• Non c’è recessione per il mercato delle armi: nuovi contratti tra Turchia e Nigeria, affari per la #Leonardo

    La Turchia consegnerà elicotteri d’attacco alle forze armate della Nigeria ma a fregarsi le mani con Erdogan & C. ci sono pure i manager e gli azionisti di Leonardo SpA.

    Temel Kotil, direttore di #TAI#Turkish_Aerospace_Industries –, la principale azienda pubblica del comparto militare-industriale turco ha reso noto l’esportazione alla Nigeria di sei elicotteri da combattimento avanzato #T-129#Atak”. Ignoto ad oggi il valore della commessa.

    Il velivolo da guerra T-129 “Atak” viene costruito su licenza dell’azienda italo-britannica #AgustaWestland, interamente controllata dal gruppo italiano Leonardo. Si tratta di un bimotore di oltre 5 tonnellate, molto simile all’A129 “Mangusta” in possesso dell’Esercito italiano.

    Nel 2007 AgustaWestland e Turkish Aerospace Industries hanno firmato un memorandum che prevede lo sviluppo, l’integrazione, l’assemblaggio degli elicotteri in Turchia, demandando invece la produzione dei sistemi di acquisizione obiettivi, navigazione, comunicazione, computer e guerra elettronica agli stabilimenti del gruppo italiano di Vergiate (Varese).

    Gli elicotteri T129 “Atak” sono stati acquisiti dalle forze armate turche e utilizzati in più occasioni per sferrare sanguinosi attacchi contro villaggi e postazioni delle milizie kurde nel Kurdistan turco, siriano e irakeno.

    Nel giugno del 2020 TAI ha presentato una versione ancora più micidiale dell’elicottero “cugino” del “Mangusta”: con nuovi sistemi avanzati di individuazione e tracciamento dei bersagli e sofisticati di sistemi per la guerra elettronica, il nuovo velivolo è armato con razzi non guidati da 70 mm e missili anti-carro a lungo raggio #L-UMTAS.

    Sei #T-129 per un valore di 269 milioni di dollari sono stati venduti lo scorso anno alle forze armate delle Filippine; due velivoli sono stati già consegnati mentre i restanti quattro giungeranno a Manila entro la fine del 2023.

    La conferma della commessa degli elicotteri alla Nigeria giunge un paio di giorni dopo la missione in Turchia del Capo di Stato maggiore dell’Aeronautica militare nigeriana, il generale Oladayo Amao.

    Incontrando il comandante delle forze aeree di Ankara, il generale Hasan Kucukakyuz, Amao ha espresso l’intenzione di rafforzare la cooperazione industriale-militare con la controparte “in vista del miglioramento dell’efficienza operativa nella lotta al terrorismo, così come stanno facendo in questi mesi i due Paesi”.

    Nigeria e Turchia si sono impegnati, in particolare, a scambiarsi le esperienze nell’impiego dei velivoli a pilotaggio remoto nelle operazioni anti-terrorismo e a moltiplicare le esercitazioni militari congiunte, a partire da quella multinazionale Anatolia Eagle che si svolge annualmente in Turchia. “I due paesi potranno beneficiare enormemente dello scambio di studenti militari durante i programmi di addestramento”, ha dichiarato il Capo di Stato maggiore nigeriano. “Chiediamo inoltre il supporto dell’Aeronautica militare turca per potenziare e modernizzare le piattaforme aeree e sviluppare programmi formativi per le forze speciali e per il personale nigeriano impiegato nelle tecnologie di intelligence e telecomunicazione”.

    Prima di lasciare la Turchia, lo staff dell’Aeronautica nigeriana ha effettuato un tour presso le maggiori industrie militari: TAI – Turkish Aerospace Industries, Aselsan, Havelsan, Manatek, BNW Group, Fly BVLOS – Airways Group ed Express Technics.

    La Nigeria si è rivolta ad Ankara pure per potenziare il dispositivo navale. Nel novembre dello scorso anno la Marina militare nigeriana ha sottoscritto un contratto con i cantieri navali Dearsan di Istanbul per la consegna di due pattugliatori d’altura tipo OPV-76 da completarsi entro tre anni.

    Secondo il capo di Stato maggiore della marina, l’ammiraglio Awwal Gambo, le due unità da guerra verranno utilizzate per le operazioni di interdizione marittima, sorveglianza e per il supporto alle forze speciali e alle unità terrestri. “I pattugliatori OPV-76 saranno anche in grado di svolgere attività di ricerca e salvataggio, anti-pirateria, anti-traffici e anti-droga e operazioni di pronto intervento in caso di disastri naturali”.

    Le due unità navali avranno una lunghezza di 76.8 metri e un dislocamento di oltre 1.100 tonnellate e ospiteranno a bordo 43 militari.

    Grazie a due potenti motori diesel esse raggiungeranno una velocità massima di 28 nodi con un raggio di azione di 3.000 miglia nautiche. Anche con i due pattugliatori d’altura si prospettano ottimi affari per Leonardo SpA e le aziende controllate: i sistemi d’arma che saranno impiegati a bordo comprendono infatti i cannoni da 76 mm Super Rapid e quelli “leggeri” da 40 mm (produzione Oto Melara/Leonardo) e i sistemi missilistici superficie-aria a corto raggio Simbad-RC (produzione MBDA).

    https://www.africa-express.info/2022/07/29/non-ce-recessione-per-il-mercato-delle-armi-nuovi-contratti-militar
    #armes #armement #commerce_d'armes #Turquie #Nigeria #Philippines #Anatolia_Eagle #Dearsan #OPV-76 #Super_Rapid #Oto_Melara #Simbad-RC #MBDA

  • 50 réfugiés bloqués sans secours sur une île d’Evros
    Παραμένουν αβοήθητοι σε νησίδα του Εβρου

    Καμιά κίνηση από την κυβέρνηση για τους 50 πρόσφυγες που έχουν εγκλωβιστεί στον ποταμό μετά τη βίαιη απόπειρα επαναπροώθησής τους από τις ελληνικές αρχές, παρά την εντολή που έδωσε το Ευρωπαϊκό Δικαστήριο ● Καμιά έρευνα για τους τρεις Σύρους που πέθαναν ο ένας έπειτα από ξυλοδαρμό και οι άλλοι δύο όταν εξαναγκάστηκαν να πέσουν στο ποτάμι χωρίς να ξέρουν κολύμπι

    Εγκαταλειμμένοι σε νησίδα του Εβρου παρέμεναν, τουλάχιστον μέχρι αργά χθες το απόγευμα, για όγδοη ημέρα 50 πρόσφυγες που κατήγγειλαν μέσω των οργανώσεων Ελληνικό Συμβούλιο για τους Πρόσφυγες και HumanRights360 τον θάνατο ενός Σύρου έπειτα από ξυλοδαρμό της ομάδας στην ελληνική όχθη και τον πνιγμό άλλων δύο Σύρων, οι οποίοι εξαναγκάστηκαν να πέσουν στο ποτάμι για να κολυμπήσουν προς την τουρκική όχθη ενώ δεν ήξεραν κολύμπι. Σύμφωνα με νεότερες πληροφορίες, πρόκειται για δύο Σύρους, 17 και 23 χρόνων, από το Χαλέπι, τα ονόματα των οποίων βρίσκονται στη διάθεση της « Εφ.Συν. ».

    Παρά τη σοβαρότητα των καταγγελιών, που απαιτούν ανεξάρτητη και αξιόπιστη έρευνα, η κυβέρνηση εξακολουθούσε να τηρεί σιγή ιχθύος μιάμιση μέρα μετά την αποκάλυψή τους από την « Εφ.Συν. », ενώ δεν έχει έχει γίνει γνωστή καμία αντίδραση των Αρχών, ούτε η έναρξη ποινικής ή πειθαρχικής διαδικασίας.

    Οπως έγινε γνωστό σε νεότερη επικοινωνία με τους πρόσφυγες και άλλες πηγές, το πτώμα του άνδρα που πέθανε στην ελληνική όχθη δεν ξεβράστηκε τελικά στην Τουρκία, όπως ανέφεραν οι πρώτες πληροφορίες, αλλά βρέθηκε στην Ιατροδικαστική Υπηρεσία του Εβρου, ενώ οι συγγενείς ζητούν να τους παραδοθεί για να ταφεί στην Τουρκία. Σε επικοινωνία της « Εφ.Συν. » με τον ιατροδικαστή του Εβρου Παύλο Παυλίδη την Τετάρτη, ο κ. Παυλίδης σημείωσε ότι υπάρχουν πολλοί μετανάστες νεκροί, αλλά δεν έφτασε στην υπηρεσία κανένας μετανάστης νεκρός την περασμένη εβδομάδα.

    Οι πρόσφυγες, ανάμεσά τους μια 70χρονη με πρόβλημα σακχάρου, τρεις έγκυοι και δώδεκα παιδιά, παραμένουν εγκλωβισμένοι στη νησίδα παρά το γεγονός ότι το Ευρωπαϊκό Δικαστήριο για τα Δικαιώματα του Ανθρώπου, ανταποκρινόμενο σε κατεπείγον αίτημα ασφαλιστικών μέτρων μέσω των δύο οργανώσεων, έδωσε εντολή την Πέμπτη στην ελληνική κυβέρνηση να μην απομακρυνθούν από την Ελλάδα, αλλά να διασφαλιστεί ότι έχουν νερό, τρόφιμα και φάρμακα και να καταγραφεί το αίτημά τους για άσυλο. Παρά την επείγουσα εντολή, μέχρι χθες το απόγευμα δεν είχε γίνει γνωστή καμία κινητοποίηση των Αρχών για τον εντοπισμό και τη διάσωση των προσφύγων.
    Αντίδραση ΣΥΡΙΖΑ

    Την αποκάλυψη της « Εφ.Συν. » ακολούθησε η άμεση αντίδραση του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ-Π.Σ., που ζήτησε άμεση ενημέρωση και σε βάθος διερεύνηση των πολύ σοβαρών καταγγελιών. « Λίγες μόνο ημέρες μετά την καταδίκη της χώρας για το αποτέλεσμα της βίαιης επαναπροώθησης στο Φαρμακονήσι το 2014, άλλη μία έρχεται να προστεθεί στον μακρύ κατάλογο των καταγγελιών », σημειώνει και υπογραμμίζει ότι ο υπουργός Μετανάστευσης και Ασύλου Νότης Μηταράκης, αντί να απολογηθεί για τη στάση της κυβέρνησης και παρά τις συνεχείς εκκλήσεις για θέσπιση ανεξάρτητου φορέα διερεύνησης, επέλεξε να συστήσει εντός του υπουργείου κυβερνητικά ελεγχόμενη επιτροπή για τον έλεγχο των καταγγελιών.

    « Επί του παρόντος, οι βίαιες επαναπροωθήσεις παραμένουν ανεξέλεγκτες στα σύνορα της Ελλάδας και ατιμώρητες, ενώ η ποινικοποίηση των ομάδων βοήθειας συνεχίζεται » σημειώνει σε ανακοίνωσή της η Διεθνής Αμνηστία, ζητώντας να διασωθούν επειγόντως οι 50 εγκαταλειμμένοι πρόσφυγες.

    Την αντίδρασή της στη θέσπιση κυβερνητικά ελεγχόμενης επιτροπής στο υπουργείο Μετανάστευσης για τη διερεύνηση των επαναπροωθήσεων εκφράζει η Ελληνική Ενωση για τα Δικαιώματα του Ανθρώπου, κάνοντας λόγο για προσχηματική και επικίνδυνη επιλογή που « δυναμιτίζει εξ ορισμού κάθε ελπίδα για αξιόπιστη διερεύνηση των σχετικών καταγγελιών και μαζί αποτελεί απρόσφορη απόπειρα πολιτικού αποπροσανατολισμού, που δυστυχώς ενισχύει τις διάχυτες πλέον υπόνοιες περί παντελούς ελλείμματος διαφάνειας και λογοδοσίας για τα ζητήματα αυτά στη χώρα μας ».

    –—

    Aucune intervention du gouvernement pour les 50 réfugiés bloqués dans le fleuve après la violente tentative des autorités grecques de les repousser, malgré l’ordre donné par la Cour européenne de droits de l’homme ● Pas d’ enquête ouverte sur le décès des trois Syriens morts après que l’un a été très violemment battu tandis que les deux autres ont été noyés après avoir été forcés de se jeter à l’eau alors qu’ils ne savaient pas nager
    Abandonnés sur une île de l’Evros sont restés, au moins jusqu’à hier en fin d’après-midi, pour le huitième jour, 50 réfugiés. C’est ce groupe qui a signalé par l’intermédiaire des organisations Hellenic Council for Refugees et HumanRights360 la mort d’un Syrien après que le groupe ait ete battu sur la côte grecque et le noyade de deux autres Syriens qui ont été forcés de tomber dans la fleuve pour nager jusqu’au rivage turc alors qu’ils ne savaient pas nager. Selon les dernières informations, il s’agit de deux Syriens de 17 et 23 ans, originaires d’Alep, dont les noms sont à la disposition de « Ef.Syn ».

    Malgré la gravité des allégations, qui nécessitent une enquête indépendante fiable, le gouvernement a continué à garder le silence un jour et demi après leur révélation par « Ef.Syn. », alors qu’aucune réaction des autorités, ni l’ouverture d’une enquête criminelle procédure, ni d’une procédure disciplinaire.

    Comme on l’a appris par une communication plus récente avec les réfugiés et d’autres sources, le corps de l’homme décédé sur la côte grecque n’a finalement pas été échoué en Turquie, comme l’indiquaient les premières informations, mais a été retrouvé au service médico-légal d’Evros. , tandis que ses proches demandent qu’il leur soit remis pour être enterré en Turquie. En communication avec « Ef.Syn. » avec le médecin légiste d’Evros Pavlos Pavlidis mercredi, M. Pavlidis a noté qu’il y avait de nombreux migrants morts, mais qu’aucun mort n’est arrivé au service la semaine dernière.

    Les réfugiés, dont une femme de 70 ans atteinte de diabète, trois femmes enceintes et douze enfants, restent bloqués sur l’île malgré le fait que la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme, répondant à une demande urgente de mesures provisoires des deux organisations, a ordonné jeudi au gouvernement grec de ne pas les expulser de Grèce, mais de veiller à ce qu’ils aient de l’eau, de la nourriture et des médicaments et d’enregistrer leur demande d’asile. Malgré l’ordre urgent, jusqu’à hier après-midi aucune mobilisation des autorités pour localiser et secourir les réfugiés n’était connue.
    Les réfugiés ont été obligés de filtrer l’eau boueuse du fleuve avec des serviettes en papier et des cailloux, pour obtenir une eau un peu plus propre.

    https://www.efsyn.gr/ellada/dikaiomata/353036_paramenoyn-aboithitoi-se-nisida-toy-ebroy

    #limbe #zone_frontalière #île #Evros #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #fleuve_Evros #Turquie #Grèce #Thrace #îlots

    –-

    ajouté à la métaliste sur #métaliste sur des #réfugiés abandonnés sur des #îlots dans la région de l’#Evros, #frontière_terrestre entre la #Grèce et la #Turquie :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/953343

    • Διεθνής Αμνηστία - Ελληνικό Τμήμα

      Η Διεθνής Αμνηστία ανησυχεί βαθύτατα για την ασφάλεια και την ευημερία 50 προσφυγισσών και προσφύγων που βρίσκονται σε επικίνδυνες και άθλιες συνθήκες από την περασμένη Πέμπτη σε νησίδα του Έβρου. Ανάμεσά τους, 12 παιδιά, τρεις έγκυες γυναίκες και μια 70χρονη γυναίκα με σάκχαρο.

      –—

      Amnesty International est profondément préoccupée par la sécurité et le bien-être de 50 réfugiés qui se trouvent dans des conditions dangereuses et inhumaines depuis jeudi dernier sur l’île d’Evros. Parmi eux, 12 enfants, trois femmes enceintes et une femme de 70 ans atteinte de diabète.
      Selon les informations reçues par le Conseil grec pour les réfugiés (GCR)cet
      HumanRights360, les réfugiés n’ont pas accès à la nourriture, à l’eau, aux soins médicaux et aux moyens de se réchauffer pendant la nuit.
      Dans des mesures provisoires rendues hier, la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme a sommé les autorités grecques à ne pas expulser les réfugiés de Grèce et à leur fournir de la nourriture, de l’eau et des soins médicaux adéquats, selon les besoins, jusqu’à nouvel ordre.
      Actuellement, les refoulements violents restent endémiques à la frontière grecque et restent impunis, tandis que la criminalisation des groupes d’aide se poursuit.

      https://www.facebook.com/amnestygreece/posts/pfbid0AcB7XB9QHL9Pe3BnuYQmNKgikuRWGTXdxJLDAm8Fh5aLPvEpi1umE45TNXrc1CZRl

    • Συγκαλύπτουν το έγκλημα στον Έβρο με νέα εγκλήματα
      Les autorités grecques couvrent le crime à Evros avec de nouveaux crimes

      Λίγο μετά τις 2 μμ τη Δευτέρα, οι 50 πρόσφυγες που παραμένουν 11 μέρες εγκαταλελειμμένοι σε νησίδα του Έβρου ανατολικά του χωριού Κισσάρι, συγκεντρώθηκαν στην όχθη της νησίδας που βλέπει προς την ελληνική πλευρά και φώναξαν όλοι μαζί με μια φωνή, με την ελπίδα να ακουστούν από απέναντι και να υπάρξει κινητοποίηση.

      Πρόκειται για κραυγή αγωνίας με στόχο να σπάσουν το πυκνό πέπλο σιωπής και εμπαιγμού εκ μέρους της κυβέρνησης και της ΕΛ.ΑΣ. και φαίνεται ότι το κατάφεραν. Σύμφωνα με αξιόπιστες πληροφορίες της « Εφ.Συν. », άτομα που βρίσκονταν στην ελληνική όχθη, απέναντι από τη νησίδα, εκείνη την ώρα, επιβεβαιώνουν ότι άκουσαν από την πλευρά της νησίδας δύο δυνατές κραυγές από ομάδα ανθρώπων στις 2:04 μμ και στις 2:06 μμ. Τα στοιχεία των ανθρώπων που άκουσαν τους πρόσφυγες βρίσκονται στη διάθεση της « Εφ.Συν. ».

      Φαίνεται πως μόνο οι αστυνομικοί της Αστυνομικής Διεύθυνσης Ορεστιάδας και οι συνεργάτες της δεν μπορούν ούτε να ακούσουν ούτε να δουν τους πρόσφυγες, όπως τουλάχιστον ισχυρίζεται σε προφορική ενημέρωση, σε ανθρώπους που επικοινώνησαν για να ενημερωθούν για την τύχη των προσφύγων.

      Την ίδια ώρα, το απόγευμα της Δευτέρας οι πρόσφυγες έστειλαν βίντεο που απεικονίζει ανθρώπους από την όχθη του Έβρου να συστήνονται ως αστυνομικοί, να καταστρέφουν βάρκα σταθμευμένη στην ελληνική όχθη και στη συνέχεια να αποχωρούν.

      Η διασταυρωμένη από πολλές πλευρές παρουσία των προσφύγων για 11 συνεχείς μέρες στη νησίδα και ο συνεχιζόμενος εμπαιγμός της ΕΛ.ΑΣ., που τάχα δεν μπορεί να τους εντοπίσει, δημιουργεί έντονες υπόνοιες για απόπειρα συγκάλυψης τυχόν εγκληματικών ευθυνών της αστυνομίας. Οι πρόσφυγες καταγγέλλουν ότι είναι μάρτυρες του φρικτού θανάτου τριών Σύρων, ενός στην ελληνική όχθη και δύο από πνιγμό, κατά τη διάρκεια απόπειρας επαναπροώθησης την Πέμπτη 14 Ιουλίου. Καμία διενέργεια πειθαρχικής ή ποινικής έρευνας δεν έχει γίνει γνωστή, παρά τις εκκλήσεις του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ-ΠΣ και της Διεθνούς Αμνηστίας, να γίνει αξιόπιστη και άμεση διερεύνηση των καταγγελιών.

      Φυσικά, ο πιο σίγουρος τρόπος να μη διερευνηθούν οι καταγγελίες και να συγκαλυφθούν οι τυχόν ευθύνες σοβαρών εγκλημάτων είναι να μην περάσουν στην ελληνική όχθη οι πρόσφυγες, ώστε να μη χρειαστεί να καταθέσουν επισήμως. Φαίνεται ότι μέχρι στιγμής τουλάχιστον η ΕΛ.ΑΣ. προχωρά σ’αυτό τον δρόμο της συγκάλυψης, προσπαθώντας να σκεπάσει τις καταγγελίες για εγκλήματα με άλλο ένα έγκλημα, αυτό της εγκατάλειψης ανθρώπων που κινδυνεύουν και, χειρότερα, της εξαφάνισής τους από την Ελλάδα και της επαναπροώθησής τους στην Τουρκία.

      –-

      Peu après 14 heures lundi, les 50 réfugiés bloqués depuis 11 jours sur un îlot de l’Evros à l’est du village de #Kissari, se sont rassemblés sur la rive de l’îlot face au côté grec et ont crié d’une seule voix, espérant être entendus et qu’il y ait mobilisation.

      C’est un cri d’angoisse dans le but de briser l’épais voile de silence et de faux-fuyant du gouvernement et de l’EL.AS. -police hellénique -et il semble que les réfugiés aient réussi. Selon des informations fiables de « Ef.Syn. », des personnes qui se trouvaient sur la rive grecque, en face de l’îlot, à ce moment-là, confirment avoir entendu deux cris forts d’un groupe de personnes du côté de l’îlot à 14h04. et à 14 h 06. Les coordonnées des personnes qui ont entendu les réfugiés sont disponibles à « Ef.Syn. »

      Il semble que seuls les policiers du département de police d’Orestiada et ses associés ne peuvent ni entendre ni voir les réfugiés, comme du moins ils avaient affirmé dans un briefing oral, aux personnes qui les ont contacté pour être informées du sort des réfugiés.

      → des personnes qui se sont présentées comme des policiers sont apparues lundi sur la rive grecque en face de l’îlot et ont enlevé un bateau stationné

      Dans le même temps, lundi après-midi, les réfugiés ont envoyé une vidéo montrant des habitants des rives de l’Evros se présentant comme des policiers, détruisant un bateau stationné sur la rive grecque puis repartant. (pour voir la vidéo allez août lien)

      La présence des réfugiés pendant 11 jours consécutifs sur l’île, traversés de plusieurs côtés, et les railleries continues de la police hellénique, incapable de les localiser, créent de forts soupçons d’une tentative de dissimulation d’éventuelles responsabilités criminelles de la police. Des réfugiés rapportent avoir été témoins de la mort horrible de trois Syriens, un sur la côte grecque et deux par noyade, lors d’une tentative de rapatriement le jeudi 14 juillet. Aucune enquête disciplinaire ou pénale n’a été faite, malgré les appels du SYRIZA et d’Amnesty International pour une enquête crédible et immédiate sur les faits dénoncés.

      Bien sûr, le moyen le plus sûr de ne pas enquêter sur les plaintes et de dissimuler toute responsabilité pour des crimes graves est de ne pas laisser les réfugiés atteindre la rive grecque, afin qu’ils n’aient pas à témoigner officiellement. Il semble que jusqu’à présent au moins EL.AS. (la police hellénique) s’engage sur cette voie de la dissimulation, essayant de couvrir les plaintes de crimes par un autre crime, celui d’abandonner des personnes en danger et, pire, de leur disparition de Grèce et de leur refoulement en Turquie.

      https://www.efsyn.gr/ellada/dikaiomata/353284_sygkalyptoyn-egklima-ston-ebro-me-nea-egklimata

    • Εξαφάνισαν τους πρόσφυγες, συγκαλύπτουν το έγκλημα
      Les autorités grecques ont fait disparaître les réfugiés, elles dissimulent le crime

      Αντί για επιχείρηση διάσωσης από τη νησίδα των 50 προσφύγων, οι ελληνικές αρχές προχώρησαν σε νέα βίαιη και παράνομη επαναπροώθηση, ρίχνοντάς τους στα νερά του ποταμού προς την τουρκική όχθη, αφού πρώτα εξαφάνισαν τους μοναδικούς αυτόπτες μάρτυρες του θανάτου των τριών την προηγούμενη Πέμπτη. ● Αναφορές στην Εισαγγελία του Αρείου Πάγου για την υπόθεση. ● Ερώτηση 37 βουλευτών του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ στη Βουλή.

      Αργά το βράδυ της Δευτέρας προς Τρίτη, ισχυρή δύναμη αστυνομικών και κομάντο αποβιβάστηκαν στη νησίδα του Εβρου ανατολικά του χωριού Κισσάρι και με τη χρήση βίας συνέλαβαν τους 50 πρόσφυγες που βρίσκονταν εγκλωβισμένοι έντεκα μέρες στη νησίδα, τους μετέφεραν στην ελληνική όχθη και τους έκλεισαν σε χώρο κράτησης.

      Το επόμενο πρωί, τους ξαναπήγαν στην ελληνική όχθη, τους ανέβασαν σε βάρκες και τους μετέφεραν μέχρι τη μέση του ποταμού, όπου τους ανάγκασαν να πέσουν στο νερό και να προχωρήσουν μέχρι την τουρκική όχθη.

      « Ημουν άρρωστη και προσπαθούσα να κοιμηθώ, όταν άκουσα δυνατές φωνές που μας φώναζαν “καθίστε κάτω”. Είδα πολλούς άνδρες που είχαν έρθει από την ελληνική πλευρά. Απ’ όσους μπορούσαν πήραν τα κινητά, μας πέρασαν απέναντι με βάρκα και μας οδήγησαν σε μια φυλακή, όπου μείναμε για λίγες ώρες. Την επομένη, μας ξαναπήγαν όλους στο ποτάμι, μας έβαλαν σε βάρκες και μας κατέβασαν πριν φτάσουμε στην τουρκική πλευρά. Είχαμε τρομοκρατηθεί. Οταν φτάσαμε στην τουρκική όχθη, μας συνέλαβαν Τούρκοι συνοροφύλακες » διηγείται στην “Εφ.Συν.” νεαρή πρόσφυγας που βρισκόταν την περασμένη εβδομάδα στη νησίδα και σήμερα κρατείται σε τουρκικό κέντρο κράτησης.

      Η Αστυνομική Διεύθυνση Ορεστιάδας, αντί για την επιχείρηση διάσωσης που περίμεναν απελπισμένα οι πρόσφυγες, προχώρησε τελικά σε άλλη μια παράνομη επιχείρηση επαναπροώθησης, φροντίζοντας να εξαφανίσει με συνοπτικές διαδικασίες τους μοναδικούς αυτόπτες μάρτυρες του θανάτου τριών προσφύγων την Πέμπτη, 14 Ιουλίου, στα χέρια της αστυνομίας, ενός στην ελληνική όχθη και δύο από πνιγμό στον Εβρο, όταν αναγκάστηκαν να πέσουν στο ποτάμι χωρίς να ξέρουν κολύμπι την ώρα που τους μετέφερε η αστυνομία στη νησίδα.

      Με την επανααπροώθηση, οι ελληνικές αρχές παραβιάζουν με τρόπο προκλητικό την επείγουσα εντολή διάσωσης που έδωσε στην κυβέρνηση την Τετάρτη το Ευρωπαϊκό Δικαστήριο για τα Δικαιώματα του Ανθρώπου (ΕΔΔΑ). Χτες, οι οργανώσεις Ελληνικό Συμβούλιο για τους Πρόσφυγες και HumanRights360, που είχαν προσφύγει στο ΕΔΔΑ, ενημέρωσαν την Εισαγγελία του Αρείου Πάγου για την υπόθεση, ενώ σήμερα έληγε η προθεσμία της κυβέρνησης να απαντήσει στο ΕΔΔΑ, παραμένει όμως άγνωστο ποια στάση θα κρατήσει μετά την τελευταία εξέλιξη.

      Αγνωστη παραμένει και η τύχη των προσφύγων της νησίδας. Σύμφωνα με πληροφορίες από τους ίδιους, η 70χρονη γυναίκα με πρόβλημα στο ζάχαρο νοσηλεύτηκε σε τουρκικό νοσοκομείο, το ίδιο και τα μικρά παιδιά που είχαν αρρωστήσει, όπως και ένας άνδρας που τραυματίστηκε σοβαρά στο χέρι κατά τη διάρκεια της βίαιης επιχείρησης των ελληνικών αρχών.

      Οι υπόλοιποι κρατούνται στην Τουρκία, παγιδευμένοι ανάμεσα στην ακραία αντιπροσφυγική πολιτική της ελληνικής κυβέρνησης στα σύνορα και στην πολιτική των τουρκικών αρχών, που απειλούν τους πρόσφυγες ότι θα τους επαναπροωθήσουν στη Συρία, αν παραμείνουν στην Τουρκία.
      Ερώτηση ΣΥΡΙΖΑ στη βουλή

      Την ίδια στιγμή, ο ΣΥΡΙΖΑ-Π.Σ. φέρνει την υπόθεση στη Βουλή, με ερώτηση που κατέθεσαν 37 βουλευτές με πρωτοβουλία του Νίκου Φίλη προς τους υπουργούς Προστασίας του Πολίτη, Δικαιοσύνης και Μετανάστευσης. Διαπιστώνουν ότι « συνεχίζεται το όργιο επαναπροωθήσεων στον Εβρο και η καταπάτηση των Διεθνών Συνθηκών », όπως και εγκληματική αδιαφορία για το ευρωπαϊκό κεκτημένο, και ρωτούν τους υπουργούς γιατί δεν έχουν ανταποκριθεί στην εντολή του ΕΔΔΑ, όπως και αν έχουν τεθεί σε διαθεσιμότητα οι εμπλεκόμενοι αστυνομικοί και γενικότερα ποια μέτρα έχουν πάρει « για τη διεξαγωγή ενδελεχούς και αποτελεσματικής έρευνας για τις συνθήκες της επαναπροώθησης και του θανάτου των 3 προσφύγων, για τη διερεύνηση των σοβαρότατων δημοσιοποιημένων καταγγελιών των προσφύγων, καθώς και για την απόδοση ευθυνών ».
      Εκστρατεία από τη Διεθνή Αμνηστία

      « Η λογοδοσία για τις εντεινόμενες παραβιάσεις του Κράτους Δικαίου καθίσταται πιο επιτακτική από ποτέ » σημειώνουν σε κοινή ανακοίνωσή τους το Ελληνικό Συμβούλιο για τους Πρόσφυγες και η HumanRights360.

      Επείγουσα έκκληση να διασωθούν οι πρόσφυγες της νησίδας απηύθυνε το πρωί της Τρίτης η Διεθνής Αμνηστία, ξεκινώντας διεθνή εκστρατεία συλλογής υπογραφών σε επιστολή που θα σταλεί στον υπουργο΄Προστασίας του Πολίτη Τάκη Θεοδωρικάκο. « Οι βίαιες επαναπροωθήσεις παραμένουν ανεξέλεγκτες στα σύνορα της Ελλάδας και μένουν ατιμώρητες, ενώ η ποινικοποίηση των ομάδων αρωγής που προσπαθούν να βοηθήσουν τα θύματα των επαναπροωθήσεων συνεχίζεται », αναφέρει η οργάνωση και υπογραμμίζει ότι « οι επαναπροωθήσεις αποτελούν την ντε φάκτο πολιτική της Ελλάδας για τη διαχείριση των συνόρων ».

      –-

      Au lieu d’une opération de sauvetage depuis l’île des 50 réfugiés, les autorités grecques ont procédé à un nouveau refoulement violent et illégal, les jetant dans les eaux du fleuve vers la rive turque, après avoir d’abord fait disparaître les seuls témoins oculaires de la mort des trois jeudi dernier. ● Appels s au procureur de la Cour suprême d’ouvrir une enquête sur l’affaire.

      Tard dans la nuit de lundi à mardi, une importante force de police et de commandos a débarqué sur l’îlot d’Evros à l’est du village de Kissari et a fait usage de la force pour arrêter les 50 réfugiés piégés pendant onze jours sur l’îlot, ils les a emmenés sur la côte grecque et les a enfermés dans une zone de détention.

      Le lendemain matin, les réfugiés Syriens ont été ramenés sur la rive grecque, mis dans des bateaux et transportés au milieu du fleuve, où ils ont été forcés de tomber à l’eau et de se diriger vers la rive turque.

      « J’étais malade et j’essayais de dormir quand j’ai entendu des voix fortes nous appeler » asseyez-vous « . J’ai vu beaucoup d’hommes qui étaient venus du côté grec. Ils ont pris les téléphones portables, nous ont fait traverser en bateau et nous ont emmenés dans une prison, où nous sommes restés quelques heures. Le lendemain, ils nous ont tous ramenés à la rivière, nous ont mis dans des bateaux et nous ont fait descendre avant d’atteindre le côté turc. Nous étions terrifiés. Quand nous sommes arrivés sur la côte turque, nous avons été arrêtés par les gardes-frontières turcs », raconte-t-il à « Ef.Syn ». une jeune réfugié qui était la semaine dernière sur l’île et qui est aujourd’hui détenue dans un centre de détention turc.
      Le département de police d’Orestiada, au lieu de l’opération de sauvetage que les réfugiés attendaient désespérément, a finalement procédé à une autre opération de refoulement illégal, en veillant à éliminer sommairement les seuls témoins oculaires de la mort aux mains de la police de trois réfugiés le jeudi 14 juillet, un sur la rive grecque et deux de la noyade dans l’Evros, lorsqu’ils ont été forcés de tomber dans la rivière sans savoir nager alors qu’ils étaient transportés par la police vers l’île.

      En les refoulant, les autorités grecques violent d’une façon provocante l’ordre de sauvetage d’urgence donné au gouvernement grec mercredi par la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme (CEDH). Hier, les organisations Conseil hellénique pour les réfugiés et les droits de l’homme360, qui avaient saisi la CEDH, ont informé le procureur de la Cour suprême de l’affaire, alors qu’aujourd’hui était la date limite pour que le gouvernement réponde à la CEDH, mais on ignore quelle position il prendra après le dernier développement.

      Le sort des réfugiés de l’île reste également inconnu. Selon des informations de leur part, la femme de 70 ans avec un problème de diabète a été hospitalisée dans un hôpital turc, tout comme les jeunes enfants qui étaient tombés malades, ainsi qu’un homme qui a été grièvement blessé à la main lors de l’opération violente. par les autorités grecques.

      Les autres sont détenus en Turquie, pris entre la politique anti-réfugiés extrême du gouvernement grec à la frontière et la politique des autorités turques, qui menacent les réfugiés de les renvoyer en Syrie s’ils restent en Turquie.

      https://www.efsyn.gr/ellada/dikaiomata/353489_exafanisan-toys-prosfyges-sygkalyptoyn-egklima

    • 32 adults and 8 children in urgent situation at Evros river! The people have been exposed to violence from #greek and #turkish border guards since 2 weeks already and reportedly 3 people already died - this needs to stop immediately!

      “At first, we were 50 people, but the Greek police beat us and took us back to Turkey. The Turks booked us in military barracks and then threw us to one of the Greek islands for the second time, without food or water, and three people who have been with us since were killed.”

      “What is our fault, my friend, only because we are Syrians, we are rejected by everyone. Turkey deport us, and Greece beat us, deport us and is throwing us onto the islands. Our situation is miserable here. The situation here is tragic.”

      https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1555886172785844224

    • 32 adults and 8 children in urgent situation at Evros river! The people have been exposed to violence from #greek and #turkish border guards since 2 weeks already and reportedly 3 people already died - this needs to stop immediately!

      “At first, we were 50 people, but the Greek police beat us and took us back to Turkey. The Turks booked us in military barracks and then threw us to one of the Greek islands for the second time, without food or water, and three people who have been with us since were killed.”

      “What is our fault, my friend, only because we are Syrians, we are rejected by everyone. Turkey deport us, and Greece beat us, deport us and is throwing us onto the islands. Our situation is miserable here. The situation here is tragic.”

      https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1555886172785844224

    • 32 adults and 8 children in urgent situation at Evros river! The people have been exposed to violence from #greek and #turkish border guards since 2 weeks already and reportedly 3 people already died - this needs to stop immediately!

      “At first, we were 50 people, but the Greek police beat us and took us back to Turkey. The Turks booked us in military barracks and then threw us to one of the Greek islands for the second time, without food or water, and three people who have been with us since were killed.”

      “What is our fault, my friend, only because we are Syrians, we are rejected by everyone. Turkey deport us, and Greece beat us, deport us and is throwing us onto the islands. Our situation is miserable here. The situation here is tragic.”

      https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1555886172785844224

    • Έγκλημα διαρκείας στον Έβρο

      Το δράμα των προσφύγων σε νησίδα του Έβρου ανατολικά του χωριού Κισσάρι. Ο τραγικός θάνατος του πεντάχρονου κοριτσιού και η συνταρακτική έκκληση για βοήθεια που έστειλε στην « Εφ.Συν. » η Μπαϊντά Α., 28 χρονών από τη Συρία.

      Ενα πεντάχρονο κορίτσι από τη Συρία, η Μαρία A. (τα στοιχεία της βρίσκονται στη διάθεση της « Εφ.Συν. ») βρήκε τραγικό θάνατο από δάγκωμα σκορπιού αργά το βράδυ της Δευτέρας προς Τρίτη σε νησίδα του Εβρου ανατολικά του χωριού Κισσάρι, σύμφωνα με πληροφορίες που έδωσαν στην « Εφ.Συν. » πρόσφυγες που παραμένουν εγκλωβισμένοι στην vνησίδα, όπως και σύμφωνα με καταγγελίες οργανώσεων, μεταξύ των οποίων το Ελληνικό Συμβούλιο για τους Πρόσφυγες και η HumanRights360, που έχουν ήδη ενημερώσει το Ευρωπαϊκό Δικαστήριο για τα Δικαιώματα του Ανθρώπου και την Εισαγγελία Ορεστιάδας.

      Οι πληροφορίες από τους πρόσφγυες αναφέρουν ότι σκορπιός τσίμπησε και ένα εννιάχρονο κορίτσι, την Αγιά, η οποία παρέμενε αβοήθητη στη νησίδα με πυρετό και κάνοντας εμμετό για δεύτερη μέρα χτες. Σύμφωνα με τα όσα συγκλονιστικά αναφέρουν οι πρόσφυγες, το άψυχο σώμα της Μαρίας παραμένει άταφο. Για να το συντηρήσουν όσο μπορούν, οι πρόσφυγες το έχουν βάλει μέσα στα κρύα νερά του ποταμού, στην όχθη του οποίου θρηνεί η μητέρα του.

      Συνταρακτικό είναι το ηχητικό μήνυμα που έστειλε στην « Εφ.Συν. » η Μπαϊντά Α., 28 χρονών από τη Συρία, λίγη ώρα αφότου πέθανε το μικρό κορίτσι. « Ζητάω βοήθεια, όλοι μου λένε ότι είναι δύσκολο. Τι δυσκολία έχει να σωθούν άνθρωποι ; Ποια είναι η δυσκολία ; Μας σκοτώνουν στη Συρία, στην Τουρκία, σ’αυτό το νησί στην Ελλάδα, σε κάθε μέρος του κόσμου. Τι φταίμε ; Το κορίτσι πέθανε γιατί κανείς δεν ακούει τη φωνή μας και την αδελφή της τη σκότωσε σκορπιός. Τι θα απογίνουμε ; Ισως το πρωί να έχουμε όλοι πεθάνει. Το νησί είναι γεμάτο φίδια, σκορπιούς, έντομα και δεν ξέρω τι άλλο... Εκλιπαρώ, εκλιπαρώ. Ζούμε μια επίγεια κόλαση, σας ορκίζομαι οτι είναι επίγεια κολαση και κανείς δε μπορεί να μας βοηθήσει », λέει μεταξύ άλλων η Μπαϊντά ανάμεσα σε αναφυλητά.

      https://soundcloud.com/efsyn-gr/to-ichitiko-minyma-poy-esteile

      Παρεμβάσεις

      Οι εξελίξεις έχουν προκαλέσει το ενδιαφέρον διεθνών μέσων ενημέρωσης και οργανώσεων, που κυκλοφόρησαν την Τρίτη στα μέσα κοινωνικής δικτύωσης την είδηση για το θάνατο της μικρής Μαρίας και για την απελπιστική κατάσταση που βρίσκονται οι πρόσφυγες.

      « Είναι κατάντια για την ανρθωπιά μας να πεθαίνει σε μια νησίδα ένα παιδάκι από τσίμπημα σκορπιού και να μένει άταφο γιατί κανείς δεν πάει να τους σώσει », αναφέρει σε δήλωσή του στην « Εφ.Συν. » ο βουλευτής ΣΥΡΙΖΑ – ΠΣ και πρώην υπουργός Μεταναστευτικής Πολιτικής Δημήτρης Βίτσας.

      Παρέμεβαση στο Αστυνομικό Τμήμα Ορεστιάδας έκανε την Τρίτη κλιμάκιο του ΚΚΕ και την Τετάρτη στα άλλα αστυνομικά τμήματα του Εβρου, όπου, σύμφωνα με τον βουλευτή του κόμματος Νίκο Παπαναστάση, τους δηλώθηκε ότι οι αστυνομικές αρχές βρίσκονται σε γνώση των καταγγελιών αλλά δεν υπάρχει τέτοια ομάδα προσφύγων στην αρμοδιότητά τους. « Υπάρχει το γνωστό πρόβλημα εργαλειοποίησης των μεταναστών κατά την άποψή μας και από την Τουρκία και από την ελληνική κυβέρνηση, οι οποίες εκμεταλλεύονται τα κενά που υπάρχουν στο καθεστώς του Εβρου με νησίδες που βρίσκονται πότε από τη μια και πότε από την άλλη μεριά των συνόρων. Καταδεικνύεται η πολιτική πρόθεση της κυβέρνησης για τη μη στήριξη των ανθρώπων αυτών και τη μη επίλυση των προβλημάτων τους, ακόμα και των πιο ευάλωτων » δηλώνει στην "Εφ.Συν." ο κ. Παπαναστάσης.

      « Ξανά ο Εβρος ! Ανησυχητικές αναφορές για το θάνατο ενός πεν τάχρονου κοριτσιού και επείγουσα ανάγκη για ιατρική βοήθεια για ενιάχρονο κορίτσι ! Η Ελλάδα πρέπει επειτγόντως να διασώσει τους ανρθώπους, να τους δώσει υποστήριξη, περίθαλψη και πρόσβαση στη διαδικασία ασύλου » αναφέρει σε ανάρτησή της στο twitter η Γερμανίδα ευρωβουλευτής της Αριστεράς Κορνήλια Ερνστ.
      Εφιάλτης δίχως τέλος

      Η Μπαϊντά, όπως και η οικογένεια της μικρής Μαρίας και άλλοι πρόσφυγες της ομάδας, ζουν αγκαλιά με το θάνατο από τα μέσα Ιουλίου, αντιμετωπίζοντας το αδιέξοδο των εγκληματικών αντιπροσφυγικών πολιτικών της Ελλάδας και της Τουρκίας. Στις 14 Ιουλίου μεταφέρθηκαν στην ίδια νησίδα που βρίσκονται σήμερα, ενώ, όπως έχουν καταγγείλει, ένας Σύρος πρόσφυγας της ομάδας έχασε τη ζωή του στην ελληνική όχθη του Εβρου ύστερα από βίαιη επιχέιρηση των ελληνικών αρχών και άλλοι δύο βρήκαν τραγικό θάνατο από πνιγμό, όταν έπεσαν στο ποτάμι από τη βάρκα κατά τη διάρκεια της μεταφοράς τους προς τη νησίδα από τις ελληνικές αρχές.

      Παρά το γεγονός ότι, όπως κατήγγειλαν, ήταν μάρτυρες φρικτών εγkλημάτων τα οποία θα έπρεπε να διερευνηθούν για να υπάρξει λογοδοσία των υπεύθυνων, οι ελληνικές αρχές δεν προχώρησαν σε επιχείρηση εντοπισμού και διάσωσης, αγνοώντας την εντολή του Ευρωπαϊκού Δικαστηρίου για τα Δικαιώματα του Ανθρώπου και αδιαφορώντας για τις εκκλήσεις του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ, που έβγαλε ανακοίνωση και κατέθεσε ερώτηση στη Βουλή, αλλά και της Διεθνούς Αμνηστίας, που ξεκίνησε επείγουσα εκστρατεία συλλογής υπογραφών.

      Αντιθέτως, όπως καταγγέλλουν οι πρόσφυγες, οι ελληνικές αρχές τους επαναπροώθησαν στην Τουρκία στις 26 Ιουλίου, αφού πρώτα τους χτύπησαν βίαια και τους κράτησαν παράνομα για ώρες σε χώρο κράτησης στην ελληνική όχθη.

      Σύμφωνα με τις καταγγελίες, οι πρόσφυγες κρατήθηκαν στην Τουρκία σε κέντρο κράτησης. Υστερα από μερικές ημέρες οι τουρκικές αρχές τους πίεσαν να ξαναπεράσουν τα ελληνοτουρκικά σύνορα, διαφορετικά θα τους απέλαυναν στην Συρία. Τους χώρισαν σε δύο ή περισσότερες ομάδες και τους σκόρπισαν σε διαφορετικά σημεία της περιοχής, όπου δεν είχαν τη δυνατότητα να γυρίσουν πίσω, καθώς τους περίμενε η απειλή των τουρκικών αρχών για επαναπροώθηση στη Συρία, ούτε τη δυνατότητα να φτάσουν στην ελληνική όχθη, όπου τους περιμένει η δολοφονική βία των ελληνικών αρχών και το σοβαρό ενδεχόμενο να τους γυρίσουν πίσω.

      Το γεωγραφικό στίγμα που έχει στη διάθεσή της η « Εφ.Συν. » τους απεικόνιζε την περασμένη εβδομάδα σε ελληνικό έδαφος ανατολικά του ποταμού. Την Κυριακή οι πρόσφυγες οδηγήθηκαν ξανά στη νησίδα ανατολικά του χωριού Κισσάρι, στην ίδια νησίδα όπου είχε ξεκινήσει η εφιαλτική τους περιπέτεια πριν από τρεις εβδομάδες.

      https://www.efsyn.gr/ellada/dikaiomata/355170_egklima-diarkeias-ston-ebro

    • Child feared dead on Greek islet where refugees are stranded

      A five-year-old Syrian girl has reportedly died, with her parents and dozens others awaiting rescue following alleged pushbacks.

      A five-year-old Syrian girl, who was among a group of refugees and migrants, is understood to have died on a Greek islet on the Evros River.

      Her parents have submerged the girl’s body in river water in an attempt to keep it cool, as Greek authorities appear unable to locate the group.

      Those still on the islet with the girl’s remains say she died in the early hours of Tuesday after being stung by a scorpion, two days after they were stranded there.

      Another girl, who is nine, remains in critical condition. She is also understood to have been stung by a scorpion.

      They are part of a group of 39 asylum seekers, some of whom are trapped for a second time on this unnamed islet after repeated alleged pushbacks between Turkey and Greece.

      One member of the group, 27-year-old Baida, also from Syria, has been sending frantic messages to lawyers and journalists since the reported death.

      “A girl died. A child. She’s dead. I can do nothing,” she said in a WhatsApp voice note sent to a group including this reporter.

      She posted photos of the girl on her back with her eyes closed, lying on a patch of grass on the islet.

      In another message, she questioned why the children have not received any help.

      “No one hears our voices,” she said.

      “If you hear our voices please help us,” Baida said. “The other girl might die tomorrow.”

      The refugees say they were forced on the islet by Turkish authorities on August 7.

      The Evros land border is a frequent crossing point for those wishing to claim asylum in Europe, but many reports have documented violent Greek pushbacks in recent months, as well as incidents where people have been made to cross by Turkish authorities.

      The stranded refugees and migrants wish to claim asylum in Greece.

      Greek authorities have been notified of their location and activists have made emergency calls on their behalf to police, but officials say that they have not been able to locate the group.

      On Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights issued an order stating that the trapped asylum seekers should not be removed from Greek territory and that they should be provided with food, water and adequate medical care.

      In their messages, members of the group describe what amounts to a geopolitical ping-pong game, being pushed back and forth across the land border by Greek and Turkish authorities for weeks in the highly militarised border zone in which no lawyer, human rights organisations or journalists can legally enter.

      Some were originally stranded in the same location in late July, having tried to cross the border from Turkey.

      They say they survived on food scraps, nuts and muddy water from the river before being returned to Turkey by Greek authorities.

      Then, they accused Turkish authorities of holding them in military barracks, and later bringing them back across to the river and ordering them — at gunpoint — to cross again into Greek territory.

      Al Jazeera has contacted Greek and Turkish officials in an attempt to verify the details of these alleged incidents but had not received a response by the time of writing.

      Longtime foes, NATO members Athens and Ankara are currently locked in rows on several fronts, including the refugee issue and oil and gas exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean.
      ‘We are very worried … especially for the children’

      The stranded refugees’ position on Greek territory has been verified by a location one of the asylum seekers sent via WhatsApp.

      The Greek Council of Refugees and HumanRights360, which are representing the group of refugees, have also informed the European Union border agency Frontex, the UN refugee agency, the Greek ombudsman and members of the European Parliament of this location in an attempt to secure their rescue.

      “We are very worried about the situation of the 39 refugees and especially for the children,” Evgenia Kouniaki, a lawyer for the Greece-based HumanRights360 and Maria Papamina, coordinator of the legal unit of the Greek Council for Refugees, told Al Jazeera in a joint statement.

      “The violations of human rights at the Greek-Turkish borders are a cruel reality. Deaths, pushbacks, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances and people left hopeless in the islets. The death of the five-year-old girl proves how irrational and murderous this policy is.”

      The Border Violence Monitoring Network, which documents pushbacks that are illegal under international law, said in a statement that Turkish and Greek authorities were “using people-on-the-move as pieces in a political game”.

      https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/8/10/child-feared-dead-on-greek-islet-where-refugees-are-stranded

    • Quatre morts, dont une fillette, dans un groupe de migrants bloqué sur un îlot de l’Evros

      Une petite-fille de cinq ans est décédée, jeudi, au milieu de l’Evros. Elle faisait partie d’un groupe de 40 personnes coincé depuis la semaine dernière sur un îlot de ce fleuve à la frontière gréco-turque. Trois membres de ce groupe étaient déjà morts suite aux violences et au refoulement des gardes-frontières grecs, selon les témoignages recueillis par les ONG et journalistes qui se sont saisis de l’affaire.

      Une petite-fille de cinq ans est décédée, piquée par un scorpion, sur un îlot de l’Evros où un groupe de 40 personnes est bloqué depuis un refoulement par les gardes-frontières grecs. La morsure a eu lieu dans le nuit du 8 au 9 août.

      « C’est vraiment l’enfer ici. Une petite-fille est morte aujourd’hui. Elle a été piquée par un scorpion. Nous n’avons rien pu faire », ont annoncé des membres du groupe au réseau d’activistes AlarmPhone, très actif dans le repérage des situations de détresse et dans la prise de contact avec les exilés passant par cette zone frontalière ultra-militarisée.

      Une seconde fillette, sa grande sœur, est menacée. Celle-ci a également été piquée par le scorpion, et son état est grave. « Nous avons besoin d’un hôpital. Si personne n’agit pour l’aider, elle va mourir comme sa petite sœur », a également alerté le groupe.

      Les témoins, dont un grand nombre de ressortissants syriens, font part de leur impuissance face à cette seconde petite fille « qui se bat contre la mort », et s’inquiètent du choc traumatique subi par la famille.

      « Où est l’humanité dans la mort d’une fille qui n’a pas atteint ses six ans, après avoir vécu la guerre et l’oppression en Syrie et en Turquie, et maintenant à la frontière grecque ? », s’indignent-ils, toujours relayés par Alarm Phone.
      Trois personnes déjà décédées, dont deux par noyade

      Samedi 6 août, les ONG avaient alerté sur ce groupe de 32 adultes et 8 enfants coincés sur l’îlot. Ces derniers rapportent avoir subi une série de violences de la part des garde-côtes grecs et turcs dans les quinze derniers jours.

      D’abord, « la police grecque nous a battus et nous a ramenés en Turquie », ont témoigné les membres de ce premier groupe auprès d’Alarm Phone. Ensuite, les garde-frontières turcs « nous ont mis dans des casernes militaires, puis nous ont jetés sur l’une de ces îles grecques, pour la deuxième fois, sans nourriture ni eau ».

      Trois personnes seraient mortes des suites des violences et du refoulement. La première, un homme syrien, serait décédé suite aux blessures infligées par les coups des garde-frontières sur le sol grec, confirme le média grec Efimerida ton Syntakton qui s’est saisi de l’affaire.

      es deux autres victimes auraient été forcées de nager jusqu’au rivage turc et se seraient noyées, poursuit le média, corroborant les dires du groupe. L’enquête menée par les journalistes leur a permis d’identifier les noms de ces deux personnes : il s’agirait de deux jeunes hommes de 17 et 23 ans, tous deux originaires d’Alep.

      Ces cas de noyades forcées ont déjà été documentées. En 2021, Amnesty International avait recueilli des témoignages en ce sens. Les survivants d’un groupe racontaient qu’ils avaient été forcés « à descendre du bateau et à plonger dans l’eau à proximité d’un îlot situé au beau milieu de l’Evros, (...) Un autre homme, qui ne savait pas nager, a appelé au secours alors qu’il peinait à garder la tête hors de l’eau. Il a finalement été emporté par le courant », relaie le rapport de l’ONG.
      Inaction des autorités malgré la décision de la CEDH

      Les ONG HumanRights360 et Greek Council for Refugees ont saisi la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme (CEDH) sur une demande urgente de mesures provisoires, la semaine dernière. Celle-ci l’a validée dans la foulée. Elle ordonne donc au gouvernement grec de veiller à ce que le groupe ait de l’eau, de la nourriture et des médicaments. Surtout, elle interdit tout refoulement et exige que leurs demandes d’asile soient enregistrées.

      Mais, pour l’heure, les ONG n’ont constaté aucune mobilisation des autorités. Depuis plusieurs mois, les saisines de la CEDH par les ONG sont quasi systématiques lorsque des personnes se retrouvent coincées sur des îlots de l’Evros. Cette stratégie judiciaire s’est révélée efficace pour plusieurs cas successifs. Mais elle semble avoir de moins en moins prise sur les autorités grecques.

      « On voit de plus en plus que, malgré ces décisions de la CEDH, les personnes ne sont pas secourues », alertait déjà mi-juin une membre d’AlarmPhone, auprès d’InfoMigrants. « La Grèce ne respecte pas la législation européenne. Et c’est très inquiétant ».

      Les équipes de Frontex ont également été contactées par Alarm Phone. En vain pour le moment.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/42511/quatre-morts-dont-une-fillette-dans-un-groupe-de-migrants-bloque-sur-u

    • Greek police @hellenicpolice announced yesterday with great delay that the group of c. 40 Syrians trapped on an Evros islet under inhumane and life-threatening conditions is on Turkish territory. And that Greece have officially asked Turkey to conduct a Search & Rescue op 🧵1/4

      2/ GR authorities at least finally acknowledge the existence of the group, which they had so far denied being able to find, despite knowing the location for days and despite their professed manned & unmanned search ops to locate them.

      3/ The Police announcement raises Qs about the status of the islet where the refugees are. Acc to Google and Greek Cadaster, the official government mapping agency, the islet is Greek.

      Hellenic Army’s Geographical Service also referred us to Google Maps for status of the islet.


      4/ What is of paramount importance now is for the group to be rescued and their rights respected.

      We remind all authorities that the refugees have reported the death of a girl (5) & the critical condition of at least one more child.

      The refugees remain on the islet.

      https://twitter.com/GCRefugees/status/1558056562706751491

      –-

      Tweet de Giorgos Christides :

      Greek authorities need to answer:
      – is the islet Greek? if so, are they willing to concede territory to 🇹🇷 just to avoid rescuing 40 refugees?
      – if Turkish, why did they delay the request for SAR & why did @ECHR_CEDH issue rescue orders to 🇬🇷? Can’t they read maps in Straßburg?

      #dispute_territoriale

  • Erdogan opponents allege Greek border pushbacks

    For years #Greece has been accused of illegally pushing asylum-seekers back to #Turkey, a practice it strenuously denies.
    But according to witnesses and rights groups, the summary #deportations are also hitting vulnerable opponents of Turkish President Recep Tayyip #Erdogan.
    Kurdish writer Meral Simsek, 42, is one of several people who told AFP they were sent back to Turkey to face imprisonment and possible torture after already making a perilous crossing of the border on the River #Evros.

    Athens has always denied that its security forces engage in illegal #pushbacks.

    In March, Greece’s national transparency authority said a four-month investigation found no evidence of such practices.

    EU border agency Frontex has also repeatedly been accused by rights groups of illegally returning migrants across EU borders.

    Its chief Fabrice Leggeri quit last month amid an investigation by the European anti-fraud office OLAF, reportedly into alleged mismanagement.

    Alkistis Agrafioti, a lawyer with the Greek Council for Refugees, said the time has come for the EU to mount a “serious” inquiry into pushbacks.

    “Pushbacks not only run contrary to international law, but they are also accompanied by criminal acts — stealing, violence, abuse” and lives being put in danger, she added.

    Marina Rafenberg / AFP

    https://www.rfi.fr/en/erdogan-opponents-allege-greek-border-pushbacks

  • Drone Terror from Turkey. Arms buildup and crimes under international law - with German participation

    In Kurdistan, Libya or Azerbaijan, Turkish “#Bayraktar_TB2” have already violated international law. Currently, the civilian population in Ethiopia is being bombed with combat drones. Support comes from Germany, among others.

    For almost two decades, companies from the USA and Israel were the undisputed market leaders for armed drones; today, China and Turkey can claim more and more exports for themselves. Turkey is best known for its “Bayraktar TB2,” which the military has been using since 2016 in the Turkish, Syrian and now also Iraqi parts of Kurdistan in violation of international law. In the four-month #Operation_Olive_Branch in Kurdish #Rojava alone, the “TB2” is said to have scored 449 direct hits four years ago and enabled fighter jets or helicopters to make such hits in 680 cases. It has a payload of 65 kilograms and can remain in the air for over 24 hours.

    The Turkish military also flies the “#Anka”, which is also capable of carrying weapons and is manufactured by #Turkish_Aerospace_Industries (#TAI). In a new version, it can be controlled via satellites and thus achieves a greater range than the “#TB2”. The “Anka” carries up to 200 kilograms, four times the payload of its competitors. The newest version of both drones can now stay in the air for longer than 24 hours.

    Drone industry is dependent on imports

    The “Anka” is also being exported, but the “TB2” is currently most widely used. The drone is manufactured by #Baykar, whose founder and namesake is #Selçuk_Bayraktar, a son-in-law of the Turkish president. The “TB2” also flew attacks on Armenian troops off #Nagorno-Karabakh, for the Tripoli government in Libya and for Azerbaijan; there it might have even - together with unmanned aerial vehicles of Israeli production - been decisive for the war, according to some observers.

    The aggressive operations prompted further orders; after Qatar, Ukraine, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkmenistan, Baykar is the first NATO country to sell the drone to Poland. About a dozen countries are said to have already received deliveries, and about as many are said to be considering procurement. Interest is reportedly coming from as far away as Lithuania and even the United Kingdom.

    The comparatively young Turkish drone industry is able to produce many of the components for its unmanned aerial vehicles itself or buy them from domestic suppliers, but manufacturers are still dependent on imports for key components. This applies to engines, for example, which are also produced in Turkey but are less powerful than competing products. For this reason, the “TB2” flew with Rotax engines from Austria, among others. Following Turkey’s support for the Azerbaijani war of aggression, the company stopped supplying Baykar.

    Canada imposes export ban

    According to the Kurdish news agency ANF, Baykar has also made purchases from Continental Motors, a U.S. corporation partly based in Germany that took over Thielert Aircraft Engines GmbH eight years ago. A cruise control system made by the Bavarian company MT-Propeller was found in a crashed “TB2”. According to the Armenian National Committee of America, a radar altimeter manufactured by SMS Smart Microwave Sensors GmbH and a fuel filter made by Hengst were also installed in the drone.

    However, exports of these products are not subject to licensing, and sales may also have been made through intermediaries. Hengst, for example, also sells its products through automotive wholesalers; the company says it does not know how the filter came into Baykar’s possession.

    Originally, the “TB2” was also equipped with a sensor module from the Canadian manufacturer Wescam. This is effectively the eye of the drone, mounted in a hemispherical container on the fuselage. This so-called gimbal can be swiveled 360° and contains, among other things, optical and infrared-based cameras as well as various laser technologies. Wescam also finally ended its cooperation with Baykar after the government in Ottawa issued an export ban on the occasion of the war over Nagorno-Karabakh. The country had already imposed a temporary halt to deliveries following Turkish operations in the Kurdish region of Rojava in North Syria.

    “Eye” of the drone from Hensoldt

    Selçuk Bayraktar commented on the decision made by the Canadian Foreign Minister, saying that the required sensor technology could now also be produced in Turkey. In the meantime, the Turkish company Aselsan has also reported in newspapers close to the government that the sensor technology can now be produced completely domestically. Presumably, however, these devices are heavier than the imported products, so that the payload of small combat drones would be reduced.

    Hensoldt, a German company specializing in sensor technology, has been one of the suppliers. This was initially indicated by footage of a parade in the capital of Turkmenistan, where a freshly purchased “TB2” was also displayed to mark the 30th anniversary of the attainment of independence in Aşgabat last year. In this case, the drone was equipped with a gimbal from Hensoldt. It contains the ARGOS-II module, which, according to the product description, has a laser illuminator and a laser marker. This can be used, for example, to guide a missile into the target.

    Hensoldt was formed after a spinoff of several divisions of defense contractor Airbus, including its radar, optronics, avionics and electronic device jamming businesses. As a company of outstanding security importance, the German government has secured a blocking minority. The Italian defense group Leonardo is also a shareholder.

    Rocket technology from Germany

    The ARGOS module is manufactured by Hensoldt’s offshoot Optronics Pty in Pretoria, South Africa. When asked, a company spokesman confirmed the cooperation with Baykar. According to the company, the devices were delivered from South Africa to Turkey in an undisclosed quantity “as part of an order”. In the process, “all applicable national and international laws and export control regulations” were allegedly complied with.

    The arming of the “TB2” with laser-guided missiles was also carried out with German assistance. This is confirmed by answers to questions in the German Bundestag reported by the magazine “Monitor”. According to these reports, the German Foreign Ministry has issued several export licenses for warheads of an anti-tank missile since 2010. They originate from the company TDW Wirksysteme GmbH from the Bavarian town of Schrobenhausen, an offshoot of the European missile manufacturer MBDA.

    According to the report, the sales were presumably made to the state-owned Turkish company Roketsan. Equipment or parts for the production of the missiles are also said to have been exported to Turkey. The TDW guided missiles were of the “LRAT” and “MRAT” types, which are produced in Turkey under a different name. Based on the German exports, Roketsan is said to have developed the “MAM” missiles for drones; they are now part of the standard equipment of the “TB2”. These so-called micro-precision munitions are light warheads that can be used to destroy armored targets.

    Export licenses without end-use statement

    Roketsan sells the MAM guided missiles in three different versions, including a so-called vacuum bomb. Their development may have been carried out with the cooperation of the Bavarian company Numerics Software GmbH, according to ANF Deutsch. Numerics specializes in calculating the optimal explosive effect of armor-piercing weapons. According to the German Foreign Ministry, however, the company’s products, for which licenses have been issued for delivery to Turkey, are not suitable for the warheads in question.

    When the German government issues export licenses for military equipment, it can insist on a so-called end-use declaration. In the case of Turkey, the government would commit to obtaining German permission before reselling to a third country. The Foreign Ministry would not say whether such exchanges on missiles, sensors or other German technology have taken place. In total, export licenses for goods “for use or installation in military drones” with a total value of almost 13 million euros have been issued to Turkey, according to a response from last year.

    Deployment in Ethiopia

    As one of the current “hot spots”, the “Bayraktar TB2” is currently being deployed by Ethiopia in the civil war with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). As recently as December, the Tigrinese rebels were on the verge of entering the capital Addis Ababa, but the tide has since turned. Many observers attribute this to the air force. The Ethiopian military has 22 Russian MiG-23 and Sukhoi-27 fighter jets, as well as several attack helicopters.

    But the decisive factor is said to have been armed drones, whose armament allows far more precise attacks. “There were suddenly ten drones in the sky”, the rebel general Tsadokan Gebretensae confirmed to the New York Times in an interview. In a swarm, these had attacked soldiers and convoys. The Reuters news agency quotes a foreign military who claims to have “clear indications” of a total of 20 drones in use. However, these also come from China and Iran.

    Evidence, meanwhile, shows that the Turkish combat drones are used as before in Kurdistan and other countries for crimes under international law. On several occasions, they have also flown attacks on civilians, including in convoys with refugees. Hundreds of people are reported to have died under Turkish-made bombs and missiles.

    After the “TB2” comes the significantly larger “Akıncı”

    In the future, the Turkish military could deploy a significantly larger drone with two engines, which Baykar has developed under the name “Akıncı”. This drone will be controlled via satellites, which will significantly increase its range compared to the “TB2”. Its payload is said to be nearly 1.5 tons, of which 900 kilograms can be carried under the wings as armament. According to Baykar, the “Akıncı” can also be used in aerial combat. Unarmed, it can be equipped with optical sensors, radar systems or electronic warfare technology.

    Baykar’s competitor TAI is also developing a long-range drone with two engines. The “#Aksungur” is said to have capabilities comparable to the “#Akıncı” and was first flown for tests in 2019.

    http://kurdistan-report.de/index.php/english/1282-drone-terror-from-turkey-arms-buildup-and-crimes-under-interna
    #Turquie #Kurdistan #Kurdistan_turque #drones #armes #Allemagne #drones_de_combat #drones_armés #industrie_militaire #Rotax #Continental_Motors #SMS_Smart_Microwave_Sensors #Hengst #Wescam #Aselsan #technologie #ARGOS-II #Airbus #Optronics_Pty

  • »Es geht nicht um Eitelkeit« - Der chinesische Exil-Künstler Ai Weiei über die Hoffnungen der Unterdrückten
    https://www.nd-aktuell.de/artikel/1159686.ai-weiwei-es-geht-nicht-um-eitelkeit.html

    16.12.2021 von Philipp Hedemann -
    Ai Weiwei, was bedeutet Ihnen persönlich Freiheit?

    Freiheit ist für mich fast wie eine Religion. Zu verschiedenen Zeiten und an verschiedenen Orten kann Freiheit etwas sehr Unterschiedliches bedeuten. Aber ich glaube, dass es in unserem Herzen immer und überall etwas sehr Tiefgründiges, sehr Geheimnisvolles gibt, und dass wir begierig darauf sind, herauszufinden, was genau es ist. Dazu braucht man Freiheit. Deshalb ist Freiheit für mich kein Ziel, sondern immer nur eine Richtung. Niemand hat echte Freiheit jemals gesehen. Freiheit erfordert ständigen Kampf.

    Führen Sie diesen Kampf?
    Der Kampf um Freiheit ist der wichtigste Kampf meines Lebens. Es sollte der wichtigste Kampf in jedem Leben sein. Ich bin mir dessen sehr bewusst und führe deshalb permanent diesen Kampf. Aber viele Menschen haben das Pech - oder das Glück? -, dass sie sich dessen nicht bewusst sind.

    Muss die Welt Angst vor China haben?

    Es wäre so, als ob eine Eiche Angst vor einer Birke oder einem Ahornbaum hätte. Es sind einfach unterschiedliche Bäume. Ein Problem wird daraus nur, wenn ein Baum so groß wird, dass seine Krone den anderen Bäumen das Licht nimmt und seine Wurzeln das ganze Wasser aufsaugen. Zwischen den Bäumen herrscht deshalb ein ständiger Kampf. Solange man auf seine eigene Identität vertraut, muss man keine Angst vor diesem Kampf haben. Allerdings: China ist heutzutage nicht nur ein Baum, es ist ein Wald. Und China pflanzt in Afrika, Südamerika und Europa weiterhin fleißig Bäume. Manchmal kommt es vor, dass eine invasive Art einheimische Arten verdrängt.

    Also ist Angst vor China berechtigt?

    China hat zweifelsohne großes Potenzial und die Fähigkeit zu verdrängen. Wenn die anderen Bäume sich nicht hartnäckig wehren, dann wird China die Oberhand gewinnen. Das ist klar! Die chinesischen Bäume sind sehr stark. China hat definitiv den Willen, eine Supernation zu werden und die Welt wirtschaftlich und kulturell zu dominieren.

    Vor zehn Jahren wurden Sie in China wegen angeblicher Steuerhinterziehung festgenommen und saßen 81 Tage in Haft. Hätten Sie Angst, erneut verhaftet zu werden, wenn Sie nach China zurückgingen?

    Ginge ich zurück nach China, könnte es jederzeit passieren. Vor der Haft hätte ich keine Angst. Aber ich fürchte, dass sie mich anders leiden lassen würden.

    Wie könnte das geschehen?

    Indem sie meine Beziehungen zur Realität abschneiden. Indem sie mich in einem Raum isolieren und mich weder meinen Anwalt noch meine Mutter anrufen lassen. Das würde bedeuten, dass das Leben beendet ist, bevor man stirbt. Ich hätte Angst, dass sie dafür sorgen würden, dass meine Stimme nicht mehr gehört werden kann. Außerdem möchte ich nicht, dass mein Sohn seinen Vater so früh verliert. Er ist erst zwölf Jahre alt.

    Sie haben von 2015 bis 2019 in Berlin gelebt, gearbeitet und gelehrt. Aber in Ihrer jetzt erschienenen Autobiografie erwähnen Sie Berlin kaum. Haben Sie gerne in Berlin gelebt?

    Nein! Alle mögen Berlin. Ich nicht. Ich mag den Sonnenschein, aber in Berlin sind die Winter kalt und lang. Außerdem: Berlin ist zu dreckig und zu faul. Was ist bloß mit dieser Stadt los? Niemand schneidet dort einen Baum oder kehrt die Straße. Alles ist so kaputt! Dabei gibt es in Berlin doch so viele Migranten. Gebt ihnen einfach ein wenig Geld und lasst sie die Arbeit machen. Aber das passiert nicht! Berlin ist eine Stadt ohne Hoffnung. Man kann doch nicht die drittmächtigste Nation der Welt sein, aber eine Hauptstadt wie ein Dritte-Welt-Land haben! Gucken Sie sich doch nur den Flughafen und die Infrastruktur an! Außerdem gefällt es mir nicht, dass die Taxifahrer in Berlin alle aus der Türkei kommen.

    Was für ein Problem haben Sie mit Taxifahrern aus der Türkei?

    Dass sie in dritter Generation in Berlin leben und immer noch Taxi fahren. Das ist für mich kein gutes Zeichen.

    Es ist nicht das erste Mal, dass Sie hart über Berlin und Deutschland urteilen. Als Sie vor zwei Jahren von Berlin nach Cambridge gezogen sind, haben Sie über Deutschland unter anderem gesagt, es sei autoritär, fremdenfeindlich, bigott und intolerant. Viele empfanden Ihre Kritik als sehr pauschal und ungerechtfertigt.

    Niemand mag mich. Aber das mag ich. Denn ich bin in einer Gesellschaft aufgewachsen, in der mich niemand mochte.

    Dass Sie in Deutschland niemand mag, stimmt nicht. Als Sie inhaftiert waren, hat die deutsche Regierung sich zusammen mit deutschen Künstlern, Menschenrechtlern und Wissenschaftlern vehement für Ihre Freilassung eingesetzt. Viele waren auch deshalb von Ihrem Deutschland-Bashing schockiert. Sind Sie undankbar?

    Nein, ich bin dankbar für das, was Deutschland für mich getan hat. Aber wenn die Deutschen zu mir sagen. »Wir haben Dein Leben gerettet. Wir haben für Dich bezahlt. Sei gefälligst dankbar«, dann höre ich das nicht gerne. Als ich in Berlin gelebt habe, mochte ich es nicht, dass ich als jemand gesehen wurde, der etwas zurückzahlen müsse.

    Sehen Sie sich als Helden?

    Nein. Im Westen sehen mich manche als Helden, der gegen die Kommunisten gekämpft hat. Aber ich bin nur ein Mann, der für Recht und Freiheit einsteht.

    Kann Kunst autoritäre Regime stürzen?

    Das glaube ich nicht. Zwar haben autoritäre Staaten wie China Angst vor der Kunst, weil sie im direkten Zusammenhang mit der Meinungsfreiheit steht. Aber diese autoritären Staaten lassen sich nicht von der Kunst besiegen. Ihre Systeme sind stärker und mächtiger als die Kunst.

    Sie haben Fans auf der ganzen Welt. Genießen Sie es, bewundert zu werden?

    Ja.

    Warum?

    Weil ich sehe, dass ich Licht in das Leben vieler Menschen bringe. Ich erhalte viel Unterstützung von hart arbeitenden Menschen. Das können Lastwagenfahrer, Verkäufer, Köche oder Museumswärter sein. Sie sagen zu mir: »Weiwei, Du drückst etwas aus, was ich nie sagen könnte. Bitte mach weiter so.«

    Schmeichelt das Ihrer Eitelkeit?

    Es geht nicht um Eitelkeit. Es geht um Verantwortung. Ich habe das Gefühl, dass ich die Hoffnung vieler Menschen erfüllen muss. Vor allem die Hoffnung von Menschen, deren Rechte eingeschränkt sind.

    Sind Sie eitel?

    Nein. Ich habe gesehen, wie mein Vater, Chinas größter Dichter, jahrelang öffentliche Latrinen putzen musste, nachdem er bei den Kommunisten in Ungnade gefallen war. Wie könnte ich da eitel sein?

    Betrachten Sie sich als den größten lebenden Künstler?

    Natürlich. Wer könnte besser sein als ich?

    Meinen Sie das ironisch?

    Natürlich! Ich wollte nie einer der sogenannten großen, wichtigen oder guten Künstler sein; ich wollte immer nur ein aufrichtiger sein, ein von jeglicher Macht unabhängiger und unabhängig denkender Künstler.

    Was treibt Sie an, Kunst zu schaffen?

    Es geht mir um Ästhetik, Moral und Philosophie. Aber ehrlich gesagt: Ich habe keine große Motivation mehr, Kunst zu schaffen.

    Warum?

    Weil ich genug gemacht habe. Ich bin der meistausgestellte Künstler der Welt. Aber es gibt so viele Dinge, die ich noch nie gemacht habe. Ich könnte jeden Tag sterben, und dann würde ich es sehr bedauern, wenn ich mein ganzes Leben lang nur Kunst gemacht hätte.

    Was wollen Sie stattdessen tun?

    Vielleicht pflanze ich Bäume oder baue etwas. Oder ich verbringe mehr Zeit mit meinem Sohn. Oder ich schreibe noch ein Buch. Oder ich drehe weitere Filme.

    Werden Sie künftig weniger Kunst schaffen?

    Ja, ich denke schon.

    Das könnte dazu führen, dass die Preise für Ihre Werke in die Höhe schießen ...

    Die Leute sollen warten, bis ich sterbe. Dann werden die Preise richtig in die Höhe schnellen. Allzu lange wird es nicht mehr dauern.

    Schon jetzt werden Millionen für Ihre Werke gezahlt. Halten Sie das für angemessen?

    Die Preise für meine Kunst sind zu niedrig.

    Vor nicht allzu langer Zeit haben Sie noch gesagt, die Preise seien zu hoch!

    Betrachtet man den Wert der Kunst, ist der Preis zu niedrig. Betrachtet man die Materialkosten, ist der Preis zu hoch.

    Sie sind 2009 im Alter von 52 Jahren Vater geworden. Sind Sie ein guter Vater?

    Ich weiß es nicht. Mein Sohn sagt, ich sei ein guter Vater. Aber er sagt auch: »Du bist ständig unterwegs.« Ich erkläre ihm dann, dass ich nicht nur sein Vater sein kann, sondern auch mein eigenes Leben leben muss.

    Finden Sie selbst auch, dass Sie ein guter Vater sind?

    Nicht gut genug. Ich bin gut darin, auf seine Bedürfnisse einzugehen. Mein Vater ist nie auf meine Bedürfnisse eingegangen. Nie! Er gab mir viel Kunst und Poesie, aber konnte mir nie einen Pfennig geben. Finanziell kann ich meinen Sohn unterstützen, aber ich weiß nicht, ob ich ihm auch wirklich helfen kann.

    Wie möchten Sie in Erinnerung bleiben?

    Auf meinen Grabstein soll stehen. »Dieser Mann hat gelebt und nichts erreicht.«

    Ist das wieder Ironie?

    Nein. Wenn wir uns die Welt ansehen, sehen wir so viele Menschen, die immer noch ohne Licht in der Dunkelheit leben. Also haben wir alle zu wenig erreicht.

    Ai Weiwei
    Er ist einer der wichtigsten Künstler der Gegenwart und einer der lautesten Kritiker Chinas. Jetzt ist Ai Weiweis Autobiografie »1000 Jahre Freud und Leid« im Penguin Verlag erschienen. Als Kind hat der heute 64-Jährige erlebt, wie sein Vater, der Dichter Ai Quing, verbannt wurde und mit ihm in einer Erdhöhle lebte. Ai Weiwei studierte dennoch an der Filmhochschule in Peking, lebte in New York und kehrte 1993 nach China zurück, äußerte er sich immer wieder regimekritisch.

    2011 wurde er verhaftet und nach 81 Tagen Haft freigelassen. Als er 2015 seinen Pass zurückerhielt, ging er ins Exil – zuerst nach Berlin, dann ins britische Cambridge und seit dem Frühjahr 2021 lebt er in der portugiesischen Kleinstadt Montemor-o-Novo. Im Interview mit Philipp Hedemann spricht Ai Weiwei über die Angst vor einem übermächtigen China, warum er Berlin nicht mag, und er verrät, warum er in Zukunft weniger Kunst machen möchte.

    #Kunst #Taxi #Berlin #Türkei

  • Afghan chess pieces moving fast and furious
    Iran leader Raisi claims Shiite mosque bombings in Afghan cities backed by US while China establishes a military base in next door Tajikistan
    by Pepe Escobar October 28, 2021- Asia Times
    https://asiatimes.com/2021/10/afghan-chess-pieces-moving-fast-and-furious

    Afghanistan was the missing link in the complex chessboard of Eurasia integration. Now time is running out. After four long decades of war, getting the nation up and running as soon as possible is a pressing matter for all its neighbors.

    The three key nodes of Eurasia integration are very much aware of the high stakes. Hence an all-out diplomacy drive from Russia, China and Iran to get the ball rolling.

    A confab, officially named Second Meeting of Foreign Ministers – Afghanistan’s Neighbor Countries, was held on October 27 in Tehran uniting heavyweights China and Russia; Iran and Pakistan; and three Central Asian ‘stans: Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

    Call it a sort of extended replay of the recent Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit – where they were all discussing Afghanistan in detail. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian pointed to what everyone is aiming at. Peace, he tweeted, depends on an “inclusive government and respect for the will of the Afghan people.”

    The joint statement once again revisited all the main themes: the necessity of a “broad-based political structure, with the participation of all ethno-political groups” in Afghanistan; the need for “non-interference in its internal affairs”; and an emphasis on “national sovereignty, political independence, unity and territorial integrity.”

    And last but not least, the definitive red line, which is also an SCO red line: No support in any way, shape or form for any jihadi outfit.

    The foreign ministers also re-emphasized what was already imprinted in the wide-ranging summit in Moscow: “Countries primarily responsible for the difficulties in Afghanistan should earnestly deliver on their commitment and provide Afghanistan with urgently needed economic, livelihood and humanitarian assistance to help realize a stable transition.”

    The European Union has promised 1 billion euros in humanitarian assistance. So far, that’s just a promise. Washington has not sent any signs it might consider alleviating Kabul’s dire economic plight.

    Nor has the Biden administration indicated it plans to release nearly US$9.5 billion in Afghan gold, investments and foreign currency reserves parked in the US that it froze after the Taliban’s takeover – despite rising pressure from humanitarian groups and others who say the punitive measure may cause the collapse of the Afghan economy.

    Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, after meeting with the foreign ministers of Pakistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, went no holds barred. He had already alleged, on the record, that the US was facilitating the expansion of ISIS-K in Afghanistan – a fast-flip irony, if true, considering the terror group was responsible for killing 13 US military service members and scores of others in a late August bomb blast at Kabul’s international airport.

    Then the Iranian leader doubled down, claiming that the recent sequence of terror bombings during Friday prayers in Shiite mosques in large Afghan cities has also been supported by the US.

    Raisi is voicing, at a very high level, an analysis that intel services of several SCO member-nations have been actively exchanging: There’s only one major geopolitical player who benefits, divide-and-rule-style, from the chaos generated by ISIS-K.

    The Russians, Iranians and Chinese are all paying close attention to all matters Afghanistan. Before his current European tour, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi dropped by Doha on Monday for the first top-level China-Afghanistan meeting since the Saigon moment on August 15.

    That also marked the return to the political stage of Mullah Baradar, the acting Afghan deputy prime minister, who seems anyway to be restricted to Doha political office business.

    Wang once again made it very clear that it’s crucial to engage with the Taliban “in a rational and pragmatic manner” and emphasized, at the same time, that the Taliban should “demonstrate openness and tolerance.”

    Beijing’s top priority is to start dealing with a functional government in Kabul as soon as possible. The integration of Afghanistan to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and also to the now fast-developing Iran-to-China corridor is a matter of urgency.

    But all that pales in comparison with the challenges facing a still far-from-inclusive government: the looming economic crisis, the already de facto humanitarian nightmare, and the ISIS-K terror threat.

    Only two days after Wang’s meeting in Doha, and nearly simultaneously with the meeting in Tehran, Tajikistan approved the setup of a Chinese military base in its territory. So here we go again.

    Expect a fierce campaign exposing “human rights abuses” by Dushanbe to pop up anytime soon.

    #Afghanistan #Russie #Iran #Chine #Tajikistan #Uzbekistan #Turkmenistan

  • La Chaire Unesco en toponymie inclusive “Dénommer le Monde” est annoncée
    https://neotopo.hypotheses.org/3804

    L’Université de Genève doit accueillir une nouvelle Chaire Unesco en Toponymie inclusive intitulée “Dénommer le Monde”. Cette chaire est dédiée à la dénomination des noms de lieux et à ses enjeux culturels, sociaux et...

    #A_votre_vote_!,A_votre_avis! #African_Neotoponymy_Observatory_in_Network #ExploreNeotopo #Neotopo_vous_signale #SwissNeotopo #TheorizeNeotopo #Toponobservations #ToponoGender #Toponomo-Litterature #Turkey_Toponymy_Observatory_Network

  • Smoking guns. How European arms exports are forcing millions from their homes

    The #nexus between the arms trade and forced displacement is rarely explored and the role of European arms trade policies that facilitate gross human rights violations in third countries is often absent from displacement and migration studies. This report joins the dots between Europe’s arms trade and forced displacement and migration.

    Key findings

    - Arms and military equipment manufactured and licensed in Europe and sold to third countries provokes forced displacement and migration. This arms trade is motivated by how highly lucrative the industry is and current control and monitoring mechanisms facilitate rather than curtail problematic licensing and exportation.

    – The arms trade is political and is driven by profit but is under-regulated. Although other sectors, such as food and agriculture, do not undermine the fundamental right to life and other human rights in the same way that the arms trade does, they are far more stringently regulated.

    - It is possible to methodically trace arms, military equipment and technology, from the point of origin and export to where these were eventually used, and document their devastating impact on the local population. The report confirms beyond any reasonable doubt that European arms are directly used not to defend populations or to enhance local or regional security as is often claimed, but to destabilise entire countries and regions.

    - The arms industry is involved in clear violations of non-transfer clauses and end user agreements (EUAs) despite a supposedly robust system of controls. The evidence shows that once arms are traded, and although they may be traced, it is virtually impossible to control how they may eventually be used. Furthermore, although importing countries were known to have breached EUAs, EU member states continued to sell them arms and military equipment.

    - Regardless of whether arms were exported to official state security forces or were eventually used by non-state armed actors, or whether EUAs and other control mechanisms were respected, the result was the same – European arms were used in military operations that led to destabilisation and resulting forced displacement and migration. The destabilisation, facilitated by arms supplied by Europe, then contributed to Europe hugely expanding its border security apparatus to respond to the apparent threat posed by refugees attempting to arrive and seek asylum.

    - European countries are among the top exporters of lethal arms equipment worldwide, comprising approximately 26% of global arms exports since 2015. The top five European arms exporters are France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK – together accounting for 22% of global arms exports in the 2016–2020 period.

    - Arms exports from Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania have soared in recent years, a large proportion of which is exported to West Asian countries. For example, before 2012, Croatia exported ammunition worth less than €1 million a year, but with the start of the Syrian war this surged every year to reach €82 million in 2016. The European Parliament called on Bulgaria and Romania to stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia and the US (if there was a risk that these arms may be diverted), so far to no avail.

    – In Syria an estimated 13 million people need humanitarian assistance and more than half of the population remains displaced from their homes – including 6.6 million refugees living in neighbouring countries, such as Jordan and Lebanon, who subsequently attempt to flee to Europe in a reverse movement to the arms that displaced them. Another 6.7 million are internally displaced persons (IDPs) inside Syria.

    –-

    Five case studies document that:

    Italian T-129 ATAK helicopter components were exported to Turkey and used in 2018 and 2019 in two attacks in the district of Afrin in Northern Syria as part of Operation Olive Branch and in Operation Peace Spring on the Turkish–Syrian border. According to UN figures, 98,000 people were displaced during the Afrin offensive between January and March 2018, while 180,000, of whom 80,000 were children, were displaced, in October 2019 as a result of Operation Peace Spring.

    Bulgaria exported missile tubes and rockets to Saudi Arabia and the US, which eventually ended up in the hands of IS fighters in Iraq. The equipment was diverted and used in Ramadi and the surrounding region, where the International Organisation for Migration reported that from April 2015, following the outbreak of the Ramadi crisis, over half a million people were displaced from Anbar province, of which Ramadi is the capital city, while 85,470 were displaced specifically from Ramadi City between November 2015 and February 2016. Around 80% of all housing in Ramadi was severely damaged after the offensive. In 2017 another missile tube originating in Bulgaria was found to have been used by IS forces in the town of Bartella, located to the east of Mosul. At least 200,000 people from minority groups were displaced from the greater Mosul area between 2014 and January 2017. By July 2019, over two years after military operations had ended in Mosul, there were still over 300,000 people displaced from the city.

    British, French, and German components and production capacity, including missiles, missile batteries, and a bomb rack, were exported to Turkey, where they were mounted on Turkish-made drones and exported to Azerbaijan. These same drones, loaded with European-manufactured arms components, were used in the 44-day conflict in Naghorno- Karabakh, which provoked the forced displacement of half of the region’s Armenian population – approximately 90,000 people.

    Between 2012 and 2015 Bulgaria exported assault rifles, large-calibre artillery systems, light machine guns, hand-held under-barrel and mounted grenade launchers to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) national police and military. The conflict in DRC is one of the world’s longest, yet Europe continues to supply arms that are used to perpetrate gross human rights violations. In 2017, Serbia exported 920 assault rifles and 114 light machine guns that were originally manufactured in Bulgaria. That same year, 2,166,000 people were forcibly displaced, making it one of the worst since the conflict began. Specifically, Bulgarian weapons were in use in North Kivu in 2017 coinciding with the forced displacement of 523,000 people.

    At least four Italian Bigliani-class patrol boats were donated to Libya and used by its coastguard to forcibly pull back and detain migrants who were fleeing its shores. In 2019, the Libyan coastguard mounted a machine gun on at least one of these boats and used it in the internal conflict against the Libyan National Army. Many of those fleeing Libya had most likely already fled other conflicts in other African and West Asian countries that may have purchased or were in receipt of European arms, so that at each step along their journey from displacement to migration, the European arms trade is making massive profits by firstly displacing them, and then later deterring and pushing them back.

    The arms companies we identified in these case studies include: Airbus (Franco-German), ARSENAL (Bulgaria), BAE Systems (UK), Baykar Makina (Turkey), EDO MBM (UK), Intermarine (Italy), Kintex (Bulgaria), Leonardo (Italy), Roketsan (Turkey), SB Aerospatiale (France), TDW (Germany), Turkish Aerospace Industry (Turkey), and Vazovski Mashinostroitelni Zavodi ЕAD (Bulgaria).

    https://www.tni.org/en/publication/smoking-guns
    #rapport #tni
    #armes #commerce_d'armes #migrations #asile #réfugiés #Europe #armée #militaire #industrie_de_l'armement #droits_humains #droits_fondamentaux #France #Allemagne #Italie #UK #Angleterre #Espagne #Bulgarie #Croatie #Roumanie #Arabie_Saoudite #Syrie #T-129_ATAK #Turquie #Operation_Olive_Branch #Operation_Peace_Spring #Irak #Ramadi #Bartella #Azerbaïjan #arméniens #Congo #RDC #République_démocratique_du_Congo #Serbie #Kivu #Nord_Kivu #Bigliani #Libye #gardes-côtes_libyiens #complexe_militaro-industriel
    #Airbus #ARSENAL #BAE_Systems #Baykar_Makina #EDO_MBM #Intermarine #Kintex #Leonardo #Roketsan #SB_Aerospatiale #TDW #Turkish_Aerospace_Industry #Vazovski_Mashinostroitelni_Zavodi_ЕAD

  • Doku „The Dissident“ zum Fall Kashoggi - Journalistenmord als Macht...
    https://diasp.eu/p/12760038

    Doku „The Dissident“ zum Fall Kashoggi - Journalistenmord als Machtdemonstration

    Die Dokumentation „The Dissident“ rollt die Ermordung des saudischen Journalisten Jamal Kashoggi auf. Der Film zeigt, wie die Machthaber in Saudi-Arabien die Pressefreiheit unterdrücken – und auch versuchen, die öffentliche Meinung im Ausland zu beei… Doku „The Dissident“ zum Fall Kashoggi - Journalistenmord als Machtdemonstration

  • Assassinat de Jamal Khashoggi : « The Dissident », le documentaire choc qui pointe la responsabilité de Mohamed Ben Salmane
    https://www.les-crises.fr/assassinat-de-jamal-khashoggi-the-dissident-le-documentaire-choc-qui-poin

    Source : Francetvinfo Petit focus sur un documentaire remarquable et pourtant absent des plateformes de streaming… Le documentaire de Bryan Fogel est un récit accablant sur l’assassinat du journaliste Jamal Khashoggi en 2018 dans les locaux du consulat d’Arabie saoudite à Istanbul, et une accusation sans équivoque du prince Mohamed Ben Salmane. Privé de sortie […]

  • Hydrocarbures : le Turkménistan et l’Azerbaïdjan mettent fin à une dispute en #mer_Caspienne | Connaissances des énergies

    https://www.connaissancedesenergies.org/afp/hydrocarbures-le-turkmenistan-et-lazerbaidjan-mettent-fin-u

    Le #Turkménistan et l’#Azerbaïdjan ont annoncé jeudi la prospection conjointe d’un gisement d’hydrocarbures en mer Caspienne, mettant ainsi fin à des années de désaccord, ce qui pourrait faciliter la construction d’un gazoduc turkmène vers l’Europe.

    Dans un communiqué, le ministère turkmène des Affaires étrangères a indiqué que les deux ex-républiques soviétiques avaient signé un mémorandum « sur la prospection, le développement et la mise en service du champ d’hydrocarbures Dostluk en mer Caspienne ». La présidence azerbaïdjanaise, dans une annonce similaire, a précisé que les chefs d’État des deux pays, Ilham Aliev et Gourbangouly Berdymoukhamedov, avaient échangé par vidéo-conférence pour sceller cet accord.

  • Taking Hard Line, Greece Turns Back Migrants by Abandoning Them at Sea

    The Greek government has secretly expelled more than 1,000 refugees from Europe’s borders in recent months, sailing many of them to the edge of Greek territorial waters and then abandoning them in inflatable and sometimes overburdened life rafts.

    Since March, at least 1,072 asylum seekers have been dropped at sea by Greek officials in at least 31 separate expulsions, according to an analysis of evidence by The New York Times from three independent watchdogs, two academic researchers and the Turkish Coast Guard. The Times interviewed survivors from five of those episodes and reviewed photographic or video evidence from all 31.

    RHODES, Greece — The Greek government has secretly expelled more than 1,000 refugees from Europe’s borders in recent months, sailing many of them to the edge of Greek territorial waters and then abandoning them in inflatable and sometimes overburdened life rafts.

    Since March, at least 1,072 asylum seekers have been dropped at sea by Greek officials in at least 31 separate expulsions, according to an analysis of evidence by The New York Times from three independent watchdogs, two academic researchers and the Turkish Coast Guard. The Times interviewed survivors from five of those episodes and reviewed photographic or video evidence from all 31.

    “It was very inhumane,” said Najma al-Khatib, a 50-year-old Syrian teacher, who says masked Greek officials took her and 22 others, including two babies, under cover of darkness from a detention center on the island of Rhodes on July 26 and abandoned them in a rudderless, motorless life raft before they were rescued by the Turkish Coast Guard.

    “I left Syria for fear of bombing — but when this happened, I wished I’d died under a bomb,” she told The Times.

    Illegal under international law, the expulsions are the most direct and sustained attempt by a European country to block maritime migration using its own forces since the height of the migration crisis in 2015, when Greece was the main thoroughfare for migrants and refugees seeking to enter Europe.

    The Greek government denied any illegality.

    “Greek authorities do not engage in clandestine activities,’’ said a government spokesman, Stelios Petsas. “Greece has a proven track record when it comes to observing international law, conventions and protocols. This includes the treatment of refugees and migrants.”

    Since 2015, European countries like Greece and Italy have mainly relied on proxies, like the Turkish and Libyan governments, to head off maritime migration. What is different now is that the Greek government is increasingly taking matters into its own hands, watchdog groups and researchers say.

    ​For example, migrants have been forced onto sometimes leaky life rafts and left to drift at the border between Turkish and Greek waters, while others have been left to drift in their own boats after Greek officials disabled their engines.

    “These pushbacks are totally illegal in all their aspects, in international law and in European law,” said Prof. François Crépeau, an expert on international law and a former United Nations special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants.

    “It is a human rights and humanitarian disaster,” Professor Crépeau added.

    Greeks were once far more understanding of the plight of migrants. But many have grown frustrated and hostile after a half-decade in which other European countries offered Greece only modest assistance as tens of thousands of asylum seekers languished in squalid camps on overburdened Greek islands.

    Since the election last year of a new conservative government under Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Greece has taken a far harder line against the migrants — often refugees from the war in Syria — who push off Turkish shores for Europe.

    The harsher approach comes as tensions have mounted with Turkey, itself burdened with 3.6 million refugees from the Syrian war, far more than any other nation.

    Greece believes that Turkey has tried to weaponize the migrants to increase pressure on Europe for aid and assistance in the Syrian War. But it has also added pressure on Greece at a time when the two nations and others spar over contested gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean.

    For several days in late February and early March, the Turkish authorities openly bused thousands of migrants to the Greek land border in a bid to set off a confrontation, leading to the shooting of at least one Syrian refugee and the immediate extrajudicial expulsions of hundreds of migrants who made it to Greek territory.

    For years, Greek officials have been accused of intercepting and expelling migrants, on a sporadic and infrequent basis, usually before the migrants manage to land their boats on Greek soil.

    But experts say Greece’s behavior during the pandemic has been far more systematic and coordinated. Hundreds of migrants have been denied the right to seek asylum even after they have landed on Greek soil, and they’ve been forbidden to appeal their expulsion through the legal system.

    “They’ve seized the moment,” Professor Crépeau said of the Greeks. “The coronavirus has provided a window of opportunity to close national borders to whoever they’ve wanted.”

    Emboldened by the lack of sustained criticism from the European Union, where the migration issue has roiled politics, Greece has hardened its approach in the eastern Mediterranean in recent months.

    Migrants landing on the Greek islands from Turkey have frequently been forced onto sometimes leaky, inflatable life rafts, dropped at the boundary between Turkish and Greek waters, and left to drift until being spotted and rescued by the Turkish Coast Guard.

    “This practice is totally unprecedented in Greece,” said Niamh Keady-Tabbal, a doctoral researcher at the Irish Center for Human Rights, and one of the first to document the phenomenon.

    “Greek authorities are now weaponizing rescue equipment to illegally expel asylum seekers in a new, violent and highly visible pattern of pushbacks spanning several Aegean Islands,” Ms. Keady-Tabbal said.

    Ms. al-Khatib, who recounted her ordeal for The Times, said she entered Turkey last November with her two sons, 14 and 12, fleeing the advance of the Syrian Army. Her husband, who had entered several weeks earlier, soon died of cancer, Ms. al-Khatib said.

    With few prospects in Turkey, the family tried to reach Greece by boat three times this summer, failing once in May because their smuggler did not show up, and a second time in June after being intercepted in Greek waters and towed back to the Turkish sea border, she said.

    Najma al-Khatib after being rescued on July 27 in Turkish territorial waters, in a photograph made available by the Turkish Coast Guard.Credit...Turkish Coast Guard Command
    On their third attempt, on July 23 at around 7 a.m., they landed on the Greek island of Rhodes, Ms. al-Khatib said, an account corroborated by four other passengers interviewed by The Times. They were detained by Greek police officers and taken to a small makeshift detention facility after handing over their identification documents.

    Using footage filmed at this site by two passengers, a Times reporter was able to identify the facility’s location beside the island’s main ferry port and visit the camp.

    A Coast Guard officer and an official at the island’s mayoralty both said the site falls under the jurisdiction of the Port Police, an arm of the Hellenic Coast Guard.

    A Palestinian refugee, living in a disused slaughterhouse beside the camp, confirmed that Ms. al-Khatib had been there, recounting how he had spoken to her through the camp’s fence and bought her tablets to treat her hypertension, which Greek officials had refused to supply her.

    On the evening of July 26, Ms. al-Khatib and the other detainees said that police officers had loaded them onto a bus, telling them they were being taken to a camp on another island, and then to Athens.

    Instead, masked Greek officials transferred them to two vessels that ferried them out to sea before dropping them on rafts at the Turkish maritime border, she and other survivors said.

    Amid choppy waves, the group, which included two babies, was forced to drain the raft using their hands as water slopped over the side, they said.

    The group was rescued at 4:30 a.m. by the Turkish Coast Guard, according to a report by the Coast Guard that included a photograph of Ms. al-Khatib as she left the life raft.

    Ms. al-Khatib tried to reach Greece for a fourth time, on Aug. 6, but said her boat was stopped off the island of Lesbos by Greek officials, who removed its fuel and towed it back to Turkish waters.

    Some groups of migrants have been transferred to the life rafts even before landing on Greek soil.

    On May 13, Amjad Naim, a 24-year-old Palestinian law student, was among a group of 30 migrants intercepted by Greek officials as they approached the shores of Samos, a Greek island close to Turkey.

    The migrants were quickly transferred to two small life rafts that began to deflate under the weight of so many people, Mr. Naim said. Transferred to two other rafts, they were then towed back toward Turkey.

    Videos captured by Mr. Naim on his phone show the two rafts being tugged across the sea by a large white vessel. Footage subsequently published by the Turkish Coast Guard shows the same two rafts being rescued by Turkish officials later in the day.

    Migrants have also been left to drift in the boats they arrived on, after Greek officials disabled their engines, survivors and researchers say. And on at least two occasions, migrants have been abandoned on Ciplak, an uninhabited island within Turkish waters, instead of being placed on life rafts.

    “Eventually the Turkish Coast Guard came to fetch us,” said one Palestinian survivor who was among a group abandoned on Ciplak in early July, and who sent videos of their time on the island. A report from the Turkish Coast Guard corroborated his account.

    In parallel, several rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, have documented how the Greek authorities have rounded up migrants living legally in Greece and secretly expelled them without legal recourse across the Evros River, which divides mainland Greece from Turkey.

    Feras Fattouh, a 30-year-old Syrian X-ray technician, said he was arrested by the Greek police on July 24 in Igoumenitsa, a port in western Greece. Mr. Fattouh had been living legally in Greece since November 2019 with his wife and son, and showed The Times documents to prove it.

    But after being detained by the police in Igoumenitsa, Mr. Fattouh said, he was robbed and driven about 400 miles east to the Turkish border, before being secretly put on a dinghy with 18 others and sent across the river to Turkey. His wife and son remain in Greece.

    “Syrians are suffering in Turkey,” Mr. Fattouh said. “We’re suffering in Greece. Where are we supposed to go?”

    Ylva Johansson, who oversees migration policy at the European Commission, the civil service for the European Union, said she was concerned by the accusations but had no power to investigate them.

    “We cannot protect our European border by violating European values and by breaching people’s rights,” Ms. Johansson said in an email. “Border control can and must go hand in hand with respect for fundamental rights.”

    Patrick Kingsley reported from Rhodes, Greece, and Karam Shoumali from Berlin.

    #Greece #Turkey #Migration

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/14/world/europe/greece-migrants-abandoning-sea.html

  • CIJSummer. Can Dündar. Gavin MacFadyen Memorial Lecture.

    Can Dündar is a distinguished Turkish journalist with over 40 years of experience writing, editing and making investigative documentaries. After his newspaper published footage in 2015 of Turkish security services channelling arms to Islamist fighters in Syria, he was arrested and spent 92 days in prison on charges of ‘terrorism’. the following year he was hauled back to court on treason charges and while defending himself was the subject of an attempted assassination. The same day he was sentenced to nearly 6 years imprisonment. Having fled to Germany, he now lives in exile, but continues to report on the situation in Turkey.

    He addresses the CIJ conference, giving insights from his life and career on how to continue to hold the powerful to account when not only your journalism, but your freedom and even your life are under threat.

    #Turkey #Can_Dündar #journalism #threat #prison #exile #Germany

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSKnS34WPr4

  • UK Deportations 2020: how BA, #Easyjet and other airlines collaborate with the border regime

    The Home Office’s deportation machine has slowed during the corona crisis, with hundreds of people released from detention. But a recent charter flight to Poland shows the motor is still ticking over. Will things just go “back to normal” as the lockdown lifts, or can anti-deportation campaigners push for a more radical shift? This report gives an updated overview of the UK deportation system and focuses in on the role of scheduled flights run by major airlines including: #BA, Easyjet, #Kenya_Airways, #Qatar_Airways, #Turkish_Airlines, #Ethiopian_Airlines, #Air_France, #Royal_Jordanian, and #Virgin.

    On 30 April, with UK airports largely deserted during the Covid-19 lockdown, a Titan Airways charter plane took off from Stansted airport deporting 35 people to Poland. This was just a few days after reports of charter flights in the other direction, as UK farmers hired planes to bring in Eastern European fruit-pickers.

    The Home Office’s deportation machine has slowed during the corona crisis. Hundreds of people have been released from detention centres, with detainee numbers dropping by 900 over the first four months of 2020. But the Poland flight signals that the Home Office motor is still ticking over. As in other areas, perhaps the big question now is whether things will simply go “back to normal” as the lockdown lifts. Or can anti-deportation campaigners use this window to push for a more radical shift?
    An overview of the UK’s deportation machine

    Last year, the UK Home Office deported over seven thousand people. While the numbers of people “removed” have been falling for several years, deportation remains at the heart of the government’s strategy (if that is the term) for “tackling illegal immigration”. It is the ultimate threat behind workplace and dawn raids, rough-sleeper round-ups, “right to rent” checks, reporting centre queues, and other repressive architecture of the UK Border Regime.

    This report gives an overview of the current state of UK deportations, focusing on scheduled flights run by major airlines. Our previous reports on UK deportations have mainly looked at charter flights: where the Home Office aims to fill up chartered planes to particular destinations, under heavy guard and typically at night from undisclosed locations. These have been a key focus for anti-deportation campaigners for a number of reasons including their obvious brutality, and their use as a weapon to stifle legal and direct resistance. However, the majority of deportations are on scheduled flights. Deportees are sitting – at the back handcuffed to private security “escorts” – amongst business or holiday travellers.

    These deportations cannot take place without extensive collaboration from businesses. The security guards are provided by outsourcing company Mitie. The tickets are booked by business travel multinational Carlson Wagonlit. The airlines themselves are household names, from British Airways to Easyjet. This report explains how the Home Office and its private sector collaborators work together as a “deportation machine” held together by a range of contractual relationships.

    Some acknowledgements

    Many individuals and campaign groups helped with information used in this report. In particular, Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants shared their valuable research and legal advice, discussed below.

    We have produced this report in collaboration with the Air Deportation Project led by William Walters at the University of Carleton in Canada, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Corporate Watch received funding from this project as a contribution for our work on this report.

    Names, numbers

    First a quick snapshot of deportation numbers, types and destinations. We also need to clear up some terminology.

    We will use the term “deportations” to refer to all cases where the Home Office moves someone out of the country under direct force (for scheduled flights, this usually means handcuffed to a security “escort”). In the Home Office’s own jargon, these are called “enforced returns”, and the word “deportation” is reserved for people ejected on “public policy” rather than “immigration” grounds – mostly Foreign National Offenders who have been convicted by criminal courts. The Home Office refers to deportations carried out under immigration law euphemistically, calling them “removals” or “returns”.i

    As well as “enforced returns”, there are also so-called “voluntary returns”. This means that there is no direct use of force – no guard, no leg or arm restraints. But the term “voluntary” is stretched. Many of these take place under threat of force: e.g., people are pressured to sign “voluntary return” agreements to avoid being forcibly deported, or as the only chance of being released from detention. In other cases, people may agree to “voluntary return” as the only escape route from a limbo of reporting controls, lack of rights to work or rent legally, or destitution threatened by “no recourse to public funds”.

    In 2019, the Home Office reported a total of 18,782 returns: 7,361 “enforced” and 11,421 “voluntary”.ii
    These figures include 5,110 “Foreign National Offenders” (27%). (The Home Office says the majority of these were enforced returns, although no precise figure is provided.)
    There is a notable trend of declining removals, both enforced and “voluntary”. For example, in 2015 there were 41,789 returns altogether, 13,690 enforced and 28,189 “voluntary”. Both enforced and voluntary figures have decreased every year since then.
    Another notable trend concerns the nationalities of deportees. Europeans make up an increasing proportion of enforced deportations. 3,498, or 48%, of all enforced returns in 2019 were EU citizens – and this does not include other heavily targeted non-EU European nationalities such as Albanians. In 2015, there were 3,848 EU enforced returns – a higher absolute figure, but only 28% of a much higher overall total. In contrast, EU nationals still make up a very small percentage of “voluntary” returns – there were only 107 EU “voluntary returns” in 2019.
    The top nationalities for enforced returns in 2019 were: Romania (18%), Albania (12%), Poland (9%), Brazil (8%) and Lithuania (6%). For voluntary returns they were: India (16%), China (9%), Pakistan (9%).

    We won’t present any analysis of these figures and trends here. The latest figures show continuing evidence of patterns we looked at in our book The UK Border Regime.iii One key point we made there was that, as the resources and physical force of the detention and deportation system are further diminished, the Border Regime is more than ever just a “spectacle” of immigration enforcement – a pose for media and key voter audiences, rather than a realistic attempt to control migration flows. We also looked at how the scapegoat groups targeted by this spectacle have shifted over recent decades – including, most recently, a new focus on European migration accompanying, or in fact anticipating, the Brexit debate.

    Deportation destinations

    Home Office Immigration Statistics also provide more detailed dataiv on the destinations people are “returned” to, which will be important when we come to look at routes and airline involvement. Note that, while there is a big overlap between destinations and nationalities, they are of course not the same thing. For example, many of those deported to France and other western European countries are “third country” removals of refugees under the Dublin agreement – in which governments can deport an asylum seeker where they have already been identified in another EU country.

    Here are the top 20 destinations for deportations in 2019 – by which, to repeat, we mean all enforced returns:

    It is worth comparing these figures with a similar table of top 20 deportation destinations in the last 10 years – between 2010 and 2019. This comparison shows very strongly the recent shift to targeting Europeans.

    The Home Office: who is targeted and how

    As we will see, the actual physical business of deporting people is outsourced to private companies. The state’s role remains giving the orders about who is targeted for arrest and detention, who is then released, and who is forced onto a plane. Here we’ll just take a very quick look at the decision-making structures at work on the government side. This is based on the much more detailed account in The UK Border Regime.

    The main state body responsible for immigration control in the UK is the Home Office, the equivalent of other countries’ Interior Ministries. In its current set-up, the Home Office has three divisions: Homeland Security, which runs security and intelligence services; Public Safety, which oversees the police and some other institutions; and Borders, Immigration and Citizenship. The last of these is further divided into three “directorates”: UK Visas and Immigration, which determines visa and asylum applications; Border Force, responsible for control at the frontiers; Immigration Enforcement, responsible for control within the national territory – including detention and deportations. Immigration Enforcement itself has an array of further departments and units. Regular restructuring and reshuffling of all these structures is known to bewilder immigration officers themselves, contributing to the Home Office’s notoriously low morale.v

    At the top of the tree is the Home Secretary (interior minister), supported by a more junior Immigration Minister. Along with the most senior civil servants and advisors, these ministers will be directly involved in setting top-level policies on deportations.

    For example, an enquiry led by then prisons and probation ombudsman Stephen Shaw into the Yarl’s Wood detention centre revolt in 2002 has given us some valuable insight into the development of modern Home Office deportation policy under the last Labour government. Then Home Secretary Jack Straw, working with civil servants including the Home Office permanent secretary Sir David Omand, introduced the first deportation targets we are aware of, in 2000. They agreed a plan to deport 12,000 people in 2000-1, rising to 30,000 people the next year, and eventually reaching 57,000 in 2003-4.vi

    Nearly two decades later, Home Secretary Amber Rudd was pushed to resign after a leak confirmed that the Home Office continued to operate a deportation targets policy, something of which she had denied knowledge.vii The 2017-18 target, revealed in a leaked letter to Rudd from Immigration Enforcement’s director general Hugh Ind, was for 12,800 enforced returns.viii

    As the figures discussed above show, recent austerity era Conservative governments are more modest than the last Labour government in their overall deportation targets, and have moved to target different groups. Jack Straw’s deportation programme was almost entirely focused on asylum seekers whose claims had been refused. This policy derived from what the Blair government saw as an urgent need to respond to media campaigns demonising asylum seekers. Twenty years on, asylum seekers now make up a minority of deportees, and have been overtaken by new media bogeymen including European migrants.

    In addition, recent Home Office policy has put more effort into promoting “voluntary” returns – largely for cost reasons, as security guards and detention are expensive. This was the official rationale behind Theresa May’s infamous “racist van” initiative, where advertising vans drove round migrant neighbourhoods parading “Go Home” slogans and a voluntary return hotline number.

    How do Home Office political targets translate into operations on the ground? We don’t know all the links, but can trace some main mechanisms. Enforced returns begin with arrests. One of the easiest ways to find potential deportees is to grab people as they walk in to sign at an Immigration Reporting Centre. 80,000 migrants in the UK are “subject to reporting requirements”, and all Reporting Centres include short-term holding cells.ix Other deportees are picked up during immigration raids – such as daytime and evening raids on workplaces, or dawn raids to catch “immigration offenders” in their beds.x

    Both reporting centre caseworkers and Immigration Compliance and Enforcement (ICE) raid squads are issued with targets and incentives to gather deportees. An Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) report from 2017 explains how reporting centre staff work specifically to deportation targets. The inspector also tells us how:

    Staff at the London Reporting Centres worked on the basis that to meet their removal targets they needed to detain twice the number of individuals, as around half of those detained would later raise a barrier to removal and be released from detention.

    ICE raid teams are set monthly priorities by national and regional commanders, which may include targeting specific nationalities for deportation. For example, the Home Office has repeatedly denied that it sets nationality targets in order to fill up charter flights to particular destinations – but this practice was explicitly confirmed by an internal document from 2014 (an audit report from the director of Harmondsworth detention centre) obtained by Corporate Watch following a Freedom of Information legal battle.xi

    Day-to-day deportation and detention decisions are overseen by a central unit called the National Removals Command (NRC). For example, after ICE raid officers make arrests they must call NRC to authorise individuals’ detention. This decision is made on the basis of any specific current targets, and otherwise on general “removability”.

    “Removability” means the chance of successfully getting their “subject” onto a plane without being blocked by lack of travel documents, legal challenges and appeals, or other obstacles. For example, nationals of countries with whom the UK has a formal deportation agreement are, all other things being equal, highly removable. This includes the countries with which the UK has set up regular charter flight routes – including Albania, Pakistan, Nigeria and Ghana, and more recently Jamaica and a number of EU countries. On the other extreme, some nationalities such as Iranians present a problem as their governments refuse to accept deportees.

    The Home Office: “arranging removal” procedure

    A Home Office document called “Arranging Removal” sets out the steps Immigration Enforcement caseworkers need to take to steer their “subject” from arrest to flight.xii

    On the one hand, they are under pressure from penny-pinching bosses keen to get the job done as quick and cheap as possible. On the other, they have to be careful not to make any mistakes deportees’ lawyers could use to get flights cancelled. Immigration Officers have the legal power to order deportations without the need for any court decision – however, many deportations are blocked on appeal to courts.

    Here are some of the main steps involved:

    Removability assessment. The caseworker needs to assess that: there are no “casework barriers” – e.g., an ongoing asylum claim or appeal that would lead to the deportation being stopped by a court; the detainee is medically “fit to fly”; any family separation is authorised correctly; the detainee has a valid travel document.
    Travel Document. If there is no valid travel document, the caseworker can try to obtain an “emergency travel document” through various routes.
    Executive approval. If all these criteria are met, the caseworker gets authorisation from a senior office to issue Removal Directions (RD) paperwork.
    Risk Assessment. Once the deportation is agreed, the caseworker needs to assess risks that might present themselves on the day of the flight – such as medical conditions, the likelihood of detainee resistance and of public protest. At this point escorts and/or medics are requested. A version of this risk assessment is sent to the airline – but without case details or medical history.xiii
    Flight booking. The caseworker must first contact the Airline Ticketing Team who grant access to an online portal called the Electronic Removal Form (ERF). This portal is run by the Home Office’s flight booking contractor Carlson Wagonlit (see below). Tickets are booked for escorts and any medics as well as the deportee. There are different options including “lowest cost” non-refundable fares, or “fully refundable” – the caseworker here should assess how likely the deportation is to be cancelled. One of the options allows the caseworker to choose a specific airline.
    Notice of removal. Finally, the deportee must be served with a Removal Directions (RD) document that includes notification of the deportation destination and date. This usually also includes the flight number. The deportee must be given sufficient notice: for people already in detention this is standardly 72 hours, including two working days, although longer periods apply in some situations.

    In 2015 the Home Office brought in a new policy of issuing only “removal window” notification in many cases – this didn’t specify the date but only a wide timeframe. The window policy was successfully challenged in the courts in March 2019 and is currently suspended.

    #Carlson_Wagonlit

    The electronic booking system is run by a private company, #Carlson_Wagonlit_Travel (#CWT). CWT is also in charge of contracting charter flights.

    Carlson Wagonlit has been the Home Office’s deportation travel agent since 2004, with the contract renewed twice since then. Its current seven year contract, worth £5.7 million, began in November 2017 and will last until October 2024 (assuming the two year extension period is taken up after an initial five years). The Home Office estimated in the contract announcement that it will spend £200 million on deportation tickets and charters over that seven year period.xiv

    Carlson is a global #business travel services company, i.e., a large scale travel agent and booker for companies and government agencies. Its official head office is in France, but it is 100% owned by US conglomerate #Carlson_Companies Inc. It claims to be active in more than 150 countries.

    A report on “outsourced contracts” by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration gives us some information on CWT’s previous (2010-17) contract.xv This is unlikely to be substantially changed in the new version, although deportation numbers have reduced since then. The contract involved:

    management of charter flights and ticketing provision for scheduled flights for migrants subject to enforced removal and escorts, where required, and the management of relationships with carriers to maintain and expand available routes. […] Annually, CWT processed approximately 21,000 booking requests from Home Office caseworkers for tickets for enforced removals. Some booking requests were for multiple travellers and/or more than one flight and might involve several transactions. CWT also managed flight rescheduling, cancellations and refunds. The volume of transactions processed varied from 5,000 to 8,000 per month.

    The inspection report notes the value of CWT’s service to the Home Office through using its worldwide contacts to facilitate deportations:

    Both Home Office and CWT managers noted that CWT’s position as a major travel operator had enabled it to negotiate favourable deals with airlines and, over the life of the contract to increase the range of routes available for enforced removals. (Para 5.10).

    The airlines: regular deportation collaborators

    We saw above that Home Office caseworkers book flight tickets through an online portal set up and managed by Carlson Wagonlit Travel. We also saw how CWT is praised by Home Office managers for its strong relationships with airlines, and ability to negotiate favourable deals.

    For charter flight deportations, we know that CWT has developed a particular relationship with one charter company called Titan Airways. We have looked at Titan in our previous reports on charter flight deportations.

    Does the Home Office also have specific preferred airline partners for scheduled flights? Unfortunately, this isn’t an easy question to answer. Under government procurement rules, the Home Office is required to provide information on contracts it signs – thus, for example, we have at least a redacted version of the contract with CWT. But as all its airline bookings go through the intermediary of CWT, there are no such contracts available. Claiming “commercial confidentiality”, the Home Office has repeatedly information requests on its airline deals. (We will look in a bit more depth at this issue in the annex.)

    As a result, we have no centrally-gathered aggregate data on airline involvement. Our information comes from individual witnesses: deportees themselves; their lawyers and supporters; fellow passengers, and plane crew. Lawyers and support groups involved in deportation casework are a particularly helpful reference, as they may know about multiple deportation cases.

    For this report, we spoke to more than a dozen immigration lawyers and caseworkers to ask which airlines their clients had been booked on. We also spoke to anti-deportation campaign groups including Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants, who have run recent campaigns calling on airlines to refuse to fly deportees; and to the trade union Unite, who represent flight crew workers. We also looked at media reports of deportation flights that identify airlines.

    These sources name a large number of airlines, and some names come up repeatedly. British Airways is top of the list. We list a few more prominent collaborators below: Easyjet, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, Royal Jordanian. Virgin Airlines is the only company to have publicly announced it has stopped carrying deportees from the UK – although there have been some questions over whether it is keeping this promise.

    However, the information we have does not allow us to determine the exact nature of the relationship with these airlines. How many airlines appear in the CWT booking system – what determines which ones are included? Does CWT have a preferential arrangement with BA or other frequent deportation airlines? Does the Home Office itself have any direct interaction with these airlines’ management? How many airlines are not included in the CWT booking system because they have refused to carry deportees?

    For now, we have to leave these as open questions.

    British Airways

    We have numerous reports of British Airways flying deportees to destinations worldwide – including African and Caribbean destinations, amongst others. Cabin crew representatives in Unite the Union identify British Airways as the main airline they say is involved in deportation flights.

    The airline has long been a key Home Office collaborator. Back in 2003, at the height of the Labour government’s push to escalate deportations, the “escort” security contractor was a company called Loss Prevention International. In evidence to a report by the House of Commons home affairs committee, its chief executive Tom Davies complained that many airlines at this point were refusing to fly deportees. But he singled out BA as the notable exception, saying: “if it were not for […] the support we get from British Airways, the number of scheduled flight removals that we would achieve out of this country would be virtually nil”.xvi

    In 2010, British Airways’ role was highlighted when Jimmy Mubenga was killed by G4S “escorts” on BA flight 77 from Heathrow to Angola.

    Since 2018, there has been an active calling on BA to stop its collaboration. The profile of this issue was raised after BA sponsored Brighton Pride in May 2018 – whilst being involved in deportations of lesbian and gay migrants to African countries where their lives were in danger. After winning a promise from Virgin Airways to cease involvement in deportations (see below), the group Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants (LGSM) have made BA the main target for their anti-deportation campaigning.

    The campaign has also now been supported by BA cabin crew organised in the union Unite. In December 2019 Unite cabin crew branches passed a motion against airline scheduled flight deportations.xvii

    Kenya Airways

    We have numerous reports from caseworkers and campaigners of Kenya Airways flying deportees to destinations in Africa.

    The typical route is a flight from Heathrow to Nairobi, followed by a second onward flight. People deported using this route have included refugees from Sudan and Somalia.

    Easyjet

    We have numerous reports of Easyjet flying deportees to European destinations. Easyjet appears to be a favoured airline for deportations to Eastern European countries, and also for “third country” returns to countries including Italy and Germany. While most UK scheduled deportations are carried out from Heathrow and Gatwick, we have also seen accounts of Easyjet deportations from Luton.

    Qatar Airways

    We have numerous reports of Qatar Airways carrying deportees to destinations in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Qatar Airways has carried deportees to Iraq, according to the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (IFIR), and also to Sudan. (In March 2019 the airline suspended its Sudan route, but this appears to have been restarted – the company website currently advertises flights to Khartoum in April 2020.xviii) Other destinations include Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Thailand, the Philippines, and Uganda. The typical route is from Heathrow via Doha.

    Turkish Airlines

    We have numerous reports of Turkish Airlines carrying deportees. The typical route is Heathrow or Gatwick to Istanbul, then an onward flight to further destinations including Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (IFIR), Turkish Airlines has been one of the main companies involved in deportations to Iraq. A media report from June 2019 also mentions Turkish Airlines carrying someone being deported to Somalia via Istanbul.xix In August 2017, a Turkish Airlines pilot notably refused to fly an Afghani refugee from Heathrow to Istanbul, en route to Kabul, after being approached by campaigners – but this does not reflect general company policy.xx

    Ethiopian Airlines

    We have reports of this airline deporting people to Ethiopia and other African countries, including Sudan. Flights are from Heathrow to Addis Ababa. In April 2018, high-profile Yarl’s Wood hunger striker Opelo Kgari was booked on an Ethiopian flight to Addis Ababa en route to Botswana.

    Air France

    Air France are well-known for carrying deportees from France, and have been a major target for campaigning by anti-deportation activists there. We also have several reports of them carrying deportees from the UK, on flights from Heathrow via Paris.

    Royal Jordanian

    According to IFIR, Royal Jordanian has been involved in deportations to Iraq.

    Virgin Airlines

    In June 2018, Virgin announced that it had ceased taking bookings for deportation flights. Virgin had previously been a regular carrier for deportations to Jamaica and to Nigeria. (NB: Nigeria is often used as a deportation transit hub from where people are subsequently removed to other African countries.) The announcement came after the Windrush scandal led to the Home Office apparently suspending deportations to the Caribbean, and following campaigning by Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants (LGSM) – although Virgin claimed it had made the decision before being contacted by the campaign. A Virgin statement said:

    we made the decision to end all involuntary deportations on our network, and have already informed the Home Office. We believe this decision is in the best interest of our customers and people, and is in keeping with our values as a company.xxi

    But there are doubts over just how much Virgin’s promise is worth. According to a report by The Independent:

    The airline had agreed to deport a man to Nigeria […] a day after announcing the decision. The only reason he wasn’t removed was because the Home Office agreed to consider new representations following legal intervention.xxii

    Do airlines have a choice?

    In response to its critics, British Airways has consistently given the same reply: it has no choice but to cooperate with the Home Office. According to an August 2018 article in The Guardian, BA says that it has “a legal duty under the Immigration Act 1971 to remove individuals when asked to do so by the Home Office.” A company spokesperson is quoted saying:

    Not fulfilling this obligation amounts to breaking the law. We are not given any personal information about the individual being deported, including their sexuality or why they are being deported. The process we follow is a full risk assessment with the Home Office, which considers the safety of the individual, our customers and crew on the flight.xxiii

    The last parts of this answer fit the process we looked at above. When booking the flight, the Home Office caseworker sends the airline a form called an Airline Risk Report (ARA) which alerts it to risk issues, and specifies why escorts or medics are needed – including an assessment of the likelihood of resistance. But no information should be shared on the deportee’s medical issues or immigration case and reasons for deportation.

    But is it true that an airline would be breaking the law if it refused a booking? Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants have shared with us a legal opinion they received from law firm Duncan Lewis on this issue. We summarise the main points here.

    The law in question is the Immigration Act 1971, Section 27(1)(b)(iii). This states that, when issued the correct legal order by the Home Office, the “owner or agent of a ship or aircraft” must “make arrangements for or in connection with the removal of a person from the United Kingdom when required to do so [by appropriate Removal Directions]”. It is an offence to fail to do so “without reasonable excuse”.

    The offence is punishable by a fine, and potentially a prison sentence of up to six months. As a minor “summary only” offence, any case would be heard by a magistrates’ court rather than a jury.

    In fact many airline captains have refused to carry deportees – as we will see in the next section. But there are no recorded cases of anyone ever being prosecuted for refusing. As with many areas of UK immigration law, there is simply no “case law” on this question.

    If a case ever does come to court, it might turn on that clause about a “reasonable excuse”. The legal opinion explains that the airline might argue they refused to carry a deportee because doing so would present a risk to the aircraft or passengers, for example if there is resistance or protest. A court might well conclude this was “reasonable”.

    On the other hand, the “reasonable excuse” defence could be harder to apply for an airline that took a principled stand to refuse all deportations as a general rule, whether or not there is disruption.

    Again, though, all this is hypothetical as the Home Office has never actually prosecuted anyone. Virgin Airlines, the first company to have publicly stated that it will not fly deportees from the UK, so far has not faced any legal comeback. As reported in the press, a Virgin spokesperson explained the company’s position like this:

    We’ve made the decision to end all involuntary deportations on our network, and have informed the Home Office. We always comply with the law and would continue to comply with legislation; however, we have ended our contractual agreement to carry involuntary deportees.xxiv

    Due to our lack of information on Home Office agreements with airlines, it’s hard to assess exactly what this means. Possibly, Virgin previously had an outstanding deal with the Home Office and Carlson Wagonlit where their tickets came up on the CWT booking portal and were available for caseworkers, and this has now ended. If the Home Office insisted on contacting them and booking a ticket regardless, they might then be pushed to “comply with the law”.

    Above we saw that, according to evidence referred to in a report of the House of Commons home affairs select committee, in 2003 the majority of airlines actually refused to carry deportees, leaving the Home Office to depend almost exclusively on British Airways. Even in this context there were no prosecutions of airlines.

    This is not an uncommon situation across UK immigration law: much of it has never come to court. For example, as we have discussed in reports on immigration raids, there have been no legal cases testing many of the powers of ICE raid squads. To give another example, on numerous occasions campaigners have obstructed buses taking detainees to charter flights without any prosecution – the Stansted 15 trial of protestors blocking a plane inside the airport was the first high-profile legal case following an anti-deportation action.

    Even if the government has a legal case for prosecuting airlines, this could be a highly controversial move politically. The Home Office generally prefers not to expose the violence of its immigration enforcement activities to the challenge of a public legal hearing.

    Resistance

    We want to conclude this report on an upbeat note. Deportations, and scheduled airline flights in particular, are a major site of struggle. Resistance is not just possible but widespread and often victorious. Thousands of people have managed to successfully stop their “removals” through various means, including the following:

    Legal challenges: a large number of flights are stopped because of court appeals and injunctions.
    Public campaigning: there is a strong tradition of anti-deportation campaigning in the UK, usually supporting individuals with media-focused and political activity. Common tactics include: media articles highlighting the individual’s case; enlisting MPs and appealing to ministers; petitions, letters of support; mass phone calls, emails, etc., to airlines; demos or leafletting at the airport targeting air crew and passengers.
    Solidarity action by passengers: in some high-profile cases, passengers have refused to take their seats until deportees are removed. This creates a safety situation for the airline which may often lead to the pilot ordering escorts to remove their prisoner.
    Direct action by detainees: many detainees have been able to get off flights by putting up a struggle. This may involve, for example: physically resisting escorts; taking off clothes; shouting and appealing to passengers and air crew for help. Unless the deportee is extremely strong physically, the balance of force is with the escorts – and sometimes this can be lethal, as in the case of Jimmy Mubenga. However, pilots may often order deportees off their plane in the case of disruption.

    There are many reports of successful resistance using one or more of these tactics. And we can also get some glimpses of their overall power from a few pieces of aggregate information.

    In a 2016 report, the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration revealed one telling figure. Looking at the figures for six months over 2014-15, he found that “on average 2.5 tickets were issued for each individual successfully removed.”xxv Some of this can be put down to the notorious inefficiency of Home Office systems: the Inspection report looks at several kinds of coordination failures between Home Office caseworkers, the escort contractor (at that point a subsidiary of Capita), and Carlson Wagonlit.

    But this is not the biggest factor. In fact, the same report breaks down the reasons for cancellation for a sample of 136 tickets. 51% of the sampled cancellations were the result of legal challenges. 18% were because of “disruptive or non-compliant behaviour”. 2% (i.e., three cases) were ascribed to “airline refusal to carry”.

    Where there is resistance, there is also reaction. As we have discussed in previous reports, one of the main reasons prompting the development of charter flights was to counter resistance by isolating deportees from passengers and supporters. This was very clearly put in 2009 by David Wood, then strategic director of the UK Border Agency (Home Office), who explained that the charter flight programme is:

    “a response to the fact that some of those being deported realised that if they made a big enough fuss at the airport – if they took off their clothes, for instance, or started biting and spitting – they could delay the process. We found that pilots would then refuse to take the person on the grounds that other passengers would object.”xxvi

    For both deportees and supporters, charter flights are much harder to resist. But they are also very expensive; require specific diplomatic agreements with destination countries; and in some cases (Iraq, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka) have been blocked by legal and political means.xxvii The Home Office cannot avoid the use of scheduled flights for the majority of deportations, and it will continue to face resistance.

    –—
    Annex: issues with accessing airline information

    We will expand a bit here on the issues around obtaining information on the Home Office’s relationships with airlines.

    Under UK and EU public sector procurement rules, central government departments are obliged to publish announcements of all contracts valued over £10,000, including on the contractsfinder website. However, there is no publicly available information on any contracts between the Home Office and specific airlines. This is legally justifiable if the Home Office has no direct contractual agreements with airlines. It has a signed contract with Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), which is published in a redacted form; and CWT then makes arrangements with airlines on a per-ticket basis.

    The Home Office certainly has knowledge of all the tickets booked on its behalf by CWT – indeed, they are booked by its own employees through the CWT maintained portal. And so it certainly knows all the airlines working for it. But it has refused all requests for this information, using the excuse of “commercial confidentiality”.

    There have been numerous attempts to request information on deportation airlines using the Freedom of Information Act.xxviii All have been refused on similar grounds. To give one standard example, in December 2018 A. Liberadzki requested statistics for numbers of removals carried out by British Airways and other scheduled airlines. The response confirmed “that the Home Office holds the information that you have requested.” However, it argued that:

    “we have decided that the information is exempt from disclosure under sections 31(1)e and 43(2) of the FOIA. These provide that information can be withheld if its disclosure would have a detrimental effect on the Home Office and its ability to operate effective immigration controls by carrying out removals or would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any persons (including the public authority holding it).”

    In April 2019 Kate Osamor MP put similar questions to the Home Secretary in parliament.xxix She received the same reply to all her questions:

    “The Home Office does not disclose the details or values of its commercial contracts. Doing so could discourage companies from dealing with the Home Office.”

    Of course this answer is blatantly false – as we just saw, the Home Office is legally obliged to disclose values of commercial contracts over £10,000.

    https://corporatewatch.org/uk-deportations-2020-how-ba-easyjet-and-other-airlines-collaborate-w

    #rapport #corporate_watch #compagnies_aériennes #British_Airways #avions #renvois #expulsions #asile #migrations #déboutés #sans-papiers #UK #Home_Office #résistance #Jimmy_Mubenga

    ping @isskein @karine4 @reka

  • Last week 7 and this week 9 provinces were opened after some weeks quarantined. There are still 16 out 81 provinces in #Turkey, including Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, where it is forbidden to enter or to leave -except under certain provisions- due to #Covid19. -Andrés Mourenza

    https://twitter.com/Andresmourenza/status/1260144674846789633/photo/1

    #Covid-19#Turquie#Confinement#Quarantaine#Carte#Pandémie#migrant#migration

  • Last week 7 and this week 9 provinces were opened after some weeks quarantined. There are still 16 out 81 provinces in #Turkey, including Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, where it is forbidden to enter or to leave -except under certain provisions- due to #Covid19. -Andrés Mourenza

    https://twitter.com/Andresmourenza/status/1260144674846789633/photo/1 - Redimensionnée (90%)
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EXzuyPSXgAUz-Cu?format=jpg&name=large

    #Covid-19#Turquie#Confinement#Quarantaine#Carte#Pandémie#migrant#migration