants arrivés entre janvier et juillet 2018, la Tunisie est le pays d’origine le plus représenté en Italie, selon un rapport du Haut commissariat de l’ONU aux réfugiés (HCR) publié lundi.

      La Méditerranée a été "plus mortelle que jamais" début 2018, indique également le HCR, estimant qu’une personne sur 18 tentant la traversée meurt ou disparaît en mer.


      http://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/11752/des-pecheurs-tunisiens-poursuivis-pour-avoir-tracte-des-migrants-jusqu

    • Note de Catherine Teule :

      Cela rappelle le procès ( à Agrigente déjà) de 7 pêcheurs tunisiens en 2007.... ( voir les archives de Migreurop )

      Et aussi les procès contres les pêcheurs à #Mazara_del_vallo, en Italie, v. livre de Gabriele Del Grande

    • Lampedusa, in cella ad Agrigento il pescatore tunisino che salva i migranti

      Insieme al suo equipaggio #Chameseddine_Bourassine è accusato di favoreggiamento dell’immigrazione illegale. La Tunisia chiede il rilascio dei sei arrestati. L’appello per la liberazione del figlio di uno dei pescatori e del fratello di Bourassine

      Per la Tunisia Chameseddine Bourassine è il pescatore che salva i migranti. Protagonista anche del film documentario «Strange Fish» di Giulia Bertoluzzi. Dal 29 agosto Chameseddine e il suo equipaggio sono nel carcere di Agrigento, perchè filmati mentre trainavano un barchino con 14 migranti fino a 24 miglia da Lampedusa. Il peschereccio è stato sequestrato e rischiano molti anni di carcere per favoreggiamento aggravato dell’immigrazione illegale. Da Palermo alcuni parenti giunti da Parigi lanciano un appello per la loro liberazione.

      Ramzi Lihiba, figlio di uno dei pescatori arrestati: «Mio padre è scioccato perchè è la prima volta che ha guai con la giustizia. Mi ha detto che hanno incontrato una barca in pericolo e hanno fatto solo il loro dovere. Non è la prima volta. Chameseddine ha fatto centinaia di salvataggi, portando la gente verso la costa più vicina. Prima ha chiamato la guardia costiera di Lampedusa e di Malta senza avere risposta».

      Mohamed Bourassine, fratello di Chameseddine: «Chameseddine l’ha detto anche alla guardia costiera italiana, se trovassi altre persone in pericolo in mare, lo rifarei».
      La Tunisia ha chiesto il rilascio dei sei pescatori di Zarzis. Sit in per loro davanti alle ambasciate italiane di Tunisi e Parigi. Da anni i pescatori delle due sponde soccorrono migranti con molti rischi. Ramzi Lihiba: «Anche io ho fatto la traversata nel 2008 e sono stato salvato dai pescatori italiani, altrimenti non sarei qui oggi».

      https://www.rainews.it/tgr/sicilia/video/2018/09/sic-lampedusa-carcere-pescatore-tunisino-salva-migranti-8f4b62a7-b103-48c0-8

    • Posté par Charles Heller sur FB :

      Yesterday, people demonstrated in the streets of Zarzis in solidarity with the Tunisian fishermen arrested by Italian authorities for exercising their solidarity with migrants crossing the sea. Tomorrow, they will be heard in front of a court in Sicily. While rescue NGOs have done an extraordinary job, its important to underline that European citizens do not have the monopoly over solidarity with migrants, and neither are they the only ones being criminalised. The Tunisian fishermen deserve our full support.


      https://www.facebook.com/charles.heller.507/posts/2207659576116549

    • I pescatori, eroi di Zarzis, in galera

      Il 29 agosto 2018 sei pescatori tunisini sono stati arrestati ad Agrigento, accusati di favoreggiamento dell’immigrazione clandestina, reato punibile fino a quindici anni di carcere. Il loro racconto e quello dei migranti soccorsi parla invece di una barca in panne che prendeva acqua, del tentativo di contattare la Guardia Costiera italiana e infine - dopo una lunga attesa – del trasporto del barchino verso Lampedusa, per aiutare le autorità nelle operazioni di soccorso. Mentre le indagini preliminari sono in corso, vi raccontiamo chi sono questi pescatori. Lo facciamo con Giulia Bertoluzzi, che ha girato il film “Strange Fish” – vincitore al premio BNP e menzione speciale della giuria al festival Visioni dal Mondo - di cui Bourassine è il protagonista, e Valentina Zagaria, che ha vissuto oltre due anni a Zarzis per un dottorato in antropologia.

      Capitano, presidente, eroe. Ecco tre appellativi che potrebbero stare a pennello a Chamseddine Bourassine, presidente della Rete Nazionale della Pesca Artigianale nonché dell’associazione di Zarzis “Le Pêcheur” pour le Développement et l’Environnement, nominata al Premio Nobel per la Pace 2018 per il continuo impegno nel salvare vite nel Mediterraneo. I pescatori di Zarzis infatti, lavorando nel mare aperto tra la Libia e la Sicilia, si trovano da più di quindici anni in prima linea nei soccorsi a causa della graduale chiusura ermetica delle vie legali per l’Europa, che ha avuto come conseguenza l’inizio di traversate con mezzi sempre più di fortuna.
      I frutti della rivoluzione

      Sebbene la legge del mare abbia sempre prevalso per Chamseddine e i pescatori di Zarzis, prima della rivoluzione tunisina del 2011 i pescatori venivano continuamente minacciati dalla polizia del regime di Ben Ali, stretto collaboratore sia dell’Italia che dell’Unione europea in materia di controlli alle frontiere. “Ci dicevano di lasciarli in mare e che ci avrebbero messo tutti in prigione”, spiegava Bourassine, “ma un uomo in mare è un uomo morto, e alla polizia abbiamo sempre risposto che piuttosto saremmo andati in prigione”. In prigione finivano anche i cittadini tunisini che tentavano la traversata e che venivano duramente puniti dal loro stesso governo.

      Tutto è cambiato con la rivoluzione. Oltre 25.000 tunisini si erano imbarcati verso l’Italia, di cui tanti proprio dalle coste di Zarzis. “Non c’erano più né stato né polizia, era il caos assoluto” ricorda Anis Souei, segretario generale dell’Associazione. Alcuni pescatori non lasciavano le barche nemmeno di notte perché avevano paura che venissero rubate, i più indebitati invece tentavano di venderle, mentre alcuni abitanti di Zarzis, approfittando del vuoto di potere, si improvvisavano ‘agenti di viaggi’, cercando di fare affari sulle spalle degli harraga – parola nel dialetto arabo nord africano per le persone che ‘bruciano’ passaporti e frontiera attraversando il Mediterraneo. Chamseddine Bourassine e i suoi colleghi, invece, hanno stretto un patto morale, stabilendo di non vendere le proprie barche per la harga. Si sono rimboccati le maniche e hanno fondato un’associazione per migliorare le condizioni di lavoro del settore, per sensibilizzare sulla preservazione dell’ambiente – condizione imprescindibile per la pesca – e dare una possibilità di futuro ai giovani.

      E proprio verso i più giovani, quelli che più continuano a soffrire dell’alto tasso di disoccupazione, l’associazione ha dedicato diverse campagne di sensibilizzazione. “Andiamo nelle scuole per raccontare quello che vediamo e mostriamo ai ragazzi le foto dei corpi che troviamo in mare, perché si rendano conto del reale pericolo della traversata”, racconta Anis. Inoltre hanno organizzato formazioni di meccanica, riparazione delle reti e pesca subacquea, collaborando anche con diversi progetti internazionali, come NEMO, organizzato dal CIHEAM-Bari e finanziato dalla Cooperazione Italiana. Proprio all’interno di questo progetto è nato il museo di Zarzis della pesca artigianale, dove tra nodi e anforette per la pesca del polipo, c’è una mostra fotografica dei salvataggi in mare intitolata “Gli eroi anonimi di Zarzis”.

      La guerra civile libica

      Con l’inasprirsi della guerra civile libica e l’inizio di veri e propri traffici di esseri umani, le frontiere marittime si sono trasformate in zone al di fuori della legge.
      “I pescatori tunisini vengono regolarmente rapiti dalle milizie o dalle autorità libiche” diceva Bourassine. Queste, una volta sequestrata la barca e rubato il materiale tecnico, chiedevano alle autorità tunisine un riscatto per il rilascio, cosa peraltro successa anche a pescatori siciliani. Sebbene le acque di fronte alla Libia siano le più ricche, soprattutto per il gambero rosso, e per anni siano state zone di pesca per siciliani, tunisini, libici e anche egiziani, ad oggi i pescatori di Zarzis si sono visti obbligati a lasciare l’eldorado dei tonni rossi e dei gamberi rossi, per andare più a ovest.

      “Io pesco nelle zone della rotta delle migrazioni, quindi è possibile che veda migranti ogni volta che esco” diceva Bourassine, indicando sul monitor della sala comandi del suo peschereccio l’est di Lampedusa, durante le riprese del film.

      Con scarso sostegno delle guardie costiere tunisine, a cui non era permesso operare oltre le proprie acque territoriali, i pescatori per anni si sono barcamenati tra il lavoro e la responsabilità di soccorrere le persone in difficoltà che, con l’avanzare del conflitto in Libia, partivano su imbarcazioni sempre più pericolose.

      “Ma quando in mare vedi 100 o 120 persone cosa fai?” si chiede Slaheddine Mcharek, anche lui membro dell’Associazione, “pensi solo a salvare loro la vita, ma non è facile”. Chi ha visto un’operazione di soccorso in mare infatti può immaginare i pericoli di organizzare un trasbordo su un piccolo peschereccio che non metta a repentaglio la stabilità della barca, soprattutto quando ci sono persone che non sanno nuotare. Allo stesso tempo non pescare significa non lavorare e perdere soldi sia per il capitano che per l’equipaggio.
      ONG e salvataggio

      Quando nell’estate del 2015 le navi di ricerca e soccorso delle ONG hanno cominciato ad operare nel Mediterraneo, Chamseddine e tutti i pescatori si sono sentiti sollevati, perché le loro barche non erano attrezzate per centinaia di persone e le autorità tunisine post-rivoluzionarie non avevano i mezzi per aiutarli. Quell’estate, l’allora direttore di Medici Senza Frontiere Foued Gammoudi organizzò una formazione di primo soccorso in mare per sostenere i pescatori. Dopo questa formazione MSF fornì all’associazione kit di pronto soccorso, giubbotti e zattere di salvataggio per poter assistere meglio i rifugiati in mare. L’ONG ha anche dato ai pescatori le traduzioni in italiano e inglese dei messaggi di soccorso e di tutti i numeri collegati al Centro di coordinamento per il soccorso marittimo (MRCC) a Roma, che coordina i salvataggi tra le imbarcazioni nei paraggi pronte ad intervenire, fossero mercantili, navi delle ONG, imbarcazioni militari o della guardia costiera, e quelle dei pescatori di entrambe le sponde del mare. Da quel momento i pescatori potevano coordinarsi a livello internazionale e aspettare che le navi più grandi arrivassero, per poi riprendere il loro lavoro. Solo una settimana dopo la formazione, Gammoudi andò a congratularsi con Chamseddine al porto di Zarzis per aver collaborato con la nave Bourbon-Argos di MSF nel salvataggio di 550 persone.

      Oltre al primo soccorso, MSF ha offerto ai membri dell’associazione una formazione sulla gestione dei cadaveri, fornendo sacchi mortuari, disinfettanti e guanti. C’è stato un periodo durato vari mesi, prima dell’arrivo delle ONG, in cui i pescatori avevano quasi la certezza di vedere dei morti in mare. Nell’assenza di altre imbarcazioni in prossimità della Libia, pronte ad aiutare barche in difficoltà, i naufragi non facevano che aumentare. Proprio come sta succedendo in queste settimane, durante le quali il tasso di mortalità in proporzione agli arrivi in Italia è cresciuto del 5,6%. Dal 26 agosto, nessuna ONG ha operato in SAR libica, e questo a causa delle politiche anti-migranti di Salvini e dei suoi omologhi europei.

      Criminalizzazione della solidarietà

      La situazione però è peggiorata di nuovo nell’estate del 2017, quando l’allora ministro dell’Interno Marco Minniti stringeva accordi con le milizie e la guardia costiera libica per bloccare i rifugiati nei centri di detenzione in Libia, mentre approvava leggi che criminalizzano e limitano l’attività delle ONG in Italia.

      Le campagne di diffamazione contro atti di solidarietà e contro le ONG non hanno fatto altro che versare ancora più benzina sui sentimenti anti-immigrazione che infiammano l’Europa. Nel bel mezzo di questo clima, il 6 agosto 2017, i pescatori di Zarzis si erano trovati in un faccia a faccia con la nave noleggiata da Generazione Identitaria, la C-Star, che attraversava il Mediterraneo per ostacolare le operazioni di soccorso e riportare i migranti in Africa.

      Armati di pennarelli rossi, neri e blu, hanno appeso striscioni sulle barche in una mescolanza di arabo, italiano, francese e inglese: “No Racists!”, “Dégage!”, “C-Star: No gasolio? No acqua? No mangiaro?“.

      Chamseddine Bourassine, con pesanti occhiaie da cinque giorni di lavoro in mare, appena appresa la notizia ha organizzato un sit-in con tanto di media internazionali al porto di Zarzis. I loro sforzi erano stati incoraggiati dalle reti antirazziste in Sicilia, che a loro volta avevano impedito alla C-Star di attraccare nel porto di Catania solo un paio di giorni prima.
      La reazione tunisina dopo l’arresto di Bourassine

      Non c’è quindi da sorprendersi se dopo l’arresto di Chamseddine, Salem, Farhat, Lotfi, Ammar e Bachir l’associazione, le famiglie, gli amici e i colleghi hanno riempito tre pullman da Zarzis per protestare davanti all’ambasciata italiana di Tunisi. La Terre Pour Tous, associazione di famiglie di tunisini dispersi, e il Forum economico e sociale (FTDES) si sono uniti alla protesta per chiedere l’immediato rilascio dei pescatori. Una protesta gemella è stata organizzata anche dalla diaspora di Zarzis davanti all’ambasciata italiana a Parigi, mentre reti di pescatori provenienti dal Marocco e dalla Mauritania hanno rilasciato dichiarazioni di sostegno. Il Segretario di Stato tunisino per l’immigrazione, Adel Jarboui, ha esortato le autorità italiane a liberare i pescatori.

      Nel frattempo Bourassine racconta dalla prigione al fratello: “stavo solo aiutando delle persone in difficoltà in mare. Lo rifarei”.


      http://openmigration.org/analisi/i-pescatori-eroi-di-zarzis-in-galera

    • When rescue at sea becomes a crime: who the Tunisian fishermen arrested in Italy really are

      Fishermen networks from Morocco and Mauritania have released statements of support, and the Tunisian State Secretary for Immigration, Adel Jarboui, urged Italian authorities to release the fishermen, considered heroes in Tunisia.

      On the night of Wednesday, August 29, 2018, six Tunisian fishermen were arrested in Italy. Earlier that day, they had set off from their hometown of Zarzis, the last important Tunisian port before Libya, to cast their nets in the open sea between North Africa and Sicily. The fishermen then sighted a small vessel whose engine had broken, and that had started taking in water. After giving the fourteen passengers water, milk and bread – which the fishermen carry in abundance, knowing they might encounter refugee boats in distress – they tried making contact with the Italian coastguard.

      After hours of waiting for a response, though, the men decided to tow the smaller boat in the direction of Lampedusa – Italy’s southernmost island, to help Italian authorities in their rescue operations. At around 24 miles from Lampedusa, the Guardia di Finanza (customs police) took the fourteen people on board, and then proceeded to violently arrest the six fishermen. According to the precautionary custody order issued by the judge in Agrigento (Sicily), the men stand accused of smuggling, a crime that could get them up to fifteen years in jail if the case goes to trial. The fishermen have since been held in Agrigento prison, and their boat has been seized.

      This arrest comes after a summer of Italian politicians closing their ports to NGO rescue boats, and only a week after far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini[1] prevented for ten days the disembarkation of 177 Eritrean and Somali asylum seekers from the Italian coastguard ship Diciotti. It is yet another step towards dissuading anyone – be it Italian or Tunisian citizens, NGO or coastguard ships – from coming to the aid of refugee boats in danger at sea. Criminalising rescue, a process that has been pushed by different Italian governments since 2016, will continue to have tragic consequences for people on the move in the Mediterranean Sea.
      The fishermen of Zarzis

      Among those arrested is Chamseddine Bourassine, the president of the Association “Le Pêcheur” pour le Développement et l’Environnement, which was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize this year for the Zarzis fishermen’s continuous engagement in saving lives in the Mediterranean.

      Chamseddine, a fishing boat captain in his mid-40s, was one of the first people I met in Zarzis when, in the summer of 2015, I moved to this southern Tunisian town to start fieldwork for my PhD. On a sleepy late-August afternoon, my interview with Foued Gammoudi, the then Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Head of Mission for Tunisia and Libya, was interrupted by an urgent phone call. “The fishermen have just returned, they saved 550 people, let’s go to the port to thank them.” Just a week earlier, Chamseddine Bourassine had been among the 116 fishermen from Zarzis to have received rescue at sea training with MSF. Gammoudi was proud that the fishermen had already started collaborating with the MSF Bourbon Argos ship to save hundreds of people. We hurried to the port to greet Chamseddine and his crew, as they returned from a three-day fishing expedition which involved, as it so often had done lately, a lives-saving operation.

      The fishermen of Zarzis have been on the frontline of rescue in the Central Mediterranean for over fifteen years. Their fishing grounds lying between Libya – the place from which most people making their way undocumented to Europe leave – and Sicily, they were often the first to come to the aid of refugee boats in distress. “The fishermen have never really had a choice: they work here, they encounter refugee boats regularly, so over the years they learnt to do rescue at sea”, explained Gammoudi. For years, fishermen from both sides of the Mediterranean were virtually alone in this endeavour.
      Rescue before and after the revolution

      Before the Tunisian revolution of 2011, Ben Ali threatened the fishermen with imprisonment for helping migrants in danger at sea – the regime having been a close collaborator of both Italy and the European Union in border control matters. During that time, Tunisian nationals attempting to do the harga – the North African Arabic dialect term for the crossing of the Sicilian Channel by boat – were also heavily sanctioned by their own government.

      Everything changed though with the revolution. “It was chaos here in 2011. You cannot imagine what the word chaos means if you didn’t live it”, recalled Anis Souei, the secretary general of the “Le Pêcheur” association. In the months following the revolution, hundreds of boats left from Zarzis taking Tunisians from all over the country to Lampedusa. Several members of the fishermen’s association remember having to sleep on their fishing boats at night to prevent them from being stolen for the harga. Other fishermen instead, especially those who were indebted, decided to sell their boats, while some inhabitants of Zarzis took advantage of the power vacuum left by the revolution and made considerable profit by organising harga crossings. “At that time there was no police, no state, and even more misery. If you wanted Lampedusa, you could have it”, rationalised another fisherman. But Chamseddine Bourassine and his colleagues saw no future in moving to Europe, and made a moral pact not to sell their boats for migration.

      They instead remained in Zarzis, and in 2013 founded their association to create a network of support to ameliorate the working conditions of small and artisanal fisheries. The priority when they started organising was to try and secure basic social security – something they are still struggling to sustain today. With time, though, the association also got involved in alerting the youth to the dangers of boat migration, as they regularly witnessed the risks involved and felt compelled to do something for younger generations hit hard by staggering unemployment rates. In this optic, they organised training for the local youth in boat mechanics, nets mending, and diving, and collaborated in different international projects, such as NEMO, organised by the CIHEAM-Bari and funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Directorate General for Cooperation Development. This project also helped the fishermen build a museum to explain traditional fishing methods, the first floor of which is dedicated to pictures and citations from the fishermen’s long-term voluntary involvement in coming to the rescue of refugees in danger at sea.

      This role was proving increasingly vital as the Libyan civil war dragged on, since refugees were being forced onto boats in Libya that were not fit for travel, making the journey even more hazardous. With little support from Tunisian coastguards, who were not allowed to operate beyond Tunisian waters, the fishermen juggled their responsibility to bring money home to their families and their commitment to rescuing people in distress at sea. Anis remembers that once in 2013, three fishermen boats were out and received an SOS from a vessel carrying roughly one hundred people. It was their first day out, and going back to Zarzis would have meant losing petrol money and precious days of work, which they simply couldn’t afford. After having ensured that nobody was ill, the three boats took twenty people on board each, and continued working for another two days, sharing food and water with their guests.

      Sometimes, though, the situation on board got tense with so many people, food wasn’t enough for everybody, and fights broke out. Some fishermen recall incidents during which they truly feared for their safety, when occasionally they came across boats with armed men from Libyan militias. It was hard for them to provide medical assistance as well. Once a woman gave birth on Chamseddine’s boat – that same boat that has now been seized in Italy – thankfully there had been no complications.
      NGO ships and the criminalisation of rescue

      During the summer of 2015, therefore, Chamseddine felt relieved that NGO search and rescue boats were starting to operate in the Mediterranean. The fishermen’s boats were not equipped to take hundreds of people on board, and the post-revolutionary Tunisian authorities didn’t have the means to support them. MSF had provided the association with first aid kits, life jackets, and rescue rafts to be able to better assist refugees at sea, and had given them a list of channels and numbers linked to the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Rome for when they encountered boats in distress.

      They also offered training in dead body management, and provided the association with body bags, disinfectant and gloves. “When we see people at sea we rescue them. It’s not only because we follow the laws of the sea or of religion: we do it because it’s human”, said Chamseddine. But sometimes rescue came too late, and bringing the dead back to shore was all the fishermen could do.[2] During 2015 the fishermen at least felt that with more ships in the Mediterranean doing rescue, the duty dear to all seafarers of helping people in need at sea didn’t only fall on their shoulders, and they could go back to their fishing.

      The situation deteriorated again though in the summer of 2017, as Italian Interior Minister Minniti struck deals with Libyan militias and coastguards to bring back and detain refugees in detention centres in Libya, while simultaneously passing laws criminalising and restricting the activity of NGO rescue boats in Italy.

      Media smear campaigns directed against acts of solidarity with migrants and refugees and against the work of rescue vessels in the Mediterranean poured even more fuel on already inflamed anti-immigration sentiments in Europe.

      In the midst of this, on 6 August 2017, the fishermen of Zarzis came face to face with a far-right vessel rented by Generazione Identitaria, the C-Star, cruising the Mediterranean allegedly on a “Defend Europe” mission to hamper rescue operations and bring migrants back to Africa. The C-Star was hovering in front of Zarzis port, and although it had not officially asked port authorities whether it could dock to refuel – which the port authorities assured locals it would refuse – the fishermen of Zarzis took the opportunity to let these alt-right groups know how they felt about their mission.

      Armed with red, black and blue felt tip pens, they wrote in a mixture of Arabic, Italian, French and English slogans such as “No Racists!”, “Dégage!” (Get our of here!), “C-Star: No gasoil? No acqua? No mangiato?” ?” (C-Star: No fuel? No water? Not eaten?), which they proceeded to hang on their boats, ready to take to sea were the C-Star to approach. Chamseddine Bourassine, who had returned just a couple of hours prior to the impending C-Star arrival from five days of work at sea, called other members of the fishermen association to come to the port and join in the peaceful protest.[3] He told the journalists present that the fishermen opposed wholeheartedly the racism propagated by the C-Star members, and that having seen the death of fellow Africans at sea, they couldn’t but condemn these politics. Their efforts were cheered on by anti-racist networks in Sicily, who had in turn prevented the C-Star from docking in Catania port just a couple of days earlier.

      It is members from these same networks in Sicily together with friends of the fishermen in Tunisia and internationally that are now engaged in finding lawyers for Chamseddine and his five colleagues.

      Their counterparts in Tunisia joined the fishermen’s families and friends on Thursday morning to protest in front of the Italian embassy in Tunis. Three busloads arrived from Zarzis after an 8-hour night-time journey for the occasion, and many others had come from other Tunisian towns to show their solidarity. Gathered there too were members of La Terre Pour Tous, an association of families of missing Tunisian migrants, who joined in to demand the immediate release of the fishermen. A sister protest was organised by the Zarzis diaspora in front of the Italian embassy in Paris on Saturday afternoon. Fishermen networks from Morocco and Mauritania also released statements of support, and the Tunisian State Secretary for Immigration Adel Jarboui urged Italian authorities to release the fishermen, who are considered heroes in Tunisia.

      The fishermen’s arrest is the latest in a chain of actions taken by the Italian Lega and Five Star government to further criminalise rescue in the Mediterranean Sea, and to dissuade people from all acts of solidarity and basic compliance with international norms. This has alarmingly resulted in the number of deaths in 2018 increasing exponentially despite a drop in arrivals to Italy’s southern shores. While Chamseddine’s lawyer hasn’t yet been able to visit him in prison, his brother and cousin managed to go see him on Saturday. As for telling them about what happened on August 29, Chamseddine simply says that he was assisting people in distress at sea: he’d do it again.

      https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/valentina-zagaria/when-rescue-at-sea-becomes-crime-who-tunisian-fishermen-arrested-in-i

    • Les pêcheurs de Zarzis, ces héros que l’Italie préfère voir en prison

      Leurs noms ont été proposés pour le prix Nobel de la paix mais ils risquent jusqu’à quinze ans de prison : six pêcheurs tunisiens se retrouvent dans le collimateur des autorités italiennes pour avoir aidé des migrants en Méditerranée.

      https://www.middleeasteye.net/fr/reportages/les-p-cheurs-de-zarzis-ces-h-ros-que-l-italie-pr-f-re-voir-en-prison-

    • Les pêcheurs tunisiens incarcérés depuis fin août en Sicile sont libres

      Arrêtés après avoir tracté une embarcation de quatorze migrants jusqu’au large de Lampedusa, un capitaine tunisien et son équipage sont soupçonnés d’être des passeurs. Alors qu’en Tunisie, ils sont salués comme des sauveurs.

      Les six pêcheurs ont pu reprendre la mer afin de regagner Zarzis, dans le sud tunisien. Les familles n’ont pas caché leur soulagement. Un accueil triomphal, par des dizaines de bateaux au large du port, va être organisé, afin de saluer le courage de ces sauveteurs de migrants à la dérive.

      Et peu importe si l’acte est dénoncé par l’Italie. Leurs amis et collègues ne changeront pas leurs habitudes de secourir toute embarcation en danger.

      A l’image de Rya, la cinquantaine, marin pêcheur à Zarzis qui a déjà sauvé des migrants en perdition et ne s’arrêtera pas : « Il y a des immigrés, tous les jours il y en a. De Libye, de partout. Nous on est des pêcheurs, on essaie de sauver les gens. C’est tout, c’est très simple. Nous on ne va pas s’arrêter, on va sauver d’autres personnes. Ils vont nous mettre en prison, on est là, pas de problème. »

      Au-delà du soulagement de voir rentrer les marins au pays, des voix s’élèvent pour crier leur incompréhension. Pour Halima Aissa, présidente de l’Association de recherche des disparus tunisiens à l’étranger, l’action de ce capitaine de pêche ne souffre d’aucune légitimité : « C’est un pêcheur tunisien, mais en tant qu’humaniste, si on trouve des gens qui vont couler en mer, notre droit c’est de les sauver. C’est inhumain de voir des gens mourir et de ne pas les sauver, ça c’est criminel. »

      Ces arrestations, certes suivies de libérations, illustrent pourtant la politique du nouveau gouvernement italien, à en croire Romdhane Ben Amor, du Forum tunisien des droits économiques et sociaux qui s’inquiète de cette nouvelle orientation politique : « Ça a commencé par les ONG qui font des opérations de sauvetage dans la Méditerranée et maintenant ça va vers les pêcheurs. C’est un message pour tous ceux qui vont participer aux opérations de sauvetage. Donc on aura plus de danger dans la mer, plus de tragédie dans la mer. » Pendant ce temps, l’enquête devrait se poursuivre encore plusieurs semaines en Italie.

      ■ Dénoncés par Frontex

      Détenus dans une prison d’Agrigente depuis le 29 août, les six pêcheurs tunisiens qui étaient soupçonnés d’aide à l’immigration illégale ont retrouvé leur liberté grâce à la décision du tribunal de réexamen de Palerme. L’équivalent italien du juge des libertés dans le système français.

      Le commandant du bateau de pêche, Chamseddine Bourassine, président de l’association des pêcheurs de Zarzis, ville du sud de la Tunisie, avait été arrêté avec les 5 membres d’équipage pour avoir secouru au large de l’île de Lampedusa une embarcation transportant 14 migrants.

      C’est un #avion_de_reconnaissance, opérant pour l’agence européenne #Frontex, qui avait repéré leur bateau tractant une barque et averti les autorités italiennes, précise notre correspondante à Rome, Anne Le Nir.

      http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20180923-pecheurs-tunisiens-incarceres-depuis-fin-aout-sicile-sont-libres

    • A Zarzis, les pêcheurs sauveurs de migrants menacés par l’Italie

      Après l’arrestation le 29 août de six pêcheurs tunisiens à Lampedusa, accusés d’être des passeurs alors qu’ils avaient secouru des migrants, les marins de la petite ville de Zarzis au sud de la Tunisie ont peur des conséquences du sauvetage en mer.

      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/121118/zarzis-les-pecheurs-sauveurs-de-migrants-menaces-par-l-italie


  • By Stifling Migration, Sudan’s Feared Secret Police Aid Europe

    At Sudan’s eastern border, Lt. Samih Omar led two patrol cars slowly over the rutted desert, past a cow’s carcass, before halting on the unmarked 2,000-mile route that thousands of East Africans follow each year in trying to reach the Mediterranean, and then onward to Europe.

    His patrols along this border with Eritrea are helping Sudan crack down on one of the busiest passages on the European migration trail. Yet Lieutenant Omar is no simple border agent. He works for Sudan’s feared secret police, whose leaders are accused of war crimes — and, more recently, whose officers have been accused of torturing migrants.

    Indirectly, he is also working for the interests of the European Union.

    “Sometimes,” Lieutenant Omar said, “I feel this is Europe’s southern border.”

    Three years ago, when a historic tide of migrants poured into Europe, many leaders there reacted with open arms and high-minded idealism. But with the migration crisis having fueled angry populism and political upheaval across the Continent, the European Union is quietly getting its hands dirty, stanching the human flow, in part, by outsourcing border management to countries with dubious human rights records.

    In practical terms, the approach is working: The number of migrants arriving in Europe has more than halved since 2016. But many migration advocates say the moral cost is high.

    To shut off the sea route to Greece, the European Union is paying billions of euros to a Turkish government that is dismantling its democracy. In Libya, Italy is accused of bribing some of the same militiamen who have long profited from the European smuggling trade — many of whom are also accused of war crimes.

    In Sudan, crossed by migrants trying to reach Libya, the relationship is more opaque but rooted in mutual need: The Europeans want closed borders and the Sudanese want to end years of isolation from the West. Europe continues to enforce an arms embargo against Sudan, and many Sudanese leaders are international pariahs, accused of committing war crimes during a civil war in Darfur, a region in western Sudan.

    But the relationship is unmistakably deepening. A recent dialogue, named the Khartoum Process (in honor of Sudan’s capital) has become a platform for at least 20 international migration conferences between European Union officials and their counterparts from several African countries, including Sudan. The European Union has also agreed that Khartoum will act as a nerve center for countersmuggling collaboration.

    While no European money has been given directly to any Sudanese government body, the bloc has funneled 106 million euros — or about $131 million — into the country through independent charities and aid agencies, mainly for food, health and sanitation programs for migrants, and for training programs for local officials.

    “While we engage on some areas for the sake of the Sudanese people, we still have a sanction regime in place,” said Catherine Ray, a spokeswoman for the European Union, referring to an embargo on arms and related material.

    “We are not encouraging Sudan to curb migration, but to manage migration in a safe and dignified way,” Ms. Ray added.

    Ahmed Salim, the director of one of the nongovernmental groups that receives European funding, said the bloc was motivated by both self-interest and a desire to improve the situation in Sudan.

    “They don’t want migrants to cross the Mediterranean to Europe,” said Mr. Salim, who heads the European and African Center for Research, Training and Development.

    But, he said, the money his organization receives means better services for asylum seekers in Sudan. “You have to admit that the European countries want to do something to protect migrants here,” he said.

    Critics argue the evolving relationship means that European leaders are implicitly reliant on — and complicit in the reputational rehabilitation of — a Sudanese security apparatus whose leaders have been accused by the United Nations of committing war crimes in Darfur.

    “There is no direct money exchanging hands,” said Suliman Baldo, the author of a research paper about Europe’s migration partnership with Sudan. “But the E.U. basically legitimizes an abusive force.”

    On the border near Abu Jamal, Lieutenant Omar and several members of his patrol are from the wing of the Sudanese security forces headed by Salah Abdallah Gosh, one of several Sudanese officials accused of orchestrating attacks on civilians in Darfur.

    Elsewhere, the border is protected by the Rapid Support Forces, a division of the Sudanese military that was formed from the janjaweed militias who led attacks on civilians in the Darfur conflict. The focus of the group, known as R.S.F., is not counter-smuggling — but roughly a quarter of the people-smugglers caught in January and February this year on the Eritrean border were apprehended by the R.S.F., Lieutenant Omar said.

    European officials have direct contact only with the Sudanese immigration police, and not with the R.S.F., or the security forces that Lieutenant Omar works for, known as N.I.S.S. But their operations are not that far removed.

    The planned countertrafficking coordination center in Khartoum — staffed jointly by police officers from Sudan and several European countries, including Britain, France and Italy — will partly rely on information sourced by N.I.S.S., according to the head of the immigration police department, Gen. Awad Elneil Dhia. The regular police also get occasional support from the R.S.F. on countertrafficking operations in border areas, General Dhia said.

    “They have their presence there and they can help,” General Dhia said. “The police is not everywhere, and we cannot cover everywhere.”

    Yet the Sudanese police are operating in one unexpected place: Europe.

    In a bid to deter future migrants, at least three European countries — Belgium, France and Italy — have allowed in Sudanese police officers to hasten the deportation of Sudanese asylum seekers, General Dhia said.

    Nominally, their official role is simply to identify their citizens. But the officers have been allowed to interrogate some deportation candidates without being monitored by European officials with the language skills to understand what was being said.

    More than 50 Sudanese seeking asylum in Europe have been deported in the past 18 months from Belgium, France and Italy; The New York Times interviewed seven of them on a recent visit to Sudan.

    Four said they had been tortured on their return to Sudan — allegations denied by General Dhia. One man was a Darfuri political dissident deported in late 2017 from France to Khartoum, where he said he was detained on arrival by N.I.S.S. agents.

    Over the next 10 days, he said he was given electric shocks, punched and beaten with metal pipes. At one point the dissident, who asked that his name be withheld for his safety, lost consciousness and had to be taken to the hospital. He was later released on a form of parole.

    The dissident said that, before his deportation from France, Sudanese police officers had threatened him as French officers stood nearby. “I said to the French police: ‘They are going to kill us,’” he said. “But they didn’t understand.”

    European officials argue that establishing Khartoum as a base for collaboration on fighting human smuggling can only improve the Sudanese security forces. The Regional Operational Center in Khartoum, set to open this year, will enable delegates from several European and African countries to share intelligence and coordinate operations against smugglers across North Africa.

    But potential pitfalls are evident from past collaborations. In 2016, the British and Italian police, crediting a joint operation with their Sudanese counterparts, announced the arrest of “one of the world’s most wanted people smugglers.” They said he was an Eritrean called Medhanie Yehdego Mered, who had been captured in Sudan and extradited to Italy.

    The case is now privately acknowledged by Western diplomats to have been one of mistaken identity. The prisoner turned out to be Medhanie Tesfamariam Berhe, an Eritrean refugee with the same first name as the actual smuggler. Mr. Mered remains at large.

    Even General Dhia now admits that Sudan extradited the wrong man — albeit one who, he says, admitted while in Sudanese custody to involvement in smuggling.

    “There were two people, actually — two people with the same name,” General Dhia said.

    Mr. Berhe nevertheless remains on trial in Italy, accused of being Mr. Mered — and of being a smuggler.

    Beyond that, the Sudanese security services have long been accused of profiting from the smuggling trade. Following European pressure, the Sudanese Parliament adopted a raft of anti-smuggling legislation in 2014, and the rules have since led to the prosecution of some officials over alleged involvement in the smuggling business.

    But according to four smugglers whom I interviewed clandestinely during my trip to Sudan, the security services remain closely involved in the trade, with both N.I.S.S and R.S.F. officials receiving part of the smuggling profits on most trips to southern Libya.

    The head of the R.S.F., Brig. Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, has claimed in the past that his forces play a major role in impeding the route to Libya. But each smuggler — interviewed separately — said that the R.S.F. was often the main organizer of the trips, often supplying camouflaged vehicles to ferry migrants through the desert.

    After being handed over to Libyan militias in Kufra and Sabha, in southern Libya, many migrants are then systematically tortured and held for ransom — money that is later shared with the R.S.F., each smuggler said.

    Rights activists have previously accused Sudanese officials of complicity in trafficking. In a 2014 report, Human Rights Watch said that senior Sudanese police officials had colluded in the smuggling of Eritreans.

    A British journalist captured by the R.S.F. in Darfur in 2016 said that he had been told by his captors that they were involved in smuggling people to Libya. “I asked specifically about how it works,” said the journalist, Phil Cox, a freelance filmmaker for Channel 4. “And they said we make sure the routes are open, and we talk with whoever’s commanding the next area.”

    General Dhia said that the problem did not extend beyond a few bad apples. Sudan, he said, remains an effective partner for Europe in the battle against irregular migration.

    “We are not,” he said, “very far from your standards.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/22/world/africa/migration-european-union-sudan.html
    #Soudan #externalisation #asile #migrations #contrôles_frontaliers #frontières #réfugiés #police_secrète #Europe #UE #EU #processus_de_Khartoum
    signalé par @isskein

    • Sudan : The E.U.’s Partner in Migration Crime

      The first part of our new investigation finds key individuals in the Khartoum regime complicit in #smuggling and trafficking. Reporting from Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea and the Netherlands reveals security services involved in a trade they are meant to police.


      https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/articles/2018/01/19/sudan-the-e-u-s-partner-in-migration-crime
      #soudan #migrations #réfugiés #asile #EU #Europe #complicité #UE #trafic_d'êtres_humains #traite #processus_de_khartoum #Shagarab #Omdurman #Rapid_Support_Forces #RSF #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #Free_Lions

    • Inside the EU’s deeply flawed $200 million migration deal with Sudan

      The EU has allocated over $200 million to help Sudan stem migration since 2015
      Asylum seekers allege Sudanese officials are complicit in abuse, extortion
      Traffickers said to hold people for weeks, beat and torture them for money
      Arrivals in Italy from Horn of Africa fell to a fraction in 2017, but new routes are opening up
      Crackdown has seen asylum seekers rountinely rounded up, taken to Khartoum to pay fines or be deported
      The EU insists strict conditions govern the use of its money and it is monitoring for abuses

      https://www.irinnews.org/special-report/2018/01/30/inside-eu-s-deeply-flawed-200-million-migration-deal-sudan-0

    • Enquête sur les dérives de l’aide européenne au Soudan

      En l’absence d’une prise en compte des causes profondes des migrations, seuls les officiels corrompus et les trafiquants tirent bénéfice de la criminalisation des migrants. Alors que des millions de dollars de fonds de l’Union européenne affluent au Soudan pour endiguer la migration africaine, les demandeurs d’asile témoignent : ils sont pris au piège, et vivent dans un état perpétuel de peur et d’exploitation dans ce pays de transit.

      https://orientxxi.info/magazine/enquete-sur-les-derives-de-l-aide-europeenne-au-soudan,2298

      Traduction française de cet article :
      https://www.irinnews.org/special-report/2018/01/30/inside-eu-s-flawed-200-million-migration-deal-sudan

    • L’Europe collabore avec un dictateur pour mieux expulser vers le Soudan

      Migreurop demande l’arrêt immédiat de toutes les collaborations initiées par l’Union européenne et ses Etats membres avec la dictature d’Omar El-Béchir et avec tout Etat qui bafoue les droits fondamentaux.

      Lorsqu’il s’agit d’expulser des étrangers jugés indésirables, rien ne semble devoir arrêter l’Union européenne (UE) et ses États membres qui n’hésitent pas à se compromettre avec Omar el-Béchir, le chef d’État du Soudan qui fait l’objet de deux mandats d’arrêt internationaux pour génocide, crimes contre l’Humanité et crimes de guerre.

      Il y a longtemps que l’UE a fait le choix de sous-traiter à des pays tiers, sous couvert d’un partenariat inéquitable et avec des fonds issus du développement, la lutte contre l’immigration irrégulière et même la gestion de la demande d’asile. Ce processus d’externalisation, qui s’accompagne de la délocalisation de la surveillance des frontières européennes très en amont de leur matérialisation physique, a été encore renforcé à la suite de la si mal nommée « crise des réfugiés » [1].

      Ainsi, dans le cadre du Processus de Khartoum, initié par l’UE en 2014 et consolidé suite au Sommet de La Valette de fin 2015, les régimes les plus répressifs, tels que le Soudan et l’Erythrée – que des dizaines de milliers de demandeurs d’asile cherchent à fuir – bénéficient de subsides pour retenir leur population et « sécuriser » leurs frontières… sans que l’UE ne se préoccupe des atteintes dramatiques portées aux droits humains dans ces pays.

      Dans ce domaine, l’UE et les États membres agissent de concert. Ainsi, de nombreux pays européens n’hésitent pas à renvoyer vers Khartoum des ressortissants soudanais - peu importe qu’il puisse s’agir de demandeurs d’asile - et à collaborer avec les autorités locales pour faciliter ces expulsions.

      Dernièrement, c’est dans un parc bruxellois que des émissaires soudanais procédaient à l’identification de leurs nationaux en vue de leur retour forcé, semant la terreur parmi les personnes exilées qui y campaient [2].

      Si l’affaire a suscité de vives réactions, le gouvernement belge s’est retranché, pour se justifier, derrière l’exemple donné par ses voisins et continue de programmer des expulsions de ressortissants soudanais [3].
      En France, une coopération similaire existe ainsi depuis 2014 : des représentants de Khartoum auraient visité plusieurs centres de rétention pour identifier des ressortissants soudanais et faciliter leur renvoi [4]. Selon les chiffres dont disposent les associations qui interviennent dans les CRA français, 9 personnes auraient été renvoyées vers le Soudan depuis 2015 et environ 150 remises à l’Italie et exposées au risque d’un renvoi vers Khartoum depuis le territoire italien.

      Par ailleurs, des retours forcés vers le Soudan ont eu lieu depuis l’Allemagne, l’Italie et la Suède, grâce notamment à des accords de police bilatéraux, souvent publiés uniquement à la suite des pressions exercées par la société civile [5] . L’Italie, à l’avant-garde de la vision sécuritaire en matière de collaboration dans le domaine des migrations, a ainsi conclu en août 2016 un accord de coopération policière avec le Soudan, dans le cadre duquel 48 personnes, originaires du Darfour, ont été refoulées à Khartoum. Celles qui ont pu résister à leur renvoi depuis l’Italie ont demandé et obtenu une protection, tandis que cinq des personnes refoulées ont porté plainte auprès de la Cour européenne des droits de l’Homme [6].

      Ces accords et pratiques bafouent en effet toutes les obligations des pays européens en matière de respect des droits humains (droit d’asile, principe de non-refoulement, interdiction des expulsions collectives et des traitements inhumains et dégradants, droit à la vie, etc…) et révèlent le cynisme qui anime l’Union et les États-membres, prêts à tout pour refuser aux exilés l’accès au territoire européen.

      Il faut le dire et le répéter : toute forme de coopération avec les autorités soudanaises bafoue les obligations résultant du droit international et met en danger les personnes livrées par les autorités européennes au dictateur Omar el-Béchir.

      Le réseau Migreurop et ses membres demandent en conséquence l’arrêt immédiat des expulsions vers le Soudan et de toute démarche de coopération avec ce pays.

      http://www.migreurop.org/article2837.html


  • Thousands of Sudanese fled Libya for #Niger, seeking safety. Not all were welcome

    At first, the Sudanese filtered out of the migrant ghettos and across the desert by the handful. It was December 2017 in the city of #Agadez, Niger when the first group approached UNHCR, asking for protection. The UN’s refugee agency had spent the past couple of months building up its presence in the area, but the arrival of the Sudanese was not what it expected.

    A sprawling collection of walled compounds and dusty, rutted streets in the heart of the Sahara, Agadez has long been a gateway between West and North Africa. For most of its history, the travellers passing through have been caravanning traders and people moving within the African continent in search of work. But as Libya descended into chaos following the fall of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, an unregulated route to Europe opened up from Libyan shores – and 2,000 kilometers to the south, hundreds of thousands of West Africans flocked to Agadez to join convoys of pickup trucks setting out across the desert towards the Libyan coast.

    With its expanded presence in the city, UNHCR anticipated identifying asylum cases among people following this route before they started the dangerous journey into Libya and across the sea. But the arrival of the Sudanese – most driven from their homes in the conflict-ridden region of Darfur more than a decade ago – signalled something new: instead of heading north towards Europe, this group of refugees and asylum seekers was travelling south from Libya in search of protection. And, once the first group arrived, more kept coming – by the dozens – until there were around 2,000 Sudanese asylum seekers in Agadez.

    What prompted the Sudanese to turn to the south was probably a confluence of factors: a desire to escape conflict and the abuses committed by militias and smugglers; European policies that have led to a nearly 78 percent drop in the number of people crossing the sea from Libya to Italy since July last year; and rumours of aid and protection for asylum seekers in Niger, and maybe – just maybe – the chance of a legal way to reach Europe.

    The fact that the Sudanese were compelled to venture to Agadez at all highlights a broader truth: the international refugee protection system has failed in its response to long-term displacement. The tense reception of the Sudanese by Nigerien authorities – ultimately resulting in the deportation of 132 people back to Libya – speaks to the consequences of that failure.

    By that point, there were close to 2,000 Sudanese in the town. For months, there had been a stalemate between UNHCR, which was negotiating for space to process the Sudanese cases and look for solutions, and the Nigerien government, which wanted to send people back to Chad and Libya.

    In the meantime, more Sudanese had arrived than there was space for in the UNHCR shelters, and people were spilling into the streets. Residents in the neighbourhood complained that some of the Sudanese were stealing fruit from gardens and going to the bathroom outdoors, and that they felt uncomfortable with the Sudanese men living in such close proximity to Nigerien women and girls. The escalation of those tensions appears to have triggered the arrests.

    https://www.irinnews.org/special-report/2018/07/05/destination-europe-deportation
    #Libye #asile #migrations #réfugiés #réfugiés_soudanais #migrerrance #renvois #expulsions #parcours_migratoires #routes_migratoires

    –-> @_kg_ : c’est probablement la même idée que les départs vers la Tunisie ?

    instead of heading north towards Europe, this group of refugees and asylum seekers was travelling south from Libya in search of protection. And, once the first group arrived, more kept coming – by the dozens – until there were around 2,000 Sudanese asylum seekers in Agadez

    • La même idée de départ, oui selon les témoignages. Pour plus de détails sur Agagdez j’attends l’entretien MdM. Vue la Tunisie : arrêt de deportations vers la frontière d’Algérie et Libye depuis hiver 2016 selon les témoignages...mais pas assez d’informations pour le Sud : Qu’est ce que se passe dans le zone bloqué de 20km par le militaire tunisien ? Où disparaissent les personnes mis ou Centre de logement à Médenine juste après quelques jours (j’ai mal à croire que le retour volontaire de l’OIM se fait dans 2 semaines...) ?


    • Migranti:da inizio anno sbarcati 16.566,-79% rispetto a 2017

      Dall’inizio dell’anno ad oggi sono sbarcati in Italia 16.566 migranti, il 79,07% in meno rispetto allo stesso periodo dell’anno scorso, quando ne arrivarono 79.154. Dai dati del Viminale, aggiornati al 28 giugno, emerge dunque che per il dodicesimo mese consecutivo gli sbarchi nel nostro paese sono in calo: l’ultimo picco fu registrato proprio a giugno dell’anno scorso, quando sbarcarono 23.526 migranti (nel 2016 ne arrivarono 22.339 mentre quest’anno il numero è fermo a 3.136). Dal mese di luglio 2017, che ha coinciso con gli accordi siglati con la Libia dall’ex ministro dell’Interno Marco Minniti, si è sempre registrata una diminuzione. Dei 16.566 arrivati nei primi sei mesi del 2018 (la quasi totalità, 15.741, nei porti siciliani), 11.401 sono partiti dalla Libia: un calo nelle partenze dell’84,94% rispetto al 2017 e dell’83,18% rispetto al 2016. Quanto alle nazionalità di quelli che sono arrivati, la prima è la Tunisia, con 3.002 migranti, seguita da Eritrea (2.555), Sudan (1.488) e Nigeria (1.229).

      http://www.ansa.it/sito/notizie/cronaca/2018/06/30/migrantida-inizio-anno-sbarcati-16.566-79-rispetto-a-2017-_30327137-364e-44bf-8

    • En Méditerranée, les flux de migrants s’estompent et s’orientent vers l’ouest

      Pour la première fois depuis le début de la crise migratoire en 2014, l’Espagne est, avant l’Italie et la Grèce, le pays européen qui enregistre le plus d’arrivées de migrants par la mer et le plus de naufrages meurtriers au large de ses côtes.

      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/280618/en-mediterranee-les-flux-de-migrants-s-estompent-et-s-orientent-vers-l-oue
      #routes_migratoires

    • Migratory flows in April: Overall drop, but more detections in Greece and Spain

      Central Mediterranean
      The number of migrants arriving in Italy via the Central Mediterranean route in April fell to about 2 800, down 78% from April 2017. The total number of migrants detected on this route in the first four months of 2018 fell to roughly 9 400, down three-quarters from a year ago.
      So far this year, Tunisians and Eritreans were the two most represented nationalities on this route, together accounting for almost 40% of all the detected migrants.

      Eastern Mediterranean
      In April, the number of irregular migrants taking the Eastern Mediterranean route stood at some 6 700, two-thirds more than in the previous month. In the first four months of this year, more than 14 900 migrants entered the EU through the Eastern Mediterranean route, 92% more than in the same period of last year. The increase was mainly caused by the rise of irregular crossings on the land borders with Turkey. In April the number of migrants detected at the land borders on this route has exceeded the detections on the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea.
      The largest number of migrants on this route in the first four months of the year were nationals of Syria and Iraq.

      Western Mediterranean
      Last month, the number of irregular migrants reaching Spain stood at nearly 1100, a quarter more than in April 2017. In the first four months of 2018, there were some 4600 irregular border crossings on the Western Mediterranean route, 95 more than a year ago.
      Nationals of Morocco accounted for the highest number of arrivals in Spain this year, followed by those from Guinea and Mali.

      https://frontex.europa.eu/media-centre/news-release/migratory-flows-in-april-overall-drop-but-more-detections-in-greece-a
      #2018 #Espagne #Grèce

    • EU’s Frontex warns of new migrant route to Spain

      Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri has warned that Spain could see a significant increase in migrant arrivals. The news comes ahead of the European Commission’s new proposal to strengthen EU external borders with more guards.

      Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri said Friday that some 6,000 migrants had entered the European Union in June by crossing into Spain from Morocco, the so-called western Mediterranean route.

      https://m.dw.com/en/eus-frontex-warns-of-new-migrant-route-to-spain/a-44563058?xtref=http%253A%252F%252Fm.facebook.com

    • L’Espagne devient la principale voie d’accès des migrants à l’Europe

      La Commission a annoncé trois millions d’euros d’aide d’urgence pour les garde-frontières espagnols, confrontés à un triplement des arrivées de migrants, suite au verrouillage de la route italienne.

      –-> v. ici :
      https://seenthis.net/messages/683358

      L’aide supplémentaire que l’exécutif a décidé d’allouer à l’Espagne après l’augmentation des arrivées sur les côtes provient du Fonds pour la sécurité intérieure et a pour but de financer le déploiement de personnel supplémentaire le long des frontières méridionales espagnoles.

      Le mois dernier, la Commission a déjà attribué 24,8 millions d’euros au ministère de l’Emploi et de la Sécurité sociale et à la Croix-Rouge espagnole, afin de renforcer les capacités d’accueil, de prise en charge sanitaire, de nourriture et de logement des migrants arrivants par la route de l’ouest méditerranéen.

      Une enveloppe supplémentaire de 720 000 euros a été allouée à l’organisation des rapatriements et des transferts depuis l’enclave de Ceuta et Melilla.

      Cette aide financière s’ajoute aux 691,7 millions que reçoit Madrid dans le cadre du Fonds pour l’asile, l’immigration et l’intégration et du fonds pour la sécurité intérieure pour la période budgétaire 2014-2020.

      https://www.euractiv.fr/section/migrations/news/avramopoulos-in-spain-to-announce-further-eu-support-to-tackle-migration

    • En #Méditerranée, les flux de migrants s’orientent vers l’ouest

      Entre janvier et juillet, 62 177 migrants ont rejoint l’Europe par la Méditerranée, selon les données de l’Agence des Nations unies pour les réfugiés. Un chiffre en baisse par rapport à 2017 (172 301 sur l’ensemble des douze mois) et sans commune mesure avec le « pic » de 2015, où 1 015 078 arrivées avaient été enregistrées.

      Les flux déclinent et se déplacent géographiquement : entre 2014 et 2017, près de 98 % des migrants étaient entrés via la Grèce et l’Italie, empruntant les voies dites « orientales » et « centrales » de la Méditerranée ; en 2018, c’est pour l’instant l’Espagne qui enregistre le plus d’arrivées (23 785), devant l’Italie (18 348), la Grèce (16 142) et, de manière anecdotique, Chypre (73).


      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/030818/en-mediterranee-les-flux-de-migrants-s-orientent-vers-l-ouest
      #statistiques #chiffres #Méditerranée_centrale #itinéraires_migratoires #parcours_migratoires #routes_migratoires #asile #migrations #réfugiés #2018 #Espagne #Italie #Grèce #2017 #2016 #2015 #2014 #arrivées

      Et des statistiques sur les #morts et #disparus :


      #mourir_en_mer #décès #naufrages

    • The most common Mediterranean migration paths into Europe have changed since 2009

      Until 2018, the Morocco-to-Spain route – also known as the western route – had been the least-traveled Mediterranean migration path, with a total of 89,000 migrants arriving along Spain’s coastline since 2009. But between January and August 2018, this route has seen over 28,000 arrivals, more than the central Africa-to-Italy central route (20,000 arrivals) and the Turkey-to-Greece eastern route (20,000 arrivals). One reason for this is that Spain recently allowed rescue ships carrying migrants to dock after other European Union countries had denied them entry.

      Toute la Méditerranée:

      #Méditerranée_occidentale:

      #Méditerranée_centrale:

      #Méditerranée_orientale:

      http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/09/18/the-most-common-mediterranean-migration-paths-into-europe-have-changed-

    • The “Shift” to the Western Mediterranean Migration Route: Myth or Reality?

      How Spain Became the Top Arrival Country of Irregular Migration to the EU

      This article looks at the increase in arrivals[1] of refugees and migrants in Spain, analysing the nationalities of those arriving to better understand whether there has been a shift from the Central Mediterranean migration route (Italy) towards the Western Mediterranean route (Spain). The article explores how the political dynamics between North African countries and the European Union (EU) have impacted the number of arrivals in Spain.

      The Western Mediterranean route has recently become the most active route of irregular migration to Europe. As of mid-August 2018, a total of 26,350 refugees and migrants arrived in Spain by sea, three times the number of arrivals in the first seven months of 2017. In July alone 8,800 refugees and migrants reached Spain, four times the number of arrivals in July of last year.

      But this migration trend did not begin this year. The number of refugees and migrants arriving by sea in Spain grew by 55 per cent between 2015 and 2016, and by 172 per cent between 2016 and 2017.

      At the same time, there has been a decrease in the number of refugees and migrants entering the EU via the Central Mediterranean route. Between January and July 2018, a total of 18,510 persons arrived in Italy by sea compared to 95,213 arrivals in the same period in 2017, an 81 per cent decrease.

      This decrease is a result of new measures to restrict irregular migration adopted by EU Member States, including increased cooperation with Libya, which has been the main embarkation country for the Central Mediterranean migration route. So far this year, the Libyan Coast Guards have intercepted 12,152 refugees and migrants who were on smuggling boats (more than double the total number of interceptions in 2017). In the last two weeks of July, 99.5 per cent of the refugees and migrants who departed on smuggling boats were caught and returned to Libya, according to a data analysis conducted at the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI). The number of people being detained by the Libyan Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM) has continued growing (from 5,000 to 9,300 between May and July 2018), with thousands more held in unofficial detention facilities.

      So, was there a shift from the Central to the Western Mediterranean Migration route? In other words, has the decline of arrivals in Italy led to the increase of arrivals in Spain?

      First of all, while this article only analyses the changes in the use of these two sea routes and among those trying to go to Europe, for most West Africans, the intended destination is actually North Africa, including Libya and Algeria, where they hope to find jobs. A minority intends to move onwards to Europe and this is confirmed by MMC’s 4Mi data referred to below.

      The answer to the question on whether or not there has been a shift between the two routes can be found in the analysis of the origin countries of the refugees and migrants that were most commonly using the Central Mediterranean route before it became increasingly difficult to reach Europe. Only if a decrease of the main nationalities using the Central Mediterranean Route corresponds to an increase of the same group along the Western Mediterranean route we can speak of “a shift”.

      The two nationalities who were – by far – the most common origin countries of refugees and migrants arriving in Italy in 2015 and in 2016 were Nigeria and Eritrea. The total number of Nigerians and Eritreans arriving in Italy in 2015 was 50,018 and slightly lower (47,096) in the following year. Then, between 2016 and last year, the total number of Nigerian and Eritrean arrivals in Italy decreased by 66 per cent. The decrease has been even more significant in 2018; in the first half of this year only 2,812 Nigerians and Eritreans arrived in Italy.

      However, there has not been an increase in Nigerians and Eritreans arriving in Spain. Looking at the data, it is clear that refugees and migrants originating in these two countries have not shifted from the Central Mediterranean route to the Western route.

      The same is true for refugees and migrants from Bangladesh, Sudan and Somalia – who were also on the list of most common countries of origin amongst arrivals in Italy during 2015 and 2016. While the numbers of Bangladeshis, Sudanese and Somalis arriving in Italy have been declining since 2017, there has not been an increase in arrivals of these nationals in Spain. Amongst refugees and migrants from these three countries, as with Nigerians and Eritreans, there has clearly not been a shift to the Western route. In fact, data shows that zero refugees and migrants from Eritrea, Bangladesh and Somalia arrived in Spain by sea since 2013.

      However, the data tells a different story when it comes to West African refugees and migrants. Between 2015 and 2017, the West African countries of Guinea, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia and Senegal were also on the list of most common origin countries amongst arrivals in Italy. During those years, about 91 per cent of all arrivals in the EU from these five countries used the Central Mediterranean route to Italy, while 9 per cent used the Western Mediterranean route to Spain.

      But in 2018 the data flipped: only 23 per cent of EU arrivals from these five West African countries used the Central Mediterranean route, while 76 per cent entered used the Western route. It appears that as the Central Mediterranean route is being restricted, a growing number of refugees and migrants from these countries are trying to reach the EU on the Western Mediterranean route.

      These finding are reinforced by 3,224 interviews conducted in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso between July 2017 and June 2018 by the Mixed Migration Monitoring Mechanism initiative (4Mi), which found a rise in the share of West African refugees and migrants stating their final destination is Spain and a fall in the share of West African refugees and migrants who say they are heading to Italy.[2]

      A second group who according to the data shifted from the Central Mediterranean route to the Western route are the Moroccans. Between 2015 and 2017, at least 4,000 Moroccans per year entered the EU on the Central Mediterranean route. Then, in the first half of this year, only 319 Moroccan refugees and migrants arrived by sea to Italy. Meanwhile, an opposite process has happened in Spain, where the number of Moroccans arriving by sea spiked, increasing by 346 per cent between 2016 and last year. This increase has continued in the first six months of this year, in which 2,600 Moroccans reached Spain through the Western Mediterranean route.

      On-going Political Bargaining

      The fact that so many Moroccans are amongst the arrivals in Spain could be an indication that Morocco, the embarkation country for the Western Mediterranean route, has perhaps been relaxing its control on migration outflows, as recently suggested by several media outlets. A Euronews article questioned whether the Moroccan government is allowing refugees and migrants to make the dangerous sea journey towards Spain as part of its negotiations with the EU on the size of the support it will receive. Der Spiegel reported that Morocco is “trying to extort concessions from the EU by placing Spain under pressure” of increased migration.

      The dynamic in which a neighbouring country uses the threat of increased migration as a political bargaining tool is one the EU is quite familiar with, following its 2016 deal with Turkey and 2017 deal with Libya. In both occasions, whilst on a different scale, the response of the EU has been fundamentally the same: to offer its southern neighbours support and financial incentives to control migration.

      The EU had a similar response this time. On August 3, the European Commission committed 55 million euro for Morocco and Tunisia to help them improve their border management. Ten days later, the Moroccan Association for Human Rights reported that Moroccan authorities started removing would-be migrants away from departure points to Europe.

      Aside from Morocco and Libya, there is another North African country whose policies may be contributing to the increase of arrivals in Spain. Algeria, which has been a destination country for many African migrants during the past decade (and still is according to 4Mi interviews), is in the midst of a nationwide campaign to detain and deport migrants, asylum seekers and refugees.

      The Associated Press reported “Algeria’s mass expulsions have picked up since October 2017, as the European Union renewed pressure on North African countries to discourage migrants going north to Europe…” More than 28,000 Africans have been expelled since the campaign started in August of last year, according to News Deeply. While Algeria prides itself on not taking EU money – “We are handling the situation with our own means,” an Algerian interior ministry official told Reuters – its current crackdown appears to be yet another element of the EU’s wider approach to migration in the region.
      Bargaining Games

      This article has demonstrated that – contrary to popular reporting – there is no blanket shift from the Central Mediterranean route to the Western Mediterranean route. A detailed analysis on the nationalities of arrivals in Italy and Spain and changes over time, shows that only for certain nationalities from West Africa a shift may be happening, while for other nationalities there is no correlation between the decrease of arrivals in Italy and the increase of arrivals in Spain. The article has also shown that the recent policies implemented by North African governments – from Libya to Morocco to Algeria – can only be understood in the context of these countries’ dialogue with the EU on irregular migration.

      So, while the idea of a shift from the Central Mediterranean route to the Western route up until now is more myth than reality, it is clear that the changes of activity levels on these migration routes are both rooted in the same source: the on-going political bargaining on migration between the EU and North African governments. And these bargaining games are likely to continue as the EU intensifies its efforts to prevent refugees and migrants from arriving at its shores.

      http://www.mixedmigration.org/articles/shift-to-the-western-mediterranean-migration-route
      #Méditerranée_centrale #Méditerranée_occidentale

    • IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 80,602 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 23 September, with 35,653 to Spain, the leading destination this year. In fact, with this week’s arrivals Spain in 2018 has now received via the Mediterranean more irregular migrants than it did throughout all the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 combined.

      The region’s total arrivals through the recent weekend compare with 133,465 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 302,175 at this point in 2016.

      Spain, with 44 per cent of all arrivals through the year, continues to receive seaborne migrants in September at a volume nearly twice that of Greece and more than six times that of Italy. Italy’s arrivals through late September are the lowest recorded at this point – the end of a normally busy summer sailing season – in almost five years. IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo on Monday reported that Italy’s 21,024 arrivals of irregular migrants by sea this year represent a decline of nearly 80 per cent from last year’s totals at this time. (see chart below).

      IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 1,730 people on the Mediterranean in 2018. Most recently, a woman drowned off the coast of Bodrum, Turkey on Sunday while attempting to reach Kos, Greece via the Eastern Mediterranean route. The Turkish Coast Guard reports that 16 migrants were rescued from this incident. On Saturday, a 5-year-old Syrian boy drowned off the coast of Lebanon’s Akkar province after a boat carrying 39 migrants to attempt to reach Cyprus capsized.

      IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 35,594 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 23 September (see chart below).

      IOM notes that over this year’s first five months, a total of 8,150 men, women and children were rescued in Spanish waters after leaving Africa – an average of 54 per day. In the 115 days since May 31, a total of 27,444 have arrived – or just under 240 migrants per day. The months of May-September this year have seen a total of 30,967 irregular migrants arriving by sea, the busiest four-month period for Spain since IOM began tallying arrival statistics, with just over one week left in September.

      With this week’s arrivals Spain in 2018 has now received via the Mediterranean more irregular migrants than it did throughout all the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 combined (see charts below).

      On Monday, IOM Athens’ Christine Nikolaidou reported that over four days (20-23 September) this week the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) units managed at least nine incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos and Farmakonisi.

      The HCG rescued a total 312 migrants and transferred them to the respective islands. Additional arrivals of some 248 individuals to Kos and some of the aforementioned islands over these past four days brings to 22,821 the total number of arrivals by sea to Greece through 23 September (see chart below).

      Sea arrivals to Greece this year by irregular migrants appeared to have peaked in daily volume in April, when they averaged at around 100 per day. That volume dipped through the following three months then picked up again in August and again in September, already this year’s busiest month – 3,536 through 23 days, over 150 per day – with about a quarter of the month remaining. Land border crossing also surged in April (to nearly 4,000 arrivals) but have since fallen back, with fewer than 2,000 crossings in each of the past four months (see charts below).

      IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 2,735 deaths and disappearances during migration so far in 2018 (see chart below).

      In the Americas, several migrant deaths were recorded since last week’s update. In Mexico, a 30-year-old Salvadoran man was killed in a hit-and-run on a highway in Tapachula, Mexico on Friday. Another death on Mexico’s freight rail network (nicknamed “La Bestia”) was added after reports of an unidentified man found dead on tracks near San Francisco Ixhuatan on 15 September.

      In the United States, on 16 September, an unidentified person drowned in the All-American Canal east of Calexico, California – the 55th drowning recorded on the US-Mexico border this year. A few days later a car crash south of Florence, Arizona resulted in the deaths of eight people, including four Guatemalan migrants, on Wednesday. Two others killed included one of the vehicles’ driver and his partner, who authorities say had been involved with migrant smuggling in the past.

      https://reliefweb.int/report/spain/mediterranean-migrant-arrivals-reach-80602-2018-deaths-reach-1730

    • Analyse de Matteo Villa sur twitter :

      Irregular sea arrivals to Italy have not been this low since 2012. But how do the two “deterrence policies” (#Minniti's and #Salvini's) compare over time?


      Why start from July 15th each year? That’s when the drop in sea arrivals in 2017 kicked in, and this allows us to do away with the need to control for seasonality. Findings do not change much if we started on July 1st this year.
      Zooming in, in relative terms the drop in sea arrivals during Salvini’s term is almost as stark as last year’s drop.

      In the period 15 July - 8 October:

      Drop during #Salvini: -73%.
      Drop during #Minniti: -79%.

      But looking at actual numbers, the difference is clear. In less than 3 months’ time, the drop in #migrants and #refugees disembarking in #Italy under #Minniti had already reached 51,000. Under #Salvini in 2018, the further drop is less than 10,000.


      To put it another way: deterrence policies under #Salvini can at best aim for a drop of about 42,000 irregular arrivals in 12 months. Most likely, the drop will amount to about 30.000. Under #Minniti, sea arrivals the drop amounted to 150.000. Five times larger.

      BOTTOM LINE: the opportunity-cost of deterrence policies is shrinking fast. Meanwhile, the number of dead and missing along the Central Mediterranean route has not declined in tandem (in fact, in June-September it shot up). Is more deterrence worth it?

      https://twitter.com/emmevilla/status/1049978070734659584

      Le papier qui explique tout cela :
      Sea Arrivals to Italy : The Cost of Deterrence Policies


      https://www.ispionline.it/en/publication/sea-arrivals-italy-cost-deterrence-policies-21367

    • Méditerranée : forte baisse des traversées en 2018 et l’#Espagne en tête des arrivées (HCR)

      Pas moins de 113.482 personnes ont traversé la #Méditerranée en 2018 pour rejoindre l’Europe, une baisse par rapport aux 172.301 qui sont arrivés en 2017, selon les derniers chiffres publiés par le Haut-Commissariat de l’ONU pour les réfugiés (HCR).
      L’Agence des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés rappelle d’ailleurs que le niveau des arrivées a également chuté par rapport au pic de 1,015 million enregistré en 2015 et à un moindre degré des 362.753 arrivées répertoriées en 2016.

      Toutefois pour l’année 2018, si l’on ajoute près de 7.000 migrants enregistrés dans les enclaves espagnoles de #Ceuta et #Melilla (arrivées par voie terrestre), on obtient un total de 120.205 arrivées en Europe.

      L’an dernier l’Espagne est redevenue la première porte d’entrée en Europe, avec 62.479 arrivées (dont 55.756 par la mer soit deux fois plus qu’en 2017, avec 22.103 arrivées).

      La péninsule ibérique est suivie par la #Grèce (32.497), l’Italie (23.371), #Malte (1.182) et #Chypre (676).

      https://news.un.org/fr/story/2019/01/1032962


  • Alors que les #Etats-nations (notamment l’#Italie dans ce cas précis) ferment les portes aux exilés, les #villes semblent aujourd’hui faire preuve de #solidarité.

    Il y a eu l’exemple de #Valence, mais #Barcelone et #Berlin se disent prêtes à accueillir les personnes sauvées par les navires des #ONG en #Méditerranée.

    Ici, des liens sur les #villes-refuge :
    http://seen.li/eh64

    Et ci-dessous, dans le fil de la discussion, des liens plus récents.

    #Etat-nation #villes #urban_matter #migrations #réfugiés #asile

    • Barcelona urges Spain to allow migrant ship to dock

      Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau is calling on Spain’s prime minister to grant the city docking rights to help a Spanish aid boat that rescued 60 migrants in the Mediterranean near Libya.

      The Open Arms boat, run by Spanish aid group Proactiva Open Arms, was the cause of a political row Saturday between Italy and Malta, who both rejected taking in the aid boat’s migrants.

      Mr Colau tweeted that Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez should “save lives” because Barcelona “doesn’t want to be an accomplice to the policies of death of Matteo Salvini,” referring to Italy’s hard-line interior minister.

      Mr Salvini, head of an anti-migrant party in the Italian coalition government, has vowed that no more humanitarian groups’ rescue boats will dock in Italy.

      The Spanish vessel said it rescued the migrants Saturday — including five women, a nine-year-old child and three teenagers — after it spotted a rubber boat patched with duct tape floating in the sea. All the migrants appeared in good health.

      "Despite the hurdles, we continue to protect the right to life of invisible people,’ said Open Arms.

      Mr Salvini quickly declared that the rescue boat “can forget about arriving in an Italian port” and claimed the boat should go to Malta, the nearest port.

      But Malta swiftly pushed back, with its interior minister contending that the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa, south of Sicily, was closer to the boat.

      Earlier this month, Rome rejected the Aquarius ship carrying 630 migrants, forcing it to eventually dock in Spain.

      “For women and children really fleeing the war the doors are open, for everyone else they are not!” Mr Salvini tweeted.

      https://www.thenational.ae/world/europe/barcelona-urges-spain-to-allow-migrant-ship-to-dock-1.745767
      #villes-refuge

    • Migrants rescue boat allowed to dock in Barcelona

      A Spanish rescue boat which plucked 60 migrants from a patched-up rubber dinghy in the Mediterranean Sea near Libya has been given permission to sail to Barcelona, following another political row between Italy and Malta over where the vessel should dock.

      The boat, Open Arms, run by Spanish aid group Proactiva Open Arms, said it rescued the migrants – including five women, a nine-year-old child and three teenagers – after it spotted a rubber boat patched with duct tape floating in the sea. All the migrants appeared in good health.

      Italy’s right-wing interior minister Matteo Salvini quickly declared that the rescue boat “can forget about arriving in an Italian port”, and claimed it should instead go to Malta, the nearest port.

      Malta swiftly pushed back, with its interior minister contending that the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa, south of Sicily, was closer to the boat.

      http://www.itv.com/news/2018-06-30/migrants-rescue-boat-allowed-to-dock-in-barcelona

    • #Palerme:

      La Commission régionale de l’Urbanisme a rejeté le projet de pré-faisabilité du “#hotspot” à Palerme, confirmant l’avis du Conseil municipal de Palerme. L’avis de la Commission régionale reste technique. Le maire de Palerme a rappelé que « la ville de Palerme et toute sa communauté sont opposés à la création de centres dans lesquels la dignité des personnes est violée (...). Palerme reste une ville qui croit dans les valeurs de l’accueil, de la solidarité et des rencontres entre les peuples et les cultures, les mettant en pratique au quotidien. En cela, notre “non” à l’hotspot n’est pas et ne sera pas seulement un choix technique, mais plutôt un choix relatif à des principes et des valeurs ».
      > Pour en savoir plus (IT) : http://www.palermotoday.it/politica/hotspot-zen-progetto-bocciato-regione.html

      – Leoluca Orlando, le maire de Palerme, continue de défier le gouvernement et les politiques migratoires de Salvini. La nouvelle querelle fait suite à une circulaire envoyée aux préfets et présidents de commissions sur la reconnaissance de la protection internationale. Matteo Salvini souhaite une accélération de l’examen des demandes et un accès plus strict au titre de séjour pour motif(s) humanitaire(s), un des avantages les plus accordés (cette année, ils représentaient 28% des trois titres de séjour prévus par la loi). La circulaire invite les commissions à être plus rigoureuses dans l’examen de la vulnérabilité.
      > Pour en savoir plus (IT) : www.palermotoday.it/politica/migranti-polemica-orlando-salvini-querela.html ?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

      – 8 Juillet, 18h : manifestation citoyenne des oppressé.es à Palerme.
      > Pour en savoir plus (IT), lien vers l’évènement : http://palermo.carpediem.cd/events/7342024-prima-le-oppresse-e-gli-oppressi-at-piazza-giuseppe-verdi

      –-> Reçu via la mailing-list Migreurop

    • Migranti: parte l’offensiva degli amministratori locali contro la deriva xenofoba e razzista del Governo

      Primo firmatario dell’appello «inclusione per una società aperta» Nicola Zingaretti; tra gli aderenti Sala, Pizzarotti e De Magistris.

      Trentatré episodi di aggressioni a sfondo razzista da quando il governo Salvini - Di Maio si è insediato, tre solo nelle ultime ore; porti chiusi e criminalizzazione delle Ong; ruspe sui campi rom e una narrazione costante e diffusa che parla di invasione, sostituzione etnica, pericolo immigrazione: qualcuno ha deciso di non restare in silenzio e mostrare che esiste anche un’Italia che rifiuta tutto questo, rivendica lo stato di diritto e sostiene l’inclusione sociale come valore assoluto.

      Per questo oggi stato lanciato - e ha già raccolto più di 200 adesioni in tutta Italia - il manifesto «Inclusione per una società aperta», ideato e promosso dai consiglieri regionali del Lazio Alessandro Capriccioli, Marta Bonafoni, Paolo Ciani, Mauro Buschini e Daniele Ognibene e rivolto a tutti gli amministratori locali che rifiutino «la retorica dell’invasione e della sostituzione etnica, messa in campo demagogicamente al solo scopo di ottenere consenso elettorale, dagli imprenditori della paura e dell’odio sociale; rifiutino il discorso pubblico di denigrazione e disprezzo del prossimo e l’incitamento all’odio, che nutrono una narrazione della disuguaglianza, giustificano e fanno aumentare episodi di intolleranza ed esplicito razzismo», col fine di costruire «una rete permanente che, dato l’attuale contesto politico, affronti il tema delle migrazioni e dell’accoglienza su scala nazionale a partire dalle esperienze e dalle politiche locali, con l’obiettivo di opporsi fattivamente alla deriva sovranista e xenofoba che sta investendo il nostro paese», come si legge nell’appello diffuso quest’oggi.

      «In Italia viviamo una situazione senza precedenti», ha spiegato Alessandro Capriccioli, capogruppo di +Europa Radicali durante la conferenza stampa di lancio dell’appello insieme ai colleghi Paolo Ciani, Marta Bonaforni e Marietta Tidei. «Attraverso una strategia quasi scientifica è stato imposto un racconto sull’immigrazione che alimenta l’odio e lo sfrutta per ottenere consensi. Questo manifesto si rivolge agli amministratori locali che affrontano sul campo il tema dell’immigrazione con risultati virtuosi che spesso smentiscono quel racconto, ed è uno strumento per formare una rete istituzionale che potrà diventare un interlocutore autorevole e credibile in primo luogo di questo Governo, dettando indicazioni, strategie e proposte».

      Paolo Ciani, capogruppo di Centro Solidale, ha sottolineato come «questa narrazione distorta sta portando a un imbarbarimento della nostra società. Gli episodi di questi giorni rappresentano solo la punta dell’iceberg di un atteggiamento diffuso: sappiamo tutti che esistono degli istinti bassi che appartengono a tutti gli esseri umani e che, se trovano una loro legittimazione nelle istituzioni, diventano un problema». Marietta Tidei, consigliera regionale del Pd ha posto l’attenzione sul fatto che «oggi viene raccontato solo il brutto dell’immigrazione, ma noi siamo qui per dire che c’è anche molto che ha funzionato: il programma Sprar è un esempio virutoso», mentre la capogruppo della Lista Civica Zingaretti Marta Bonafoni ha sottolineato come ciò che conta sia «la quantità e la pronta risposta che stiamo avendo: la distribuzione geografica ci dice che c’è un’altra italia, che con questo appello diventa una rete istituzionale che si pone come interlocutrice del Governo».

      Oltre al Presidente della regione Lazio hanno già sottoscritto l’appello Beppe Sala, sindaco di Milano, Federico Pizzarotti, sindaco di Parma, Luigi De Magistris, sindaco di Napoli e più di 200 tra assessori e consiglieri regionali, sindaci, presidenti di municipi e consiglieri comunali e municipali da ogni parte d’Italia.

      http://www.repubblica.it/solidarieta/immigrazione/2018/08/03/news/migranti_parte_l_offensiva_degli_amministratori_locali_contro_la_deriva_x
      #xénophobie #racisme #anti-racisme

    • Espagne : #Bilbao accueille de plus en plus de migrants

      Dernière étape avant la France ou une autre destination, Bilbao accueille de plus en plus de migrants débarqués sur les plages du sud de l’Espagne. Le Pays basque, connu pour être doté d’un réseau de solidarité citoyenne très développé, prend en charge le sort de ces migrants en transit. C’est le cas de l’association #Ongi_Etorri_regugiak - « Bienvenue réfugié » - qui depuis trois mois aide un groupe de 130 subsahariens livrés à eux-mêmes.

      Dans la cour de récréation, une vingtaine d’Africains jouent au football en attendant l’heure du dîner. C’est dans cette ancienne école primaire du quartier populaire de Santuxtu, transformée en centre social, que sont hébergés ces migrants âgés de plus de 18 ans. Tous ont débarqué en zodiac sur les côtes espagnoles, puis ont été transportés jusqu’à Bilbao dans des bus affrétés par les autorités espagnoles. Mais à leur arrivée, ils sont très vite livrés à eux-mêmes.

      La solidarité d’une centaine de personnes a permis d’aider ces migrants et de prendre la relève des autorités locales comme le souligne Martha, une des volontaires. « On a ouvert ce dispositif entre personnes qui n’ont aucun moyen économique, c’est autofinancé, et on apprend sur le tas un peu de tout, explique-t-elle. Il y a des gens qui restent dormir pour voir si tout se passe bien. On est là pour les accompagner, pour créer aussi le lien avec les gens d’ici, avec la ville. C’est très émouvant de voir comment s’est créée une chaîne de solidarité entre différents quartiers peu à peu, qui ne devrait pas s’arrêter là et on espère qu’elle ne va pas se rompre ».

      Parmi ces migrants, Zacharia, un Camerounais de 29 ans, désigné chef cuisinier. C’est lui qui prépare les repas pour les 130 personnes avec les vivres donnés par les habitants du coin. Il espère l’obtenir l’asile politique, mais il va devoir attendre six mois pour avoir son premier rendez-vous avec les autorités, ce qui le préoccupe.

      Les autorités basques ont promis de se pencher sur le sort de ces migrants, mais d’ordinaire, ils sont très peu à choisir de rester au Pays basque. La plupart décident de continuer leur périple vers le nord de l’Europe avec ou sans aide.

      http://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/11498/espagne-bilbao-accueille-de-plus-en-plus-de-migrants

    • #Atlanta says NO to detention and YES to increased legal services and support for family reunification:

      Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Issues Executive Order to Permanently End City of Atlanta Receiving ICE Detainees

      Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has signed an Executive Order directing the Chief of the Atlanta City Department of Corrections to take the necessary action to permanently stop receiving U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees under the current agreement with the United States Marshals Service.


      https://t.co/9jZoIICiIi
      #détention_administrative #rétention

      #USA #Etats-Unis

    • How Cities Are Demanding a Greater Voice on Migration

      Cities are developing their own solutions to help fast-growing migrant and refugee populations in urban areas. Cities expert Robert Muggah describes the swell of initiatives by urban leaders and what it will take to overcome the barriers ahead.

      Most refugees and internally displaced people live in cities. Yet urban leaders are regularly excluded from international discussions about refugee response.

      Robert Muggah, cofounder of the Brazil-based think-tank the Igarape Institute and Canadian risk consultancy The SecDev Group, is among a growing chorus of city and migration experts calling for that to change. His recent paper for the World Refugee Council describes how cities are developing their own solutions and offers a blueprint for better cooperation.

      “Cities will need resources to scale up their activities,” Muggah told Refugees Deeply. “This may require changes in laws so that cities can determine their own residence policies and keep tax revenues generated by migrants who move there.”

      Refugees Deeply talked to Muggah about how city leaders are championing new approaches to displacement and the barriers they’re trying to overcome.
      Refugees Deeply: Are the global compacts on refugees and migration a missed opportunity for a smarter international approach to urban refugees and migrants?

      Robert Muggah: The international response to the urbanization of displacement has been woefully inadequate. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in particular, was remarkably slow to empower cities to assume a greater role in protecting and assisting refugees and other groups of concern. And while it has made some modest improvements, the UNHCR’s strategic plan (2017–21) makes just one reference to urban refugees – acknowledging that they constitute the majority of the agency’s caseload – but offers no vision or concrete recommendations moving forward.

      The global compacts on migration and refugees were never going to be revolutionary. But so far they have been a disappointment seen from the vantage point of cities. While still under review, the new compacts only tangentially address the central role of urban authorities, businesses and civic associations in supporting displaced populations. While they offer a suite of sensible-sounding proposals to ensure a more predictable approach to protection and care and “regularize” population movements more generally, they are silent on the role of cities. The global compact on refugees mentions the word “urban” just four times and “cities” just once. These omissions have not gone unnoticed: cities and inter-city networks are agitating for a greater voice.

      The global compacts on migration and refugees were never going to be revolutionary. But so far they have been a disappointment seen from the vantage point of cities.
      Refugees Deeply: What are some of the main political and institutional blockages to better equipping cities around the world to protect and care for migrants and refugees?

      Muggah: For most of the 20th and 21st centuries, nation states have actively resisted giving cities more discretion in responding to issues of cross-border and internal population displacement. Cities will not find recourse in international law, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) also have nothing to say about urban displacement. More positively, the nonbinding New Urban Agenda offers more concrete direction on cooperation between national and subnational authorities to address the needs of refugees and internally displaced people.

      Cities have also received comparatively limited support from international organizations to support urban refugees and displaced people. On the contrary – the UNHCR has instead emphasized the need to reduce assistance and promote self-reliance. Under immense pressure from U.N. member states, and host states in particular, the UNHCR sought to limit refugees from moving to cities where possible. UNHCR made tentative gestures to move beyond the minimalist approach and advocate for refugee rights in cities in the 2000s, but a camp-based model prevailed. There were concerns that the focus on refugees in cities could antagonize host countries, many of whom saw displaced people as a threat to domestic and international security.
      Refugees Deeply: What are some of the factors common to the most proactive and innovative cities on these issues?

      Muggah: A growing number of cities are demanding a greater voice on issues of migration and displacement. Earlier in 2018 a small delegation of cities – led by New York – sent recommendations to improve the overall wording and content of the Global Compact. Likewise, in 2017, the International Organization for Migration, together with the United Cities and Local Government (UCLG), assembled 150 cities to sign the Mechelen Declaration demanding a seat at the decision-making table. And in 2015, Eurocities also issued a statement on refugees in the wake of the influx of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa. They set up Solidarity Cities, which provides support to help cities deliver services and identify effective long-term solutions to protect social cohesion and integration.

      Cities are also getting on with developing legislative and policy frameworks to welcome refugees and promote protection, care and assistance. Good examples include more than 100 “welcoming cities” in the U.S. that have committed to promoting integration, developing institutional strategies for inclusion, building leadership among new arrivals and providing support to refugees. Meanwhile, some 500 jurisdictions describe themselves as “sanctuary cities.” Despite threats of cuts to funding, they are resisting federal efforts to enforce immigration law and are on the front line of supporting refugees. In the U.K., at least 80 “cities of sanctuary” offer another approach to providing compassionate solutions for refugees. Large and medium-sized cities across Europe are also adopting similar strategies, in cooperation with Eurocities – a network of major European cities founded in 1986.

      While it can generate tension with federal counterparts, these city-level responses can help contribute to greater safety and economic progress in the long run. Cities, states and countries with sanctuary policies tend to be safer and more prosperous than those without them. Sanctuary cities can build trust between law enforcement agencies and migrant communities. Likewise, the economies of sanctuary cities, towns and counties are largely more resilient than nonsanctuary counterparts, whether measured in terms of the population’s income, reliance on public assistance or labor force participation.
      Refugees Deeply: Many cities face financial and political limitations on their ability to respond to refugee crises. Where have you seen good examples of devolution of power and resources helping cities to respond better?

      Muggah: There are countless examples of cities strengthening their protection and care for urban refugees in a time of austerity. In New York, for example, city authorities launched ActionNYC, which offers free, safe legal assistance for migrants and refugees in multiple languages. In Barcelona, the SAIER (Service Center for Immigrants, Emigrants and Refugees) program provides free advice on asylum and return, while Milan works with the UNHCR and Save the Children to offer services for unaccompanied minors.

      Montreal established the BINAM (Bureau d’integration des nouveaux arrivants a Montreal) program to provide on-the-job training and mentoring to new arrivals, and Sao Paulo has created municipal immigration councils to help design, implement and monitor the city’s policies. Likewise, cities such as Atlanta and Los Angeles are requiring that migrants – in particular, refugees – have equal access to city facilities, services and programs regardless of their citizenship status.

      Cities are also banding together, pooling their resources to achieve greater influence on the urban refugee agenda. Today there are more than 200 intercity networks dedicated to urban priorities, ranging from governance and climate change to public safety and migration. Several of them have dedicated guidelines on how cities can protect and care for refugees. For example, the Global Parliament of Mayors, established in 2016, focuses on, among other things, promoting inclusive cities for refugees and advocating on their behalf. The International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities and the UCLG are others, having teamed up with think-tanks and international agencies to strengthen information-sharing and best practices. Another new initiative is Urban20, which is promoting social integration, among other issues, and planning an inaugural meeting in October 2018.
      Refugees Deeply: Most cities at the forefront of refugee crises are in the Global South. What recommendations would you offer to ensure that international responses to urban displacement do not become too North-centric?

      Muggah: This reality is often lost on Northern policymakers and citizens as they seek to restrict new arrivals and reduce overseas assistance. The Carnegie Mellon University’s Create Lab and the Igarape Institute have developed a range of data visualization tools to highlight these trends, but a much greater effort is required to educate the public. These outreach efforts must be accompanied with a dramatic scaling-up of assistance to redressing the “causes” of displacement as well as supporting front-line cities absorbing the vast majority of the world’s displaced populations.


      https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/community/2018/09/21/how-cities-are-demanding-a-greater-voice-on-migration

    • Création de l’#association_nationale des #villes et #territoires accueillants

      À l’heure où l’échec des politiques migratoires européenne et nationale entraîne une montée des populismes tout en restreignant les droits humains fondamentaux, nous, élu.e.s de villes et collectivités, décidons de nous unir sous une bannière commune : celle de l’accueil inconditionnel.

      Nous demandons ainsi que l’Etat assume ses missions et assure les moyens pour créer des solutions d’accueil, d’hébergement et d’accompagnement plus nombreuses et plus qualitatives que celles existantes aujourd’hui. Cela doit passer par la mise en place d’une stratégie nationale d’accueil afin de répartir et d’accompagner l’effort de solidarité.

      Nous l’enjoignons à respecter le droit et ses engagements internationaux (Protocole de Quito de l’ONU, Convention de Genève), européens (Pacte d’Amsterdam) et nationaux (Code des Familles et de l’Action Sociale)

      Néanmoins, dépositaires d’une tradition d’accueil et de valeurs humanistes, nous, élu.e.s locaux et territoriaux, mettons en oeuvre et expérimentons déjà sur nos territoires, au quotidien, des réponses aux impératifs de l’urgence humanitaire et d’inclusion de tout un chacun, même quand l’Etat est défaillant.
      Surtout, nous agissons en responsabilité, conformément à nos obligations règlementaires et législatives.

      L’association que nous avons constituée à Lyon 1er le 26 septembre 2018, rassemble tout.e.s les élu.e.s promouvant l’hospitalité, source de politiques inclusives et émancipatrices. Fort.e.s de notre expérience, animé.e.s par la volonté d’agir collectivement, nous donnerons à voir que des solutions dignes sont possibles et adaptées à chaque situation locale. Il n’y a pas UNE politique d’accueil, mais autant que de particularismes locaux.

      Elle permettra de mettre en avant toutes les réussites locales en matière d’accueil sur notre
      territoire et les réussites que cela engendre lorsque chacun assume ses responsabilités.
      Elle permettra aussi, la mise en commun de bonnes pratiques, l’accompagnement de territoires volontaires, la mobilisation autour d’enjeux liés aux politiques migratoires, la proposition de mesures adaptées. En partenariat avec toutes les forces vives volontaires : acteurs associatifs, citoyen.ne.s, universitaires, juristes, militant.e.s, etc.

      Nous souhaitons la bienvenue aux élu.e.s de tous horizons et de tout territoire, qui, partageant nos valeurs humanistes et notre volonté politique, veulent rejoindre notre association.

      Damien CARÊME, Maire de #Grande-Synthe, Président de l’Association
      Catherine BASSANI, Représentante de la ville de #Nantes
      Philippe BOUYSSOU, Maire d’#Ivry-Sur-Seine
      Marie-Dominique DREYSSE, Maire-adjointe de #Strasbourg
      Gérard FROMM, Maire de #Briançon
      Corinne IEHL, Elue de #Lyon 7ème arrondissement
      Myriam LAÏDOUNI-DENIS, Elue de la #Région_Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
      Bernard MACRET, 4ème Adjoint aux Solidarités Internationales, #Grenoble
      Halima MENHOUDJ, Adjointe au Maire de #Montreuil
      Jaklin PAVILLA, 1ère Adjointe au Maire de #Saint-Denis
      Nathalie PERRIN-GILBERT, Maire du 1er arrondissement de Lyon
      Eric PIOLLE, Maire de #Grenoble
      Laurent RUSSIER, Maire de #Saint-Denis
      Bozena WOJCIECHOWSKI, Adjointe au Maire d’Ivry-sur-Seine

      https://blogs.mediapart.fr/fini-de-rire/blog/280918/creation-de-l-association-nationale-des-villes-et-territoires-accuei
      #villes_accueillantes #territoires_accueillants #France

    • How Cities Can Shape a Fairer, More Humane Immigration Policy

      National governments do not have all the answers on immigration says Bristol mayor Marvin Rees. Ahead of a mayors’ summit he outlines a better city-led response.

      People have always been on the move, both within nations and across borders, but increasingly migrants tend to settle in cities. This puts cities and their responses at the heart of the conversation, something we are looking to highlight at the Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM) Summit here in Bristol.

      There is a steady upward trend in the number of people who have left their homelands voluntarily for economic or other reasons, or who are forced to leave their homes as refugees or displaced persons for reasons of conflict or environmental disaster. Population diversity in most developed countries can be attributed to international migration, whereas in developing nations it is mostly internal migration that contributes to this diversity.

      This is an important moment in the United Kingdom’s approach to the issue of migration. The upcoming Immigration Bill, expected toward the end of this year, will bring unprecedented reform of U.K. immigration policy. At the same time, the scandal over the treatment of the Windrush generation has brought to public consciousness the impact of this government’s “hostile environment” policy and the burdensome bureaucracy the Home Office is inflicting on individual human lives. A fairer, more compassionate system is needed, one in which no one is detained without knowing why and when they will be released. It is everyone’s legitimate right to enjoy a family life with loved ones and to realize the aspiration to provide for oneself and one’s family and contribute to society through employment.

      However, national governments clearly do not have all the answers. Around the world, it is cities that are increasingly collaborating nationally and across borders, learning from each other and replicating good practice. Cities’ experiences have to be included in the national debate on how to take advantage of the full potential of migration and drive a change in policies and mind-set to ensure that migration is embraced as an opportunity rather than seen solely as a challenge.

      That is why this will be high on the agenda at the GPM summit opening on October 21, with almost 100 mayors representing both developed and emerging states in attendance. Cities are where migrants interact with communities, society and, if only indirectly, with the host country. The social, economic, political and cultural activities in a city can play a crucial role in countering the anxiety and fears associated with migration, and help integration and inclusivity. Where the right policies and practices are in place, migration can bring huge benefits to communities and cities, fueling growth, innovation and entrepreneurship.
      City Responses

      City responses to migration and refugees have been varied and multifaceted but they are characterized by the theme of inclusion, with city leaders attempting to design and implement policies that allow newcomers to contribute to, and benefit from, the flourishing of their new communities. These responses are rooted in an approach that is both principled and pragmatic – seeking to uphold human rights and dignity while at the same time identifying practical solutions to the challenges affecting local residents. At a time when, at national and international level, migration has been used by some as a political weapon to stoke resentment and tension, this city perspective has never been more vital in bringing both humanity and reality back into public discourse.

      In seeking to develop inclusive solutions on migration, cities across the globe are innovating and developing new models of best practice.

      Amsterdam has adopted a programme called “Everyone’s Police,” which encourages the reporting of crimes in the interest of more effective policing and community engagement.

      New York City has created the I.D. NYC scheme, a government-issued identification card available to all residents regardless of immigration status that enables people to access a variety of services and discounts in the city.

      Barcelona supports children and families applying for family reunification by providing comprehensive and personalized guidance on the legal, practical and psychological aspects of the process.

      Sao Paulo has established the Coordination of Policies for Migrants’ Unite within its municipal structures to promote city policies for migrants across departments and disciplines and in a participative manner.

      Amman has welcomed almost 2 million migrants and refugees in the last two decades as a result of conflicts in neighboring countries. And cities in Uganda have played a key role in implementing national policies designed to allow refugees to own land and set up businesses.

      These are just a handful of examples of the great work already being done by many cities on these issues. These innovations will be examined in detail at the GPM summit, with city representatives sharing their valuable learning and experience.

      A number of initiatives and networks have been established to support and catalyze such innovations and share best practice across different city contexts, from the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Migration to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth – and many more. Together these networks provide a wealth of resources and insight for cities seeking to make inclusion a reality.
      A Voice for Cities on the Global Stage

      Despite this vital work on the ground, cities remain underrepresented on the global stage when it comes to key decision-making on migration and refugee issues. This is the challenge the GPM summit will address.

      The GPM has already been actively engaged in the negotiations on the United Nations global compacts on migration and refugees. As the mayor of Bristol I become the first city leader to speak in the deliberations on the compact on migration in May 2018.

      At the summit we will debate and decide how, collectively, we can take a leadership role for cities in the implementation of the global compacts. We will hear from other key international stakeholders, as well as from mayors with direct and varied experience. And we will agree on practical steps to enable cities to implement the compacts in their areas of influence.

      The price of inaction is huge – a critical global diplomatic process could once again largely pass cities by and leave national-level politicians bickering over watered-down commitments. The potential prize is just as significant – a recognized seat at the table for cities to review and implement global compacts, and a range of practical resources to maximize the contributions that migrants and refugees can bring to our communities.

      Our conversations in Bristol represent a critical opportunity to better grasp the key issues for cities related to migration and integration, and to amplify the voice of city leaders in international policymaking relating to migrants and refugees.


      https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/community/2018/10/19/how-cities-can-shape-a-fairer-more-humane-immigration-policy

    • Migranti, «Venite al porto di Napoli, vi accogliamo»

      E sul fronte migranti: «Io faccio una proposta ai timonieri di navi: la prossima volta che avete un problema per le autorizzazioni avvicinatevi alle acque territoriali di una città povera ma dalla grande dignità. Avvicinatevi al porto di Napoli. Noi disponiamo di due gommoni come Comune, un po’ malandati ma funzionanti. Vi assicuro che ci sono pescatori democratici e tanta gente in grado di remare e venire a prendere. E mi metto io nella prima barca, voglio vedere se ci sparano addosso».

      https://napoli.repubblica.it/cronaca/2018/12/01/news/incontro_con_de_magistris_a_roma_nasce_terzo_fronte_-213118777/?ref=fbpr

    • Italie : #Palerme, l’exception

      En juin, il a été l’un des premiers à proposer d’accueillir l’Aquarius et ses passagers indésirables : Leoluca Orlando, le maire de Palerme, s’affiche comme l’un des plus farouches opposants à la politique migratoire du gouvernement italien. Il milite entre autres, pour la disparition du permis de séjour et la libre-circulation des personnes.

      Ces trois dernières années, la capitale sicilienne a accueilli des dizaines de milliers de migrants. Ils sont nombreux à y être restés et, parmi eux, beaucoup de mineurs isolés. Pour les prendre en charge, une multitude d’associations travaillent main dans la main avec le soutien de la mairie.
      Reportage à Palerme, où les initiatives se multiplient, à contre-courant de la politique du ministre de l’intérieur, Mateo Salvini.

      https://www.arte.tv/fr/videos/084352-000-A/italie-palerme-l-exception

      signalé par @sinehebdo
      https://seenthis.net/messages/743236

    • Le temps est venu pour des villes solidaires...


      https://twitter.com/seawatchcrew/status/1078595657051574272?s=19

      Stuck at Sea for over 6 days – the New Year for the rescued on Sea-Watch 3 must start ashore!

      Already on Saturday, the crew of the Sea-Watch 3 has saved 32 people from drowning, including four women, three unaccompanied minors, two young children and a baby. Five countries (Italy, Malta, Spain, Netherlands, Germany) refused to take responsibility and grant the rescued a port of safety for Christmas.
      In Germany only, more than 30 cities and several federal states have declared themselves to be safe havens and are willing to accept those rescued from distress at sea.

      https://sea-watch.org/en/stuck-at-sea-for-over-6-days-without-port-of-safety

    • NYC to Fund Health Care for All, Including the Undocumented, Mayor Says

      New York Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed a $100 million plan that he said would provide affordable “healthcare for all,” reaching about 600,000 people, including undocumented immigrants, low-income residents not enrolled in Medicaid and young workers whose current plans are too expensive.

      The plan, which de Blasio dubbed “NYC Care,” will offer public health insurance on a sliding price scale based on income, the mayor said during an interview Tuesday morning on MSNBC. It will begin later this year in the Bronx and will be available to all New Yorkers in 2021, and would cost at least $100 million once it reaches full enrollment, according to the mayor’s office.

      The proposed city-funded health insurance option would assign a primary care doctor to each plan participant and help patients find specialists if needed. De Blasio said the plan, which would be financed out of the city’s public health budget, would ultimately be cost effective by reducing hospital emergency room visits by uninsured patients and by improving public health.

      The program builds upon the city’s $1.6 billion a-year Department of Public Health and Mental Hygiene budget and the separately funded public hospital system, which already serves 475,000 under-insured and uninsured patients annually, including undocumented immigrants, in more than 11 hospitals and 70 neighborhood clinics. The city already has an insurance plan, MetroPlus, that will be used as the template for the coverage. The program may take two years to get “to full strength,” de Blasio said.

      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-08/nyc-to-fund-health-care-for-all-including-the-undocumented

      #NYC #New_York

    • Avec la « ville-refuge », ce serait un nouveau concept de Ville qui pourrait émerger, un autre droit d’asile, une autre hospitalité qui transformerait le droit international

      Intervenant devant le Parlement international des écrivains pour répondre à un appel lancé en 1995 pour constituer un réseau de villes-refuges susceptibles d’accueillir un écrivain persécuté, Jacques Derrida s’interroge sur les implications de cette proposition. Une Ville peut-elle se distinguer d’un Etat, prendre de sa propre initiative un statut original qui, au moins sur ce point précis, l’autoriserait à échapper aux règles usuelles de la souveraineté nationale ? Peut-elle contribuer à une véritable innovation dans l’histoire du droit d’asile, une nouvelle cosmopolitique, un devoir d’hospitalité revisité ? Inventer cela peut être considéré comme une utopie, mais c’est aussi une tâche théorique et critique, urgente dans un contexte où les violences, les crimes, les tragédies, les persécutions, multiplient les réfugiés, les exilés, les apatrides et les victimes anonymes.

      Le droit d’asile est un vestige médiéval, qui a survécu aux guerres du 20ème siècle. Appeler les villes à renouer avec cette tradition en accueillant les réfugiés comme tels, sans leur proposer ni la naturalisation, ni le retour dans leur région d’origine, implique de déborder les limites fixés par les traités entre Etats souverains. On peut imaginer une nouvelle figure de ville, une ville franche qui bénéficierait d’un statut d’exemption, d’immunité, comparable à celui qui est encore parfois attaché à certains lieux, religieux ou diplomatiques.

      On trouve la notion de ville-refuge dans la bible, chez certains stoïciens grecs, chez Cicéron, Saint Paul (qui la sécularise), dans la tradition médiévale et religieuse (les églises comme lieu de « sauveté »). Les Lumières en héritent et Kant, dans son Article définitif en vue de la paix perpétuelle, en donne une formulation rigoureuse mais restrictive : (1) il limite l’hospitalité au droit de visite, excluant le droit de résidence ; (2) il la fait dépendre du droit étatique. Pour faire progresser le droit, il faut analyser ces restrictions. D’une part l’hospitalité selon Jacques Derrida est une Loi, un droit inconditionnel offert à quiconque, un principe irréductible ; mais d’autre part il faut répondre à l’urgence, à la violence et à la persécution. Cela peut ouvrir la possibilité d’une expérimentation - dans la pratique et dans la pensée, d’une autre idée du cosmopolitisme et de la démocratie à venir.

      En France, le droit d’asile est assez récent. La constitution de 1946 ne l’accorde qu’aux pesonnes persécutées à cause de leur action « en faveur de la liberté », une définition élargie en 1954 (par suite de l’adhésion à la Convention de Genève de 1951) à ceux dont la vie ou la liberté se trouve menacée « en raison de leur race, de leur religion ou de leurs opinions politiques ». L’application de cette Convention n’a été élargie aux personnes hors d’Europe et aux événements survenus après 1951 qu’en 1967. Mais les Etats-nations n’acceptent, en pratique, d’accorder ce droit que sous des conditions qui le rendent parfois presque impossible. En France, il faut que l’exilé ne puisse attendre aucun bénéfice économique de son immigration. Souvent, devant l’imprécision des règles, on laisse la police faire la loi - une confusion inquiétante, voire ignoble, comme le dénonçait Walter Benjamin, quand les limites de l’action de la police deviennent insaisissables, indéterminées. Le droit d’asile implique une subordination stricte de toutes les administrations policières au pouvoir politique.

      https://www.idixa.net/Pixa/pagixa-1308210805.html
      via @nepthys

    • #Jacques_Derrida und die Idee der Zufluchtsstädte

      Nach islamistischen Anschlägen in Algerien Anfang der 90er-Jahre flohen viele Kulturschaffende aus dem Land. Zusammen mit anderen internationalen Intellektuellen initiierte der französische Philosoph Jacques Derrida von Staaten unabhängige Zufluchtsorte für Verfolgte. Welche Kraft hat diese Idee heute?

      Der Exodus arabischer Intellektueller in den Westen hat eine lange Tradition. Vor über 20 Jahren wütete der islamistische Furor in Algerien. Viele Journalisten wurden damals ermordet, den Überlebenden blieb nur die Flucht ins westliche Ausland. Dieses Horrorszenario wiederholt sich heute in Syrien. Karim Chamoun, ein in Mainz lebender Radiojournalist, gibt den syrischen Flüchtlingen eine Stimme. Seine Landsleute informiert er über die eskalierenden Zustände in der Heimat. Offenbar – so berichtet Chamoun – läuft dem regierenden Assad-Clan die noch verbliebene Bildungselite davon:

      „In den letzten 18 Monaten sind sehr viele Pro-Assad-Intel­lektuelle ausgewandert und sind in Deutschland gelandet. Viele sind in der jetzigen Zeit ausgewandert, vor Angst, vor Terror. Die haben keine Organisation, die sie vereint.“

      Das Medieninteresse für Syrien lässt vergessen, dass schon vor über 20 Jahren islamistische Fanatiker eine tödliche Hetzjagd auf Journalisten und Künstler veranstalteten. Der Algerier Tahar Djaout war in den 80er-Jahren bekannt für seine Kommentare im Wochenmagazin Algérie-Actualité. Anfang 1993 gründete Djaout Ruptures – „Brüche“ –, eine Zeitschrift, die sich als Stachel im Fleisch einer autoritär regierten Gesellschaft verstand. Die Redakteure fürchteten allerdings nicht nur die Zensur, sie bangten um ihr Leben, da die „Islamische Heilsfront“ ihnen offen den Kampf angesagt hatte. Im Mai 1993 wurde Tahar Djaout vor seiner Haustür in Algier ermordet. Der Journalist war nicht das erste Opfer der Islamisten, aber das prominenteste. Unzählige andere folgten.

      Tahar Djaouts Ermordung war ein Fanal für die französische Intelligenz. Nicht länger wollte man sich auf den mutlosen internationalen PEN verlassen. Der Philosoph Jacques Derrida und der Soziologe Pierre Bourdieu, die lange Zeit in Algerien gelebt hatten, fühlten sich den Algeriern, den Opfern eines langen, erbitterten Bürgerkrieges gegen die französische Kolonialmacht, eng verbunden. Sie wollten den „Terrainverlust“ der Intellektuellen, einer Elite ohne Macht, wettmachen.
      Die Öffentlichkeit wachrütteln

      Christian Salmon, Gründer des Straßburger Zirkels „Carrefour de littérature“, startete eine Unterschriftenaktion. Weltweit verbündeten sich namhafte Schriftsteller mit den verfolgten Algeriern. Salmon schrieb:

      „Algerische Journalisten und Schriftsteller, die glücklich einem Attentat entkommen sind, müssen sich verbergen, während sie vergeblich auf ein Visum warten. Sie harren ungeduldig vor unseren Grenzen. Hunderte algerische Intellektuelle, dem Hass islamistischer Attentäter ausgeliefert, verdanken ihr Überleben entweder purem Glück oder der Überbeschäftigung der Henker. (…) Wir sagen jetzt: Es reicht! Genug der Morde in Algerien! Schriftsteller, Künstler und Intellektuelle zeigen ihren Widerstand. In aller Deutlichkeit sagen wir: Keine Demokratie ohne Solidarität, keine Zivilisation ohne Gastfreundschaft.“

      Aus Solidarität mit den algerischen Kollegen kamen im November 1993 im Straßburger „Carrefour de littérature“ zahlreiche internationale Autoren zusammen, um die Öffentlichkeit wachzurütteln. 200 Schriftsteller unterzeichneten den Appell. Bei einer rituellen Aktion wollte man es aber nicht belassen: Unter der Leitung des indischen Autors Salman Rushdie, der seit der Fatwa Ayatollah Chomeinis von den iranischen Häschern verfolgt wurde, gründeten sie das Internationale Schriftsteller-Parlament. Währenddessen rief Rushdie, zusammen mit Straßburgs Bürgermeisterin Catherine Trautmann und dem Generalsekretär des Europarats, zur Gründung von Zufluchtsstädten auf – von „villes- refuges“, um verfolgten Schriftstellern und Künstlern Asyl zu gewähren. Salman Rushdie schrieb das Gründungsdokument:

      „Heute widersetzt sich die Literatur ein weiteres Mal der Tyrannei. Wir gründeten das Schriftsteller-Parlament, damit es sich für die unterdrückten Autoren einsetzt und gegen ihre Widersacher erhebt, die es auf sie und ihre Werke abgesehen haben. Nachdrücklich erneuern wir die Unabhängigkeitserklärung, ohne die Literatur unmöglich ist, nicht nur die Literatur, sondern der Traum, nicht nur der Traum, sondern das Denken, nicht nur das Denken, sondern die Freiheit.“
      Kommunen können schneller auf neue Situationen reagieren

      Catherine Trautmann stellte später die Initiative der „villes-refuges“ vor, die zuvor vom Internationalen Schrift­steller-Parlament beschlossen wurde:

      „Es kommt darauf an, dass multikulturell sich verstehende Städte bereit sind, Gedankenfreiheit und Toleranz zu verteidigen. Die in einem Netz verbundenen Städte können etwas bewirken, indem sie verfolgte Künstler und Schriftsteller aufnehmen. Wir wissen, dass Euro­pa ein Kontinent ist, wo über alle Konflikte hinweg Intellektuelle leben und schreiben. Dieses Erbe müssen wir wach halten. Die bedrohten Intellektuellen müssen bei uns Bürgerrecht erhalten. Zu diesem Zweck sollte ein Netz der Solidarität geschaffen werden.“

      Das Projekt der „villes-refuges“ war anfangs äußerst erfolgreich: 1995 beschlossen Vertreter von mehr als 400 europäischen Städten die „Charta der villes-refuges“. Eine Resolution des Europäischen Parlaments förderte ein weltweites Netz von „villes-refuges“. Straßburg und Berlin gehörten zu den ersten „Zu­fluchts­städten“, es folgten Städte wie Venedig und Helsinki.

      Die Skepsis gegenüber den nationalen und überstaatlichen Organisationen wächst. Kommunen, die politische Macht auf lokaler Ebene ausüben, seien imstande, wesentlich schneller und flexibler auf neue, unvorgesehene Situationen zu reagieren, meint der amerikanische Politikwissenschaftler Benjamin Barber:

      „Der Unterschied zu Staaten liegt in der Eigenart der Städte: Sie sind zutiefst multikulturell, partizipatorisch, demokratisch, kooperativ. Städte interagieren und können viel erreichen, während Staaten eigensinnig sind und gemeinsames Handeln behindern. Die Welt globaler Demokratie führt uns nicht zu Staaten, sondern zu Städten. Demokratie entstand in der griechischen polis. Sie könnte ein weiteres Mal in der globalen kosmopolis entstehen.“

      Jacques Derrida ist im Oktober 2004 gestorben. Angesichts der unlösbar scheinenden Flüchtlingsprobleme wäre der Philosoph heutzutage ein verantwortungsvoller und sachkundiger Diskussionspartner. Vielleicht würde er darauf hinweisen, dass sich die Gesetze der Gastfreundschaft keineswegs geändert haben. Denn auch heute müssen Pflichten und Rechte, Grenzen und Freiheiten neu austariert werden. Im Interesse beider – der Gäste und der Gastgeber.

      https://www.deutschlandfunkkultur.de/villes-refuges-jacques-derrida-und-die-idee-der.976.de.html?dr
      #Derrida
      via @nepthys

    • #ICORN

      The #International_Cities_of_Refuge_Network (ICORN) is an independent organisation of cities and regions offering shelter to writers and artists at risk, advancing freedom of expression, defending democratic values and promoting international solidarity.

      Writers and artists are especially vulnerable to censorship, harassment, imprisonment and even death, because of what they do. They represent the liberating gift of the human imagination and give voice to thoughts, ideas, debate and critique, disseminated to a wide audience. They also tend to be the first to speak out and resist when free speech is threatened.

      ICORN member cities offer long term, but temporary, shelter to those at risk as a direct consequence of their creative activities. Our aim is to be able to host as many persecuted writers and artists as possible in ICORN cities and together with our sister networks and organisations, to form a dynamic and sustainable global network for freedom of expression.

      https://icorn.org
      #réseau #art #artistes #liberté_d'expression #écrivains



  • Israel adopts abandoned Saudi sectarian logic - Modern Diplomacy

    https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2018/06/16/israel-adopts-abandoned-saudi-sectarian-logic

    Amid ever closer cooperation with Saudi Arabia, Israel’s military appears to be adopting the kind of sectarian anti-Shiite rhetoric that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is abandoning as part of a bid to develop a national rather than a religious ethos and promote his yet to be defined form of moderate Islam.

    The Israeli rhetoric in Arabic-language video clips that target a broad audience across the Middle East and North Africa emerged against the backdrop of a growing influence of conservative religious conscripts and officers in all branches of the Israeli armed forces.

    The clips featuring army spokesman Major Avichay Adraee were also designed to undermine support for Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip and backed recent mass anti-Israeli protests along the border with Israel, in advance of a visit to the Middle East by US peace negotiators Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt.

    The visit could determine when US President Donald J. Trump publishes his long-awaited ‘art of the deal’ proposal for a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that despite Israeli and tacit Saudi and United Arab Emirates backing is likely to be rejected by the Palestinians as well as those Arab states that have so far refused to tow the Saudi line.

    Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, in tacit cooperation with the Palestine Authority on the West Bank, have adopted a carrot-and-stick approach in an as yet failed bid to weaken Hamas’ control of Gaza in advance of the announcement of Mr. Trump’s plan.

    Citing a saying of the Prophet Mohammed, Major Adraee, painting Hamas as an Iranian stooge, asserted that “whoever acts like a people is one of them… You (Hamas) have officially become Shiites in line with the Prophet’s saying… Have you not read the works of the classical jurists, scholars…who have clearly warned you about the threat Iranian Shiism poses to you and your peoples?”

    In a twist of irony, Major Adraee quoted the very scholars Prince Mohammed appears to be downplaying. They include 18th century preacher Mohammed ibn Abdul Wahhab, whose ultra-conservative anti-Shiite interpretation of Islam shaped Saudi Arabia for much of its history; Taqi ad-Din Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah, a 14th century theologist and jurist, whose worldview, like that of Wahhabism, inspires militant Islam; and  Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Egyptian-born, Qatar-based scholar, who was designated a terrorist by Saudi Arabia and the UAE because he is believed to be the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.