AYS Daily Digest 22/08/17: NGOs prevent camp residents from joining protests

IOM and DRC accused of threatening people to cut supplies if they attend the march in Athens / Arrivals on Greek islands remain high / Volunteers needed / MDM returns to Porin and Kutina / Fights in Calais / Deportee returns to Finland after court decision / And more news…

Protests in Athens. Photo: Nikolas Georgiou

Feature — NGOs preventing camp residents from joining protests

AYS has received confirmation from various sources that IOM tried to prevent people from attending the demonstration. Staff threatened refugeees that they would not get food and other supplies if they joined the march. This pressure is a clear violation of the freedom of speech, which is a fundamental right. In fear of disadvantages, some people at Malakasa camp decided not to take the bus to Athens and join in the protests. Also, the Danish Refugee Council threatened people in Schisto and told them not to go. In this case people were told that their kids would not be able to go to school in September. A meeting for parents of shoolchildren was scheduled at the same time as the protest.

Photo by Katja Lihtenvalner




People sleeping rough on Samos.

In the first six months of 2017, a total of 9,286 refugees and migrants crossed the sea from Turkey to Greece, with many in need of international protection. Among the arrivals during this period, Syrian nationals continued to be the largest group comprising 37%, followed by nationals of Iraq (13%), the Democratic Republic of Congo (7%), Afghanistan (6%) and Algeria (6%). Most arrivals in the first six months of 2017 have been on Chios (33%), followed by Lesvos (29%), Samos (18%), and the South Dodecanese islands (16%). Between January and the end of June, the Turkish Land Forces reported intercepting 10,382 persons, amounting to an average of 57 per day.

Cyclist dies on Rhodes


Photo: Dråpen i Havet

Also, Refugee4Refugees is urgently looking for volunteers. A fundraising director as well as volunteers on the ground are needed to join their team in the North of Lesbos. Some tasks can also be done remotely. More information on their homepage.

Keep Talking Greece reports that he Greek government plans to turn some 15,000 refugees from war zones into farmers. The aim is to integrate them into Greek society. For this purpose, the Migration ministry is preparing an extensive program of skills and job training.

Team Up 2 Teach started a new initiative called Lifeline Teaching to bring together non-formal and formal educators of asylum seekers and refugees across Southeastern Europe to co-create a teaching resource: a book of wisdom. They invite teachers and program coordinators to contribute to this project and host four events.

  • Chalkida, Greece: Elpida Hope UK Hub, Dirfyon 1, Chalkida- Wednesday, September 13th (5:30–9:30pm)
  • Athens, Greece: The Cube, Klisovis 8, Athens — Thursday, September 14th (5:30–9:30pm)
  • Mytilini, Lesvos Greece (Location TBA) — Saturday, September 16th (10–3pm)
  • Belgrade, Serbia — ImpactHUB, Makedonska 21, Belgrade — Tuesday, September 19th (5:30–9:30pm)

Interested participants are asked to sign up because the number of places is limited.




Distribution in Serbia. Photo: FOTOMOVIMIENTO 15M

On 14 August, a young Algerian man committed suicide by throwing himself under the wheels of a moving locomotive on the Sid-Tovarnik railway near the border with Croatia.





One of the main reasons for the increase in sea and land crossings on the Western Mediterranean route was increased instability in the countries of origin and transit. In addition, the dismantling of makeshift camps in Morocco and Algeria acted as a “push factor” in displacing migrants to other areas.

To meet its goals of the relocation scheme from Italy and Greece, Spain would have to receive 390 people a day until the deadline of 26th December.


Several media report about clashes in Calais. Up to 200 people brawled in five incidents since Monday. According to the authorities, this was a fight between Afghans and Eritreans. The reasons the fight broke out is not yet known. A total of 21 people plus six police officers were injured.


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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.