01 September 2016
Reflections on a Crazy Summer; Samos Island 2015 (Samos Chronicles, link):
"Samos is close to the coast of Turkey and has long been one of the gateways into western Europe for refugees. What made the summer of 2015 so distinctive were the very large numbers of refugees coming to the island, as to all the frontier islands of Greece in the eastern Aegean. It was a tsunami of people fleeing mainly from Syria but also from other war torn places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Palestine as well as from countries such as Algeria, Morocco and Pakistan where widespread corruption and mafia politics makes ‘normal’ living virtually impossible for many."
Are You Syrious (12.9.16, link):
3400 people rescued in Mediterranean over the weekend
"This weekend saw the another surge of rescues in the Mediterranean, with 3400 people saved in just two days. These rescues form part of a wave of migrations that began in August and is still ongoing."
Overcrowding in camps on the islands
"With new arrivals coming every day, many shelters on the islands have once again become overcrowded. Sometimes there are almost two times more people than the official capacity. Currently, there are approximately 13,080 people are living in camps whose capacity is only 7450. As Ekhathimerini news reports, “Thousands of migrants have been cooped up in overcrowded reception centers on the Aegean islands for weeks or even months awaiting a decision on their applications for asylum.”
Italy/ Switzerland: Protest on the border
"With the Italian and Swiss border becoming increasingly difficult to cross, clashes between the No Border Group and the police in Chiasso broke out yesterday afternoon. A group of people gathered to protest against the policy of ejecting migrants from Switzerland. The crowd, about 250 people from Switzerland and abroad, as reported by police, walked to the city centre, with a stop at the international station, where protests threw paper bombs and smoke bombs. The group then moved to the border."
"A group of 48 Sudanese migrants are back in Sudan, after Italy delivered them to Khartoum last week with seemingly no questions asked.
According to eyewitnesses, Italian police detained the Sudanese from Ventimiglia, a border town near France, and then loaded them on two buses and deported them from Turin-Caselle Airport via a chartered EgyptAir flight."
"In a letter to the Minister of Interior of Spain published today, Commissioner Muižnieks has urged the Spanish authorities to adopt a procedural framework to ensure that border police in Ceuta and Melilla have clear instructions on how to handle mixed migration flows in full compliance with human rights."
See: Letter (pdf):
"Given the seriousness of the human rights violations at stake, I should like to request you to provide me with further information on your authorities’ position as regards the adoption of a text regulating the work of border police in Ceuta and Melilla. I would also like to strongly reiterate that the practice of summary expulsions must be stopped."
Juncker promises Bulgaria aid to strengthen border with Turkey (euractiv, link):
"Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has told Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov in a letter seen by EurActiv.com that he is aware of the “fragile situation” of the country and that considerable support for the consolidation of the country’s border will be made available.
The letter, dated 12 September, comes ahead of the Bratislava summit on 16 September, where Borissov is expected to voice his concerns of a worst-case scenario – the collapse of the EU-Turkey deal and a massive arrival of migrants across the Bulgarian border."
"The massive refugee crisis demands an unprecedented global response. At two summits on September 19 and 20, 2016, at the United Nations, world leaders should take bold steps to share responsibility for millions of people displaced by violence, repression, and persecution.
Leaders will gather in New York to discuss providing greater support to countries where refugees first land, just as many of those countries are at breaking point. There is a grave risk to the bedrock foundation of refugee protection, the principle of nonrefoulement – not forcibly returning refugees to places where they would face persecution and other serious threats. People are fleeing violence in Afghanistan, Burma, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Honduras, Iraq, Somalia, and Syria, among others."#
"“Forced settlement endangers our culture and traditions.” This is one of many fearmongering anti-migrant messages included in an 18-page booklet – just part of Hungary’s tax-payer funded anti-migrant campaign designed to counter a binding EU relocation quota, which asks Hungary to take in a mere 1,294 asylum seekers."
and see: “We must stop Brussels!” referendum booklet warns Hungarians (Budapest Beacon, link)
More than 60,000 migrants and refugees stranded in Greece (ekathimerini.com, link):
"The number of migrants and refugees stranded in Greece is estimated to be over 60,000, according to reports Tuesday.
A total of 143 individuals arrived on the Aegean island of Lesvos on Tuesday. Another 40 arrivals were recorded on Chios. The number of migrants and refugees on Greece’s islands has reached 12,171."
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