AYS Daily Digest 08/05/17: 6000 arrivals by sea this weekend, at least 193 lives lost

Previously unheard audio of a 2013 sinking boat call in the Mediterranean / Evacuation of fighters from Barzeh started / Update on Belgrade barracks demolition / Right wing group attacks solidarity manifestation in Stockholm / Info from Greece and more

source Sea-Watch

Mediterranean sea during the past weekend

Excluding the latest shipwrecks, more than 1,150 people have disappeared or died so far this year trying to reach Italy from North Africa, where a breakdown of law and order has allowed people smugglers to operate with impunity.

UNHCR High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi commented on the past weekend in disbelief about increasing violence used by smugglers. Grandi said he was “profoundly shocked by the violence used by some smugglers”, somehow finding it shocking that people exploiters would use violence.

The UN refugee agency has however defended private aid groups rescuing people in the Mediterranean, some of which were targeted and shamefully accused by the Italian right-wing of cooperating with smugglers in Libya. Italy’s ruling Democratic Party and the European Commission have also defended the NGOs, reports DW.

UNHCR updated data on sea arrivals in Europe and numbers of dead and missing en route in 2017 in an infographic (pdf).

Sea Arrivals
30,617 in Q1 2017
171,132 in Q1 2016
361,709 in 2016
1,015,078 in 2015

Dead and Missing
836 in Q1 2017
732 in Q1 2016
5,096 in 2016
3,771 in 2015

“Call Malta”


Civil defense corps in liberated areas organized a protest today, demanding the halt of targeting the civil defense and medical centers by Assad’s forces and their allies, under the slogan “Stop bombing hospitals, mercy upon our children, let us live’’ and urging the international community to take responsibility for stopping the bombing of Syrians. Report by Mostafa Abo Arab — 07/05/2017

Syria’s government has dismissed the idea of UN peacekeepers patrolling four safe zones, reports DW. Walid al-Moallem, Syria’s foreign minister, said it is “premature” to talk about whether the deal with Russia, Turkey and Iran to set up safe zones will succeed.


Leros — arrests following attacks


The ‘House of Humanity’ facility update

Over 1500 hangers were used to hang up clothes in the clothing shop which will return to refugees their dignity in the aid distribution process.
The supermarket is set up but waiting for more stock to line it’s shelves.
The cafe was built… A fluorescent paint job and it will be ready to serve!
The entrance and garden area were planted…
An indoor playground for toddlers was built…
Some murals were completed while others just started…
The Art’s Center is well underway and the Women’s Empowerment Center is too!
The best part is that throughout this process we’ve been able to serve over 800 people… Providing clothing, food, and baby products!
If not for our amazing team of volunteers (who happen to also be refugees) and generous donors we would have never been able to do it…
We are incredibly proud of our progress thus far and cannot wait until all sections are complete!
THANK YOU for helping us make this happen!

Items are needed now to set up a Cafè, see how you can help here.

photo source: Rafat Al-hamoud

There were 44 new registrations on Samos today making a total of 233 over this weekend (Sat-Mon).

If you are interested in using your gardening skills to help a community in a refugee camp in Thessaloniki (in the long term), consider volunteering in Elpida’s community garden. It will involve taking care of the 100 plants and getting residents involved in projects developing the garden. If interested, contact Andrew for more information.



No Name Kitchen working on the spot issued a statement concerning the situation.

Residents from the barracks at the Chai Park getting to the bus to go to their designated camps, after realising this is their only chance, photo source No Name Kitchen

BalgrAid needs extra support now to prepare for and help during the eviction/closure of the barracks:

We have received confirmation that the eviction of 1200 refugees and migrants living at ‘the barracks’ in Belgrade is already starting and this eviction will be done over the next 20 days. These people are being forced to leave their home once again but many are woefully inequiped to do so. We urgently need donations so that we can continue to buy and provide essential items such as backpacks, shoes and underware.
A donation of €10 will provide somebody with a pair of shoes, €5 buys a backpack and approximately €2–3 will provide someone with a fresh set of socks and underpants. Please help us to make this unsettling process as humane and painless as possible.

Big Love
Team BelgrAid

Frontex on the “Balkan Route”

Among other concerning parts, the agreement includes, under Privileges and immunities of the members of the teams and Frontex staff:

They should also enjoy immunity from civil jurisdiction of [the Republic of Serbia/the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia] for the acts performed by them in the exercise of their official functions […] immunity from the criminal and civil jurisdiction of the host state and exemption from any obligation to give evidence as witnesses.



Baobab Experience posted this week’s cooking schedule, find it here.



London — temporary accommodation needed urgently


Stockholm — attack on a solidarity manifestation

On May 1st 50 refugee children along with shelter staff were evacuated from the center for lone refugee children prior to a neo-Nazi march held in the town of Falun, writes The Local. Around 500 people took part in a march by the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM). The municipality judged that the risk was high enough to justify moving the children from a shelter in the area to another location for a two day period. NRM is linked to prior bomb attack on centres for asylum seekers in Gothenburg.

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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