Here I would like to inform you regularly about the most important developments and decisions in European asylum and migration policy and keep you up to date about what is currently happening at the European external borders.
The Border News now delivered daily direct to your mobile phone: Here’s the link to the Telegram-Channel.
09/24/2021: Another death at the border with Belarus +++ Frankfurt am Main becomes a safe haven +++ Turkish refugee policy becomes more restrictive
- At least five refugees have died between Belarus and Poland this week alone. It is very cold there at night and frostbite occurs. But the Polish police are pushing back the people and aid organisations and journalists are not allowed to enter the border region. BBC managed to film this 6 minute piece about the situation on the ground, despite restrictions on press freedom.
- The fifth death this week on the border between Belarus and Poland is believed to be a man from Iraq who died of a heart attack. He is said to have suffered this heart attack after the Polish police picked him and a group of men up.
- In response to the cynical abuse of protection seekers by Belarus, the taz demands: "Recording now! Otherwise, the dead will not have been the last victims."
- Frankfurt am Main becomes a safe haven. The city councillors voted on Thursday evening by a majority for the motion of the coalition of the Greens, SPD, FDP and Volt to join the alliance of cities and take in refugees beyond the number provided for under the Königstein Key.
- Turkey is becoming increasingly restrictive in its refugee policy. Afghans do not want to accept the country in large numbers and many Syrian refugees are also afraid of having to leave the country soon.
23.09.2021: "Cologne Declaration" criticizes EU refugees +++ 30 documented cases of pushbacks on Balkan route in August +++ Mounted U.S. Border Patrol agents chase refugees from Haiti
- More than 80 celebrities from art, science and politics practice in the "Cologne Declaration" harsh criticism of the European Union for its treatment of refugees. The letter was initiated by IIPM, LeaveNoOneBehind, Sea-Watch, Seebrücke, ECCHR, Equal Rights Beyond Borders, medico international, School of Political Hope and NTGent.
- The Border Violence Monitoring Network has published its report for August. It documents 30 pushbacks on the Balkan route alone, affecting 324 people. It also deals with violence against refugees from Afghanistan and the use of sexual violence by the Croatian side. You can download the 21-page report here read.
- Images of mounted U.S. border patrol agents hunting refugees from Haiti cause uproar. The US government announces an investigation.
- Asylum seekers in Samos move into the new mass camp. The EU Commission and the Greek government celebrate the camp as a new era of "migration management". But the people would rather not stay in Samos at all – they finally want a normal life. Deutsche Welle accompanied them and made this short film.
- Currently Greece builds a 40-kilometer wall along the border with Turkeyplus a surveillance system with cameras, radar and drones. The main aim is to keep people out of Afghanistan.
22.09.2021: Dead Iraqi woman presumably dragged from Poland to Belarus +++ Conditions in Bosnia-Herzegovina still inhumane +++ The taz presents my book
- In the past few days. four refugees died at the external border between Poland and Belarus. Now there are more and more eyewitness reports according to which an Iraqi woman was already in Poland and her body was later dragged back to Belarus. At present, it is almost impossible to verify the events independently, because journalists currently have no access and freedom of the press is severely restricted.
- Nine months after the great fire in the Bosnian camp Lipa, the living conditions on site are still absolutely inhumane. Many of the people fleeing come from Afghanistan, yet they are denied the right to apply for asylum in the EU.
- The taz has my book "Europe is doing away with itself" reviewed and in it sums up well what I was about when I wrote it.
- Doctors Without Borders criticizes the conditions in the closed mass camp on Samos and states: "All we can do for our patients anymore is help them survive."
- In Namibia, the parliament has again postponed the ratification of a genocide compensation agreement with Germany. This was preceded by a protest rally by descendants of the ethnic groups affected by the genocide committed by the Germans and a debate. Several hundred people entered the parliament.
Sep 21, 2021: People die at Polish external border, but Merkel does not criticize Poland +++ Polish president speaks of refugees as "organizing storm attack" +++ Millions of people in Germany may not vote on Sunday
- The Polish government confirms the death of three fugitives on the border with Belarus. During her state visit to Warsaw Angela Merkel expressed no criticism of Poland but instead stressed the relevance of "border protection", that is believed to have caused the deaths of several people here.
- The Polish government does not see itself as partly responsible for the deaths on its borders and President Mateusz Morawiecki instead described the fugitives as an "organised assault". The right-wing populist Morawiecki has now ordered the deployment of 500 soldiers to the external border.
- Millions of people who have lived in Germany for a long time won't be allowed to vote next Sunday. In the taz, some of them write what that means for them.
- The Geo Barents rescued 54 people from distress at sea. As the MSF ship approached, some cried out, "Our suffering in Libya is finally over." If you want to stay up to date, follow MSF Sea on Twitter.
- A new closed mass camp has opened on the Greek island of Samos. Strict surveillance and walls ensure that people cannot leave the camp at any time – like in a prison.
20.09.2021: Four people died at border with Belarus +++ Fire broke out on Samos +++ New mass camp set up on Samos, resembling a prison
- Four dead people have been discovered on the border between Poland and Belarus. The people were trying to get to the EU from Belarus. Why and from what they died is not yet clear.
- A fire broke out at the Vathy camp on Samos last night.... The camp has been cleared for a few days. Most recently, there were still just under 500 people housed there.
- On Samos, the new hotspot camp has now been built, which resembles a prison in many places. The camp is fenced in with barbed wire and equipped with surveillance cameras, X-ray scanners and magnetic doors. It also has a detention center and is accessible only by electronic chip. The gates remain closed overnight. It is one of five such camps planned on the Aegean islands of Leros, Lesbos, Kos, Chios and Samos. The EU has earmarked 276 million euros for the project. medico international reports on the conditions.
- Yesterday, the Ocean Viking... Rescued 13 more people from distress at sea and is now caring for 129 rescued people on board.
17.09.2021: Greece seals itself off even more +++ New mass camp on Samos +++ Mosaic of 48,000 should make clear: Human rights are #none negotiable
- Greece is building a fence on the Turkish border to keep out refugees. The fact that more people fleeing the Taliban could now be arriving doesn't seem to interest the authorities there. DW reports.
- Greece opens a new camp on the island of Samos. Residents and critics speak of an "open-air prison".
- Seebrücke, Sea-Watch and #LeaveNoOneBehind demand a future federal government for which the following applies: Human rights are #nonnegotiable. For this they have created a mosaic of 48,000 individual images in front of the Bundestag. You can see the impressive picture here.
- In Bottropp, people are fighting for the city to join Seebrücke's "Safe Harbours" initiative. The Waz reports.
- An Iranian asylum seeker is to present his passport at the Starnberg Aliens Office – and gets deported by return mail. This is not an isolated case for the Helferkreis.
Sep 16, 2021: Von der Leyen calls refugees 'hybrid attack' +++ Spanish coast guard rescued 225 people yesterday +++ Mexico stops people heading to U.S.
- Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) described refugees currently arriving in Poland and Lithuania as a "hybrid attack to destabilise Europe". That's what she said in her State of the Union address yesterday, and that choice of words is absolutely wrong. It is true that Lukashenko is exploiting people to put pressure on the EU. But these people are not weapons and ammunition and that is why we should not speak of a "hybrid attack." The RND has the main points of the speech summarized here. You can listen to the whole speech watch here.
- The Spanish coast guard rescued 225 people from distress at sea on Wednesday alone. The people were spread across six boats off the islands of Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Tenerife. The news at this at the Spanish news agency EFE.
- In the south of Mexico, in the border town. Tapachula again many people are waiting to be able to move on towards the USA. They accuse the authorities of brutally stopping them and suspect a deal with the US.
- Thousands of refugees cross the Alps between Italy and France every year. On both sides of the border there are people who engage in nightly rescue operations for the refugees. In the process, they themselves become the target of the border police. BR accompanied the people and produced this 21-minute radio feature.
15.09.2021: Salvini in court +++ British Home Secretary threatens pushbacks +++ Refugee children in Greece denied basic right to education
- As interior minister, Matteo Salvini refused to allow several rescue ships carrying refugees to dock in Italy. Now the ex-minister has to stand trial in a case.
- This year, 14,400 people have already crossed the English Channel into England. Now British Home Secretary Priti Patel is threatening pushbacks. The Standard reports.
- On Monday the school year started again in Greece. However, many children in the refugee camps will not attend school because they are denied their basic right to education.
- The Malteser Migration Report 2021 "Facts instead of Mood-Mongering" sheds light on the migration situation in Germany and offers many insights into the reality of life for people who have not been in Germany for very long. The researchers also come to the conclusion that integration has made great progress in recent years. You can read the entire report read here. T-Online summarizes the results here together
14.09.2021: According to the World Bank, 200 million people could lose their homes by 2050 because of climate change +++ EU Commission blocks funds to Greece +++ In Greek camps, the situation for people with disabilities is particularly hard
- Climate change could drive more than 200 million people from their homes over the next three decades, according to a World Bank report. But with immediate and coordinated steps to reduce emissions and support green and sustainable development policies, climate migration could be significantly reduced, it said. Tagesschau.de summarizes the report and discusses the various scenarios.
- The European Commission has asked Greece to set up an independent monitoring mechanism to monitor human rights at its external borders. Such a mechanism serves mainly to prevent pushbacks and is the condition for the release of €15.83 million requested by Greece from the Commission.
- For people in wheelchairs, the situation in the Greek camps is particularly difficult. The taz accompanied 33-year-old Alafaat from Syria and reports on his everyday life.
- Photographer Vincent Haiges was aboard Doctors Without Borders' Geo Barents in August and documented the rescue mission. You can see his photos at Zeit Online.
09/13/2021: 126 people rescued from the English Channel +++ 32 Afghan refugees continue to be detained at Poland's external border +++ Sea Eye rates political parties on their attitude to sea rescue
- The French navy rescued 126 people from the English Channel. Between early January and late August, more than 15,000 people had attempted the crossing, many of them in overloaded inflatable boats, according to French authorities.
- In the border region between Poland and Belarus, 32 Afghan refugees have been waiting for over a month, unable to move forward or back. In an interview, they describe their situation as dramatic; they speak of hunger and weakness. Journalists are not allowed to see the people, but the WDR was able to organise a conversation via telephone..
- The federal election is in 13 days. At Sea Eye you can see how the parties stand on sea rescue and basically on human rights at the EU's external borders. and which parties you should consider if you want to stand in solidarity with people on the run.
- People without a German passport are not allowed to vote in the Bundestag in Germany. In a city like Berlin, this means that a quarter of the population is excluded from the elections. We Greens want to change that. The Tagesspiegel took a look at what concepts the parties have to deal with this challenge.
- The Geo Barents of Médecins Sans Frontières, together with the Italian coastguard, has rescued around 40 people from distress at sea.
10.09.2021: British government threatens pushbacks in the English Channel +++ 30 Afghans have been stuck at Poland's external border for weeks +++ 120 people are rescued off Lampedusa
- The British government wants to rely on pushbacks in the English Channel in the future and admits this quite openly, even though they violate current law. People trying to get from France to England will simply be turned back, which can put people's lives in danger at sea.
- The Polish government has sealed off the border region with Belarus. The media and human rights activists are not allowed to enter. 30 people from Afghanistan have been stuck there for weeksbecause they can neither return to Belarus nor enter Afghanistan.
- The Italian coast guard yesterday rescued more than 120 refugees from distress at sea off the island of Lampedusa. The people were stranded on a reef in the morning due to bad weather conditions, the Coast Guard said.
- The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has backed parents of refugees. The court ruled yesterday in favor of a man who had based his asylum application on the protection status of his son, that is, wanted family reunification. This was controversial because the son had reached the age of majority.
Sep 09, 2021: Interior Ministry delays evacuation and procedures of people from Afghanistan +++ Pakistan deports hundreds of Afghans +++ At least 509 people died fleeing to Canaries in August
- For weeks there have been promises to evacuate people, but the processes at the Home Office are being dragged out. No one from the Foreign Office lists has yet been promised admission. Even people from German lists who have been evacuated are being forced to travel on to the US. The people in Afghanistan – also German citizens – are simply abandoned. Please watch and share my video.
- Rescued Afghans are flown to the USA from Ramstein. Against their will. German authorities look on and do nothing.
- After the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, many people fled to neighbouring Pakistan. Hundreds of fled Afghans without travel documents have now been deported again. The government pointed to insufficient capacities and called for more international involvement.
- The UN says it receives daily reports of violations of women's rights in AfghanistanAccording to the report, women are forbidden to go to work or leave their homes without a male escort. There were also complaints about attacks on girls' schools and centres that help women fleeing violence in the country. The Taliban had presented 33 members of the government on Tuesday, including not a single woman and no one from any other political group.
- In August alone, according to the NGO "Caminando Fronteras", at least 509 people died during the crossing to the Canary Islands. This makes the Canary Islands route currently the deadliest in the world, ahead of the central Mediterranean route. The German-language weekly summarizes the reports. You can get more information in the Spanish-language El Día from Tenerife.
- I spoke to Puls 24 about the inhumane conditions in the Moria camp and explained why the Austrian government cannot simply decide that it will no longer accept refugees. And why the Greek government cannot simply lock people up in mass camps. see here.
09/08/2021: German schoolchildren still stuck in Afghanistan +++ Heiko Maas must finally explain why evacuations were not carried out in time +++ One year after the fire in Moria, Greece and the EU Commission have failed to keep their promises
- There are also many German schoolchildren stuck in Afghanistan who were not rescued in time by the German government. People are being killed there, while lists are being checked at a snail's pace in the Ministry of the Interior. In conversation with Watson, I explain again the failure of the federal government in Afghanistan.
- Following new evidence of early warning by the federal government of Taliban victory in Afghanistan. we have intensified our demand for clarification and are finally demanding answers from Heiko Maas.
- During the rescue mission in Kabul, the U.S. used Ramstein Air Force Base as a way station for its evacuees. People on German lists who have already applied for asylum in Ramstein are now being taken to a US plane and are to be flown to the USA against their willbecause BMI refuses to give the U.S. the info.
- A year ago Moria burned down and after the disaster the EU Commission promised "No more Morias". This promise has been broken. When I visited the new Moria a few weeks ago, the conditions were still inhumane. I talked about this with the ARD studio in Brussels. Also with Mirror Daily Podcast I had a conversation (behind the paywall, unfortunately). On my homepage I also report about my last visit to Lesbos and the current situation.
- Last March, EU Commissioner Ylva Johansson visited Lesbos and promised the Greek government more than 155 million euros for the construction of two new camps on the islands of Lesbos and Chios. The Greek government then announced that the new camp on Lesbos would be completed by September, which has not happened. tagesschau.de reports.
- Dozens of aid organisations criticise that nothing has improved since the fire and that the planned camps only aim to make the work of aid workers more difficult and to keep those seeking protection away from the population.
Sep 07, 2021: German government warned early of rapid collapse in Kabul +++ People protest in Kabul against Taliban +++ Syrian refugees abused and disappeared after return
- The German government always stresses that the rapid Taliban victory came as a surprise. However, it had already received a warning from the USA at the beginning of August to prepare for an emergency in Afghanistan. The Greens are calling for a parliamentary committee of inquiry into the events surrounding the withdrawal. Der Spiegel revealed (paywall)..
- Hundreds of people took to the streets of Kabul today to demand women's rights and demonstrate against the Taliban.. The Taliban broke up the protests by starting to shoot in the air.
- Even after the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, the Federal Government wants to insist that applicants for family reunification learn German in their home country. In August, there were 4,173 Afghans on the "appointment waiting lists" to apply for family reunification. The taz reported exclusively.
- Syrian intelligence services have detained, tortured and disappeared refugees and Syrians who have returned home, according to Amnesty International. According to a report published by the human rights organization, Syrian intelligence agents committed serious human rights crimes against 66 returnees, including 13 children. Under these circumstances, it is completely unacceptable to discuss deportations to Syria. tagesschau.de summarizes the study. The complete study can be found on the homepage of Amnesty International.
- Germany has failed in its evacuation from Afghanistan, writes lawyer and Green politician Tareq Alaows. He himself fled Syria in 2015, writes about his experiences and demands that the German government take responsibility for the people from Afghanistan. You can read his text at Zeit Online.
06.09.2021: Taliban say they conquer whole of Afghanistan +++ Spiegel interview with Kabul airlift +++ Sea Eye 4 brings 29 rescued to Sicily
- According to their own account, the Taliban have conquered the province of Punjir and now control all of Afghanistan. The resistance group NRF had previously proposed a ceasefire.
- In an interview with Spiegel Online, Theresa Breuer explained once again how we started the Kabul Airlift and how obstacles were put in our way to prevent us from rescuing as many people as possible. You can read the interview here.
- The city Reutlingen takes in 25 of the peoplewho were rescued with the help of the Kabul Airlift.
- The Sea Eye 4 today brought 29 rescued people to Porto Empedocle in Sicily – among them two heavily pregnant women and four babies. If you want to keep up with the rescue operations, then follow the Sea Eye on Twitter.
- Time and again, Italy arrests ships in its ports that want to rescue people in distress. EKD Council President Bedford-Strohm is now sharply attacking the authorities and demanding a quick release of the "Sea-Watch 4". "It cannot be that ships that could save lives are arbitrarily detained while people die in the Mediterranean"Beford-Strohm said.
03.09.2021: Seehofer rejects Thuringia's state admission program for Afghans +++ Berlin wants to admit more local forces from Afghanistan +++ Poland imposes state of emergency on border and restricts press freedom
- Thuringia's planned state reception programme for relatives of Afghans living in the Free State cannot be implemented. This is justified by the fact that Horst Seehofer and the Ministry of the Interior do not see any necessity for a state admission at the moment. With its own admission programme, Thuringia wanted to make it possible for relatives of Afghans to come to the federal state under certain conditions.
- Green Party top candidate Bettina Jarasch is also calling for a reception programme for relatives of Afghan refugees in Berlin. At the same time, Jarasch criticizes the federal government for having recognized the situation in Afghanistan too late and for having made the acceptance of refugees difficult or even refused it for a long time. More on the positions of the different parties in Berlin you can find out at the RBB.
- After the end of the airlift, the only option left for people in Afghanistan is to flee overland. Thousands are currently waiting at the border with Pakistan, but are not being let in. After the two largest neighbouring countries Iran and Pakistan have already taken in around 80% of the refugees from Afghanistan, Germany and the EU now also have a responsibility to take in more people.
- I spoke to Weltzeit about why we cannot leave the people in Afghanistan to their fate now and why people need a chance to escape. You can listen to the contribution at Deutschlandfunk Kultur.
- Poland has declared a state of emergency in the border region with Belarus, which also means that journalists are no longer allowed to report on the ground. Near the border town of Usnarz Gorny, Afghan refugees have been stuck in no man's land for weeks, unable to enter Poland or return to Belarus.
02.09.2021: Refugees from Afghanistan face closed land borders +++ Turkey seals itself off from fleeing Afghans with a wall +++ Sea Eye 4 rescues 29 people from distress at sea
- After the end of the airlift from Afghanistan, many people dare to flee by land: at the Islam Kala crossing alone, on the border with Iran, thousands of people are crowding in. At the border with Pakistan, many people are standing in front of closed borders. Read more about which countries want to take in people seeking protection from Afghanistan and which don't, at Time Online.
- The Turkey is currently building a 300-kilometer border wall with Iran – especially to stop protection seekers from Afghanistan. This means that this escape route is now also closed to many people seeking protection from Afghanistan.
- The President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, has criticised EU states for their attitude towards Afghan refugees. He expressed "great disappointment" on Wednesday at the outcome of Tuesday's special meeting of EU interior ministers, which agreed on compartmentalisation.
- The Sea-Eye 4 rescued 29 people from a wooden boat in the Mediterranean Sea. Among them were eight women, two of whom were pregnant, and four babies. If you want to stay up to date with the missions, then follow Sea Eye on Twitter.
- The taz has visited some of the activistswho planned the airlift mainly from a Berlin apartment and gives an insight into their work.
01.09.2021: Kabul airlift is a great success with rescue of 209 people +++ EU Council and Commission do not want to make concrete commitments to take in people from Afghanistan +++ Afghanistan's neighbouring countries do not want to take in people seeking protection from Afghanistan
- I did an interview with "Welt" about the Kabul Airlift, in which I explain that the action and the rescue of 209 people is a great success. You can find the interview on my Instagram.
- At yesterday's meeting of EU interior ministers, it became clear that the priority of the Council and the Commission is to prevent refugees from Afghanistan from entering the EU. Those who want to flee from the Taliban should, according to their ideas, stay in the region – and under no circumstances come to Europe. In this way, the EU is not living up to its responsibilities.
- The Council and the Commission want protection seekers from Afghanistan to be accommodated primarily in neighbouring states. But the large neighbouring states Iran, Pakistan and Uzbekistan no longer want to let many of them into the country. About 2.5 to 3 million Afghans are estimated to live in Iran and about 3 million in Pakistan.
- Poland wants to impose a state of emergency on the border with Belarus. It is a step directed against the refugees on the border between the two states, who are being politically instrumentalised by the Belarusian regime.
- In the current episode of the Grenzfrei podcast of the Münchner Flüchtlingsrat is about pushbacks. Here, my colleague Michael Schneiss explains what exactly happens during pushbacks, which actors are involved and what role Frontex actually plays.
08/31/2021: German diplomats tried to force Kabul airlift plane not to evacuate anyone +++ Pakistan's ambassador calls on other countries to take in refugees from Afghanistan +++ EU interior ministers discuss situation in Afghanistan today
- I spoke to Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland about my criticism of the German government for its conduct in relation to the Kabul airlift. Publicly it was claimed that the plane was wanted, but after landing on the ground it was clear: our plane was not to evacuate people. When Portugal gratefully accepted our offer to evacuate their local Afghan forces, German diplomats apparently tried to force the plane not to evacuate anyone. Here you can find my video on Instain which I once again set out in detail my criticism of the Federal Foreign Office.
- The time reporter Wolfgang Bauer sat in the airplane of the Kabul air bridge and tells in an interview with Deutschlandfunk Kultur how the action was massively slowed down by German authorities.
- Amidst the confusion of official evacuation flights from Kabul, Airlift Kabul has emerged – and single-handedly rescued nearly 200 people. Politicians could learn a thing or two from them, comments the Süddeutsche Zeitung.
- Pakistan's ambassador to Germany, Faisal, has rejected the admission of further refugees from Afghanistan. „Pakistan is not taking in any more refugees from Afghanistan“, he told the Tagesspiegel. However, his country was doing everything in its power to support the departure of Afghans to other countries. Pakistan has already taken in between three and four million Afghans. Now richer and bigger countries should take in refugees from there, Faisal said.
- Ahead of today's EU ministerial meeting on Afghanistan, Luxembourg's immigration minister Jean Asselborn has called for the EU to take in tens of thousands of Afghan refugees. „The European Union should be ready to provide 40,000 to 50,000 resettlement places for people from Afghanistan“said Asselborn. Other states, such as Austria, do not want to take in any refugees from Afghanistan. Read more about this at T-Online. You can watch the press conference of the EU ministers from 18.15 under this link
- Professor Werner Schiffauer explains why Seehofer's Interior Ministry played the key role in the local forces debacle in Afghanistan. It bears responsibility for blocking timely action and for the subsequent disaster of evacuating local forces.
30.08.2021: Kabul Airlift Update +++ The German Foreign Office lies about the Kabul Airlift.de +++ More than 10,000 people were left behind in Afghanistan despite guarantees of admission from Germany
- Actually, I'm still at a loss for words after a very exhausting few days, but: after the federal government called off the evacuation in Kabul, we were able to use the Kabul airlift to get 189 people to the airport and from there to safety.
- After the accusations against the Foreign Office by the Kabul airlift, the Foreign Office has responded. Instead of admitting this scandal, they apparently try to flee forward and get entangled in false allegations and contradictions. I have dissected this in detail in the video. You can watch the 56-minute video on my Instagram.
- Among the approximately 5300 people that Germany evacuated from Afghanistan, only about 100 were former local forces and their families. More than 10,000 people who worked for the Bundeswehr or development projects are still on the Foreign Office's departure lists. In addition, there are about 1600 activists and journalists who have to fear the revenge of the Taliban.
- After being confined to Palermo for ten weeks, dhe Sea-Eye 4 again on mission in the Mediterranean Sea. The ship is urgently needed there, the sea emergencies are increasing.
- At Lampedusa, 539 refugees arrived in a landing on Saturday.n. They had previously been discovered helplessly floating in the Mediterranean Sea in an overcrowded fishing boat just 15 kilometres off the coast of Lampedusa by Italian patrol ships and rescued. A total of just under 800 people arrived on Lampedusa on Saturday.
- Germany took in 47,400 refugees in the first half of this year. In contrast, 7,360 people were deported and 4,374 left voluntarily. These are very low figures and Germany has enough space and resources to take in more people.
27.08.2021: Many dead in Kabul airport attack +++ Evacuation flights end +++ Greece plans deportation law that violates international law
- At least 85 people were killed and many more injured in attacks in the Kabul airport area. The so-called Islamic State claims the acts as its own.
- The evacuation in Afghanistan will end in a few hours for all EU member states. Meanwhile there are still no proposals on how to deal with those seeking protection. The EU once again presents a sad picture, comments Deutschlandfunk.
- A new law on the "reform of the deportation and return procedure" is to be passed in Greece. According to the NGO Refugee Support Aegan, it ignores not only numerous Greek expert:ing bodies, but also international and EU law. You can read the message here (Greek).
- In mid-May, some 8000 people attempted to cross from Morocco to Ceuta – in the hope of reaching mainland Europe. Many of them are still stuck there.
- „The real problems are on land“Federico Soda, head of mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), describes the situation around the Mediterranean Sea and explains what drives people into the arms of smugglers.
08/26/2021: Situation in Kabul remains dramatic +++ How the election campaign determined definitional issues for local forces +++ Greece disregards health of protection seekers
- The situation at Kabul airport remains dramatic. In a few days, evacuation flights will be halted. More info from on the ground has tageschau.de.
- Questions about political responsibility for the disaster are growing louder. In a Report of the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland it becomes clear how the decisions of those politically responsible have an impact on the ground and what the consequences are for the people.
- In several cases, the European Court of Human Rights has recognized the Greek authorities' ongoing disregard for the health and lives of protection seekers in the Mavrovouni camp. Read more at the Legal Centre Lesvos.
- A boat accident off the Canary Islands has left 52 people drowning as they try to flee to Europe. Learn more at t-online.
- Conservative and right-wing politicians link the current situation in Afghanistan with a discussion about internal security in Germany. Current research shows that this has nothing to do with each other. More on this at the TIME.
25.08.2021: German Armed Forces accused of failing to provide assistance +++ UN accuses Taliban of serious human rights violations +++ People entitled to family reunification are left behind in Afghanistan
- There will not be enough time for the airlift to fly out all those in need of protection. The sponsorship network of Afghan local forces of the Bundeswehr accuses the Federal Government of failing to provide assistance. Angela Merkel was also responsible.
- At a special session of the UN Human Rights Council... on the situation in Afghanistan, the Taliban were accused of serious human rights violations.
- Many people who are waiting for their families to join them in Germany are also stranded in Afghanistan. In the taz such a story is once described.
- While the UN Human Rights Council explicitly discusses the oppression of women, the Greek government considers Kabul a safe city for women.
- If they have survived the life-threatening flight across the Mediterranean, those seeking protection in Greece now receive a €5,000 fine as a welcome, because they entered the country without a valid Corona test....
08/24/2021: Fundraising for charter flight to Kabul underway +++ 300,000 signatures for safe escape routes +++ Human Rights Watch calls for internationally coordinated reception of refugees
- For a long time we have been working with organizations on this, now we can make it public: We have a charter flight to Kabul to support the evacuation! Now we need your Donate. More at #LeaveNoOneBehind on Twitter.
- A petition on change.org calls for safe escape routes from Afghanistan. The petition has already collected 300,000 signatures in a short time. Hhere you can sign and share the demands.
- „Chaos at Kabul airport: symbol of 20 years of war Afghanistan“ – Deutsche Welle comments on what the pictures from Kabul have to do with neo-colonialism. You can find the commentary worth reading here.
- The organization Human Rights Watch has called on European states to lead a global initiative to welcome those seeking protection.
- How refugees from Afghanistan are already experiencing the failure of EU asylum policy: Die Welt with a report from Lesbos. You can read the article here (paywall).
23.08.2021: EU disputes admission of protection seekers from Afghanistan +++ Civil society demands immediate admission +++ Greece continues to seal itself off
- In an interview with the Deutschlandfunk Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn has called for admission quotas within the EU, noting that while human rights are always used as rhetoric, they are never acted upon. Meanwhile, the Slovenian leaderswho is currently also EU Council President, for not helping people in Afghanistan.
- Civil society has long been calling for a human rights-based refugee policy. Despite heavy rainfall in some places, thousands of people demonstrated in Germany over the weekend in favour of accepting people seeking protection from Afghanistan. More on this has been published by the Deutschlandfunk.
- According to its own information Greece has completed a 40 km long border fence on its land border with Turkey. Heavily guarded and equipped with the latest surveillance technology, it is intended to ensure that fewer people have a chance to apply for asylum in the EU. Reuters knows more.
- The debate over taking in people from Afghanistan clearly shows that, due to the blocking attitude of some member states, the EU has failed for years to develop a common plan for taking in people seeking protection. Politico has the here summarized.
- The sea rescue ship GeoBarents from the Organization Doctors without Borders has a safe harbor and can bring the 322 people rescued from distress at sea to Augusta.
20.08.2021: BND warned already in December 2020 +++ Taliban kill more people in search of journalists +++ Greece plans to suspend asylum law again
- There is growing evidence that many agencies have long warned of the rapid collapse, but that was politically ignored. Among others, the Federal Intelligence Service warned the Federal Government already in December 2020. The report on this can be found in the Mercury.
- Meanwhile, it turns out that the Taliban's press conference was, as expected, more play than reality. Journalists in Afghanistan are being hunted down and people are being killed. Reuters has more information.
- While thousands of people fear for their lives in Afghanistan, the EU is discussing how best to avoid having to help them. The Mirror has researched what plans Greece, among others, has.
- The situation in Afghanistan remains chaotic. Many people are trying to get to the airport in Kabul to get out of the country. The tagesschau reports that the Bundeswehr has been able to evacuate a total of 670 people so far.
- Demonstrations will also take place in many cities over the next few days. More information is available at kabulluftbruecke.de
08/19/2021: Interior Minister Seehofer blocked local force evacuation for months +++ Foreign Office calculates local force numbers down +++ More and more cities register rallies
- Two months ago, the German Conference of Interior Ministers had already called on the Federal Government to initiate the rapid admission of local forces from Afghanistan. But Interior Minister Seehofer in particular blocked the move. The Tagesspiegel has internal documents, documenting the failure of the federal government.
- In recent years, employment relationships of local staff have apparently been deliberately converted into bogus self-employment in order to be able to evade responsibility more easily. According to Foreign Minister Maas, only 2,500 local staff are involved, but the reality is different. In this Spiegel conversation worth watching. an ex-military soldier reports from Min 14:20 on how long-time supporters are now being given the cold shoulder.
- But even the few local employees who, according to the narrow definition of the Federal Government, may hope for protection, are constantly confronted with new hurdles: Employees of the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) are told that only parts of their family are allowed to leave: Grandparents or adult sons would have to be left to the Taliban. "GIZ confronts local forces with a choice: leave sons behind - or stay" writes Der Spiegel.
- Protests are also planned across the country today and on the weekend. More and more rallies are being registered to demand the rapid evacuation and reception of people seeking protection. A central demonstration will take place on Sunday at 1 pm in Berlin. You can find a current overview and much more collected at kabulluftbruecke.de.
- "They should rather fight the Taliban properly" – Sentences like these are often used to distract from the failure of the NATO states. The sociologist Aladin El-Mafaalani has briefly summarized in a video why the rapid abandonment of the Afghan army is absolutely understandable and rational. This Instagram video is one that Joe Biden might want to take a look at.
18.08.2021: Bogus Taliban press conference +++ EU foreign ministers:inside want to negotiate with Taliban +++ Evacuation chaos continues
- At a first press conference after the takeover, the Taliban appeared friendly, spoke of women's rights and safe conditions. This has little to do with reality.
- Yesterday the EU Foreign Ministers met to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. Now they want to negotiate with the Taliban, but with conditions.
- The chaos in the evacuation from Afghanistan continues. On DLF, my colleague Cem Özdemir assessed the situation.
- In the last 24 hours, over 50,000 people have already used the kabulluftbruecke.de tool to write to their MPs. This is a very effective way to build up pressure on politicians. Feel free to share the link with those around you, you can join here.
- That the Taliban have now taken power is a sad reality. Meanwhile, this is also sinking into the consciousness. The Guardian describes in an articlewhat consequences this now has for women journalists, among others.
- At the border between Belarus and Lithuania a pushback took place. The border guards were filmed during it. The situation is tense, the ZEIT reports.
17:08.2021: Action Kabulluftbrücke started +++ Rallies planned in many cities +++ Evacuation via Kabul airport still chaotic
- In order to increase the political pressure on those responsible, we have launched the Kabul Airlift campaign. At kabulluftbruecke.de you can write your congressmen, donate and inform yourself. Feel free to share this with your friends and family.
- Today and in the next few days, demonstrations for the rescue and reception of Afghan protection seekers are planned in many places, and there were already initial gatherings yesterday. Larger demonstrations are planned for the weekend. At kabulluftbruecke.de there is now also an overview of actions of the Seebrücke, in which you can take part.
- The situation at Kabul airport has stabilized in the last few hours, and the evacuation of embassy personnel has begun. Thousands had gathered there in recent days, fleeing the Taliban, and some desperate people had clung to planes taking off from the outside and crashed. The first German plane now flew out only seven people, more planes are to follow. Ongoing updates in the FR ticker.
- The rescue operations following the hasty withdrawal of troops are also proceeding in such a chaotic manner because the German government had previously refused for months to guarantee the protection of local forces. A corresponding motion by the Greens in the Bundestag in April was rejected by the grand coalition in June.
- Now it may be too late for most. In a disturbing ZDF interview on Heute Journal. Markus Grotian of the Afghan Local Forces Sponsorship Network confirms that there is little hope for the survival of many long-time supporters: "We have to dissolve our safehouses, the Taliban are going door to door. If any rescue comes, it will be too late."
06.08.2021: Sea-Watch 3 has a safe haven +++ Greens call on Heiko Maas to present a new situation report for Afghanistan +++ Greek camps evacuated due to forest fires
- The Sea-Watch 3 is now on its way to Trapani, which has been designated as a safe haven by the Italian authorities. The 257 rescued people will soon be able to go ashore. The Ocean Viking is still waiting for a safe harbour.
- We Greens call on Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) to finally present a new and realistic situation report for Afghanistan, which also includes the current war crimes in the country. The current report still reflects the situation in May, before the Taliban began their offensive. A new situation report would make it quite clear that deportations to Afghanistan are currently out of the question. Here is my open letter, in which I asked Heiko Maas already three weeks ago to update the situation report.
- Thousands of refugees were evacuated from the Malaksa camp and brought to Ritsona because of the forest fires in Greece. Parwana Amiri describes the situation on Twitter.
- With the so-called Integration Act, the grand coalition wanted to facilitate the integration of refugees, but migration researchers criticise some points. Above all, the residence requirement has done more harm than good to integration into the labour market. The probability that refugees whose residence was determined by the state would find paid work was a good six percentage points lower than that of those who did not have a residence requirement. Read more about the review in the Tagesspiegel.
- In the UK, refugees now even face a prison sentence of up to four years if they enter the UK irregularly. This threatens above all people who try to get from Calais to Great Britain. DW reports from Calais.
- Belarus no longer wants to take back refugees from Lithuania. They now face being stuck in no man's land.
05.08.2021: Federal government sticks to deportations to Afghanistan +++ Greek ombudsperson declares deportation detention unlawful if deportation cannot take place promptly +++ Tolerance towards refugees decreases in Turkey
- The bombing in Afghanistan's government quarter was the reason for the cancellation. Deportation flight from Germany should be made up for promptly, according to the Federal Ministry of the Interior „“. Although the Taliban are on the advance and many people are being killed every day, the German government wants to continue deporting people there.
- In order to In order to temporarily suspend the repatriation of refugees to Afghanistan, the Greens want to use their participation in the governments of the federal states.
- When Afghan local workers are admitted to Germany, employees of subcontractors are largely left out. We Greens criticise this and demand that local staff in Germany also be admitted.who did not work directly for the Bundeswehr but through subcontractors for the German troops, because they are just as endangered.
- The Greek Ombudsperson ruled that it is not lawful to hold rejected asylum seekers in detention pending deportation if there is no prospect of timely deportation. Specifically, the case involves 19 people whose asylum decisions were rejected and who are to be deported to Turkey. However, Turkey has not accepted rejected asylum seekers since March 2020. Therefore, the Greek Ombudsperson is demanding the release of the 19 people who are being unlawfully detained. Read more at Equal Rights Beyond Borders, who filed the class action complaint.
- In Turkey, there is an increase in racist campaigns against refugees. One mayor even enforced that they should pay ten times as much for water and other municipal fees as locals.
04.08.2021: Deportation flight to Afghanistan stopped +++ Lithuania considers building 508-kilometer fence on border with Belarus +++ Amnesty calls for decriminalization of sea rescues
- Yesterday's Deportation flight from Munich to Kabul cancelledafter some of the Afghans have already been taken to the airport. There is no official reason yet, but it could be related to the fact that the European Court of Human Rights yesterday stopped the imminent deportation of an Afghan from Austria.
- The Lithuanian State Border Guard has proposed to build a four-metre high and 508-kilometre long fence along the border with Belarus., the cost of which is estimated at more than 150 million euros. EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson also said during her visit to Lithuania on Monday that a physical barrier between Lithuania and Belarus was necessary.
- Four years ago, the Italian authorities seized the rescue ship Iuventa - on the occasion of the anniversary, Amnesty International calls on the Italian authorities to end the proceedings against the crew members and other sea rescue NGOs. The human rights organization also urges that the criminal offence of "aiding and abetting irregular entry" be changed so that the work of sea rescuers is decriminalized.
- The Ocean Viking and the Sea-Watch 3 have rescued around 800 people in the past few days and now need a safe haven. The people on the ships are suffering from the high waves and the oppressive heat. Many are seasick and dehydrated, some have suffered burns. Learn more on Sea Watch's social media channels.
- Annalena Baerbock calls for the creation of an immigration ministry. It is important to create "participation-oriented perspectives" and this is better possible if the immigration policy is detached from the competences of the Ministry of the Interior.
03.08.2021: ECHR stops deportations to Afghanistan +++ Over 100 Frontex officers to be sent to Lithuania +++ People increasingly fleeing Tunisia to EU
- The Federal Foreign Office urges German nationals to leave Afghanistanbecause it was too unsafe. Today should according to information from Pro Asyl a deportation flight from Germany and Austria to Kabul. But today also the European Court of Human Rights an injunction stopping a deportation to Afghanistan scheduled for today.
- Every day, several hundred people from Afghanistan reach Turkey. About half a million Afghans already live there, but the majority of people in Turkey are against accepting more refugees from Afghanistan.
- So far this year, 3832 irregular entries from Belarus have been registered in Lithuania. That is why EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson was on the spot and promised that soon more than 100 Frontex officials will be in the country.. Instead of talking about a 'hybrid war against the EU', as the Lithuanian prime minister does, the EU should let Lukashenko's provocations go to waste and assure people of an asylum procedure based on the rule of law.
- The political situation in Tunisia could once again encourage more young people to make their way to Europe. Among them are a particularly large number of academics who no longer see a future in the country, which has been hit hard by political crises, the corona pandemic and the collapse of tourism.
- On the issue of asylum, resistance to the methods of right-wing Home Secretary Priti Patel is increasingly forming in Britain. The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee has denounced the "shocking conditions" in undignified barracks where minors are crammed together. The sea rescue service, which has been criticised by the government on several occasions, is inundated with donations.
02.08.2021: Ocean Viking and Sea Watch 3 rescue over 800 people in the Mediterranean +++ Although the Taliban are overrunning Afghanistan, Armin Laschet still wants to deport there +++ I talk to Sonntagsblick about the failure of European refugee policy
- In several missions, the Ocean Viking and Sea-Watch 3 have saved more than 800 people from drowning. There are currently 555 people on board the Ocean Viking and 263 on the Sea Watch 3. There are still at least three more boats in distress that need immediate assistance. You can find updates on social media at SeaWatch and SOS Mediterranée.
- According to the IOM, at least 1113 people have died crossing the Mediterranean this year. If we want to prevent the deaths of even more people, we finally need support for civilian sea rescue by the EU, coast guards of the member states that actually rescue refugees, and our own European sea rescue mission. The current figures on drownings in the Mediterranean Sea can be found at the Missing Migrants" page of the IOM.
- Although the Taliban are taking over more and more regions and killing people, Armin Laschet and Horst Seehofer still want to deport people to Afghanistan. They justify this by saying that criminals have to be deported consistently, but on the one hand criminals also have a right not to be deported to death and on the other hand the "criminals" are also people who have been caught several times without a ticket or have committed similar minor offences.
- In an interview with Sonntagsblick I talk about how the situation of refugees has deteriorated since 2015, why they are granted fewer and fewer rights, and why we in Europe simply accept it when people die, when that is exactly what we should not do.
- The UN warns of famine in Ethiopia's Tigray region, where it is having trouble delivering humanitarian convoys to some 5.2 million affected people. Food supplies are also in short supply in refugee camps in Tigray, where people from neighbouring Eritrea live, he said. There is also a high risk of disease outbreaks, especially in overcrowded refugee camps without adequate sanitation.
29.07.2021: Number of civilian victims in Afghanistan reaches record level +++ Greece demands that Turkey take back rejected asylum seekers +++ Court rules: Asylum seekers without prospects of accommodation and work in Italy may not be returned.
- Alone 2392 civilians were wounded or killed in Afghanistan in May and June, according to a published United Nations report. – more than at any time since the UN began counting in 2009. In view of this situation, the German government should suspend deportations to Afghanistan.
- Greece has the EU Commission urged to persuade Turkey to take back rejected protection seekers. There are now 1908 people on the Greek islands whose asylum applications have been rejected, Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis said in a letter to the Brussels authority. According to the agreement Turkey would have to take these people back, but has not done so since the start of the corona pandemic.
- Beneficiaries of protection or asylum seekers who have been transferred from Italy to Germany and have no prospects of finding accommodation or work in Italy may not be returned. This was decided by the Higher Administrative Court for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.
- With the RBB Inforadio I spoke about 70 years of the Geneva Refugee Convention. and about how and why it is being gutted at our external borders.
- Berlin will, for humanitarian reasons, in the next five years accommodate an additional 100 people per yearwho have fled to Lebanon. The admission takes place outside the usual asylum procedures, as the Berlin Senate Interior Administration announced.
- 171 people are said to have entered the EU from Belarus to Lithuania within one day -. more than ever before. In Lithuania they now face several months in prison.
28.07.2021: The Geneva Refugee Convention (GRC) turns 70. On this occasion, all news today have a reference to the world's most important document for the protection of refugees
– On its 70th birthday, the Geneva Convention on Refugees is dying. On this occasion I talked to the Frankfurter Rundschau about itthat the EU massively violates the CSF by mistreating, drowning or turning back refugees. Also on my homepage I have a short text to this.
Pianist Igor Levit and columnist Georg Diez have written an important article in the Tagesspiegelin which they call for an "aggressive humanism" and write that we must understand flight as an act of freedom and finally understand the 21st century as the century of the refugees.
– Professor Sandro Mezzadra talks in an interview with Diary on how the Geneva Refugee Convention is currently under attack by states such as Denmark and the UK, and how the policy of externalisation contradicts the spirit of the Refugee Convention. He also explains why he is involved in sea rescue and why for him there is no strict distinction between theory and practice.
– In a Interview with Radio Eins, lawyer and political scientist Maximillian Pichl explains, why refugees in many EU states can no longer claim their rights under the Refugee Convention. And why reasons such as climate change and socio-economic exploitation should also be recognised as reasons for flight. I also spoke with Maximilian Pichl in my podcast about his study on the "Moria Complex"..
Alexander Göbel commented in the Inforadio of the HRthat the inhuman reality at the external borders makes the commitment of the EU states to the CSF degenerate into pure hypocrisy.
27.07.2021: 57 people drown off Libyan coast +++ Libyan coast guard threatens to arrest crew of Sea Watch 3 +++ Germany deports again to Hungary
- The Libyan Coast Guard threatens to arrest the crew of the SeaWatch3. They falsely claim the Libyan SAR zone as their territorial waters, even though they are international waters. Ships like the Sea-Watch 3 want to help people in distress and bring them to a safe place. But the EU-funded militias are there to prevent people from fleeing Libya in the first place.
- Currently, with the SeaWatch3, the Ocean Viking and and the Astral two civilian rescue ships and one observation ship in the central Mediterranean. In addition, the Geo Barents of Médecins Sans Frontières is free again as of today and is being prepared for the next mission.
- Due to massive deficiencies, deportations to Hungary have been suspended in recent years. Now it came out through a question in the Bundestag that there was another Dublin deportation to Hungary in the first quarter of 2021. So in practice Germany is once again deporting people to Orbán's increasingly autocratic regime.
- The Taliban are on the outskirts of Kabul. Many inhabitants of the Afghan capital are desperate and wonder whether they should flee. A few young women want to fight. The FAZ made an interesting report with impressive pictures on site.
26.07.2021: Tajikistan agrees to take in 100,000 Afghan refugees +++ The German Foreign Office downplays the situation in Afghanistan in order to be able to continue deporting +++ France calls for Frontex to be deployed at the English Channel
- Afghanistan's neighbouring country Tajikistan agreed to take in 100,000 refugees from Afghanistan. The US is also providing USD 100 million in aid for refugees from Afghanistan. Now that the Taliban have conquered a large part of the country, the German government should also finally stop deportations to the country.
- In its report, the Foreign Office plays down the advance of the Taliban in order to be able to continue deporting people to Afghanistan. The taz has the report, and an analysis of the 26 pages shows that the AA makes outdated or false claims in several placesthat whitewash the current security situation in Afghanistan.
- The Turkey is building a 144-kilometer-long, three-meter-high concrete wall with Iran. This is to deter Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban and trying to reach Turkey via Iran.
- French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin is calling for the EU border protection agency Frontex to also become active at the EU's northern borders. He had contacted Frontex himself and asked it to become active in the English Channel.
- Lithuania's foreign minister is calling for tougher sanctions against Belarus as long as the authorities there simply allow refugees to cross the border into the EU. He described this practice as "hybrid warfare". I think that instead of lapsing into such military language, the EU should rather concentrate on how to deal with the few thousands of refugees at the external border in a humane manner and in accordance with the rule of law.
07/23/2021: Online disinformation is link between far-right and right-wing parties +++ Infant dies in Lesbos camp +++ Greece criminalizes human rights monitoring
- A study shows: Online disinformation targeting refugees and NGOs acts as a "crucial link" between right-wing extremists and established right-wing parties. In Germany, it is primarily the AfD that disseminates misinformation from right-wing extremists. The 30-page study can be found here. Euractiv has the results in a clear article summarized.
- A three-month-old infant died two days ago in the Mavrovouni refugee camp on Lesvos. According to local news, the child was vomiting the night before he died, but was not taken to a doctor in time. If you want to learn more about the situation on the Greek islands, then follows the correspondent Franziska Grillmeier, reporting on the scene.
- The government in Athens is taking action against organizations and individualswho prove that the state has violated human rights and document this on the Internet. An authority set up with EU funding is involved in the investigations.
- On the morning of July 3, 27 people landed on Samos and were subsequently pushed back. You can find the video of the well documented pushback here.
- In the small town of Voghera in Lombardy... a local councillor from the radical right-wing Lega shot a homeless man from Morocco.
- About 450 Sans-Papiers in Brussels end their hunger strike for the time being. Belgium is home to around 150,000 undocumented migrants. They are exposed to exploitation on the labour and housing markets, UN experts warned last week.
- Yesterday, 238 people crossed the border fence between Morocco and the Spanish exclave of Melilla. They were taken to a processing center where their status is checked. They also have to go into self-isolation there to prevent the possible spread of the coronavirus.
21.07.2021: Hunger strikers in Belgium in critical condition +++ 20 people drown in the Mediterranean and 500 are dragged back to Libya +++ With "Now" I talk about my book
- 475 people have been on hunger strike in Brussels for two months. Some could die, doctors warn. The government is arguing about how to deal with the people, many of whom have lived in Belgium for many years. The Greens and Socialists want to withdraw from the government if one of the strikers dies.
- Some 20 refugees have drowned in the Mediterranean in the past 24 hours, while more than 500 others have been towed back to Libya. On Twitter, Safa Msehli regularly reports on repatriations to Libya.
- I spoke with "Now" about my new book, the connection between activism and politics, and what I'd bet a case of beer on. You can read the full interview here.
- Sweden, Finland and Norway have suspended deportations to Afghanistan. Germany, the UK, Denmark and Switzerland continue to deport there. The taz gives an overviewhow other countries are currently dealing with deportations to Afghanistan.
- In the greater Athens area alone, some 40,000 homeless refugees have been camping out on streets, squares and camps for weeks. Members of the association „Wir packen's an“ have travelled to Greece to help.
20/07/2021: My book on European refugee policy is published today +++ MEPs demand from the Commission to finally take action against Croatia's violent pushbacks +++ Sea-Eye sells Alan Kurdi
- My book 'Europe is abolishing itself' is published today. In it I deal with the question of how the EU knowingly breaks its own law, betrays values and what consequences this has for us. I also write about the possibilities for change and how individuals can become active. You can read it at Rowohlt and buy the book as paperback and e-book.
- Together with other MEPs I have written a letter to the Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johanssonin which we demand that action finally be taken against the violent pushbacks at the Croatian border.
- Sea-Eye sells the rescue ship „Alan Kurdi“. The Regensburg-based aid organization justifies the move by saying that the blockade of civilian rescue ships by the Italian authorities had placed a heavy financial burden on it. The ship will go to the Italian sea rescue organisation ResQ and will be operated under the new name of ResQ People into new assignments.
- Within 24 hours, 430 people crossed the English Channel from France to England. For the year as a whole, there have been around 8000 so far. On my homepage I wrote in FebruaryWhat impact will Brexit have on flight and migration in England?
- In Herrsching, Bavaria, the container village for refugees is scheduled to close in 2023. Hamidoula Javari then fears that he too will have to move far away and lose his friends.
07/19/2021: At least 955 people drowned in the Mediterranean this year +++ Sweden suspends deportations to Afghanistan +++ Scientist calls for better access to trauma therapy for refugees
- Currently, not a single civilian rescue ship is underway in the Mediterranean because many are prevented from doing their work for flimsy reasons. According to the IOM, at least 955 people have died in the Mediterranean on their way to Europe so far this year. Last year 404 people died in the same period. You can always find the latest figures from the IOM here.
- After Finland, Sweden is now also suspending deportations to Afghanistan. Germany and the other EU member states should now do the same. Therefore I have written a letter to Heiko Maas and ask him to adjust the assessment of the current security situation in the situation report, irrespective of any domestic political motives and in accordance with new findings and developments.
- In the wake of the refugee crisis, Frank Neuner, together with other scientists, has recommended, all Refugees to be psychologically screened upon arrival. Studies have shown that between 25 and 40 percent of refugees are traumatised. He called for better access to treatment for traumatised refugees.
- Japan recognizes only one percent of all asylum applications. Those who have to leave the country again sometimes sit for years in deportation custody – under absolutely undignified conditions. Even the death of a woman in prison did not trigger a rethink. tagesschau.de reports on the appalling conditions in Japan.
- The head of the EU border protection agency Frontex has covered up human rights violations. Despite this, the EU states are apparently not taking any action - they are condoning the permanent breach of the law. There seems to be a consensus that refugees should be kept out at all costs, and for that they are apparently prepared to suspend the law and their own values.
16.07.2021 Study shows that reports on refugees are increasingly negative +++ Refugees are subjected to massive violence by the Libyan coast guard +++ Lithuanians discuss measures to seal themselves off from the outside world
- A study by the University of Mainz shows that Germany's leading media are reporting less frequently and more negatively about refugees. The Süddeutsche Zeitung reported most positively. The most negative was Bild. The two public news broadcasts have almost reversed the tenor of their reporting, the study says: „While almost only positive reports about refugees were broadcast here in 2015, both are now among the media with the most negative portrayal.“ An You can find a summary of the results in the Süddeutsche Zeitung.
- Refugees continue to be subjected to violence, exploitation, sexual violence, extortion and forced labour in Libya, according to a new report by Amnesty International. According to a new report by the human rights organization, for many refugees, violence and mistreatment begin from their first contact with the Libyan Coast Guard at sea. You can find the report on the homepage by Amnesty in English, Arabic, Spanish, French and Italian. RND summarizes the report's findings.
- Following the EU sanctions against Belarus, hundreds of refugees are arriving in Lithuania via the EU's external border. Lukashenko is trying to blackmail the EU with this and Lithuania has declared a state of emergency, erected a fence and now wants to lock up incoming refugees in prison for six months. The measures are also being hotly debated in Lithuania. The European press review eurotopics has collected comments from Lithuanian media and translated so that people in other EU countries can get a picture of the debate.
- The UN denounce violence against refugees in Ethiopia's conflict-ridden Tigray region. A document, which is an EU initiative, calls for the withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Tigray.
07/15/2021 European Parliament presents inquiry report on Frontex +++ In a letter I ask Heiko Maas to reassess the security situation in Afghanistan +++ Three people drown off Malta
- For four months, we MEPs have been investigating allegations against Frontex. Director Leggeri lied to us on several occasions, actively prevented the investigation of serious human rights violations and destroyed evidence. It is obvious that Frontex knew about human rights violations but did nothing. The presentation of the results of the working group can you here Watch.
- I wrote a guest article for T-Online in which I call for consequences after Frontex covered up human rights violations. The article appeared under the title "Violence, law-breaking, torture: anything goes at EU borders."
- The Taliban conquer more and more areas, people flee, the Afghan government asked for a stop of deportations, but Germany continues to deport. Therefore I have written a letter to Heiko Maas and ask him to adjust the assessment of the current security situation in the situation report, irrespective of any domestic political motives and in accordance with new findings and developments.
- The withdrawal of NATO troops and the advance of the Taliban are also having a major impact on Afghanistan's neighbouring countries. New shelters for refugees are already being built in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
- Three people died on the Mediterranean, before 81 other people were rescued from the same boat. NGOs accuse the Maltese military of deliberately delaying the rescue operation.
14.07.2021 Lithuanian parliament wants to imprison fugitives +++ More people flee the Taliban +++ Germany maintains deportations to Afghanistan, Finland suspends them
- The Lithuanian parliament has approved sweeping arrests of fugitives in conflict with neighbouring Belarus. After their entry they are to be thrown into prison for six months. For rejected asylum seekers the rights of appeal will also be restricted.
- Since January 2021, an estimated 260,000 Afghan:in are newly displaced within the country, mainly due to insecurity and violence, in addition to the already three million internally displaced people. Many people are fleeing because they fear for their lives following the withdrawal of Western troops and the new rise to power of the radical Islamist Taliban. Currently, up to a thousand people a day arrive in Turkey.
- In spite of the situation in Afghanistan, the Federal Government continues to deport people to the country.. Finland proves that things can be done differently. Deportations to Afghanistan have now been suspended there.
- Pakistan no longer willing to accept refugees from Afghanistan and get rid of those who are already there. Yet there are currently over two million Afghans living in Pakistan, of whom 1.4 million are registered refugees. Moreover, a fence is currently being built on the border between the two countries.
- Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi claims that all accusations of pushbacks against Greece are unfounded and that people are not being illegally deported to Turkey. With this he is apparently in a parallel reality, as also a new Short documentary of the BBC ...is occupied. And here's Mitarachi's statement on Twitter.
13.07.2021 Hundreds of Sans Papiers in Belgium on hunger strike +++ Taliban conquer more and more provinces +++ CDU politician wants to continue deporting to Afghanistan despite the situation
- 475 undocumented people are on hunger strike in Belgium. They demand their legalisation and a reform of the right of residence. Many of them have lived and worked in Belgium for years and have children who have grown up in Belgium.
- The Taliban conquer more and more provinces in Afghanistan and the government already asked for a halt to deportations to the country yesterday. The Interior Ministry is considering a temporary halt to deportations and the Foreign Office is working on a new situation report. In view of this situation, it is completely unacceptable that just last Wednesday 27 people were again deported from Germany to Kabul.
- The Thorsten Frei (CDU), deputy chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag, spoke out against such a stop.. In view of the current situation, this is absolutely incomprehensible from a human rights perspective.
- The EU is working with the Libyan coast guard to prevent people from arriving in Europe. This regularly results in serious human rights violations and the refugees are returned to a country of civil war. The Berliner Zeitung talked about this with Sea Watch.
Jul 12, 2021 Afghan government asks for suspensions of deportations +++ Federal Constitutional Court declares one judge biased in asylum dispute +++ Frontex expands presence at Lithuanian border
- The Afghan government has called on European states to suspend deportations to the country for three months. Due to the increasing violence of the Taliban and rising numbers of Corona infections, the repatriation of rejected asylum seekers is currently a cause for concern, according to a statement by the ministry responsible for refugees. The federal government should take this seriously and suspend deportations to Afghanistan now.
- The Federal Constitutional Court has declared a Hessian administrative judge biased in an asylum case. The reason: In another case, the judge ruled that NPD election posters with the inscription: „Stop the invasion: migration kills!“ were allowed to hang. According to the judge, this was not incitement of the people but "Partially representing reality" and further wrote that a „danger to German culture and legal order as well as human life“ was „not to be dismissed out of hand."
- Frontex to send 30 additional forces and technology to Lithuaniato prevent people from entering the EU from Belarus. The autocrat Lukashenko is currently trying to put pressure on the EU by allowing refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan to pass through. Lithuania itself is planning to expand its border with Belarus at a cost of €42 million. Germany and Poland will each send a helicopter to Lithuania in the coming days.
- Those rescued in the Mediterranean 573 people are affected by the Ocean Viking landed in Italy. By Saturday evening, all had left the rescue ship in the port of the Sicilian city of Augusta, SOS Méditerranée said.
- I was a guest on the podcast "Talk ohne Gast". With Til Reiners and Moritz Neumaier I talked about my work as a politician, the situation at the external borders but also about original election campaign strategies. You can listen to the episode listen to the longer version here or watch in a slightly shortened version here on video.
07/09/2021 Ocean Viking has a safe haven +++ Lithuania erects new fences on border with Belarus +++ CDU and SPD advocate mass camps at external borders
- Lithuania has started, erect new fences and barriers on the border with Belarus. The reason is that dictator Lukashenko is reacting to the EU sanctions against Belarus by deliberately allowing refugees to cross the border into Lithuania.
- Domestic politicians from CDU and SPD are in favour of setting up EU-funded hotspots at the external borders. They justify this by saying that faster procedures could succeed there of all places. In reality, however, this creates undignified mass camps like the one in Moria, which are intended as a deterrent.
- The According to IOM, the Libyan coast guard has already intercepted almost 16,000 refugees on their way to Europe this year and returned them to Libya. - more than in the whole of last year.
07/08/2021 At least 2087 people died fleeing to Spain this year +++ Person deported to Afghanistan presumed dead by grenade +++ Romania becomes key country on Balkan route
- At least 2087 people have died on the routes to Spain so far this year, according to the NGO Frontline Defenders. On the route to the Canary Islands alone, at least 1922 people have died in 57 boat accidents. The 12-page report in Spanish can be found at here. In the L’essentiel the report will be in German summarized.
- A man who was in the The man, who was deported from Hamburg to Afghanistan on February 1, is said to have died there by a grenade.
- Armed Afghan women take to the streets in protest against Taliban. They are resisting the Islamists robbing them of their basic rights again.
- More people try to reach Western Europe via Romania. In the first quarter of 2021, around 6,500 people arrived irregularly in Romania, compared to around 10,000 in the whole of 2020.
- From the Ocean Viking, a man jumped into the water. He was rescued from distress at sea a week ago and stated he could no longer stand the uncertainty and situation on the ship. The Ocean Viking rescued over 570 people and now urgently needs a safe haven.
07.07.2021: British government closes itself off to protection seekers +++ Greek prime minister thinks pushbacks are right even though they violate existing law +++ 92 dead in 11 days off Tunisian coast
- The British government wants to turn away people on the high seas in future and send those seeking protection to reception centres in third countries, while their applications are being processed. In addition, people who enter the UK irregularly are to be punished with up to four years in prison.
- Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has described and legitimised pushbacks as a common practice of Greek border protection in an interview. He thinks it's right to stop people on the water so that they can't apply for asylum in Greece. For him, the decisive factor is not whether someone legitimately wants to apply for international protection in the EU, but from where the boat sets off. The individual examination, which must take place according to the Convention on Human Rights, is thus consistently ignored. You find the interview (in Greek) here, meanwhile there are many good translation tools available online.
- Another 21 people drowned yesterday as they fled across the Mediterranean Sea off Tunisia. This means that at least 92 people have already lost their lives on this route within 11 days.
- The Prosecutor's office in Agrigento investigates in which June 30 incident in which Libyan coast guard fired on inflatable boat carrying 64 people. The Libyan coast guard is accused of trying to cause a shipwreck.
- The Afghan Shafi Qias has fought her way up from the Moria refugee camp to become a designer. In her Athens apartment, she sews fashion that aims to show „that boundaries are fluid“ – and has already been featured in „Vogue“.
06.07.2021: Heiko Maas (SPD) maintains deportations to Afghanistan +++ Deportation flight to Afghanistan today +++ Lithuanian government declares state of emergency
- Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) considers deportations to Afghanistan still considered acceptable, despite the ever worsening security situation. Since the withdrawal of international troops began in early May, the Taliban have conquered many districts. The Taliban are currently outside Mazar-e Sharif, which also poses an acute threat to the remaining local Afghan forces following the withdrawal of the Bundeswehr.
- The next deportation to Afghanistan is planned for today, probably from Hanover airport. In view of the current situation in Afghanistan, this is absolutely irresponsible. Amnesty International demands an immediate stop to deportations. The Bavarian Refugee Council provides information and introduces people who are to be deported.
- The Lithuanian Government has on declared a state of emergency last FridayThis is because more and more people are entering Belarus irregularly. These are mainly refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, while Belarusian opposition members are currently often not allowed to leave the country. Dictator Lukashenko is apparently trying to blackmail the EU by opening the borders to refugees.
- The Geo Barents is the latest case of an NGO ship being detained by Italian port authorities. Doctors Without Borders calls on Italian authorities to quickly release Geo Barentsso that the ship can set sail again.
- At In an interview with the Tagesspiegel, SOS Méditerranée founder and captain Klaus Vogel explainshow the Mediterranean is misused as a "bulwark against migrants" and why he accepted the Federal Cross of Merit with some shame.
07/05/2021: Ocean Viking rescues 572 people +++ 43 people drown off Tunisia +++ Franziska Giffey (SPD) calls for deportations to Syria
- Tonight saved the Ocean Viking another 369 people from a wooden boat, which threatened to capsize throughout the rescue. Those rescued were brought safely on board during the operation, which lasted more than five hours, where there are now 572 people. Previously, the Ocean Viking had already rescued 203 people from distress at sea in four rescue operations in just a few days.
- 43 people drowned in boat accident off coast of TunisiaAccording to information, 84 people were pulled out of the water by rescue workers and survived. Only on Friday, the Geo Barents of Doctors Without Borders was also prevented from leaving, and the Sea-Watch 4 and the Sea-Eye 4 are currently not allowed to leave to rescue drowning victims.
- Franziska Giffey (SPD) calls for deportations to Syriawhere people are threatened with torture and death. Giffey does not say how this is supposed to work, because then she would have to admit that a deal with the mass murderer Bashar al-Assad would be needed.
- 250,000 euros are required for a Sea-Eye fundraiser was collected on the occasion of the birthday of Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer. For some reason, however, he did not want to accept the donation certificate in person.
- Three years after the deportation of 69 Afghans on Seehofer's 69th birthday, NDR and Deutschlandfunk spoke with the people who were deported at that time. NDR meets the people in Kabul, in undignified camps on the Greek islands and in the Bavarian province. In fact, some were able to return as skilled workers. You can listen to the four-part radio feature here.
07/02/2021: Ocean Viking rescues over 40 people +++ Collective deportation to Afghanistan likely planned next Tuesday +++ Sea-Eye raises money for a birthday present to Horst Seehofer
- The Ocean Viking rescues more than 40 people from distress at sea. A Libyan coast guard patrol boat disrupted the first of the two rescue operations. Among the rescued are 15 minors and five women, one of whom is pregnant, according to SOS Méditerranée. The rescue organization reported on the operation on Twitter.
- The Bavarian Refugee Council has received informationthat a collective deportation to Afghanistan is to take place next Tuesday, presumably from Hanover airport. In my latest podcast episode, I talk with Shikiba Babori about the situation in Afghanistan.
- Sea-Eye is collecting donations to give Horst Seehofer a present for his 72nd birthday. Three years ago Horst Seehofer joked at a press conference that 69 people were deported on his 69th birthday. Now, three years later, Sey-Eye wants to present him with a donation certificate for sea rescue.
- A man was found dead in the Bosnian refugee camp Lipa. At this time, authorities believe he committed suicide. Half a year ago I wrote here about the undignified conditions in the Lipa camp.
07/01/2021: Libyan coast guard fires on refugee boat +++ Greece cuts money to refugees +++ France rescues 46 people from distress in the English Channel
- Deep in the Maltese rescue zone, the Libyan coast guard fires shots in the direction of a refugee boat and tries to ram the boat with its ship. She does it with the ship Ras Jadir, which was given to her by Italy in May 2017.
- Greece is massively cutting funds to refugees in Greece. Around 25,000 asylum seekers now remain without financial support because they live outside the camps, according to UNHCR estimates. Greek Migration Minister Mitarakis thinks this is the right thing to do because in his opinion the people should be deported anyway. On my homepage I have summarized how the money is distributed to refugees in Greece.
- More people than ever before recently tried to cross the English Channel from France to the UK. In June alone, there were over 2,000. Now French responders have rescued dozens again. Some were already suffering from hypothermia.
- Frontex registered around 400 irregular border crossings from Belarus to Lithuania in June. While Belarusian opposition figures are currently finding it difficult to leave the country, Belarusian border officials seem to be allowing people from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan to simply pass through in order to put pressure on the EU.
30.06.2021: Significantly fewer asylum applications in the EU +++ At least seven dead off Lampedusa +++ Immigration to Germany declines
- According to the report of the EU Asylum Agency EASO the number of asylum applications in Europe fell by 32 percent in 2020, the lowest level since 2013. In total, 485,000 people applied for protection in the EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland in 2020. In 2019, there were still 716,000. The extensive EASO report (384 pages) can be found here.
- In a boat accident off Lampedusa... at least seven fugitives were killed this morning, including a heavily pregnant woman. The boat capsized five nautical miles from the island, according to Italian radio. Rescue workers reportedly recovered the bodies of the people and brought 48 survivors ashore. Nine other people are believed to be missing.
- Net immigration to Germany declined in 2020 for the fifth year in a row. Over the course of the year, around 220,000 more people migrated to Germany than left. The the Federal Statistical Office reported. In the past 30 years, there has been the highest number of immigrants in 2015, with an influx of 2.14 million - the lowest figure was in 2008, when net immigration was minus 60,000. You can find a summary at Zeit Online.
- The EU Commission stresses that the fight against traffickers is a central concern. But according to a new study by the United Nations they have little fear of prosecution.
06/29/2021: In my podcast Shikiba Babori explains the current situation in Afghanistan +++ Local forces of the German Armed Forces demonstrate in Afghanistan +++ Refugee children in Greece often cannot attend school
- In my podcast, I talk with journalist Shikiba Babori about the current situation in Afghanistan, the troop withdrawal and the future of the people in the Hindu Kush. In particular, we focus on the rights of women and minorities. And we also explain why freedom of the press is better in Afghanistan than in many neighbouring countries. You can listen to the episode here. And you can also subscribe to the podcast at Spotify, Itunes or Soundcloud
- Yesterday there were renewed demonstrations in Afghanistan by local forces who feel they have been left behind. The local forces had not only supported the Bundeswehr mission in various capacities, but also political projects of the Federal Government in Afghanistan. In doing so, they exposed themselves to the revenge of the Taliban, who are now striving to return to power.
- After three months, Greek law actually provides a place in school for refugee children, but this rarely happens. While people in the pandemic around the world are learning digitally, refugee children on Lesbos often don't even have paper or a stable electricity connection.
- Although the number of refugees on the Greek islands is falling, their situation there is not improving. The conditions put a strain on people not only physically, but also mentally; children are already being treated for suicidal thoughts. And new hotspots are popping up on the mainland.
06/28/2021: 33 European cities form safe havens alliance +++ Bamf forces refugees to stay in their home countries +++ 40 dead in boat crash between Western Sahara and Canary Islands
- For the right to asylum, 33 European cities stood up in Palermo. Together they signed a declaration, founding the „International Alliance of Safe Haven Cities“. In the paper, the cities call for the right to asylum to be respected in every European state, for reception quotas for the voluntary reception of refugees in municipalities, and for direct funding of reception in cities by the European Union to municipalities.
- Germany denies protection status to homosexual refugees on inhumane and illegal grounds. Some are advised to deny themselves in their home country, although such justifications are not justifiable according to the European Court of Justice. Some have even been forcibly outed by the German authorities, making a return to their home country impossible. Der Spiegel spoke with Michael from Nigeria, who was forcibly outed by the BAMF.
- Forty people, including two children and ten women, died in a shipwreck on the way to the Canary Islands. A fishing boat was still able to rescue 22 people from the boat. Helena Maleno Garzón provides regular updates in Spanish on the situation on this route.
- The Ocean Viking left the port of Marseille last night. The team will carry out training and exercises at sea before leaving the central Mediterranean Sea reached. If you want the latest information on the missions, follow SOS Méditerranée on Twitter.
- Maltese authorities relayed positions to the Libyan coast guard to prevent a boat from reaching Maltese waters, according to Sea Watch. The people were then forcibly returned to the unsafe civil war country of Libya, where they face torture and inhumane treatment. Here I have written down why the EU must not outsource sea rescue to Libya.
25.05.2021: 5.7 billion euros for Turkey, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon +++ More cooperation with third countries to counter migration +++ Conference for solidarity-based refugee policy in Europe
- The EU will continue to spend a lot of money on Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries. The EU Commission proposes a total amount of 5.7 billion euros. Of this, 2.2 billion euros are to go to Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. The bulk, 3.5 billion euros, is earmarked for the 3.7 million Syrians in Turkey.
- At the European Council meeting, the unresolved problem of dealing with refugees within the EU was not a topic of yesterday's statement. On the other hand, cooperation with third countries is to be expanded so that fewer people arrive. In concrete terms this means that the EU pays dictatorships and doesn't look too closely when the money seeps away.
- The European conference "From The City to the Sea" starts today in Palermo.where various European cities are today forming an alliance to welcome refugees. I discuss at 17:30 with Gesine Schwan, Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, Muhamad al-Kashef, Chiara Cardoletti and the two mayors of Potsdam and Palermo, Mike Schubert and Leoluca Orlando." More info, the videos of the conference and a link to attend can be found here.
- He wants nothing to do with Horst Seehofer's refugee policy – although the mayor of Rottenburg am Neckar is a CDU member. Now Stephan Neher and mayors from all over Europe are putting pressure on governments to take in more refugees.
- 267 people have been rescued in a boat accident off Tunisia's coast.
06/24/2021: Croatian police illegally deport babies, pregnant women and children with disabilities +++ Consequences must follow after latest Frontex investigation group meeting +++ UNHCR report says 1.47 million people would need to be resettled next year
- New videos show how even sick and pregnant women are systematically denied access to asylum procedures in Europe based on the rule of law. Entire families are being brought back across the Croatian EU border through the forest at night. Ursula von der Leyen is simply watching the rule of law being abolished at the external borders.
- Following the last public meeting of the Frontex investigation group in the European Parliament, consequences must now follow. The investigation confirmed the accusations against the Greek coastguard and also Frontex. I also call for the immediate publication of maritime emergencies in the future.
- According to the latest UNHCR report, 1.47 million refugees would have to be resettled in the coming year. Currently, however, the number of such resettlements is at a low because there are not enough countries willing to accept them. In the whole of 2020, fewer than 35,000 people were resettled worldwide through these programmes.
- Last year, a project in Hanover enabled 139 refugees with toleration to obtain the right to stay. The will of the authority was also a prerequisite.
06/23/2021: Doctors Without Borders withdraws from Libyan camps +++ HRW says Frontex is doing too little to address basic human rights abuses +++ Amnesty documents pushbacks and torture by Greek authorities
- Doctors Without Borders end their work in Libyan refugee camps in Tripoli. The people there are regularly beaten and mistreated by the guards. Médecins Sans Frontières is also no longer able to guarantee the safety of its staff in the two camps of Mabani and Abu Salim.
- Human Rights Watch concludes that Frontex is doing too little to combat systematic human rights violations at the EU's external borders. Although Frontex was active there, serious human rights violations occurred in Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary and Malta.
- In a report published today, Amnesty International documents 21 illegal pushbacks from Greece to Turkey. Torture was also used. Amnesty calls on the Greek government to end the illegal pushbacks immediately. You can find the 46-page report here.
- The Ritsona camp for refugees is a symbol of Greece's tightened policy: it is sealed off from the outside world by a concrete wall. In this three-minute video, the residents explain what it's like to be locked up there.
- Greece wants to use noise cannons to keep refugees away from Europe at its border with Turkey. Deutschlandfunk Kultur comments: "The noise cannon is a degrading, indeed: dehumanising weapon. As such, however, it would fit in only too well with the contempt for humanity at the EU's external borders."
06/22/2021 Germany to take in more local Afghan workers after all +++ 13,000 people repatriated to Libya this year +++ 11,000 relatives of refugees waiting for family reunion visas
- Germany will take in more people than planned from Afghanistan who have helped the Bundeswehr in its mission in the country. All so-called local staff who have worked for the Bundeswehr and other German security agencies since 2013 are now eligible. Initially, it was planned that only Afghans at risk who had worked as interpreters for the Bundeswehr within the past two years would qualify for relocation to Germany.
- Since the beginning of the year, the Libyan coast guard has so far towed more than 13,000 people back to the civil war country. There people are threatened with accommodation in torture camps and inhuman treatment up to systematic rape and murder.
- Almost 11,000 relatives are waiting for an appointment at German missions abroad for a visa to join their family in Germany. Actually, the federal government promised to grant visas to up to 1,000 people per month through family reunification, but in reality this year it was only between 264 and 473 visas per month.
- The EU Commission is taking the German airport procedure as a model for the new pact on asylum and migration. According to this procedure, asylum applications can be rejected as unfounded. Although a person is on German territory, the legal fiction applies that he or she has not entered the country. NGOs like Pro Asyl criticize this practice.
- The new podcast "Migraton" deals in its first episode with the current situation at the EU's external borders. From minute 23.30 onwards, a parliamentary speech of mine on the current situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina is also quoted.
06/21/2021: Family deported from Pirna even though five of their seven children were born in Germany +++ Heiko Maas doesn't want EU sea rescue mission +++ EU uses questionable technological methods for border controls
- Imerlishvili family deported to Georgiaalthough five of the seven children were born in Germany and the two oldest were still toddlers when the family came to Germany in 2013. They were deported to a country that was completely unknown to them, whose language they do not speak and in which they know no one. SPD and Greens in Saxony speak of an "inhumane deportation practice". The neighbors demand in this petitionto bring the family back to Pirna. This touching videoin which the eldest daughter speaks, was written one day after the deportation.
- In an interview with "Welt" Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) speaks out against an EU sea rescue mission and instead wants to give Turkey more money to stop refugees from coming to the EU. He describes relations with Turkey as "constructive" despite the massive human rights violations in the country.
- The Standard reports that surveillance at the borders is to be given greater technological support. Controversial methods are also being tested as part of non-transparent research projects. Border controls are currently seen as a means of reducing the number of asylum applications and trying out questionable methods such as lie detectors or sound cannons. You can find the post with a comment from me here.
- The integration minister of Brandenburg, Ursula Nonnemacher (Greens), has spoken out in favour of strengthening the right of residence of young refugees. Young people who are urgently needed in the country should be given the prospect of staying.
- In his commentary on World Refugee Day Heribert Prantl writes: "Every day the EU kills migrants – through failure to provide assistance. And those who come to Germany are finished off – in so-called anchor centers. This is pathetic."
06/18/2021: 82.4 million refugees worldwide +++ Trial and verdict in Moria 6 case face criticism +++ Criminal conviction against Reisch overturned
- In 2020, almost 82.4 million people worldwide were on the run – more than ever before. This is according to the new report of the UNHCR. Reasons for this are wars, climate change and pandemic.
The entire 71-page report you can read here.
A summary you can find at the mirror.
- Nine months after the fire in the Moria refugee camp, six young Afghans are sentenced to long prison terms. And this despite the fact that no witness present saw them on the alleged night of the crime. The trial and the verdict have come under criticism.
- A court in Italy has suspended the penalty order against German captain Claus-Peter Reisch for rescuing refugees. The civil court in Ragusa has cancelled the fine of 300,000 euros, Reisch from Landsberg am Lech told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur on Thursday. The confiscation of his ship "Eleonore" had also been lifted.
- On the occasion of the conference of interior ministers, Pro Asyl, the state refugee councils and Youth without Borders demand a nationwide moratorium on deportations to Afghanistan and Syria.
Here you can find the press release of Pro Asyl.
- Deutsche Welle reports here again about the rescue of more than 500 people by the Geo Barents of Doctors without Borders and the Nadir of Resqship.
- Between 2015 and 2019, an average of 27,200 children with protection status were born in Germany each year. One third of these had the Syrian Nationalityeleven per cent of the newborns had Iraqi nationality, ten per cent had Afghan nationality and six per cent had Nigerian nationality. Many of them are threatened with deportation to a country they have never been to before.
06/17/2021: Crew of the Nadir negotiates to bring rescued to Italy instead of Libya +++ CDU politician wants to have people deported to Syria +++ Syrians:inside flee from Denmark to Germany
- The German observation ship Nadir has found a distress at sea in the Maltese sea rescue zone. Instead of sending a rescue ship, Malta had only alerted the Libyan coast guard, which wanted to bring people to the internment camps. The crew refused. With political pressure and negotiations, in which I also played a part, it was finally possible to achieve that the Italian coast guard rescued the people and brought them to Italy. Find out more on RESQSHIP's Twitter channel.
- At the start of the conference of interior ministers in Rust, Baden, Baden-Württemberg's Interior Minister Thomas Strobl (CDU) spoke out in favour of more deportations to Syria. He knows you can't do that because people are being abused and killed there and it would take a deal with Assad. He's only interested in catering to right-wing populist sentiment.
- Syrian refugees are leaving Denmark for fear of being deported to their old homeland. The Jumaa family is now seeking asylum in Schleswig-Holstein. Time visited them.
- So far this year 391 people entered Lithuania irregularly from Belarus – Most come from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq and Iran. In the whole of last year, there were only 81 people. Thus, dictator Lukashenko is trying to put pressure on the EU while forbidding his own citizens to leave the country to seek safety from his police state.
- In the last few weeks, 481 people have gone missing on the voyage to the Canary Islands. We do not know whether they are still alive or not. The Spanish Público reports here on the disappearances.
06/16/2021: Overcrowded camps on Lampedusa +++ Spain calls for frontline deployment at border +++ Asylum seekers sue European Commission
- The facilities for refugees on Lampedusa are completely overcrowdedbecause around 2,000 refugees have arrived there in the past four weeks. For the small island, that's a lot of people, but not for the EU with its 450 million inhabitants. Unfortunately, the German government is also currently refusing to take in people from Italy.
- In the ongoing diplomatic dispute with Morocco... Spain wants to ask the EU for the presence of the European Frontex border protection agency in the North African exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla. Spain accused Morocco of "blackmail". Rabat wants to increase migration pressure on Spain by suspending border controls so that Madrid will revise its position in the Western Sahara conflict.
- Off Lanzarote, 27 people were saved from drowning. Europapress reports (in Spanish).
- transcript Verlag published the anthology "Kämpfe um Migrationspolitik seit 2015" (Struggles over Migration Policy since 2015), which examines the developments in European refugee policy in recent years from a critical perspective. Which forces have prevailed and what shifts have occurred discursively and politically? And what does this mean for emancipatory and pro-migrant perspectives? You can read the anthology free of charge as a PDF here.
06/15/2021: Bishops call for deportation stop +++ Up to 200 people capsized off Yemeni coast +++ Former Frontex vice criticizes developments at EU agency
- Ahead of the conference of interior ministers, which will meet from Wednesday to Friday, bishops are urging the suspension of deportations in cases of imminent human rights violations in the home countries. At present, they consider deportations to Syria or Afghanistan to be fundamentally wrong.
- The German Institute for Human Rights also calls on the interior ministers to stop deportations to Syria. You can find the press release here.
- Fishermen recovered 25 bodies off the coast of Yemen yesterday. According to the authorities, a boat with up to 200 refugees on board had capsized earlier. According to the fishermen, the dead were discovered in the Bab al-Mandab strait, which lies between Djibouti and Yemen. More information about the route and the dangers you get at the mirror.
- The former deputy head of Frontex, Gil Arias Fernández, criticises the ongoing human rights violationswhich the agency allows to happen. He also warns against arming and infiltration by right-wing forces.
- The social democratic government in Denmark is currently pursuing the most right-wing refugee policy in the EU. Those affected live in fear. Der Spiegel was there and spoke with them and the opponents of an individual right to asylum.
06/14/2021: Geo Barents needs safe haven for 410 rescued +++ 1200 protection seekers land on Lampedusa, 1000 returned to Libya +++ Pope calls Mediterranean Europe's biggest graveyard
- The crew of Doctors Without Borders' Geo Barents has rescued 410 people in the Mediterranean Sea in two days. Now the ship needs a safe haven. Find out more on MSF Sea's Twitter channel.
- Over the weekend there were a total of 16 landings with around 1200 people on Lampedusa within 24 hours. At the same time, about 1000 people were intercepted on the Mediterranean Sea and brought back to the civil war country Libya. There is a detailed report on this in Italian in la Repubblica.
- Pope Francis has called the Mediterranean "the largest cemetery in Europe." The occasion was the inauguration of a memorial in the Sicilian city of Syracuse, off whose coast many people drowned in 2015 when a boat carrying migrants sank. This year, according to the IOM, at least 811 people died in the Mediterranean crossing to Europe, 675 of them on the central Mediterranean route.
- Nine months after the fire in Moria, a court has sentenced four young men to ten years in prison each. No media or other observers were allowed at the two-day trial. The defendants' lawyers criticized that they had not received a fair trial.
- Arte has published a report on the illegal pushbacks through Greece. You can see the 24-minute film here.
06/11/2021: Geo Barents rescues 26 people +++ 450 people dragged back by Libyan coast guard +++ European Court of Justice rules Germany must base subsidiary protection on individual cases, not death statistics in region of origin
- Médecins Sans Frontières' Geo Barents has rescued 26 people from distress at sea. Among them 15 unaccompanied minors. Find out more on MSF Sea's Twitter channel.
- Around 450 people were towed back to the civil war country by the Libyan coast guard during the night. UNHCR Libya reports.
- The European Court of Justice has handed down a decision in the German asylum application case concerning two Afghans from Nangarhar province who had applied for subsidiary protection in Germany. Although there is an armed conflict there, according to German jurisprudence, not enough people were killed there to grant subsidiary protection.... The European Court of Justice has now ruled that it is not legal to use a minimum number of civilian victims in the region of origin as an exclusion criterion.
- With other Members, I have tabled a question to the Commission on the sound cannons that the Greek Government intends to use against people fleeing. The cannons reach up to 162 decibels and can cause serious permanent hearing damage. We want to know from the Commission whether such sound cannons are also supported with EU funds.
- The trial of the so-called Moria 6, accused of setting fire to the camp last September, begins today. 70 organisations from Europe demand fairness and transparency in the trial of the six accused refugees. They demand a fair and just trial, based on the presumption of innocence.
06/10/2021: Greece to stop letting people from Syria and Afghanistan apply for asylum +++ Greek government defends sonic cannon deployment +++ Deportation flight carrying 42 people lands in Kabul
- Greece to stop people from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Somalia from applying for asylum in future and argues that they entered via "safe Turkey". These are the five states from which most asylum seekers have come to Greece in recent years. In fact, this would be tantamount to abolishing the fundamental right to asylum for the majority of those seeking protection in Greece.
- Dhe Greek government is defending the use of sound cannons against refugees on the border with Turkey: „What the police do, they must do in their own way“, Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi said during a visit to Brussels. EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson, on the other hand, called the use of noise cannons „a strange way to protect its borders“ at a joint press conference.
- The plane with the deported Afghans has landed in Kabul. Although Afghanistan is considered to be the most unsafe country in the world, the coronavirus is rampant and the Taliban are currently conquering more and more areas, the Federal Government is sticking to deportations to Afghanistan.
- For many refugees, the island of Samos is a place without a future. Many live here in inhumane conditions. While the EU builds new camps, it is often volunteers who try to alleviate the plight of the people. BR describes the situation on the ground.
- Doctors without Borders criticize the situation in the Greek camps. The promise not to build any new Morias has been broken. Instead, Médecins Sans Frontières criticizes that Moria seems to serve as a model for new mass camps at the external borders. You can find out more on the homepage of Doctors without Borders.
09.06.2021. In an interview with Deutschlandfunk Kultur I talked about the illegal strategy to seal off Europe. +++ EU interior ministers:inside no closer to a common refugee policy +++ Seehofer wants to prevent secondary migration to Germany
- With Weltzeit on Deutschlandfunk Kultur I spoke about European refugee policy and how the impression is being created that the EU is waging war against people trying to reach Europe on rubber dinghies.
- At yesterday's meeting of the EU interior ministers once again no progress has been made towards a common European asylum system. The only thing the EU states can really agree on at present is more isolation and more cooperation with third countries so that fewer people arrive in the EU at all.
- Horst Seehofer promised under the German presidency last year that there would be a common European solution for a European refugee policy, which he failed to deliver. This is also due to the fact that Horst Seehofer has never worked towards a solidarity-based system.but above all wanted to prevent people from the EU states from travelling on to Germany at the external borders.
- On the past mission of the See-Eye 4, the crew witnessed it twiceI would like to point out that Frontex is apparently deliberately not cooperating with sea rescue organisations, but is working with the so-called Libyan coast guard, which is illegally taking people back to Libya.
- In the squalor of the new Moria, people from Afghanistan have built a school. International aid workers support them. The Frankfurter Rundschau was on site.
- Vice-President of the EU Commission Margaritis Schinas visited the land border between Turkey and Greece and said that border protection symbolised "European values". He did not elaborate on whether he also meant the sound cannons, militarisation or the numerous violent pushbacks.
08.06.2021: Today deportation to Afghanistan +++ European Court of Auditors criticises Frontex +++ Associations and NGOs demand from EU interior minister:inside end of mass camps at external borders and more reception from Greece
- The Taliban are conquering more and more territory in Afghanistan and the security situation is worsening. Tens of thousands of local people who worked for the NATO forces want to flee because they are afraid of the Taliban's revenge. Despite this situation, a deportation flight is scheduled to leave Leipzig/Halle airport for Afghanistan this evening. The Deutsche Welle briefly discusses the situation of the local forces. Today at 7 p.m. a rally against deportations to Afghanistan will take place at the airport.
- The EU Court of Auditors has Frontex in a report massively criticized. I call in the mirror for the EU Parliament to block the Frontex budget. We cannot continue to waste taxes on opacity, inefficiency and human rights abuses.
- The meeting of EU interior ministers is currently taking place, where they are negotiating the future of European asylum policy. In a joint statement, several human rights organisations and social associations call forThe German government should suspend plans to build closed mass camps at the EU's external borders. In addition, Germany should take in more refugees from Greece. The open letter with the demands can be found at the Homepage of Doctors without Borders.
- Critics accuse the Greek government of using torture techniques to deter fugitives. The focus of criticism is the sound cannons, which can leave permanent damage to people.
- The EU Commission called on EU states to take in refugees from Italy who are currently arriving in the country via the Mediterranean. The CDU/CSU and SPD reject this for Germany and see no need for action.
07.06.2021: Comprehensive study on deported Afghans published +++ Tomorrow evening the next deportation flight leaves for Afghanistan +++ Sea-Eye 4 detained in Palermo
- The majority of Afghans deported from Germany apparently leave Afghanistan again shortly afterwards. In a recent study, only one out of 113 deportees stated that they wanted to stay in Afghanistan. Moreover, deportees have often never been to Afghanistan or were last in Afghanistan as children and are deported to a country they hardly know. A summary of the study you will find at tagesschau.de. The entire study by Friederike Stahlmann can be found here.
- At least eleven civilians were killed in a bomb attack in western Afghanistan. Although Afghanistan is considered the most unsafe country in the world, deportations from Germany to the country are to take place again tomorrow evening. On my homepage I have statedhow an EU agreement should facilitate deportations to Afghanistan.
- The Sea-Eye 4 was detained by the Italian authorities on flimsy grounds so that it could no longer rescue people. The Sea-Eye 4 rescued 408 people from the central Mediterranean Sea during its last mission in May and brought them to Pozzallo in Sicily, including around 150 children. At least 811 people have drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean since January, according to the IOM.
- Although Médecins Sans Frontières' Geo Barents has been in the Libyan SAR zone for a week, it has not yet been deployed and departures from Libya are the lowest in months. Migration researcher Matteo Villa points out that such facts show that the civilian rescue ships in the Mediterranean are precisely not a pull factor that drives people to dare the dangerous crossing of the Mediterranean. Matteo Villa's comment on Twitter.
- The Tagesschau reports that Greece is closing its borders with the help of the EU Commission. In addition to special cameras and lie detectors, sound cannons that can cause permanent damage are also used. I told the Tagesschau: „We now have a situation in which loud noises are apparently being used to prevent people from even coming to border crossing points to apply for asylum.“
04.06.2021: SRF reports on human rights violations by Frontex +++ Danish government wants to get rid of protection seekers +++ Turkey and Western Balkans receive billions, also to keep refugees out of EU
- SRF Global has made a program about the criticism of human rights violations by Frontex. I and the head of Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, were also interviewed. You can find the interview with me starting at minute 11:37.
- A majority in the Danish parliament has passed a law that makes asylum centres in other countries possible. So far, the government has held talks with RwandaTunisia, Ethiopia and Egypt. However, even if the applications are approved, according to the government, the people will not be brought to Denmark, but will remain in the countries. The Danish Refugee Council criticises the proposals in this press release.
- Until the end of 2027, the EU will provide Turkey, Albania, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina with around €14.2 billion to prepare for EU accession. In return, Turkey and the countries of the Western Balkans are expected to prevent refugees from entering the EU.
- Greek authorities began vaccinating refugees against Covid-19 on Lesvos, Chios and Samos just yesterdayalthough the country has been vaccinating since January. It is incomprehensible that the people in the camps are being vaccinated so late, because they are particularly at risk due to the cramped conditions and lack of hygiene, and many of them are actually infected.
- The Kara Tepe family camp on Lesbos offered a humane alternative to the infamous new Moria, now also called Kara Tepe. Now the authorities have closed it down and the most vulnerable people end up in the slum next door.
- Legal aid NGO Equal Rights Beyond Borders has this week won its 50th case in court rejecting an application for family reunification from Greece to Germany. More than 60 percent of applications for family reunification are rejected by Germany. Of the cases that end up in court, however, around 70 per cent of the rejections are overturned in court.
03.06.2021: International Commission of Jurists rejects EU Pact on Migration and Asylum in its current form +++ Ministry of the Interior does not want to help Bundeswehr personnel from Afghanistan +++ Religious woman found guilty for church asylum
- The International Commission of Jurists calls on the European legislator to reject the proposal for a screening regulation and the proposal for an asylum procedure regulation as part of the Commission's proposal for a new Pact on Migration and Asylum. The Commission's proposals would lead to longer detention of refugees.
- Following the withdrawal of German troops from Afghanistan, local Bundeswehr aid workers are particularly at risk. Many fear revenge by the Taliban and want to enter Germany. However, the Ministry of the Interior rejects a corresponding change in the rules.
- The catholic nun Juliana Seelmann was found guilty by the district court of Würzburg for granting church asylumbecause the Franciscan helped two women from Nigeria. According to their own statements, they were forced into prostitution in Italy and then fled on to Germany. The traditional church asylum is more and more under pressure in Germany.
- Following criticism from Spain, Morocco has announced that it will make greater efforts to take back unaccompanied Moroccan children who are in the EU without papers.
06/02/2021: 23 people drown in the Mediterranean +++ Greek government to use sound cannons against refugees +++ Dutch journalist detained in Greece for reporting pushbacks
- At least 23 refugees have died in the Mediterranean on their way to Italy. This means that almost 800 people have already drowned in the Mediterranean this year alone.
- Greece wants to use sound cannons against refugees at the border to prevent access to asylum procedures. This is obviously against European law and despicable. Hopefully the EU Commission will prevent it. You can find a report from DW News on the sonic cannons via my Twitter profile.
- A film crew from the Netherlands has been taken to a police station in Greece for questioning without giving any credible reasons. The team had been working for the public-law institution VPRO reported about pushbacks at the Greek-Turkish border. There, not only the human rights of refugees are trampled upon, but also the freedom of the press.
- With a giant life jacket as floor graffiti the work of sea rescue and the life-threatening flight of thousands of people across the Mediterranean to Europe will be commemorated on Frankfurt's Unicampus. "We only make visible what everyone knows and suppresses," reads a statement by the artists. This year, at least 773 people died in the Mediterranean Sea on their way to Europe.
- The city of Ibbenbüren declares itself a Safe Haven and reaffirms its solidarity with people on the run. Find out if your city is already a safe haven and how to make a city a safe haven on the Seebrücke homepage.
01.06.2021: NGOs sue Frontex +++ Saturday is day of action against deportations to Afghanistan +++ Greece cracks down on refugees with new technology and AI
- Non-governmental organisations are suing the EU border agency Frontex. The case in question concerns a woman from Burundi and a 15-year-old Congolese boy. The accusation is that they both tried to seek asylum on the Greek island of Lesbos last year and were left to fend for themselves at sea, without water or food. I have spoken to MDR about my assessment of the accusations.
- This coming Saturday, a Germany-wide day of action against deportations to Afghanistan will take place. More about the campaign, and whether there will be one in your city, can be found here. How the EU is currently facilitating deportations to Afghanistan despite it being considered the most dangerous country in the world, I have explained in this text.
- At its border with Turkey, Greece is testing digital and physical border measures against fugitives using artificial intelligence. AI-assisted lie detectors and robotic interrogators have been tested, and satellite data and drone footage are also being used. In addition, armored trucks emit deafening noise through a "sound cannon" in the direction of Turkey.
- Many people seeking protection are currently being brought from the Greek islands to the mainland. Many of them end up in the Eleonas camp near Athens, which is now struggling with overcrowding. The living conditions there are so bad that comparisons are already being made with the Moria slum on Lesbos.
- The managing director of Sea-Eye, Gordon Isler, writes in the Morgenpostwhat cities like Hamburg can do in the current situation to live up to their responsibility.
- Mission Lifeline is naming its rescue ship after the Egyptian Marwa El-Sherbini, who was murdered by a racist in Dresden in 2009. Mission Liefeline made the announcement on Twitter here.
28.05.2021: Federal Foreign Office forcibly routes protection seekers in their countries of origin +++ Hundreds of minors stranded in Ceuta +++ Irish association raises money for Mediterranean rescue ship
- Lawyers of the Federal Foreign Office have outed homosexual and bisexual asylum seekers in their countries of origin - even though they face long imprisonment or even the death penalty there. Die Welt spoke to one of those affected.
- Hundreds of minors are stranded in the Spanish exclave of Ceuta. They can neither return to Morocco nor travel on to Europe. Many hide out of mistrust of the police.
- The Irish association "Refugee Rescue" wants to raise two million €, to buy a new ship and save lives in the Mediterranean. Currently, the association is involved in the deployment of the Sea-Eye 4.
- During the night, 348 people were intercepted on the Mediterranean Sea and returned to the civil war country of Libya, where they face imprisonment and torture. Find out more on UNHCR Libya's Twitter channel.
- In the Greek refugee camp of Katsikas, there have been more than 170 cases of infection with Covid-19 in recent days. More than 1,000 people currently live in the camp. The protection against infection in the camps is absolutely insufficient. Doctor Apostolos Veizis reported on Twitter.
27.05.2021: Fewer naturalisations due to Brexit and Corona +++ German government admits mistakes in dealing with homosexual protection seekers +++ Expert:inside demand monitoring of refugees' human rights compliance in Greece
- Last year, significantly fewer people were naturalised in Germany. This was mainly due to Brexit and the Corona pandemic, as reported by the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden on Wednesday. In 2020, about 109,900 foreigners:inside received citizenship – 15 percent less than in 2019. Syrian nationals for the first time represented the second largest group among those naturalized.
- In a letter to the Lesbian and Gay Association LSVD, the Foreign Office and the Ministry of the Interior have admitted mistakes in dealing with homosexual persons seeking protection. The association criticized that the BAMF seems to have a "paranoid fear" that people seeking protection are only pretending to be lesbian or gay and that the office is denying their identity in rows. In addition, the LSVD explains here why they are against the Commission's proposal for the new migration and asylum pact.
- Asylum seekers in Greece live in a legal parallel world of detention without a court order, arbitrary police violence and illegal pushbacks. Experts call for an independent monitoring system.
- US President Biden calls for ceasefire in Tigray. Earlier, the UN had expressed alarm at mass arrests in several refugee camps in the region. The region is home to many refugees who have now taken flight once again.
- In its April report, the Border Violence Monitoring Network documented a total of 42 pushbacks on the Balkan route, affecting a total of 1125 people.
05/26/2021: NGOs file lawsuit against Frontex +++ Assad gets re-elected +++ UN human rights office raises allegations against EU refugee policy
- Three NGOs have filed a human rights complaint against the EU border agency Frontex at the European Court of Justice on behalf of two protection seekers. The victims, an unaccompanied minor and a woman, were forcibly rounded up on the Greek island of Lesbos, robbed and eventually abandoned at sea on rafts with no water, food or means of navigation, a joint statement by Front-Lex, Progress Lawyers Network and Helsinki Monitor said. The press release of the three NGOs can be found here.
- In Syria, the ruler and war criminal Assad has allowed himself to be re-elected. Experts call the elections a farce. During Assad's time in office, more than half of the population fled the country, and as long as he is in power, most of them will not be able to return.
- The UN Human Rights Office publishes a report on the events in the central Mediterranean and accuses the EU of condoning human rights violations. Here you can find the press release of the United Nations.
- On Lesbos, people's freedom of movement is being further restricted. At weekends, people are sometimes not allowed out at all, and at other times, in the middle of the pandemic, they have to wait in long, narrow queues to be allowed out. Isabel Schayani updates on the situation on the ground on Twitter.
- The Tunisian navy has rescued 100 people from an inflatable boat. The people had left the Libyan town of Suwara and were on their way to Europe. This year, 743 people have already died in the Mediterranean on their way to Europe.
05/25/2021: Frontex chief tries to cover up pushback scandal and ignores his own human rights commissioner +++ CDU politician:inside calls for more mass camps at EU external borders +++ Hundreds of unaccompanied minor protection seekers are in Ceuta
- For months, Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri has been under pressure over his border guards' involvement in illegal pushbacks in the Aegean. Internal documents show: Frontex's own human rights officer spoke of "solid evidence" of pushbacks in the Aegean, but Frontex chief Leggeri may simply have passed it over.
- CDU politicians are pushing for hotspots for refugees in Italy and Spain. As a model for these camps they cite the newly emerging camp on the island of Lesbos, of all places, where the Greek government and the EU have failed for six years to create humane conditions. Instead of new mass camps at the EU's external borders there needs to be a coalition of the willing that goes ahead and is prepared to distribute protection seekers among European states. On my homepage you will find our concept for a fair and efficient asylum system in Europe.
- Most people have been deported from Ceuta to Morocco in recent days, but hundreds of minors remain in the Spanish exclave. These are also teenagers and children who come from West African countries.
- In its refugee and migration policy, the EU is currently relying on outsourcing border controls to countries such as Morocco and Libya, says migration researcher Jochen Oltmer in Dlf. This is associated with risks, because one also works together with regimes that do not comply with EU standards.
- On Monday night, the Taliban attacked the provincial capital Mehtarlam of Laghman province in eastern Afghanistan. They are taking over ever larger parts of the country, which will foreseeably force many people to flee. On my homepage I have summarized how the EU tries to facilitate deportations to Afghanistan, although it is considered the most unsafe country in the world.
- The Bavarian Refugee Council assumes that the next collective deportation to Afghanistan will take place on 8.06.2021. Click here for the Twitter account of the Bavarian Refugee Council.
20/05/21: EU Commission works on new deals with Libya and Tunisia +++ Over 180 people drowned despite Frontex planes circling nearby +++ Greek migration minister claims illegal pushbacks are legal
- The EU Commission's plans include relieving Italy of the burden of incoming refugees and concluding new deals with Libya and Tunisia on refugee protection. Currently, the responsible Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, is in Tunisia with the Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese.
Yesterday Johansson gave an interview to the Italian "Repubblica". Der Standard has summarized it in German here.
- Frontex is increasingly monitoring Europe's borders from the air. BuzzFeed News has reconstructed several cases, in which a total of more than 180 refugees drowned, despite Frontex planes previously circling nearby.
- Greek migration minister Notis Mitarakis defends illegal pushbacks on high seas and spreads the false claim that they are legal. This is nonsense because the Geneva Refugee Convention, the European Convention on Human Rights as well as EU law oblige member states to guarantee people the right to an asylum procedure and to respect the principle of „non-refoulement“ - even if they enter irregularly. Border authorities must therefore always carry out an individual assessment of the need for protection if the person entering wishes to apply for asylum.
- The owner of a Libyan-flagged fishing vessel alleges that Malta paid for pushbacks by the fishing vessel on several occasions.
- The Spain correspondent of the taz writes how refugees are misused by Morocco as bargaining chips: "When it comes to securing Europe's external borders, Brussels negotiates with despots and dubious rulers. As long as they deliver - and get the world's poor off our backs - they are our friends."
20.05.2021: Case against Carola Rackete dropped +++ Sea-Eye 4 assigned a safe haven +++ Number of internally displaced persons increases worldwide
- A case against Carola Rackete is dropped. The court found that Rackete's actions fulfilled the duty of rescue at sea and did not constitute "resistance or violence against a warship."
- The Sea-Eye 4 has been assigned a safe port and is allowed to land in Pozzalo, Sicily. This is good news, but it is incomprehensible why hundreds of exhausted people were not allowed to go ashore in Malta, even though the ship was already off the coast there. Learn more on the Sea-Eye Twitter channel
- The number of internally displaced people worldwide is at an all-time high, according to data from the Norwegian Refugee Council. According to the report, around 55 million people were displaced in their home countries at the end of 2020. In addition to conflicts, this is also due to natural disasters and climate change.
- The Romanian town of Timișoara is increasingly becoming a transit station on the so-called Balkan route. With other borders closed, people are looking for new routes. tagesschau.de has spoken with people on the run.
- Belgian authorities have rescued 49 people in distress at sea. The boat with mostly Vietnamese people probably started in France before.
19.05.2021: More Corona cases in the new Moria +++ Spain deploys tanks and soldiers in Ceuta +++ Expert commission on causes of flight presents report
- The Greek government seems to be pursuing a strategy of infiltration, even if they don't say so. In the new Moria, there was a positive rate of about five percent in 322 tests last week.
- Frontex falsely registered minors as adults in several cases on the Greek islands. For young people, this has serious consequences for their health and safety.
- Spain is deploying tanks and military on the border between Ceuta and Morocco and has now deported more than half of the 6,000 or so people who recently reached the Spanish exclave by swimming. This two-minute video discusses the background.
- The In its final report, the Expert Commission on the Causes of Flight recommended that the government should take stronger action against global warming and put arms exports to the test so that fewer people have to flee their home countries. In the authors' view, Germany should also set up a coalition of states that takes in a certain number of refugees directly from their regions of origin each year. The 220-page report, but also a 12-page summary, can be found at at this link.
- In a boating accident in the Mediterranean Sea. over 50 lives were lost. 33 other people were rescued by workers on an oil platform.
18.05.2021: Debate on sea rescue in the EU Parliament +++ Sea Eye 4 needs a safe haven +++ Thousands of people from Morocco arrive in Ceuta
- I had the opportunity to speak today in the EU Parliament on sea rescue in the Mediterranean. I find it pathetic that EU states have decided that people in the Mediterranean should rather drown or be mistreated in Libya than reach Europe alive. You can watch the entire debate here.
- According to the IOM, at least 685 people have died in the Mediterranean so far in 2021. This is more than in the same period of 2020, 2019 and 2018. Despite these figures, there is no European sea rescue mission and currently only the Sea-Eye 4 is operating because other ships are detained on flimsy grounds.
- The Sea-Eye currently has over 400 rescued people on board and is looking for a safe haven. Malta has refused the request, so the ship is heading towards Italy. Presenter Tobias Schlegl is on board as a paramedic and reports on his Twitter account.
- Doctors without Borders continues sea rescue operation in the Mediterranean Sea - this time with our own chartered ship: The Geo Barents.
- Around 6,000 people from Morocco had arrived in the Spanish exclave of Ceuta by Tuesday morning, but around 1,600 of them have already been deported back to the neighbouring country. Morocco let the people pass, according to Spanish media, because it is angry that Spain allowed the medical treatment of the head of the Polisario independence movement for Western Sahara, Brahim Ghali, in a Spanish hospital. Morocco claims the territory on its southern border as part of its national territory.
- Refugees from Moria are once again addressing the European public in light of rising Corona numbers in the camp. You can read the open letter here.
17.05.2021: Sea-Eye 4 rescues 330 people +++ Residents:inside prevent deportation in Glasgow +++ New Moria completely unsuitable for people with disabilities
- The Sea-Eye 4 rescued 99 people overnight, mostly from Syria, and now has 330 people seeking protection on board. Last night, however, around 680 people were also intercepted in the Mediterranean and returned to the civil war country of Libya. You can read more about the rescues at the Twitter account of the Sea-Eye. To pullbacks to Libya regularly tweets Safa Msehli, IOM Spokesperson.
- The 26-year-old medical student Marianne Pretschner is committed to Sea-Eye. In the summer of 2019, she was deployed in the Mediterranean Sea and did what she also wants to do as a future doctor: save lives. The SZ spoke with her.
- About 200 people blocked a street in Glasgow to protest the deportation of two people. With success. Read more about the background, which also has to do with the conflict between Scotland and the United Kingdom, in the SZ.
- Khaled Al-Afat was transferred to the new Moria together with 400 refugees with disabilities. He cannot reach many areas with his wheelchair. For people like him, life in the inhumane camp is even more complicated than for many others. The ND visited him.
- In 2020, around 102,000 initial applications for asylum were filed in Germany. That is just half of what was set out in the coalition agreement as an upper limit, said the Chairman of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany Heinrich Bedford-Strohm on Saturday at the 3rd Ecumenical Church Congress. If you realize this development, the ongoing haggling over where people could go is „undignified“, he said.
12.05.2021: Council of Europe criticizes Greek government +++ Broad alliance calls for easing family reunification for people with subsidiary protection status +++ Man on Lesbos faces life imprisonment after trying to save people
- The Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe has written a letter to the responsible Greek ministers in which she demands an end to the illegal pushbacks, to allow the NGOs to work and to finally improve the conditions in the camps. In their reply, the responsible ministers simply deny that illegal practices occur and claim, contrary to all the facts, that the conditions in the camps have substantially improved.
You can find the letter from the Human Rights Commissioner here.
Here is the ministers' response.
- Although many survivors are currently landing on Lampedusa in Italy and the EU Commission has called on member states to help take in refugees, there have been no offers yet. Germany, France, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Spain had taken part in an earlier distribution and it is important that this time again a coalition of willing EU states goes ahead and takes in people from Italy.
- Clubs, associations and city leaders have called on the federal government to facilitate family reunification for refugees with subsidiary protection status. One reason for the appeal initiated by Pro Asyl is that in 2020 only 443 visas were issued per month for relatives of beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, although the law provides for a quota of 1000 visas. It is also criticised that applicants sometimes wait longer than a year for an appointment at German missions abroad.
- Mohamad H., 27, from Somalia is facing life in prison after he tried to save 33 people in a shipwreck off Lesbos. The prosecution accuses him of being the driver of the boat and thus of smuggling and putting people's lives in danger.
- Human traffickers earn around €50 million a year in the Western Balkans, according to a new study. They make most of their money in places where refugees are affected by illegal pushbacks. You could take away the traffickers' business if people could apply for asylum in the EU, as is their right.
You can find the comprehensive study here.
11/05/2021: Me and 48 other MEPs call for evacuation of refugees from new Moria due to lead exposure +++ Libyan militias torture and enslave refugees +++ Over 2000 people land on Lampedusa
- Together with 48 other MEPs, I have written a letter to the European Commission in which we demand that all camp inmates be moved immediately to areas not contaminated with lead. The health and safety of these people is at great risk. They must not be kept in these conditions any longer. You can find the letter on my homepage.
- Libyan militias enslave refugees or torture them to extort money from their families. These are also the militias with which the EU cooperates as the Libyan coast guard.
- A total of 2128 people arrived on 20 boats on Sunday and Monday night, according to Italian authorities. The EU Commission has called on member states to help Italy take in refugees.
- The "Sea-Eye 4" got a new medic. Hamburg's ex-presenter Tobias Schlegl signed on to the sea rescue ship and is helping off the coast of Libya.
- A person flees Syria because he doesn't want to fight in the military there. According to the Administrative Court of Baden-Württemberg, however, this is not a reason to be recognised as a refugee in Germany.
10.05.2021: Sea-Watch 4 detained, Sea-Eye 4 launches into area of operations +++ Libyan coast guard deports over 700 people to civil war country +++ Germany must retrieve Syrian deported to Greece
- This weekend, around 1400 refugees reached the island of Lampedusa. Meanwhile, according to media reports, the Sicilian judicial authorities again arrested the Sea-Watch 4. The pretext this time is that too many life jackets were found on board and that the ship's sewage system was not designed for such a high number of rescued persons.
- The SeaEye 4 has departed for the area of operations. You can find out more about this on the Sea Eye social media channels
- More than 700 fugitives were intercepted by the Libyan coast guard yesterday and taken back to the civil war country where they face torture. At least five people, including a child, drowned when their boat capsized. IOM press officer Safa Msehli regularly tweets about pullbacks to Libya.
- Munich administrative court rules: Germany must bring back a Syrian deported to Greece. The human rights organisation Pro Asyl described the decision as a "slap in the face" for Federal Interior Minister Seehofer. The agreement with Greece to be able to send refugees back directly at the German-Austrian border was clearly illegal.
- The EU Commission wants to encourage more people to return "voluntarily" and expand Frontex into a return agency. Ramona Lenz and Nina Violetta Schwarz of Medico International explain in their guest article in the Frankfurter Rundschau how this looks in reality.
07.05.2021: Activist acquitted again +++ Italian mayor calls for European sea rescue programme +++ Journalist reports on smear campaigns against civilian sea rescuers:inside
- The activist Hagen Kopp helps people threatened with deportation. The co-initiator of Alarm Phone criticized the criminalization of solidarity and reported serious, often fatal consequences of deportations. Yesterday he was acquitted again in the second instance.
- The mayor of Palermo calls for a civilian European sea rescue programme in the Mediterranean. European cities, NGOs and aid organisations could work together with the support of the European Union. In June he organises the solidarity congress ‚From the sea to the city‘ together with the mayor of Potsdam.
- "It's very hard - and the police nowhere our friend: they beat us at all borders." The Croatian police are particularly brutal. The Frankfurter Rundschau spoke with people seeking protection on the Balkan route.
- Journalist Mathilde Auvillain reports on her experiences on the Aquarius and about the discrediting and criminalisation of civilian sea rescue by European politicians and media disinformation.
- A right-wing terrorist group has been busted again in Germany. They planned attacks on alleged migrants and politicians and talked about a civil war. Fascists are well networked, the group has, among others, contact with another right-wing terrorist group that wants to kill Green politicians and is currently on trial.
05/06/2021: Activist against deportations in court +++ Pushbacks of minors in France +++ Drones for Frontex +++
- "Migration is a human right for me." The activist Hagen Kopp wants to save people from deportations and is therefore standing in court again today. Der Spiegel interviewed him.
- France sends dozens of unaccompanied underage refugees back to Italy every month. For many, the police change their age so that they are considered adults. Families with children are also sent back to Italy without being given the opportunity to apply for asylum. Human Rights Watch reports.
- Frontex is already flying planes over the Mediterranean and transmitting data on shipwrecked people, in some cases directly to the 'Libyan Coast Guard'.. Now Frontex is also testing the use of drones. The agency is also to be equipped with quadrocopters. Read more about these costly plans at Netzpolitik.
- Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) presents its annual report on pushbacks and torture. Physical and psychological violence, humiliation and threats are reported. In addition to the situation in Greece and Croatia, one focus is on the analysis of European chain deportations.
- At least 130 people drowned in the Mediterranean Sea on April 22, 2021 even though they could have been saved. AP News has reconstructed and written down their story: https://apnews.com/article/united-nations-africa-europe-middle-east-migration-3614fc9520fb84fd50323bfa2a9ca01c
05/05/2021: 2,000 deaths from pushbacks since pandemic began +++ Illegal pushback documented +++ European Parliament backs civil society
- This year, more than 600 people have already drowned trying to reach Europe. Some 5,000 people have been returned to Libya, where more than half a million people are fleeing in completely inhumane conditions.
- Since the beginning of the pandemic, at least 2,000 people have died as a result of illegal pushbacks. Systematic pushbacks by Frontex play a major role. The Guardian reports.
- The SPD is calling for a fundamental reform of Frontex under a new director. In doing so it is calling for the replacement of the director Fabrice Leggeri, who has been in office since 2015, and more parliamentary control of the agency. You can read about the background in Der Spiegel.
- 31 people were allegedly severely mistreated and even shot at by Greek authorities over five days in December 2020. The families were separated, taken to Turkish waters and shipped to life rafts. One of the fugitives survived only because he was revived by his friends in the life raft. Mare Liberum reconstructs the case.
- The European Parliament calls on Frontex to withdraw the invoice sent to Frag den Staat and to refrain from future transparency complaints. In doing so, Parliament is backing important civil society work and is committed to transparency.
04.05.2021: Deportation flight to Afghanistan cancelled because safety of accompanying police officers cannot be guaranteed +++ USA accepts more refugees again +++ German court strengthens rights of refugees
- A deportation flight to Afghanistan planned for today has apparently been cancelled. However, the decisive factor for the decision was not the danger for the refugees, but for the German police officers accompanying them.
- Donald Trump had capped refugee admissions at 15,000 people per year. Joe Biden wants to increase that number to 62,500 people initially by September and to 125,000 people a year in the next fiscal year.
- The Lower Saxony-Bremen Regional Social Court has strengthened the rights of refugees who have already been recognised by another EU country but were subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment there. It awarded unreduced asylum benefits to a woman who fled Nigeriabecause the woman had to prostitute herself or beg for a living in Italy.
- On 06.03.21, 19-year-old Qosay Sadam Khalaf died after being taken into custody by police. He fled Iraq years ago to escape massive human rights abuses. Relatives demand clarification of the circumstances of death.
Death in Custody documents the 181 known deaths of People of Colour in Germanywho died as a result of police violence or in police custody.
- The Sea-Watch 4 and its 455 guests on board have been assigned a safe port and landed in Trapani, Sicily last night. Find out more on Sea-Watch's Twitter channel.
03.05.2021: More than 600 refugees rescued from the Mediterranean in the last days +++ Kara Tepe on Lesbos closed, so even more people in the new Moria +++ Greece is a dead end for many refugees
- Civilian sea rescue organisations have rescued more than 600 refugees in the Mediterranean within a few days. The German aid organisation Sea-Watch said it had taken a total of 455 people on board in six rescue operations by Saturday evening and is still waiting for a port to be allocated. The ship Ocean Viking of the organisation SOS Méditerranée brought 236 refugees to Sicily on Saturday.
- On 1 May alone, 172 people were returned from the Mediterranean to the civil war country of Libya. On the morning of 2 May, at least eleven people drowned off the Libyan coast. Pullbacks and boat mishaps are regularly reported by IOM Libya.
In this post I explainwhy the EU must not outsource sea rescue to Libya and people must not be returned to the civil war country.
- For hours, a boat carrying shelter seekers drifted at sea off the Greek peninsula of Peloponnese. A passing freighter pulled the 170 people to safety.
- On Lesbos, the Kara Tepe camp was closed, although the conditions there were relatively good. The people were moved to the new Moria. The midwife Julia Falkner is on site for Doctors Without Borders and reports in this video about the catastrophic conditions.
- Greece is also a dead end for many refugees outside the hotspots on the islands. In the reportage of WRDforyou you can learn more about the situation of the refugees.
04/30/2021: Sea Watch rescues 44 people +++ New closed camp in Greece +++ Mass surveillance of refugees planned
- The Sea Watch 4 rescues 44 people from distress at sea, after less than 24 hours back in the area of operation. This shows once again that there are currently far too few rescue ships on the ground to save people from drowning.On the Twitter account of Sea Watch you will be informed about current missions.
- The Ritsona Camp near Athens is being converted into a closed camp. Three-meter-high walls will enclose the camp, as Parwana Amiri shows on his website. Twitter.
- In future semi-automatic surveillance systems are to monitor Greek camps in the Aegean. Residents will only be allowed to leave the increasingly militarised camps during certain hours of the day. Drones, metal detectors and X-ray machines are also to be used. Read more about the background at Algorithm Watch.
- A Spanish rescue ship brought a wooden boat drifting in the Atlantic to Tenerife. On the boat were more dead than initially thought: 24 bodies, including two minors. German Wave reports.
- Cottbus was the first city in Lusatia to be declared a safe haven for refugees. With this, it follows the call of the Seebrücke Lausitz.More you can learn at Lower Lusatia News.
To find out if your city has been declared a Safe Haven and to see which other European municipalities are showing solidarity in welcoming refugees, check out the map from Europe Welcomes.
04/29/2021: Frontex provides information for deadly interceptions to Libyan coast guard +++ Sea-Eye 4 reaches Mediterranean and receives support from Sea-Watch +++ Refugees are moved from humane camp to new Moria
- Frontex sends information on sea rescue cases in the Mediterranean directly to the "Libyan Coast Guard" via WhatsApp groups and emails. Until now, Frontex has also claimed to the European Parliament that they only inform sea rescue coordination centres about sea rescue cases. In this way, they justified the fact that no coordinates are given to surrounding ships that can ensure the fastest possible rescue. A summary and my commentary on the illegal actions of Frontex can be found on my homepage.
- The EU border protection agency Frontex is to be expanded into a European deportation police force in the future. Migration researcher Jochen Oltmer is critical of Frontex's new mandate. Deutschlandfunk interviewed him.
- For the dispatch of their new ship to the Mediterranean Sea, the Sea-Eye rescuers have received support from the aid organization Sea-Watch. This has agreed to help with the completion costs of the „Sea-Eye 4“ and with the long-term and sustainable strengthening of the structures with 550,000 euros. The Sea-Eye 4 reached the Mediterranean Sea today. Sea-Eye founder Gordon Isler updates on the location of the Sea Eye 4 on Twitter.
- About 60 people were taken at dawn from the relatively good camp Kara Tepe and brought to the new Moria. There was no comprehensible reason at all to bring the people to a worse mass camp. This is simply to show that refugees at Europe's external borders have no right to a decent life. Mission Lifeline posted photos of the action on Twitter.
- Single refugees living in shared accommodation in Germany will receive less social benefits than those living alone since 2019: 328 instead of 364 euros. This is significantly less than Hartz 4 and social courts doubt that this reduction is constitutional.
04/28/2021: Ocean Viking rescues 236 people +++ EU Commission backs "voluntary return" +++ EU Parliament denies Frontex discharge
- Yesterday the Ocean Viking rescued 236 people from two overcrowded boats, including 114 unaccompanied minors. Several were weakened & dehydrated, women suffered minor fuel burns and inhaled fumes. At least 453 people have died in the Mediterranean since the beginning of the year. Click here to go to the SOS Méditerranée Twitter channel.
- The EU Commission has presented a paper, which aims to persuade more people to return "voluntarily" or to deport more people. According to these plans, Frontex is to become a deportation agency and states that do not cooperate are to be blackmailed with restrictions on the issuing of visas. Unfortunately, the Commission is focusing its work on sealing off and deportations and not on ensuring that fundamental rights are respected at the external borders and that people are saved from drowning.
- The EU Parliament has refused to grant discharge to Frontex and has postponed the decision because we want to wait for the results of the investigation into pushbacks before taking a decision. This is a good step so that human rights violations do not remain inconsequential. You can find my tweet about it here.
- So far, 105 refugee teachers have been qualified for the German school system at the University of Potsdam. The programme, which lasts four to six semesters, enables refugee teachers to subsequently teach at German schools. They learn German and are given the opportunity to study a second subject, which they previously lacked for full recognition of their qualification in Germany.
- The European Commission has recently set up a group on sea rescue, the stated aim of which is to create cooperation at EU level to guarantee rapid intervention in the event of distress at sea. A month after the group was created, many people who could have been rescued have drowned. So far it's unclear what the group does at all and it's not even public who belongs to it. You can find an analysis of this at statewatch.
27.04.2021: Frontex relies on air surveillance instead of rescue +++ Debate about climate passport among the Greens +++ Acquittal for monk in trial about church asylum
- Frontex is increasingly relying on air surveillance with chartered aircraft. The cynical calculation here is that people in distress at sea can no longer be rescued and brought to safety if there are no more ships on the ground. Last week around 130 people drowned, while from the European side only a Frontex surveillance plane was sent out, but no rescue ship.
- The Greens are committed to protecting people who have to leave their homes because of climate change. In the discussion on the election programme, we discuss what opportunities there are for this over the next four years.
- The monk Abraham Sauer took in a refugee in the Missionary Benedictine Abbey of Münsterschwarzach. The public prosecutor's office charged him with this. Now the district court of Kitzingen acquitted him.
- The Legal Centre Lesvos has brought an action against Greece before the European Court of Human Rights. It accuses Athens of violence in unlawful operations against refugees to prevent their arrival in Greece.
- Did you know that there is a film school in the Greek camps? The actress Katja Riemann visited it and made a documentary about the refugees at the school. You can find the film at Arte.
04/26/2021: Green European Group launches campaign for municipal reception of refugees +++ State government in Thuringia wants to continue taking refugees from Greek camps +++ German government offers Greece money to be able to deport there
- On social media, people are demanding their right to be in solidarity under #WelcomingEurope. Over 600 solidarity-minded municipalities in 17 EU countries want to welcome refugees. The map with over 600 host communities you can find here[ Door Closes ] And... here you can watch the video of the campaign.
- Thuringia received a total of 177 refugees from the Greek camps between August 2020 and March 2021. The state government in Thuringia also wanted to start its own state programme to take in more people from the Aegean islands, but was forbidden to do so by the Interior Ministry under Horst Seehofer. The Greens and the Left Party in Erfurt are pushing for a lawsuit, but the SPD doesn't want one. This legal opinion commissioned by me... states that the federal government should not simply refuse to accept some refugees by the federal states.
- On the Greek island of Lesbos, the closure of the municipal camp Kara Tepe began over the weekend. It was considered a showcase camp where particularly needy refugees, such as women and children, were housed. It is being closed so that the refugees are no longer housed near the city.
- After several courts ruled that refugees can no longer be deported from Germany to Greece because they face lack of care and homelessness, the federal government is offering money to Greece. The aim is to change the conditions for refugees recognised in Greece so that they can be deported from Germany again.
- Denmark wants to deport people to Syria and has already withdrawn the protection title of more than 250 Syrian refugees. This decision is based on a completely incorrect assessment of the security situation in the country. In the European Parliament, we adopted a resolution on 11 March which clearly states that Syria is not a safe country to return to. Pro Asyl explains the background.
22.04.2021: Last plane with refugees from Greece lands today +++ Denmark prepares deportations to Syria +++ Groko extends IRINI naval mission
- Today, 103 refugees from Greece have landed in Germany. The Federal Ministry of the Interior said it was not planning any further admissions. Yet it would be important to continue taking people out of places like the new Moria.
You can read more about this in the press release of Pro Asyl.
- Denmark's government wants to deport Syrian refugees. Germany has similar plans. Time visits a family whose relatives were killed by the Assad regime. The family is to be deported.
- The grand coalition has decided to continue the IRINI mission. The ships in the Mediterranean are supposed to prevent arms smuggling and deliberately bypass certain zones so as not to have to rescue people in distress at sea. Julian Pahlke summarized why the Marin mission is problematic on Twitter here.
- There are currently around 123,000 refugees from Africa living in Germany. 54,000 of them, or around 44 per cent, fled to Germany from the brutal regime in the north-east African country of Eritrea. 24,000 people have found their way to Germany from Somalia on the Horn of Africa, which is torn apart by terror and civil war. A report on the figures, which are based on a question by the Green member of the Bundestag Filiz Polat, can be found here.
- The vast majority of Syrians and Eritreans who immigrated to Germany between 2013 and 2019 feel comfortable in Germany. This is the result of a study conducted by the Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB) and the Bamf Research Centre.
21.04.2021: Call for a ban on deportations to Afghanistan +++ Expert:innen explain why deportations to Syria violate fundamental human rights +++ Court rules: No deportations from Germany to Greece
- "If the West leaves, then the refugees must stay." Markus Deckert demands a deportation stop for Afghanistan – also because the Taliban could again bring large parts of the country under their control.
- Denmark wants to be the first EU member to send refugees from Syria back to parts of the country designated as "safe". In a guest article, several experts and NGOs call for a rethink and explain, why deportations to Syria violate fundamental human rights.
- Yesterday, the Higher Regional Court of Lower Saxony ruledthat refugees who have already received international protection in Greece may not be deported there.
- The Border Violence Monitoring Network documented 31 pushbacks on the Balkan route in March, affecting a total of 671 refugees. Refugees are also increasingly forced to use routes contaminated by mines from the war, which cost the life of one refugee last month.
- The city of Leer in Lower Saxony is a safe haven. The council has decided that beyond the distribution quota people can be taken in Leer. Furthermore, the city joins the Alliance „Cities Safe Ports“.
You can find out whether your town is one of the 243 safe havens in Germany on the Seebrücke homepage.
20.04.2021: Collective deportation from Frankfurt to Pakistan +++ "Ask the State" has to pay less court costs because of Frontex +++ Italian authorities wiretap journalists, damaging freedom of the press
- About 40 people from Pakistan are deported from Frankfurt to Islamabad. One was only a few days away from an employment toleration, another will be separated from his wife with the deportation. The Frankfurter Rundschau explains here why some of the people actually fulfil the conditions for a right to stay.
- The EU border police Frontex wanted €23,700 from the NGO "Ask the State" - the European Court now reduced the bill by more than half. "Ask the State" is to pay legal costs after suing for the release of information from Frontex.
- The Sicilian public prosecutor's office accuses NGOs of collaborating with Libyan traffickers - and has wiretapped journalists. The accusations have no factual basis and the action is an attack on the freedom of the press.
- The Commission commissioned two studies to examine the use of artificial intelligence in domestic policy. Automated systems could detect irregular migration flows and be used for law enforcement.
- Political scientist Volker M. Heins believes that a world of open borders is a necessary utopia and has written a plea for it. The Süddeutsche Zeitung interviewed him.
19.04.2021: Seehofer tries to obstruct Frontex reconnaissance +++ Hotel owners in Gran Canaria take in refugees +++ Thousands of refugee children and young people missing
- I was leaked an internal mail about the human rights violations at Frontex, which is very incriminating for Horst Seehofer and the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Obviously, the Federal Ministry of the Interior lied to the German Bundestag and tried to obstruct the clarification... You can read more about it in my thread on Twitter.
- Two hotel owners on Gran Canaria accept refugees in their hotel and also take over the costs. The living conditions are much better than in the camps. N-TV visited the hoteliers and the refugees.
- More than 18,000 refugee children and young people disappeared from state care in Europe between 2018 and 2020. In Germany alone, there were 724. Children and young people in particular are at risk of being exploited. The data of the research network „Lost in Europe“ can be found clearly visualised at tagesschau.
- Serbian Constitutional Court ruled in favour of 17 people from Afghanistanwho were illegally pushed back from Serbia to Bulgaria in February 2017. These pushbacks have been used by most states on the Balkan route between Greece and Austria since 2016. Convictions are very rare.
- At least 41 people have drowned off the Tunisian port city of Sfax. According to the United Nations, they were on their way to Europe when their boat capsized. Only three people could be rescued.
04/16/2021: Belgian woman has taken in a total of over 50 refugees in need +++ More people fleeing West Africa to Europe +++ Pro Asyl calls for halt to deportations to Afghanistan
- 52-year-old Christel from Brussels has an unusual flat share: Over a period of 18 months, she hosted over 50 refugees. That was going quite well until the police started accusing her of human trafficking – because they couldn't believe she was just trying to help.
- Armed conflicts and the Corona crisis are forcing more and more people from West Africa to cross to the Canary Islands. There they are stuck in overcrowded camps. A new Moria is threatening to emerge on Spanish soil.
- Due to the planned withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan, Pro Asyl has again urged to stop deportations to the country. A strengthening of the Taliban is to be expected, and no opposition is safe in the country.
- The doctor Martin Binder has worked voluntarily in the refugee camps Moria and most recently Kara Tepe on the Greek island of Lesbos. The doctor from Reutlingen reports on the despair of his patients and on his own powerlessness.
- Without inventors with a migration history, the number of patents registered in Germany would have fallen over the past ten years, a study by the Institute of the German Economy states.
04/15/2021: Almost nothing remains of the 2018 Bamf scandal +++ Brutal human trafficker in Libya set free +++ Study proves: Migration hardly a topic in German curricula
- In 2018, Bremen's Bamf is said to have granted masses of unjustified asylum. Now the process has begun and it is already clear that there were no systematic false positive decisions on asylum applications and that the alleged scandal is not one. On the other hand, it is a scandal that the Bamf has wrongly rejected more than 20,000 applications.
- Libya has released one of its most dangerous human traffickers. Abd al-Rahman Milad, better known by his nickname Bija, is accused of shooting at boats and causing them to sink. The EU and Italy cooperated with him because he was part of the Libyan coast guard.
- A study by the TU Dresden has examined the topics of migration and integration in German curricula. The authors criticise that migration phenomena are often linked to crisis developments such as flight and expulsion.
- Refugee councils criticize planned collective deportations to Pakistan. Such collective deportations could take place on 20 April and 18 May. You can find out more on the homepage of the Bavarian Refugee Council.
- After fighting in the Colombian-Venezuelan border area, more than 3,000 people again sought protection in Colombia a few weeks ago. Colombia has officially received 1.8 million refugees from the neighbouring country. You can find out more about the many millions of refugees from Venezuela on the UNHCR homepage.
04/14/2021: Biden withdraws troops from Afghanistan +++ Bamf wrongly rejected 21,224 asylum applications +++ Denmark to deport to Syria
- President Biden wants U.S. soldiers out of the country by the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. As the mission was not successful, the country is in danger of being largely taken over by the Taliban afterwards. Nevertheless, a new repatriation agreement was recently concluded. Here I wrote down how the EU is trying to facilitate deportations to Afghanistan, even though it is considered the most unsafe country in the world.
- Of 68,061 Bamf decisions reviewed last year, the courts declared 21,224 to be unlawful, i.e. almost one in three. The success rate is particularly high for those seeking protection from Afghanistan, where 60 per cent of the Bamf decisions reviewed by the courts were overturned. It is a scandal that the Bamf is obviously encouraged to decide to the disadvantage of those seeking protection.
- Denmark has classified the Syrian capital Damascus as safe – an assessment with which the country stands alone in Europe. So far, the residence permits of several hundred Syrians have been cancelled or no longer extended because of this. Deutsche Welle has spoken with those affected.
- 17 people were rescued after an engine failure in the Ionian Sea, after trying to get from Greece to Italy. It is a good 100 kilometres of open sea from Corfu to the Italian cape of Santa Maria di Leuca in Apulia.
- Sicilian prosecutors have spent months shadowing dozens of reporters covering migration and sea rescue. The government is getting into trouble.
04/13/2021: Thousands of recognized refugees continue to flee from Greece to Germany +++ Spanish human rights activist deported from Morocco +++ A new Lesbos looms on the Canary Islands
- Because Greece treats recognised refugees badly, many travel to Germany and apply for asylum again. According to the Bamf, in the first three months of the year about 2900 people who had already been recognised in Greece have filed a new asylum application in Germany. The Higher Administrative Court in Münster ruled in January that people cannot be deported to Greece because they face homelessness and "extreme material hardship" there. You can get more background information at ProAsyl.
- The Spanish human rights activist Helena Maleno Garzón was deported in January from her Moroccan home in Tangier, where she has been living for twenty years and where she works for the human rights of refugees. In this video on Twitter, she explainshow Spanish and Moroccan authorities are trying to prevent their work.
- A new Lesbos is looming on the Canary Islands. The Spanish islands in West Africa are increasingly becoming hotspots where refugees are being housed in camps in ever worse conditions and are not allowed to move on.
- Four people were found dead yesterday on a boat off the Canary Island of El Hierro. A total of 23 people were on board. The 19 survivors were flown to Tenerife.
- 34 people have died in the sinking of a refugee boat off the coast of Djibouti. In recent years, Djibouti has become a transit country for people who want to reach the Arabian Peninsula to find work. At the same time, many people are fleeing in the opposite direction from the civil war country of Yemen, which lies on the other side of the strait.
04/12/2021: Alan Kurdi is free again +++ Hagen becomes safe haven +++ 132 boats turned back in Frontex operations
- The rescue ship Alan Kurdi has been freed after six months. Meanwhile Italy's systematic attacks on sea rescue organisations continue. Meanwhile the Dresden-based association Mission Lifeline has christened "Rise Above", a new rescue ship for use in the Mediterranean. tagesschau.de reports on Italy's tough stance against sea rescue. You will also find the statement from Sea-Eye.
- The city of Hagen officially declares itself a Safe Haven for refugees and joins the "Cities of Safe Havens" alliance. On the homepage of the Seebrücke you will findwhether your city is already a Safe Haven and how you can get your city to become a Safe Haven.
- The Greek coast guard systematically drags refugees back to the open sea, with Frontex helping. According to yet to be published Frontex statistics, this affects 132 boats alone since March 2020.
- Europe is using a new tactic in the Mediterranean to fend off refugees: aircraft instead of rescue ships. Frontex is also cooperating with the Libyan coast guard. The Republic has summarized her research in this Long Read.
09.04.2021: Press freedom restricted in Greece +++ Croatian border guards use sexual violence against protection seekers +++ Further ambiguities in Frontex training
- Again and again there are reports that journalists in Greece are hindered in their work.
Franziska Grillmeier wrote in the Frankfurter Rundschau, as she experienced the situation on Lesbos recently.
- In one incident at the Croatian border, border guards used sexual violence against a person seeking protection. The incredible story was written up by the English-language newspaper The Guardian.
- Frontex has booked courses for its border guards with a company whose aim is to recruit informants. But they do not want to admit that they put this knowledge into practice.
- The sea rescue organization Sea-Eye receives further support. Like some other dioceses, the diocese of Limburg has now also promised financial support.
- In the camp "Las Raices" on Tenerife refugees have to live under unacceptable conditions. After a protest against the conditions, some refugees were subsequently arrested. Background in the Spanish-language El Diario.
08.04.2021: Amnesty criticizes situation in Greek refugee camps +++ Malta breaks international law +++ Judicial hearing in Alan Kurdi case in Italy
- Amnesty International, in its 2020/21 annual report. sharply criticized the situation in Greek refugee camps. In the report presented yesterday, the human rights organization analyzes the legal situation worldwide.
- Malta is breaking international law. This is the conclusion of a report by the Council of Europe. Protection seekers who have fled to Malta by sea have to live for months without contact to family, help from NGOs is made difficult, visits are denied.
- The sea rescue ship Alan Kurdi of the NGO Sea-Eye has been detained in Italy for six months. Yesterday it came to a hearing in court. Background information on the blockade and how it could continue can be found at n-tv.
- Frontex has been criticised for numerous human rights violations. One problem is the lack of possibility to control the agency.
How this situation could arise is explained by my MEP colleague Tineke Strik in an interview with WOZ.
- The Canary Islands continue to receive many people seeking protection from West African countries. In the last 24 hours alone, there were around 140 people. Overall, about twice as many people arrived in Q1 2021 as in the same period last year. It is unclear how many people die on the run. Experts assume that the number of unreported cases is high.
07.04.2021: Another collective deportation to Afghanistan +++ Sicilian prosecutor's office intercepts journalists during investigations against private sea rescue +++ Pushbacks at the Croatian border again
- According to the Global Peace Index, Afghanistan is one of the most insecure countries in the world. Germany is deporting there again today from Berlin.
- Private sea rescue has been massively criminalized for years. Journalists have also been systematically wiretapped by the Sicilian public prosecutor's office.
Read more about this attack on press freedom in the FAZ.
- At the Croatian border, there are repeated pushbacks by Croatian border officials. Following renewed human rights violations in early April, the UN Relief and Works Agency Bosnia and Herzegovina is now calling for immediate action.
- On the Greek island of Samos, almost 3,200 people are living in the Vathy camp, which was only built for 648 people. Not only is the hygienic situation unacceptable, but the mental health of those seeking protection is also alarming. Here the NGO Europe Must Act describes the situation.
- According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), over 4,000 people have already been stopped fleeing and returned to Libya in 2021. There they are threatened with inhumane living conditions and imprisonment.
- The city of Rostock supports private sea rescue. The Hanseatic city intends to support the Sea-Eye organisation with an annual sum of several thousand euros.
06.04.2021: Malta's sea rescue control centre obstructs sea rescue +++ Corona outbreak at Ritsona refugee camp in Greece +++ 400,000 people in Kenya face dissolution of their camps with no follow-up prospects
- Malta's sea rescue coordination centre once again failed in its duty under international law. First of all, reported emergencies at sea were ignored, writes Zeit Online. Now she even claims that the people seeking protection were never in the rescue zone, reports the NGO Alarmphone. Fortunately, all 270 people have now landed on Lampedusa.
- Corona has broken out in the overcrowded Ritsona camp in Greece. However, the simplest protective measures such as keeping a distance and regular hand disinfection simply cannot be observed due to the undignified conditions. One resident shares her story in this video.
- The Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps in Kenya are home to some 400,000 people. They are threatened with disaster, the camps are to be closed down, but there is no successor solution as yet.
- Pushbacks are part of everyday life in the Greek Aegean Sea. The ZDF Morgenmagazin tried to draw a picture of the situation and accompanied the Turkish coast guard in action. You can find the short report here.
- In recent days there have been further pushbacks off the Greek island of Lesbos. Frontex also seems to be involved again. The NGO Mare Liberum reports.
04/01/2021: EU naval mission "Irini" rescues no people from distress at sea +++ 166 GB of video footage proves pushbacks at Turkish-Greek maritime border +++ Germany should continue to take in refugees from Greek camps
- The EU naval mission "Irini" in the Mediterranean Sea, which was decided a year ago, has so far not rescued a single person from distress at sea. The predecessor mission Sophia, on the other hand, rescued around 45,000 people from 2015. Under pressure from EU states like Italy and Malta, the ships simply bypass the migration routes so as not to have to rescue people. In Der Spiegel I give a classification of how the EU can support sea rescue.
- I have 166 GB of footage with videos of Pushbacks by the Greek coast guard. The material comes from the Turkish authorities and we will have it analysed by independent experts. Frontex and the Greek government are facing a lot of unpleasant questions. You can see a snippet at my Twitter.
- We yelled for help, but all they did was yell, "Get out of here! Get out!" – In this report, the NGO Alarmphone collects evidence of pushbacks and other human rights abuses in the Aegean. In 79 out of 125 emergency calls received between February 2020 and March 2021, people had their fundamental rights violated.
- Since April 2020, the German government has brought more than 2,500 protection seekers from Greece to Germany on charter flights. The programme is now coming to an end, but many people are calling for it to be extended. Here you can find the demands of Amnesty International.
- The chairman of the EKD, Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, has also called for the continued admission of refugees from Greece. He also calls the situation in the camps at the external borders a "disgrace for Europe."
- The Libyan coast guard today intercepted 138 people in the Mediterranean Sea on their way to Europe and brought them back to Tripoli. They face imprisonment and torture in the civil war country.
- In this text I explain, why the North African Mediterranean states cannot be considered "safe havens" and why the EU should therefore not outsource sea rescue to these states.
30.03.2021: State reception in Thuringia: Greens and Left want to sue federal government +++ More than 1000 people forced back to torture camps in Libya +++ Recognised refugees are driven into homelessness in Greece
- Because the CSU-led Federal Ministry of the Interior refuses to give its consent to a state admission from Thuringia on the basis of questionable arguments, the Greens and the Left Party in Thuringia want to file a complaint against it.
- More than 1000 people have been prevented from fleeing by the Libyan coast guard in recent days. There they are threatened with imprisonment and torture.
- Thousands of recognised refugees are systematically driven into homelessness in Greece. Without a permanent residence, they in turn have no entitlement to support. The ZDF made a short report about this politically created vicious circle.
- 276 million euros are being made available by the European Commission for the construction of new camps on the Greek islands, EU Commissioner Ylva Johansson announced during her visit to Lesbos yesterday. But whether this will improve the situation, or whether these camps will be built at all, is completely unclear.
- There are high hurdles for family reunification of Uyghurs to Germany. The Green Party politician Margarete Bause considers the current practice of the Foreign Office "almost scandalous", because it is often impossible for members of the persecuted minority to obtain the necessary documents.
03/29/2021: New camp on Lesbos won't be ready in time +++ UNHCR counts hundreds of pushbacks through Greece +++ New reports of pushbacks at Croatia's external border
- People in the new Moria will likely have to hibernate in tents for another winter. This had already been foreseeable since last October, but apparently the EU Commission is now also aware of it. An evacuation that could quickly end the suffering is nevertheless not planned so far. The responsible EU Commissioner Ylva Johansson is visiting the islands today.
- The UN refugee agency has handed over tip-offs to Greek authorities about several hundred suspected pushbacks. Greece sometimes simply abandons people at sea. The organization warns that the right to asylum is in danger.
- Journalists are finding it increasingly difficult to report unhindered on the situation on the Greek islands. My questions about press freedom have also gone unanswered by the authorities. Tonight at 7 p.m., several of them will speak about how their work is being hindered. Here you can register for the event.
- The pushbacks on the Croatian-Bosnian border continue. Three weeks ago, a man died because he stepped on a mine. A young Afghan man claims to have been pushed back 57 times. How he fared on his 58th attempt, you can read in the taz.
- Thousands of refugees cross the Alps between Italy and France every year. The stricter the controls, the more dangerous the escape routes. Deutschlandfunk Kultur did a half-hour report on the subject.
03/26/2021: Free the El Hiblu 3 +++ Federal police claim suicide attempt in new Moria was 'cooking accident' +++ UN calls for nearly 5 billion euros in aid for refugees from Syria
- Two years ago, more than 100 people were rescued from drowning in an inflatable boat from the oil tanker El Hiblu, which was on its way to Libya. Three teenagers aged 15, 16 and 19 persuaded the crew to bring the people to Malta because they were facing torture and imprisonment in Libya. The three became known as El Hiblu 3 and are now on trial in Malta.
Here you can find the joint statement of 27 organisations, demanding the release of the defendants.
- After a woman set herself on fire in the new Moria, federal police believe it was a "common cooking accident." The report was leaked to the public - but it is obviously false.
- The United Nations and its humanitarian partners are appealing for help for millions of refugees from the civil war country of Syria. For the year 2021, an amount of 4.9 billion euros would be needed in the region.
- The European Council is meeting again today and is also negotiating a new refugee deal with Turkey. I spoke with Detektor FM about what is going wrong. Click here for the interviews with me and the scientists Maximilian Pichl and Gerald Knaus.
03/25/2021: UK to deter refugees and move them to asylum centres outside the country +++ European Council negotiates new EU-Turkey deal +++ Kenyan government to close refugee camps, pushes for redistribution of hundreds of thousands
- People who enter the UK irregularly are to be deterred and given poorer prospects for asylum. This is cynical because there are often no legal ways for refugees to enter the UK. Home Secretary Patel also says she wants people who have applied for asylum in Britain, initially to asylum centres outside the country until a decision is reached on the asylum application. I have also written this text on the impact of Brexit on flight and migration, which gives a little more background on the subject. https://erik-marquardt.eu/2021/02/08/die-auswirkungen-des-brexits-auf-flucht-und-migration-in-europa/
- The European Council is meeting today and tomorrow and is also negotiating a new refugee deal with Turkey. Unfortunately, the outcome threatens a new deal aimed at sealing off the country instead of providing serious protection for refugees. I wrote up what the problem is with the EU-Turkey deal here.
- Almost half a million people live in the two camps Dadaab and Kakuma in Kenya. Now the Kenyan government wants to close the camps in the short term. The Kenyan government is threatening to simply take the people to the Somali border if the UNHCR does not redistribute them.
- In his book „Move“, Indian-American political scientist Parag Khanna predicts a century of global migration for all - and doesn't think it's so bad. Time spoke with him.
- Since 2014, over 20,000 people have drowned trying to reach the EU by water. These people leave behind grieving relatives. The New Humanitarian has visited these relatives.
24.03.2021: EU Parliament refuses to confirm Frontex budget +++ Green parliamentary group calls for end to EU-Turkey deal +++ Precarious status for Syrian draft dodgers
- The European Parliament's Committee on Budgetary Control is stepping up the pressure on Frontex by refusing to discharge its 2019 budget. The reason is that Frontex has not hired human rights observers. There are also allegations of harassment and the EU agency has met with companies that are not on the lobby register.
- Greens call for end to EU-Turkey refugee deal. The motion of the Green parliamentary group in the Bundestag states: "With the agreement with Turkey, which essentially violates asylum law, the EU has accepted that the responsibility to protect refugees rests solely with Turkey, a country that is itself driving people to flee with increasing human rights violations."
- Despite a ruling by the European Court of Justice, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees does not grant Syrian conscientious objectors full refugee status.
- The Ocean Viking has rescued 116 survivors, including 51 unaccompanied minors. The last survivors have now disembarked in Sicily. Information about the missions can be found on the SOS Méditerranée social media channels.
- Rescue workers have recovered at least 15 bodies after a major fire at a refugee camp for Rohingya in Bangladesh. According to the authorities, thousands of shelters in the camps were destroyed. At least 400 people are still missing.
23.03.2021: EU Commission seeks European coordination of sea rescue +++ Two-year-old girl dies after crossing to Canary Islands +++ Major fire in Rohingya refugee camp
- A new contact group of the EU Commission met for the first time yesterday.l and declared the aim to coordinate sea rescue at European level in the future. According to the responsible Commissioner Ylva Johansson, rescued persons should also be brought ashore more quickly and sea rescuers should no longer be criminalised. This would be a major step forward compared to the current situation, in which rescuers face prison sentences and rescue ships are blocked. However, the EU Commission has been promising for years to take action against criminalisation, and so far there have been no visible successes. This can also be seen in the renewed arrest of the Sea-Watch 3.
- A two-year-old girl died after crossing from Western Sahara to the Canary Islands. Paramedics initially resuscitated the hypothermic child, but she later died in hospital. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said the case was a "wake-up call for everyone's conscience." More background on the case and the dangerous Atlantic route can be found at El País.
- A fire broke out in a Rohingya refugee camp in southern Bangladesh on Monday afternoon. There was initially no information on the dead or injured. Residents spoke of dozens of victims. At least 20,000 Rohingya have fled their homes.
- Two asylum seekers in Berlin and Eberswalde have taken their own lives – probably out of fear of deportation. Hundreds of people demonstrated against institutional racism and for the right to asylum in Eberswalde at the weekend.
- Italy's handling of sea rescues in the Mediterranean has not loosened after the fall of right-wing Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. The only things that are new are style and methods.
22.03.2021: Sea-Watch 3 stranded in Sicily +++ Ocean Viking and French Coast Guard rescue people from distress at sea +++ Global water shortage leads to increasing refugee movements
- The Sea-Watch 3 is moored in Sicily after saving 363 lives. The absurd accusation: the ship was carrying too many people. The alternative would have been to let the people drown.
- The Ocean Viking rescued 106 people from an inflatable boat in distress. It was located about 60 kilometers off the Libyan coast.
- The French coast guard rescues 72 fugitives from distress in the English Channel. They were near the port city of Calais in two boats.
- On today's World Water Day, UN Refugee Agency warns of increasing refugee movements due to global water shortages. According to Unicef, 450 million children worldwide also live without access to sufficient water.
- Five EU border states call for greater cooperation in the distribution of refugees in the EU at a meeting in Athens. The meeting is overshadowed by serious accusations. Greek coast guard officials, for example, allegedly beat seven people and then threw them tied up into the sea. Three people are said to have died, says Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu. The Greek coast guard rejects the accusations.
03/19/2021: Denmark plans racist law +++ Samos mayor endorses confirmed pushbacks +++ Afghan refugees not safe in Turkey
- Denmark has announced that it will set a maximum threshold for residents of "non-Western" origin. The law stipulates that within ten years a limit of 30 percent should apply in city districts. But it doesn't solve a single real problem when the Danish government now calls racial discrimination a "limit on the percentage of the population of non-Western origin."
- The mayor of East Samos said in an interview yesterday that the pushbacks would return normalcy to the people on his island. So he simply admitted that these are taking place, while the Greek government continues to deny it and call it Fake News.
- Three mayors from Lesvos, Chios and Samos criticise the current plans for the EU's new migration pact. They accuse the EU of abandoning the countries at the external borders. Instead they call for solidarity and a fair distribution of responsibility in Europe.
- According to a new study by Pro Asyl refugees from Afghanistan are on their own in Turkey. The country offers them no security.
- An eight-year-old wants to hang herself, a boy sells his brother, children prostitute themselves for a place in a tent: SPIEGEL accompanied four minors from the Moria camp.
18.03.2021: Important study on Moria and hotspots at the external borders +++ Massive criticism of EU-Turkey deal +++ Father sues Greek coast guard after death of his son
- Medico International has a study on Moria and published the concept of hotspots at the EU's external borders. It sets out that this is not a humanitarian disaster, but the result of deliberate political choices. On Radio Eins, author Maximilian Pichl summarizes the results in a 5-minute interview.
- In a comment HR journalist Alexander Göbel criticises the EU-Turkey deal because the EU is trying to buy its way out of responsibility with money. In his opinion it would be better to have a common European refugee policy worthy of the name. Here you can find my text on 5 years of the EU-Turkey deal.
- Also aid organisations consider the EU-Turkey deal in this form to have failed and call for a rethink.
- Despite the criticism, negotiations are currently underway on a new edition of the deal. The Turkish government is making high demands in return. Zeit Online explains what the negotiations are about.
- A six-year-old drowned while trying to escape. His father is suing the Greek coast guard. She is alleged to have delayed the rescue, thus causing the death of people.
17.03.2021: Why the EU-Turkey-Deal failed +++ Duration of asylum procedures in Germany increases significantly +++ Residents complain against house rules in Freiburg shelter
- The EU-Turkey deal was agreed exactly five years ago. Time was bought at great cost and not used. The result was undignified mass camps like Moria and a dependence on Erdoğan.
Here I have written down the background.
- According to a recent analysis by migration expert Karoline Popp, the reception system for refugees on the Greek islands established with the EU-Turkey deal is "largely dysfunctional". Here you can find background information.
The report by Karoline Popp and the Expert Council on Integration and Migration can be found here.
- Last year, the average duration of asylum procedures in Germany increased to 8.3 months. This is significantly longer than in 2019, when procedures took an average of half a year (6.1 months).
- House rules in asylum homes disproportionately interfere with fundamental rights. This is what four refugees in Freiburg are now claiming in a lawsuit.
- Photographer Julia Schaefermeyer was on board the Ocean Viking and accompanied women and girls who had to flee Libya. You can find their stories and photos in Vogue.
16.03.2021: 10 years of civil war in Syria +++ Situation for Syrian refugees in Lebanon particularly difficult +++ New Corona Falls on Samos
- The civil war in Syria began 10 years ago. An end is still not in sight. Swiss radio provides an overview of the fighting.
- In terms of population, most refugees from Syria live in Lebanon. Pandemic and economic crisis in the country hit them particularly hard.
- There are three new cases of Covid-19 in the Vathy camp on the Greek island of Samos. Unfortunately, little is being done in the camp to prevent its spread: 3317 people are crammed into a place designed for only 648.
- Afghan women's rights activist Sarah S. reports on the situation in Samos and how her son has already witnessed suicides twice. The interview was published in Der Spiegel in December.
- Yesterday, EU interior ministers met in a videoconference and agreed to put more pressure on African states to accept deportations.
15/03/2021: EU interior ministers discuss flight and migration +++ European Parliament questions Frontex on internal investigations +++ Cypriot government builds new wall
- The interior ministers of the EU states met today to discuss the issues of flight and migration. They came no closer to a humane and common European refugee policy. The only thing they can all agree on is more intensive cooperation with third countries. In concrete terms: better isolation. You can watch the 25-minute press conference on the meeting here.
- Also today, the European Parliament's Frontex Inquiry Group, of which I am a member, met. We are questioning members of the Frontex management board about their internal investigations. You can watch the session here.
- The Europe magazine of the ARD reports in this video about brutal pushbacks by the Greek authorities and lets those affected have their say.
- The government of Cyprus is having an 11-kilometre barbed wire barrier erected to the north of the country. The aim is to prevent refugees from reaching the south of the EU state. The island is divided into a Greek-dominated south and a Turkish-dominated north.
- Germany and Turkey are currently negotiating a new refugee deal. Turkey is preventing refugees from travelling on to the EU. The German government wants Turkey to continue doing so.
03/11/2021: Iuventa crew apparently charged on political grounds +++ Spain backs quick deportations in Canaries +++ 82 refugees from Greece land in Germany
- The crew of the rescue ship Iuventa and other rescuers are facing charges in Italy, although after four years there is still no credible evidence against the rescuers. The Swiss Woz reports extensively on the case.
- Spain relies on quick deportations: Four flights a week to Western Sahara, with 20 passengers each. Now repatriations to Senegal are also beginning. An agreement with Mauritania also allows all those to be sent back there who have passed through Mauritanian territory or Waters have traveled.
- The Italian coast guard has discovered three boats off the island of Lampedusa within a few hours and rescued a total of 187 people.
03/10/2021: Council of Europe accuses EU of being responsible for thousands of avoidable deaths +++ 39 people drowned in Mediterranean +++ Deportation flight from Hanover to Afghanistan
- The Council of Europe complains that human rights are systematically ignored on the routes across the Mediterranean. This causes thousands of avoidable deaths every year, criticises the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović.
- At least 39 people drown on the way from Tunisia to Italy. Their destination was apparently Lampedusa.
- Last night, people were deported from Germany to Afghanistan at Hannover-Langenhagen Airport. In the middle of a pandemic, to the most unsafe country in the world. In this text I explain why Afghanistan is considered the most dangerous country in the world and how the EU is trying to facilitate deportations.
- In Turkey, 55 refugees have been freed from a container in the port of the western Turkish city of Izmir. The people had been locked up for almost six days, he said, calling out for help and banging on the door as they ran out of air.
- Thousands of refugees are still stuck in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They sleep on bus stops, in the woods or in crowded camps.
09.03.2021: Fire in new Moria and untenable conditions for children +++ Greece builds new border fence +++ Spanish coast guard rescues 107 people
- Exactly 6 months ago Moria burned down and today it burns again in the new camp. Actually, everything was supposed to get better, but when the attention was gone, nothing got better. No school, bad food, many unheated tents and hardly any freedom. Unicef, meanwhile, in a recent report, speaks of of unacceptable conditions for the approximately 2200 children in the new Moria. On the states, I made this short infographic video.
- The Greek government is raising a five-meter-high, 27-kilometer-long steel barrier on the Evros River, which will soon be completed.
- The Spanish coast guard has rescued 107 people from drowning from two boats off the Canary Islands. One boat was drifting off Tenerife, the other off Gran Canaria.
- The NGO "Ask the State" publishes further internal reports on Frontex pushbacks. Frontex tried to ban the publication of the documents.
- The Greens call for a reorientation of integration policy. "We have to answer structural problems with structural measures," integration policy spokeswoman Filiz Polat told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur. "That means, for example, moving away from short-term project funding to permanent funding for organizations."
03/05/2021: What's known about pushback allegations against Frontex +++ EU cooperation with Libyan coastguard could be extended +++ Smugglers pushed people into water off Djibouti, at least 20 drowned
- Yesterday in the European Parliament, we questioned Frontex Director Fabrice Leggeri about the accusations against Frontex. ZDF-Heute has summarized what his agency is accused of in a video.
- In September, an underage refugee was abducted by Greek authorities at the Vathy camp on Samos and abandoned on the open sea in the Aegean. Now the NGO Glan is suing on behalf of the teenager.
Read more about the practice of the Greek coast guard in the mirror.
You can find Glan's report on the specific case here.
- In 2020, the Libyan Coast Guard intercepted at least 11,981 people in the Mediterranean Sea and returned them to the civil war country, where people face imprisonment and torture. Although the actions of the Libyan coast guard cost several people their lives, the mission responsible is now demanding more money from the EU and an extension of the mission by two years.
- Off the coast of Djibouti, tugboats pushed about 80 people off the boat, at least twenty of whom drowned. The ship had set off for Yemen with more than 200 people.
- Fearing fighting, more than 7,660 people have fled Nigeria for Maradi in Niger this year. The Maradi region in southern Niger is now hosting nearly 100,000 displaced people, including 77,000 Nigerian refugees. Despite border restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Niger continues to provide access to asylum. The UNHCR provides information on its website.
04.03.202: Frontex Management Board suspects legal violations by the Agency +++ Frontex Inquiry Group meeting in the European Parliament +++ Italian Prosecutor calls for trial of Iuventa
- The Frontex Management Board cannot rule out legal violations in the pushback scandal. Unfortunately, the Management Board is not independent and also includes in its report very absurd protective claims by the Greek Government. The main representatives on the Management Board are the EU Member States, which provide the majority of Frontex border guards.
- Today, the first proper meeting of the Frontex Inquiry Group took place in the European Parliament. We questioned Frontex chief Leggeri and Commissioner Johansson and we managed to get the meeting open to the public so that anyone interested could follow. You can watch the session here.
- The crew of the rescue ship Iuventa, employees of the NGO "Save the Children" and "Médecins sans Frontières" are facing a trial in Italy for smuggling. The Italian public prosecutor's office justifies this with the unfounded accusation that the sea rescuers collaborated with Libyan human traffickers. They are being criminalised because they saved 14,000 people.
- More and more people from Syria in Lebanon live from collecting rubbish, including many children. Der Spiegel followed eleven-year-old Wael as he digs through garbage to feed his family.
03.03.2021: One year ago the EU-Turkey deal failed +++ Sea-Watch 4 is free +++ European Court of Human Rights rules: Hungary treats refugees inhumanely
- A year ago the EU-Turkey deal failed. Unfortunately, the desolate situation has not changed since then. As a reminder, here is an interview I gave to Deutschlandfunk exactly one year ago.
- The Sea-Watch 4 is free. After a 6-month blockade, the ship can soon return to the central Mediterranean to save lives. Meanwhile, the Sea-Watch 3 can bring 363 rescued people to Sicily.
- Hungary has treated a family inhumanely, according to a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights. The family of five had to live in a 13 square meter container between April and August 2017. In addition, there was no adequate food and sometimes no food at all.
- People have been thrown out of their shelters across Greece since the weekend. The expiry of the EU-funded programme „Filoxenia“ could leave up to 7,000 people stranded on the streets of Athens, Thessaloniki and Corinth. Read more about it in the Ekathimerini.
- At the beginning of December, the Conference of Interior Ministers lifted the ban on deportations to Syria. Now it turns out that was just cheap populism by Horst Seehofer. You can't deport people from Germany to Syria at the moment, and that's a good thing.
Mar 02, 2021: Over 1600 attacks on refugees in Germany in 2020 +++ Man suffers heart attack during deportation from Bavaria +++ Around 5000 people have so far arrived in Italy on boats across the Mediterranean in 2021.
- In 2020, there were at least 1,606 recorded attacks on refugees in Germany, and 201 people were injured. The assault statistics include insults, incitement of the people, damage to property and acts of violence.
- On February 23, 2021, a deportation flight left Munich Airport for Armenia. A man suffered a heart attack at the airport, had to undergo emergency surgery and is now in the Munich Heart Centre.
- In the months of January and February, nearly 5000 people reached Italy via the Mediterranean Sea. So far this year, more refugees are arriving from Eritrea – one of the worst dictatorships in the world. You can find the dates on this page of the UNHCR.
- Around 30 people were detained in Tunisia because, according to the Interior Ministry, they had planned to travel from there by boat towards Europe. It is estimated that around 8000 people arrived in Italy from Tunisia via the Mediterranean Sea in 2020. In 2019, there were only around 800. You can find more info in French here.
- A resident in the new Moria found a hand grenade on the premises. The site is on a former firing range and ammunition is regularly found. In addition, the soil is contaminated with lead.
01.03. 2021: Infringement proceedings against Greece +++ Sea-Watch 3 rescues more than 300 people +++ Sea-Eye 4 christened
- I am calling for infringement proceedings against Greece because the government is systematically violating EU law, breaking human rights and preventing any process of coming to terms with the situation. People have been shot at the border, there are more and more reports of illegal practices including robbery and torture. This must finally have consequences.
- Because she could no longer bear the situation, a 27-year-old Afghan woman set herself on fire in her tent in the new Moria eight days ago after bringing her family to safety. The woman survived. Now the Greek prosecutor wants to charge them with arson.
- After seven months of forced break, the private rescue ship "Sea-Watch 3" is back in action - and saved more than 300 people from drowning from Friday to Sunday. Read more in the mirror and on the Sea-Watch Twitter Channel.
- On Sunday, the "Sea-Eye 4" was christened by Claudia Roth. The rescue ship is scheduled to begin its mission in the Mediterranean in the spring.
- More than 150 people were intercepted by the Libyan coast guard on the Mediterranean Sea on Friday and taken back to Libya, where they face torture, detention and inhumane treatment. A total of 3700 people have already been intercepted on the Mediterranean Sea and brought back to Libya this year alone. Current figures can be found on the IOM Libya Twitter Channel. I also declare in this articlewhy we must not outsource sea rescue to Libya.
02/26/2021: Abbess on trial for church asylum +++ Alleged chain deportation from Austria to Bosnia +++ Tens of thousands flee Tigray
- Abbess Mechthild Thürmer has been charged with granting church asylum to people who were threatened with deportation. She justifies her actions with the fact that the people would have been in danger of life and limb if they had been deported. The Tagesspiegel interviewed her.
- Last autumn, two specific cases became known in which groups of people who had entered Austria and asked for asylum were nevertheless deported back by the police. One of the persons concerned has now been able to file a complaint; the case will be heard next week in Graz before the Styrian Regional Administrative Court.
- About 60,000 people have fled the Tigray region to Sudan, according to the UN refugee agency. A third of them are children. Humanitarian aid to the region is currently blocked, which is why the EU is withholding around €90 million in aid to Ethiopia.
- Violence, sub-zero temperatures, tents in the mud, lack of hygiene. The photographer Alea Horst reports as a photographer on the situation in the new Moria. In this short film, Hessischer Rundfunk shows the photographer's work and the terrible situation on the ground.
02/25/2021: Woman in new Moria sets herself on fire +++ Seven-year-old child dies after fire in Greek camp +++ EU commissioner calls for faster investigation into Frontex allegations
- A pregnant 26-year-old Afghan woman set herself on fire in the new Moria. In the meantime she is better and could be released from the hospital. According to the doctors at the hospital, the eight-month pregnant woman was suffering from psychological problems because she thought that her application to leave the country for Germany had been rejected.
- A seven-year-old child has died after a fire in a container apartment in a Greek refugee camp. The fire brigade suspects that the cause was a cooking area. Only a few days ago, a psychologist from the aid organization Doctors Without Borders had criticized the safety deficiencies, especially in heating.
- According to EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson, the process of dealing with the accusations against the EU's border protection force Frontex is not progressing fast enough. One of the issues at stake is possible illegal refoulement of protection seekers at the EU's external borders, known as pushbacks. She says: "I'm a little concerned why it's taking so long to clarify this."
- In Bosnia and Herzegovina, thousands of people living outside the official camps are dependent on the help of volunteers. However, the Bosnian authorities are making it more difficult to provide aid and are threatening foreign aid workers with expulsion.
- In the so-called "anchor centres", i.e. closed mass camps in Germany, an asylum procedure takes an average of 77 days, while outside the camps it takes 82 days. Horst Seehofer's goal of significantly speeding up the procedures has thus been missed. Nevertheless the Interior Ministry is sticking to the camps because it's not about faster procedures at all, but about housing people outside settlements and separating them from active civil society. You can get more background at Migazin.
24.02.2021: Millions in aid for Rohingya from Myanmar +++ Italian freighter rescues 232 people from distress at sea +++ Mühlheim city council wants to take in 50 refugees from camps at the EU's external borders
- The EU is providing €39 million for the care of refugee Rohingya in Bangladesh. The Muslim population group has long been discriminated against in Myanmar. As a result of attacks by the military, hundreds of thousands of them fled to Bangladesh in 2017.
- 232 refugees were rescued from distress by the Italian freighter "Asso Trenta" and brought to Sicily on Monday. The ship's crew also recovered a body. Also on Monday, the rescue ship "Aita Mari" docked in Sicily with 102 rescued people.
- The city council in Mühlheim wants to take in 50 refugees from camps on the outer borders. The motion of the Greens and the CDU was followed by all members of the democratic parties. Unfortunately, such initiatives are currently still failing due to Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, who refuses to allow municipalities to take such steps.
- "Kids bite themselves until they bleed". Psychologist Katrin Glatz-Brubakk treats traumatized children in the new Moria.
- A refugee has been found alive in a bag of toxic waste in the port of the Spanish exclave of Melilla. A total of 41 people were found in the port on Friday, according to police. You can find the shocking video at FAZ.
02/23/2021: European Parliament launches investigation into Frontex +++ People drown due to disastrous Libyan coastguard operation +++ Situation in Canary Islands comes to a head
- A scrutiny group in the EU Parliament is investigating the European border protection agency Frontex as of today. At its heart is the question of whether the agency has systematically committed human rights violations. I, too, am one of the 14 members of the group.
- Yesterday a video appeared showing how the EU-funded Libyan coast guard "rescues". No dinghy to transfer, no life jackets, many people fall into the water, a total disaster. Several people drown. Torture awaits those who survive. For more info and the video of the incident, follow me on Twitter.
- In Libya, authorities say they have freed at least 156 refugees from Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan from a house used by people smugglers.
- Are the Canary Islands becoming the second Lesbos? Last year 23,000 people arrived there in boats, in the first weeks of this year there were 2,000. The authorities are overstretched. Deutschlandfunk Kultur has recorded a feature on the subject.
- Hope for Syrian Conscientious Objectors: Following a court ruling, thousands of refugees from the civil war country are once again applying for asylum in Germany.
- "The militarisation of borders will cost the EU a great deal of money - and our ultimate credibility as a continent that stands up for human dignity", comments the Standard from Vienna.
22.02.2021: Millions of people in Syria do not have enough to eat +++ Catastrophic conditions continue in the new Moria +++ Italian coast guard rescues 50 people from distress at sea
- The humanitarian situation in Syria has deteriorated extremely in 2020, especially for refugees. More than twelve million people do not have enough to eat.
- The cold weather of the past few days has once again highlighted the catastrophic conditions in the new Moria and the other camps on the Greek islands. In addition, two tents burned down on Friday until the occupants were able to extinguish the fire themselves. These fires are now commonplace and are probably often related to the incorrectly installed power lines. You can see what the power lines look like on my Twitter channel.
- The Italian coast guard has rescued nearly 50 refugees from boats in the Mediterranean. A boat capsized around 15 nautical miles off the island of Lampedusa as emergency services tried to bring people on board. According to the Interior Ministry, just over 2,900 refugees have arrived in Italy by boat so far this year.
- On Saturday alone, some 500 people fleeing Libya were intercepted and returned to the civil war country, where they face torture, imprisonment and other inhumane conditions. The IOM press officer regularly reports on these incidents.
In this text on my homepage I explainwhy people rescued from distress at sea cannot simply be taken to Libya, but must be taken to a safe port.
- In May 2018, there was a massive police operation in the refugee accommodation in Ellwangen with hundreds of officers and several detentions because the residents had previously successfully resisted deportation. A court has now judged the officers' actions to be partially disproportionate.
19.02.2021: Number of asylum applications in the EU drops massively +++ Aita Mari rescues 102 people from distress at sea +++ Lampedusa erects a memorial for drowned refugees
- The number of asylum applications in the EU falls by a third compared to the previous year and overall to the lowest level since 2013. According to the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), a total of around 461,300 people applied for asylum in the EU in 2020. In 2019, the figure was 671,200, with most protection seekers coming from Syria, Afghanistan and Venezuela.
- The Spanish NGO ship „Aita Mari“ has rescued 102 people from distress at sea. The refugees were on board a ship in distress off Libya. The ship now needs a safe haven.
- On Lampedusa, a memorial is being erected in a former quarry for those people who drowned in the Mediterranean on their flight to Europe. In the past two days, more than 300 people have arrived in boats on Lampedusa.
- NGOs that help refugees and migrants are harassed and prevented from doing their work across Europe. In Cyprus, KISA, one of the most active NGOs, has now been struck off the register of associations.
- The EU has provided Bosnia-Herzegovina with almost €90 million for the care of refugees. Nevertheless, the current situation is absolutely inhumane. In this film, Spiegel TV asks how this can be and where the money has gone.
02/18/2021: Karlsruhe joins sea rescue alliance United4Rescue +++ Belgian policeman sentenced to one year probation for fatal shooting +++ Over 1400 people drowned in the Mediterranean in 2020
- Karlsruhe is the first city in Germany to join the sea rescue alliance „United4Rescue“. Karlsruhe had already declared itself a „safe port“ in 2019 and is ready to take in more refugees rescued from distress at sea.
- According to updated figures from the IOM, at least 1,417 people died trying to reach Europe via the Mediterranean Sea in 2020. You can find the numbers at the IOM's Missing Migrant Project.
- A Belgian policeman is sentenced to one year probation, after he killed two-year-old Mawda Shawri with a gunshot during a chase. The incident occurred in May 2018 when police tried to check a suspicious van and the driver tried to shake off police. There were around 30 people in the van, many of them refugees. The driver of the van was sentenced to four years in prison.
- While pictures of snow-covered Athens are going around the world, thousands of people are still living in the new Moria on Lesbos, which is still not winterized.
- Germany has taken in another 26 refugee families from Greece. The plane from Athens landed in Hanover on Wednesday. However the German government's promise to take in a total of 1553 people from the burned-down Moria has not yet been kept. We have space and we should also take in more people again instead of letting them suffer at the external borders.
Feb 17, 2021: Greek government downplays lead exposure in new Moria +++ 'Open Arms' brings 146 refugees to Sicily +++ Near Calais, around 500 people wait to brave perilous crossing to UK
- According to Human Rights Watch, the Greek government is downplaying the risk of lead poisoning in the new Moria. The camp was built on a former shooting range. So in addition to the many risks in the new Moria, there is apparently also the danger of lead poisoning.
- Nato wire, 4m² per person, camera surveillance and motion analysis algorithms. What sounds worse than most prisons in the EU, corresponds to the plans of the Greek government for people whose only "crime" is to have fled. Europe Must Act publishes a newsletter on the current situation.
- Around 500 people are currently still near the northern French town of Calais, waiting for a chance to reach the UK. But since Brexit, it has become even more difficult for refugees to reach the country. You can read about the impact of Brexit on flight and migration on my homepage.
- The Spanish rescue organization „Open Arms“ has rescued 146 people from distress at sea with its eponymous rescue ship and brought them to Sicily.
"Legally, the matter is clear: if a boat carrying refugees is forced to change course and the refugees are thus prevented from applying for asylum, there is a violation of international law. What is legally clear is morally an indictment of the EU."
You can find the whole commentary by journalist Rainer Hermann in the FAZ.
02/16/2021: Lawyers want to take Frontex chief Leggeri to court +++ Germany barely accepts recognised refugees from Moria +++ Refugees bring new life to Calabrian mountain villages
- The European border protection agency Frontex has been implicated in human rights abuses in the Aegean. Lawyers now want to take legal action against the head of the authorities, Leggeri.
- Around 130 recognised refugees will be brought directly from Lesbos to Germany tomorrow. Germany agreed to take in 1533 refugees after the fire in Moria. So far, however, only 333 of them are in the country.
- Many people left the Calabrian mountain villages in the past decades to build a new life in the north of Italy or Europe. The places became deserted. Now refugees are coming to these villages and bringing new life. Many communities there want to take in more people.
- CDU/CSU politician Volker Kauder and SPD politician Hilde Mattheis are calling for more refugees to be taken in from Lesbos. In doing so, they both oppose the policies of the grand coalition, which prevent the admission of more people and even prohibit Länder and municipalities from taking in more people, even if they explicitly demand it.
- The Regional Social Court of Lower Saxony-Bremen strengthens the rights of Roma refugees from the Balkan states. Many of them are subject to such severe discrimination in their countries of origin that they are unable to obtain documents relating to their citizenship and therefore find it difficult to prove their identity. Therefore, this must not be a reason to reduce benefits.
15.02.2021: About half of the refugees in the Mediterranean are taken to Libya by the so-called Libyan coast guard +++ Greek migration minister lies +++ Tens of thousands of children born in Germany are threatened with deportation
- The so-called Libyan coast guard intercepted 9541 people at sea last year, according to the commander of the EU naval mission "Irini". This is almost half (47 percent) of all people who made their way to Europe from the North African civil war country in 2020. In Libya, people face imprisonment and torture.
- Although illegal pushbacks by Greece have been proven and documented many times, the Greek migration minister Mitarakis claims in an interview with the weekly newspaper "To Vima" that the reports are fake news. Mare Liberum, on the other hand, documented that from March to December 2020 alone, over 9000 people fleeing were forcibly pushed back into Turkey, depriving them of their right to asylum.
- In Germany, about 1.1 million people have a temporary or an unclear residence title. They are excluded from naturalisation. Even if their children were born and raised in Germany, they are still threatened with deportation to a country they often do not know.
- The warlike conflict between the Ethiopian central government and the TPLF ruling in Tigray has exacerbated the grave situation of refugees from Eritrea. Arte reported in this short film about the situation of refugees from Eritrea.
- The Zaher family has been at the Bosnian-Croatian external border for six months. Before that, they had already been in Moria for nine months. An arrival is still not in sight for them.
02/12/2021: Watson interviewed me on Frontex allegations +++ Mare Liberum report says human rights for refugees in Aegean systematically abolished +++ Municipalities charge very high prices for refugee accommodation
- Frontex has been criticised for meetings with the arms lobby and human rights abuses. I was talking to Watson about it, what needs to change now with the EU Border Agency. Zeit Online also reports again in detail about the accusations against Frontex.
- The human rights of refugees in the Aegean are systematically violated, according to the "Pushback Report" by the NGO Mare Liberum. He said that from March to December 2020 alone, more than 9,700 refugees were forcibly pushed back to Turkey, depriving them of their right to asylum.
- For a place to sleep in the refugee accommodation, the city of Hemmingen charges 930 euros for a double room with 20 square meters. The taz explains how these disproportionately high prices come about.
- Katrin Glatz-Brubakk cares for children in the new Moria camp for Doctors Without Borders. In this video, the psychologist reports how the children increasingly lose the courage to live.
- The EU is partly responsible for the terrible situation of refugees in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The whole subject is well dealt with in this feature by Deutschlandfunk Kultur.
11.02.2021: IOM calls for end to pushbacks +++ Situation for refugees in Lebanon worsens +++ WDR shows film on situation at EU external border between Croatia and Bosnia
- UN migration agency IOM criticises illegal pushbacks by several EU states against refugees - and speaks of "excessive force and violence against civilians".
- Lebanon has taken in the most refugees in the world in terms of population. But the economic crisis is affecting the country. In the Lebanese winter, many people from Syria struggle against cold and hunger.
- Refugees freeze at the EU's external border between Croatia and Bosnia. When they try to cross into Croatia, they are mistreated and illegally turned back. The WDR shows the situation in this documentary.
- The border management agency Frontex is to be comprehensively upgraded with drones, biometric data, AI-driven risk analyses as well as lie detectors.
- In July 2018, 69 people were deported to Afghanistan and gained notoriety because Interior Minister Horst Seehofer was happy about the "gift" for his 69th birthday. Some are now back in Germany. Legally, because they are needed as skilled workers.
02/10/2021: European Parliament votes for my report on border procedures +++ Frontal21 reports on Frontex scandal +++ International law expert explains why refugees can hardly defend themselves when their rights are disregarded
- The European Parliament has voted by a large majority in favour of my implementation report on border procedures. Parliament is thus sending out a clear signal for respect for the rule of law and human dignity in the asylum system. I am very pleased that I was able to get this position through as rapporteur. You can find more information about the report on my homepage.
- In the ZDF broadcast Frontal21 last night, a federal police officer, who was himself in action with Frontex.. He says that illegal rejections take place and that this is also known to those responsible. I also speak in the contribution and demand clarification and above all that the border police prevent crimes and do not commit them themselves.
- The international law expert Dana Schmalz explains in an interviewwhy the fundamental rights of refugees are so systematically violated and why those affected have hardly any possibilities to defend themselves against this.
- The European Court of Justice declared Hungary's pushback of refugees to Serbia illegal. But Viktor Orbán's government is ignoring the ruling and simply carrying on.
- The brutal pushbacks at the EU's external border between Bosnia and Croatia are still taking place. The Croatian security authorities are responsible for this. Currently, journalist Franziska Grillmeier is researching on site, interviewed here by SRF.
09.02.2021: Pro Asyl demands deportation stop to Afghanistan +++ Storm on Lesbos +++ Syrian defends himself in court against the reading of his mobile phone by German authorities
- In view of a collective deportation to Afghanistan planned for today, Pro Asyl has called for a nationwide ban on deportations to the country. Afghanistan was the world's most insecure country in 2020 for the second year in a row, according to the Global Peace Index.
- A storm on Lesbos makes life there even worse. Five months after the fire in Moria and the promise that things would be different nothing has improved. The Greek government is preventing help on the ground and the other EU states are preventing evacuation because they don't want to take in the people. It's supposed to snow in the next few days. Check out my instagram channel for a video of the storm.
- Data protection my ass: The The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees reads out the mobile phone data of refugees in order to establish their identity. Mohammed A. is now suing against this procedure. Human rights lawyer Lea Beckmann explains why this lawsuit is important in this Twitter thread.
- Nearly one million refugees from Venezuela who are in Colombia illegally are to be granted safe residence status. With these measures, the government wants to help integrate the people into Colombia's economic life. The temporary protection status allows them to move freely in the country and to use the health system.
- Yesterday, Sea-Watch observed, as a Frontex plane circled over a boat from which 32 people were being illegally towed back to Libya. If Frontex once again involved in illegal pull-backs to Libya, the border agency has thus again violated international law
Feb 08, 2021: „The world's worst border agency“: My interview in Zeit Online on Frontex +++ Ocean Viking has a safe haven +++ Applications for family reunification from Greece are often rejected due to errors +++
- Allegations of fraud, secret lobby meetings, armament and systematic turning a blind eye to human rights abuses: I spoke to Zeit Online about the accusations against Frontex.
- The civilian aid ship „Ocean Viking“ may bring 422 people rescued from distress at sea to the Mediterranean island of Sicily.
- How families are unlawfully torn apart: 60% of applications for family reunification from Greece to Germany are rejected. The majority of these rejections are revoked by courts. The organization Equal Rights Beyond Borders has prepared an evaluation of its lawsuits against these rejection notices.
- Tomorrow, despite the pandemic and the very bad security situation in the country, another deportation to Afghanistan is planned. The Saxon Refugee Council is calling for a demonstration today at 6 p.m. at the main train station in Leipzig.
Here you can find background information from Pro Asylwhy deportations to Afghanistan are repeatedly stopped by the courts, often at the last minute.
On my homepage you can also find an articlein which I explain why Afghanistan is not a safe country to deport to.
02/05/2021: New accusations against Frontex director +++ Many boats in distress in the Mediterranean +++ Ocean Viking rescues more than 400 people from distress at sea
- New allegations heavily incriminate Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri. It's about bullying, mismanagement and a possible fraud case.
- Tonight, ZDF Magazin Royale will publish an episode about the accusations against Frontex. The episode will be broadcast on ZDF at 23.00. In the Livestream you can see the episode already from tonight 20.00 clock here.
- The civilian air reconnaissance mission Moonbird sighted eight boats in distress in the central Mediterranean yesterday alone. The crew is currently flying another mission to find 5 boats whose whereabouts are unclear. Here is a summary of the current situation by Sea-Watch's head of operations.
- The Ocean Viking has saved over 400 people from drowning since yesterday. Now the people need a safe haven. You can keep up to date with the rescue at SOS Méditerranée.
- Within 24 hours, more than 1,000 people tried to flee from Libya across the Mediterranean to Europe. Most of them were intercepted and returned to the civil war country, where they face torture and inhumane conditions. Regular updates on the situation in Libya are available on the IOM's Twitter channel in Libya.
02/04/2021: Court bans deportation to Afghanistan +++ Germany takes in persecuted Belarusians +++ Refugees accuse Maltese authorities of torture
- Germany may deport even healthy men of working age to Afghanistan only under special circumstances. This was decided by the Administrative Court of the State of Baden-Württemberg. The court justified this with the bad economic situation due to the pandemic. According to the ruling, it was not possible for a man to "legally satisfy his most basic needs for food, shelter and hygiene" after a deportation.
- Opposition members oppressed by the regime in Minsk are to find refuge in Germany. People who have been traumatised by torture should receive support and treatment.
- Refugees in Malta accuse the Maltese authorities of torture. Specifically, it involves cases of physical violence, solitary confinement, electrocution, and denial of medical care.
- In Tigray, a humanitarian catastrophe is taking place before the eyes of the world. Many people are fleeing, there is a threat of famine. Refugees from Eritrea, who actually sought protection in Ethiopia and are now cut off from international aid, are suffering in particular. Amnesty International has started a petition calling on Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to allow humanitarian aid. You can sign the petition here.
- Another 42 refugees have arrived in Germany from Greece. These are ten families with 23 adults and 19 minors. The people are distributed among North Rhine-Westphalia, Berlin, Lower Saxony, Bavaria and Schleswig-Holstein.
- There are currently two boats in distress in the central Mediterranean, according to Alarmphone. One boat is off the coast of Libya and the other is within the Maltese Maritime Rescue Zone.
02/03/2021: Tareq Alaows wants to be the first refugee from Syria to enter the Bundestag +++ Situation on Greek islands remains inhumane +++ EU increasingly relies on drones
- In 2015 he fled across the Balkan route to Bochum. Six years later, Tareq Alaows wants to run for the Green Party in the Bundestag. The Tagesspiegel introduces you to Tareq.
- Around 16,000 people are stranded on the Greek islands. The camps on Samos and Chios in particular are completely overrun. On my homepage you will find an overview of the situation on Lesbos, Samos and Chios..
- The EU pays more than 300 million for surveillance with drones. For four years now, unmanned systems have been flying in regular operation for the agencies of the European Union. Now individual governments are also receiving funding for drones at their borders.
- US President Joe Biden has signed three executive orders aimed at reuniting separated refugee families and partially reversing the inhumane refugee policies of the Trump era. One directive aims to reunite 600 to 700 refugee children with their parents. You can find out a bit more background at BBC.
- The doctor Gerhard Trabert travelled to Bosnia-Herzegovina to help people seeking protection. The Bosnian authorities have forbidden him to provide medical care to people in the burned-down Lipa camp. He did it anyway.
02.02.2021: Right-wing vigilantes in Gran Canaria call for "hunt for Arabs" +++ Greek migration minister talks up island jails and continues to lie about pushback reality despite evidence +++ The Ocean Viking is back in action
- Right-wing vigilantes in Gran Canaria call for the "hunting of Arabs" and attack refugees and migrants. According to the local aid organisation Cruz Blanca, attacks on people who have arrived in the Canary Islands in recent months are becoming more frequent.
- In a ZEIT interview Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi continues to deny that the Greek government is conducting pushbacks and that the conditions in the camps are deliberately so degrading in order to deter. He conceals the fact that hundreds of heated containers could have been installed for accommodation for months if the Greek government did not prevent it.
- The Ocean Viking is back in action to save lives. It is currently the only civilian rescue ship active in the central Mediterranean. If you want to stay up to date, follow SOS Méditerranée on Twitter.
- Many countries around the world exclude refugees from their vaccination strategies against COVID-19. „More than a third of the 114 countries that have so far drawn up vaccination plans do not include people on the run“ says Boris Breyer, press officer for SOS Children's Villages.
- A report by Swiss Refugee Aid (SFH) shows: Asylum seekers returned to Italy under a Dublin procedure have little access to adequate accommodation. Their fundamental rights are not guaranteed. The SFH therefore advises against transfers to Italy.
02/01/2021: 127 people died in January trying to reach Europe +++ Rescue organizations continue to be prevented from doing their work +++ "Bergdoktor" donates €30,000 to Sea-Eye
- According to the IOM, 127 people have already died trying to reach Europe in January. 105 drowned in the Mediterranean, 22 in an attempt to reach the Canary Islands from the African mainland. Despite the many deaths, civilian sea rescuers continue to be prevented from doing their work. You can read more about the disasters at the Project page "Missing Migrants" of the IOM. The Frankfurter Rundschau also reports.
- The managing director of SOS Méditerranée Germany, Verena Papke, explains the tricks used by civilian rescue ships to make their work in the Mediterranean more difficult: Interview in the Frankfurter Rundschau.
- "Bergdoktor" Hans Sigl donates 30.000 € to Sea-Eye. With his wife Susanne, the actor won 30,000 euros on Saturday evening in a celebrity special of the ARD show „Das Quiz mit Jörg Pilawa“. The money will be invested in the ship SEA-EYE 4 of the eponymous German rescue organization, Sea-Eye announced on Saturday evening.
- At the weekend Italian MPs wanted to travel to the border between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina to find out about the illegal pushbacks. According to media reports, they were prevented from doing so by the Croatian police. The Croatian interior minister said the visit would damage Croatia's reputation. Although pushbacks have been documented and proven for years, Croatia continues to deny that systematic pushbacks are taking place.
- An Iranian was to be deported from Bavaria to Iran. But at Istanbul airport the Turkish authorities refused to cooperate and sent Ebrahim Jenekanlo back to Frankfurt airport on humanitarian grounds.
01/29/2021: European Parliament investigates Frontex development in pushbacks +++ Austrian president condemns deportations in Vienna +++ Seehofer wants to restrict free travel in the EU
- At last, a body to investigate human rights violations at external borders is being set up. I have been calling for this for months. It is an important step on the road to the rule of law at the European external borders. The serious allegations of human rights violations at the EU's external borders must be clarified. The extensive evidence of illegal activities by state actors has shown that pushbacks at the external borders are not an isolated incident.
- The deportation of schoolgirls and their families from Vienna is being heavily criticised in Austria. Federal President Alexander van der Bellen comments: "I cannot and will not believe that we live in a country where this is really necessary in this form."The case has led to tensions within the government of the conservative ÖVP and the Greens. In the run-up to the deportation, Greens had campaigned for the family to stay.
- According to Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, the German government plans to ban entry from countries with a high incidence of the mutated coronavirus variants. This could also affect free travel within the Schengen area if entry from EU states is banned.
- The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has sharply criticised European states that turn back refugees at their borders. These pushbacks violate European law and are simply illegal. The right of asylum as such is in danger in the EU.
- Catholic dioceses support sea rescue. The German aid organization for sea rescue Sea-Eye is supported with a total of 125,000 euros by the three Catholic (arch)dioceses of Munich and Freising, Paderborn and Trier. With the support of the Catholic dioceses, the transfer of the ship Sea-Eye 4 to the Mediterranean Sea is to be financed.
28.01.2021: New podcast episode on the situation of refugees in Bosnia +++ Spanish government builds mass camps +++ Frontex stops operations in Hungary
- In the new episode of my podcast "Thick Board" I talk with my collaborator and Balkan expert Krsto Lazarević about the current situation of refugees in Bosnia and Herzegovina – and what needs to happen there now. You can find the episode on my Homepage, Spotify and Itunes.
- By mid-February, the Spanish government plans to set up more refugee camps on the islands of Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Fuerteventura. Until their asylum applications are processed the people are to be held on the islands. The Spanish government stresses that the conditions shouldn't be as bad as on Lesbos. But the initial situation is very reminiscent of that on the Greek islands with their undignified camps. Another EU state is thus relying on mass camps at its external borders instead of a humane refugee policy.
- Frontex is suspending its operations in Hungary because the agency would risk engaging in lawbreaking there. However, they want to remain active in Greece, where Frontex has been proven to have broken the law.
- The mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, has affirmed after a visit to the rescue ship Open Arms, that the city council will act as a private prosecutor against Italy's former interior minister, Matteo Salvini. Salvini is on trial for deprivation of liberty and falsifying documents after refusing to allow the Spanish ship Open Arms with 163 people on board to enter the port of Lampedusa in August 2019.
- Violent conflicts in the Sahel have already forced 2.9 million people to flee their homes. UNHCR therefore expects more people to try to flee across the Mediterranean to Europe again in 2021 and calls for more action to save lives on the escape routes.
01/27/2021: Court bans deportations to Greece +++ Refugee children on Lesbos suffer more than ever +++ Museum of Jewish Refugees in Shanghai reopens
- The Higher Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westphalia in Münster has ruled that refugees recognised in Greece may not be deported there at present. The people there were at serious risk of inhuman and degrading treatment.
- In the new Moria, children suffer from apathy, and suicide attempts are also common. Fear and nightmares have almost all
- Thousands of Jews fled from the National Socialists to Shanghai. The reopened Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum records this little-noticed part of history and documents the fates of Jewish refugees.
The Waz has published a short video about this.
- With temperatures near zero, refugees in Bosnia seek shelter under tents made of tarpaulins in the forest, in abandoned buildings and emergency shelters. Dozens of people have already had to be treated for severe frostbite.
01/26/2021: Floor of new Moria poisoned with lead +++ Thousands of people stranded in Canary Islands +++ More refugees try to reach Italy via Albania
- The new Moria has been built without preparations on a former firing range of the Greek army. Now, following public pressure, the Greek government has ordered an investigation of the soil. The soil is probably contaminated with lead, but the government has so far refused to publish the results.
- Thousands of people are stranded on the Canary Islands, sometimes under questionable conditions, as the authorities are completely overwhelmed. This report is dedicated to the question of whether a new Moria is looming.
- The closure of the Serbian-Macedonian border is causing more refugees to seek a way back into the EU via Albania. From there they attempt the dangerous crossing to Italy in rubber dinghies.
- Fleeing people fight their way through snow across the Alps. In the snow and freezing cold, people try to cross the mountains to France or Austria. Many report being turned back, so-called „pushbacks“, by the French or Italian police, others report mistreatment or harassment. T-Online accompanies people on the run in this video.
01/25/2021: Ocean Viking rescues 373 people +++ People flee rising violence in West Africa +++ Virtually no political refugees from Hong Kong in Germany
- SOS Méditerranée's Ocean Viking rescued 373 people from distress at sea in two days and has been assigned a safe haven.
- According to survivors' reports, 17 people drowned in a boat accident off the Libyan coast. Since the beginning of the year, at least 80 people have drowned in the central Mediterranean while trying to reach Europe. Read more on the Twitter profile of Safa Msehli, spokesperson for IOM.
- The United Nations warns of increasing violence in the Sahel states of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. More than two million people are now displaced in the three countries following the recent attacks.
- Thousands of migrants continue to freeze in the snow at the EU border. Teacher Amina Jusić is helping them, but it's becoming increasingly difficult: The report in the weekly newspaper Friday.
- Germany currently grants asylum to virtually no politically persecuted person from Hong Kong. Out of six asylum applications submitted by Hong Kong people, only two were accepted.
01/22/2021: Frontex chief Leggeri apparently obstructs investigation +++ Ocean Viking rescues around 140 people +++ ECHR examines conditions in Greek camps
- Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri must fear for his office. In an internal report, the Frontex Management Board denounces Leggeri's information policy in the pushback affair. The Frontex Management Board had set up a working group to investigate the involvement of Frontex border guards in illegal refoulement of people on the run, so-called pushbacks.
- The Ocean Viking rescues about 140 people from two inflatable boats in distress. You can find information about the mission on Twitter at SOS Méditerranée.
- The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is examining conditions in Greek camps. It involves cases of poor medical care, inhumane living conditions and unlawful detention.
- The civil war in Syria continues to rage, dictator Assad is still in power, and torture and persecution are still a threat. Nevertheless, the Conference of Interior Ministers has not extended the ban on deportations to Syria that has been in place since 2012. Here Pro Asyl explains what the deportation stop means for Syrians in Germany.
01/21/2021: Biden plans right to stay for millions in U.S. +++ 43 people die off Libyan coast +++ Journalist to be deported from Germany to Pakistan
- The new US President Joe Biden starts his term with important steps in migration policy. He stops the construction of the wall, lifts the entry barriers for people from 13 Muslim-majority countries and wants a right to stay for the so-called "Dreamers".
- 43 people have drowned in a shipwreck off the Libyan coast. Only ten people could be rescued. The UN refugee agency is calling for more rescue operations in the Mediterranean. According to IOM figures, at least 900 people drowned last year trying to reach Europe across the Mediterranean.
- The critical journalist Muhammad Azhar Shah is to be deported from Germany to Pakistan. But there he is threatened by danger because of his work.
- The deputy leader of the conservative ruling party Nea Demokratia, Adonis Georgiadis, said openly back in March why the situation on the Greek islands is so bad: „For them to stop coming, they need to hear that those who are here are doing badly.“
Panorama summarizes here why the conditions in the new Moria are not an "accident" but politically intended.
- Tens of thousands of refugees are facing famine in Ethiopia's Tigray region. The people had originally fled Eritrea and are now suffering from the conflict between the TPLF and the central government.
20.01.2021: Broad alliance calls for evacuation of Bosnian camp Lipa +++ Fewer and fewer refugees reach Greece and the EU +++ Frontex delays recruitment of human rights observers
- An alliance of around 140 organisations calls for the immediate evacuation of the Lipa refugee camp in Bosnia and the reception of those seeking protection in the EU. "The images from Lipa are harrowing" reads the appeal signed by Pro Asyl, Seebrücke, Leave No One Behind and church associations, among others.
- In 2020, only 14,848 refugees reached Greece. In the previous year of 2019, there were 72,422. Two reasons for the decline are the illegal pushbacks by the Greek government and the Corona pandemic.
- While trying to get to Lesbos, one person freezes to death and three others are missing. One group had reached a rocky coast of the island at night and had to hold out there for hours in temperatures below freezing.
- Frontex was to recruit 40 people by 5 December to work on human rights monitoring at the agency. So far, not a single person has been hired, while the agency has been shown to have committed serious human rights abuses in recent months.
- The German government had agreed in October 2018 that 12,000 people per year would be allowed to come to Germany via family reunification. In 2020, however, only 5311 relatives of beneficiaries of subsidiary protection were granted visas.
19.01.2021: Debate on external borders in the European Parliament +++ Baker prevents deportation of his apprentice +++ Another 37 people disappeared on the Mediterranean Sea
- I spoke today in Parliament on the humanitarian situation at the external borders. Bosnia and Herzegovina is the EU in a test tube when it comes to asylum policy. The people are suffering because no one is taking responsibility.
- The situation for people on the Bosnian-Croatian border is deteriorating dramatically. With snow and temperatures around -10°C, thousands must continue to hold out in the forest without protection. These pictures show the everyday life of the people.
- The baker won. With a hunger strike and a wave of solidarity, the Frenchman Stéphane Ravacley prevented the deportation of his apprentice to Guinea.
The Berliner Zeitung reports on the case, which is making waves in France.
- For a week now 37 people disappeared on the Mediterranean Seahope for their salvation is fading.
- In Guatemala, troops have stopped thousands of people from Honduras, who had made their way to the Mexican-American border. They also used tear gas. There were several injured.
18.01.2021: Sleet on Lesbos +++ "Anchor centres" miss their target +++ Hungary continues to unlawfully deport asylum seekers
- There has been sleet on Lesbos, temperatures drop below freezing. People are freezing and have nothing to heat. The summer tents in the new Moria are damp.
- The mass camps introduced by Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, euphemistically called "anchor centres", are failing to achieve their declared goal: There it even takes longer than averageto consider an asylum application. Because too many people live there in too little space, there has also been an increase in corona infections.
- Hungary is detaining people seeking protection in transit zones - and turning them back before their asylum applications have been examined. The European Court of Justice prohibited this in December. Now human rights activists are sounding the alarm: The lawbreaking continues.
- In northwest Bosnia and Herzegovina hundreds of people still have to flee in sub-zero temperatures and live in self-made tent shelters or empty buildings.
- Cold, hunger and disease are affecting people in refugee camps in northwestern Syria. ZDFheute spoke with refugees about their daily struggle for survival.
14.01.2021: Frontex director criticised after being questioned in Bundestag +++ Refugees in Bosnia desperately trying not to freeze to death +++ Germany taking in fewer refugees rescued from distress at sea than promised
- The Bundestag's Interior Committee has questioned Frontex head Leggeri about breaches of the law by his agency. The questioning of the Frontex director, initiated by the Greens, was intended to shed light on an illegal pushback in which the German Federal Police had also been involved.
- Around 2000 people are trying not to freeze to death in the snow and cold in the forest in northern Bosnia-Herzegovina. The burnt-down Lipa camp is considered uninhabitable despite new tents – and the municipalities are blocking aid. All attempts by the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to build new camps failed due to the resistance of the municipalities.
- In the reception of shipwrecked refugees from the Mediterranean Sea Germany has been falling short of its commitments for years.
- The jury of the „Sprachkritische Aktion“ has chosen the terms „Rückführungspatenschaften“ and „Corona-Diktatur“ as the unwords of the year 2020. The term „repatriation sponsorships“ is a term used by the EU Commission in migration policy. It refers to the option for those countries that do not want to take in refugees to help with deportations instead. The jurors criticized the word for being cynical and euphemistic.
- 26 men have been deported from Germany to Afghanistan. The charter plane, which took off from Düsseldorf, landed in the capital Kabul on Wednesday morning. On my homepage you can find a report on how the EU is also trying to facilitate deportations to Afghanistan, even though it is considered the most unsafe country in the world.
01/13/2021: Storm on Lesbos worsens situation in new Moria +++ Frontex chief in Bundestag interior committee today +++ Hungary warned by Commission
- The situation in the new Moria is getting worse. After heavy rain and thunderstorms the camp was flooded and some tents just flew away. Now also the temperatures drop below freezing point. People are confined to the camp and there is no heating in most of the tents. This film by STRG_F sums up the situation in 20 minutes.
- Today Frontex head Fabrice Leggeri heard in the Bundestag's Interior Committee. In the process. The aim is to clarify why he allows the European border protection agency to be involved in illegal pushbacks and why clarification is systematically prevented. The hearing will also focus on the Federal Police.
- Hungary is warned off the EU Commissionbecause it simply ignores rulings on asylum and continues to smuggle thousands of people illegally into Serbia.
- Refugees in Bosnia seek shelter in winter in abandoned buildings. With sub-zero temperatures, snow and no heaters, it's the only option they have to avoid freezing to death.
- Bente Scheller of the Heinrich Böll Foundation writes in Die Welt, that deportations to Syria are a security policy own goal. Negotiations with Damascus on repatriations would only enhance the Assad regime's diplomatic standing. People in Syria are also threatened with murder and torture.
Jan 12, 2021: EU anti-fraud agency launches investigation into Frontex +++ jetzt.de publishes chronicle of 2020 Mediterranean situation +++ Deportation flight to Afghanistan to take off today
- Border agency Frontex is involved in illegal pushbacks and Frontex director Fabrice Leggeri is covering up these crimes. Now, the EU's anti-fraud agency an investigation was initiated. On the subject I have a thread on Twitter written.
- Hungary is said to have deported almost 2,500 people to Serbia without a legal procedure. The role of Frontex in particular raises questions.
- One year, eight ships, more than 3500 people rescued. Now.com collects in this chronicle the important events, facts and figures on the situation in the Mediterranean Sea in 2020.
- A collective deportation to Afghanistan is planned for today. As various refugee councils reportthe flight is scheduled to depart from Düsseldorf Airport this evening. It would be the second deportation flight to Kabul since the beginning of the corona pandemic.
- More than 1,500 underage refugees are missing in Germany. 607 of the missing are under the age of 13, according to a report.
11.11.2021: New Moria flooded again +++ Moonbird reconnaissance plane back in action +++ Number of asylum applications in Germany down for fourth year in a row
- The new Moria is flooded again and according to the weather forecast, it's supposed to keep raining all week. All promises to improve conditions on the Greek islands have been broken.
- The Moonbird flies again. This will allow Sea-Watch to continue its aerial reconnaissance mission over the central Mediterranean.
- In 2019, 102,581 people submitted a new asylum application in Germany. The number of asylum applications in Germany has dropped for the fourth year in a row. The reasons for this, apart from the reduced flight movements to Europe, are above all the human rights violations by EU states and the corona pandemic.
- Albanian security forces rescued 45 Syrian refugeeswho were in distress during the crossing of the Adriatic Sea to Italy.
- Snowfall and a plunge in temperatures over the weekend have left the Lage in Bosnia's burnt-out Lipa refugee camp. The Bosnian armed forces have erected new tents, but they are not enough for all the people.
Nov 08, 2021: Ocean Viking launches new operation in the Mediterranean +++ French baker goes on hunger strike to prevent deportation of his apprentice +++ Six times fewer people arrived on Greek islands in 2020 than in 2019
- After 5 months of blockade the rescue ship "Ocean Viking" starts a new mission in the Mediterranean. The ship is expected to leave the port of Marseille this weekend.
- An French baker has gone on hunger strike over the planned deportation of his apprentice. "I will not stop until I achieve something," said Stéphane Ravacley. The 50-year-old wants to prevent the deportation of his apprentice, who comes from Guinea, with the protest action.
- While just over 59,700 people arrived on the Greek islands in 2019, the number of new arrivals fell to just under 9700 in 2020. One reason is the illegal pushbacks through Greece, which regularly put lives at risk.
- More than 700 refugees and migrants have already arrived on the Canary Islands this year.
- In this new podcast the Border Violence Monitoring (BVMN) talks about the situation of refugees, criminalization of refugee assistance and the activities of the extreme right in Serbia.
07.01.2021: Greece puts people's lives in danger, Turkey saves them +++ Balkan route: Pushbacks by Frontex at the Greek-Albanian border? +++ Family reunifications take a long time in Germany
- Greece brings people through Pushbacks in the Aegean Sea put their lives in danger and the Turkish coast guard rescues them. It is embarrassing that someone who disregards human rights as much as the Turkish Government has to explain to us now what human rights are in the first place.
- More and more people in Greece are trying to reach Western Europe via Albania. Many report illegal „pushbacks“ to the Greek side of the border – with the participation of the EU Border Management Agency.
- The waiting period for family reunification in Germany is often over a year. The German Institute for Human Rights (DIM) demands from the Federal Government Legislative reforms to allow more family reunification of refugees.
- In Bosnia-Herzegovina, beds are brought from the empty Bira camp to Lipa, where there is no electricity, running water or heating. It would make more sense to just move the people to Bira camp, but they're not doing that because the central government has caved in to protests that have sometimes threatened to set the camp on fire.
06.01.2021: Cultural workers demand to help the refugees in Bosnia +++ German government does not plan to accept refugees from Bosnia +++ Italy arrests rescue ship Open Arms
- In an open letter cultural workers, among them some former war refugees, demand to help the protection seekers in Bosnia-Herzegovina and not to let the people freeze in winter. They criticize the cynical policy of the EU, the brutal pushbacks by Croatia and the inhumane accommodation by Bosnia-Herzegovina.
- The federal government plans by their own account no reception of protection seekers from Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland commentsIt is cynical how the EU makes politics on the back of freezing refugees in Bosnia.
- Sea-Eye sues Italy for blocking the Alan Kurdi. Italy also imposed a Driving ban for the Spanish rescue ship Open Arms, which just rescued 265 people from distress at sea.
- The journalist Franziska Grillmeier reports from Lesbos and says in an interview with Radio Eins: „A permanent camp is to be built on Lesvos by September 2021. The island and camp residents look forward to this with great concern, because after five years of mismanagement, there is no longer any confidence that things will get better.“
05.01.2021: Protection seekers in Bosnia to freeze throughout winter +++ Pro Asyl reveals inhumane deportations from Germany +++ 83 protection seekers deported to civil war country Libya
- After the fire in the Bosnian camp Lipa, 900 refugees are still homeless. In the freezing cold, they sleep in homemade plastic huts and thin tents on the bare ground. The head of the immigration office now says, it would take four months to develop Lipa into a permanent camp with electricity and water. So people are supposed to freeze all winter.
- Around 20,000 people were deported in Germany in 2019. Pro Asyl has collected examples of thiswhat it means to be "consistently deported".
- Last night 83 people intercepted in the Mediterranean and taken to the civil war country of Libya, where they face torture and inhumane treatment.
- It took six attempts for Sarah S. to reach European soil in an inflatable boat. Afghan women's rights activist reports daily danger here - and why her son is in desperate need of help.
04.01.2021: Pro Asyl demands admission of protection seekers from Bosnia +++ Open Arms rescues 265 people and can enter Sicily +++ Esslingen becomes "safe haven
- Pro Asyl criticises the situation of those seeking protection in the Bosnian camp Lipa at the EU's external border. „Croatia beats back protection seekers at EU border, entire EU watches idly", says the managing director Günther Burkhardt. Around 900 people are currently in Camp Lipa, where there is no electricity, no water and no proper heating.
- The Spanish rescue ship Open Arms, which has taken in 265 shipwrecked people in two operations in the Mediterranean in recent days, has been allowed to land in Sicily.
- The Swabian city Esslingen joins the "Safe Harbours" alliance signaling their readiness to receive.
- In 2020, the Aegean Boat Report has a total of. 321 pushbacks were registered by the Greek authorities, during which 9174 children, women and men were illegally deported. Many among them were endangered and abandoned on life rafts in the open sea.
- In the new Moria, 2021 begins just as it ended in 2020. Despite the promises of the EU Commission, the situation has still not improved.
12/23/2020: Major fire in Bosnian refugee camp +++ People from new Moria address EU in open letter +++ German government supports Croatian border police even though they torture people seeking protection
- A large fire has broken out in the Lipa refugee camp in northwestern Bosnia. The camp is being evacuated today. The IOM is now withdrawing and about 1200 people are now threatened with homelessness. This leaves over 3000 refugees and migrants in Bosnia without shelter. Aid organisations warn that people could freeze to death.
- In an open letter the people in the new Moria turn to the Europeans and the EU-Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen and write: "We studied the laws protecting animals in Europe and we found that even they have more rights than we do."
- "Now" interviews the journalist Franziska Grillmeierwho lives on Lesbos. She reports how people are treated there – and what possibly still awaits us.
- Germany donates vehicles to the Croatian border police to the value of 835.000 €. In this way, the Federal Government supports a policy of illegal pushbacks and torture to cases of sexual abuse towards protection seekers.
- After the breakup of a refugee camp in Paris, many of the people are homeless. Hundreds are wandering through the city. Activists warn that it is only a matter of time before people die.
12/22/2020: Seehofer covered up Greek crimes +++ Saving the world without "the world" raise over €75,000 +++ Ocean Viking is free
- Seehofer apparently covered up Greek crimes. Greek border guards systematically abandon refugees at sea. An internal document now suggests that Interior Minister Horst Seehofer concealed a breach of the law.
- "Welt-Autor" offered the treasurer of the Green Youth, Timon Dzienus, to donate €500 to charity if he would let them interview him. But he didn't want that and started to collect money under the motto "Save the world without the world". A total of over €75,000 was raised for Sea Rescue and LeaveNoOneBehind.
- The rescue ship Ocean Viking is free again and returns to the Mediterranean to save lives.
- The Salvamento Marítimo saves 39 people off the coast of Spain.
- Under pressure from the EU, the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina have now agreed to Bira camp into a container camp for 1500 refugees. The camp was built in April 2020 to quickly get refugees and migrants off the streets because of Covid-19. It was never intended for winter. The IOM therefore threatened to stop work in the camp, which would have made 1500 people homeless.
- Lebanese Farah Demir is an intensive care nurse who has lived and worked in Hamelin for 34 years. Because she cannot produce a passport, she is threatened with deportation.
21.12.2020: Development Minister Gerd Müller denounces conditions in the new Moria +++ Thousands of people die on the run, most on their way to Europe +++ Onset of winter threatens thousands of refugees in Bosnia
- "Nowhere did such dire conditions prevail as on Lesbos", says Development Minister Gerd Müller (CSU). Yet more people are not to be taken in. Well.
- Together with more than 40 celebrities from politics and civil society, I am calling forI hope that the misery on the Greek islands will end and that people will be taken in.
- Thousands of people die on the run. As of December 17, the UN Organization for Migration (IOM) has counted 3174 deaths worldwide. About 1800 of the people have died in Europe or on their way to Europe, according to the IOM.
- An estimated 3,000 people are at risk of freezing to death in northern Bosnia because they have no permanent shelter. Radio FM4 spoke with activists and rapper Kid Pax about the situation.
- Europe's shame in 1,500 pages. The "Black Book" collects cases of illegal refoulement at the external borders of the EU. Many refugees report excessive violence in it. The "Black Book" was compiled by the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN). The listed cases, which concern 12,654 deported persons, are only a fraction of the actual extent of this practice.
- From January to the end of October, 8802 people were deported from Germany. The main countries of destination were Albania (733 people), Georgia (711 people), France (639 people), Serbia (608 people) and Moldova (525 people).
18.12.2020: Politicians* demand admission of people from Moria +++ "Los for Lesbos" publishes videos on the situation at the external borders +++ Hundreds of non-infected people are quarantined in Hessian refugee shelter
- 243 members of the Bundestag from all democratic parties appeal to the federal government for the admission of refugees from Moria and other camps.
- Los for Lesbos creates documentary videos to inform about the situation at the European external borders. Here you can find the videos and spread the info.
- Refugees are actually only supposed to stay for a short time at the initial reception facility in Neustadt, Hesse. Now hundreds of people are trapped here because of a Corona outbreak...even though they're healthy.
- I was interviewed at the time about the situation on Lesbos and the new Moria...t: "What we need are two things: member states that take responsibility for European values, and a Commission that enforces European law against member states."
- 88 refugees from Greek camps arrived in Germany on Thursday. A total of 19 sick children landed in Hannover together with their so-called nuclear families. In addition, there were two unaccompanied minors who were brought to their mother living in Germany under the Dublin family reunification agreements. Since April, Germany has thus taken in a total of 1519 people from Greece, it said.
- At In the Serbian village of Majdan, directly on the border with Hungary and Romania, around 450 refugees and migrants are waiting at the gates of the EU. - often without a chance of an asylum procedure. An ECJ ruling could now change this.
- Resettlement and ethnic cleansing, forced deportation and flight: The historian Andreas Kossert has written a narrative about flight and expulsion.
17.12.2020: ECJ rules: Hungary violates EU law with asylum rules +++ Constitutional Court in Weimar rejects AfD complaint +++ AA confirms internally: intolerable conditions on Lesbos
- The European Court of Justice has ruled, that Hungary is violating European law with its asylum rules. The court condemned Hungary mainly for "unlawful detention" and turning back people in need of protection.
- Constitutional judges confirm hardship rule for refugees. In Thuringia, a hardship commission can grant refugees a residence permit for humanitarian reasons. The AfD had filed a lawsuit against this - and failed in court in Weimar.
- Federal Foreign Office confirms internally: intolerable conditions in refugee camps on Lesbos. Ask the State has requested the internal situation report and publishes it exclusively. They show that diplomats have been complaining about "intolerable conditions" since the spring. Nevertheless, the German government does not act.
- More than 500 people have died this year trying to reach the Canary Islands, which belong to Spain, off the coast of Morocco. Catapult shows where the accidents occurred on a clear graphic.
- Salvamento Marítimo rescues 41 people in the Alborán Sea between Morocco and Spain from distress at sea.
16.12.2020: Interior Ministry to carry out collective deportation to Afghanistan today +++ Around 3000 homeless refugees face winter in Bosnia +++ New Moria is flooded
- Despite the hard lockdown, a collective deportation from Leipzig/Halle Airport to Afghanistan is to start today. It is completely irresponsible to stubbornly stick to hectic deportation actionism during a nationwide lockdown, explained Pro Asyl managing director Burkhardt. Also the Police union in Bavaria demands suspension of deportation flights to Afghanistan for the time being. Should the flight take place, it would be the first collective deportation to Afghanistan since March.
- Round Since the beginning of this week, 3000 refugees have been exposed to the cold and wet in northern Bosnia without any shelter.
- The conditions in the new Moria are even worse than in the old one. In addition to the many catastrophes, there is now the fact that the camp is completely flooded and the Greek government does not want to change anything for the time being. It is incomprehensible why people are left to suffer like this when there is actually money and hotels on the islands are empty.
- The UNHCR turns 70. The UN Refugee Agency was founded when millions of people were displaced after the Second World War, became stateless and in some cases could never return to their homes. At that time, most of the world's refugees came from Europe. Actually, the UNHCR was only supposed to exist for a few years, but unfortunately flight and displacement became a constant in our world. Today, more than 80 million people worldwide are on the run.
- At a deportation center in Saudi Arabia, Human Rights Watch (HRW) says. Hundreds of migrant workers detained in inhumane conditions. Wardens had tortured and beaten some of them. Between October and November, at least three people are reported to have died in the custody of the Saudi authorities. These conditions also explain why people from Syria tend to fly to Turkey and Europe rather than Saudi Arabia.
15.12.2020: Seehofer fails to reach agreement on European asylum system +++ Greece obstructs NGOs from helping refugees +++ Sea rescuers say more and more minors fleeing across Mediterranean Sea
- Interior Minister Seehofer actually wanted to resolve the conflict within the EU over a new asylum law this year, but he failed to achieve his goal. The MEP Erik Marquardt criticised the German Presidency for not having taken a step closer to a common asylum system.: "We are in for another winter of unheated tents and violence against protection seekers. To end these undignified conditions, we don't need a new pact, we need EU law to be enforced and EU governments to step forward and not allow the EU to let protection seekers freeze to death."
- Greece has von the EU has received 2.8 billion euros for refugee care from 2015 to date.. In relation to the number of people admitted, this is more than any other country in the world has received per capita. Nevertheless, the situation is terrible and it is also made more difficult for NGOs to help. Erik Marquardt says: "The effort and the obstacles that are put in the way of the organisations are largely underestimated. It is also hardly possible to get access to the camp in order to supply the people with food".
- More and more unaccompanied minors are among the Mediterranean refugees. The SOS Mediterranee states, that their share had risen from 16 percent in 2016 to 25 percent in 2020.
- The BBC has documented several cases in which people were pushed out of Greece, sometimes several times. Frontex knows about these pushbacks, but its chairman Fabrice Leggeri recently lied in the European Parliament about one of these cases.
- Winter is here and dhe situation for the more than 3000 people on the run in Bosnia-Herzegovina remains catastrophic. Many have no heating and not even a roof over their heads and are in danger of freezing to death.
12/14/20: Pro Asyl calls on European Parliament to prevent new migration pact +++ Greek border guards allegedly mistreated refugees in new Moria +++ IOM threatens to close camp in Bosnia
- The managing director of Pro Asyl severely criticises the EU Commission's planned new migration pact for disregarding the rights of refugees. Günter Burkhardt writes in the FR: "Disenfranchisement is hidden in a paragraph jungle of hundreds of pages"He calls on the European Parliament to prevent the Pact.
- In Greece, three border guards and a policeman are facing trial, for allegedly mistreating refugees on the island of Lesbos. The four men are being investigated for assault, torture and violations of anti-racism laws. Four men can be seen beating two refugees in a tent camp in a recording from Friday. Meanwhile, the new Moria is flooded after days of rain.
- In the refugee camp Lipa in Bosnia hundreds of refugees spend the winter, partly only in plastic tents. It is connected neither to the water nor to the electricity grid and can only be reached via a dirt road that now resembles a mud track. IOM has given the central government an ultimatum. If no solution is found for the camp, the IOM will abandon it..
- Will Gran Canaria be the new Lesbos? It is the most dangerous route to Europe: Hundreds of people flee from mainland Africa to the Canary Islands every day. There they encounter overtaxed authorities and sceptical locals.
- The fact that more and more people flee across the Atlantic to the Canary Islands has also with the conflict in Western Sahara to do. In November, the Polisario called off the ceasefire with Morocco. Last week, the US became the first major state in the world to recognize Morocco's sovereignty over Western Sahara.
11.12.2020: Deportation stop to Syria ends +++ Deportations to Syria as PR for Seehofer +++ 400 people arrive in Gran Canaria every day
- The since 2012 existing Deportation ban for Syria expires at the end of the year. During the consultations of the interior ministers of the Federation and the Länder, the representatives of the SPD-led Länder could not prevail with their demand for an extension.
- The FR comments: "Horst Seehofer is a master of the sham debate. He is proving that once more these days when he announces that he will lift the ban on deportations to Syria. If Germany still ends up deporting no one to Syria, Seehofer won't explain to the people that the government is also bound by the law. No, he will blame the SPD and the Greens. That's how you damage democratic discourse."
- Lost in the Atlantic. Around 400 people from West Africa currently arrive on the island of Gran Canaria. Per day. A crossing is much cheaper than over the Mediterranean and can already be had for a few hundred €. But many refugee boats disappear into the vastness of the ocean.
- At Refugee camp Moria with wheelchair? 25-year-old Abdulkarim reports on the catastrophic conditions under which physically disabled refugees have to live on Lesbos.
12/10/2020: More than 80 million people on the run +++ German government takes in far fewer refugees than it should +++ Around 3000 homeless refugees freeze in Bosnia-Herzegovina
- More than According to the United Nations, 80 million people worldwide are fleeing violence and conflict.more than ever before. This sad milestone is estimated to have been reached in the middle of the year.
- An answer to a Green Party question shows that the federal government is taking in less than half as many refugees as it should. According to the answer, in September, the states agreed to take in 3,709 already recognized refugees, but the federal government left it at 1,553. In addition, the states would have taken in 544 unaccompanied minors, while the federal government only allowed 150 to enter via an EU quota. The spokeswoman on refugee policy of the Greens' parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Luise Amtsberg, says: „It is shameful that the European member states are visibly losing their compass of values and are not putting an end to this state of affairs.“
- According to IOM, around 3000 refugees are currently homeless in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Most of them are currently freezing in the forests not far from the Croatian border. The local authorities in the canton of Una-Sana closed several camps at the end of September on the grounds that they consider them to be pull factors. In reality, the aim is simply to get the refugees out of the cities and towns.
- After Horst Seehofer Norbert Röttgen is now also calling for the deportation ban for Syria to be lifted. Deportations to Syria are currently not possible because there is war, there are no safe regions, there are no diplomatic relations with the regime of the genocide Assad and people who are sent back to Syria are threatened with murder and torture.
9.12.2020: Greece dumps refugees at sea after arrival on Lesbos +++ New Moria likely built on contaminated soil +++ Overfishing by European crawlers leads to flight and migration
- Illegal pushbacks in the Aegean: Greece abandons refugees at sea after arrival on Lesbos. While those responsible deny it, border guards are resorting to increasingly brutal methods - apparently also against pregnant women.
- The new Moria was probably built on lead-contaminated soil, according to Human Rights Watch.. The Greek authorities previously refused to test the soil on the old firing range and brought the people to this totally unsuitable and dangerous place.
- Many of the people currently coming to the Canary Islands are fishermen from Senegal. Because European crawlers are fishing their coasts dry, they can no longer survive there and are heading off. Over the past three years, the situation has worsened.
- The EU Commission wants a common European refugee policy: it has proposed a pact for asylum and migration and thus wants to reorganise one of the most difficult EU issues. Unfortunately it is relying on deterrence, mass camps at the external borders and cooperation with dictators. SWR Aktuell reports.
- Even serious criminals should not be sent to the dictator Assad. The Federal Foreign Office describes the serious human rights violations in Syria in a situation report. Deportations from Germany are out of the question, comments the Tagesspiegel.
8.12.2020: Initiatives call for deportation stop +++ Turkish coast guard rescues people pushed by Greece in Aegean +++ Three months after Moria fire, conditions remain catastrophic
- Several refugee aid organisations and charities appealed to the interior ministers to generally refrain from deportations in the Corona pandemic. "Many countries of origin of asylum seekers have ramshackle health systems and are unable to provide care for those suffering from the virus," the appeal, published by Pro Asyl on Monday, said.
- The Turkish coast guard rescued 69 people, which were pushed by Greece in the Aegean Sea. In calendar week 49, the Aegean Boat Report 12 pushback cases involving 218 people.
- Three months ago, Moria burned down. From the ashes arose a new and even worse Moria. The Deutschlandfunk and Arte have published recommendable documentaries on the current situation.
- In November alone, more than 8000 people arrived in often rickety boats across the sea on the Canary Islands. The Spanish government is pragmatic and accommodated many of them in hotels, some of which are almost empty because of the Corona crisis. But there are also the first racist attacks. So stones flew against a reception center for underage refugees in Las Palmas.
Dec 7, 2020 El Hiblu 3 faces years in prison +++ Celebrities help fight prejudice with facts +++ Thousands flee Tigray for Sudan +++
- – The "El Hiblu 3" fear life imprisonment for helping refugees. The youths, two of whom were only 15 and 16 at the time of the events, could face life in prison for resisting returning to Libya, where they faced imprisonment and torture. The youngsters acted as interpreters on the oil tanker „El Hiblu“ because they wanted to preserve their lives and those of the other people who had been rescued with them from distress at sea. Amnesty International is collecting signatures for an appeal to Malta to drop the charges.
- There is a lot of prejudice against refugees. 17 celebrities have joined Lot for Lesbos teamed up and rebut one prejudice with facts.
- According to the United Nations, more than a thousand people have again fled from the embattled Tigray region in northern Ethiopia to neighbouring Sudan. A total of 47,000 refugees have now arrived in Sudan, he said. The UN refugee agency welcomed the Ethiopian government's willingness to allow humanitarian aid deliveries to Tigray.
- Eritrean refugee, building cleaner and now a Social Democrat MP in New Zealand. Ibrahim Omer was received with applause in Parliament.
- In the month of November, the Aegean Boat Report documented a total of 28 illegal pushbacks by the Greek coast guard. In the process, 606 people, children, women and men, were deprived of their fundamental right to asylum.
- Berlin opens second quarantine shelter for refugees. Up to 150 Corona-infected people are to be accommodated in Biesdorf. The first accommodation in Pankow so far no longer offers enough space.
12/4/2020 Frontex chief lied during questioning +++ 8157 refugees and migrants landed irregularly in Canaries in November +++Bangladesh resettles Rohingya on inhospitable island
- Pushback allegations. Frontex chief Leggeri told the EU Parliament the untruth and defended himself and his agency with a false statement.
- In November, a total of 8157 refugees and migrants arrived irregularly in the Canary Islands. This is a historic record. In the whole of 2020, this makes 19,566 people so far. Hannes Neubauer from Mission Lifeline reports about his mission on site.
- Rohingya camps in Bangladesh have long been overcrowded. The refugees are now being taken to an island that human rights activists consider completely unsuitable. The island of Bhasan Char was formed only in 1999 by the silt of the Meghna River, which flows into the Bay of Bengal. It is therefore unstable and also prone to devastation by cyclones because of its location, say human rights and environmental experts.
- 99 more refugees landed in Germany on Thursday. Germany has thus taken in a total of 1291 people from there since April. After the devastating fire in the Moria camp the German government had promised to take in 1553 recognised refugees. By September 2020, the Greek government wants to build a new camp on Lesbos.
12/3/2020 Thousands of asylum claims by people from Afghanistan wrongly rejected +++ Lots for Lesbos 2 launches +++ Hard winter ahead for refugees on Balkan route
- Almost 10,000 refugees from Afghanistan have appealed against rejected asylum decisions since the beginning of the year. and got it right 59.1 percent of the time. Accordingly, a total of 5644 negative asylum decisions for Afghan asylum seekers were overturned. The decisions in the remaining cases are also ambiguous.
- Actor Volker Bruch wants to collect donations for refugees again with his colleague Trystan Pütter. The refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos had burned down, everyone had seen it. "But nothing has improved for the refugees at the external borders."Bruch announced.
- In Bosnia-Herzegovina, it is snowing and temperatures are slipping below freezing. Especially for the many homeless people who live in the forests on the border to Croatia, this is a catastrophe in the making. Also on the Greek islands people will freeze again this winteras in previous years.
- About two-thirds of immigration to Germany in 2019 was from other European countries. As in 2018, the main country of origin of immigrants was Romania, with a share of just under 15 per cent. This was followed by Poland and Bulgaria. In the area of refugee migration, Syria remained the most important country of origin - 27.6 per cent of all asylum applications were submitted by Syrians. The number of people applying for asylum in Germany fell in 2019 for the fourth year in a row.
- Erik Marquardt, migration policy spokesman for the Greens in the EU Parliament, continues to see massive human rights violations at the external borders. From Marquardt's point of view the European external borders continue to rely too much on deterrence, in some cases with massive violations of human rights. A pan-European solution is still a long way off.
12/2/2020 MEPs call for consequences after Frontex involvement in pushbacks +++ Frontex sues NGO +++ Eritreans demand family reunification
- Illegal pushbacks with Frontex involvement: Green MEP Erik Marquardt calls for the establishment of a European Parliament committee of inquiry. Social democrats demand Resignation of Frontex chief Leggeri.
- Frontex takes "Ask the State" to court, after they repeatedly helped to uncover illegal machinations of the EU agency. It is very unusual at the EU level to hire private lawyers for information requests and then demand these costs from civil society organisations. In view of Frontex's budget of billions of euros, one must assume that this is pure harassment of critical civil society.
- Eritreans demand family reunification. Through the Civil war in Eritrea's neighbouring country Ethiopia the situation worsens. For the vast majority of Eritrean women and children, it is precisely the bordering Tigray Civil War Province Sanctuary. They are now particularly vulnerable, and that's why your men are pressing the State Department.
- France wants to monitor beaches more closely. 30 kilometres of Atlantic separate France from Great Britain. Time and again, fugitives try to cross in rubber dinghies. Paris has now pledged to monitor beaches more closely, including using drones and radar technology.
- Refugees instead of holidaymakers - double crisis in Gran Canaria. There are five potential ways out for refugees and migrants in the Canary Islands.
12/1/2020 Frontex chief to be questioned by MEPs today +++ Overcrowded camp in Canaries cleared +++ Bundestag MEPs barely spoke about situation in Lesbos
- Today at 1:50 p.m., the Frontex Director Fabrice Leggeri questioned by MEPs. The subject is Frontex's involvement in illegal pushbacks. Leggeri told the untruth at a hearing on 6 July, claiming that Frontex was not involved in pushbacks.
- In the night to Monday the last refugees left the port quay of Arguineguín in the southwest of Gran Canaria. At times, up to 2600 people crowded into the initial reception centre in the Canary Islands, although it was only built for 400 people. Now they were housed elsewhere in tents and hotels.
- German Members of the Bundestag hardly spoke about the situation there until the fire in the Moria refugee camp. With the help of the ParlSpeech dataset, the taz analysed all speeches made in the Bundestag during the current legislative period. The documents were automatically filtered according to how often they contained the words "Lesbos" and "Moria". The topic was most frequently addressed by the Greens and the Left Party.
- Only months after the fire in Moria, the first aid deliveries from Austria are now arriving on Lesbos. Unlike other EU states, Austria did not accept any refugees from Moria and justified this by wanting to help "on the ground".
11/30/2020 German federal police officers involved in illegal pushback. +++ Journalists accuse Greek authorities of obstructing their work +++ More surveillance and police in the English Channel.
- Greek border guards have abandoned refugees at sea - and German federal police officers helped with that. The SPD now demands the withdrawal of the German Frontex forces.
- German Journalists accuse Greek coastguard and police of obstruction and intimidation. The Greek authorities tried to prevent reporting on violent pushbacks. In an interview with the FR Jan Theurich confesses about these conditions and says: "People describe the camp as a prison."
- Great Britain and France want to increase gThe Commission is taking action against cross-Channel migration. To this end, police presence and surveillance systems are to be expanded, among other things.
- France is now the EU country with the highest number of asylum seekers. Images of tent camps make the headlines time and again. But the political will to improve the accommodation and care of refugees is lacking.
- Mission Lifeline cruises off West Africa. The NGO is using a new ship to search for shipwrecked people in the Atlantic Ocean near the Canary Islands.
- On Saturday people demonstrated under the motto "Migrating is not a crime, no human being is illegal". in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
11/27/2020 Frontex chief lies to public +++ Seehofer wants to deport people to Syria where they face murder, torture and forced recruitment +++ Thuringian initiatives call for deportation stop
- How Frontex chief Leggeri misled the public on illegal pushbacks in the Aegean. The European Border Agency has been involved in pushbacks in the Aegean Sea on several occasions: Refugees were dragged out of EU waters, officials observed this or were even involved. Frontex chief Leggeri is now coming under pressure because of internal documents.
- Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer (CSU) has called for the general ban on deportations to Syria not to be extended beyond 31 December. Those who are perceived as opponents of the Assad family are still threatened with torture and death, according to human rights organisations.
- More than 40 Thuringian initiatives have called on the state government to stop the deportation of refugees during the Corona pandemic. First of all, deportations in the winter period until April 2021 would have to be refrained from.
- The Abbess Mechthild Thürmer must go to court because she granted refugees church asylum. The nun has no regrets. Visiting a selfless woman.
- Dresden will not be a „safe haven“. Push to take in more people narrowly defeated at City Council. The municipality Panketal in Brandenburg, on the other hand, shows solidarity with people on the run and becomes a "safe haven."
11/26/2020 At least eight people drown off Lanzarote +++ Mediterranean countries demand more European solidarity +++ Thuringia Greens want to sue Seehofer
- At least eight people drowned in a boat accident off Lanzarote. Meanwhile, the government in Madrid continues to refuse to bring people to the mainland.
- Spain, Italy, Greece and Malta have called for more solidarity from other EU countries in taking in and distributing refugees. In a letter to the EU Commission, the four states demand a joint mechanism.
- Thuringian Greens want to file suit against Seehoferbecause it prevents the state from taking in more refugees than is provided for in the nationwide distribution key. Astrid Rothe-Beinlich explains: "Thuringia should now also file a lawsuit. After all, it is the right of a federal state to set up such an admission programme for humanitarian reasons or reasons of international law. Seehofer's refusal to Berlin's and Thuringia's state admission programs is simply untenable in the view of many legal experts."
- Corona in refugee homes. No chance of keeping distance rules: If Corona breaks out in a refugee shelter, quarantine has severe consequences. The people inside are fenced off. According to refugee organisations, however, refugees could be much better protected if they did not have to stay in the huge collective accommodation for so long as a matter of principle.
- The burned down camp Moria on the Greek island of Lesbos is has long since become a cipher for a failed European refugee policy. For 2.5 months, the 7,200 refugees in new camp on Lesbos no longer given hot showers. Showers only by cold bucket showers or in the sea.
11/25/2020 Frontex covers up human rights abuses +++ Spain sends police to Senegal +++ Protests against police violence after eviction of refugee camp in Paris
- Frontex chief Leggeri must justify his officials' involvement in illegal pushbacks in the Aegean. Internal documents now show that the EU agency covered up crimes.
- The Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha González visited Senegal. Spain will increase its police presence in Senegal to prevent migration. Cooperation with the Senegalese coast guard has existed since 2006.
- Film footage of the evacuation of a refugee camp in Paris has sparked outrage in France. The criticism focuses above all on the aggressive behaviour of the police. Demonstrators - supported by the Left and the Greens - had protested against the increasing number of evictions in the Paris area want. IMinister of the Interior Darmanin ordered an investigation.
- The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights warns the parties to the conflict in Tigray against violations of international law. Angela Merkel, meanwhile, has promised Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamduk support for those who have fled Ethiopia. She did not yet give any concrete details on the extent of the aid.
- According to Sea-Watch 130 people were illegally towed back to Libya. The coordination of the forbidden repatriation to a civil war country was possibly taken over by a present military aircraft of the EU military operation IRINI.
11/24/2020 Number of resettlements at an all-time low +++ Switzerland threatens to withdraw Frontex officials +++ Refugee protests in Paris
- The Number of people who can move through resettlement programs is at an all-time low. For many people, this is the only way to seek protection legally and outside their region of origin. By the end of September 2020, 15,454 refugees had been resettled globally. Of the refugees resettled this year, 41 per cent are from Syria.
- Illegal deportations: The European border agency Frontex is facing allegations of illegal pushbacks. Switzerland, which also sends Frontex officers to the EU's external border, now threatens a red line to pull. Learn more about the background in the Woz.
- The French authorities have issued a informal refugee camp in Saint-Denis evacuated. The police threw some of the people just straight out of their tents. In protest, the people set up a new camp on the Place de la République. Also This was cleared during the night by force and with the use of tear gas.
- A refugee boat has wrecked off the Greek tourist island of Rhodes. Ten people were apparently able to swim ashore. A fugitive was killed.
- Criticism of chain deportations from Italy. NGOs criticize Italy for deporting people to Slovenia triggering a series of chain deportations leading from Slovenia via Croatia to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
- Violence against refugees, pushbacks, systematic disregard for human rights – there are many reports describing this as common practice of the Croatian police on the border with Bosnia. In an interview with Deutsche Welle, I explain that this is also due to pressure from other EU states.
- Welcome to hell: A report from the Libyan detention centres for refugees.
11/23/2020 Spain sets up mass camps in Canary Islands +++ UN expects up to 200,000 new refugees from Ethiopia +++ Greek authorities criminalize activists
- Spain wants in the Canary Islands set up temporary mass camps for refugees. Migration Minister Escrivá said during a visit to Las Palmas in Gran Canaria that the camps should have space for up to 7,000 people and be available in a few weeks. Spain does not allow refugees on the mainland. Some now fear that in the Canary Islands. a new Moria arises. So far this year, more than 18,000 people from Africa have arrived in the Canary Islands. More than 500 have died in the crossing, according to the IOM.
- Crisis in Ethiopia: UN fears 200,000 people will be forced to flee. At present, a good 31,000 people are already on the run.
- Greek authorities investigate refugee aid workers for espionage and people smuggling. The defendants criticise Greece for wanting to divert attention from its own crimes in this way.
- Despite Corona, they have to live in collective accommodation, finding work is even more difficult, and integration courses often only take place virtually: The pandemic is hitting immigrants and refugees particularly hard.
- "We really went through 72 hours at a stretch." Interview with Gordon Isler (Sea-Eye) in the taz.
11/20/20 Military service is a reason to flee +++ Council of Europe anti-torture committee raises allegations against Greece +++ Croatia's government under pressure over pushback videos
- Military service is a reason to flee. The issue has been disputed between German courts for years, now the European Court of Justice has provided clarity. Syrian men who left their country because of the threat of military service will in future be able to enforce comprehensive refugee protection under the Geneva Convention. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) had previously only granted them subsidiary protection in many cases. ProAsyl sees the judgement as a success and criticises the BAMF: "In recent years, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees has unjustly denied numerous Syrian conscientious objectors the refugee status to which they are entitled."
- Council of Europe harshly criticises Greece's treatment of refugees. Poor conditions in camps, inhumane treatment, illegal refoulement: The Anti-Torture Committee of the Council of Europe is making strong accusations against Greece.
- For a long time there was silence in Brussels about the reports of violations of the law on the Croatian-Bosnian border. But following new revelations about illegal pushbacks of migrants, the EU Commission is demanding answers.
- The city Titisee-Neustadt wants to take in people from refugee camps on the Greek islands. This was decided by a majority of the municipal council at its meeting on Tuesday. Likewise, the city joins the alliance „Cities Safe Ports“.
- Thousands of people in Ethiopia are fleeing fighting in the Tigray region. Meanwhile, the government in Addis Ababa said its troops had captured a number of locations in the northern province of Tigray and would soon reach the provincial capital of Mekelle.
11/19/2020 Video evidence on pushbacks at Croatia's external border +++ Greece continues to rely on mass camps on islands +++ In Gran Canaria, residents protest for refugee rights
- Beatings, electric shocks, sexual violence: systematic and brutal violence at Croatia's external EU border has been documented for over three years. So far, the Croatian government denies that these illegal pushbacks are taking place at all. Now Der Spiegel publishes a video that proves the practice beyond doubt. A comprehensive Video analysis is available on Youtube. Also the ARD Studio Vienna reports (no paywall here).
- The Greek migration minister wants to continue detaining refugees on the Greek islands. However, he promises that new and better camps will be built there by autumn 2021 and that none of the asylum seekers will then spend more than six months on the island.
- Hundreds Residents took to the streets of Gran Canaria to demonstrate for the rights of refugees and denounce the conditions there. More than 15,000 people have arrived in boats from Africa to the Canary Islands since August alone.
- So far 32,224 people arrived in Italy since the beginning of 2020 after sea crossings across the Mediterranean Sea, 38.7 percent of whom were from Tunisia. In the same period of 2019, the figure was 9944. You can find more exact dates on the homepage of the IOM.
- In a 25-page letter from the Greek Government describes how border operations along Turkey are intended to deter people from entering the country to seek asylum.
11/18/2020 Greek authorities issued order for pushbacks +++Berlin Senate sues Seehofer +++ Hesse's 81% to accept war refugees
- An discovery of a documentThe Greek coastguard has been ordered to push people back into Turkish waters, which repeatedly leads to life-threatening situations and is clearly in breach of the law.
- Berlin had repeatedly declared its willingness to take in refugees from the Greek islands. But Interior Minister Horst Seehofer opposed the idea. Now the state parliament wants to go to court. This expert opinion provesthat the Home Secretary cannot simply withhold his consent.
- An Large majority of Hessians have a positive attitude towards immigration 82 percent are in favor of the immigration of highly qualified specialists, but 81 percent are also in favor of accepting war refugees. Just under 75 percent are of the opinion that the Migration enriched social coexistence.
- Regional President of the Canary Islands speaks of a "continuing contempt" of the Spanish Interior Ministry towards the refugees on the Spanish islands. Antonio Morales is calling for an immediate solution that includes bringing people to the mainland and not leaving refugees on the streets.
- The Border Violence Monitoring Network publishes its October report on the situation on the Balkan route. The report is based on 40 reports in which the interviewees report physical, psychological and structural acts of violence. In Croatia, one case of rape was also documented.
- Documents published by the Guardian show a coordinated and illegal attack on the rights of those trying to reach Europe via the Mediterranean. Specifically, it is about the EU's cooperation with the so-called Libyan coast guard.
- The Municipality of Alpen in North Rhine-Westphalia wants to be "safe haven for refugees and is prepared to take in six additional people rescued from distress at sea.
11/17/2020: Canaries demand Madrid bring minors to mainland +++ Alleged pushbacks by Austrian officials +++ In Senegal, people mourn those who died en route to Europe
- Hundreds of boat people are arriving on the Spanish islands in the Atlantic these days. They are simply dumped on the Canary Islands and forgotten, comments Karin Janker in the SZ. Antonio Morales, the island president of Gran Canaria, criticizes: „I think Europe has a clear strategy to turn us into a prison island. Just as happened in Lesbos or in Lampedusa, in Ceuta or in Melilla. They think to themselves: people are not coming to me on the mainland – we are keeping them on the islands. We are turning these areas into deterrent prisons.“ In the meantime, the Canary Islands government is asking Madrid to bring 500 to 800 minors to the mainland. The Spanish government plans to Construction of camps in the Canary Islands.
- "The videos are gruesome, but they are real." Interview with Open Arms founder Òscar Camps in the SZ.
- Report on pushbacks of people at Austrian border. The Austrian police allegedly handed over persons seeking protection to the Slovenian authorities even though they had filed an asylum application. If the allegations are true, this would mean that Austrian authorities were involved in illegal chain deportations.
- In Senegal, activists organised a commemoration on Friday for the more than 400 people who drowned on their way to Europe this year. Many contributions can be found on Twitter under the hashtag #LeSenegalEnDeuil. There was a call for one second of silence for each dead – total of eight minutes.
- Refugee Rights Europe (RRE) and the End Pushbacks Partnership (EPP) have comprehensive report on pushbacks at Europe's borders published.
- This month alone Aegan Boat Report so far documents 16 cases of pushbacks by the Greek coast guard. A total of 374 people were deprived of their human right to an asylum application and a fair trial by the Greek government.
- The German authorities shall send Deportation notices to urgently needed caregivers from Southeastern Europe. At the same time, Germany has programmes to recruit nursing staff from abroad.
16.11.2020: Situation in Canary Islands comes to a head +++ Sea-Eye sends a new ship to the Mediterranean +++ AlarmPhone makes serious accusations against Malta
- The Atlantic route is considered the deadliest route in the world. For 14 years, hardly any refugees landed on the Canary Islands - now thousands are coming again. The Frankfurter Rundschau explains why this is the case. Human Rights Watch expert Judith Sunderland also talks with the FR about overcrowded tents, denied rights and the calculation of the Spanish authorities in Gran Canaria.
- Sea-Eye presents a new ship. The Sea-Eye 4 is largely financed with 434,000 euros from the alliance for sea rescue United4Rescue. The ship is to be deployed as quickly as possible. You can participate here. The ship should be ready for operation as soon as possible, because many other rescue ships are currently blocked and only the Open Arms is currently operating in the Mediterranean. Only on Friday another 20 people drowned in a shipwreck.
- The organization Alarmphone accuses Malta of systematically ignoring rescue calls and thus being responsible for the deaths of many people. The responsible rescue coordination centre simply does not answer the calls and would rather let people drown than rescue them. Even if the people were in the Maltese rescue zone. In the past few days alone, Malta has ignored more than ten calls, Alarmphone criticises.
- The rescue ship „Open Arms“ with more than 250 people rescued from distress at sea has reached the Italian coast. There, the migrants were picked up by two ships, where they'll be quarantined in Corona for the time being.
- The Musawi family fled from the war in Afghanistan to Lesbos. She experienced the inferno of Moria, slept on the street. Now she lives in the temporary new camp. How is she doing there? The father reports.
13.11.2020: Rescue ship Open Arms allowed to enter Italy +++ 90 people drowned off Libya +++ Member states at external borders reject Commission proposal on common asylum policy
- The Rescue ship Open Arms allowed to enter Sicilian port of Trapani. On board the ship are 200 people rescued in the central Mediterranean and the bodies of six people who died in a shipwreck. Among those lost is six-month-old Jospeh from Conakry, Guinea.
- Two boats carrying refugees sank off the coast of Libya. at least 90 people drowned. 47 survivors are said to have been brought ashore.
- European asylum policy: According to a report by German diplomats, it is above all the member states at the external borders that reject the proposals of the EU Commission. Attempts by the German Council Presidency to persuade the 27 EU member states to agree to von der Leyen's proposals as soon as possible were unsuccessful.
- EU complaints body opens investigation into Frontex. Frontex is involved in illegal pushbacks of refugees, according to SPIEGEL reports. The EU's ombudsman is now investigating whether the border protection agency's control mechanisms are failing.
- Dozens of Sudanese refugees detained in Cairo after protests. According to Amnesty International, around 70 people, including children, were detained after peaceful protests. The protests erupted after 12-year-old Sudanese Mohamed Hasan was stabbed to death by an Egyptian, with racist motives.
- Refugee camp on Lesbos. "The situation has worsened" – Interview on Deutschlandfunk.
12.11.2020: Six people, including a toddler, drown in boat crash +++ Greek authorities push protection seekers, without food, onto island +++ EU demands answers on violence at Croatian border
- In the case of a Pushback by Greek authorities has seen around 70 people taken to an island in the river Evros, according to latest figures. Among them several children and a pregnant woman. The people have been abandoned on this island without food or drinking water and have apparently been there for several days. It is cold, they are freezing and the Greek authorities are apparently prepared to put these people's lives in danger.
- Six refugees were killed off the coast of Libya. died during the crossing to Europe. Among the dead is a six-month-old baby. It was pulled out of the water alive, but did not survive. The deceased baby's name is Joseph and he's from Conakry...the capital of Guinea. The Spanish aid organisation Open Arms was able to rescue around a hundred others from a completely overcrowded rubber dinghy.
- The EU demands answers on violence by Croatian border guards in three-page letter. In the letter, Commissioner Ylva Johansson asks Croatian Deputy Prime Minister Davor Božinović to disclose how many allegations have been made in the past three months and how many of them are being investigated.
- Fire on Samos: A large fire has broken out in a registration camp. Several household gas cylinders had exploded. Around 3,800 people are currently living in the Samos camp. That is about six times the capacity of the camp.
- Canary Islands: The Atlantic route is considered the "deadliest" escape route in the world. Nonetheless, this year alone, 14,000 protection seekers fled to the Canary Islands by boat. That is seven times more than in the same period last year. Most end up in Gran Canaria, where the accommodation is overcrowded.
11.11.2020: EU Commission gives ultimatum to Frontex chief Leggeri +++ Bishops demand reception of people on Greek islands +++ ARD reports on violence at Croatian external border
- By the end of November, Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri on the involvement of his border agency in illegal pushbacks of refugees. Since April, Frontex officials have been demonstrably in at least six so-called pushbacks nearby. A video shows how a Frontex ship initially blocks an overloaded refugee boat but fails to rescue the occupants. The migration expert Gerald Knaus criticizes: "I fear the will to enlighten is not very great".
- ARD reports, how Brussels, Berlin and co. ignore Croatian border violence and massive human rights violations by the Croatian police. The European Ombudsman said yesterday that an investigation is being launched into "possible human rights violations". Amnesty International criticizes: "Numerous human rights abuses, including beatings and torture, have been documented over the years. Carried out by Croatian police officers whose salaries may be funded by the EU."
- The Bishops of the Protestant Church in Central Germany (EKM) call for an admission The German government has called for more refugees currently living on Greek islands to arrive in Germany before Christmas: "No refugee should have to live in a mass camp on a Greek island at Christmas. With the onset of winter, the situation there is worsening dramatically. The bishops appealed to Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) to finally accept existing offers of help from municipalities and federal states.
- A refugee from Afghanistan loses his son in a boating accident off Greece. The Authorities want to lock him up in jail because of it. The case reveals a lot about the human rights situation in Europe.
- The Rescue Ship Open Arms saves 88 people from drowning.
- New Turn of events in so-called BAMF affair. An anonymous whistleblower accuses the investigators in the so-called BAMF affair of not taking exculpatory material into account. The public prosecutor's office in Bremen has initiated proceedings.
- Thousands flee from the Ethiopian state of Tigray to Sudan. Since last week, the Ethiopian army against the so-called People's Liberation Front TPLF before.
- Zeit Online address the issue in their podcast "What Now" the conditions on Lesbos and the dangers of the approaching winter.
10.11.2020: Frontex involvement in pushbacks must be investigated +++ German government to deport to Afghanistan again +++ Father of drowned refugee child arrested
- Human Rights Watch (HRW) is calling for an investigation into Frontex's involvement in illegal pushbacks. The Frontex board is holding a special meeting today to discuss these allegations. HRW criticizes: "The fact that Frontex may have been involved in human rights violations at the Greek border is very serious."
- Deport with protective mask. The Federal government plans to deport people to Afghanistan again - despite rising corona numbers and a deficient health care system in the country.
- From Saturday to Monday morning, on the Spanish territories, the Canary Islands 2,206 migrants arrived in 58 open wooden boats. Most of the refugees would have settled in the port city of Areguineguín in the southwest of Grand Canary registered. According to Europa Press, 1,800 people are cramped in there. Many of the boats come from Senegal, some 1,600 kilometres away. The crossing is extremely dangerous and has claimed hundreds of lives in recent weeks.
- Material for Turkish navy worth billions. Since 2004, the German arms industry has delivered warships or parts for them worth 9.8 billion euros to Turkey. In the meantime, German arms exports to the Turkish navy have been suspended because of the conflict between the NATO partners. Greece and Turkey over natural gas deposits in the eastern Mediterranean. The government in Athens has called on EU partner Germany to stop them. So far the German government has only stopped the export of arms to Turkey that could be used in the Syrian war.
- Lockdown in Moria 2.0: Mare Liberum reportsthat the Greek authorities have so far failed to implement adequate Covid 19 measures for the camp, instead strict rules and draconian measures have been implemented. No mask even in your tent? 150 € fine! That's equivalent to two months of financial support for refugees.
- The Father of drowned refugee child is arrested by Greek authorities and is to be charged. The father and his son were part of a group of 25 people trying to reach the Greek island of Samos. The NGO Help Refugees/Choose Love criticizes: "These accusations are a direct attack on the right to asylum and it is outrageous that a grieving father is being punished for trying to get himself and his child to safety."
9.11.2020: Refugee child drowns off Samos +++ Arrivals surge in Canaries and Lampedusa +++ Lockdown in new Moria
- Refugee child drowns off Samos. Six other people are missing.
- At the weekend about 1,600 people arrived by boat from West Africa... in the Canary Islands. In Gran Canaria Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska and EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson went to see the situation for themselves.. 2,000 people are provisionally in vacant hotels, More of them every day. Commissioner Johansson wants to conclude new agreements with the countries of origin in order to be able to deport people more easily, but such agreements are politically extremely unpopular in the mostly West African countries of origin.
- 2,430 refugees and migrants arrived on Lampedusa in the first six days of November. Three boats with 248 people on board reached the southern Italian island last Saturday night alone, local authorities reported.
- The daily pushback horror. 8,521 – this is the number of refugees who have been illegally pushed back since March 2020when they tried to cross the Aegean Sea. Mare Liberum has counted information on 266 pushback cases, but the actual number is most likely much higher.
- Worse than Moria: No hot water, no heating, no electricity – the residents of the refugee camp Kara Tepe on the Greek island of Lesbos are afraid of winter. Doctors without Borders calls for the camp to be closed immediately. Residents have been on lockdown since Saturday. The Greek authorities have now also started to provide assistance to residents who do not wear masks, to impose penalties, that most of them can't afford. Given the living conditions and the failed Corona policy in the mass camps, this seems like a bad joke.
- They fled to Switzerland as minors in 2015 - three people tell.
- The Bremen BAMF affair is smaller than assumed. At the beginning of the affair about machinations of the Bremen refugee office there were 1200 suspicious cases. Now only 20 of 121 charges are to be tried.
6.11.2020: Great Britain closes itself off +++ Criminalisation of civil society in the Western Balkans +++ Demand for a deportation stop for Roma in Germany
- On the defense against flight and migration Britain increases its military presence in the English Channel. The UNHCR expressed "grave concern" in August that warships were being used against "small inflatable boats". This could lead to "dangerous and deadly incidents". Preventing migration was a key election promise of the Brexiteers.
- An Report of the Centre for Peace Studies and the Border Violence Monitoring Network sheds light on the criminalization of activists and helpers on the Balkan route. In addition to formal criminalization, cases of severe verbal and physical violence are documented.
- The Federal Roma Association and the Roma Center, together with 77 other associations, initiatives, and organizations, have issued an appeal sent to Chancellor Merkel, Interior Minister Seehofer and the 16 interior ministers. Some lose their residence status because they lost their jobs in the course of the Corona crisis. Among those threatened with deportation are people from the former Yugoslavia, some of whom have lived in Germany for 30 years and whose children were born in Germany.
- Yesterday 54 unaccompanied minors transferred from Greece to France. France has agreed to receive a total of 350 unaccompanied minors from Greece.
- Church Asylum: The Diocesan Council of Catholics in the Archdiocese of Bamberg shows solidarity with Abbess Mechthild Thürmer. She had taken in a woman from Eritrea in her convent and thus saved her from the authorities. Thürmer collected a fine of 2,500 euros, but did not pay.
11/5/2020: SOS Children's Villages call for decent housing for refugee children in Greece +++ Leipzig becomes „safe haven“ +++ „Open Arms“ rescues again
- SOS Children's Villages demand humane accommodation for refugee children on Lesvos. The new Moria was hastily built and „is absolutely unsuitable for winter“, reports Popi Gkliva, SOS Emergency Relief Coordinator of SOS Children's Villages. „Even families with young children have to sleep on the streets“, Gkliva reports.
- Greek police block the main gate of the new Moria. You prevents the residents from leaving the premises. NGOs run psychiatric clinics, schools and legal aid centres off-site. Many people now cannot make it to important appointments because of the restrictions.
- Germany should forge a "coalition of the willing" with other EU states and take in refugees, demands Jamila Schäfer, deputy chairwoman of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, in a guest article for the Frankfurter Rundschau.
- Leipzig becomes the first city in Saxony to become a "safe haven". More than a year ago, the council decided to take in up to 100 people rescued from distress at sea each year and sent a strong signal to the state and federal governments. Now Leipzig is also part of the "Seebrücke" alliance and has decided to make funds available for operational sea rescue.
- The Open Arms saves again. The ship is currently on its way from Barcelona to the central Mediterranean to save lives. The ship is operated by the Spanish NGO "Proactiva Open Arms".
- 1,550 refugees arrived on Lampedusa since Saturday. On Tuesday alone, 16 boats reached the island. A body had to be recovered from one of them.
- In Serbia, demonstrations against refugees are on the rise. In Belgrade marched right-wing extremist groups a few days ago in Belgrade and demanded that the park not far from the bus station be "cleansed of migrants". In the border town of Šid, the right-wing group is organizing "Omladina Šida" Protests against refugees. There are currently around 6,000 refugees living in camps in Serbia and an estimated 1,200 outside the camps.
11/4/2020: This year already over 11,000 refugees landed on the Canary Islands +++ District of Constance donates to Sea-Eye +++ Bremen „BAMF scandal“ was based on dubious documents
- This year alone, so far 11,409 protection seekers landed in the Canary Islands. The figures refer to the period from January to the end of October. Accordingly, so far 411 boats arrived on the Canary Islands. In October alone, there were 5328 people. The last time so many people landed on the Canaries was in 2007 with 12,478. The route was hardly used in recent years, also because it is considered particularly dangerous, long and deadly. At least 414 people have died trying to reach the archipelago this year.
- The BAMF scandal in Bremen is not and never was a scandal. After more than 1,200 cases of fraud were assumed at times, it turned out after extensive checks that the vast majority of the notices had been issued correctly. Of 18,315 positive notices, 165 cases, or 0.9 %, were initially found fault with. Now there are also doubts about the documents on which the indictment is based.
- District of Constance donates to Sea-Eye. The district of Constance has declared its solidarity with people on the run in the meeting of the district council on 9 December 2019 and positioned itself against the criminalization of sea rescue on the Mediterranean. Against this background, the first 10,000 euros have now been transferred to Sea-Eye after the budget has been released.
- Violence and dead rats. Based on the notebook of social workers.who worked in the "Safe Zone" of the Moria camp, the cruel conditions were retraced, under which minors were imprisoned there.
- "Five years ago, the small village of Sumte on the Elbe made headlines for taking in 750 refugees in one fell swoop. How did that work out and what is the village like now?"
11/3/2020: Corona fire and infestation on Samos +++ Algeria drops thousands of refugees in Sahara +++ 900 protection seekers arrive on Lampedusa within hours
- Fire in Refugee camp on Samos makes 150 people homeless. The fire occurred in front of the registration camp of Vathy. Instead of isolating Corona Falls, the whole camp was locked up. This strategy of infestation quickly had catastrophic consequences in the case of Moria. Currently, about 4200 people live in the mass camp on Samos.
- Algeria abandons thousands of people seeking protection in the desert. The number of deportations from Algeria has increased dramatically in recent weeks. Many of the people are brought in trucks to the border with Niger - and then simply abandoned in the Sahara.
- 900 protection seekers arrived on Lampedusa within a few hours. Twelve boats with around 670 people reached the southern Italian Mediterranean island on Monday night. On Sunday, three boats with over 200 people had reached Lampedusa.
- Illegal pushbacks against protection seekers by Frontex: Is the German Navy watching?
- "We can't live here". After the fire in Moria, everything was supposed to get better. But rain, corona, dirt and scabies are just a few of the problems facing people in the Greek camps right now.
30.10.2020: 140 people drowned off Senegal +++ Camp Pikpa is cleared +++ New report on violence against refugees in Greece
- At least 140 people have drowned in a shipwreck off Senegal. While trying to reach the Canary Islands, a boat caught fire off the Senegalese coast, then capsized. 59 people could still be rescued. This is the most serious shipping accident recorded so far this year. For weeks now, the number of arrivals on the Canary Islands has been rising massively. At least 414 people have died so far this year trying to reach the archipelago.
- The self-administered camp Pikpa on Lesbos is being cleared as we speak. In the complex there were 74 vulnerable people living there. It provided an alternative to the untenable conditions in the new Moria, but apparently the Greek authorities do not want a place where people's dignity is respected because it goes against their policy of deterrence.
- Human rights violations by FrontexMEPs from the Greens, the SPD, the CDU/CSU and the Left Party, including myself, are calling on the European Commission to act to restore the rule of law in the Aegean.
- 66 people seeking protection from Greece landed in Hanover yesterday. They are to be distributed to several states after another Corona test and quarantine.
- The Border Violence Monitoring Network has a new report which deals with violence against refugees within the borders of Greece.
10/29/2020: Frontex chief Leggeri comes under pressure+++ One in seven BAMF decisions complained about is overturned by courts +++ Around 200 protection seekers pushed out of Greece +++
- Frontex chief Leggeri is coming under pressure, because his agency is involved in illegal pushbacks in the Aegean. Now the EU Commission is also expecting answers from the head of its border protection agency. The first parliamentarians are calling for his dismissal.
- Anyone Seventh defendant Federal Office for Migration and Refugees decision to be overturned by courts. "Pro Asyl" calls the high correction rate a "scandal".
- In the so far largest documented pushback around 200 people seeking protection were deported illegally.
- Round There are 100 Corona Falls in the Vathy refugee camp on the Greek island of Samos. Affected people are crammed into very small spaces. The Greek authorities are doing too little to ensure adequate medical care and prevent the spread of the virus.
- The EU naval operation IRINI assists the Libyan coast guard with repatriations of people trying to flee across the Mediterranean by providing information on the locations of boats. Legal experts criticise this because Libya is not a "safe haven".
- Lenz Jacobsen reflects in his Zeit column on the inhumane treatment of refugees at Europe's external borders: "The ever worsening conditions on the islands, the escalating images and news reports may serve above all to show those who want to make the journey that it's not worth it. But they have a second effect: Europe's external deterrence is matched by an internal hardening of Europeans. An erosion of moral standards." https://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2020-10/eu-fluechtlingspolitik-fluechtlingslager-lesbos-griechenland-europa-5vor8
10/28/2020: MSF calls for something to be done about the spread of Covid 19 on Samos +++ Four people die in the English Channel +++ Greece continues illegal practice of pushback
- Doctors Without Borders calls on the Greek authorities, finally strengthen its response to the spread of COVID-19 in the Vathy camp on the island of Samos and move vulnerable people to safe accommodation on the mainland or in other EU countries. So far, the authorities have not responded adequately, despite the fact that in the camp with 4300 residents, over 100 people have tested positive and some of them have developed symptoms and are at serious risk.
- Four refugees die trying to cross the English Channel into Britain. Among the dead are two children aged five and eight. The small fishing boat capsized yesterday at 9.30 am.
- Despite clear evidence, Frontex still does not admit to involvement in pushbacks. The EU agency claims absurdly continues to claim that it has not violated any laws, but now wishes to verify this.
- According to Mare Liberum. so far in October alone, 841 people have been victims of pushbacks in 23 incidents. Adding to this frighteningly high number is the fact that those incidents of which camera footage has been released show a disturbing level of perfidious thoroughness, coupled with an absolute disregard for human life.
- The number of arrivals of refugees in Gran Canaria is increasing massively. So far this year, over 8100 people have reached the Canary Islands, While in the whole year 2019, it has been 1028 persons.
- Many countries of origin refuse to take back their own citizens because they face "strong opposition" from their own population. The commissioner in charge Johansson wants to change thatin order to be able to deport more people in the future.
- The historian Andreas Kossert has written a book about the history of flight. Der Spiegel interviewed him about it.
27.10.2020: EU Commission calls for accountability report from Frontex +++ Number of irregular entries from Turkey sharply reduced +++ EU decides to deploy large drones in the Mediterranean Sea
- EU Commission Calls for accountability report of Frontex. The Commissioner responsible Ylva Johannson is very concerned about the reports of illegal pushbacks by Greece with the involvement of Frontex. It is calling for an investigation and wants to ensure that no more pushbacks are carried out by EU states.
- The Number of irregular entries from Turkey into the EU has fallen sharply. The right-wing populist scaremongering about millions of refugees just waiting to get from Turkey to the EU is thus proving to be nonsense. Announcements from Ankara that tens of thousands of people would be allowed to cross the EU border turned out to be empty threats.
- Reports of brutal mistreatment of protection seekers and illegal refoulement at the border to Bosnia-Herzegovina are increasing. Now Brussels is also announcing that it will look into the actions of Croatian officials.
- CSU politician Alexander Dobrindt demands a suspension of basic human rights and human dignity. He wants to deport people to Syria, where the population is systematically tortured and murdered. Dobrindt conceals the fact that deportations to Syria would hardly be possible without cooperation with the war criminal Bashar al-Assad.
- The European Union has decided to deploy large drones in the Mediterranean for several years, now Italy is following suit. The beneficiary companies from Israel and Italy have already carried out tests for Frontex in recent years. The Italian Ministry of the Interior is providing €7.2 million.
10/26/2020: Frontex involved in illegal pushbacks +++ Salvamento Marítimo saves 52 people from +++ Greek government to build new morias on islands
- These in the Spiegel published research prove for the first time that Frontex officials know about the illegal practices of the Greek border guards - and are partly involved in the pushbacks themselves. Breaches of the law have become commonplace at Europe's borders. And the EU is letting it happen. Frontex officials publicly claim to know nothing about pushbacks by Greek border guards. Yet the agency has 600 officers on duty in Greece as well as ships, drones and aircraft. Still you can find the research results in more detail at Bellingcat.
- Gran Canaria: The Spanish Salvamento Marítimo saved 52 people from drowning saved.
- New morias are to be built. Against the resistance of the population and local politicians, the Greek government wants to build even more camps on the islands.
- The Sea-Watch's Moonbird will again fly civilian air reconnaissance missions over the Mediterranean Sea and help prevent people from drowning in the central Mediterranean.
- More and more people are trying to find out about to take the very dangerous sea route to the Canary Islands. They do it because the other routes are almost closed and the EU forces people onto ever more dangerous routes in order to be able to claim their right to asylum.
- Thousands of people seeking protection are living in miserable conditions in Bosnia. The state fails to care for them. Local politicians bully them, residents are hardly allowed to help.
10/23/2020: Seehofer to review deportations to Syria +++ New Moria to remain open through winter +++ Five people missing in the central Mediterranean Sea
- Seehofer wants to examine deportations to Syria. So far, there has been a ban on deportations. Syria is one of the worst dictatorships in the world, where a dictator wages war against his own people and where people are systematically tortured and murdered.
- The Greek Government would like keep the new Moria running like this until summer 2021 and refuses to provide a solution for the approaching winter. The conditions are absolutely inadequate and the refugees are exposed to massive suffering in the low temperatures.
- Thousands of refugees are stuck in Bosnia on their way to the EU. They are intercepted and deported in the Croatian border country. A war invalid tries to alleviate the hardship with his aid organization.
- 13,000 refugees are staying on the Greek island of Lesbos, Germany wants to take in 1553 of them, but resettlement has been slow so far – Now a second plane has landed with people seeking protection.
- More and more Lebanese, especially young ones, want to leave their country. The wealthy take the plane, many poor try to get to Europe via the Mediterranean.
- Five people, including two girls and a pregnant woman, are missing after a boat accident in the central Mediterranean. 15 people were rescued by fishermen.
22.10.2020: 15 dead in boat crash in Libya +++ Over 2000 protection seekers reach Canaries +++ Green youth set up over 1500 chairs in Augsburg
- 15 people died in a Boat accident off the Libyan coast. Five people were rescued by fishermen and brought to shore.
- More than two thousand people seeking protection have reached the Canary Islands in two weeks: more and more people are trying to reach the islands via the perilous Atlantic route to enter the EU.
- Greece Hires another 800 border guards. Of these, 600 are to be deployed on the Evros alone. Minister Mihailis Chrisochoidis explained this in militarised rhetoric, saying that it was intended to build up a "second line of defence".
- Via 1,500 chairs have the Green Youth Augsburg on Wednesday on the town hall square. They are protesting for the acceptance of refugees from Greece.
- In Germany there are now 200 safe havens. It is local authorities that are demanding to be allowed to take in people in need, but this has so far been prevented by the federal government.
- Federal Government Pledges 30 million euros for Rohingya refugees. Hundreds of thousands have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh. They should be helped further.
21.10.2020: Alleged sexual abuse by Croatian police +++ Merkel rejects municipal reception of refugees +++ New camp on Lesbos worse than Moria
- Protection seekers on the Balkan route have been according to a report in the Guardian whipped, robbed and sexually abused by Croatian police. The Danish Refugee Council documented these cases during pushbacks in just five days, between 12 and 16 October. One man reported being beaten with a branch and sexually assaulted. An examining doctor confirmed that sexual violence was clearly perpetrated against the man. Other shelter seekers reported that Croatian police officers forced them to undress and lay naked on top of each other. Police officers allegedly took selfies with the naked men.
- Thousands of refugees are still homeless after the fire in the Greek camp Moria. German municipalities want to help and have turned to the Chancellor for help. But Angela Merkel turned down the municipalities.
- New camp worse than Moria, according to Oxfam. The approaching winter makes the situation even worse.
- Austria has sent aid for refugees on Lesbos, which does not help but remains in Athens. 150 pallets, to be exact.
- Currently, more and more people are trying to cross the English Channel to the UK irregularly. In 2020 alone, there have been 7294 people in a total of 565 boats. This Monday, there were about 100 people, including one child.