AYS Daily Digest 28/07/17: Europe — The ‘birthplace’ of human rights

Europe — the ‘birthplace’ of human rights / More deaths in the Aegean Day 30 of the Moria hunger strike / Amnesty call for investigation into use of excessive force by police in Moria / Police start ‘Sanitization’ of Valletta / Bomb attack in Sardinia / Attempted suicide in Zagreb / Refugee Convention anniversary / And more news…

FEATURE: Europe — The ‘birthplace’ of human rights

What follows is the testimony of a volunteer who visits a friend in a closed camp in Bulgaria:


On Thursday seven people died after a boat sank off Turkey’s Aegean coast while trying to reach the Greek Islands. The Coast Guard reports that of those who drowned two were women and five were children.


AlarmPhone have released a report covering the period from 12th June to 23rd July, encompassing the time during which the G20 summit took place. The member states of the G20 are also the states which maintain the current situation which leads to deaths at sea, inhumane living conditions for thousands of people waiting for the asylum processes, and no clear pathway towards ensuring the human rights of those seeking safety in Europe.



The registration numbers for today were as follows:

Residence Permits

Guidelines for completing the online application for a renewed residence permit can be found here. The form is available in Arabic, Urdu, Farsi, Tigrinya, Greek, French and English.

Lesbos: Statement on day 30 on the Hunger Strike in Moria

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Images by Arash Hampay

Lesbos: Free the Moria 35 and Call from Amnesty International for Investigation into Police Brutality at 18th of July Demonstration

Amnesty International asks the Greek authorities to urgently investigate allegations that police used excessive force against asylum-seekers in Moria Camp during a protest on 18 July 2017 and ill-treated some of those who were arrested and detained in the Mytilene police station. Amnesty has collected testimonies from victims and witnesses and has also gathered audio-visual material that was made public in the media in the days after the protest.

Lesbos: Weather

There have also been high winds on Lebos making the difficult living conditions in Moria Camp even worse.


Two boats carrying 51 people in total arrived around midnight yesterday. There were 20 children, 12 women and 19 men, mostly from Syria and Kuwait.


Refugee Support Aegean report that 19 unaccompanied minors have been held for almost 1 month in “protective custody” in a closed gym in Chania (Crete). They are believed to be largely from Pakistan and between 15 and 17 years of age. The Red Cross are believed to be present. Apparently a more appropriate shelter cannot be found.


Drop in the Ocean, Athens, looking for Swedish speaking volunteers


Police are clearing the Valletta area where refugees have been sleeping. Volunteers report that tensions are growing between volunteers and the authorities.

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La Voce Gorizia & Provincia


A migrant reception centre, The Others, in the Sardinian town of Dorgali was attacked with a homemade bomb on Thursday 27. Luckily no one was seriously injured in the explosion even though 2 workers and 64 migrants were sleeping there at the time.


In the first six months of 2017, Montenegro recorded 186 asylum applications. UNHCR estimates that some 40% of the applicants arrived in Montenegro from Serbia. From Montenegro, they usually try to continue the journey through Croatia or Bosnia and Herzegovina, but they have to avoid numerous controls along these borders. Only occasionally, we register attempts of crossing to Italy via the regular ferry lines. Consequently, the stay of asylum seekers has been extended to months instead of the previous several days. However, the (only) Asylum Centre in Montenegro is never overbooked — the average number of residents is between 30 and 50 persons.


A man has attempted suicide at Porin Centre in Zagreb by jumping from the second floor. Reports from the ground state that they believe it to be directly connected to the European Court’s decision under the Dublin Convention to return people to the country through which they entered Europe.


Media report that Gerald Knaus, who came up with the original concept that led to the EU-Turkey deal, has suggested that a deal be struck between the EU and West African countries in which a number of work visas could be offered in return for stronger controls on people leaving their home countries. Given the impact on the human rights of individuals of the EU-Turkey deal, it seems likely that a further move to prevent people from exercising the basic right of seeking asylum in a safe country can only continue this degradation of human rights.

“The core principle is non-refoulement, which asserts that a refugee should not be returned to a country where they face serious threats to their life or freedom.”

Yet any non-Syrian returned to Turkey is imprisoned, it is documented that people who have been returned to their home countries have been subsequently murdered, and now the Dublin III Agreement is being used to return people to European countries which cannot guarantee adequate living conditions or safety.

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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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