AYS Daily Digest 27/11/17: Libyan Slave Trade is an Open Secret

Sea Rescues//Fights on Lesbos and Occupation of SYRIZA building//Volunteers needed in Greece//Harrowing film from Croatia//Support needed in Calais//Sleeping rough and need for legal support in Paris//Protest in Italy// and more…

The back of a migrant who had been tortured in Libya. This was among many images received by the Observer in the past week, many of which they decided not to publish because they were too graphic.


Amnesty International issued a timely condemnation of EU cooperation with Libyan authorities, just ahead of the 5th annual summit between EU and African Union (AU) authorities. John Dalhuisen, a Regional European Director at Amnesty, explained how the organization has been following and reporting on Libyan abuses for years. The illegal actions of the Libyan authorities are an open secret which the EU chooses to ignore. According to Dalhuisen,


The MSF vessel Aquarius took over 400 people ashore safely who were rescued in the Mediterranean yesterday.



One boat with 18 people arrived on the southern shore of Lesbos today.

Moria camp, Lesbos. Photo Credit: NoBorders.
A tour of Moria camp, Monday 27 November 2017. Pouring rain throughout the day. More than 7000 people in Moria now. Capacity is around 2500. Thousands of women, men and children in flimsy tents. Photo Credit: Lesvos Solidarity Pikpa.


This week the General Commission of the Greek Administrative Courts wrote an open letter to the Ministers of Justice and Migration Policy and Directors of the Asylum Service and the Appeals Authority. This letter was encouraging the government to do more to accelerate the processing of asylum applications. While this may at first seem like a good-faith attempt to decongest the islands, the proposals would likely be harmful to many refugees living in Greece. For example, among other recommendations, it suggests removing protections for persons suffering from PTSD.


The Balkan based organization Rigardu e.V. today released a video shot by a refugee who was hiding under a truck in an attempt to pass through Croatia.


Life is still hard for refugees in Calais. Faced with the constant threat of police harassment and violence, and amid dropping temperatures, volunteers on the ground are scrambling to provide for people’s most basic needs. Care4Calaisreleased a statement today detailing conditions on the ground:

Photo Credit: Care4Calais
Refugees living in park in Paris. Photo Credit: Danika Jurisic


At the Libyan embassy in Rome yesterday, a large crowd of migrants and refugees gathered to protest the brutal treatment of refugees in Libya, including the practice of selling refugees into slavery. One of the protestors, Yacoub Diarra, a representative of the association Ira Mauritania in Italy, explained the reasons for his protest: “I am here because I suffered tortures and the prison in my country, so I am a militant fighting against slavery. At the moment there are five of my friends in prison, our leader Birham Dah Abeid has been jailed three times, and Mauritania is only three hours from Italy, not that far”.


The InfoMigrants outlet released a report today on the extreme difficulties refugees in Germany face in finding housing. As many refugees from the country have relayed, there is frequently discrimination involved in this issue, where landlords are far more likely to rent to a German person than a refugee.


A group of activists are lobbying the government to stop the deportation of a young college student named Haroon. Due to the EU’s absurd and inhumane policy of declaring Afghanistan a “safe third country”, thousands of Afghani refugees across Europe are being threatened with deportation.

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

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