01 September 2016
A translation of a letter written by Syrian and Iraqi refugees living in the Ritsona camp near Chalkida in Greece, around one hour north of Athens. It was originally published on the website R Project in Greek; the text below is a translation of that in Spanish published by Diagonal on 27 August 2016.
In May this year the Council of the EU drew up an extensive "roadmap to enhance information exchange and information management" in relation to justice and home affairs policies - principally policing, migration and counter-terrorism. A recent leaked document provides a summary of progress on a number of those actions, including detailed information on how security checks in the "hotspots" in Italy and Greece function.
On 8 September, 13 migrants were returned from Lesvos to Turkey without being given the opportunity to access legal assistance. 10 of the migrants - from Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, Algeria, Palestine and Lebanon - were dismissed at first and second instance while the other three had waived their right to file an application against their return.
UK: Help reunite refugee families, faith leaders urge May (BBC News, link): "More than 200 religious leaders have urged the UK to relax immigration rules so refugees from Syria and other areas can be reunited with their families.
In a letter to the prime minister, they say close relatives of Britons and refugees already in the country are living abroad in "desperate conditions" and should be given a legal route in.
People are now making "unsafe" journeys with "avoidable tragedies", they say.
Ministers say the UK has been at the head of the response to the crisis.
Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is among representatives from the Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh faiths to have signed the letter to Theresa May."
See: REFUGEE CRISIS: Faith Leaders' Open Letter to the Prime Minister (pdf) and: interfaithrefugeeinitiative.org (link)
EU-GREECE: EU announces new €115 million in emergency support to improve conditions for refugees in Greece(European Commission, link): "Today, the European Commission has stepped up its funding to improve living conditions for refugees, migrants and asylum seekers in Greece. New funding worth €115 million will be released to humanitarian organisations operating in the country."
UK-FRANCE: ‘Kindertransport’ Britons help today’s child refugees in Calais (The Guardian, link): "British beneficiaries of the Kinder-transport programme, the organised effort to rescue thousands of children from Nazi Germany, have begun raising funds to help the scores of unaccompanied refugee children stranded in Calais.
Almost 80 years after Britain sanctioned a mission to help children escape the antisemitic aftermath of Kristallnacht, Britain’s Jewish community is raising funding to evacuate at least 120 child refugees identified as having the legal right to be reunited with their families in the UK but who remain trapped in northern France."
GREECE: Seven sketches inspired by Athens' refugee squats – in pictures (The Guardian, link):
"Illustrator Ella Baron spent the summer volunteering in Athens in squats occupied by some of the thousands of refugees prevented from continuing west by the EU-Turkey deal. Her drawings capture their struggles"
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