AYS Daily Digest 04/10/17: Situation deteriorating in the north of Italy

Call for help from Italian volunteers / Some camps in Greece still in tents ahead of winter / MSF report on border violence by EU police / AYS meets representatives of EC over report on illegal practices of Croatian authorities / Calls for donations and volunteers

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Gorizia (Photo by Serena Visintin)

FEATURE: Situation deteriorating in the north of Italy

The situation is dire in the north of Italy. Arrivals to the Gorizia area continue, at least 5 to 15 a day at the local gallery, volunteers say. The local officials place a certain amount of people in various structures. There are always between roughly 20 to 50 refugees sleeping in the photographed area. There is another group sleeping in another similar place. There is a continuous shift of people staying. The usual route goes from the street to Caritas lodging, the Hub, CAS or Cara di Gradisca, and, if everything goes according to the usual practice, a person sleeps at least five nights in the street. There are also those who have lost their accommodation (through leaving one of the state programmes or for other reasons) and continuously sleep rough.

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(Photo by uncredited volunteers)


Over the past few days, Libya’s coast guard has rescued two boats in distress off the coast of Garabulli in Tripolitania. The 215 people on board, including many children, women, and seniors, were taken back to Tripoli, InfoMigrants reports.
Each person had reportedly paid between 1,000 and 3,000 euros to get on the boat, all were to be transferred to a detention centre in Tajoura.


New arrivals

One refugee boat carrying 33 people arrived to the north coast of Lesvos yesterday evening around 10pm.


With most of the organizations pulling out from the island—if they haven’t already—centres are closing, volunteers on the ground say.

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(Screenshot from a video by CESRT)

Derveni: ahead of another winter under tents

Extreme temperatures, extreme living conditions, mental health issues…

Refugees who currently live at this place, fear that increasing numbers of residents might soon cause more problems to them, as living conditions are already poor and many people suffer from psychological problems. At the same time the sanitary infrastructure is already insufficient despite recent efforts to repair broken toilets and bring new ones. The refugees told us, that most of the times, there is no hot water, a problem of major significance with winter getting closer.

Read the entire story on the situation in Derveni here.

Asylum process: translation

Mobile Info Team has an update on the importance of establishing good communication with the translator in charge of the particular asylum case. Please find this text in other languages here.

Translators wanted

InterVolve team needs Arabic, Sorani, and Kurmanji speakers to join the team working alongside communities at Larissa-Koutsochero Camp.


Violence by the EU border police continues

We keep reporting about the police violence perpetrated by Croatian authorities in the border areas with Serbia and beyond, forwarding other volunteers’ reports and sharing accounts of those who have been through such horrible experiences.

“For more than a year our doctors and nurses have continued to hear the same, repetitive story of young people being beaten, humiliated, and attacked with dogs for desperately trying to continue their journeys.”

It’s disgraceful that EU Member States are intentionally using violence to deter children and young people from seeking asylum in the European Union”, says Stephane Moissaing. “It’s not stopping these kids from trying but it is causing serious damage, both physical and psychological, making them more vulnerable and pushing them back into the hands of the smugglers the European Union and the Member States claims to be fighting.


EC met with AYS and CMS over latest Report

AYS and CMS have met the representatives of DG Migration and Home Affairs today in Zagreb. The meeting was initiated by the Commission after reading our report on the unlawful practices by the Croatian Ministry of Interior and Security Intelligence Agency (SOA), who issued minimum 44 negative decisions to asylum seekers mainly from Syria and Iraq, including very young children.


The European Commission sent a reasoned opinion on the Hungarian NGO Law following their letter of formal notice sent on 14 July. The EC had decided to start legal proceedings against Hungary for failing to fulfill its obligations under the Treaty provisions on the free movement of capital, due to provisions in the NGO Law which indirectly discriminate and disproportionately restrict donations from abroad to civil society organizations. They also say that Hungary violates the right to freedom of association and the right to protection of private life and personal data enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, read in conjunction with the EU Treaty provisions.


2016 vs. 2017

Official statistics have been published regarding the number of refugees who have arrived on Italian soil in the previous year, compared to the actual data gathered until October 3.


Co-drivers needed

Our volunteer friends from Signal of Solidarity — Flüchtlingshilfe in Germany are doing another solidarity action by van, heading towards France. They are looking for a fellow traveler to join them and share driving along the way: from Bremen to Paris.


The 106-year old Bibihal Uzbeki, also called “the world’s oldest refugee” was today granted a temporary residence permit after her appeal in the migration court in Gothenburg. As AYS have mentioned before, she came to Sweden in 2015 together with her son and other close relatives where she applied for asylum. Earlier this year she got her first negative answer from the Migration Agency, who claimed that she could return safely to Afghanistan together with her relatives. Age isn’t a good enough reason for the Swedish authorities to grant someone protection and some peace at the final stage of life. Obviously negatively impacted by the answer, Uzbeki suffered from a stroke and stopped communicating completely, which hadn’t been the case before.


A man died on Tuesday while he was being held at an immigration removal centre. It is the third such death in less than a month and human rights campaigners have expressed alarm at the incident. The prisons and probation ombudsman has begun an investigation, the media say. The investigation revealed other incidents of mistreatment of vulnerable detainees including those who were suicidal.

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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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