01 November 2016
"This is a shameful deal that sends a frightful message to the rest of the world: that men, women and children who managed to survive a perilous journey and the horrors of war, persecution and extraordinary vulnerability are not welcome in Europe. Furthermore, the deal has also led these people to take other, even more dangerous routes to our shores.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. As DiEM25 we are standing behind a unique legal action that could blow this deal up, potentially improving the lives of millions of people seeking to come to Europe in desperate need. How? By helping to save a man’s life.
A team of volunteers in Spain and Greece, headed by the eminent Spanish former anti-corruption prosecutor Carlos Jiménez Villarejo, is working to save Shabbir. On November 29, 2016, they filed a legal action to the European Court of Justice. It’s aim: to annul the EU-Turkey Agreement and prevent Shabbir and thousands of others from being deported.
But if this case is successful, it will do much more than save a man’s life: it could shatter the EU-Turkey deal once and for all."
"In response to the sentencing of Ahmed H, to 10 years in prison on terrorism charges for his involvement in clashes with Hungarian border guards at a Serbia-Hungary border crossing last year, Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty International’s Deputy Europe Directorwho attended the court hearing said:
“This verdict is based on a blatant misuse of terrorism provisions and reflects a disturbing confluence of two dangerous trends: the misuse of terrorism-related offenses and the appalling treatment of refugees and migrants.”
Throwing stones and entering a country irregularly does not constitute terrorism and cannot justify this draconian ruling"
EU: European Council: 15-16 December 2016: Draft guidelines for conclusions (LIMITE doc no: 13936-16, pdf) :
On Migration: "assess and reaffirm its commitment to the implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement and assess progress on the compacts with the five selected African countries in terms of arrivals and returns," and
"assess progress on the reform of the Common European Asylum System, including on how to apply the principles of responsibility and solidarity in the future, on the basis of a report from the Presidency."
Regarding Members States the Council has to try and appease those against "responsibility and solidarity in the future", while hoping the European Parliament will unblock discussions on the Qualifications Regulation, the Reception Conditions Directive and the Procedures Regulation and the Resettlement file.
On Internal Security: Review progress on:
"systematic checks against the relevant databases, that must be interconnected, of all persons crossing the Union's external borders, including nationals from EU Member States; the entry/exit system; the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS); combatting terrorism; firearms; anti-money laundering; Passenger Name Record (PNR); and enhancing effective cooperation with electronic service providers." [emphasis added]
RACIAL VIOLENCE and the BREXIT STATE (pdf) by Jon Burnett (Institute of Race Relations)
In a pioneering study published today, the IRR takes a fresh look at the nature of racial hate crimes since the referendum. Through a detailed examination of cases on the IRR’s unique database it establishes a link between the language and behaviour of perpetrators of such violence, the rhetoric and policy pronouncements of politicians over recent years and the stigmatising frameworks of the media.
‘It is convenient to condemn the “spike” in violence this summer, in which at least one person lost their life, as the acts of a thuggish minority. But an examination of over one hundred cases shows a link between the language and behaviour of perpetrators and the rhetoric and policy pronouncement of politicians’, said IRR researcher, Dr. Jon Burnett.
Are You Syrious (30.11.16)
Winter arrives in force to Greece
"It had been very cold for a while now in northern Greece and volunteers have been very busy trying to improve the difficult conditions the refugees live in around the country.
But no preparations would have been enough for what happened last night and today, especially the camp of Petra on the hills next to mount Olympus, where 241 people (official numbers) were still living when a huge snow storm came down merciless on them....."
There has been a call for help from teams of volunteers.
"Lighthouse Relief volunteers of Lesvos are fundraising because there is a critical shortage of shoes to provide for refugees. With winter fast approaching, nearly every refugee now arrives with soaking wet shoes, increasing the life threatening risk of hypothermia. Providing dry clothing is the fastest and most efficient response to hypothermia that Lighthouse Relief can provide. Unfortunately, NGOs across the island have exhausted the supply of shoes and, due to the reality of the crisis, demand outweighs supply. To support them please follow the link."
"The UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) has written to the mayor of Rome voicing alarm over the hundreds of migrants sleeping rough on the capital’s streets while thousands more with legal residency are forced to live in squats."
Refugees rehoused in Greece as temperatures drop (ekathimerini.com, link):
"Thousands of refugees and migrants will be relocated indoors from tent camps in Greece as temperatures fell below zero for the first time, the UN refugee agency said Thursday.
The operation began Wednesday in the snow-covered foothills of Olympus, Greece’s tallest mountain, to move around 1,000 members of Iraq's Yazidi minority, said UNHCR spokesman Roland Schoenbauer."
Polar cold, Snow: Refugees spend the icy-cold days & nights in tents (picts, vid, Keep Talking Greece, link): "Migrants and refuges in Malakasa accommodation center launched a protest demanding better the living conditions amid polar cold sweeping through out Greece."
EU-Turkey-Syria: Border between Syria and Turkey – the death zone
"The truth is that the crisis has shifted. The wall, the German chancellor Angela Merkel under no circumstances wanted to see at the German border, was erected at the border to Syria by the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A concrete wall, several hundred kilometers long, three meters high is keeping migrants away. People are not dying in the Aegean sea anymore, as the number of boat crossings to Greece declined after the deal. Now, they die at the Turkish-Syrian border."
"Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, has called on EU member states and Schengen Associated Countries to provide officers for the newly adopted European Coast Guard Functions Officer profile, paving the way for the deployment of multi-national crews in the agency’s maritime operations."
Towards a dispersal of crossing? (Passeurs d'hospitalités, link):
"There are many similarities between the closure of the Sangatte Center in 2002 and the destruction of the Calais shantytown in 2016. A media operation aimed at making people believe that a “problem” was being solved, while all that had been done was to hide it. The huge number of police in order to force people to hide and therefore to be less visible (see here, here and here). The harassment of people showing solidarity (see here, here and here). And also the CAO scheme, which is in its conception a copy of Operation Ulysses that followed between 2002 and 2006."
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