AYS Daily Digest 29/08/17: Another day, another protest against deportations to Afghanistan

500 people saved in Libyan waters / No deaths at the Mediterranean in 20 days, IOM says / More police violence in France / Spain, Italy, Germany, and France in a new agreement, leaving many questions unanswered / Germany and Egypt also discussing migrant deals / Human rights are still not for everyone everywhere / And more news…

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Afghan protesters at Lesvos. They are stuck in limbo, but at several places. Photo: Arash Hampay

“Stop deportations to unsafe Afghanistan!”

Desperation is growing in this group even as the situation in their country of origin remains the same as when they fled or even worse. The mental pressure these often young people are under is unimaginable, as are the many stages they have to go through — it’s not only about reaching their final destination, it’s also about getting to stay. Someone’s dream is someone else’s limbo. Afghans stuck along the Balkan route dream of becoming asylum seekers in northern Europe, while those already there suffer in the next mandatory step.

People are beginning to speak up more and more. Still, neither the EU nor individual countries seem to be listening. AYS has received information about similar protests emerging in Finland, Germany and Austria. And the Afghans in Mytilini and central Stockholm have exactly the same message: stop neglecting us, and stop sending us back to uncertainty. If anyone knows what is going on in Afghanistan, it is the Afghan people who are organising themselves right now. In Stockholm, young Afghans recently put on a performance showing what Afghanistan looks like in reality — according to those who have actually been living there. The performance both showed their fears for the future and for some people, horrible pictures from the past. Facebook has hidden some of the content at Ung i Sverige’s (who are arranging the performance and protest) FB-page, saying that it was too disturbing. No wonder people who have lived thorough the real version say that they do not want to return there.

Malin Björk, a politician in the European Parliament, told AYS that no one in the EU really knows what happens to the people being deported. Politicians do admit this, she said, and are currently discussing future investigations in order to gain more knowledge about the situation for returnees. But until this happens and depending on the results, it is not possible to defend the deportations morally, Björk claimed. In the meantime, the deportations should be stopped immediately. She called it counter productive — since it only will create parallel realities with young people who are living without valid documents, on the margins of society instead of being able to be a part of it.

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Mytilini and Sappho Square tonight. Photo: Arash Hampay

SEA

Still the flow over the sea continues to be never ending, and yesterday a plan was discussed in Paris to stop the flow. In Chad and Niger, legal migrants will be detected before crossing illegally. Libya, one of the counties from which there are the most horror stories, was also present at the meeting. How this will develop, no one knows yet. But that it will be a victory for human rights is not likely.

Also, nine deaths close to Tripoli were reported on Twitter.

Seven people found and rescued in a small wooden boat by #Aquarius today. Later #Aquarius saved another 97 people, including two pregnant women and five children.

Support rescue at sea

Proactiva Open Arms is calling for help to continue their missions in the Mediterranean. They say that they are more needed there than ever, and we could not agree more. Watch their video below.

SAVING LIVES IS NOT A CRIME!

Sign Amnesty’s petition if you agree.

No deaths in the last 20 days, but still too many in total

IOM today released numbers and an update about trends regarding migrant deaths. In the last 20 days no one has been reported dead at sea. What this might depend on, they do not say. They also say that 121,517 people have arrived by sea so far this year. Of these, 13,282 migrants have been rescued in Libyan waters.

Still, it should be pointed out that the same organization’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 3,514 deaths at sea in 2017 as of 27th August.

EU

The pre-asylum centers in the two African countries would be funded by the EU, according to a French diplomat. Angela Merkel pointed out that there must be an end to illegal migration, and that the aim of this agreement is to make it easier to determine who has and who has not valid reasons to get asylum. Filippo Grandi and UNHCR welcomed the new agreement in a press release, saying that the need for more resettlement opportunities to prevent dangerous journeys must be implemented. Still, it is worth questioning who will be evaluated to have enough need for protection. Some people seem to be constantly neglected and forgotten by those in charge.

GREECE

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Photo and info from: Advocates Abroad

Mainland

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Medical services

In the refugee shelter of the 5th Líkiou, a day clinic is open from 15,30 pm to 17,30 pm. They provide medical advice and support for those who need it, refugees and others.

Psychosocial support by Hestia Hellas

HESTIAS HELLAS OPENS FRIDAY 1 SEPTEMBER at 10am. It provides

Psychosocial support and works with
children with special needs, services include
Livelihoods training

Address: Charilaou Trikoupi 5, 5th Floor

Islands

This brings the latest number of official registrations up to a total of 185 people. Most people, 179, have been registred on Samos.

#Lesbos 1

#Samos 179

#Kos 5

Samos

Yesterday three boats arrived on Samos with between 54 and 64 people on board on each of them. The people arriving included both women and children.

Lesvos

Later, another boat arrived.

Where did the #1951RefugeeConvention go?

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Photo: Arash Hampay

Arash Hampay, the Iranian political activist who was recently on hunger strike, is supporting and participating in the protest. He continues to draw attention to the 1951 Refugee Convention, agreed on by the United Nations. It is signed by 145 nations, of whom several are deporting people back to unsafe countries. As he writes:

“Yes, they respond to calls for help with threats!
The police are always present to prosecute the people. It is as if the injustice committed by UN and the States of this world is not widespread and severe enough, where refugees are met with threats and batons whenever they demand their basic rights to be adhered to. The police call themselves defenders of safety and stability. They define themselves as protectors of harmony. However, they are merely spreading and causing horror, fear and prosecution.
What is the task of the #police? Is it to whip #people or is it to create a sense of safety? Is it to oppose violations made against the law and to fight lawlessness? If so, they first have to look inwards and interrogate the #UN and the State. It is these institutions that are violating the law; they are the ones dehumanizing the people.
Refugees want the law to be adhered to, and they must not be prosecuted for seeking this.
WE want the UN and The Greek Government to study the #1951RefugeeConvention once more, for they themselves were involved in writing and ratifying it. We want them to study this in order to remember what they committed themselves to; so that they may reconsider their motives in permitting police to chase down and detain refugees.
The #refugees currently occupying Sappho Square in Mytilini are waiting for aid and solidarity from the people, they are waiting for the media to pay attention.”

Video from the protests, by United Rescue Aid

Chios

SERBIA

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Photo: Rigardu

ITALY

Rosarno

FRANCE

Calais

Paris

St. Denis evicted by the police

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Photos: PRGS and Danica Jurisic

Porte de la Chapelle

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Photo: Danica Jurisic

Dunkirk

GERMANY

One of the reasons for the suspension of Dublin returns is the lack of possiblities of integrating into Hungarian society, which is due to right wing populism and xenophobia. Furthermore, Hungary does not live up to the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) standards, which has led the UNHCR to ask countries not to send people back here. Still, Germany has made 1,915 requests to Hungary and implemented 30 transfers so far this year, while Austria has transferred 79 people.

New deal, same purpose

SWEDEN

“Our assessment is that the conflict has not reached a level where it affects everyone throughout the country, that is, the level of law and practice required for all Afghan citizens to have a right to stay,” Fredrik Beijer, Legal Director at Migrationsverket, told DN today.

According to new statistics from 27th August, only 47 percent of the adults get to stay, and 83 percent of the minors. In the new legal framework, women who could be exposed to violence in Afghanistan are also among the prioritised groups that are getting asylum to a higher extent than others.

We strive to echo correct news from the ground, through collaboration and fairness, so let us know if something you read here is not right.

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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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