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Keep in touch: Statewatch Observatory: Refugee crisis in the Med and inside the EU: Daily news (updated through the day), commentaries and official documents
Philippa Kempson (Efalou, northern Lesvos, link)

"Just witnessed the Turkish Coast Guard picking up a boat full of refugees in Greek waters! While the Greek coast guard and frontex watched!! Is this a new European Commission policy to allow the Turkish authorities jurisdiction in Greek waters as a solution to the refugee situation?!!!"

Are You Syrious (10.12.16, link)


"330 people were officially registered today: 138 on Lesvos, 67 on Chios and 125 in other places. For the first time after August this year, the number of official registrations on Greek islands reached over 300."

IRELAND: Refugee families pointing to the breach of human rights by the EC, EU and an EU member state

"Members of one of two Syrian families now in Greece who have sued in the Irish courts in a bid to prevent their transfer to Turkey are to be transferred to Germany, Irish Times reports. Both families wish to join other family members in Germany and they had initiated a case against the European Council, EU and Ireland over alleged breach of their human rights last month. The core claim of the families is the EU-Turkey deal on migration, allowing Greece to return to Turkey “all new irregular migrants”, was made outside the powers of the EC and breaches EU law. That deal, and Ireland’s sanctioning of it, is incompatible with Ireland’s obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights and breaches various EU Treaties."

Human rights at the Serbian - Hungarian border

"Refugees at the Serbian-Hungarian border, in the Röszke transit zone, are reminding how very cold it is in the unheated tents at night, so much that they say, parents are afraid their children might have fatal injuries due to the cold they experience out there during the night. The Sirius.Help team reported that refugees, who are in a bad shape, wrote to them: "We don’t have any ingredients for cooking. And unfortunately the wood you bring us twice a week, is not enough either in this extreme cold. We have already brought every dry branches from the forest nearby."

European Commission proposes to increase numbers of returns to Turkey under EU-Turkey deal and re-start returns to Greece under Dublin (ECRE, link):

"The European Commission published its Fourth Report on the implementation of the EU-Turkey deal this week. The publication comes together with a Joint Action Plan of the EU Coordinator on the implementation of certain provisions of the EU-Turkey Statement that outlines several modifications to the Greek asylum procedure aiming to increase numbers of returns under the EU Turkey deal, as well as a Recommendation to EU Member States to reinstate the Dublin procedure to Greece. The proposals have been sharply criticised by a number of actors, including Amnesty International."

Greece: Mouzalas requests mainland pre-removal centers (, link):

"Responding to rising tensions on eastern Aegean islands due to the growing population of migrants and asylum seekers, Migration Policy Minister Yiannis Mouzalas has made a request to European authorities that individuals from countries with low asylum recognition rates be temporarily transferred to pre-removal centers on mainland Greece.

In a letter addressed to European Union interior ministers and Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos that was made public Friday, Mouzalas warned about congestion at the hot spots on Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Leros and Kos, adding that it was mostly caused by the rising number of migrants who are not covered by the relocation agreement and who must as a result be sent back to Turkey."

Spain's Ceuta enclave stormed by migrants (BBC News,link):

"At least 400 people have broken through the border fence between Morocco and the enclave of Ceuta, which is part of Spain.

The migrants, mainly from sub-Saharan Africa, stormed different points of the 6m-high (19ft) barbed-wire fence from 06:15 local time (07:15 GMT) on Friday.

It is the biggest single breach of the border in a decade, local media report."

Germany to offer 'voluntary return' incentives for asylum seekers (DW, link):

"The German government is to spend 150 million euros on incentives for asylum seekers to return home voluntarily. But refugee organizations say the plans are unrealistic - and merely a placebo for voters in Germany."

Home Office stops transfer of Calais child refugees to UK (Guardian, link):

"Minister says more than 750 children have arrived, but charities say hundreds of others have right to enter Britain."

Italy, Greece face off against easterners in EU migration feud (euractiv, link):

"The European Union’s tug of war over how to share out the burden of caring for asylum-seekers is not over, Slovakia’s interior minister said on Friday (9 December) after six months of trying unsuccessfully to bridge differences between member states.

Central and Eastern European governments opposed to taking in refugees are at loggerheads with countries on the frontline of the crisis such as Greece and Italy. Nearly all the 350,000 migrants to reach Europe’s shores this year have arrived in those two countries."

Greece: Council for Refugees accuses police of “torturing ISIS victim” (Samos Volunteers, link):

"The police station on the island of Samos has been accused to have tortured a 25-year-old refugee from Iraq. According non-profit organization Greek Council for Refugees, the man had requested international protection in Greece and had been tortured by members of the ISIS and therefore he should have joined the program for torture victims. Instead, he was held under inhumane conditions at the police station for nineteen days."

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