Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe 30.6.16


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 GERMANY: Far-right violence rising sharply in Germany (DW, link);


"The number of violent crimes committed in Germany by far-right extremists has risen by over 40 percent in one year, the nation's internal intelligence agency says. In particular, asylum seekers have been targeted....

In its annual report, Germany's domestic intelligence service (BfV) showed a 42 percent increase in violent acts by extremists associated with the far-right in 2015, describing attacks against journalists, politicians and refugees.

The report shows a recorded 1,408 violent crimes, compared to 990 such crimes in 2014. During the same period, seventy-five arson attacks against refugee centers were recorded, up from just five a year earlier."

See: 2015 Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution (English - Summary, pdf) and Full report (German, 317 pages, pdf)

 Greece: Lesvos: Doctors of the World accuses police of violence against migrant children (, link)

"Humanitarian aid organization Doctors of the World (MDM) has accused Greek police of subjecting 12 Pakistani minors at the Moria reception center for refugees on the island of Lesvos to mental and physical abuse earlier this week, and called on Migration Policy Minister Yiannis Mouzalas to launch an investigation.

The minors allegedly came to blows and threw rocks at each other on the night of June 23, before they were handcuffed and dispatched to the local police station where they were held for 14 hours and reportedly subjected to mental and physical abuse."

and see: Reported incident of police violence towards unaccompanied minors at Moria Reception Center in Lesvos (, link)

and: Lesvos: Inter Agency Consultation records on 23 June: "Thirty eight (38) trouble makers from Moria have been transferred to Paranesti, Drama. UNHCR and protection partners are following up on their cases." [emphasis added]

 Mourning the dead while violating the living (open democracy, link)

"As of the end of April 2016, the Italian Navy has deployed four ships to fish out the wreck of a migrants’ boat from a depth of 370m and retrieve the bodies of the several hundred migrants who remained trapped inside since the night of the 18th of April 2015. Following a collision between the migrants’ severely overloaded vessel and a 147m cargo ship that had approached to rescue it, the boat capsized, causing the death of more than 800 people – the largest shipwreck in recent Mediterranean history...

If the EU-Turkey deal is not blocked through institutional means, then all that will still stand in its way will be the acts of civil disobedience such as those enacted by activists by blocking the Frontex operated ferries on their route to Turkey with their very bodies, and forms of direct support to migrants’ illegalised crossings through the work of the numerous NGOs and activists who have, since summer 2015, transformed the Aegean islands into a new laboratory of transnational solidarity. The re-opening of a safe(er) passage through the Aegean is a matter of life and deaths for thousands of migrants, and an urgent response to revert the self-destructive course the EU is heading in. For as long as migrants will drown, Europe will keep sinking."

 BULGARIA: “Who gets detained? Increasing the transparency and accountability of Bulgaria’s detention practices of asylum seekers and migrants”: STATISTICAL REVIEW (EPIM, pdf):

"It seems that one common European response to the “flow” is the increased detention of migrants. This statistical review illustrates the implication of this common trend for Bulgaria. It is appears as if detention has become a migration management tool, especially in times when most states found themselves unprepared for the increased numbers of migrants arriving on their territories. Furthermore, the ongoing economic crisis and the mass austerity measures around the continent provoked the proliferation of far-right political movements.

Pressured by a potential loss of votes, liberal European politicians also started to resort to practices that are more akin to the far-right spectrum: migrants are more than often portrayed as a national security threat and criminals, and detention practices are often used as summary punitive measures against migrants in the name of the protection of the national interest."

 HUNGARY: Show trial in Hungary: solidarity with the accused in Röszke (, link):

"This report is based on the talk and discussion on an event on of the Röszke trials in Hungary, on refugees accused of violating the border fence during a riot/mass disturbance - which was held in Auróra, Budapest 24th 2016. As our guest, we had Tamas Fazekas, who works for the refugee program at the Hungarian Helsinki Committee. Fazekas is a criminal lawyer, the defendant of three of the accused, and works for the HHC since 2001. The views expressed in the event and in this blogpost are his own and not representative of the HHC. HHC has unique access to all refugee camps and detention centers in Hungary. They are independent from the Hungarian government and do not receive any project money the EU, and provide free legal aid for people seeking international protection in Hungary."

And see Show trials message

 European Court of human rights turns a blind eye on migrants’ life endangerment in Chios (GISTI, French and English, link):

"Last weekend, the European court for human right rejected a request for emergency measures sought on June 16th by 51 Syrian, Afghani, Iraqi nationals (amongst which many minors) who are forcibly maintained on Chios Island, Greece, in a desperate situation. This island, like many others in the Aegean Sea, has become an open-air prison. The victims, lead by a GISTI lawyer, a French NGO for the defence of migrants, had asked the court to compel Greek authorities to put an end to the violations of their right to life and to the inhuman and degrading treatment they have been enduring in Chios since an immigration deal was concluded between Turkey and the EU on march 20th – more than three months now - and which puts their children’s’ and their own lives at risk.

Although they all applied for asylum, none of those 51 victims enjoyed any of the fundamental civil rights theoretically guaranteed by Greek and European law. They received no legal assistance at all. Most claimants ... the grounds for this «house arrests» on an island, which turns every day more into an Alcatraz, and cannot understand why they are forced to live in such appalling and degrading material conditions. They are granted neither safe nor decent housing, and lack basic access to health: medical assistance is grossly insufficient compare to the number of civilians in the camps who would need specialised care or hospital recovery. (only some prescriptions are given but no drugs). In one of the island’s three “camps”, the authorities do not even provide for food.)"

 News (30.6.16)

Italian navy recovers ship that sank with over 800 people on board - Forensic experts to begin identifying victims of 2015 Mediterranean disaster in which vessel capsized off Sicily (Guardian, link)

Schulz: Switzerland and EU need to find compromise on immigration (euractiv, link): "Switzerland and the European Union have to find a compromise on how to act on a Swiss referendum to limit immigration without breaching bilateral treaties with the EU, European Parliament President Martin Schulz said in a TV interview on Wednesday (29 June)."

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