Laut UNO hat die Kriminalisierung zu einer Rekordsterblichkeit geführt, während Italien die Sea-Watch 3 im Hafen von Catania blockiert.

01.02.2019, Sea-Watch erfuhr aus den Medien, dass ihr Schiff Sea-Watch 3, das gestern nach einer 10-tägigen Odyssee 47 Menschen in Catania angelandet hat, in Catania blockiert ist. Die Blockade des letzten verbliebenen Rettungsschiffes im Mittelmeer kommt nur wenige Tage nachdem die Vereinten Nationen die Kriminalisierung der Seenotrettung als Grund für eine Rekordsterblichkeit nannten. Berichten zufolge…

Der Beitrag Laut UNO hat die Kriminalisierung zu einer Rekordsterblichkeit geführt, während Italien die Sea-Watch 3 im Hafen von Catania blockiert. erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

Together for family reunification and fundamental rights!

Gemeinsam für Familiennachzug und Grundrechte!

سويا. لم الشمل والحقوق الأساسية!

Together for family reunification and fundamental rights!

همه باهم برایِ حقِ پیوستنِ اعضایِ خانواده و حقوقِ بنیادین!

Ensemble pour la réunification familiale et les droits fondamentaux!

ВМЕСТЕ ЗА ВОССОЕДИНЕНИЕ СЕМЕЙ И ОСНОВЫ ПРАВА

Demo in Berlin: 2 February 2019, 13:00, S-Bahnhof Friedrichstr.

Other actions: Termine المواعيد

Leafleats and more material

Deutsch + andere Sprachen: http://familienlebenfueralle.net/2019/01/demo-fuer-familiennachzug-in-berlin/

On 1 February 2018, the majority of the members of the German ‚Bundestag‘ decided to continue to suspend family reunification for the family members of subsidiary protected refugees until first of August 2018 and to introduce a new law governing family reunification. Most members of the SPD agreed, so that the SPD could form a government coalition together with the CDU / CSU. On June 15, 2018, this government coalition passed the Family Reunification Renewal Act. This law is since 01.08. 2018 in force: 1000 people per month should be selected from the visa application of family members of refugees with subsidiary protection status and should be allowed to enter as „humanitarian cases“. Thus, the right to family reunification became an arbitrary right of grace.
The experience of recent months shows that the application process is complicated and multi-level and the authorities involved process the applications so slowly that not even these 1,000 people can enter the country each month. By the end of November, only 1562 visas had been issued. This exposes the law as an instrument to prevent family reunification .
At the same time, laws and bureaucratic hurdles prevent many other families from living together, for example by requiring documents for family reunification that refugees from many countries can not obtain.
It makes us angry that the German government and the asylum- and residence laws ignore rights of refugees. We want an unrestricted right to education, the right to safety and a life without persecution. We want respect for all forms of family and the right to live together with our families, we demand a work permit, decent accommodation with privacy and freedom of movement.

With a demonstration in Berlin on 2 February and decentralized actions in other cities in Germany on 1. and 2. February, we want to show that we will continue to protest together until basic and human rights finally apply to all.

Erstunterzeichnende Organisationen und Initiativen
AG Bleiben Köln
agis (antirassistische gruppe internationale solidarität) Darmstadt
AK Asyl – Flüchtlingsrat Rheinland-Pfalz e.V.
Aktion Freiheit statt Angst
Ausländerarbeit der Ev. Galiläa-Samariter-Kirchengemeinde Berlin
BBZ – Beratungs- und Betreuungszentrum für junge Flüchtlinge und Migrant*innen / KommMit – für Migranten und Flüchtlinge e.V., Berlin
Be an Angel e.V.,Berlin
BumF e.V. Bundesfachverband unbegleitete minderjährige Flüchtlinge
Bündnis Griechenlandsolidarität Berlin
Bundesweite Projektgruppe Attac gegen Rechts
Care Revolution Regionalgruppe Hamburg
Community for all – Solidarische Gemeinschaften statt Abschiebegefängnis Darmstadt
Flüchtlingsrat Berlin
Flüchtlingsrat Hamburg e.V.
Flüchtlingsrat Mecklenburg-Vorpommern e.V.
Flüchtlingsrat Niedersachsen e.V.
Flüchtlingsrat Sachsen-Anhalt e.V.
Flüchtlingsrat Schleswig-Holstein e.V.
Flüchtlingsrat Thüringen e.V.
Frauenkreise Berlin
Hessischer Flüchtlingsrat
inEUmanity Leipzig
Initiative ‚Familienleben für Alle!
Initiative gegen das EU-Grenzregime Berlin
Initiative Zusammen Leben e.V. Berlin
Jugendliche ohne Grenzen (JOG)
Jumen e.V. – Juristische Menschenrechtsarbeit in Deutschland
kargah e.V- Verein für interkulturelle Kommunikation, Migrations- und Flüchtlingsarbeit Hannover
Kontakt- und Beratungsstelle für Flüchtlinge und Migrant_innen (KuB) e.V. Berlin
LabourNet Germany
move e. V. Verein zur Bildung und Kommunikation in der Sexarbeit Berlin
Multitude e.V. Berlin
NETZ für Selbstverwaltung und Kooperation Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.
PRO ASYL
Refugee Law Clinic Berlin e.V.
Refugee Law Clinic Jena e.V.
Refugee Network – Hilfe für Geflüchtete Göttingen e.V.
Sächsischer Flüchtlingsrat e.V.
Seebrücke
Solinet Hannover
UnserVeto – Bayern, Verband der ehrenamtlichen Flüchtlingshelfer in Bayern
Wedding-hilft Berlin
Willkommensinitiative ‚Willkommen im Westend Berlin‘
XENION Psychosoziale Hilfen für politisch Verfolgte e.V. Berlin

Weitere Unterzeichnende (wird fortlaufend ergänzt)
Allmende e.V. Berlin
borderline-europe Menschenrechte ohne Grenzen e. V.
Care Revolution Berlin
Common Voices Radio (Radio Corax Halle)
Corasol – Contre le racisme – Show Solidarity Berlin
Janusz Korczak – Humanitäre Flüchtlingshilfe e.V. Hannover
Kampagnengruppe ‚VisaWie? Gegen diskriminierende Visaverfahren‘

Europäischer Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte verfügt Interimsmaßnahme gegen Italien – 47 Menschen auf Sea-Watch 3 brauchen eine Lösung

Nach einer Beschwerde von Überlebenden und Besatzungsmitgliedern des Rettungsschiffs Sea-Watch 3 hat der Europäische Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte (EGMR) eine Grundrechtsverletzung festgestellt und eine einstweilige Maßnahme verfügt. Am 11. Tag der rechtswidrigen Blockade vor Siracusa, Italien, erkennt Sea-Watch das Urteil an, muss aber darauf bestehen: Einstweilige Maßnahmen reichen nicht, was es braucht, ist eine Lösung. Der…

Der Beitrag Europäischer Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte verfügt Interimsmaßnahme gegen Italien – 47 Menschen auf Sea-Watch 3 brauchen eine Lösung erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

Passkontrolle! – Leben ohne Papiere in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Ein kollaboratives Forschungs- und Ausstellungsprojekt

Projektlaufzeit: 01.04.2017 bis 31.03.2019
Projektleitung:
Projektpartner: Opens external link in new windowJüdisches Museum Berlin
Opens external link in new windowVerband für interkulturelle Arbeit – VIA-Regionalverband Berlin/Brandenburg e.V. /Opens external link in new window RomaniPhen Archiv
Opens external link in new windowFHXB-Museum

Fachliche Unterstützung:
IniRromnja
Jugendliche ohne Grenzen
International Women Space

Dokumente:
ifaf_passkontrolle_expose.pdf1.0

ifaf_passkontrolle_poster.pdf3.3 M

 

In Zusammenarbeit mit Jugendliche ohne Grenzen, dem Jüdischen Museum Berlin, dem RomaniPhen Archiv, IniRromnja und International Women Space werden Erfahrungen mit prekärem Aufenthaltsstatus bzw. ohne Papiere für die interessierte Öffentlichkeit aufgearbeitet. Ausgehend von persönlichen Erfahrungen werden rechtliche Rahmenbedingungen sowie gesellschaftliche und historische Zusammenhänge gemeinsam recherchiert und analysiert. Dabei interessieren uns grenzüberschreitende und widerständige Praktiken, die eigensinnig und kreativ mit ethnisierenden und vergeschlechtlichten Zuordnungen umgehen, die Handlungsspielräume nutzen und ausweiten oder sich auf andere Weisen mit oder ohne Papieren durch das Leben (oder durch den Alltag) bewegen.

Die kollaborativ entwickelte Ausstellung wird am Ende des Förderzeitraums im Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Museum gezeigt. Sie wird zum Verhandlungsraum für Erfahrungen und Umgangsweisen mit gesellschaftlicher und administrativer Nicht-/Zugehörigkeit sowie den Vorstellungen der Ausstellungsbesucher*innen über die Bedeutung von Papieren in ihrem Leben. Nach Abschluss des Projekts geht die Ausstellung in den Besitz des RomaniPhen Archivs über, wo sie didaktisiert und verliehen wird.

Veranstaltungen und Präsentationen:

+ Ausstellungseröffnung mit Performance “Schule zieht Grenzen – wir ziehen nicht mit!”, FHXB Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Museum, Adalbertstr. 95A 10999 Berlin, 2. Etage, 31.01.2019, 19-22 Uhr

+ Abschlussveranstaltung “Zugangsbarriere. Schule und Ausstellungspraxis rassismuskritisch hinterfragt”, W. M. Blumenthal Akademie, Klaus Mangold Auditorium, 
Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin (gegenüber dem Museum), 20.03.2019, 9.30 -19 Uhr

Das umfangreiche Begleitprogramm mit Workshops, einer Performance- und Theateraufführung und einer Buchvorstellung ergänzt die Ausstellung. Alle Veranstaltungen sind kostenfrei und finden im FHXB-Museum statt (Adalbertstraße 95A, 10999 Berlin-Kreuzberg, 2 Etage).

Programm: Bühne des Widerstands

Kuration und Anmeldung für die Workshops Melanie Joschla Weiss E-Mail: melanieweiss80@web.de

+ 31. Januar 2019, 19 Uhr: Vernissage mit Tanztheaterperformance von Joschla Melanie Weiss und Rea Andrea Kurmann

+ 8. Februar 2019, 19 Uhr: Buchvorstellung des Autor*innenkollektivs Jugendliche ohne Grenzen: Zwischen Barrieren, Träumen und Selbstorganisation – Erfahrungen junger Geflüchteter

+ 14. Februar 2019, 13-16 Uhr: Theaterpädagogischer Workshop zu den Themenschwerpunkten »Mädchenbildung in Missionsschulen« und »Schwarze Schüler*innen im Kaiserreich & im Nationalsozialismus«

+ 15. Februar 2019, 13-16 Uhr: Workshop von Jugendliche ohne Grenzen: »Widerstand gegen Abschiebung im Kontext von Schule«

21. Februar 2019, 13-16 Uhr: Theaterpädagogischer Workshop zum Themenschwerpunkt »Widerstand aus Communities in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart«

+ 22. Februar 2019, 13-16 Uhr: Workshop für Jugendliche: Das Soweto-Uprising: Auseinandersetzung mit Widerstandsgeschichten und -formen aus transnationaler Perspektive.

+ 1. März 2019, 14-16 Uhr: Forumtheaterworkshop zur Sensibilisierung gegen Diskriminierung von Rom*nja der Jugendtheatergruppe So keres? konzipiert von Magdalena Lovrić & Mirella Galbiatti

+ 10. März 2019, 19 Uhr: Theateraufführung von Jugendlichen der Otto-von-Guericke-Oberschule Berlin. Gemeinsam entwickelt mit dem Theater X Berlin.

Publikationen:

Ohne Papiere (über)leben (alice online. Magazin der ASH Berlin, 14.12.2017)

Das ist Doro und er ist wunderschön. Glaubt mir, wenn ich es sage: Er ist wunderschön

Das ist Doro und er ist wunderschön. Glaubt mir, wenn ich es sage: Er ist wunderschön. Seine innere Kraft flößt Demut ein und leuchtet durch all das hindurch, was das Auge sieht. Heute wird er wie eine Geisel auf dem Meer festgehalten. An Bord der Sea-Watch 3, die außerhalb Siziliens gestrandet ist und weder anlanden…

Der Beitrag Das ist Doro und er ist wunderschön. Glaubt mir, wenn ich es sage: Er ist wunderschön erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

Week in Review – 27 January 2019

A Review of Events of the Previous Week in the Mediterranean

The death toll

IOM: Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 5,266 in 2019; Deaths Reach 204

Libyan Coast Guard pull backs / interceptions at 469

 UNHCR update issued 25 January: “So far in 2019, the Libyan Coast Guard rescued/intercepted 469 refugees and migrants. This week, UNHCR recorded an increase in disembarkations in Libya.

On 22 January, UNHCR provided food and water to 141 refugees and migrants who disembarked in Misrata, after being rescued by a merchant vessel, the Lady Sham. The group had been stranded at sea for three days. On 21 January, 106 persons were rescued by a commercial ship, the Gesina Schepera, and disembarked in Alkhoms Naval Base. On 20 January, 152 persons were disembarked in Tripoli. On 19 January, 70 refugees and migrants disembarked at the Tripoli Naval Base….

Since October 2018, UNHCR has registered 3,140 refugees and asylum seekers in detention centres. In January alone, UNHCR registered 328 individuals. This week, UNHCR registered asylum-seekers in Zwara and Azzawya detention centres (100 and 45 km west of Tripoli, respectively). In addition, last week UNHCR visited Al Khoms detention centre (115 km east of Tripoli) and Triq al Sikka detention centre in Tripoli. UNHCR estimates that 5,000 refugees and migrants are detained in Libya of whom 3,800 are of concern to UNHCR….”

Sea Watch-3 stand-off continues with Italy refusing to allow NGO rescue vessel to dock with 47 rescued migrants and refugees

47 rescued migrants and refugees, including unaccompanied children, remain on board the Sea Watch 3 which is currently anchored in Italian waters off Sicily.  UNHCR, IOM, UNICEF and others have expressed great concern over the dangerous physical and psychological conditions on board rescue ship and the need for immediate disembarkation. The rescued persons have been on board for seven days. Sea Watch statement here.

UNHCR appeals for urgent action as new Mediterranean mid-winter deaths reported

UNHCR “is watching with increasing alarm the situation on the Mediterranean, where over the past few days we have seen two shipwrecks, numerous other rescue incidents, a merchant vessel disembarking rescued individuals to Libya, and reports that the Libyan coast guard itself has been unable to respond to incidents within its designated search and rescue region of the Mediterranean because of shortages of fuel….UNHCR believes it has become urgent for States to take action to reassert effective rescue capacity on the Mediterranean by increasing coordinated multi-state rescue, restoring rapid disembarkation in a place of safety, and lifting impediments to the work of NGO rescue vessels. People who don’t have a valid claim to asylum or other forms of international protection must then swiftly be helped to return home. At present, the politicking around sea rescues is preventing serious focus on a solution to the problem. Meanwhile lives are being tragically lost. Politicians must stop using human-beings for political point-scoring, and to instead address this as a humanitarian issue, with saving lives the priority. Reducing arrivals cannot be the only barometer for success when people are drowning on Europe’s doorstep. Of particular concern to us at present is the fate of some 144 rescued refugees and migrants rescued on 20 January by a merchant vessel, the Lady Sham, who last night disembarked in Misrata, Libya under instructions from the Tripoli Joint Rescue and Coordination Centre (JRCC). In Libya’s current context, where outbreaks of violence and widespread human rights violations prevail, no rescued refugees and migrants should be returned there.”

German Defence Minister accuses EUNAVFOR MED command of sabotaging rescue mission by diverting navy vessels to remote locations to avoid migrant boats

From Reuters: “German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, said the German navy had rescued a total of 22,000 migrants at sea since 2015, but had recently been sidelined by Italian commanders. ‘For three quarters of a year, the Italian command has been sending our navy to the most remote areas of the Mediterranean where there are no smuggling routes and no migrant flows so that the navy has not had any sensible role for months,’ she said. Berlin this week decided not to replace its ship the Augsburg when its tour ends on Feb. 6, although it said another vessel would be standing by in the North Sea if needed. … According to Italian defence ministry figures, Operation Sophia had rescued only 106 migrants in the past seven months, while Libya’s coast guard has picked up 13,000 in the same period.

Bloomberg article here.

Human Rights Watch report: “‘No Escape from Hell’: EU Policies Contribute to Abuse of Migrants in Libya”

The report was released by HRW on 21 January: “European Union policies contribute to a cycle of extreme abuse against migrants in Libya, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The EU and Italy’s support for the Libyan Coast Guard contributes significantly to the interception of migrants and asylum seekers and their subsequent detention in arbitrary, abusive detention in Libya. The 70-page report, “‘No Escape from Hell’: EU Policies Contribute to Abuse of Migrants in Libya,” documents severe overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, malnutrition, and lack of adequate health care. Human Rights Watch found violent abuse by guards in four official detention centers in western Libya, including beatings and whippings. Human Rights Watch witnessed large numbers of children, including newborns, detained in grossly unsuitable conditions in three out of the four detention centers. Almost 20 percent of those who reached Europe by sea from Libya in 2018 were children….”

Frontex: Number of irregular crossings at Europe’s borders at lowest level in 5 years

Frontex news release: “[In 2018] the number of illegal border-crossings at Europe’s external borders has fallen by a quarter compared with 2017 to an estimated 150 000, the lowest level in five years. The total for 2018 was also 92% below the peak of the migratory crisis in 2015. The drop was due to the dramatic fall in the number of migrants taking the Central Mediterranean route to Italy. The number of detections of irregular crossings on this route plunged 80% compared to 2017 to slightly more than 23 000.  The Central Mediterranean route saw the smallest number of irregular entries since 2012. The number of departures from Libya dropped 87% from a year ago, and those from Algeria fell by nearly a half. Departures from Tunisia stayed roughly unchanged. Tunisians and Eritreans were the two most represented nationalities on this route, together accounting for a third of all migrants.

Meanwhile, the number of arrivals in Spain via the Western Mediterranean route doubled last year for the second year in a row to 57 000, making it the most active migratory route into Europe for the first time since Frontex began collecting data.

On the Western Mediterranean route, Morocco has become the main departure point to Europe. Most of the migrants on this route originated from sub-Saharan countries, although in recent months the number of Moroccan migrants has increased to become the top reported nationality. They were trailed by Guineans, Malians and Algerians.

The number of detections of illegal border-crossings on the Eastern Mediterranean route rose by nearly a third to 56 000. This was mainly caused by a higher number of migrants crossing the land border between Turkey and Greece, while the total number of detections in the Eastern Aegean Sea was roughly in line with 2017. Nevertheless, the number of arrivals registered in Cyprus more than doubled. Nationals of Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq accounted for the largest number of irregular migrants on the sea route in the Eastern Mediterranean, while Turkish nationals were the main nationality on the Turkish-Greek land border….”

ECRE statement: “Deaths and Disputes Continue in the Mediterranean, as Refugees and Migrants are Returned to Abuse”

Tragedy in the Mediterranean Sea continues, with more than 170 people dead or missing in two separate shipwrecks last weekend. A further 144 people that were ‘rescued’ by a cargo vessel were returned to inhumane conditions in Libya.  Meanwhile, naval anti- smuggling operation Sophia remains at risk due to a lack of EU unity regarding the extension of its mandate….”

Article: Climate stress drove wave of Arab Spring refugees

From Reuters: “Severe droughts made more likely by global warming worsened conflict in Arab Spring countries early this decade, forcing people to flee, researchers said on Wednesday, publishing evidence they said proved the connection for the first time. The study used data from asylum applications in 157 countries from 2006-2015, together with an index that measures droughts, as well as figures tracking battle-related deaths, to assess the links between climate change, conflict and migration. The findings, published in the journal Global Environmental Change, showed a particular correlation between climate stresses and conflict in parts of the Middle East and North Africa from 2010–2012, when many countries were undergoing political transformation during the Arab Spring uprisings….”

Article here.  Abstract: “Despite the lack of robust empirical evidence, a growing number of media reports attempt to link climate change to the ongoing violent conflicts in Syria and other parts of the world, as well as to the migration crisis in Europe. Exploiting bilateral data on asylum seeking applications for 157 countries over the period 2006–2015, we assess the determinants of refugee flows using a gravity model which accounts for endogenous selection in order to examine the causal link between climate, conflict and forced migration. Our results indicate that climatic conditions, by affecting drought severity and the likelihood of armed conflict, played a significant role as an explanatory factor for asylum seeking in the period 2011–2015. The effect of climate on conflict occurrence is particularly relevant for countries in Western Asia in the period 2010–2012 during when many countries were undergoing political transformation. This finding suggests that the impact of climate on conflict and asylum seeking flows is limited to specific time period and contexts.”

Leuchtfeuer der Solidarität in Syrakus, Zynismus aus Rom: Sea-Watch 3 nach Syrakus eingeladen, aber von der Regierung gehindert.

Sieben Tage nach der Rettung von 47 Schiffbrüchen vor der libyschen Küste ist das letzte verbliebene Rettungsschiff im zentralen Mittelmeer nun vor der Küste Siziliens blockiert, trotz verschiedener Städte, die einen sicheren Hafen boten. Am Donnerstag hatte der Bürgermeister der italienischen Stadt Syrakus, Francesco Italia, in Zusammenarbeit mit der lokalen Zivilgesellschaft den Hafen der Stadt…

Der Beitrag Leuchtfeuer der Solidarität in Syrakus, Zynismus aus Rom: Sea-Watch 3 nach Syrakus eingeladen, aber von der Regierung gehindert. erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

Über 100 Tote, 47 Gerettete und ein Handelsschiff macht sich strafbar

Sea-Watch Vorsitzender Johannes Bayer: “Die EU gibt vor Menschenhandel zu bekämpfen, aber was ist es anderes als Menschenhandel, wenn Staaten tagelang über die Aufnahme von ein paar dutzend Flüchtende schachern und damit deren Leben akut gefährden?“ “Seenotrettung darf niemals von EU-Verhandlungen abhängig gemacht werden, Verteilungsfragen gehören an Land geklärt.” “Dieses Wochenende hat in 3 Akten…

Der Beitrag Über 100 Tote, 47 Gerettete und ein Handelsschiff macht sich strafbar erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

Über 100 Tote, 47 Gerettete und ein Handelsschiff macht sich strafbar

Sea-Watch Vorsitzender Johannes Bayer: “Die EU gibt vor Menschenhandel zu bekämpfen, aber was ist es anderes als Menschenhandel, wenn Staaten tagelang über die Aufnahme von ein paar dutzend Flüchtende schachern und damit deren Leben akut gefährden?“ “Seenotrettung darf niemals von EU-Verhandlungen abhängig gemacht werden, Verteilungsfragen gehören an Land geklärt.” “Dieses Wochenende hat in 3 Akten…

Der Beitrag Über 100 Tote, 47 Gerettete und ein Handelsschiff macht sich strafbar erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

Sea-Watch rettet 47 aus der Seenot, während Europa über 100 Menschen ertrinken lässt.

Am Samstag hat die Sea-Watch 3 als Teil der Allianz #united4med 47 Menschen vor dem Ertrinken bewahrt, darunter acht unbegleitete Minderjährige. Weniger als 24 Stunden zuvor starben oder verschwanden über 100 schiffbrüchige Menschen, berichteten die einzigen drei Überlebenden, die von der italienischen Marine gerettet wurden. Die 47 Personen wurden in internationalen Gewässern nördlich von Zuwara,…

Der Beitrag Sea-Watch rettet 47 aus der Seenot, während Europa über 100 Menschen ertrinken lässt. erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

VERBIJSTERING BIJ KLM PASSAGIERS OP DEPORTATIEVLUCHT SOEDAN

50338953_2244384932261724_7083217784905138176_n


Zaterdag 5 januari 2019 vertrok een KLM vlucht met aan boord dhr. Mehimmed
(Ezzedine). Deze jonge man is gedwongen uitgezet naar Soedan. Er wordt voor zijn leven gevreesd. Een verslag van de situatie in het vliegtuig

Bij het boarden kwamen mijn reispartner en ik bij onze plekken aan achterin het vliegtuig. Er was commotie, we zagen diverse passagiers in gesprek met de aanwezige marechaussee. Ik vroeg aan een vrouw, reizend met 3 jonge kinderen, wat er aan de hand was. Ze vertelde ons over de situatie: een man werd gedwongen meegenomen op de vlucht met als doel een overstap in Nairobi naar Khartoem (Soedan). Hij zou daar worden afgeleverd op het vliegveld en aan zijn lot overgelaten. Ze vroeg wat we konden doen om dit tegen te gaan. We wisten dat de situatie in Soedan helemaal niet veilig is en konden niet begrijpen dat de man hier onder dwang naar toe gebracht werd. Wat er gebeurde op deze vlucht houdt me nog steeds bezig en ik vind het belangrijk om hierover verslag naar buiten te brengen. 

Roep om hulp wordt beantwoord met geweld door de marechaussee

Dhr. Mehimmed was helemaal achterin op de laatste rij. Het eerste dat wij van hem zagen was dat hij liggend plat op de stoelen gedrukt werd. Drie mannen van de marechaussee zaten bovenop hem. Niet veel later begon hij te roepen, en zagen wij zijn gezicht kort boven de stoelen uitkomen. Na een aantal seconden verdween hij naar beneden en zagen we niets meer van hem. Hij werd door de marechaussee met fysiek geweld in bedwang gehouden. Om hem stil te krijgen werd zijn mond afgedekt, en ook zijn ogen waren afgedekt. We zagen alleen zijn voeten nog uitsteken en bewegen.  

klm-uitzetagent-211x300Passagiers vinden dit niet ‘normaal’

Ondertussen was er veel onrust op het vliegtuig, veel mensen stelden vragen en gaven aan dat ze het niet konden geloven dat dit gebeurde. Verschillende passagiers kwamen tot de conclusie dat ze getuigen waren van mensenrechtenschending en spraken hun kritiek en zorgen uit. Zowel de marechaussee als het KLM personeel was proactief met het benaderen van passagiers. Ze probeerden de gebeurtenis goed te praten en te de-escaleren. Een van de stewardessen zei herhaaldelijk: “Het is normaal dat ze in het begin wat onrustig zijn, dan beseffen ze dat ze echt worden uitgezet, later worden ze meer berustend. Maak je geen zorgen”. Verder benadrukten zowel zij als de marechaussee steeds er goed naar de zaak was gekeken door een rechter. 

Negeren kamervragen en Amnesty International 

We lazen later dat diezelfde ochtend, vlak voor de vlucht, kritische kamervragen zijn gesteld over de uitzetting van deze man. Deze vragen moeten nog behandeld worden en zijn dus niet afgewacht. Tevens is Amnesty International op de maandag na de uitzetting met een bericht naar buiten gekomen dat ze de staatssecretaris van Justitie en Veiligheid, dhr. Harbers, een aantal maanden geleden al met klem heeft verzocht uitzettingen naar Soedan op te schorten. Uit onderzoek van Amnesty International blijkt dat er gevangenschap, mishandeling en vernedering plaats heeft gevonden in navolging van eerdere uitzettingen in 2017 en 2018 naar Soedan. 

Moedwillig onverschillig Nederland

Door de Nederlandse overheid wordt niet gemonitord wat er met iemand gebeurt na een uitzetting. Mensen worden afgeleverd op het vliegveld en daarmee is het klaar voor de verantwoordelijke staatssecretaris Harbers. Het is voor iemand die uitgezet is en niet goed terecht komt zo goed als onmogelijk om hier nog bekendheid aan te geven. Ook voor mensenrechtenorganisaties is het heel lastig en vaak onmogelijk om hier beeld van te krijgen, bewijzen over te verzamelen en hiermee naar buiten te treden. Uit navraag bij Amnesty International blijkt dat er soms achter de schermen met veel geduld, doorzettingsvermogen en de nodige inzet van middelen en connecties, wel informatie naar boven komt. Maar dat dit in het kader van de veiligheid van de betrokken personen meestal niet openbaar gemaakt kan worden. De staatssecretaris wordt in zulke gevallen wel ingelicht maar geeft hier geen gehoor aan. 

Situatie Soedan 

Het ging hier om een uitzetting naar Soedan, een land dat wordt geregeerd door een militair regime dat bekend staat om haar misdaden en martelingen tegen burgers. Het is bekend dat burgers die hebben geprobeerd asiel aan te vragen in een ander land automatisch worden gezien als verraders, en daarom extra aandacht trekken en gevaar lopen in Soedan. Het internationaal strafhof in Den Haag heeft de Soedanese president Omar al-Bashir aangeklaagd voor genocide in Darfur. Over mensenrechtenschendingen; van willekeurige arrestaties tot ernstige foltering en executies door autoriteiten in Soedan zijn talloze rapporten te vinden, waaronder publicaties van de Nederlandse overheid.

KLM en marechaussee zijn bekend met risico’s uitzetting 

Toen de vlucht eenmaal vertrokken was heeft KLM personeel en een marechaussee medewerker aan passagiers bevestigd dat ze begrijpen dat de angst voor de gevolgen van deze uitzetting reëel is. Dat ze hier dan toch aan meewerken is werkelijk onbegrijpelijk en schokkend als het om de veiligheid van iemands leven gaat.

Kritiek de kop indrukken

Men moet zich er op alle niveaus van bewust zijn geweest dat dhr. Mehimmed, die naar Nederland kwam om zichzelf in veiligheid te brengen, met deze uitzetting in levensgevaar werd gebracht. Desondanks werd alles op alles gezet om de uitzetting door te laten gaan in plaats van een pas op de plaats te maken. Er was veel marechaussee aanwezig in het vliegtuig om zowel dhr. Mehimmed als kritische passagiers koste wat het kost en met geweld in bedwang te houden. We telden op enig moment zo’n 12 marechaussee medewerkers in het vliegtuig. Op het filmen van de situatie werd fel gereageerd door zowel de KLM als de marechaussee. Passagiers die filmden werden gedwongen het gefilmde materiaal te verwijderen onder de dreiging dat niet opvolgen zou betekenen dat je van boord gehaald zou worden en gearresteerd. Later vernamen we in de media dat de marechaussee hierover verklaarde dat van dwang geen sprake was geweest. Dat hebben wij anders ervaren.

Protest, arrestaties en intimidatie

Twee passagiers die zich niet neerlegden bij de uitzetting en weigerden te gaan zitten werden gesommeerd. Zij gaven aan eerst in gesprek te willen met de gezagsvoerder. Zij werden ter plekke gearresteerd en door tenminste 4 marechaussee medewerkers hardhandig van het vliegtuig gehaald via de achterdeur. Een gesprek was niet mogelijk. Vijf minuten later werd een derde persoon even hardhandig van de vlucht gehaald. Een marechaussee medewerker zei dat dit niet zo door kon gaan. Hierna weigerden nog altijd veel passagiers om te gaan zitten, er werd schande gesproken van de gehele situatie: de uitzetting, het hardhandige optreden van de marechaussee, het verbod op filmen en de arrestaties. De intimidatie van de marechaussee, het duidelijke risico op hardhandige arrestatie en het missen van de vlucht maakten dat mensen ongeveer 20 minuten later gevolg gaven aan het bevel om te gaan zitten. Een passagier gaf aan meer te willen doen maar niet het risico te kunnen nemen van de vlucht te worden gehaald vanwege gebrek aan middelen om een nieuw ticket te kopen. Een andere passagier gaf later aan dat hij misschien toch had moeten blijven staan. Het werd voor een grote groep verontruste passagiers een bedrukte vlucht waarbij de gebeurtenissen met elkaar besproken werden. Dhr. Ezzedin werd de rest van de reis bewaakt door 4 leden van de marechaussee.  

KLM neem verantwoordelijkheid

We roepen medewerkers van KLM op om in de toekomst in dit soort situaties kritisch te zijn, informatie te vergaren en protest aan te tekenen. De gezagsvoerder van de vlucht kan hier ingrijpen. Als dit op deze vlucht gebeurd was hadden wij hier als passagiers veel respect voor gehad, nu overheerst bij ons verbijstering, boosheid en teleurstelling. 

Dhr. Mehimmed

Het vliegtuig is uiteindelijk vertrokken met dhr. Mehimmed aan boord, tegen zijn wil en met moedwillige schending van zijn basale mensenrechten. Ik heb na de vlucht contact gezocht met betrokkenen bij Dhr. Mehimmed en begreep dat het op dit moment niet veilig is om informatie te delen of vermoedens uit te spreken over hoe het met hem gaat. Het is diep triest dat de Nederlandse overheid hem en zijn naasten in deze situatie heeft gebracht. Onze gedachten zijn bij hem en we kunnen alleen maar hopen dat door alle commotie de Nederlandse staat zal proberen haar gezicht te redden door hem alsnog in veiligheid te brengen.

 Anna, passagier op vlucht KL0565 naar Nairobi op 5 januari 2019

Koko Lepo: autonomy, solidarity, and equality in Belgrade, Serbia 15.01.2019, 17 Uhr, Kalabal!k

Koko Lepo is an autonomous collective in Belgrade, Serbia that has experimented with numerous practices of youth solidarity and alternative education practices with the children and young teens of the informal urban settlement “Deponija”. The speaker will present their first-hand experience with the history, struggles, and developments of the project: from its origins as an ‘anarchist kindergarten’ in a squat five years ago, to a solidarity collective for older youth, and finally to its current state as program for the younger children from the ‘mahala’. Topics will include anti-gypsyism, autonomous pedagogy, and collective struggle. Autonomnost, solidarnost, I ravnopravnost!

Datum & Zeit:
Dienstag, 15 Januar, 2019 – 17:00
Kategorie: Diskussion/Vortrag
Preis: umsonst
Kalabal!k
Reichenbergerstr. 63a
10999 Berlin
Deutschland

EU Geiselhaft auf See nach 19 Tagen beendet

Nach 19 Tagen auf See ist die Europäische Geiselhaft für 49 Menschen an Bord der Sea-Watch 3 und der Professor Albrecht Penck beendet. Sea-Watch ist froh, dass die Menschen, welche teils bereits am 22. Dezember gerettet wurden, nun endlich an Land dürfen. Gleichzeitig fehlt eine nachhaltige Lösung, Migrationspolitik darf auch in Zukunft nicht auf dem…

Der Beitrag EU Geiselhaft auf See nach 19 Tagen beendet erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

Abensberg/Bayern: Abschiebepolitik treibt jungen Afghanen in den Tod

Die Karawane ist maßgeblich auf Spenden angewiesen. Unsere Organisation besteht überwiegend aus Flüchtlingen, die (wenn überhaupt) nur über sehr geringe finanzielle Mittel verfügen. Aus diesem Grunde haben wir 2008 den „Förderverein Karawane e. V.” gegründet. Unser Verein ist als gemeinnützig anerkannt und kann deswegen auf Wunsch Spendenquittungen ausstellen, so dass sie steuerlich absetzbar sind. Wenn bei der Überweisung die Adresse mit angegeben wird, verschicken wir die Spendenbescheinigung automatisch spätestens am Anfang des Folgejahres.

Kontakt: foerderverein(at)thecaravan.org

Unsere Bankverbindung lautet:
Förderverein Karawane e.V.
Kontonummer
: 40 30 780 800
GLS Gemeinschaftsbank eG
BLZ: 430 609 67

IBAN: DE28430609674030780800
BIC: GENODEM1GLS

NEDERLAND SCHENDT MENSENRECHTEN MET DEPORTATIE

Zaterdag 5 januari 2019 wil Nederland een jonge vluchteling terugsturen naar het door nieuw geweld geteisterde Soedan. Ezzedine Rahmatalah loopt daar een groot risico gemarteld te gaan worden. Amnesty International onderzoekt zijn zaak.

49525803_2228688463831371_5921842951436107776_nEzzedine komt uit het oorlogsgebied Darfur en werd door zijn ouders in de hoofdstad bij een oom ondergebracht. Toen deze oom overleed, viel hij op de terugweg naar zijn familie in Darfur in handen van de geheime dienst, die hem wekenlang zeer ernstig mishandeld heeft. Het geweld liet veel sporen na op zijn lichaam.

Nederland zet sinds vorig jaar weer mensen uit naar Soedan. Deportatie naar Soedan is levensgevaarlijk; het is algemeen bekend dat de Soedaneze geheime dienst ernstig wantrouwig is als iemand op een noodpaspoort reist. Asiel vragen wordt als landverraad gezien en mensen die teruggestuurd worden uit Nederland worden extra in de gaten gehouden, aangezien het Internationaal Strafhof in Den Haag gevestigd is. President Omar Al-Bashier wordt door het Internationaal Strafhof gezocht wegens de genocide in Darfur en grove mensenrechtenschendingen.

Amnesty International onderzoekt op dit moment alle uitzettingen naar Soedan, omdat ze zeer sterke aanwijzingen hebben dat diverse mensen die Nederland terugstuurde bij aankomst een tot twee weken gemarteld werden. Van twee mensen is het bewijs er, van enkele anderen wordt op dit moment bewijs verzameld. Amnesty komt binnenkort met een uitgebreid rapport hierover.

De huidige situatie in Soedan is gevaarlijk. Sinds 19 december 2018 wordt er veelvuldig gedemonstreerd door het volk en wordt het vertrek van Bashier en zijn regering geëist. De Soedanese politie schiet met scherp op betogers. Volgens de overheid zijn er 19 mensen overleden, Amnesty zei op 1 januari 2019 dat het 37 mensen waren. De geheime dienst kreeg, in een uitgelekte toespraak op 30 december 2018, de opdracht van de president om de leiding over de gewone politie over te nemen, en om te schieten, zo veel als nodig om het land weer rustig te krijgen. Een week eerder beloofde Mohamed Zein van diezelfde geheime dienst, zwaaiend met een pistool, via sociale media de Soedanezen dood te schieten die vanuit het buitenland protesteren. Ezzedine heeft veel geprotesteerd in Den Haag. En dat is hen bekend.

Het is onbegrijpelijk dat Nederland in de huidige politieke situatie in Soedan, ondanks bewijs omtrent arrestatie, detentie en marteling van mensen die gedeporteerd zijn vanuit Nederland, opnieuw een jonge man wil deporteren en daarmee zijn leven serieus in gevaar brengt.

Ezzedine is één van onze broeders en leefde bij Wij Zijn Hier. In augustus werd hij gearresteerd en naar uitzetcentrum Rotterdam overgebracht.

 

============================

 

klm-uitzetagent-211x300UPDATE 5 januari: Veel mensen hebben gehoor gegeven aan de oproep in actie te komen tegen de deportatie van Ezzedine. Er is volop gemaild en gebeld met KLM, Kenya Airways, Nederlandse politici en de Nederlandse ambassade in Khartoem.

Desondanks is de deportatie doorgegaan zaterdag maar wel met vertraging door protesten aan boord van het vliegtuig. Meerdere mensen hebben lange tijd op Schiphol gestaan en daar geflyerd om mensen op de hoogte te brengen van de situatie. In het vliegtuig was veel commotie hebben we gehoord van mensen die op de vlucht zaten en ons informeerden over wat er gaande was. Veel passagiers gaven kritiek op de uitzetting en vroegen om het te stoppen.

Er was KLM personeel aan boord dat toegaf het ook erg te vinden. Toen de vlucht vertrokken was gaf ook iemand werkzaam bij de marechaussee toe dat het gevaarlijk voor deze man is. Maar de algemene lijn van hogerop van KLM en Nederlandse Marechaussee was de uitzetting koste wat het kost doorzetten.

We vrezen voor het leven van Ezzedine en kunnen ons geen voorstelling maken bij wat hij nu door moet maken. We zijn verbijsterd over de medeplichtigheid van Nederland en KLM hieraan.

14 Tage auf See allein gelassen – Sea-Watch und Mediterranea steuern gemeinsam zur Sea-Watch 3 vor der Küste Maltas zur Unterstützung und Versorgung

Sea-Watch und Mediterranea, beide Teil der United4Med Alliance, starten am 4. Januar mit zwei Booten zur Unterstützung der Sea-Watch 3 von Malta aus. Seit 14 Tagen wartet die Sea-Watch 3 auf die Zuweisung eines sicheren Hafens für die 32 Frauen, Männer und Kinder, die sie am 22. Dezember 2018 im zentralen Mittelmeer gerettet hat. Die…

Der Beitrag 14 Tage auf See allein gelassen – Sea-Watch und Mediterranea steuern gemeinsam zur Sea-Watch 3 vor der Küste Maltas zur Unterstützung und Versorgung erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

Lösung im Jahr 2018 erforderlich: 49 Personen, die von europäischen Staaten als Geiseln gehalten werden.

Zwei Rettungsschiffe deutscher NGOs sind auf See gestrandet, mit insgesamt 49 geretteten Menschen an Bord. Sea-Watch und Sea-Eye fordern eine schnelle Lösung für die Menschen, die derzeit von europäischen Staaten als Geiseln gehalten werden, die ihre Pflicht zur Bereitstellung eines sicheren Hafens aufschieben. Da sich heute Abend schlechtes Wetter nähert, ist eine Lösung innerhalb des…

Der Beitrag Lösung im Jahr 2018 erforderlich: 49 Personen, die von europäischen Staaten als Geiseln gehalten werden. erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

Lösung im Jahr 2018 erforderlich: 49 Personen, die von europäischen Staaten als Geiseln gehalten werden.

Gemeinsame Pressemitteilung von Sea-Watch und Sea-Eye Zwei Rettungsschiffe deutscher NGOs sind auf See gestrandet, mit insgesamt 49 geretteten Menschen an Bord. Sea-Watch und Sea-Eye fordern eine schnelle Lösung für die Menschen, die derzeit von europäischen Staaten als Geiseln gehalten werden, die ihre Pflicht zur Bereitstellung eines sicheren Hafens aufschieben. Da sich heute Abend schlechtes Wetter…

Der Beitrag Lösung im Jahr 2018 erforderlich: 49 Personen, die von europäischen Staaten als Geiseln gehalten werden. erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

Week in Review – 30 December 2018

 A Review of Events of the Previous

[Two] Week[s] in the Mediterranean

The death toll

IOM: Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 113,145 in 2018; Deaths Reach 2,242

Italy: “[S]eaborne irregular arrivals to Italy through almost three weeks of December total just 115 men, women and children – indicating arrivals this month will likely be the lowest of any month since 2013. … Through this date in 2017, Italy recorded 118,914 irregular arrivals of sea-borne migrants and refugees. Arrivals to Italy from North Africa this year are 23.126.”

Spain: “56,480 irregular migrants have reached Spain’s Mediterranean coasts through 19 December – a rate exceeding 1,000 per week through the year. Arrivals to Spain this year through 19 December account for 49.93 per cent of all Mediterranean irregular arrivals to Spain, Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Malta.”

Greece:  “31,310 [is] the total number of irregular migrant sea arrivals to Greece through 19 December this year. That surpasses the total (29,501) arriving by sea through all last year. Additionally, over 16,600 irregular migrants have arrived this year in Greece by land.”

Libyan Coast Guard pull backs / interceptions at or close to 15,000

UNHCR’s recent reports do not report any Libyan Coast Guard pull backs / interceptions in December. UNHCR reports a total of 14,795 interceptions so far in 2018. Reuters reports “Libya’s coast guard has intercepted about 15,000 migrants trying to reach Italy by sea this year…” (The Reuters article misreads statistics referenced in the UNSMIL/OHCHR report released on 18 December which refers to 29,000 Libyan Coast Guard interceptions between January 2017 and 30 September 2018, not between January and September 2018. The source of the 29,000 figure is not identified in the UN report.)

Two NGO rescue ships remain stranded at sea

As of 30 December, the Sea Watch rescue ship with 32 rescued people on board and the Sea Eye rescue vessel with 17 rescued people on board continue to be denied permission to land at an EU port.  A third NGO rescue vessel operated by Proactiva Open Arms was allowed to disembark over 300 rescued persons in Spain after sailing for a week from the place of rescue off Libya.

Opinion ‘It’s an Act of Murder’: How Europe Outsources Suffering as Migrants Drown

New York Times Opinion article and short film by Charles Heller, Lorenzo Pezzani, Itamar Mann, Violeta Moreno-Lax and Eyal Weizman: “This short film, produced by The Times’s Opinion Video team and the research groups Forensic Architecture and Forensic Oceanography, reconstructs a tragedy at sea that left at least 20 migrants dead. Combining footage from more than 10 cameras, 3-D modeling and interviews with rescuers and survivors, the documentary shows Europe’s role in the migrant crisis at sea.”

“On Nov. 6, 2017, at least 20 people trying to reach Europe from Libya drowned in the Mediterranean, foundering next to a sinking raft.  Not far from the raft was a ship belonging to Sea-Watch, a German humanitarian organization. That ship had enough space on it for everyone who had been aboard the raft. It could have brought them all to the safety of Europe, where they might have had a chance at being granted asylum. Instead, 20 people drowned and 47 more were captured by the Libyan Coast Guard, which brought the migrants back to Libya, where they suffered abuse — including rape and torture. This confrontation at sea was not a simplistic case of Europe versus Africa, with human rights and rescue on one side and chaos and danger on the other. Rather it’s a case of Europe versus Europe: of volunteers struggling to save lives being undercut by European Union policies that outsource border control responsibilities to the Libyan Coast Guard — with the aim of stemming arrivals on European shores. While funding, equipping and directing the Libyan Coast Guard, European governments have stymied the activities of nongovernmental organizations like Sea-Watch, criminalizing them or impounding their ships, or turning away from ports ships carrying survivors.

More than 14,000 people have died or gone missing while trying to cross the central Mediterranean since 2014. But unlike most of those deaths and drownings, the incident on Nov. 6, 2017, was extensively documented. Sea-Watch’s ship and rescue rafts were outfitted with nine cameras, documenting the entire scene in video and audio. The Libyans, too, filmed parts of the incident on their mobile phones. The research groups Forensic Architecture and Forensic Oceanography of Goldsmiths, University of London, of which three of us — Mr. Heller, Mr. Pezzani and Mr. Weizman — are a part, combined these video sources with radio recordings, vessel tracking data, witness testimonies and newly obtained official sources to produce a minute-by-minute reconstruction of the facts. Opinion Video at The New York Times built on this work to create the above short documentary, gathering further testimonials by some of the survivors and rescuers who were there.

This investigation makes a few things clear: European governments are avoiding their legal and moral responsibilities to protect the human rights of people fleeing violence and economic desperation. More worrying, the Libyan Coast Guard partners that Europe is collaborating with are ready to blatantly violate those rights if it allows them to prevent migrants from crossing the sea….”

Full article and film here.

Report from OHCHR and UNSMIL: Migrants and refugees crossing Libya subjected to “Unimaginable Horrors” – calls on EU to reconsider cooperation and assistance to Libya

OHCHR press statementA report “published jointly by the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the UN Human Rights Office, covers a 20-month period up to August 2018, and details a terrible litany of violations and abuses committed by a range of State officials, armed groups, smugglers and traffickers against migrants and refugees. These include unlawful killings, torture, arbitrary detention, gang rape, slavery, forced labour and extortion….

‘The overwhelming majority of women and older teenage girls interviewed by UNSMIL reported being gang raped by smugglers or traffickers,’ the report says. UN staff visiting 11 detention centres, where thousands of migrants and refugees are being held, documented torture, ill-treatment, forced labour, and rape by the guards, and reported that women are often held in facilities without female guards, exacerbating the risk of sexual abuse and exploitation. Female detainees are often subjected to strip searches carried out, or watched, by male guards.

Those who manage in the end to attempt the perilous Mediterranean sea crossing, are increasingly being intercepted or rescued by the Libyan Coast Guard which then transfers them back to Libya, where many are delivered straight back into the pattern of violations and abuse they have just escaped.

The approximately 29,000 migrants returned to Libya by the Coast Guard since early 2017 were transferred to immigration detention centres run by the Department of Combating Illegal Migration, where thousands remain detained indefinitely and arbitrarily, without due process or access to lawyers or consular services.

The report states Libya cannot be considered a place of safety following rescue or interception at sea, given the considerable risk of being subject to serious human rights abuses, and notes that these ‘pushbacks’ have been considered by the UN Special rapporteur on torture as violations of the principle of non refoulement, which is prohibited under international law.

The report calls on the European Union and its Member States to reconsider the human costs of their policies and efforts to stem migration to Europe and ensure that their cooperation and assistance to the Libyan authorities are human rights-based, in line with their own obligations under international human rights and refugee law, and do not, directly or indirectly, result in men, women and children being trapped in abusive situations with little hope of protection and remedy.

Migrants held in the centres are systematically subjected to starvation and severe beatings, burned with hot metal objects, electrocuted and subjected to other forms of ill-treatment with the aim of extorting money from their families through a complex system of money transfers.

The detention centres are characterized by severe overcrowding, lack of ventilation and lighting, and insufficient washing facilities and latrines.  In addition to the abuses and violence committed against the people held there, many of them suffer from malnutrition, skin infections, acute diarrhoea, respiratory tract-infections and other ailments, as well as inadequate medical treatment. Children are held with adults in same squalid conditions.

The report points to the apparent ‘complicity of some State actors, including local officials, members of armed groups formally integrated into State institutions, and representatives of the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Defence, in the smuggling or trafficking of migrants and refugees.’…”

Full report here.  Infographics summary of report here.

EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia mandate extended until 31 March 2019

The Council of the EU issued the following press statement on 21 December; the Political and Security Committee agreed to extend the mandate on 14 December:

“The Council extended the mandate of the EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia until 31 March 2019.  The operation’s core mandate is to contribute to the EU’s work to disrupt the business model of migrant smugglers and human traffickers in the Southern Central Mediterranean. The operation has also supporting tasks. It trains the Libyan Coastguard and Navy and monitors the long-term efficiency of the training and it contributes to the implementation of the UN arms embargo on the high seas off the coast of Libya. In addition, the operation also conducts surveillance activities and gathers information on illegal trafficking of oil exports from Libya, in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions. As such, the operation contributes to EU efforts for the return of stability and security in Libya and to maritime security in the Central Mediterranean region.

EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia was launched on 22 June 2015. It is part of the EU’s comprehensive approach to migration. The Operation Commander is Rear Admiral Credendino, from Italy. The headquarters of the operation are located in Rome.”

COUNCIL DECISION (CFSP) 2018/2055 of 21 December 2018 amending Decision (CFSP) 2015/778 on a European Union military operation in the Southern Central Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED operation SOPHIA) is here.

EU Council adopts decision expanding EUBAM Libya’s mandate to include actively supporting Libyan authorities to disrupt networks involved in smuggling migrants, human trafficking and terrorism

Outcome of Council Meeting, 17 December 2018 (provisional version) (at p. 11):

FOREIGN AFFAIRSEUBAM Libya – The Council adopted a decision mandating the EU integrated border management assistance mission in Libya (EUBAM Libya) to actively support the Libyan authorities in contributing to efforts to disrupt organised criminal networks involved in smuggling migrants, human trafficking and terrorism. The mission was previously mandated to plan for a future EU civilian mission while engaging with the Libyan authorities.

The mission’s revised mandate will run until 30 June 2020. The Council also allocated a budget of € 61.6 million for the period from 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2020.

In order to achieve its objectives EUBAM Libya provides capacity-building in the areas of border management, law enforcement and criminal justice. The mission advises the Libyan authorities on the development of a national integrated border management strategy and supports capacity building, strategic planning and coordination among relevant Libyan authorities. The mission will also manage as well as coordinate projects related to its mandate.

EUBAM Libya responds to a request by the Libyan authorities and is part of the EU’s comprehensive approach to support the transition to a democratic, stable and prosperous Libya. The civilian mission co-operates closely with, and contributes to, the efforts of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya.

The mission’s headquarters are located in Tripoli and the Head of Mission is Vincenzo Tagliaferri (from Italy). EUBAM Libya

Greek island refugee camps are beyond capacity

From DW: “The already inhumane conditions in migration hotspots on Greek islands have been worsening for months. Here’s what options exist to ameliorate the situation — and why they don’t seem to take. Despite EU efforts, many Greek islands remain accessible to people who are seeking asylum in the European Union. In fact, more people cross from Turkey to the islands in the eastern Aegean Sea than depart from them, creating a growing population in reception centers for whom the authorities have struggled to provide. Migrant reception centers regularly operate beyond their stated capacities, according to an examination of occupancy rates….”

See also Euronews reporting here.

1,100 people – not 800 – now believed to have died in the 18 April 2015 migrant ship wreck off Libya

Article by AP reporters Lori Hinnant, Trisha Thomas, and Krista Larson:  “Before their lives ended in an underwater death trap, before they lined up 100 to a row on a Libyan beach to board a boat with no anchor, the young men from the parched villages of the Sahel had names.  Two forensic investigators, one crisscrossing Africa and another in a university laboratory in Italy, are on a quest against the odds to keep Italy’s promise to find those names. They are tracing the identities of the migrants killed when an overloaded fishing boat went down off the coast of Libya on April 18, 2015, in the Mediterranean’s deadliest shipwreck in living memory.  The pledge was made before Europe turned against migrants, and it just got even harder to keep. Nearing their very first formal identification, one of the investigators made a devastating discovery this month: The vessel carried not 800 people, as initially believed, but nearly 1,100….”

Frontex report: Migratory flows in November

13 December 2018.  “Total lower, Western Mediterranean the most active route – In the first 11 months of 2018, the number of irregular border crossings into the EU fell by 30% from a year ago to about 138 000, mainly because of lower migratory pressure in the Central Mediterranean. A month before the end of the year, 2018 remains on track to see the lowest number of illegal border crossings since 2014….

Western Mediterranean – The Western Mediterranean remained the most active migratory route, accounting for more than half of all monthly detections of illegal border crossings in Europe. In November, the number of irregular migrants taking this route rose 29% from the same month of last year to 4 900. In the first 11 months of 2018, almost 53 000 irregular migrants arrived in Spain via this route, more than double the figure from the same period a year ago. Nationals of Morocco, Guinea and Mali accounted for the highest number of irregular migrants crossing this route this year.

Eastern Mediterranean – In November, the number of irregular migrants taking the Eastern Mediterranean route stood at 2 700, a drop of 42% as compared with November 2017.

However, the total number of migrants detected on the Eastern Mediterranean route in the first 11 months of the year rose by 30% to around 50 900, mainly because of an increase in crossings at the land borders. The largest number of migrants on this route so far this year were nationals of Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Central Mediterranean – The number of migrants arriving in Europe via the Central Mediterranean route in November fell to about 900, down 83% from November 2017. The total number of migrants detected on this route in the first 11 months of 2018 fell to roughly 22 800, 80% lower than a year ago. So far this year, Tunisians and Eritreans were the two most represented nationalities on this route, together accounting for more than one-third of all the detected migrants there….”

Algérie – 4000 harraga algériens sont arrivés en Espagne en dix mois

Environ quatre-mille harraga algériens ont réussi à rallier la côte espagnole durant les 10 premiers mois de l’année 2018. C’est que confirment les statistiques du Haut commissariat pour les réfugiés (HCR), précisant que ces migrants clandestins sont arrivés par voie maritime ou terrestre à travers les enclaves de Ceuta et Melilla….”  More reporting here and here.

Amnesty International: MENA governments must end discriminatory crackdowns and abuse of migrants

AI: “Governments across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are collectively failing to protect the rights of migrants in their countries, said Amnesty International, marking International Migrants Day…. In Algeria, a discriminatory crackdown against sub-Saharan migrants, as well as refugees and asylum-seekers, spiked in 2018, with security forces arbitrarily arresting and detaining tens of thousands and unlawfully deporting them to Niger and Mali. Many were expelled even though they had valid visas or consular papers….In neighbouring Morocco, authorities have also stepped up their crackdown against migrants in 2018, partly in an effort to stem irregular migration from Morocco to Spain. Since July, more than 5,000 people have been swept up in often violent raids, placed on buses and then abandoned in areas close to the Algerian border, despite the fact that Morocco introduced new asylum and migration policy commitments in 2013 to bring its practices into line with international standards. In Libya, alongside refugees and asylum-seekers, economic migrants face appalling treatment at the hands of armed groups, militias, smugglers and the Libyan authorities. Thousands are held indefinitely in notorious detention centres where they face systematic abuse, including torture, rape and extortion. …”

IOM: Over 6,600 migration deaths recorded within Africa since 2013

IOM report: “…Though much African migration is regular and takes places within Africa itself, the newly published evidence underscores the monumental risks that migrants can face on their journeys, and just how little we know about them. ‘When people don’t have access to legal migration routes and few reliable records exist, would-be migrants face vulnerability at the hands of human traffickers and smugglers,’ said Dr. Frank Laczko, Director of IOM’s Data Analysis Centre… Many of the deaths recorded by the Missing Migrants Project are concentrated on routes used by smugglers. Most migration deaths reported within Africa appear to have occurred while migrants are en route to Libya: deaths recorded since 2014 are predominately in the Sahara Desert, northern Niger, southern Libya, and northern Sudan.  The main causes of death recorded indicate that many migrant deaths in Africa are preventable. Starvation, dehydration, physical abuse, sickness and lack of access to medicines are causes of death frequently cited by the migrants who reported deaths on routes within Africa. Involvement with human smugglers and traffickers in human beings can put people in extremely risky situations in which they have little agency to protect themselves, let alone fellow travellers they see being abused….”

Boats 4 People: Mort-e-s et disparu-e-s en mer – le guide d’information pour les familles et leurs soutiens

Mort-e-s et disparu-e-s en mer: La version web du Guide d’information pour les familles et leurs soutiens est désormais disponible en tigrigna!  Publié en plusieurs langues (anglais, italien, français, arabe et tigrinya), le guide d’information pour les familles et leurs soutiens contribue à rendre leur dignité aux personnes disparues ou décédées lors de la traversée de la Méditerranée. Il apporte également un soutien essentiel à leurs proches, car derrière chaque personne disparue en mer, il y a toujours une mère, un père, un∙e conjoint∙e, des enfants, des cousin∙e∙s, des ami∙e∙s, enfermé∙e∙s dans l’attente, l’angoisse et l’espoir.

España: El Defensor insiste en la necesidad de mejorar la primera acogida de personas migrantes que llegan a las costas en situación irregular

“En el Día Internacional de las personas migrantes, … el Defensor del Pueblo (e.f.), Francisco Fernández Marugán, quiere insistir en la necesidad de mejorar la primera acogida y asistencia de las personas que llegan a las costas españolas en situación irregular….”

Statement here.

France: Le Défenseur des droits publie son rapport « Exilés et droits fondamentaux, trois ans après le rapport Calais »

“Le Défenseur des droits constate que les entraves persistantes à l’entrée dans la procédure d’asile, la saturation des dispositifs d’accueil des exilés, leur manque d’informations et le contrôle de leur situation administrative lors de leur mise à l’abri conduisent les campements évacués à systématiquement se reformer et contraignent les exilés à subir des conditions de vie que le Conseil d’État a qualifiées, en 2016 et 2017, de « traitements inhumains ou dégradants ».

Le Défenseur des droits recommande à l’Etat de se conformer au droit positif et de garantir aux exilés un droit inconditionnel à l’hébergement, des conditions de vie dignes ainsi qu’une prise en charge de leur santé, notamment de leurs troubles psychiques nés d’un parcours migratoire et d’un accueil difficiles. Quant aux mineurs, le Défenseur des droits souhaite l’adoption urgente de mesures favorisant la pérennité de leur mise à l’abri, de leur évaluation et de leur prise en charge. Il est également nécessaire de simplifier les procédures d’asile et de réunification familiale, aujourd’hui trop peu accessibles.

À défaut d’une politique nationale assurant un véritable accueil des primo-arrivants, les collectivités locales et les associations caritatives sont contraintes d’agir seules, dans un contexte où se maintient une pénalisation de certains actes de solidarité. Le Défenseur des droits recommande donc d’élargir l’immunité pénale à tous les actes apportés dans un but humanitaire.”

Reports and links here.

New book: “Human Security and Migration in Europe’s Southern Borders”

By Susana Ferreira, NOVA University Lisbon-examines management of migratory flows in the Med within an international security perspective, using Spain and Italy as case studies.

Opinion ‘It’s an Act of Murder’: How Europe Outsources Suffering as Migrants Drown

New York Times Opinion article and short film by Charles Heller, Lorenzo Pezzani, Itamar Mann, Violeta Moreno-Lax and Eyal Weizman:

This short film, produced by The Times’s Opinion Video team and the research groups Forensic Architecture and Forensic Oceanography, reconstructs a tragedy at sea that left at least 20 migrants dead. Combining footage from more than 10 cameras, 3-D modeling and interviews with rescuers and survivors, the documentary shows Europe’s role in the migrant crisis at sea.”

“On Nov. 6, 2017, at least 20 people trying to reach Europe from Libya drowned in the Mediterranean, foundering next to a sinking raft.  Not far from the raft was a ship belonging to Sea-Watch, a German humanitarian organization. That ship had enough space on it for everyone who had been aboard the raft. It could have brought them all to the safety of Europe, where they might have had a chance at being granted asylum.

Instead, 20 people drowned and 47 more were captured by the Libyan Coast Guard, which brought the migrants back to Libya, where they suffered abuse — including rape and torture.

This confrontation at sea was not a simplistic case of Europe versus Africa, with human rights and rescue on one side and chaos and danger on the other. Rather it’s a case of Europe versus Europe: of volunteers struggling to save lives being undercut by European Union policies that outsource border control responsibilities to the Libyan Coast Guard — with the aim of stemming arrivals on European shores.

While funding, equipping and directing the Libyan Coast Guard, European governments have stymied the activities of nongovernmental organizations like Sea-Watch, criminalizing them or impounding their ships, or turning away from ports ships carrying survivors.

More than 14,000 people have died or gone missing while trying to cross the central Mediterranean since 2014. But unlike most of those deaths and drownings, the incident on Nov. 6, 2017, was extensively documented.

Sea-Watch’s ship and rescue rafts were outfitted with nine cameras, documenting the entire scene in video and audio. The Libyans, too, filmed parts of the incident on their mobile phones.

The research groups Forensic Architecture and Forensic Oceanography of Goldsmiths, University of London, of which three of us — Mr. Heller, Mr. Pezzani and Mr. Weizman — are a part, combined these video sources with radio recordings, vessel tracking data, witness testimonies and newly obtained official sources to produce a minute-by-minute reconstruction of the facts. Opinion Video at The New York Times built on this work to create the above short documentary, gathering further testimonials by some of the survivors and rescuers who were there.

This investigation makes a few things clear: European governments are avoiding their legal and moral responsibilities to protect the human rights of people fleeing violence and economic desperation. More worrying, the Libyan Coast Guard partners that Europe is collaborating with are ready to blatantly violate those rights if it allows them to prevent migrants from crossing the sea….”

Full article and film here.

 

 

 

Auf See seit über 6 Tagen – für die Geretteten auf der Sea-Watch 3 muss das neue Jahr an Land beginnen!

Fünf Länder im sogenannten christlichen Westen haben dem Rettungsschiff Sea-Watch 3, ihrer 22-köpfigen Crew und den 32 Geretteten über die Weihnachtstage jegliche Hilfe bei der Suche nach einem sicheren Hafen verweigert. Das Schiff bleibt auf See gestrandet – in einem weiteren politischen Schwebezustand, der die unverhohlene Weigerung der EU beweist, auch nur das geringste humanitäre…

Der Beitrag Auf See seit über 6 Tagen – für die Geretteten auf der Sea-Watch 3 muss das neue Jahr an Land beginnen! erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

Weihnachten auf See: 344 Menschen binnen 24h gerettet – kein sicherer Hafen für die Geretteten auf der Sea-Watch 3

Binnen 24h wurden seit Freitag 344 Menschen von der Flotte der #United4med Allianz gerettet, der auch Sea-Watch angehört. Während die Open Arms mit 311 Menschen an Bord unterwegs nach Spanien ist, wird der Sea-Watch 3 nach wie vor ein sicherer Hafen verweigert. Eine Lösung wäre problemlos möglich, mehr als 30 Städte und mehrere Bundesländer haben…

Der Beitrag Weihnachten auf See: 344 Menschen binnen 24h gerettet – kein sicherer Hafen für die Geretteten auf der Sea-Watch 3 erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

Macht hoch die Tür! 311 Gerettete sollten Weihnachten nicht auf See verbringen müssen.

Trotz winterlicher Bedingungen versuchen nach wie vor Menschen, dem Bürgerkriegsland Libyen auf der gefährlichen Route durch das zentrale Mittelmeer zu entkommen. Die „OPEN ARMS“, Teil der #United4Med-Flotte, der auch Sea-Watch angehört, hat am 21. Dezember 313 Menschen in 3 Rettungseinsätzen gerettet und wartet nun auf Anweisungen, wo diese an Land gehen sollen. Ein zwei Tage…

Der Beitrag Macht hoch die Tür! 311 Gerettete sollten Weihnachten nicht auf See verbringen müssen. erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia mandate extended until 31 March 2019

The Council of the EU issued the following press statement today, 21 December, though the decision to extend the mandate was made on 14 December:

“The Council extended the mandate of the EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia until 31 March 2019.  The operation’s core mandate is to contribute to the EU’s work to disrupt the business model of migrant smugglers and human traffickers in the Southern Central Mediterranean. The operation has also supporting tasks. It trains the Libyan Coastguard and Navy and monitors the long-term efficiency of the training and it contributes to the implementation of the UN arms embargo on the high seas off the coast of Libya. In addition, the operation also conducts surveillance activities and gathers information on illegal trafficking of oil exports from Libya, in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions. As such, the operation contributes to EU efforts for the return of stability and security in Libya and to maritime security in the Central Mediterranean region.

EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia was launched on 22 June 2015. It is part of the EU’s comprehensive approach to migration. The Operation Commander is Rear Admiral Credendino, from Italy. The headquarters of the operation are located in Rome.”

1,100 people – not 800 – now believed to have died in the 18 April 2015 migrant ship wreck off Libya

Article by AP reporters Lori Hinnant, Trisha Thomas, and Krista Larson:  “Before their lives ended in an underwater death trap, before they lined up 100 to a row on a Libyan beach to board a boat with no anchor, the young men from the parched villages of the Sahel had names.  Two forensic investigators, one crisscrossing Africa and another in a university laboratory in Italy, are on a quest against the odds to keep Italy’s promise to find those names. They are tracing the identities of the migrants killed when an overloaded fishing boat went down off the coast of Libya on April 18, 2015, in the Mediterranean’s deadliest shipwreck in living memory.  The pledge was made before Europe turned against migrants, and it just got even harder to keep. Nearing their very first formal identification, one of the investigators made a devastating discovery this month: The vessel carried not 800 people, as initially believed, but nearly 1,100….”  Worth reading.

Report from OHCHR and UNSMIL: Migrants and refugees crossing Libya subjected to “Unimaginable Horrors” – calls on EU to reconsider cooperation and assistance to Libya

From the OHCHR press statementA report “published jointly by the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the UN Human Rights Office, covers a 20-month period up to August 2018, and details a terrible litany of violations and abuses committed by a range of State officials, armed groups, smugglers and traffickers against migrants and refugees. These include unlawful killings, torture, arbitrary detention, gang rape, slavery, forced labour and extortion….

‘The overwhelming majority of women and older teenage girls interviewed by UNSMIL reported being gang raped by smugglers or traffickers,’ the report says. UN staff visiting 11 detention centres, where thousands of migrants and refugees are being held, documented torture, ill-treatment, forced labour, and rape by the guards, and reported that women are often held in facilities without female guards, exacerbating the risk of sexual abuse and exploitation. Female detainees are often subjected to strip searches carried out, or watched, by male guards.

Those who manage in the end to attempt the perilous Mediterranean sea crossing, are increasingly being intercepted or rescued by the Libyan Coast Guard which then transfers them back to Libya, where many are delivered straight back into the pattern of violations and abuse they have just escaped.

The approximately 29,000 migrants returned to Libya by the Coast Guard since early 2017 were transferred to immigration detention centres run by the Department of Combating Illegal Migration, where thousands remain detained indefinitely and arbitrarily, without due process or access to lawyers or consular services.

The report states Libya cannot be considered a place of safety following rescue or interception at sea, given the considerable risk of being subject to serious human rights abuses, and notes that these ‘pushbacks’ have been considered by the UN Special rapporteur on torture as violations of the principle of non refoulement, which is prohibited under international law.

The report calls on the European Union and its Member States to reconsider the human costs of their policies and efforts to stem migration to Europe and ensure that their cooperation and assistance to the Libyan authorities are human rights-based, in line with their own obligations under international human rights and refugee law, and do not, directly or indirectly, result in men, women and children being trapped in abusive situations with little hope of protection and remedy.

Migrants held in the centres are systematically subjected to starvation and severe beatings, burned with hot metal objects, electrocuted and subjected to other forms of ill-treatment with the aim of extorting money from their families through a complex system of money transfers.

The detention centres are characterized by severe overcrowding, lack of ventilation and lighting, and insufficient washing facilities and latrines.  In addition to the abuses and violence committed against the people held there, many of them suffer from malnutrition, skin infections, acute diarrhoea, respiratory tract-infections and other ailments, as well as inadequate medical treatment. Children are held with adults in same squalid conditions.

The report points to the apparent ‘complicity of some State actors, including local officials, members of armed groups formally integrated into State institutions, and representatives of the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Defence, in the smuggling or trafficking of migrants and refugees.’…”

Full report here.

Infographics summary of report here.

Gemeinsame Erklärung – Straßburg

Als Such- und Rettungsorganisationen sind wir froh, dass wir dank der Initiative der Sozialdemokratischen Fraktion für den Sacharow-Preis für geistige Freiheit nominiert wurden. Mit dieser Ernennung wird die entscheidende Rolle anerkannt, die die NROs in den letzten Jahren bei der Rettung von Menschenleben gespielt haben. Allein im vergangenen Jahr haben NROs etwa 40 % der…

Der Beitrag Gemeinsame Erklärung – Straßburg erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

EU Council adopts decision expanding EUBAM Libya’s mandate to include actively supporting Libyan authorities in disrupting networks involved in smuggling migrants, human trafficking and terrorism

Outcome of Council Meeting, 17 December 2018 (provisional version) (at p. 11):

FOREIGN AFFAIRS – EUBAM Libya – The Council adopted a decision mandating the EU integrated border management assistance mission in Libya (EUBAM Libya) to actively support the Libyan authorities in contributing to efforts to disrupt organised criminal networks involved in smuggling migrants, human trafficking and terrorism. The mission was previously mandated to plan for a future EU civilian mission while engaging with the Libyan authorities.

The mission’s revised mandate will run until 30 June 2020. The Council also allocated a budget of € 61.6 million for the period from 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2020.

In order to achieve its objectives EUBAM Libya provides capacity-building in the areas of border management, law enforcement and criminal justice. The mission advises the Libyan authorities on the development of a national integrated border management strategy and supports capacity building, strategic planning and coordination among relevant Libyan authorities. The mission will also manage as well as coordinate projects related to its mandate.

EUBAM Libya responds to a request by the Libyan authorities and is part of the EU’s comprehensive approach to support the transition to a democratic, stable and prosperous Libya. The civilian mission co-operates closely with, and contributes to, the efforts of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya.

The mission’s headquarters are located in Tripoli and the Head of Mission is Vincenzo Tagliaferri (from Italy). EUBAM Libya

Week in Review – 16 December 2018

A Review of Events of the Previous Week in the Mediterranean

The death toll

IOM: Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 111,237 in 2018; Deaths Reach 2,216

“This year is the fifth straight during which the arrival of irregular migrants and refugees has topped the 100,000 threshold – although 2018’s total is low compared to those recorded at this time in 2017 (166,737) and 2016 (358,018).”

Libyan Coast Guard pull backs / interceptions remain at 14,795

According to the UNHCR, there have been no reported Libyan Coast Guard interceptions so far in December.

54 people believed to have been lost at sea without a trace in October

IOM reports that it learned that a boat disappeared without a trace in the Western Mediterranean after departing from Nador, Morocco, more than a month ago. The shipwreck is believed to have occurred between 26 and 27 October, when at least 54 people – including 11 women and three children – are now thought to have lost their lives. Soon after the boat’s departure, the NGO Alarm Phone, which runs a hotline for people crossing the Mediterranean, received a distress call from those onboard. No one on board has been heard from since. Spanish and Moroccan authorities confirmed that they, too, conducted search and rescue operations for this vessel but were unable to locate the boat or any survivors. In the weeks since the boat’s disappearance, dozens of family members have posted on social media channels searching for information about their loved ones. For its part the Spanish NGO Caminando Fronteras, which is in contact with families of those on board, also reported that the boat may have disappeared without a trace.  It has now been over a month since the boat went missing. The fate of these 54 people remains a mystery and a source of agony to the many family members left behind. When a boat vanishes without a trace, it often goes unnoticed and unrecorded by the media or databases….”

90-Day Extension for EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia Remains Under Consideration

Italy has agreed to a 90-day extension of the EUNAVFOR MED mandate in order to permit continued EU negotiations regarding changes to EUNAVFOR MED’s mission, including changes relating to the places rescued migrants could be disembarked. The current mandate expires on 31 December 2018.  Italy has to date refused to agree to a longer extension of the mandate in the absence of changes to the disembarkation rules or to the Dublin Regulation.  Italy’s insistence on changes to disembarkation rules have become less important given the very small numbers of migrants rescued by the EUNAVFOR MED mission.  ANSA reported that the “Italian government decided to extend the mission after a meeting convened by Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte with Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, Defence Minister Elisabetta Trenta, Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero, Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Enzo Vecciarelli, Mission Commander Adm. Enrico Credentino, and Foreign Ministry Secretary General Elisabetta Belloni. … Defence Minister Elisabetta Trenta …wished to avoid a brusque closure of the mission….”

It is time for EUNAVFOR MED to drop the “Operation Sophia” name

EUNAVFOR MED is not engaged in search and rescue operations, though it continues to hold itself out as a humanitarian mission.  It was just over three years ago in September 2015 when HR Mogherini announced in a speech that the operation’s official name would include “Operation Sophia”:

“Sophia is a baby who was born on 24 August 2015 at 04.15 am on board the German frigate Schleswig-Holstein, operating in the Central Mediterranean Sea as part of EUNAVFOR MED Task Force. Born from a Somali mother rescued together with other 453 migrants and disembarked on the evening of the same day in the harbour of Taranto, Sophia was named after the German ship dedicated to the Prussian princess Sophia of Schleswig-Holstein. I will suggest to Member States that we change the name of our Operation: instead of calling it EUNAVFOR MED, I suggest we use the name: Sophia. To honour the lives of the people we are saving, the lives of people we want to protect, and to pass the message to the world that fighting the smugglers and the criminal networks is a way of protecting human life.”

The Brussels 2 website reports that EUNAVFOR MED has only rescued 106 migrants over the past five months whereas the Libyan Coast Guard has intercepted and pulled back over 14,000 migrants and refugees in 2018.

Libyan Navy welcomes EU’s halting of NGO rescue boats

From the Libya Observer: “The spokesman for the Libyan Naval forces, Brigadier General Ayoub Qassem, said that the suspension of non-governmental organizations activities in the field of rescuing migrants will be positive to the Libyan Navy….Qassem accused these organizations of being a catalyst for increasing immigration, by transferring migrants to European countries, giving no caution to the thousands who drown, annually, in the sea.”

Cyprus sees sharp increase in arrivals

Article by AP reporter Menelaos Hadjicostis in the Washington Post: “[T]housands of migrants … have slipped into Cyprus this year [from Turkish Cyprus] across its porous 180-kilometer-long (120-mile-long) buffer zone. Migrant arrivals by sea have also increased, turning tiny Cyprus into the EU’s top recipient of asylum-seekers relative to its population size, as other EU countries have tightened their borders.  Government statistics show that about 5,000 people — mostly from Syria but also Somalia, Pakistan, India, Iraq, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Cameroon — had claimed asylum in Cyprus by the end of August. That’s expected to reach 8,000 by year’s end, up from 3,000 in 2016. While that’s a fraction of the hundreds of thousands seeking asylum in the EU, it’s putting pressure on a country with just over 1 million people….Despite its proximity to the conflict zones of the Middle East, Cyprus received relatively few asylum-seekers during the peak of Europe’s migrant crisis three years ago, when most migrants arrived in Greece and made their way through the Balkans toward countries in northern Europe. An island nation just emerging from a severe economic crisis, Cyprus wasn’t seen as an attractive destination for migrants and refugees seeking shelter and a new life in Europe. But that changed as nations in Europe shut their borders and the economic situation improved….”

See also article by Helena Smith from the Guardian: ‘Cyprus is saturated’ – burgeoning migrant crisis grips island. “The island has exceeded every other EU member state in asylum claims in 2018, recording the highest number per capita with almost 6,000 applications for a population of about 1 million. By August requests were 55% higher than for the same eight-month period in 2017, a figure itself 56% higher than that for 2016, according to the interior ministry….Illicit crossings from the north have made Cyprus’ woes much worse. Reports have increased in recent months of irregular migrants flying into Ercan airport in the Turkish-controlled breakaway state. Hamstrung by politics, not least Turkey’s refusal to recognise the government in the southern part of Cyprus since its 1974 invasion of the island, authorities are unable to send them back….”

EU promises additional emergency funding to Morocco “in response to increased migratory pressure along the Western Mediterranean Route”

Press release from the European Commission: “The EU is intensifying its support to Morocco to address irregular migration in response to increased migratory pressure along the Western Mediterranean Route. The additional funding adopted under the EU emergency Trust Fund for Africa will bring the overall migration-related assistance to Morocco to €148 million in 2018. It will help step up the fight against migrant smuggling and trafficking of human beings, including through reinforced integrated border management….”

See also ANSA article: Cooperation increases between Spain and Morocco on migration.

European Defence Agency producing geospatial information in support of EUNAVFOR MED operations

The European Defence Agency’s GISMO project (Geospatial Information to Support decision Making in Operations project) is producing geospatial information in support of EUNAVFOR MED operations and aims at full operational capability by mid-2019.  From the EDA:  “Since [2014] and working in partnership with the EU Satellite Centre (EU SatCen), GISMO has produced a first operational output in the form of ‘GeohuB’, a software application which allows for the safe and reliable sharing of geospatial information (GI) within a mission’s operational headquarter. After a successful field trial, GeohuB was successfully deployed in November 2017 to the Italian Operation Headquarters, Rome, in support of EU Naval Force Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED). In practical terms, this means that operation participants with access to the classified mission network of EUNAVFOR MED’s operational headquarters in Rome can upload, share and manage geospatial data related to the operation…Last June, GISMO started the transition of the GeohuB application from the current status of Initial Operating Capability (IOC) to Full Operating Capability (FOC) by the summer. …”

Speech by MSF president: “Migration is not a crime. Saving lives is not a crime”

MSF International President Dr Joanne Liu’s speech on a panel discussion at the Global Compact on Migration conference in Marrakesh, Morocco: “…Last week MSF was forced to stop search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea. A concerted, sinister campaign of legal challenges and administrative obstacles, means the ship we were working aboard—the Aquarius—is no longer authorised to leave port, let alone rescue people at risk of drowning in the Mediterranean. With the sabotage of the Aquarius, gone is the most basic humanitarian and legal commitment: saving lives at sea. Last week, 15 people stranded in a boat off the Libyan coast died of thirst and starvation. How many may be similarly dying or drowning, without anyone even aware?  Citizens and mayors around Europe have mobilised to receive rescued people and to show their humanity. Meanwhile, European governments have refused to provide search and rescue capacity, and – worse – have actively sabotaged the efforts of others to save lives. Saving lives is non-negotiable. Saving lives is what we do, what we will continue to do and fight for, and what we urge you to defend.  Saving lives is indeed a fundamental part of the Global Compact….”