AYS Daily Digest 12/10/17: Italy’s deal with Libya puts lives at risk

Souda camp to close tomorrow / Greek islands overcrowding persists / #opentheborder issue joint statement / Afghan family illegally deported to Finland / “Fantasy papers” given to refugees in Germany / And more news…

Where is Europe? Missing in the Mediterranean (Artwork by Marilena Nardi [Art Against])

FEATURE: Italy’s deal with Libya in contravention of Article 3 of Human Rights Convention

The Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Nils Muiznieks has reportedly written to Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti to ask what safeguards have been put in place by Italy to ensure it is not contravening Article 3 of the Convention of Human Rights. The convention clearly prohibits the “exposure of persons to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Yet Italy has sent naval ships into Libyan waters to support the return of refugees to Libya, a country run by multiple militias with its own displaced population to look after.


Press release from Sos Mediterraneé

SOS MEDITERRANEE have issued a press release having completed seven rescue operations in the last 36 hours and saved 606 lives. 40% of those rescued were children and many people reported experiencing violence, sexual abuse, and imprisonment in Libya, where Italy continues to support the ‘authorities’ in their efforts to detain refugees and prevent their escape.

“Without a safe alternative they have no choice but to attempt the crossing along the deadliest maritime route in the world!” — Sophie Beau, Vice-President of the international SOS MEDITERRANEE network

She continued: “SOS MEDITERRANEE calls once more on national and European leaders to deploy adequate search and rescue means in the Mediterranean, so that people seeking refuge do not have to cross the Mediterranean in unseaworthy boats. Faced with the lack of an adequate institutional rescue system, SOS MEDITERRANEE continues its mission at sea.

Support for SAR operation

(Photo by Maydayterraneo — Proyecto AitaMari)


New arrivals

(Erik Gerhardsson)


The official registrations for the day of October 11th are as follows:


Volunteers only found this group of refugees when they saw the fire they had made from their lifejackets.

(Photo by Ariel Ricker)

Lack of mental health services on Lesvos persists

There continues to be a lack of mental health services on Lesvos.

Dråpen i Havet calls for volunteers to relaunch beach watch program

Dråpen i Havet are in need of volunteers to restart their beach watch on Lesvos. You need to be over 25, have a driving licence, be able to stay for at least 10 days, and have some experience with First Aid and rescue work.

House of Humanity calls for donations

House of Humanity needs donations to buy nappies.

Souda Camp closed

According to local media, Souda camp on Chios will be officially decommissioned tomorrow (13/10/17) having been cleared by officials and the police today. The final phase will be carried out by UNHCR. 62 men are left in the remaining tents and will reportedly move out either to friends’ houses, their own apartments, or leave for mainland Greece. A few people were also registered in VIAL and have been forced to return there.

#OPENTHEISLANDS joint statement

#opentheislands have released a joint statement signed by over 40 solidarity groups condemning the situation on the Greek islands and demanding change.

#opentheislands (Legal centre Lesbos)

Overcrowding in the eastern Aegean

According to official sources there are now 14,036 refugees on the Eastern Aegean Islands—nearly three times the capacity of the detention centres there.


Fascist attack: update

Since the brutal attack on two migrant workers in Aspropyrgos on Saturday, three men have been arrested. Local media report that the attackers used brass knuckles and knives, leaving one victim with head injuries.

Human trafficking arrests

Another two people have reportedly been arrested by police in Rhodope prefecture in northern Greece. They were both Bulgarian and were found to be smuggling 54 undocumented migrants, 52 Syrians and two Somalis, into the country. They have been charged with human trafficking.

New women’s centre opening in Thessaloniki

InterVolve are opening a new women’s centre at the end of November in the centre of Thessaloniki. They will host educational activities and have a space for children so that women will not be held back by childcare responsibilities.

Team Kitrinos calling for a doctor to work on the mainland

Team Kitrinos are in urgent need of a Doctor to work in mainland camps. If you are interested please visit their page, read the letter and spread the word!

Khora Community Centre to close temporarily for maintenance

Khora Community Centre will be closed from October 28th to November 27th to carry out essential maintenance work. They will provide information about replacement services and spaces that people can use during this time. They look forward to welcoming everyone back soon.



(Photo by BelgrAid)


Afghan family illegally deported to Finland

An Afghan family with three children was deported on the morning of the October 11th to Finland in a private plane, and are now fearing expulsion to Afghanistan. The family had respected the residential rules, but about 10 police officers came for them (the children are 11, six, and six months old) at the hotel where they were staying in the department of Haut-Rhin. They were locked up for a day in the detention centre of Saint-Louis, and a private plane flew them from Mulhouse to Helsinki. They risk deportation to Kabul.


Surge in Turkish asylum seekers

In September, Turkish nationals became the third biggest group of asylum seekers in Germany, after Syrians and Iraqis. More than 900 asked for international protection. This is the same month that the Greek High Court ruled that Turkey was a safe country to return Syrians to.

“Fantasy papers” given to refugees

According to local media some cities in East Germany have stopped giving “Duldung” (tolerated status) papers to refugees. These are what people should receive if their asylum claim has been finally rejected, but a deportation is not possible. Instead, these cities give out “fantasy papers” (Dublin identity certifications) to refugees, an identification paper not granting any legal status or rights (such as getting a work permit, freedom of movement within Germany etc.) The state of Saxonia does not see any legal problems with giving out these documents. Lawyers have recommended that refugees who did not receive their “Duldung” should sue.


Refugee Rights Data Project, a human rights organisation which produces independent reports on human rights abuses against refugees within Europe, are asking for support to continue their research.

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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