AYS Daily Digest 18/7/17: Another day of violence in Moria

Lebanese Army accused of torturing refugees / Hunger strike continues in Lesbos / Volunteers and donations needed in Greece / Violent pushbacks in Macedonia / Hundreds of refugees queue up for asylum in Paris / Austria furious with Italy’s visa proposition / Deportations stopped in Denmark / Belgium wants to stop rescue mission at sea / And more news…

A lone child caught up in the riot in Moria texts “[Police] threw many kind of bombs like this [teargas & stun grenades] behind our room” — Photo by Eva Cossé


A peaceful protest started this morning in Moria detention centre, that later evolved into violence between residents and the police, resulting in some injuries according to reports from the ground.

Photo by United Rescue Aid
Photo by United Rescue Aid
Photo by ‎مهاجر immigrant
Photo by ‎مهاجر immigrant


Middle East Eye has published a very disturbing article in which the Lebanese army is accused of torturing Syrian refugee prisoners, four of whom died in custody after they were picked up in mass raids at camps on the 30th of June near Arsal on the Syria-Lebanon border. The four men died after apparently spending several days in the custody of the Lebanese army after the raid, prompting the military to open an inquiry.

“We appreciate being praised for what we are offering, especially to displaced populations, but we are disappointed by the lack of burden-sharing and by the fact that most countries are trying to escape their international obligations to share the burden “


A hunger strike by imprisoned refugees in Moria prison has reached its 21st day.

Photo by Arash Hampay


According to official figures, 935 refugees & migrants arrived in Greece by sea between July 11 and July 18.


Contrary to what we reported on the 14th, when we got the information that there were no facilities for disabled people at Kara Tepe camp, we are glad to publish the information that these facilities do exist there, as has been reported by volunteers on the ground in the last few days.


Refugee Law Clinics Abroad in Chios has now opened an office on the island. For legal support please get in touch.


Today, according to volunteers on the ground, one refugee boat arrived at the island this morning with 47 people on board, 9 men, 14 women and 24 children.


InterVolve is urgently looking for Arabic / Sorani Speakers at Koutsochero Camp near Larissa. If you are able to volunteer with them, please see the role description and application form attached. Female volunteers are especially welcome to support work in the new women’s space.


The Ombudsman of the Republic of Macedonia, Ixhet Memeti, presented the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) report which draws attention to the situation in camps. At a press conference in Skopje, he spoke about the event which took place between Saturday and Sunday when the Macedonian police removed 18 foreigners from the transit refugee center in Tabanovce, using violence against them.


There are still many refugees on the streets of Paris despite the recent evacuation and, according to volunteers on the ground, this morning the police parked six trucks next to the asylum offices where around 200 refugees are sleeping right now waiting for their appointments. Some have been sleeping there on the street for one month. The police makes them stay between the fence and the wall of the building, which leaves very little space.

Photo by LaMeute
Photo by LaMeute


After Italy suggested recently it could issue some humanitarian visas to ease the pressure in the country by allowing refugees to travel to other European countries, Austria replied today, saying “it is unacceptable”. The Minister of Interiors Wolfgang Sobotka commented — in that case, we will introduce immediate controls at Brennero”. The idea that humanitarian visas could be issued to migrants “would be absurd, because if people could pass, more and more people would arrive, and this would raise the burden for Italy and Greece”. The hypothesis “has not been discussed today” in the Council of Foreign Affairs, where “no declaration in such a sense has been made” said minister Sebastian Kurz’s, specifying that “if this happens, Austria will protect the Brennero border”.

Photo by Bios Lab


Some numbers concerning Afghan refugees in Germany: The protection rate for Afghan refugees has been further decreasing this year. From 55.8% in 2016 to 44.1% the first half year of 2017. The numbers for the previous years were 47.9% (2013), 46.7% (2014) and 46% in 2015.

Photo by chris


In the last two weeks, deportations from Denmark to Afghanistan were stopped because of human beings’ choice to just not let it happen. During both deportations at least one passenger chose to act and the refugees that were sent for deportation where taken off the plane. The passenger refused to fasten his/her own seat belt.
Today a group of activists again showed up at the airport to hand out flyers and inform people about the upcoming deportation of the young Zolmai from Afghanistan.


There are worrying news coming from this country. The Secretary of Asylum and Migration, Theo Francken, wants Belgium to withdraw from their rescue mission in the Mediterranean with their boat Louise-Marie since, according to him, this creates a pull effect for illegal migrants. The boat Louise-Marie has been participating since 18th June in the European mission “Sophia” to fight against trafficking of humans and weapons in the Mediterranean. The boat rescued 118 refugees at sea up to the end of June. The boat does “good work, but we’d better stop it”, said Theo Francken. “Look, endangered persons need to be saved. But they should not be brought to Europe. This creates a pull effect, which only creates more deaths as a consequence. That’s a shame for Europe”, he says.


Today in Parliament the leader of the Liberal Democrats called for a debate to allow more unaccompanied child refugees to come to the UK.

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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