AYS Daily Digest 18/08/17: “Defend Europe” fascists defeated, but the threat is far from over

Single refugee father with sick boy seeking home in Adana / Syrian family with small children jailed pending deportation to Turkey / Bulgaria asks for 600 heavily militarized troops along border / Solidarity encampment in central Stockholm continues to draw attention / Witness testimony suggests collaboration between Libyan military and smugglers / Refugee flow into Spain continues to grow / And more news…

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The boats affiliated with “Defend Europe” a far-right xenophobic organization, have drawn quite a bit of attention in the last few months. The group, whose stated mission was to keep boats from reaching Europe, has announced that their mission is coming to a close. Even as they frame their exit as having completed their goals, the truth of the matter is that the mission was a failure from the get-go, and has been marred by controversies and mishaps from the very beginning.


Syrian refugee father in desperate need of a new home in Adana

The father of a young boy with cardiovascular problems who will be undergoing surgery soon is in need of a new home. His current residence is far too dark and damp for the health of the boy, who needs a better environment for recuperating from his procedures. However, the father has no choice but to stay there. If you know of a place, please Rehana Flowerinjannah on Facebook.

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The father and his son


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Some new arrivals who landed on Lesvos this morning. Photo Credit: Boat Report — Lesvos

Syrian refugees and their children jailed

After their asylum application was rejected, a Syrian refugee family living on Chios has been detained and jailed pending their deportation to Turkey. The family was arrested around noon on Thursday. With them are their young children, aged 7, 5, and 2-year-old.

Newest statistics show an upward trend in the number of unaccompanied child minors receiving protection

The newest report by EKKA shows that there has been a slight upward trend in the number of unaccompanied child refugees receiving protective custody in Greece. But even as this constitutes an improvement, there remain nearly 1,500 unaccompanied child refugees who remain outside the purview of the authorities. A total of 1,473 are currently on the waiting list for accommodation, vying for 1,228 spaces in UAC shelters.

Ellinikon Warehouse in Athens is in desperate need of donations. Volunteers also welcome

The Ellinikon Warehouse distributes food and other essentials to more than 5,000 refugees around Athens. They are seeking to expand their zone of operations beyond Athens and to stock warehouses on the islands. All goods may be delivered care of Sotiris Alexopoulos at the following address.

Volunteer driver needed on Chios

Refugee Biriyani and Bananas is seeking a volunteer driver available from August 28 to September 3. The person must pay for their own costs of travel and accommodation, as well as the car fee and the price of gas. Please contact the Facebook page if you are able to commit.



Bulgarian government demands that the EU send troops to its borders

Bulgarian defense minister Krasimir Karakachanov said that Bulgaria needed 600 soldiers to patrol its borders from intrusion by refugees, including “highly specialized fighting troops.” “We should deploy NATO or EU forces in Italy and Greece and defend the external borders of the European Union by force of arms if necessary,” he added. Among the minister’s other suggestions has been that the border be monitored by drones.


Medborgarplatsen solidarity encampment is still going strong

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Mina Muzafari is a teenage girl who has been taking part in the demonstrations. Photo Credit: Ung i Sverige

106 year old woman’s asylum application rejected

Bibihal Uzbeki is an 106-year-old woman who became famous in 2015 after being interviewed in a Croatian refugee camp. The reason? The woman, travelling with her family, is seemingly the oldest refugee in the world. Originally from Kunduz, the family was forced to leave their homes as a result of the violence which has engulfed Afghanistan for nearly 40 years. But even her fame was not enough to save Bibihal, who is now at risk of deportation. The decision is being appealed by her legal representative.


New housing structures built in San Ferdinando

Today the foreign seasonal workers in Gioia Tauro Plain can avail themselves of a new structure for temporary hosting. The people in San Ferdinando will be moved to a new tent camp created under the coordination of the prefecture. This comes from an agreement among the local administrations, Caritas and the Red Cross, along with Emergency and MEDU. The new structure will host 550 people and the hygienic, security and service conditions there are good. The structure will be guarded, while the old San Ferdinando camp will be dismantled, to prevent further informal settling by seasonal workers.


Tent collection to take place on Monday

The V Festival, a music festival in Britain which attracts large crowds, will be the focus of an NGO on Monday. Volunteers will be on site in Monday August 21 from 1pm to 2pm to collect tents and sleeping bags for refugees in need. Refugees in northern France are in great need of this and much more as a result of constant police raids, during which they are harassed, chased away, and have their property confiscated, including tents and sleeping bags. As a result of this, thousands of refugees are forced to sleep under the open sky regardless of the weather. If you are in the general vicinity of Essex and have anything that you would be able to donate, it would be of great help.


Refugee sheds light on collaboration between Libyan coast guard and smugglers

As AYS reported last week, the loyalties of the Libyan coast guard are questionable, with the country embroiled in a long-standing civil war in which several governments are vying for power. The western-backed “Unity government” is quite weak and often relies on the help of local militias to maintain any semblance of control. Many in the Libyan coast guard currently being trained by the EU to cap the refugee flow across the Mediterranean are themselves militias who are affiliated with very dark practices, namely keeping “rescued” refugees in makeshift camps that are simply not suitable for living.


Arrivals in Spain continue to intensify, 920 saved in last 48 hours

Salvamento Marítimo, the Spanish governmental institution responsible for saving lives at sea, rescued 601 persons on Wednesday, making it the busiest day of 2017. An additional 319 were rescued on Thursday.

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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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