AYS DAILY NEWS DIGEST 19.4.2016.
Afghan teenager dies in Elliniko camp due to a lack of medical care. Human Rights Watch reports on rushed, chaotic first round of deportations from Greece to Turkey, that violated rights of the deportees. Hungary limits access to transit zones. German politician warns of a “second Idomeni” at Brenner Pass. Milano prepares to receive a large number of refugees this summer. A parliamentary debate regarding unaccompanied minors occurs in France. the EU provides €83 million to improve conditions in Greek refugee camps.
44 killed by Syrian government airstrikes.
At least 44 people have been killed and dozens wounded in Syrian government air strikes on markets in two rebel-held towns in #Idlib province, activists report. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 37 died in #Maarat al-Numan and another seven in nearby #Kafranbel. The monitoring group added that three children were among the victims and that the death toll was expected to rise. Escalating violence in the northwest in recent days has left a seven-week partial truce on the verge of collapse. See more at: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-36084848
36 arrive in Lesvos, 21 Syrians in Kos.
Boat Report for #Lesvos Island April 19th. 36 people arrived in the North. No information is available in the south. On #Kos Island tonight at about1:30 am 4 families (all in all 21 persons) arrived from Syria. Among them are 7 children. They registered with the port police around 4 am and access to the imprisoned was granted today again.
Afghan teenager dies in intensive care at Laiko Hospital.
A 17 yer old teenage girl from #Afghanistan died in Laiko Hospital’s ICU after 5 days of treatment. According to her mother, the teenager went to the camp infirmary for examination, but only received medicine from the doctor, which was ineffective. The girl fainted and migrants transported her to the Laiko Hospital in a taxi. She died after 5 days in the ICU. The sole responsibility for her death lies in the hands of the Greek State, for not providing refugees with proper healthcare. In #Elliniko refugee camp there’s only one infirmary and it is not open 24/7 because of a lack of medical staff, resulting in inadequate provision of medical services for refugees. https://kollectnews.org/2016/04/19/elliniko-refugee-campgreece-teen-migrant-girl-dies-because-of-bad-healthcare-services/
Infants detained in Chios continue to receive inadequate quantities of milk.
Infants detained in Greece under the terms of the EU-Turkey migration deal are being denied access to adequate supplies of baby formula, refugees and aid workers have reported. Approximately 25 babies under the age of six months, whose mothers are unable to breastfeed, are being given roughly 100ml of formula just once a day on the island of #Chios, according to photographs sent by detained refugees and testimonies provided by phone.
Volunteers needed at building E1.5 at Piraeus Port.
Urgent need for volunteers in #Piraeus Port. There is a need for volunteers at the Stone House Building E1.5 Piraeus Port, next to the Ministry of Marine Affairs. E2 has been evacuated. Consequently, many refugees have accumulated at the Stone house. E2 volunteers, please do go to E1.5 to help the efforts there.
Individual at Chios expresses the misery of camp conditions.
Conditions in #Vial, Chios continue to be disastrous. A refugee inside the camp has written regarding the conditions: “…No, they don’t let us go outside because they have actually make us believe that we re all prisoners, when we re out, we re out to collect food and go back into our container prison, that’s how it is, they have locked gate almost three weeks now, is not fair we re all human beings for God sake, help us please is hard for us here to get water to drink. They have many bags of water but they don’t share it to us, they shared it to us when they feel like shearing to us … No one as tell us anything thing or how long we will be her and now we are going one month now because we come her on 19th and tomorrow is 19 again that means it is 1month and no one care about us…”
3280 remain at Piraeus port, to be fully evacuated by the end of April. Movements to Skaramangas have begun.
News That Moves: More Refugees Moved To #Skaramagas Camp. Yesterday, 450 refugees were taken from Piraeus port, in buses to the Skaramagas camp. Around 3,280 refugees were waiting at the port on April 18th, according to the Greek port authorities. Currently there are 1,760 people at the E1 gate, 450 people at E2 gate and 1,070 people at the ‘Stone house’, a warehouse building inside the port. The port authorities officially closed the gates at Piraeus on April 15th to prevent refugees from other camps from putting tents up there. Only people who have a stamp from the Port Authority on their ‘Kharti’ are allowed in and out of the port through two entry points. Police are guarding the entry and exit gates. According to humanitarians in the port, many people are willing to move to Skaramangas, a recently established camp that is close to #Athens, as they have heard that it offers better accommodation and services compared to other camps in the region. Greek authorities announced previously that Piraeus port will be fully evacuated by the end of April.
Number of refugees crossing the Aegean significantly reduced after EU-Turkey deal implemented in late March.
News That Moves: In March, 26,460 refugees crossed from Turkey to Greece, less than half the figure recorded in February, the EU border agency Frontex reported. In the last 11 days of March, after the implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement, 3,500 people arrived in Greece, compared to the 22,900 people who came to the Greek islands between March 1 and March 20. According to Frontex, Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis still represent the largest proportion of the people crossing the Aegean to Greece.
Several aid agencies issue request to halt deportations and improve life in the camps, and maintain the integrity of the asylum process.
News That Moves: Aid agencies have asked for an indefinite halt of deportations from Greece to Turkey and the opening of the camps on the islands where people are currently detained. In an open letter, Oxfam, the Norwegian Refugee Council and Solidarity Now requested to immediately: Halt all returns from Greece to Turkey. Open all camps where people have expressed intention to seek asylum. Improve security to ensure a safe environment for all people inside the closed facilities. Maintain the integrity of the asylum claims process and ensure people have access to legal aid as a matter of urgency. Increase the number of officers on the Greek Asylum Service on the islands to process the asylum claims and ensure people are able to access their right to claim asylum before any deportation order is issued. Put an end to arbitrary arrests and detentions. Approximately 320 people were returned from Greece to Turkey. It is not clear when returns will resume, but Turkey said that they are expecting new migrants from Greece, including Syrians, anytime soon.
Greek lawyers prepare to volunteer at numerous camps. Rejected asylum claims on Greek islands risk deportation. EU promise to relocate 66400 refuges falls short.
Situation in Athens and Greece in General: LEGAL HELP IN REFUGEE CAMPS IN #ATTICA REGION. Athens bar association had a meeting yesterday, April 19th, on Greek lawyers volunteering to provide legal assistance to refugees in the following camps: Piraeus, Elaionas, Elliniko, Shisto and Skaramangas. They explained the main issues refugees are facing and said they are planning to start within 2–3 weeks.
GREEK ISLANDS: Authorities on the Greek islands began allowing migrants out of the detention camps where they are being held while their asylum requests are processed, a migration official said today. Since an EU-Turkey deal for stemming the huge influx of people to Europe went into force on March 20th, around 7,500 people have landed on the Greek islands where they have been kept in holding centres while waiting to be processed to determine whether they can legitimately claim asylum. But today, a spokesman for the SOMP agency which is coordinating the Greek response to the crisis said those who had spent 25 days inside the holding centres and who had filed an asylum claim would be “allowed to leave” the camps. He said that “the vast majority” of new arrivals had submitted an asylum claim, but it was not immediately clear how many were let out on Tuesday. They were not permitted to leave the islands and must remain available to the authorities, he said. Those who fail to make a claim, or whose application for asylum is rejected under a new fast-track procedure which takes 15 days, face being sent back to Turkey in line with the controversial #Brussels- #Ankara agreement.
DEPORTATIONS: A new round of deportations would take place “when a sufficient number of people who have not applied for asylum or whose demands have been rejected have been identified,” the spokesman said.
RELOCATION PROCESS: On the 66400 asylum seekers that EU promised to relocate in September 2015, only 615 were transferred to other Member States, according to information made public by the European Commission on April 12th. Ethnos (greek newspaper) notes that the European Commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management, Mr. Christos Stylianides, is today on a visit to Greece to sign agreements with the UNHCR, the international Red Cross and six NGOs, providing for humanitarian assistance to refugees.
66 initial deportees of EU-Turkey deal suffer abuses and misconduct.
The first round of European Union-sanctioned deportations of 66 people from the Greek island of Chios to Turkey on April 4, 2016 was rushed, chaotic, and violated the rights of those deported, Human Rights Watch said today. In Turkey, the detained deportees lost contact with family and friends held in Greece, and Turkish authorities have not allowed visits by rights groups or the United Nations. Further reading: https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/04/19/eu/greece-first-turkey-deportations-riddled-abuse
Women’s clinic assembled in Eko camp by SAMS Global Response.
A women’s health clinic was set up by SAMS Global Response yesterday in #Eko camp in Greece to provide better privacy to female refugees by our diverse medical team that includes doctors and nurses from #Saudi Arabia, #USA, #UK, #Australia and #Pakistan.
83 million euros pledged to improve conditions in Greek camps.
Today the European Commission announces €83 million under the new Emergency Assistance Instrument, proposed on the 2nd of March, to improve living conditions for refugees in Greece, with funding made available immediately to the UNHCR, the International Federation of the Red Cross and six international NGOs. These partners will be working with Greek NGOs who have the necessary local knowledge.
Queen Rania to visit KaraTepe refugee camp.
Queen Rania of #Jordan is expected in Greece next week, where she will visit a refugee camp on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos. The queen is coming to Greece on the invitation of the humanitarian group International Rescue Committee and is expected to visit the #KaraTepe camp, where hundreds of migrants and refugees are awaiting processing under a deal between the European Union and Turkey, Greek daily Naftemporiki reported on Tuesday.
400 or more asylum seekers living in VoennaRampa. Bulgarian PM alleges that Bulgarian camps are in a perfect situation.
The recent statement of the Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, as reported by the Focus News Agency that the situation in the Bulgarian refugee camps is perfect, cannot yet be confirmed. Today, poor living conditions are an ongoing issue in virtually all refugee camps, operated by the State Agency for Refugees (SAR), throughout the country. Many people are living on the literal margins of Bulgarian society. One example is the camp #VoennaRampa, located in the north of Sofia, a former abandoned school in a complex of former military barracks in an industrial area, which is hosting more than 400 asylum seekers, where there is normally place for about 800 people. It seems that at the moment, the influx of people fleeing through Bulgaria is once again increasing. In only the last 1 1/2 weeks, 300 additional inhabitants were accommodated in the building.
Refugees in Serbian camps held for several days, remain stranded afterwards due to a lack of money. Miksaliste in urgent need of summer clothing.
Most of the refugees who arrive from Macedonia and Bulgaria into Serbia stay in #Belgrade only for a day or two. Refugees then move toward the Hungarian border with the smugglers. After crossing the razor wire barrier (price: 100 EUR), refugees almost unexceptionally encounter the Hungarian police waiting for refugees to put them in camps. #Roszke camp is full, so different locations are being used as well for the refugees’ allocation. In those camps, refugees are held for 2–7 days, after which they are allowed to proceed. Some of the refugees eve stay in Belgrade for several weeks, mainly because they have no money to pay the smugglers. They stay at the park, #Miksaliste, abandoned buildings and train coaches around the train station. InfoPark connects those who want to go back home with the IOM, and the rest of them continue their journey at some point.
No one wants to be registered in Serbia, therefore only a few of them are allowed to stay in shelters. There was a big crowd in Miksaliste today. More than 200 refugees came and there are even more of them in front of the gate waiting to get in. Mikasliste desperately needs summer clothing.
Many stranded outside of Hungarian-Serbian transit zones due to denial of access.
NGOs are reporting that Hungarian authorities are denying access to the transit zones of #Röszke and #Tompa, on the Hungary-Serbian border, to an increasing numbers of asylum seekers.
Currently, the very limited admission through the transit zones is the only legal way of entering Hungary in order to seek international protection. According to the European Council of Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), the current practice is to accept only 12–15 people per day. Access is allowed only to Syrian and Iraqi nationals. All others, including families, have been denied entry through the transit zones and they are returned to Serbia. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), access through the zone was capped at 100 people per day in September 2015, when the transit zones were established. Since September 2015, the limit was subsequently decreased to 50 people per day, then to 30 and now down to its current limit. The reduction has left “dozens stranded outside the zones, sometimes for many days.” HRW said.
Austria’s plans for border controls at Brenner threaten to create a second Idomeni, says politician Manfred Weber.
Austria’s introduction of border controls at the Brenner border with Italy could result in a “second Idomeni” being created, a German politician warned yesterday. Austria — which strongly advocated for the closure of the west Balkans migrant route — recently started to build a border checkpoint and a road barrier at the Brenner pass between Austria and Italy. The country’s defense minister Hans Peter Doskozil (SPÖ) also warned last week that Austria is prepared to close the border crossing with Italy in extreme conditions. The measures are part of a national effort by Austria to prepare for what authorities expect will be a repeat of last summer’s wave of refugees and migrants making their way to Europe seeking protection and a better life. German politician and head of the European People’s Party Group Manfred Weber said yesterday that Brenner could become a “second Idomeni” if the area ended up being cordoned off by Austria’s border controls, causing a backlog of people on the Italian side of the border. Speaking to journalists whilst inspecting the site, Weber called on Austria to only introduce the planned measures in “extraordinary circumstances” and for the two countries to sit down together to discuss the matter. “Whoever wants to close the Brenner has learned nothing from history, neither Austrian nor European history,” said Austrian politician Othmar Karas (ÖVP), quoted in the ORF. “Fences inside Europe are the symbols of a failed collaboration. If all countries implemented and applied the jointly agreed EU agreement, there [would be] no need for border fortifications inside the EU.”
Via Sammartini refugee hub declared complete, utilities to be activated soon. Internet access is available.
Milan officially declared that the new refugees’ hub is ready: from via #Tonale, it will shift to via #Sammartini 120, in order to prepare for the summer wave of migrants. At the moment, the latest arrivals count 35 people from Eritrea, along with many children and a newborn, all forced to sleep on the ground due to lack of free places in the city. Several utilities are still missing (electricity and water, to be activated in few days). A room counts 70 beds. There is a reception room, rows of showers and toilets, a warehouse, and a lounge stocked with medical tools, a registration desk, and internet access to contact relatives.
294 of the children in the Calais Jungle remain unaccompanied. MP Angela Crawley puts forth argument on need t protect unaccompanied minors.
Today in the House of Commons, MPs continued the debate on the issue of unaccompanied refugee children. Using her first-hand experience, as part of the Scottish fact-finding mission in #Calais and Grand Synthe led by Help Refugees, Médecins Sans Frontières and L’Auberge des Migrants, Angela Crawley MP argued for the protection of these incredibly vulnerable children.
Our census was again recorded on Hansard, as was the valuable statistical evidence found by the Refugee Rights Data Project who we are so happy to be partnered with. Of the 514 children in the Calais Jungle, 294 are unaccompanied. The youngest one is 8 years old. 129 are still unaccounted for.
Thank you Louisa Gouliamaki for the picture of a baby that sits on a blanket near his mother in the town of Chios, where refugees who managed to leave the Vial detention centre camp out. Thank you Save Our Syria for a picture of kids playing inside one of the cars destroyed in the city of Daraa, Syria. Thank you Morten Heszlein-Lossius for a picture of Women Health Clinic set up by SAMS Global Response yesterday in Eko camp in Greece.