AYS DAILY NEWS DIGEST 25.04.2017 Majority of Afghan asylum seekers have their applications rejected

Merkel panders to far-right, targets Afghan refugees // Another hospital was bombed in Syria // Bodies from yesterday’s deadly boat crash have been recovered // Hundreds live in the forests outside of Dunkirk // Report sternly criticizes hotspot system

Yesterday’s demonstration outside of Munich airport

Feature

Merkel’s pandering has taken many forms, from support to a “burqa ban” (even as women wearing the burqa in Germany is practically unheard of), to the increased enforcement of deportations for those whose asylum applications have been rejected. Although such a move is calculated to weaken the hand of the far-right, they only entrench the politics of the far-right deeper into the German political arena. Taking a “tougher stance” against refugees in need will not weaken the AfD, they will only take the position of what is little more than a fringe party and push it into the mainstream. This is, in a word, the AfD-ization of German politics, and continuing to follow their lead will guide Germany towards the dark abyss of reactionary politics.

Because of the German official position that Afghanistan is a “safe country” the Afghans make a convenient target for Merkel to express her “tough” stances. The fact that a very large portion of the country is embroiled in a state of war, and that the job and educational opportunities are extremely lacking, makes little difference. But the German government shows no regard for this, as yesterday around 50 refugees from Afghanistan were forcibly repatriated to their homeland after failing to secure asylum. Local activists protested outside of the Munich airport from which they were flown out to Kabul, but to no avail.

Yemen

MSF calls for increased funding for operation in Yemen

In the midst of this, the Yemeni people naturally are in great need of medical help which is very difficult to come by. MSF is one of the groups that has done the most over the course of this two-year-long crisis. According to a statement released today, the organization has treated 60,800 trauma patients. But they do not have enough money to provide people much-needed aid in a country where medical supplies are difficult to access. To add to the difficulty, several MSF facilities have been targeted in attacks. A donation to MSF will inevitably save lives, and all who are in a position to help should do so.

Syria

Idlib hospital bombed in airstrikes

Greece

Two hospitalized from Moria hunger strike

Bodies from yesterday’s shipwreck have been found, 7 still missing

Amnesty urges the shutting down of Elliniko Camps in Athens

MSF opens health services in Athens

Numbers

16 arrived on Leros in the morning and were detained by the port police.

Khora reaches record numbers of refugees fed, requests donations

Refugee radio station created

Serbia

BelgrAid issues urgent call for volunteers

Are you currently in Belgrade, or considering coming here in the near future? Do you enjoy working as part of a team? Do you enjoy seeing the benefits of long-standing, sustainable projects? THEN WE NEED YOU! We have several really crucial volunteer positions that need filling as early as THIS THURSDAY! If you can commit to 2+ weeks, we are looking for team-leaders who can take responsibility for a small team and project (full hand over will be provided!) Please contact +381616468891 if you are interested in finding out more (WHATSAPP ONLY!)

We are also searching for DRIVERS with a licence to TOW a TRAILER to join the team over at BelgrAid! This is a central role in their food distribution. Please contact volunteer@belgraid.org if you have the necessary skills!

Refugee Aid Serbia to hold training session for volunteers

Numbers

149 intentions to seek asylum in Serbia were registered in the reporting period, which makes a total of 419 during April and 1,803 since the beginning of the year (compared to 2,484 during the same period in 2016). Since the beginning of the year, the Asylum Office has not yet made any positive decisions on granting refugee status or subsidiary protection

West Serbia

Transit Centres (TCs) in the West sheltered 1,625 refugees and migrants: 863 in Adasevci, 495 in Sid and 267 in Principovac. Their residents are mainly from Afghanistan, followed by Pakistan, Iraq, Syria and Iran. In addition some 50 men and boys were sleeping rough in and around Sid area.

As authorities continue to reduce occupancy of Sid TC, 2,500 local citizens petitioned to close it. On 19 April, authorities apprehended 21 unregistered migrant/refuge men in Sid. Misdemeanour courts referred most back to the police for asylum registration as they could demonstrate that prior requests to register for asylum had not been entertained by authorities.

72 asylum-seekers reported to have been collectively expelled from Croatia, without being granted access to asylum procedures there, having entered Croatia irregularly from Serbia.

North Serbia

41 asylum seekers, mainly families but also single men, were admitted by Hungary. Only six were camping outside Horgos (5) and Kelebija (1) “transit zones”.

Subotica TC sheltered 132, Sombor TC 167 and Kikinda TC 151 asylum-seekers, all families from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, awaiting entrance into Hungary.

Belgrade

Over 3,000 refugees and migrants were counted in Belgrade. Krnjaca AC accommodated 906 asylum- seekers, mainly families from Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria. 1,071 male refugees and migrants (including 339 unaccompanied/separated boys) were sheltered in Obrenovac. Most were from Afghanistan, followed by Pakistan and very few from Iraq, Syria, and other countries.

Some 1,000, mostly Afghan and Pakistani men and boys, appear to sleep rough in the city centre.

Psychologist needed in Belgrade!

Switzerland

Arabic language guide details how to go about preparing for second asylum interview

Germany

German crime statistics for 2016 show an increase in violent crime

A great many of the crimes committed by refugees are done against other refugees, and part of the problem can be attributed to the stressful conditions associated with the mass shelters that are found across Germany. According to the Interior Minister of Saxony, in the state 40% of crimes committed by refugees are the result of the 1% who were known to be repeat offenders.

It is important that we do not allow these crimes to serve the xenophobic far-right’s narrative. Indeed, a rise in a country’s population will inevitably prefigure a rise in the number of crimes. Refugees must not be romanticized, they are just like the rest of us people, and as such there will always be shady figures found in their midst. The same could be said about any other group of people, and yet the far-right spews its vitriol against the people who are, as a group, the most vulnerable in Europe.

France

Following fire and subsequent closing of the Dunkirk camp, hundreds of refugees must live in the woods

Report details the results of the closing of the “Jungle” camp in Calais on children

Dunkirk Legal Services Team needs your help!

Hygiene products needed in Paris!

Algeria

Algeria expels group of 55 Syrian refugees, Morocco refuses to take them in

EU

Malta proposes a plan to resolve reluctance of countries to accept refugees

Report highlights the problems of the hotspots of Italy and Greece

Daily news digests from the field, mainly for volunteers and refugees on the route, but also for journalists and other parties.