AYS Daily Digest 04/04/2017: Possible nerve gas attack leaves 58 dead in Syria

Riots in Moria as tension keeps rising // Police continues to harass refugees in Calais // Peaceful protest for shelter in Italy // Deportations from Finland to Afghanistan // Tusk supports keeping the doors shut

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Photo by BAAM

Feature

Today many innocent people have been targeted on Khan Sheikhoun, a Syrian town in the Idlib province. At least 58 people, including 11 children, have been killed by what’s thought to be a “nerve agent” in a bombing raid on the rebel-held Syrian town. Sadly chemical weapons have been used in many occasions in the conflict throughout this long war, most of the times being chlorine gas the toxic agent used on the attacks. This time there though, patients presented symptoms like choking or fainting, and some foaming from the mouth and contracted pupils as reported by The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and there was no chlorine smell on the bodies. The United nations said they would investigate it as a possible war crime but was currently not in a position to independently verify these reports that, if confirmed like it seems, it will mark the deadliest chemical attack in Syria since sarin gas killed hundreds of civilians in Ghouta near the capital in August 2013. Then the Syrian government was blamed by the western states but Damascus blamed the rebels.

“In that situation, the treatment tends to be to try and strip people off, to get the chemicals away from their bodies, to hose them down as quickly as possible.”

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White helmets helping victims of the attack-photo by One Nation
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Greece

Volunteers on Lesvos reported today that there has been unrest in Moria detention centre yesterday and today as refugees resisted the police intentions to arrest and later deport anyone without a valid document. When the refugees refused to collaborate, riot police intervened using violence causing injuries on some of the refugees involved.

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Islands

There have been a few arrivals reported by volunteers today as 2 boats arrived in the early hours of the day, the first with 16 people — 3 men, 2 women and 11 children and the second one with 14 people — 8 men, 2 women and 4 children. Home man was reportedly taken to hospital after he broke his arm on the landing but everyone else was ok although a bit wet. Volunteers from CESRT worked all night to provide first response to new arrivals with the cooperation of the port police, Frontex and waha (medical team).

Registrations

Today there were 47 new registrations on the islands as per official records:

The supermarket shelves are up and now we need food, hygiene, and baby product stock to help fill them

They also are willing to hear from you if you have any other goodies that could be useful in the center or on any of the spaces so please consider getting involved contacting Neda Kadri‎.

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Photo by Neda Kadri

Mainland

Today we get a report from New Kavala camp from a group of volunteers called We Are Here — Community Centre. More people are arriving to the camp and the it is starting to fill up. Currently the camp is at about half of it’s capacity but volunteers predict expansions in the near future. Its difficult to create school schedules with newcomers every week but this doesn’t seem that is gonna change any time soon so they take the challenge and continue to do their best. On We are Here and and Drop in the Ocean are working together to try to find new activities and and solutions to improve the life standards in the camp. Another group, Escosirak, the theatre group performed their new piece this week and there was also a world music dance party at the end.

Athens

Piraeus Open School for the Immigrants will launch on Wednesday April 5th, its first class of Greek language that will aim at the LGBTQI refugee and immigrant community of Athens. Classes will take place from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the premises of the Piraeus Open School for the Immigrants.
Address: Ko and Agion Anargyron, Palia Kokkinia, Piraeus.

Serbia

International Rescue Committee, Save the Childres and 10 other NGO’s estimate that 1,300 unaccompanied child refugees and migrants are at an increased risk of exploitation, violence and trafficking due to the restrictive border policies and inadequate social protection systems across the Balkans.

France

Police in Calais reportedly marched into an area used for distribution of food and emergency items and demand identity papers from refugees there, Refugee Info Bus said today.

Italy

Today in Pordenone, asylum seekers peacefully protested in front of the Perfecture and asked for their right to be given a place inside the Hub.

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Photo by Rete Solidale Pordenone
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Photo by Rete Solidale Pordenone

Finland

Deportations of Afghan refugees back to Afghanistan were planned for Monday evening from Helsinki by Finnish authorities and hundreds of people protested whilst some clashed with the police, while trying to stop the paddy wagons from leaving. Police sprayed gas to calm down the the protesters and also used dogs and batons on them.

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Photo by Teo Comet Kortman

EU

Today the two days lasting Syria Conference in Brussels started. In his opening speech Christos Stylianides, Humanitarian Aid & Crisis Management, said:

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Photo by Save the Children

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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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