AYS Daily Digest 19/6/17: Rome evicts its refugees; people choosing death over return to Libya

Pressure towards refugees manifests in police raids in Rome / Mediterranean countries hide collective responsibility for deadly policies / Family reunification to be restricted to 70 per month / Refugees still suffering from smugglers and violent police along the ‘Balkan route’ / Ahead of the World Refugee Day / And more news…

“Since yesterday our crew is in the search and rescue area. During this time they had to make several rescues under bad weather conditions. Yesterday, 74 people were admitted, who were then transferred to Von Hestia. Then 241 people were supplied with life jackets and and have then been transferred to the Phoenix. Today, our crew had to take care of 123 people on a rubber boat with waves of up to 2 meters. People will currently stay on our ship until a ship can come to take them to the nearest safe port.” — Jugend Rettet e.V. (Photo by Jugend Rettet e.V.)

FEATURE: Pressure on refugees builds up in the ‘eternal city’

The camp at Piazzale Maslax in Rome, where refugees were staying, was evicted today with no previous notice or warning.

(Photo and video by Baobab Experience)

SEA

Europe should direct safe rescues, not Libya!

This is the reality of the Mediterranean Sea. People would rather die than continue living in the hands of smugglers in Libya. — MSF Sea

“Recent incidents show how wrong it is for EU countries to entrust the lives of those in need of rescue to Libyan coast guard forces when there are safer alternatives,” Human Rights Watch concludes after reports that the Libyan forces had engaged in reckless conduct during rescue operations that endangered people being rescued in international waters in the Mediterranean.

GREECE

Lesbos

98 people were officially registered on Lesbos today.

Athens

(By Greek Forum of Refugees‎)

White card: how and when to renew it?

The Mobile Info Team reminds everyone about the importance of renewing their “white card” in time:

Restricted family reunification

The Mobile Info Team is also running an important petition against the slowing down and restriction of the family reunification scheme between Greece and Germany. Here is the petition.

Support refugees at Oinofyta

To mark World Refugee Day, the Oinofyta Wares team invites everyone to support the refugees at their camp by purchasing the bags they produce. On this occasion, they are selling two bags for the price of one.

Urgent need for experienced volunteers!

Our friends at Open Cultural Center — OCC are looking for team members at their cultural centre in Polykastro. Here’s what they are looking for in a potential new OCC colleague:

SERBIA

A recent poll in Serbia shows that about 3/5 of the population support and feel for the refugees, while 1/3 of them are scared that there are criminals and terrorists among them. The state secretary reminded the public that no refugee or migrant has been behind the recent attacks in Europe.

CROATIA

‘Safety and trust’ manifests in grown men beating unarmed boys

The number of testimonies that go to support claims that police violence has not stopped is growing each day. We have received more information, details, and corroborating testimonies that speak of intentional and organized beatings by Croatian police officials in the east of the country. Most of the stories we have heard, including the most recent ones, describe being taken in a van and brought to another location, where a group of police officers standing in two lines forces the unfortunate young boys to walk through them, giving them hard beatings with police bats, hitting and punching them, leaving them barely able to walk, and threatening them if they ever come back to Croatia.

Integration as a shared responsibility

This year’s Refugee Weeks in Croatia is especially focused on the need to create a system of inclusion that entails responsibility of all stakeholders — from individuals, to institutions. Croatia lacks a program of systematic integration and today’s refugees in the country achieve integration through their own efforts in fields opened up to them by volunteer organizations and civil society networks. The state is to a large extent “idle,” hiding behind the excuse that Croatia is a transit country and nobody wants to stay there. Less than a third of those who received asylum in Croatia moved to another country afterwards, in spite of the poorly designed and uncoordinated integration policies currently in place. This alone is evidence that real integration in the country remains a high priority for all segments of society.

FRANCE

Refugee Community Kitchen reports that,

GENERAL

War, violence and persecution have uprooted more men, women and children around the world than at any time in the seven-decade history of UNHCR

A record 65.6 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced from their homes owing to conflict or persecution by the end of 2016, the United Nations said. The number includes 22.5 million refugees, 40.3 million internally displaced people and 2.8 million asylum seekers. Syrians continued to be the largest forcibly displaced population, with 12 million people at the end of 2016, while the situation in South Sudan is the fastest growing refugee crisis and displacement crisis, according to the UN refugee chief.

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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