AYS DAILY DIGEST 03.11.2016 — Ultimatum hangs over the heads of East Aleppo rebels.

A demolished building in rebel-held East Aleppo. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Feature

Russia has announced that a ‘humanitarian pause’ is to take place in Aleppo on November 4, from 9am to 7pm, to give civilians and rebels one last chance to leave the besieged eastern districts of the city. The plan includes a total of eight corridors, 6 for civilians and 2 for rebels, that will allow those wishing to leave a final chance to do so before what will be a massive military push to bring the rebel-controlled districts under the Syrian regime’s control.

Drone footage taken in September shows what is left of of the rebel-held areas.

“Russia is already bombing us. This doesn’t make us scared. It won’t be that different for us if they increase their attacks.”

There is no telling how this offensive will go. Indeed, the regime and Russia have already made several heavy pushes this year to take rebel-held neighborhoods of the city, only to be pushed back by rebel groups. The rebels are making a concerted effort to hold their ground as before. Their morale remains strong despite hellish conditions in the besieged city. A government victory in East Aleppo would, in their eyes, mean the consolidation of power in a time when thanks to its Russian and Iranian allies, the regime at last has a military advantage against those who seek to depose it.

Syria

Khan Eshieh Palestinian refugee camp is under siege.

The following harrowing report comes to us from Budour Hassan on Twitter:

SNHR releases numbers of dead for the month.

Aleppo doctor calls for donations to help hospital on the frontlines of war.

In a Facebook post, Dr. Shajul Islam made the following request:

Bulgaria

Refugees trying to enter Bulgaria are beaten on the border.

Stories of Bulgarian hostility towards those who wish to cross the country on their route to Western Europe is well-known. A new report published in The Intercept has uncovered a darker side to the story. The piece chronicles the attempts made by a group of refugees to cross from Turkey into Bulgaria, and reveals that the border police has extorted bribes from those making the crossing.

“15 passengers, 1,400 euros ($1,561) for the group. And then, finally: a time and a location pin via Google Maps. Bulgarian police, the smugglers said, would tell them to meet at a certain mile marker along the border.”

200 refugees took part in a hunger strike in Busmantsi Detention Center.

The residents of the camp cite difficult conditions in the center, including lack of medical care, substandard food, and dirtiness, as well as discrimination against Pakistanis seeking asylum. The hunger strike was called off after police promised to act on the refugees’ demands.

24 refugees detained by Bulgarian police.

The refugees, all of whom are from Afghanistan, were found being smuggled in several cars in Eastern Bulgaria when the vehicles were stopped for a traffic check.

5 men responsible for assaults on refugees arrested in Sofia.

The attackers were arrested on Wednesday after they had attacked a group of refugees outside of a restaurant, and are now in police custody.

Greece

Paramedic / nursing volunteers are needed on Chios!

Project Hope 4 Kids asks for applicants to teaching positions in Filippiada

Long-distance Arabic, Farsi, and Kurdish translators are needed.

A total of 82 arrivals, with 71 to Lesvos and 11 to Rhodes.

Donations needed to buy clothing for refugees!

Greek Migration Ministry general secretary resigns.

Vasilis Papadopoulos has submitted his resignation, according to one newspaper as a result of the increasingly volatile situation on the islands.

Hungary

Austrian military unit sent to patrol Hungarian/Serbian border.

There are already 20 Austrian police officers on the Serbo-Hungarian border, and they are about to be joined by several more who are to remain for six months. Hungary has been particularly keen on preventing refugees from ‘illegally’ crossing the border to make their way into other EU countries, and Hungarian police along the border have been known to use force against those who make such a crossing.

Germany

Police statements questioned following a “hunt” staged against refugees.

On Tuesday, group of 40–50 fascists staged a hunt against two refugees in the town of Bautzen in Saxony. The two were fortunately able to escape. Unfortunately, some are saying that the police failed to intervene until the very last moment. Furthermore, contradicting eyewitness reports, the police downplayed the story on the following day, saying that there were closer to 10–15 attackers who threw stones at the refugees after an altercation had occurred between the refugees and a German teenager.

France

Following shutdown of Calais camp, police plans to dismantle camp in the vicinity of Stalingrad in Paris.

The operation is to begin by the end of this week, according to the French interior ministry. This will entail the relocation of 4,000 refugees, for many of whom accommodations simply do not exist. This, along with the long and dramatic Calais saga, goes to showcase the French state’s unpreparedness in the face of the refugee crisis.

Transfers from Calais are being finalized.

Over 1,600 refugee minors have been moved to CAOMIE centers from Calais. Additionally, the women and children who were at Jules Ferry Center have been transferred to the camps, which are located throughout France.

Libya

Some of the 605 refugees rescued today by MOAS vessels. Photo Credit: Francesco Malavolta.

At least 239 refugees were killed after two boats capsized.

Refugees told their saviors about the catastrophe which took place off the coast of Libya. The gruesome accident happened after smugglers who arrange the journeys told migrants that European training of Libyan coastguards means the rescue missions will soon be handed over to Libya and any rescued migrants will be taken ashore in Libya rather than Italy. This possibly caused the rush to board boats now, he said, although the information, gleaned from rescued migrants, was not confirmed.

Italy

Amnesty International brings attention to abuse of refugees in Italy, European Commission says that it cannot be held responsible.

Amnesty International has published a new report today which brings to light horrific allegations of asylum seekers in Italy. According to Amnesty, the abuses are the result of the hotspot system, which requires that all refugees be fingerprinted upon arrival to Italy. The failure of relocation programs has meant that the Greek and Italian systems are overburdened. This puts pressure on all involved, and according to one witness testimony, a refugee who refused to be fingerprinted was tasered into submission. Another alleged that policemen has tasered his testicles.

BREAKING NEWS FROM BAOBAB EXPERIENCE — ROME:

UK

Demonstration staged outside of Russian embassy in London.

Daily news digests from the field, mainly for volunteers and refugees on the route, but also for journalists and other parties.

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