AYS DAILY DIGEST 25/09/18: STATEMENT ON A UNJUST VERDICT AGAINST AYS VOLUNTEER

Moroccan NGOs statement on pushbacks // EU anti-fraud watchdog investigating Greek misuse of refugee funds // Colibri patrols the Mediterranean alone // Greek police strip asylum seekers naked in pushback to Turkey // Sudanese refugees’ statement after months of protest in Italy // Solidarity worker convicted for a tweet in Calais // Over 1000 asylum seekers back in Grande-Synthe region // Sweden upholds “high school act” //

Madina, whose death at the hands of border guards last November has lead to an ongoing battle between AYS and the Croatian Government.

Feature — AYS statement on politically motivated, unjust guilty verdict for our volunteer

This past March, AYS volunteer Dragan Umičević approached a police control near the Croatian border to alert police to a family of asylum seekers huddled in a field near Strošinci, already on Croatian soil. A few days later, he was shocked to find himself facing charges of aiding and abetting the asylum seekers’ “illegal crossing” of the Croatian border— despite the fact that he had never laid eyes on the family before and hadn’t even communicated with them directly beforehand.

State revenge for the little Madina case — ays volunteer convicted, perpetrators walk free

Morocco

“Freedom of movement is a sacred principle.” In anticipation of the UN summit on Migration, which will be held in Marrakesh in December, 19 NGOs gathered in Rabat have signed a statement denouncing the recent violent pushbacks of Subsaharan African people and all “violence committed by the Moroccan authorities in a complete disregard of migrants’ dignity, their rights, and even their life.” The full text can be read below (in French only).

Turkey

Pro-Erdogan newspaper Gunes has posted a video that appears to show a number of young men, mostly Pakistanis, reeling after having been stripped naked and violently pushed back across the border between Greece and Turkey. According to one man who spoke Turkish, Greek police arrested the group of men four days earlier, held them in prison for days with limited access to food, then took them back to the border, forced them to strip, robbed and beat them, and drove them back into the Evros — despite pleas that some of the men didn’t know how to swim. In the video, some men are wearing only briefs; others have covered themselves with sackcloth. The video was shared on Facebook and shared and referenced a number of times by the Turkish news organization Milliyet.

Sea

After France refused to let rescue ship Aquarius dock in Marseille, Malta also declined to let the Aquarius into its port, but agreed to transfer the 58 asylum seekers on board onto land. Malta and France will share responsibility for the passengers’ asylum claims with Portugal and Spain. The Aquarius will be allowed to dock in Marseille once the passengers have been transferred. It is unclear whether the ship will be allowed to resume its humanitarian mission anytime soon.

Greece

Five boats with around 180 people landed on the Greek islands today, according to Aegean Boat Report.

Italy

Source: Melting Pot Europa.

Serbia

Volunteers urgently needed in Subotica for Escuela con Alma’s shower project. For contact information, click here.

Bulgaria

If you struggle to heat your home or pay your bills, the Foundation for Access to Rights may be able to help. Learn whether you’re eligible to apply for social assistance here — and, if so, which organizations can help you complete the necessary paperwork.

France

Criminalization of solidarity meets repression of free speech. Amnesty International reports that a French solidarity worker named Loan Torondel has been convicted for tweeting a photo that depicts police standing over a refugee on his sleeping bag this past January. The caption — which implied that the police were about to steal the man’s sleeping bag for the second time — provoked the defamation charge on which Torondel was convicted.

Two children amidst a makeshift camp in the woods of Grande-Synthe. Source: L’Auberge des Migrants.

Germany

As one of the countries with the highest rates of refugees eligible to bring family members under the EU’s family reunification mechanism, Germany continues to do everything it can to make the process more difficult for people. After a two-year time out on family reunification transfers for people with subsidiary protection (a lower protection status than full refugee status), an August 1 law, widely criticized by human rights organizations and activists, put a monthly cap on the amount of family reunification transfers for people with subsidiary protection. Now, PRO ASYL reports that rights organizations’ fears about the implications of these quotas were well-founded. In August 2018, only 853 cases were examined, significantly less than the limit of 1000; only 42 visas were granted. With 34,000 reunification requests already lodged after the new law was announced, it could take years and years for people who have been separated from their family members to see them again.

By Omar Perez. Source: Art Against Borders.

Sweden

In two separate judgments today, the Migration Supreme Court upheld Sweden’s ‘high-school-act,’ which grants 17–25-year-old asylum seekers permission to stay in Sweden while they complete their high school education. Courts now have the green light to implement the law, which has been halted due to difficulties regarding how to judge by it; during the summer, three different courts choose different ways to approach it. It is also an ongoing case in the European Court of Justice after the Gothenburg migration court referred it there in order to understand how to interpret it (that decision will not be available until next year).

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