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….

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

Feature: Salvini Refutes Torture in Libya

Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini and Libyan deputy premier Ahmed Maiteeq met on Monday in Tripoli.

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):

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

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.


Day of the Seafarer

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

While the Italian government is pushing for Libya to take control over the rescue operation in the Central Mediterranean, the International Maritime Organisation reportedly stated that a Libyan SAR zone is far to be officially operative. This is a consequence of, among other factors, the difficulty to define Libya as a safe country.

Safe Harbour

Watch the Med — Alarm Phone published a statement:

Image for post
Image for post
Image credit: Marily Stroux

Updates from the Lifeline

At the time of writing the Lifeline, with its cargo of ‘human flesh’, as horribly described by Italian Minister Matteo Salvini, is still waiting for a safe harbour to disembark the 234 people on board.
One person was evacuated for a medical emergency during the night. The Italian and Maltese governments are still playing the blame game with each other over these people’s lives. On Monday, the Spanish government also refused to take in the ship.

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

The “Alexander Maersk” allowed to disembark in Italy

The Danish container ship “Alexander Maersk” was allowed to disembark in Pozzallo, Sicily. The vessel, owned by the “Maersk Oil” corporation, was able to use its influence and also the Danish government lobbied for it to be given a port to disembark the 108 people on board since Friday.
5 people had already been disembarked for medical emergencies, and the boat is heading towards Sicily.

Rescue Operation in the Western Med

Salvamento Maritimo rescued 337 people from 18 boats in the Western Mediterranean:



A new project, Showers for Sisters, has started to provide hot showers for women and children living in Moria, Lesvos. They need more volunteers and continued support to keep running now they’ve opened. Their video provides a good reminder of the impact this ongoing situation is having on the mental health and well-being of individuals trapped on the islands. https://vimeo.com/276081646


FEOX Rescue can afford to keep their warehouse open. They need the space to continue storing and distributing clothes, food and hygiene products to refugees on Chios. More info here.


Fascist Attack

Activists report that a fascist attack took place on Sunday night against a squatted social health centre, PIKPA, at Petralona, Athens. 20 men attacked the building with molotovs during the assembly of the neighbourhood. One antifascist was injured in the head, while police arrested antifascists instead of the attackers. A spontaneous demonstration happened after the incident.
On Monday, Krypteia, a neonazi group responsible for many other attacks, claimed responsibility, also mentioning Manolada (the immigrant worker’s area) and the arson attack which took place there a few weeks ago.

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

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


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.

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.


A very good summary of the current situation of refugees in Velika Kladuša at the gates of the EU.


Guide For Asylum Seekers need your help!

For the last year the group have been coordinating a volunteer team working on and distributing a practical guide of information for asylum seekers that is translated into multiple languages.

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.

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

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


The Jesuit Refugee Service of Ireland have published a report on Ireland’s effectiveness in dealing with the ‘refugee crisis’, and including an analysis of the last two years of this situation, during which time 1.5 million people have come to Europe and over 12,000 have died at sea in the attempt. Their recommendations include, extending the right to work to all, fulfilling quota promises for relocation and resettlement and working towards peace and stability in refugees’ countries of origin, unfortunately, as Theresa May showed earlier this year, the UK often think that bombing raids are the most effective steps to peace.


Responsibility drifting in the sea — Search and rescue operations and the Dublin Regulation’, published on Monday on the European Database of Asylum Law, explores the complexities and frequent misuse of the Dublin Regulation, especially in light of the recent situation with the Aquarius rescue boat. If the 629 rescued migrants on board the Aquarius were explicitly invited by the Spanish Prime Minister to land on Spanish soil, they can not then be counted as entering Spain ‘irregularly’, and so, following the law, the limitations of the Dublin Regulation can hardly be applied to them.

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

Written by

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