GREECE : JOURNEY BACK TO LESVOS

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Five years after the No Border Camp in Lesvos and the closing of the detention center at Pagani, a week of activities brought together activists and exiles who went through Greece from August 6 to 12 on the island. The highlight was a concert at the new detention center at Moria.

Read more on : http://lesvos.w2eu.net

https://goo.gl/maps/pJO4l

 

noborder.lesvos.09-pagani.detention.centre-20-08-2009-082009, Pagani detention center (photo : No Border camp 2009)

moria2013 : Moria detention center under construction with European Union funds (photo : Welcome 2 Europe)

GREECE: TWO YEARS OF “XENIOS ZEUS” OPERATION

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For two years, the police operation “Xenios Zeus” (meaning “Zeus hospital”) results in controls facies, arrests, investments in detention and various abuses in Athens.

On Okeanews website, an article (in French) reports on the operation and links provide further reading:

http://www.okeanews.fr/20140804-xenios-zeus-2-ans-ratissage-centre-dathenes

 

 

THE EUROPEAN UNION IN FRONT OF THE ASYLUM SEEKERS FROM THE BALKANS

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The number of people from the Western Balkans seeking asylum in countries of the European Union continues to increase, despite the concerted policies between the EU and the countries of departure, a sign that the situation is not improving there. Germany and France are leading this fight against “false asylum seekers“, “false” because politically we do not want them.

Articles (in French) on the blog Serbie Droits Humains :

http://serbie-droitshumains.blogspot.fr/2014/07/allemagne-et-france-renverront-les.html

and on the Courrier des Balkans website :

http://balkans.courriers.info/article25332.html

 

 

 

GREECE: DENIALS OF JUSTICE

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On April 18, 2013, a farmer from Nea Maolada and his guards shot with huntguns on Bangladeshis farm workers came to claim their unpaid wages, injuring twenty eight of them.

The tribunal innocent the farmer and one of the guards, while another security guard was convicted of “harming the physical integrity” and the third accomplice. This indulgence has led to strong protests in Greece.

January 20, 2014, featuring a Greek Coast Guard vessel push back to Turkey – which is illegal – a boat carrying twenty-seven exiles. Maneuvers of the vessel capsize the boat. Sixteen people manage to climb onto the ship, while three women and eight children drown without the coastguards give them assistance.

The case has been closed without further action by the Greek justice.

In French :

http://balkans.courriers.info/article25369.html

http://balkans.courriers.info/article25374.html

http://www.okeanews.fr/20140801-justice-aveugle-les-verdicts-racistes-en-grece

In English :

http://infomobile.w2eu.net/2014/08/01/greek-farmers-who-shot-28-workers-for-demanding-pay-walk-free-from-court-in-scandalous-racist-verdict/

http://infomobile.w2eu.net/2014/08/01/case-closed-in-greece-survivors-of-farmakonisi-shipwreck-decide-to-appeal-before-the-european-human-rights-court/

http://infomobile.w2eu.net/files/2014/08/Briefing-on-Farmakonisi_31-July.pdf

 

GREECE: A STATEWATCH REPORT ON LESVOS DETENTION CAMP

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May 11, 2014, a mission of Statewatch visit the detention center Moria, on the island of Lesbos, and reports on its observation. The center, still unfinished, has a capacity of 150 seats, but the parties to be built can raise its capacity of hundreds of places. It should function as a reception center before transfer after a few days people to Athens, but its foreseeable developments should allow retention over the long term. This are a way to welcome in Europe, according to European policies, people who seek protection.

The report (in English) can be downloaded here.

 

 

SERBIA: A REPORT ON ASYLUM

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Belgrade Center for Human Rights issued a report on asylum in Serbia, which detailes the different aspects of the question, from acces to the territory to the emplementation of the refugees rights, though legal frame, procedure and reception conditions : “Right to Asylum in the Republic of Serbia 2013″.

You can download the report (in English) here.

 

GREECE: A TEENAGER SELF-INJURES IN DETENTION

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On the island of Lesvos, the shelter for unaccompanied foreign minors closed for lack of funds. By cons, a detention center, including a part  for first reception and identification and a part for retention before the expulsion, was built and opened by European funding. Minors are locked until a place in a reception center for minors elsewhere in Greece is available. One of them, aged 17, self-injured in protest against his imprisonment.

http://infomobile.w2eu.net/2014/07/18/17-year-old-afghan-self-injured-himself-to-protest-detention-in-lesvos/

Here the press release of Welcome to Europe and the Village of all together (Lesvos):

http://lesvos.w2eu.net/2014/07/21/press-release-unaccompanied-minor-severely-self-injured-himself-in-moria-first-reception-detention-centre-in-lesvos/

Press Release: Unaccompanied minor severely self-injured himself in Moria “first reception” detention centre in Lesvos
PRESS RELEASE 21.07.14 Lesvos

On 17/7/2014 a 17-year-old Afghan who had been detained for many days in Moria awaiting his transfer to a special reception centre for minors cut his arms in an act of despair and protest as he could not stand anymore being closed up for many days and under such conditions. He was transferred to the psychiatry department of the local hospital.

In Greece there are 10 reception centres for unaccompanied minors with about 330 places in total that need to cover the needs of thousands. At the same time that a vast number of reception places are lacking many minors fear long detention upon arrival in Greece in so called First Reception Camps (detention centres) if they register with their real age and register themselves as adults. The background: Unaccompanied minors arriving in first reception centres have to undergo a number of medical examinations and then wait for a place in one of the overcrowded reception centres in order to be released. The detention duration varies and can reach one month or more months, while delays depend on the crowdedness in the reception facilities.

As a consequence hundreds of unaccompanied minors register as adults. They are being transferred to Pre-removal Detention Centres at the mainland, such as Amigdaleza, Corinth, Komotini, Xanthi, Fylakio or Drama / Parenesti where legal aid is not existing. When they realise that they end up facing 18 months detention or more due to their changed age all of them try to find ways to proof that they are minors.

Anyhow, if age-assesment has taken place already in First Reception Detention it is unlikely if not impossible (without the help of a
lawyer) the authorities will approve a second age-assesment later. Age-assesment procedures have been recently defined in a Ministerial
Decision for First Reception but not for Pre-Removal Detention Centres. As a result the procedures vary in the different places and more than that the ways and methods carried out are highly questionable. For this reason among others many unaccompanied minors end up in 18 month detention.

We demand for the immediate creation of sufficient special reception centres for unaccompanied minors. In this frame the Reception Centre for Unaccompanied Minors in Agiassos, Lesvos, which was closed earlier this year despite the huge need should be re-opened with the necessary funding to allow for its functioning.

And we demand for the immediate release of all unaccompanied minors in first reception detention centres, pre-removal centres or any other form of detention. As provided for in the Guidelines on Policies and Procedures in dealing with Unaccompanied Children Seeking Asylum from UNHCR (1997) “(T)he child should be given the benefit of the doubt if the exact age is uncertain” and “the main guiding principle in any child care and protection action is the principle of the ‘best interest of the child’”.

Village of all together
Welcome to Europe “

 

FRONTEX BETWEEN GREECE AND TURKEY

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The Migreurop network publishes a report on the role of the European agency for the surveillance of external borders, Frontex, and its responsibility for the violations of human rights that take place at the greek – Turkish border.

To read the press release from Migreurop.

To download the report Frontex between Greece and Turkey: the border of denial“.

 

 

BULGARIA: A BORDER MONITORING REPORT

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Border Monitoring has just published a new report on the situation in Bulgaria asylum seekers and refugees “Trapped in the European quagmire: situation of asylum seekers and refugees in Bulgaria”. It addresses the issue of violence and rejection at the border, overcrowded camps and people left homeless, integration, racist attacks, the asylum procedure, restrictions on freedom of movement in Europe before making recommendations.

You can download the report (in English) here.

 

 

TURKEY: NECOCIATIONS WITH THE EUROPEAN UNION

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Negotiations of the EU with neighboring countries are not on an equal footing, or in a spirit of cooperation around objectives commonly defined. Those with Turkey are no exception.

Turkey made for many years the choice to facilitate access to its territory for a short stay: Nationals of most countries of the world can come here without a visa. The European Union wants to make Turkey a buffer state slowing the arrival on its soil of “migrants”, mainly potential refugees. The currency exchange is the possibility for Turkish nationals to enter the European territory being exempt from short-stay visa. To achieve this, Turkey must submit at roadmap asking a series of conditions: the readmission of its own citizens and citizens of other countries who have transited through its territory if they are expelled from the European Union; the security of identity documents; border surveillance; visa policy; legislation on asylum; policy vis-à-vis irregular immigration; measures regarding security and judicial cooperation; and final conditions for fundamental rights (in terms of minority rights in question the rights of Roma in Turkey – and we would like them to be respected in the European Union – but not rights of Kurds, who are not mentioned).

You can download the roadmap here (in English).

 

 

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