AYS Daily Digest 15/01/18: Suicide Attacks in Baghdad show Iraq is no “safe third country”

Attacks on civilians in Syria//Boats missing at sea//Samos camp overcrowded and unsafe//Volunteers needed on Mainland//Macron ignores plight of refugees// Croatian government fails to meet education needs for children//Asylum appeals in Germany//and more…

“Aquarius looking for potential survivors around the wreck of an empty inflatable boat found this monday in international waters 37 nautical miles off Libya.” Photo Credit: SOS Mediterranee


Two suicide bombers detonated devices in a crowded market in Central Baghdad today. The attackers seemed to be operating in concert, as they struck one immediately after the other. So far, at least 38 people have been reported dead and 108 have been wounded. While no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, many supsect that Daesh (ISIS) may be behind it, as they have been behind other attacks in Baghdad in the past year.


A missile fired yesterday struck a refugee camp in the Idlib province. Footage shows men, women, and children fleeing the scene of the disaster. It is unknown how many have been killed in the attack. This week’s attack marks perhaps the most obvious violation of the Turkish-Russian-Assad Government treaty signed in Kazakhstan recently. This missile attack came in the middle of a wide spread campaign against anti-Assad rebel faction in the Idlib region this week. It is unclear who fired the missile at this point, but given that the targets were likely anti-Assad rebels, it is speculated that it was fired by Assad government or Russian forces.


Six refugees were found dead today in a boat that landed on the Spanish island of Lanzarote, according to reprots from the Guardia Civil and the SMH rescue organization. Five refugees were found in the vessel. While the cause of death has not yet been determined, those on the scene reported that some of the bodies showed symptoms of hypothermia, and others of drowning. A sixth body was recovered from the water.

An empty dinghy found in the Mediterranean. 15/1/18.



According to statistics from Greek authorities, there were 49 transfers from the Aegean camps to the mainland yesterday. According to data from the Greek government, there have been more transfers than new arrivals in 2018, despite the high number of new arrivals recently.

Graphic Credit: Samos Volunteers.
Moria Camp, 15/1/18. Photo Credit: Hibai Arbide Aza.
Spotters on Lesvos. Photo Credit: Refugee Rescue.


We have received reports from the Filippiada camp in mainland Greece that some refugees who have sought accomodation there have been denied entrance. While the administration claims to be seeking housing for these refugees, they have remained homeless for the past weeks. Among those denied entrance are two young men who are sleeping below a roofline outside the camp. One of the young men is from Yemen, and suffers from a serious medical condition. The other young man is from Iraq and has serious injuries from a bombing. How much longer will they have to sleep in the cold?

Two young men seek refuge outside of the Filippiada camp. 1/13/18. Photo Credit: Anonymous Volunteer, shared through Ishtar group.


How desperate do you have to be? A young boy climbing out of the dashboard of a car, trying to reach the European border. Photo Credit: Spanish Interior Ministry


We have an update from independent volunteers in Paris today, who report that two years after starting their work, they have sadly seen little change in the capital. Thousands are still sleeping on the streets, and police abuse is commonplace. “When we organize collection of blankets, we learn that the police confiscate tents and blankets. We’re in winter! How to describe this action of our “ Republican Police,” who are endangering the lives of others? Their inhuman and degrading treatment is tantamount to torture!” Report volunteers working with the Wilson Solidarity Initiative.

Refugees sleeping on the street, Paris, 15/1/18. Photo Credit: Wilson Solidarity.


“A year on, most of these children are no longer in Croatia, while only one child has been granted international protection after a wait of almost one year.” Photo Credit: AYS

Out of a group of 28 children who AYS has been supporting in the last year, only ten remain in school today.

Of these ten, only two have been granted asylum, while the rest live under the constant fear that they could be deported. These are the consequences of Europe and Croatia’s inhumane asylum policies: children left without an education.


It was reported today that nearly half of all asylum seekers who appealed their first rejection decision are winning their appeals cases. This story highlights the need for refugees to have access to legal services, and to have full knowledge of their rights so they are able to make an appeal. If half of all asylum cases are being granted upon appeal, this suggests something may be seriously wrong with the initial process.

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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