EUs new Gatekeeper Turkey burning life-vests of refugees

By momo

copyright: Salinia Stroux

copyright: Salinia Stroux

The last few days hundreds of refugees were caught on the Turkish mainland, along the western coast and in Turkish territorial waters while trying to set over to Greece clandestinely. Among the refugees who come mainly from war-torn Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are more than 30% children. Whilst getting intercepted, sometimes detained or directly send back to Izmir and Istanbul, the authorities take away their life-vests. Many refugees report that the Gendarmes even burned, while telling them that: “We do that so you wouldn’t try again!”

In some occasions refugee dinghies intercepted in the Aegean Sea even were threatened by Turkish coast guards that they would shoot their dinghy if they don’t go back.

Consequently, most refugees when trying again to set over have no money left to buy new life-vests while most of them cannot swim neither.

Refugees will not stop fleeing to Europe despite NATO, Frontex, Coastguards, the usage of Drones, war ships or helicopters to locate, intercept and return them. They will not stop at barbed wire or in front of armed soldiers who are blocking their ways. As long there is war, people will move on, no matter what.

An Afghan father indicates with a movement of his …read more

From:: infomobile greece

Idomeni about to explode: Anybody listening out there?

By momo

copyright: Amir Karimi

copyright: Amir Karimi

“Like dogs! We are waiting here under unbearable conditions – it is not even suitable for animals!” says a young woman who is enduring since days at the borders of Idomeni. Everywhere around the transit border camp are media representatives from all over the world covering the humanitarian crisis of the last two weeks. It was then when Austria and the Balkan states decided to further reduce the numbers of the refugees who can pass the borders by limiting the eligible nationalities on Iraqis and Syrians. On Monday refugees started a hunger strike after a 13-years-old boy got electroshocked by a cable of a standing train. But is anybody listening out there?

copyright: Chrissi Wilkens

Since the last weekend border police in Macedonia and other Balkan states are pushing refugees back who come from regions which are not considered to be war zones, like i.e. Damascus, Mosul, Rakka. Omar a refugee from Syria is standing infront of the border. He is sleeping with his family in a camp near Idomeni and came by taxi to check the situation. Next to him on the ground some families are sitting in the mud with their babies and …read more

From:: infomobile greece

Macedonia is further limiting the criteria for people allowed passage at the border with Greece

By momo

source: news that moves

March 3, 2016
Authorities confirmed they will deny entry to Syrian and Iraqi asylum seekers who declare the intention to reach Western Europe because of family reunification, education and to avoid military recruitment in their country of origin.

The Macedonian police confirmed that those who stayed for more than 30 days in ‘safe third countries’ like Turkey and Greece are also not anymore allowed to cross into Macedonia.

Only Syrian and Iraqi citizens who declare during an interview with the police that they are fleeing war, and seeking asylum are now permitted to pass into Macedonia.

The Macedonian police confirmed today that more new rules for selecting which asylum seekers can enter Macedonia and proceed further along the Balkan Route are in force immediately.

The police will assess which asylum seekers can enter Macedonia during a 30-minutes long interview at the border crossing in Gevgelija.

Police teams from the Czech Republic and Austria, assisted by interpreters, are conducting the interviews. Macedonian police are present as observers.

Those refused after the interviews face immediate deportation to Greece.

Macedonian authorities will deny entry to Syrians and Iraqis declaring that they want to reunite with their families that are already in Austria, Germany or in other EU …read more

From:: infomobile greece

Unaccompanied minors unidentified in mass camps in Athens

By momo

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“There is no food here. I want to go Germany, Denmark or Holland. I want to study sciences.”

Z., 12 years old unaccompanied minor from Afghanistan

“We know that here in Greece there is no help for us. There is no work. Greek people are jobless. I want to go to Germany because there they accept us.”

M., 15 years old unaccompanied minor from Afghanistan

Ellinikon has three spaces: the former airport, a hockey stadium and since today also a baseball field. Currently, there are about 4,000 refugees temporarily hosted there. Refugees there complain about the food in the camp: “Its expired. We had to buy ourselves food in order to give to our children, outherwise they would starve. Other people do not have the money though.” Meanwhile hundreds of unaccompanied minors remain unidentified in substandard mass reception centers as this one lacking any protection or special support.


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fotos: Chrissa Wilkens

…read more

From:: infomobile greece

“open the borders!” – refugee protests increasing in Greece

By momo

Protest against closure of border 28. February in Victoria Square

+Currently about 22,000-25,000 refugees trapped in Greece+ Migration Minister Yannis Mouzalas estimates it can become 70,000 within one month if borders don’t open again+In Idomeni and Athens refugees protest daily and demand the opening of the borders*

Protest against closure of border 28. February in Victoria Square

The UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon on February 26, 2016 voiced concern about increasing border restrictions in the Balkans and Austria for migrants and refugees streaming towards Europe “calls on all countries to keep their borders open, and to act in a spirit of responsibility sharing and solidarity, including through expanding legal pathways to access asylum,” his spokesman Dujarric said.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Thursday expressed serious concern at security measures adopted at a recent meeting of the heads of police of five European countries.

“In the wake of the adoption of these measures last week, the treatment of refugees and migrants moving through some of these countries already appears to have changed, with seriously negative implications for their human rights,” Zeid said. “Latest reports suggest chain deportations are now taking place all the way down the Balkan land route, which includes Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia …read more

From:: infomobile greece

“We cannot survive here!” – Refugees desperate to flee humanitarian crisis in Greece

By momo

1

“We cannot survive here! Please reopen the border! We have disabled people with us, babies, and pregnant women. In Greece there are no facilities!”, says Mohsen from Afghanistan. Sitting next to him in a wheelchair is his 85 year old father, who collapsed. Some meters away -on a blanket on the ground sits the rest of the 11-member family. They came from the city of Herat in Afghanistan. “Our plan is to go to Germany, to start a safe life there. But now I cannot think anymore. I am totally confused”, says Mohsen.

The famous Victoria Square where thousands of refugees all over the world passed the last years during their risky trip to northern Europe, looks like a war zone. Since last Sunday when the Western Balcans under the instructions of Austria decided to close the border for any refugees other than Syrians and Iraqis, this small square in the heart of Athens, is again the symbol of the failure of European migration policies. It shows in the most painful way how unprepared Europe was to this hugest refugee movement since second world war. More than 25,000 refugees were hemmed in Greece according to estimations on Saturday the 27th …read more

From:: infomobile greece

Greece is turning into “hot-spot”

By clandestina

The situation in Greece is further intensifying. 25,000 migrants stranded in Greece. “Hot-spots” and people walking and sleeping on the highways. Greek authorities announced that ferries will be held back on the islands and used as temporary accommodation. Apart from the over crowed camps close to the port there are also several hundred people accommodated in the ferry terminals of Piraeus. Meanwhile, the Slovenian authorities have announced to limit the daily influx of people to only 580 per day.

Read all updates …read more

From:: Clandestine

Greece is turning into “hot-spot”

The situation in Greece is further intensifying. 25,000 migrants stranded in Greece. “Hot-spots” and people walking and sleeping on the highways. Greek authorities announced that ferries will be held back on the islands and used as temporary accommodation. Apart from the over crowed camps close to the port there are also several hundred people accommodated in the ferry terminals of Piraeus. Meanwhile, the Slovenian authorities have announced to limit the daily influx of people to only 580 per day.

Read all updates here


Nato launches naval patrols to return migrants to Turkey

By clandestina

http://www.theguardian.com

Military alliance sends three warships, backed by planes, to intercept migrants and refugees in admission from EU that it is failing to cope with flow of people.

Nato has sent a patrol of three warships to intercept migrants trying to reach Greece by sea and send them back to Turkey, as Europe steps up efforts to contain the refugee crisis.

The mission has been agreed and ordered to the Aegean sea in less than 24 hours, an extremely rapid move for the alliance. Nato normally spends months deliberating over decisions and agreeing details.

The German-led patrol will be backed by planes that can monitor the flow of people attempting illegal crossings. Greece and Turkey have agreed that any migrants they intercept will be sent back.

“They will not be taken back to Greece. The aim of the group is to have them taken back to Turkey. That is the crucial difference,” said the British defence secretary, Michael Fallon.

“This is the first time we have seen a group tasked with returning migrants. That has not happened before. So that is quite an important development.”

The UK does not have any ships involved but is looking at how it could contribute, Fallon …read more

From:: Clandestine

Nato launches naval patrols to return migrants to Turkey

http://www.theguardian.com

Military alliance sends three warships, backed by planes, to intercept migrants and refugees in admission from EU that it is failing to cope with flow of people.

Nato has sent a patrol of three warships to intercept migrants trying to reach Greece by sea and send them back to Turkey, as Europe steps up efforts to contain the refugee crisis.

The mission has been agreed and ordered to the Aegean sea in less than 24 hours, an extremely rapid move for the alliance. Nato normally spends months deliberating over decisions and agreeing details.

The German-led patrol will be backed by planes that can monitor the flow of people attempting illegal crossings. Greece and Turkey have agreed that any migrants they intercept will be sent back.

“They will not be taken back to Greece. The aim of the group is to have them taken back to Turkey. That is the crucial difference,” said the British defence secretary, Michael Fallon.

“This is the first time we have seen a group tasked with returning migrants. That has not happened before. So that is quite an important development.”

The UK does not have any ships involved but is looking at how it could contribute, Fallon told journalists after a meeting of defence ministers in Brussels, where the plan was hammered out.

“It could definitely help save lives in the Aegean and it could help break the criminal gangs that are trafficking migrants from Turkey into Europe,” he added.

Nato and the EU have been keen to avoid any impression that they see refugees as a threat, and the alliance’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, initially denied that the ships would try to stop people from crossing into Europe. “This is not about stopping or pushing back refugee boats,” he said.

Germany’s defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen, had already indicated she favoured a far more robust approach and had secured Ankara’s permission to send some refugees back to Turkey, the Deutsche Welle newspaper reported.

The ships are to be ordered to the Aegean to begin the mission “without delay”, and are expected to be in place on Friday, even though the details of their role are still being filled in, said US air force general Philip Breedlove.

The Nato flotilla will be led by the German navy’s flagship, the Bonn, supported by Turkey’s frigate Barbaros and the Canadian frigate, Fredericton.

“This mission has literally come together in about the last 20 hours,” Breedlove told journalists. “I have been tasked now to go back and define the mission, define the rules of engagement, define all of what we call special operation instructions, all of the things that will lay out what we are going to do.”

He declined to comment on whether the Nato crews would join local coastguards in rescuing migrants whose boats had sunk or were failing.

Turkey hosts more than 2.5 million Syrian refugees, and has warned that tens of thousands more who have fled a government advance on Aleppo were seeking to join them.

Greece, as the first point of entry for most people seeking asylum in Europe, is under concerted pressure from European governments to do much more to halt the influx of refugees and migrants from Turkey.

And Germany has been the main destination for new arrivals after Merkel decided in effect to open the country’s doors to Syrians last summer. When the numbers rose faster than expected, the country struggled to cope.

The refugee crisis has since pushed support for Merkel to a four-year low, and as thousands of people continue to pour across Germany’s borders, fewer than one in five Germans think the government is handling the challenge well.

efence ministers from the 28 countries in the US-led military alliance agreed in principle to the mission and have asked officials to look at a variety of options for establishing patrols along the Turkish and Greek coasts and other smuggling routes. Several member states have offered to send reinforcements to the three-ship mission.

Earlier this week, the International Organisation for Migration said 409 people had died so far this year trying to cross the sea to Europe, and that nearly 10 times as many refugees and migrants crossed in the first six weeks of 2016 as in the same period last year.

There have been concerns that a strong naval presence might encourage more people to attempt to reach Europe, as there would be a greater chance of being picked up in the event of boats sinking.

People smugglers in Libya told the Guardian last year that an increased military presence in the Mediterranean would not act as a deterrent.

Nato involvement is an admission that the EU, which is responsible at present for dealing with the influx of migrants, is struggling to cope with the numbers travelling by sea.

The alliance already has a strong naval presence in the eastern Mediterranean to help protect Turkey from any incursions from Syria.

 


January 2016: the deadliest month so far

By clandestina

January 2016 has been the deadliest month ever in the Aegean: 257 migrants have died in the cold sea. A dozen more migrants died either after reaching Europe or traveling to a launch point in Turkey and 26 migrants died trying to reach Italy.

On Saturday (30/1) 39 migrants died trying to reach the island of Lesvos.

On Thursday (28/01) 26 migrants died near the island of Samos.

On Wednesday (27/01) 7 migrants died near the island of Kos.

…read more

From:: Clandestine

January 2016: the deadliest month so far

January 2016 has been the deadliest month ever in the Aegean: 257 migrants have died in the cold sea. A dozen more migrants died either after reaching Europe or traveling to a launch point in Turkey and 26 migrants died trying to reach Italy.

On Saturday (30/1) 39 migrants died trying to reach the island of Lesvos.

On Thursday (28/01) 26 migrants died near the island of Samos.

On Wednesday (27/01) 7 migrants died near the island of Kos.


If the border to FYROM closes, reception conditions in Athens for refugees will become unbearable!

By momo

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copyright: Chrissi Wilkens

The borders along the Balkan Route are getting every day more militarized and difficult to cross for transit refugees in Greece. Since two months just protection seekers from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan can pass the greek-macedonian border near Idomeni. Refugees of other nationalities are therefore forced to chose hidden paths and try to go to Northern Europe with the help of smugglers using dangerous routes. Many of them actually get stuck in Greece under inhuman and degrading conditions due to a lack of money to continue their perilous journey. The country is unable to cope with the steady peak in number of arrivals – i.e. last year there were more than 860,000 coming to Greece. According to recent media reports, the EU plans to practically ‘fence’ Greece in order to stop the (safe) passage of refugees. Plans include the threat to kick Greece out of the Sengen Zone if the government doesn’t improve border controls. A closure of the border along the Balkan route would lead without doubt to a massive humanitarian crisis in Greece when thousands of refugees have to stay in limbo in a country without any infrastructure which is itself hit strongly by half a …read more

From:: infomobile greece

Management of migrants: from charity to brutality

By clandestina

Τhe state of siege and the massive police operation in Idomeni marks the turn from the publicly advertised “humanitarian governmental policy on the refugee crisis” to the “obligatory” and by tacit consensus brutality: “The country is in line with its commitments”.
Physical brutality was there before, but the whole situation was presented in the mass media as a combination of the valiant efforts of our left government and the philanthropic concerns of the Greek Volk (this was the way that the humane attitude of a large number of people was presented, mixed with the bureaucratic profit-making of various NGOs and the selfless made by various “first-world” citizens who, being attracted by the tragedies of the ‘others’, addressed the issue as if they were in a safari in Africa).

Under the new tactics, minister Mouzalas can be photographed posing as an activist together with the radical superstar Susan Sarandon (the last remaining, along with the comic actor Slavoj Žižek, to reaffirm the radicality of the Greek Government) ignoring the small detail that in the first weeks of December 100 migrants died in the Aegean sea.
Many of the dead belonged to the “good category”, they came from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, they were “refugees”. …read more

From:: Clandestine

++Police raid in Idomeni++Refugees trapped in Athens now++

By momo

11b

“Do we look like animals or why do they play with our lives?”
A massive police raid in Idomeni put a temporary end to legal border crossings from Greece towards Northern Europe

Hundreds of refugees were transferred by busses to Athens from the border city Idomeni, near FYROM (Former Republic of Macedonia), following a massive police raid with more than 350 officers participating that took place on Wednesday December 9, 2015. Many refugees had been waiting and protesting for more than two weeks along the new 40 kilometers barbed wire fence, while only Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans were allowed to cross since November 19. Around 1,200 refugees from more than 19 nationalities had remained in the provisory tent camp the last days “united”, as they claimed in gratifies for the right to a safe passage. As the border got partly closed and nationalities filtered in the ones allowed to cross and the rest, the situation had escalated with the Macedonian police using rubber bullets, tear gas and other forms of violence against anyone trying to cross. Dozens of refugees started started hunger strikes to protest the discrimination, as few of which even sew their mouths. A young Moroccan died during protests as …read more

From:: infomobile greece

Border closed in Eidomeni

By clandestina

http://livetickereidomeni.bordermonitoring.eu

3.12.2015

09.00: The border is still closed. All nationalities are stuck now. Conflicts are rising among those who could pass, and those who cannot. People are trying to walk to other border crossings. UNHCR has left the camp tonight. Europe’s strategy of divide et impera has worked out so far.

2.12.2015

24.00: Update: It’s not ten buses waiting, it’s twenty. Additional 1000 persons will have to sleep outside tonight.

23.00: The border crossing is still blocked by protestors. Greek police has completely left the border zone. Right now around ten buses are arriving. UNHCR reports that they have no clue how to accommodate the newly arriving persons. Obviously they have enough stored goods, but no staff to distribute it.

19.00: Still hundreds of protesters in front of the fence. The border crossing is blocked, nobody can pass right now. The camp is getting crowded as new people still arrive.

17.00: Protesters shout ‚Etihad‘ (United) to gather all nationalities in front of the fence.

16.00: Protesters have teared down the fences of the crosspoint. Situation tense. Greek police doesn’t intervene.

15.00: Hundreds gather at the crosspoint as rumours have spreaded that border would be opened in 2 hours. Macedonian police/army has …read more

From:: Clandestine

Idomeni: tension increasing, hunger strike continues

By clandestina

Tension increasing in Idomeni. Today, early in the morning -3:00 am-, and at 4:00 pm in the afternoon, hundreds of migrants tried to cross the border by pushing Rep. of Macedonia riot police and soldiers.
One person was injured and taken by ambulance to the hospital of Kilkis. Some people managed to cross the border, but after a wile 7 of them (perhaps all of them) were returned to Greece.
The hunger strike continues, as the 10 Iranian hunger strikers are guarded by other immigrants from Iran. Right now the number of hunger strikers with sewn mouths is reduced to six.

…read more

From:: Clandestine

Hunger strike in Eidomeni

By clandestina

One Iranian has sewed his mouth. The total number of migrants participating in the hunger strike is still unclear.
The number of migrants who are not allowed to pass the borders is from 1,500 up to 2,000, as more migrants who are not allowed to pass keep arriving with buses from Athens. In order to return them to Athens, the drivers ask to be paid a 50 euros ticket.

…read more

From:: Clandestine