AYS Daily Digest 25/06/2018: Salvini Refutes Torture in Libya

Italian Interior Minister meets Libyan Premier // Watch the Med Statement // Ports still closed to Lifeline // Fascist Attack in Athens // Body washed up in Ventimiglia // Statement against evictions in Paris // Updates from the sea, Bosnia, projects in Greece and France and more….

Photo credit: Vincent Cochetel https://twitter.com/cochetel/status/1011212749613957120

Feature: Salvini Refutes Torture in Libya

Before, during and after the meeting the Italian Minister used social media to make its ideas on migration even clearer. He thanked — “as a man and as a dad” — the Libyan coastguard for saving and returning to Libya 948 people. He condemned as false the “rhetoric of torture” in the country, and praised the local government for safety of the country.

MEDU reminded the minister of the testimonies gathered in the last few months from people who survived the journey across the Mediterranean.

A.K., 23 years, Mali (testimony collected in the CARA of Mineo, March 2018):

My brother, my brother Salif is here. I see him, He is here. His leg is wounded because the men in uniform shot him. Why did they shoot him? Why did they hit me, lock me up for so many months? Save my brother, he is here, I see him. He has blood on his leg. Libyans hurt me a lot. They beat me and locked me up [during the second half of 2017]. I don’t know the name of the place, we were not close to the sea but not far from Tripoli. Doctor, save my brother. He is here.

A.T.F., 30 years old, Ghana (testimony collected in the CARA of Mineo, March 2018):

I can’t hear very well and I feel a bit spaced. I was hit with plastic pipes on the head and I became a bit deaf. We were in the Sabah area and I was kidnapped for 4 months [in the second half of the 2017]. I still have the scars from what they did to me on my legs and on my head. They wanted money and I was forced to call my family and friends while they were beating me. They hurt me with a blazing knife, I almost passed out while they were using electric shocks. Water tasted badly and the food was not enough. They humiliated me and I was treated worse than an animal. I was scared, a lot.

While the rhetoric of the Italian minister is reaching a new low every day, the policies of the government don’t differ from the ones of its predecessor. Before the meeting Salvini was pushing for “processing” centres to be set up in South Libya, a proposal that was categorically rejected by Maiteeq during the meeting. After the meeting the plan was replaced with the idea to set up centres south of the Libyan border, in Niger, Mali, Chad and Sudan. This is in line with the international agreements and the stances of previous Italian interior minister Marco Minniti, who started the process of criminalising the rescue ships as well.


948 people returned to Libya

The Libyan Coast Guard rescued 948 immigrants and refugees in several operations on Sunday and has recovered the bodies of ten other people.
With these operations,the number of people brought back to Libya since last week reached 2,000.

An official Libyan SAR zone doesn’t exist

Safe Harbour

We know all too well that rescue at sea is not the solution to migrants dying on their journeys to Europe. Nobody should have to risk their lives to travel somewhere. But we also know that, in the current situation, we need search and rescue missions, and we know that they depend on ‘safe harbours’, whether these are physical docklands on the coast or just inland communities offering refuge. This is why we want our cities to become safe harbours, which we define as follows, beyond the framework of existing legal definitions and arrangements.

Image credit: Marily Stroux

1. A Safe Harbour is an open space, where people are welcomed and assisted regardless of their origins, race, gender and class. It is a place that is open to the city, where civil society actors can enter and monitor the situation.

2. A Safe Harbour is a disobedient space, where voices are heard that denounce racist agitation, any attempt to block arrivals, and any policy of deterrence.

3. A Safe Harbour is a space where human rights are respected, where people are not exposed to the risk of torture, persecution, or inhuman and degrading treatments.

4. A Safe Harbour is a space where the right to mobility is enacted, where people are granted the possibility to stay but also to move on.

5. A Safe Harbour is a place where neither migrants nor those who stand in solidarity with them are criminalised — neither for driving the boat on which they travelled, nor for rescuing people in distress at sea, neither for giving migrants independent information, nor for helping them to continue their journey.

Updates from the Lifeline

A delegation of 4 European MPs (from the German, Spanish and European Parliament) spent the night hours between Sunday and Monday onboard the Lifeline:

Those who can, sleep against each other, 234 people wrapped in blankets, occupying all the useful surfaces of the vessel. Their only crime, to seek a better life and to escape from misery, hunger, persecution, war.
There is an urgent need for a safe landing order, whether Italy is Malta. These 234 refugees (plus 100 of Alexander Maersk) cannot wait any longer or be subjected to the violence of an agitated sea that is expected from 3 AM. If international law is fulfilled, the rescue of human beings in international waters requires landing at the nearest safe harbour.
Let us end with pushing games, in which the EU has responsibilities, and allow the landing of these human beings, people like us.

The “Alexander Maersk” allowed to disembark in Italy

Rescue Operation in the Western Med





Fascist Attack

Amurtel are struggling to keep up with demand and want to be able to work with even more mothers and pregnant women.

80% of our refugee and migrant beneficiaries believe that their breastmilk is not sufficient in quality or quantity due to stress and traumatic migration related factors.

For info on how to support them, go to their FB page.


10 years ago today, the CartaDiRoma was approved. Italian government states that only 7% of asylum request is approved. It takes 10 seconds to go on the Interior Ministry website to discover that official data say that more than 40% of the requests are accepted, as there are three types of protection: the refugee status, subsidiary protection and protection for humanitarian reason. The sum is 40%.

On the June 21st, a drowned body was found close to the shore in Ventimiglia. The news of the discovery didn’t go beyond local newspapers, described as another tragedy, just one more migrant.
From Parole sul Confine.

For this man, for now and maybe forever without a name and a face. For John and all the brothers and sisters killed by those borders used to defend the privilege of the few and the right to exploit far too many: it’s time to put an end to it.
The lives of our sisters and brothers count as much as ours’. We must start to difend them as we defend ours’ and those of the people we love. We must defend ourselves all together.

The “Comitato per gli Immigrati e contro ogni forma di discriminazione” presented an appeal to the mayor of Ventimiglia to appoint Cheikh Samba Beye with an official decoration for civic valour (medaglia d’oro al valor civile) for saving two kids from drowning on June 19th.



Guide For Asylum Seekers need your help!

There is no need to have special skills or to live in Paris, most of the tasks are very simple to do from a computer (communicate about team needs, update drive files, proofreading) or by telephone (check schedule changes, changes to be made).

An hour of your time can really make a difference to the monthly updates of their guide.

With any questions contact guideasile@gmail.comor full details here

Statement issued by groups and organisations working in Paris, against the continued police harassment of migrants, including the relentless destruction of any kind of camp habitation.

We, collective associations engaged in the field, find ourselves once again alongside lost, exhausted, extremely weakened people, who face daily and nightly harassment by the forces of order. Among them, we meet more and more new arrivals, including single women, families and minors.

Within the statement, are also the voices of those on the move.

I sleep outside, in the Porte de La Chapelle neighbourhood. The police come and wake us up at night and ask us to leave every morning. A friend who did not move fast enough was gassed. We are in the dirt all day, there is no toilet and no water, and it has been 2 weeks since I could shower. — Seydou, 20: passed through Libya, shipwrecked in the Mediterranean, today on the street.

All groups strongly criticise the actions of the French state and demand action!

While the government is working to harden the immigration bill, police forces are engaged in a real hunt for migrants. To the harshness of the French policy of violent practices is added the effects of the Dublin Regulation that keeps people wandering, increases fear of expulsion and pushes people already exiled into greater precariousness. How long will the French state avoid its obligations by leaving just citizens, collectives, associations to assist vulnerable people?



The question of whether or not there is an “irregular crossing of the external borders” in the context of search and rescue operations at high seas has wider implications that extend beyond the scope of the Dublin Regulation. For instance, if there is no “irregular” entry, it could be assumed that there is subsequently no “irregular” stay (at least for a short stay of 90 days or less within a 180-day period under the Schengen rules), so that any relevant expulsion or return order lacks legal basis?

We strive to echo correct news from the ground through collaboration and fairness.

Every effort has been made to credit organizations and individuals with regard to the supply of information, video, and photo material (in cases where the source wanted to be accredited). Please notify us regarding corrections.

If there’s anything you want to share or comment, contact us through Facebook or write to: areyousyrious@gmail.com

Daily news digests from the field, mainly for volunteers and refugees on the route, but also for journalists and other parties.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store