AYS Daily News Digest 24.04.2017: UN reports on widespread torture in Afghanistan

Refugee boat sinks in the Aegean Sea off Lesvos / Update on hunger strike in Moria / Volunteers needed at Nea Kavala / Update on prohibited food distribution in Ventimiglia, Italy/ Six months from the demolition of Calais “Jungle”

Protesters gathered outside Munich airport, photo taken from DW

UN reports on widespread torture in Afghanistan while Europe accepts fewer and deports more Afghan asylum seekers

While deportation of Afghans seeking asylum in European countries has been continuing and even increasing as of late, with Afghanistan marked as a “safe country of origin”, a new UN report published today shows detainees continue to face torture and ill-treatment in government detention facilities. The report is based on interviews with 469 conflict-related detainees conducted from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2016 in 62 detention facilities across the country, states UNAMA. More than a quarter of the 77 detainees who reported being tortured by the police were boys under the age of 18, according to UN, while almost 60 percent of detainees very severely beaten, writes Reuters. Full report is available here.

GREECE

Refugee boat sinks in the Aegean see off Lesvos

“Boat sank off the coast of Eftalou. They have found 6 dead and a living pregnant woman that I can confirm so far” said a first hand report from leading member of Lighthouse Relief Lesvos North. The boat was spotted around midnight, 1AM and then visual contact was lost. No one could locate them, even though the coastguard was out patrolling. Then they started washing up this morning, they said. Death toll from boat sinking increases to 16; 9 bodies recovered in Greek waters, 7 in Turkish waters, journalist in the area updated on the situation. The boat left the Turkish coast last night. A pregnant woman was saved and now in critical condition. Nationalities of those on board are not known so far. The bodies of two men, two women and one underage child were first found floating in the waters. Any effort by rescuers to bring them back to life were in vain, KeepTalkingGreece writes. Estimations are made that the boat was carrying 25 refugees, the number of dead is increasing by hour while rescue operation continues.

Volunteers for Nea Kavala needed ASAP

Update from Souda camp, Chios

The court of Chios convicted, based on the anti-racist law 4285/2014 (article 1), to 18 months imprisonment and 5.000 euro fine Matheos Mermigousis and 7 months imprisonment Kommata Anastasios. They were accused that on Thursday 20th they beat refugees while one pretended to be a policeman, Astraparis reports.

Update on hunger strike in Moria, Lesvos

Day 4 — Still nobody came and talked to the hunger strikers or checked on them, despite promises yesterday, writes Lesvos Solidarity — Pikpa. One of the hunger strikers was brought to the medics this morning. He had to be taken in on a wheelchair because he was too weak to walk. Some of the remaining are now drinking water with salts.

Kos report

Information Point of Solidarity in Dodecanese islands reports from Kos.

Incident outside the northeastern city of Xanthi

Greek authorities say that a man identified as an Iranian man in his 30s has died and three others have been hospitalized with injuries in Northern Greece when a van transporting 14 migrants from near the Turkish border crashed after being chased by police, AP News reports.

Athens

As hundreds of migrants continue to be hosted in squats across Athens, the owners of the properties being occupied are struggling to gain access, writes Kathimerini. While conditions at refugee camps remain bad, police sources say there are plans for vacating properties occupied by members of leftist and anarchist groups. Actions are being delayed due to a lack of alternative accommodation.

SERBIA

Introductory training session for volunteers teaching at ‘The Workshop’ this Friday 28th.

Refugee Aid Serbia will be holding an introductory training session covering:

BULGARIA

53 Iraqis, Syrians and Afghans, mostly coming from the accommodation center in Harmanli, were caught on a bridge above Danube river on Friday, trying to cross border illegally and aiming to reach Netherlands. 22 men, 13 women and 18 children between 3 and 6 years old were found inside the loading wagons of a truck when stopped at a border check, Novinite reports.

ITALY

Update on prohibited food distribution in Ventimiglia

On the 22nd of April the local administration revoked the ordinance that since the August 2016 prohibited food distribution in Ventimiglia. The decision was taken the day after the announcement of a protest demonstration “against the criminalization of solidarity”. for April 30th. Multiple groups, all listed in this article, voiced their protest against the ordinance (among them, even a police union!). In march No Borders activists were fined. The decision is formally explained as a consequence of “a change of the situation, as in the ‘Roja camp’ the Red Cross is not able to provide food for everybody…”, still suggesting to use formal channels of Caritas and Red Cross. A demo is launched for April 30th at 12, in front of the Ventimiglia train station, R.it writes.

FRANCE

Six months from the demolition of Calais camp

Refugee Rights Data Project published a comprehensive and alarming report on the situation six months after the closure of Calais “Jungle”. Hundreds of refugees and displaced people, many of them minors, continue to reside in the region, still facing severe levels of police brutality including beatings, use of tear gas and reportedly tasers.

NETHERLANDS

Possibility for undocumented refugees to get glasses and eye checks in Amsterdam, in two weeks.

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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