Are You Syrious Daily Digest 6/4/20
70members of the riot police stormed a detention centre and were beating the confined people confined with batons. Reportedly, there are five people in a critical condition, many were injured and people had not been given food for a long time, according to the first reports that AYS and other groups received.
The most comprehensive report of the incident reads: The government and the Minister of Civil Protection are responsible for the barbaric crackdown on migrant protests over food in the midst of the corona pandemic. Not only are they cynically indifferent to the human lives of the 450 migrants held in the PRO.KE.K.A (Pre-removal Detention Centre), but they are endangering their health with bad food and that of poor nutrition quality.
On April 3, when the food arrived, they found that it was not eatable, and refused to eat it. This kind of food was simply “not for humans”.
Officials have promised that this will change, which did not happen, however.
Then, starting with a large group of Arab protesters came out of the cells, almost everybody went to the rooftop and started a hunger strike. This was followed by an attack of the police in full battle gear. The police took them out of the cells, hitting them with batons, while they also used electric tasers, as the people complained. Dozens of people were beaten for taking part while lying in the yard, it is reported.
They smashed the cameras on their phones so they can’t take pictures of the injuries. And they haven’t given them food since then. According to police sources, a man was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
Underlying racism in official reporting
There is underlying racism in the way Greece reports about COVID-19, separating the report on the general number of infected people and the number of infected people inside the camps. It is clear that if COVID-19 is present in the camps, it came from outside the camps. These types of reports leave room for interpretations, and all kinds of conclusions and conspiracy theories that connect people on the move currently trapped in the camps with COVID-19. In this way they spread a dehumanizing rhetoric very present in governmental reporting, but also within the bureaucratic reports of the big organisations following their lead.
Illegal Deportations and Pushbacks to Turkey, Ordered by the Greek Government, Executed by the Greek Coast Guard
Aegean Boat Report reports:
“While the eyes of the world are occupied with the COVID-19 pandemic, Greek government seems to be taking advantage of the situation, a new tactic to tackle flows towards the Greek Aegean islands has been implemented.
In the last weeks at least nine incidents of people being found drifting in the sea, in life rafts without propellant, has been reported by Turkish coast guard. This could easily have been disregarded as Turkish propaganda, if it hadn’t been for the evidence from Samos.
April 1th at 08.00 a boat landed on Mourtia Beach, Samos east, carrying approximately 25 people. There where several people on the beach this morning witnessing the landing, pictures, and videos was taken. Port police were called by a person on-site, later port police denied having received any information on such incident, and that no new arrivals had been reported on Samos.
Witnesses report that two boats from HCG arrived in Mourtia bay after the landing, the refugees were taken on one of the boats from port police, a boat took off heading southeast. A picture taken by a local journalist shows that two boats from HCG were in fact in Mourtia bay this morning, but port police deny that any of their vessels were in the area this morning.
The last boat that landed in Mourtia beach was February 19th, nevertheless, later this very day people who walk on this beach every day, found a rubber boat, engine, a fuel tank and clothes that weren’t there the day before. Port police told people who contacted them about this that there had been no arrivals, and that they should remember that it was April fools day.
Turkish Coast guard picked up 26 people 13.30 this same day, in a life raft that had drifted towards Aydin national park, 10 children, 6 women and 10 men. According to the statement from the passengers, obtained by TCG, they claimed that they had crossed to the island of Samos; were later rounded up by the Greek Coast guard, put on a life raft, and dragged to Turkish waters.
Pictures taken by locals from Mourtia Beach, compared to pictures taken by Turkish coast guard leaves no doubt, people photographed on Samos is the same that TCG found drifting in a raft outside Aydin national park. When we also take into account the statements from locals regarding this landing, the evidence is overwhelming.
If this had been an isolated incident, this could have been an HCG crew taking things in their own hands, but it’s not. Nine known cases in the last two weeks, from Simi in the south to Lesvos in the north, shows that this is not an isolated incident, this is boat crews acting on orders from the top.”
Due to a dispute between local government and the Greek Ministry of migration, 152 new arrivals on Lesvos are still stuck out in the open without any sufficient infrastructure which meets basic needs, such as electricity, toilets or other sanitary facilities, @f_grillmeier (Twitter) reported. 25 people of those 152 who also arrived after March 1 have been staying in a discarded bus at Mytilini Harbour close to an old swimming pool, but have now been tranferred to Kara Tepe.
56people are in tents and underneath broken boats close to Petra, 32 people are reportedly in staying tents at mountain-region of Agios Stefanos, 39 in a chapel close to Kliou, north. According to the media, the local government has not indicated a safe temporary place for those who have to quarantine for 14 days after arrival. The Ministry of Migration says that it is the responsibility of local authorities.
Anxiety and Despair Among People Confined in Camps Across the Country
As a consequence of the locked camps’ regime that seems to be unsustainable in the long run, as it is now, there is growing despair among the people held in the centres across Serbia, guarded by the army. The people staying in these camps are complaining that they are not allowed to provide their families and themselves with enough proper food for a healthier survival within the facilities in which they are held. They say that in the Krnjača camp there is a small shop with no clear pricing, and everything is much more expensive than in the other shops outside of the camp. They are forced to buy food in these shops which they claim are owned by some of the staff, and even there not everyone gets to have a chance to shop.
The SCRM introduced obligatory isolation for new arrivals sent to Preševo camp, which with a population of 1,501 making it the largest camp .
Growing mental health issues, gaps in service provision and supply, conflicts between different groups and the toxic influence of smugglers’ propaganda inspiring some to protest violently, these are some of the issues InfoPark documented from the testimonies of people held in these centres.
Although the official sources claim the “pressure on the border” has reduced, and that there are not that many people trying to cross the green border into Croatia, the reports on pushbacks have not ceased. AYS has received information on several cases of pushbacks in the area close to Velika Kladuša in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Also, L’ ALTRA VOCE have recently shared an account of a pushback of a group of boys who tried to enter Croatia, but were beaten up and had their belongings taken away, they say. The images they sent them display heavily bruised arms and extremities on the boys’ bodies.
Sixteen cops beat them with great violence using steel bars. They insulted and beat them. Then they took everything away from him: cell phones, money, shoes, jackets. And they pushed them into the cold water of a river.
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