AYS DAILY DIGEST 19.05.2016.

The situation in Idomeni still tense, but calm. Volunteers are allowed to enter the camp. Many people were affected by tear gas used by border police at Idomeni yesterday, including pregnant women and children. Camps on the Greek islands Samos, Lesbos and Chios are “are unsanitary and severely overcrowded”, HRW concludes. The deadline for Special Immigrant Visa applications from Afghan former military interpreters is May 31st. Bulgarian government to strengthen the border. The number of refugees in Serbia is increasing. Call for action from Hungary.

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Weather Forecast for Friday May 20th & Saturday May 21st

Greece

Situation in Idomeni is calm

Until the late afternoon today, regular volunteers were forbidden from entering the camp. Only officials from organizations like MSF, Red Cross, IRC, and STC were allowed to enter. All volunteers were sent back. Representatives of Borderfree were inside the camp when the protests started. They stayed there for the duration of the conflict, trying to provide food for people while the food deliveries were being denied at the camp.

“Our volunteers in the camp — worn out from the night shift — did their best, cooked hummus and tea. With the food supplies left, a menu was planned for today. Even refugees brought several parcels with Pasta so that it would be sufficient for everyone. Women offered to bake the 300 missing flatbreads for tomorrow. The willingness to help the refugees and the volunteer Organizations is immense and touches us deeply!”

Greek Reporter published a video from the camp saying that three police officers were injured, along with an unknown number of refugees.

Volunteers were posting today photos of what was found in the camp after the police action.

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100 new arrivals to Greece

Unsanitary and severely overcrowded camps

Police at these “hotspots,” according to HRW, is failing to protect people during frequent incidents of violence in closed centers. For example, none of the three centers separate single women from unrelated adult men. In the words of Bill Frelick, refugee rights director at HRW, present conditions are creating an atmosphere of chaos.

“In Europe’s version of refugee camps, women and children who fled war face daily violence and live in fear. Lack of police protection, overcrowding, and unsanitary conditions create an atmosphere of chaos and insecurity in Greece’s razor wire-fenced island camps.”

The report concludes that Greek and EU authorities:

“…should take immediate steps to ensure the security and protection of women and children in the hotspots as well as all other residents. Women, children, and families should be provided with secure sleeping, toilet, and bathing facilities separate from those for single men. Greece should not detain people in overcrowded and unsanitary facilities.”

Police director resigned due to refugee situation

UNHCR pre-registration program info

The pre-registration program is the answer to the overload on the existing Skype system. Asylum Service (AS) is over-stretched and cannot register all asylum claims properly if it is forced to operate quickly. Pre-registration ensures that biographical data is registered and that the asylum interview is set for a later date (full claim submission) — receiving a decision is the final stage. More here.

Deadline for Special Immigrant Visa

Help needed

Bulgaria

Bigger and stronger wall

Serbia

Up to 600 people daily in Belgrade

The refugees over the last couple of days are predominantly composed of Afghani citizens along with a smaller number of Syrian and Iraqi families with children. They are mainly coming from Macedonia, via Preshevo, while smaller part comes from Bulgaria, via Stara planina, according to Info Park.

Most of the refugees spend the night in asylum camp in Krnjaca led by the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration of the Republic of Serbia.

Info Park and other organizations offering assistance to the refugees in transit, appeal to others in providing food, drinks and other necessary goods, as well as clothes and hygiene packages.

Info Park said they urgently need the provision of quality meals in the morning hours and children’s clothing of all sizes. More information is available at the network’s Facebook page.

Call for volunteers

Hungary

Appeal for action

There are 11 people on trial in Hunagry now, all accused of participating in the mass riot. Among them are three vulnerable persons. Group Free the Röszke eleven! in their call for action says:

We want it to be clear, we will not reserve our condemnation of this absurd and violent act for the Hungarian government alone as the most right wing or “evil“ country in EU, like many of the so-called “democratic”state institutions, NGOs, and mass media do. The “Horgoš/Röszke” trial reveals the fact that there is a system in which state and police violence is never questioned, and in which money and goods can move freely but while people cannot. They are only valuable in this system as cheap, illegalized workers or consumers. No one should be forgotten! United against all prisons and fences!

Slovenia

First arrivals to Slovenia

General

People deserve better governments

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The new Refugees Welcome Index, based on a global survey of more than 27,000 people carried out by the internationally renowned strategy consultancy GlobeScan, ranks 27 countries across all continents based on people’s willingness to let refugees live in their countries, towns, neighborhoods, and homes. Amnesty International Secretary General, Salil Shetty, said:

“These figures speak for themselves. People are ready to make refugees welcome, but governments’ inhumane responses to the refugee crisis are badly out of touch with the views of their own citizens.”

Refugees are bringing prosperity

According to the findings, “investing one euro in refugee assistance can yield nearly two euros in economic benefits within five years.” The research predicts that from 2015 to 2020 the public debt in EU countries will increase by 68.8 billion euros as a consequence of the assistance provided to refugees, social transfers, and unemployment benefits. However, the cumulative GDP in the same period will increase by 126.6 billion euros as a consequence of refugees’ economic contribution in the host communities as they start being integrated, working, paying taxes, and spending money.
Refugees will, therefore, have a positive impact on demography and economy, it finds.

A free space in Izmir

Kapılar is a community space for self-organizing and learning. All are welcome so that relationships between long-term locals and newer arrivals to the area can develop. Activities at the space have included language lessons, music events, children’s shows, community kitchens, gardening projects, and women’s discussion groups. Decision-making at Kapılar is participatory and is inclusive of all contributors.”

If you’d like to participate, you may get in touch with them on their FB page.

Announcement

Guide to Asylum, reunification, and relocation in Greece is now available in Urdu, Arabic and Kurdish:

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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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