Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe 30.9.16


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 EU-Afghanistan returns plan: Another "dodgy" deal


- Deal to be signed next week to start immediate refugee "return" flights
- Is Afghanistan a "safe country"?
- Quick return of 80,000 refugees planned
- "effectively implement readmission commitments" - by-passing parliamentary scrutiny

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:

"Under the dodgy EU-Turkey deal we have two Letters and a Statement now for the Afghanistan deal there is to be a "Declaration" - yet again by-passing formal law-making and parliamentary scrutiny. Yet again the Council demonstrates its contempt for the rule of law. There is no way Afghanistan, even in Kabul, is a safe country to return refugees to."

See: Dated 22 September 2016: Draft Joint Way Forward on migration issues between Afghanistan and the EU - Adoption(LIMITE doc no: 12191-16, 2016, pdf). And a joint "non-paper" from the European Commission and the European Action Service (EEAS) in March 2016: Joint Commission-EEAS non-paper on enhancing cooperation on migration, mobility and readmission with Afghanistan (Restricted do no: 6738-16, pdf)

 Athens: Appalling abuse of 5 refugee children by policemen, Greek Police ordered investigation (Keep TalkIng Greece, link):

"The appalling case of abuse of several refugee children by Greek police has been denounced in social media by several members of solidarity movement. According to the reports, Greek police allegedly detained and abused 5 refugee children, aged 9-14.

The incident occurred on Tuesday, September 27th 2016, at 12 o clock noon, when the refugee children together with two companions (aged 20-22) from the solidarity movement were walking in downtown Athens in order to participate in a theater play.

The police stopped the group, sized plastic toy-guns which were to be used in the play, their mobile phones and one laptop. Police took the children to the police station in Omonoia square and allegedly abused the minors, forcing them to strip, making racist and sexual comments and denying them access to their parents."

 No Border Kitchen Lesvos: Arrests and deportations happening on a daily basis

"Repression is high on the island at the moment. We hear from different sources about an increasing number of deportations. According to our information a lot of people were deported in the last days directly from Mytilini to Turkey. We heard about 175 people but cannot confirm this number or the exact way of deportation at the moment. What we are sure about is that there are a lot of arrests and that the people are brought on ferries."

 GREECE: Hotspots on Aegean islands overcrowding growing

Overall the number of refugees ("Guests") at 29 September was 14,003 and the capacity in detention/hotspots was 7,450. THere were 151 arrivals that day

Latest Greek government figueres: 5,942 "guests" are being held on Lesvos, where there is capacity for 3,500 people. On Chios, 3,684 "guests" are being held in a camp intended to hold 1,100; on Samos there are 1,573 people in a centre designed to hold 850; and on Kos 1,813 in a 1,000-person centre. Leros is the only island not suffering from overcrowding, with 733 "guests" being held in a space able to accomodate 1,000. Rises in all centres except Leros.

See: Summary statement of refugee flows at 29-09-16 (pdf)

 Are You Syrious (29.9.16, link)

No Border Kitchen Lesvos issues a harrowing report on the situation in Lesvos.

"The post, which may be accessed in its entirety here, speaks of an unprecedented wave of deportations from the island, with random arrests happening throughout, and reports of violence being employed by the police. Some of the people arrested and slated for deportation were in the middle of applying for asylum. They report that a total of 136 people were deported on Monday alone."


"There are a total of 151 new arrivals in the last 24 hours: 104 on Lesvos and 47 on Samos. This brings the total number of refugees on the island to 14,003. This is the first time that the figure has been over 14,000. The population continues to grow despite official camp capacity remaining at 7,450.

In the last 24 hours, Megisti formerly housing 14 refugees has been removed from the list of camps. Skaramagas Dock witnessed a drop of 121 people, bring the number from 3,500 to 3,379. The complete figures provided by the Greek government may be found here."

In the Loop has published an excellent newsletter on the Moria Fire.

2The newsletter features the testimony of the camp’s inhabitants and may be accessed here."

Italy: Refugees in Treviso protest living conditions.

"More than 150 asylum seekers - most of them residents of the Centro di Accoglienza Temporaneo per Migranti, situated at the ex barracks “Serena”- are protesting in front of the city’s prefecture. Since yesterday, they have been hoping to meet with the prefect in order to receive clarifications on the long waiting time to receive ID documents, or even to get an interview with the commission. They are also denouncing the inhumane conditions in which they live, overcrowded spaces (more than 880 people are hosted in the ex barracks), lack of proper hygienic standards, and and poor food servings. Moreover, there is no legal service active in the center. The asylum seekers are worried about the large number of international protection requests which have been rejected and complain about the no clear policy and system of the local authorities."

 Dresden counters right-wing extremism following bomb attacks: Earlier this week, the Saxon capital of Dresden was rocked by two apparently xenophobic bomb attacks. Linda Vierecke reports on how people are coping after the explosions.(DW, link)

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