AYS DAILY DIGEST: 28/12/2016: Erdogan’s Peace Plan: Dismemberment of Syria, War against Kurds

Art Against. By Mohamed Ajeg

Feature

Turkey, Russia, and Iran agree on nationwide ceasefire in Syria

The ceasefire is set to go into effect on Thursday, and is supposed to be the precursor to political talks intended to secure peace after war has ravaged the country for nearly 6 years. Peace talks are scheduled to take place in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. Turkey, Russia, and Iran are to be the only foreign countries that participate in the conference, with a conspicuous absence of the US and Gulf States. American officials have voiced intense displeasure at such an arrangement. These talks are, according to the involved parties, supposed to support and not supplant a future UN-led peace process. Several opposition groups are complaining that they have not received an invitation.

The Turkish About-face and the Kurdish Question

Participation in such a venture signals a major change in Turkish policy on Syria. For years, Turkey was at the forefront of the effort to unseat Assad, with Turkish president Erdogan making very loud calls for his departure. Following the downing of a Russian jet which supposedly breached Turkish airspace however, Turkey has moved closer to Russia’s position. One official interviewed by Reuters had the following to say:

Lebanon

SB OverSeas sets up school for refugee children

Turkey

Iraqi refugee in desperate need of medication!

An Iraqi refugee who lost his both legs in a bomb had a double amputation in Iraq. He is now living in Balikesir, Turkey.

Greece

Refugee woman walks through the rain: Photo Credit: Muhammed Muheisen.

204 arrivals to the islands

Greek government releases refugee statistics through December

The full report may be found here. According to the government, a total of 44,375 people have applied for asylum from January 1 to November 30 2016. A total of 7,625 applied for asylum in November 2016, compared to the monthly average of 1,100, a nearly 600% increase from last year. This shows the aftermath of the closure of the Balkan Route, with refugees now understanding that they will be trapped in Greece for a very long time. To do otherwise would mean deportation, which is an even worse option.

Greece promises to fix overcrowding in camps

The Greek Migration Minister Yiannis Mouzalas has promised to implement solutions to minimize crowding on the camps on the islands. “We are planning to have new, small venues on the islands, either by setting up small, two-story houses, in order to empty the tents, or by finding other places… to improve conditions,” he said. One can only hope that this time the Greek government will live up to its promise. Similar promises have been made already, with little to show for it.

Basque activists arrested while boarding ferry with refugees

Pikara Magazine reports that two activists were arrested while they were boarding a ferry heading to Italy along with 8 refugees. The action was part of a civil disobedience campaign.

Due to cold temperatures, two new shelters open for homeless in Athens

1/ 26, Drakou Street, Koukaki, Athens
Phone: 210 9232 044

Tips for coping with the cold

News That Moves has reposted the following common sense tips for helping people in cold-related emergencies:

  • If you are on the outside, get out of the cold and seek shelter, if possible;
  • If you are assisting somebody in danger because of cold, treat the person gently and monitor breathing carefully; get the person into a shelter and remove any wet clothes, gently drying the person; warm the person by wrapping blankets or dressing in dry clothes; cover the head and neck and warm the person slowly. If hot water bottles are available put them under armpits, around the groin and back of the neck, but be careful not to burn these areas;
  • Never rub areas affected by frostbite;
  • If the person is alert, give small sips of warm liquids to drink.

Free eye checks, prescription glasses for refugees

Dear friends and volunteers in Lesvos:

No Border Kitchen Lesvos needs your help!

Serbia

Refugees illegally pushed back in the Balkans

UNHCR has warned that 1,000 refugees were expelled in November along the Balkans route, a violation of international law. One particularly egregious incident happened on December 17, when a seven-member Syrian family was accosted on a bus, and their documents were torn up by an officer. The bus driver has confirmed the incident, according to the Belgrade Center for Human Rights. In November, 109 people were deported from Serbia to Macedonia, even though some of these people had Serbian asylum papers.

Today’s numbers for Miksalište

Today a total of 283 people took advantage of Miksalište’s facilities, 233 children, 31 men, and 19 women.

Hungary

Group provides counseling for refugees.

The Cordelia Foundation for the Victims of Torture, based in Budapest, is offering counseling for refugees suffering for psychological trauma, especially those who were tortured. They have translators for a wide variety of languages, such as Arabic, Farsi, Pashtu, Dari, Somali, Amhara, Oromo and English. Their medical team visits centers all over Hungary, and those who are in Budapest may find their office at 1333 Budapest, 1/b. Karpat utca, 6th floor 24. You may make an appointment by calling them at +36 1 3491450, or by sending them an email at cordelia@cordelia.hu.

Germany

55k chose to return to home country, 20k barred from entering Germany

The following is a translation of a Süddeutsche Zeitung article:

France

Refugee dies trying to into England

A 17 year old Kurdish refugee died on December 24 after falling from a truck. He had presumably hidden in the truck in the hopes of making it into England. This is the 17th known death this year. His death shows first of all that refugees continue to go to northern France in the hopes of crossing into the UK, and secondly that the journey presents considerable risks. Many refugees were injured trying to make this crossing, some of them escaping with only injuries. Others, such as this week’s victim, were not so lucky.

Police filmed in the aftermath of teargas and rubber bullet attack against refugees

Kesha Niya reports that on the night of December 27, there was a police action against refugees using teargas and rubber bullets. Two injuries were reported. The video may be seen below.

A reminder for volunteers

Don’t go looking for or visiting small camps and squats in France.

UK

Unaccompanied refugee children from Calais sue UK government

The Guardian reports that the asylum seekers feel that Amber Rudd has reneged on her legal responsibilities. Of the 36 children, 28 have been refused asylum and 8 are still awaiting decisions. The lawyers accuse that the Home Office did not give asylum to the most desperate, and that proper decisions explaining the rejection were not issued.

Mediterranean

One of the three boats picked up by SOS Mditerranee last night.

Over 800 people were rescued by SOS Mediterranee last night

11 bodies found on Libyan beach

The Red Crescent has reported that 11 bodies of refugees were found on the beach near Tripoli. The victims will likely go unidentified and will be buried in unmarked graves.

Lest we forget, a record number of people has died crossing the Mediterranean this year

Australia

Please sign this petition for visas so that family can visit a terminally ill relative

General

A guide for locating missing family members

News That Moves has published a guide to the Restoring Family Links service.

  • If you are looking for someone in Europe or if family or friends are looking for you, please click on Trace the Face. You can post a photo of yourself, allowing friends and relatives to find you;
  • If searching globally, use Online Tracing, which includes a long list of countries where the service is available;
  • Restoring Family Links also can help those without travel documents.

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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