AYS Daily Digest 25/5/2017: Chios is at breaking point

By MSF Sea from today’s rescue mission. After 10 hours and 12th rescues there were 1449 people safely on board.

Chios is at breaking point

With Camps in Chios overcrowded, conditions are getting worse and worse for residents and volunteers. Both Vial hot spot and Souda open camp are now hosting 1000+ people each. The only place available to put new tents is the fields around Vial while Souda is full in and out, local source reports.

Elsewhere in GREECE

One year ago on this day, we were witnessing the second day of the three day evacuation of Idomeni. That means the vast majority of people who are in several camps across Thessaloniki (and elsewhere) have now been there for AT LEAST one year.


The Greek government has begun the long-awaited process of closing down the makeshift migrant camp at the site of Athens’ old aiport at Elliniko, starting with migration ministry workers briefing the migrant population on Tuesday, reports InfoMigrants. Kyriakos Mantouvalos, the migration ministry’s press spokesperson, said that state workers had visited the site to officially inform the 1,200-plus migrant population about how they will be transferred to organized facilities in other parts of the country. The majority of them should be transferred to a new facility recently inaugurated in the town of Thiva, although there were no immediate deadlines set. It is confirmed that Greek authorities are registering refugees before evacuation.

Thessaloniki — English teacher training

One day English teacher training will be held on Sunday 28th, 10.00–18.00, at the Help Refugees warehouse.
Trainer: Linda Ruas (IATEFL Global Issues SIG), experienced teacher trainer
Course title: Teaching English: An introduction to language, planning and classroom management
Follow-up: takeaway and online materials will be provided, together with an opportunity for 1–1 mentoring during the following week and longterm via email/Whatsapp
Criteria for participation: at least upper intermediate level of English and ideally some experience teaching.
Register here. Registration closes Friday evening, participants will receive email with relevant details on location etc.

Volunteers needed

foodKIND needs people who can volunteer for one month or more for their project in the south of Greece about 3 hours outside of Athens. They provide 2 meals daily to a group of 200 refugees living in abandoned factories. Tasks involve food preparation, cooking, shopping for goods, distribution and generally looking out for the welfare of the people. They also distribute non-food items such as clothing and toiletries. To submit an application, please fill in the volunteer application form on the ‘Get Involved’ page of their website.


MSF had a busy day today, reporting early in the afternoon that their rescue ship is full with 781 people on board while there were still 5 boats to be rescued. Two dead bodies were found this morning on the first rubber boat. A rubber boat with ~100 people was almost sinking. Few hours and it would have been too late they wrote. Among the people rescued there were many women and children, the youngest one just 4 weeks old. After 10 hours and their 12th and final rescue there were 1449 people safely on board.


A general overview on the conditions in closed camps in Hungary was provided by organizations that have acces to the camps:


Croatian Center for Peace Studies (CMS), the Cultural Dialogue Center and the RAND are warning of the latest amendments to the Foreigners Act, which was adopted today at the session of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, by which every attempt to assist foreigners in their stay, transit and unlawful border crossing is treated as a criminal offense, forcing citizens who try to help an unknown person in need to risk a sentence. Although after the public hearing, the proponent of this law, the Ministry of the Interior, added an amendment to clarify possible exceptions, the text of the bill still leaves room for interpretation under which it is punishable to assist others in distress. In January, at the parliamentary debate, the issue of such legislation was raised on several occasions, but after the second revision of the Proposal, the government remained firm in sanctioning solidarity and is now trying to bring this harmful law for the third time in a year, reports CMS.


A new operation was undertaken in the Central Station by the police. Police is following routine protocols, wanting to keep low profile today, local source writes. At least 10 people were transferred to the police station for identification, one reportedly arrested for resisting as he tried to run away as he saw the police. It is the first control in the area after the special operation of May 2nd.


Yesterday, 80 refugees with Cédric Herrou and other activists went to Nice and slept in front of the city’s courthouse to protest against the lack of housing for people asking for asylum. This morning, they went to a garden next to the administrative court, hoping to remain there the whole day but were asked to move every two hours. Tonight, some of the refugees will be able to sleep in the Sacre-Coeur church and others will sleep in local homes.They hope to go the city’s platform to register their demand for asylum tomorrow. More (in French) here.


Family reunification from Greece limited to 70 people per month

The German government has significantly cut back on family reunions for refugees arriving from Greece saying it has taken in over 1 million people and is facing “limited capacity” for new arrivals, reports DW. Refugee.Info writes that the Greek Asylum Service confirmed to them that it has 2,500 pending eligible reunification cases to Germany, considering all 2,500 to be urgent. GAS also commented that it didn’t know how long the cap would be in place.


Yesterday, the Somali group of We Are Here won the court case against the State of the Netherlands with regard to their stay at Florijn 8–11 in Amsterdam-Zuidoost, reports Enough is Enough. The authorities ordered the immediate eviction of the ‘Vluchtlumumba’, where they were staying from 9 April 2017. However, their request to stay until the end of the Ramadan has been granted by the Court of Amsterdam. The court ruled that the interest of the state to evict is less urgent than the right to housing of the current inhabitants of the place until 3 July. “For now, we are very happy, and relieved. It is a great victory for We Are Here. We will indeed leave the building on July 3 as promised. We don’t want to cause any trouble, we just want a decent place to live” the group said.



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Are You Syrious?

Are You Syrious?

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