News from the Borders

Here I inform you daily about everything that is happening in European asylum and migration policy and at the external borders.

The Border-News is also delivered daily directly to your mobile phone: Here’s the link to the Telegram-Channel.

2.12.2021: EU Commission wants to make access to asylum at external borders more difficult +++ MEPs criticise prison-like refugee camps in Greece +++ Press freedom at EU external borders to be restricted

1.12.2021: Frontex translator pushed into Turkey by Greek border guards and mistreated +++ Around 10000 people still want to reach Poland via Belarus +++ Refugee councils demand stop of deportations to Ethiopia 

  • A Frontex interpreter reported that Greek border guards mistook him for an asylum seeker, assaulted him and then forced him across the border into Turkey along with dozens of refugees. He said he and many of the protection seekers he was held with were beaten and forced to undress, and that police confiscated their phones, money and documents. His attempts to tell the police who he was were met with laughter and beatings. The New York Times reports.  

11/30/2021: Over a hundred security forces killed or disappeared in Afghanistan +++ New Yorker details Libyan torture camps +++ Greece opens closed camps on Leros and Kos 

  • The Taliban leadership had promised a general amnesty to former security forces. A report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) now documents over a hundred cases in which security forces have been murdered or disappeared. 

In this one-minute video, HRW describes the situation.

Here you can find the 25-page report by HRW (English)

Spiegel Online summarizes the results

29.11.2021: British police resist government pushback plans +++ Another death on Belarusian border +++ People take action in front of Reichstag demanding immediate reception of refugees on Belarusian border 

11/26/2021: Iraq brings back 617 more citizens from Belarus +++ Switzerland could soon hold a referendum against Frontex expansion +++ ECHR rules: Croatian police guilty in death of 6-year-old girl

  • A referendum against the expansion of Frontex could soon be held in Switzerland. As a member of the European Parliament's Frontex Inquiry Group, I spoke with them about problems and mismanagement at the EU's largest agency. You can read the interview here.
  • Madina Hussiny died at the age of six when Croatian police denied her and her family the right to apply for asylum in 2017, forcing them to return to Serbia on foot, where the girl was hit by a moving train. After four years of litigation, the European Court of Human Rights has now ruled that the Croatian police were to blame for Madina Hussiny's death. The Guardian reports.

11/25/2021: 27 dead in the English Channel +++ German government continues to fail to evacuate local Afghan forces +++ Human Rights Watch accuses Belarus and Poland of serious human rights violations

11/24/2021: 25-year-old Iraqi dies north of Guben +++ Poland, Lithuania and Latvia receive 200 million euros from the Commission +++ Belarus deports protection seekers to their countries of origin 

11/23/2021: Croatian police restrict press freedom by arresting German journalist +++ Greens demand reception of people at Polish EU external border +++ Sea-Watch 4 rescues over 480 people 

  • 32-year-old Abdullah Aryan came to Germany from Afghanistan on an evacuation flight. His escape almost failed due to German bureaucracy, but thanks in part to the Kabul Airlift, the former Bundeswehr and GTZ translator was able to be evacuated. He tells his story in Der Spiegel (paywall).

19.11.2021: Situation in Belarus still unresolved for many protection seekers +++ Sea Watch 4 rescues people from distress at sea and is threatened by Libyan coast guard +++ My interview with DLF Kultur on the trial of Sean Binder, Sarah Mardini and co. 

18.11.2021: Trial of sea rescuers in Greece postponed +++ Frontex helps deport Iraqis from Belarus +++ Ten people die in a wooden boat off the Libyan coast 

17.11.2021: Thousands of fugitives at the Polish border spent the night in a warehouse +++ World Organisation against Torture criticises criminalisation of human rights activists +++ In Greece, the detention of refugees is becoming the new norm

  • The World Organisation against Torture (OMCT) accuses Spain and Morocco of deliberately criminalising human rights activist Helena Maleno. The founder of the aid organisation "Caminando Fronteras" (Border Crossings), who lives in northern Morocco - is one of 20 cases from eleven countries examined in a report published in Geneva entitled "Europe: Open Season on Solidarity".
    You can find the whole report here.
    The taz reports about the attacks against Helena Maleno.
  • In Greece, the detention of refugees has become the new norm, criticize the Greek Refugee Council and Oxfam. According to EU directives, administrative detention should only be used when all other means have been exhausted. Escape is not a crime.

11/16/2021: Poland uses water cannon and tear gas against people seeking protection +++ Reports from the exclusion zone between Belarus and Poland +++ More than 84 million people fleeing worldwide 

  • This morning, Radioeins interviewed me about the situation in Belarus. In it, I say that we, as the European Union, must not allow ourselves to be blackmailed, nor must we suspend fundamental human rights, freedom of the press and our values, just because people are standing at our external borders and want to apply for asylum. You can listen to the 5-minute interview here.

11/15/2021: Liveticker on situation at Polish-Belarusian border +++ Kabul airlift rescues 148 people on donor-funded plane +++ Eight people die off Canary Islands 

  • People have run from the temporary camp in Belarus to the border crossing and are now face to face with Polish border guards. EU foreign ministers are meeting in Brussels to discuss further sanctions against Belarus and dictator Lukashenko now claims he is trying to repatriate people to their home countries. Iraq is also offering a first repatriation flight for people on the Belarusian-Polish border. The Frankfurter Rundschau has created this news ticker to keep you up to date.
  • I am convinced that, in this situation on the Belarusian border, we must rely on a coalition of states that are willing to accept people, which must, of course, include Germany. We also need safe and orderly escape routes so that people no longer have to rely on smugglers in future and a system of state smuggling, as operated by Lukashenko, no longer attracts so many people. I spent half an hour talking to the Tagesschau about possible solutions....

12.11.2021: Thousands of people at the border to Poland urgently need help +++ taz and Spiegel show how Lukashenko operates state smuggling +++ Bulgaria is also increasingly becoming a transit area for refugees 

  • A taz evaluation shows: Twice as many flights from states that are countries of origin or major routes for refugees land in Minsk than in the pre-Corona year of 2019. 

11.12.2021: Thousands of people freeze at external border with Belarus +++ 329 people flown out of Afghanistan on charter flight +++ Cyprus to suspend processing of asylum applications

11/10/2021: Green MPs on Belarus border +++ Afghan air traffic controllers sue federal government +++ Pastor sentenced for church asylum 

09.11.2021: On the day of the fall of the Berlin Wall, activists bring aid to the EU's external border +++ Seehofer calls for a new iron curtain in Europe +++ Poland uses tear gas against people seeking protection

  • On the day the Berlin Wall came down, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer called for Poland not to be criticized for protecting its borders "with permissible means" despite its serious human rights violations and illegal pushbacks. He also welcomed the construction of a fortified border fortification...However, Seehofer will not be Interior Minister for much longer.

11/08/2021: "Mauerfall Jetzt" calls for a humanitarian corridor from Belarus +++ Lukashenko wants to drive even more people to the border with Poland +++ Women's rights activist murdered in Afghanistan 

11/05/2021: At least three dead around Calais +++ Belarusian soldiers threatened to shoot at Polish soldiers +++ MEP watches pushback by Greece 

04.11.2021: Sea-Eye 4 and Rise Above rescue more than 400 people in the Mediterranean during the night +++ More than 400 people rescued from distress in the English Channel +++ Taliban ban use of foreign currency 

  • The Taliban banned the use of all foreign currency on Tuesday. They are reacting to the shortage of foreign currency in the country, which was triggered by de facto sanctions. The US government, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and European central banks froze Afghan foreign assets after the Taliban took power. 

03.11.2021: Sea-Eye and Mission Lifeline rescue 397 people +++ More and more Afghans choose life-threatening flight across the Mediterranean +++ Berlin takes in Syrian protection seekers from Lebanon via reception programme 

  • The rescue ships Sea-Eye and Rise Above of Mission Lifeline received a distress call from the AlarmPhone on Tuesday night. By Tuesday morning, the crews of both ships were able to save 325 lives from a total of 5 boats. Earlier in the morning, the two ships were called to another sea rescue case involving 72 people crowded on a wooden boat. There are now 397 survivors aboard the Sea-Eye 4. Read more at the Homepage the Sea-Eye and at Sea-Eye on Twitter.

02.11.2021: Poland does not allow medical aid to reach people in need of protection +++ Discussion with among others Linda Teuteberg (FDP) and me at Bild Live +++ About 400 people in distress at sea finally allowed to dock in Kos after hours of waiting +++ 

  • I discussed the situation at the border between Poland and Belarus and what an upcoming federal government must address in migration policy with Linda Teuteberg (FDP), among others, on Bild Live. You can find the show here.

29.10.2021: Kabul airlift evacuates 579 people +++ 75 percent of Afghans who appeal against rejection of asylum application are proven right in court +++ Saxon police discover body of Iraqi refugee 

  • More and more asylum seekers who appeal against the rejection of their asylum application in Germany are successful in court. In the first half of 2021, 35.1 per cent of all appeals before the administrative courts that were decided on the substance ended in favour of the refugees. Refugees from Afghanistan receive as much as 75 per cent of the rightwhich indicates that the Bamf systematically makes wrong decisions here.

09/28/2021: Germany abandons thousands of local workers +++ Kretschmer (CDU) promotes border wall +++ Doctors Without Borders brings 367 rescued to Palermo 

  • Der Spiegel has done extensive research... analysed the violations of the law at the European external borders and showed the systematics with which those seeking protection are kept away by force. They also spoke with those affected and tell how they were brutally and unlawfully pushed back. An alternative to the isolation would be resettlement.

Oct 27, 2021: Four children drowned in the Aegean +++ Doctors Without Borders rescues 367 people and needs a safe haven +++ Poland allows pushbacks by law

10/26/2021: Poland increases number of soldiers to 10,000 +++ Commission won't fund walls at external borders +++ Mediterranean route shifts to Calabria

10/25/2021: EU gives 276 million euros to Greece for new Morias +++ In Brandenburg, neo-Nazis call for hounding of refugees +++ Greens call for distribution of protection seekers arriving in Poland

  • The ZDF magazine Royale reported on Friday evening about the conditions in the closed camp on Samos. It is surrounded by double rows of barbed wire fences and resembles a prison. The EU provides Greece with a total of 276 million euros for such camps.
    You can find the article here (from minute 12). You can find out more about the camp at theneuemoria.eu 

10/22/2021: Body of Syrian refugee discovered at border with Belarus +++ EKD welcomes "change of lane" and calls for more active naturalization culture +++ Sea Watch 3 assigned safe haven 

  • The Sea Watch 3 has a safe harbor. After days of waiting, the Italian authorities have assigned Pozzallo as the port to disembark the rescued. A woman who was already evacuated the day before yesterday was able to give birth to a healthy daughter in Trapani.

21/10/2021: Socialists call for infringement proceedings over pushbacks +++ Council of Europe also calls for end to pushbacks +++ Asylum seeker sues Frontex 

  • Omar B. and his family were deported to Turkey by the EU border guard in 2016, although he had applied for asylum in Greece. Now he is suing the EU border protection agency Frontex for damages at the ECJ. His lawsuit should not remain an isolated case.
  • For more than two months 31 refugees have been held at the border between Poland and Belarus and are not allowed to enter either country. In order not to freeze to death they tried to cross the barbed wire yesterday and were then forced back with pepper spray. You can find a video of it on Twitter at Ansgar Gilster.

20/10/2021: Polish Prime Minister in the European Parliament +++ Seehofer wants to support Polish police despite human rights violations +++ Two dead refugees discovered in Austria  

  • Yesterday the Polish Prime Minister spoke in the European Parliament and delivered a propaganda show to justify the undermining of the rule of law. He also talked about refugees and the situation on the border with Belarus in order to divert attention from his own authoritarian restructuring of the state. I spoke with Deutschlandfunk about the speech and the situation in Poland.
  • The Border Violence Monitoring Network has released its pushback report for September. A solidifying trend in the documentation of pushbacks is sexual violence by Croatian officials at the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition, a boy from Afghanistan died on September 16 while trying to cross from Serbia into Croatia. You can read the 16-page report here.

19.10.2021: Protests against pushbacks in Poland +++ Protection seekers continue to freeze and starve at the border with Belarus +++ Thousands hold out in Tripoli outside UNHCR building 

18.10.2021: Sea-Watch 3 rescues 120 people +++ First reception centres in Brandenburg full to capacity +++ EU wants to give Libyan militia ships for refugee defence 

15.10.2021: EU supports Libyan coast guard +++ Poland erects "barrier" to Belarus +++ French government calls for migration deal with UK 

10/14/2021: Repatriation of people rescued at sea to Libya is a crime +++ German Foreign Office uses extortionate methods against family reunification +++ 10,000 more displaced in Yemen 

13.10.2021: Thousands of protection seekers are taken to Libyan torture prisons +++ At least 15 people drown off Libyan coast +++ Protection seekers reach Brandenburg

10/12/2021: Right turn in Turkish refugee policy +++ Croatian government admits mistreatment of protection seekers +++ 348 people rescued in the English Channel 

11.10.2021: UN report paints shocking picture of situation in Libya +++ 12 ministers from member states demand money for border fences +++ HRW report on criminalisation in Greece 

08.10.2021: Monitoring mechanism will not prevent pushbacks in Croatia +++ EU Commissioner Johansson announces investigation into pushbacks +++ Report traces how sea rescue is criminalised 

7.10.2021: New videos of brutal pushbacks by Croatian border police +++ Greek and Croatian special forces are used for pushbacks +++ Poland carries out pushbacks quite openly 

  • New research showsthat the illegal rejections by Croatia are systematic and state-organised and also take place by force. A research team has filmed and evaluated pushbacks. The brutal operations are also supported with money and material from the European Union and the German government. Der Spiegel did an even bigger piece on the subject (paywall).
  • Not only in the Balkans, but also in Greece, according to the findings, human rights violations at the external borders occur again and again. Der Spiegel has investigated who is responsible for the human rights violations at the EU's external borders and comes to the conclusion that special police units are systematically used for this purpose. You can also find the detailed report in Spiegel (paywall).
  • In the border area between Poland and Belarus, people on the run are being instrumentalised as pawns between politicians. Belarus brings them there by force and the Polish border police uses illegal pushbacks to prevent them from applying for asylum in the EU. The journalist Franziska Grillmeier describes in her report for the Tagesspiegel (paywall) the situation.  
  • On their way to the USA, they covered thousands of kilometres and crossed the almost impenetrable Darién jungle between Colombia and Panama. Now their dream of the USA has been shattered. They are back in Haiti. The NZZ visited them on site (paywall).

6.10.2021: There was no pull effect from Merkel in 2015 +++ U.S. announces record low in refugee admissions +++ Smuggling gangs on the English Channel growing more powerful 

5.10.2021: Interview on the situation at the Polish-Belarusian border +++ Crimes against humanity in Libya +++ Camps on Greek islands emptying out 

  • Franziska Vilmar from Amnesty International and I spoke with Detektor FM about the situation of refugees on the border between Poland and Belarus. People's lives are at stake there and we must finally take action. You can listen to the ten-minute piece listen here.
  • An United Nations Commission of Inquiry in Libya says it has strong indications of War Crimes as well as for crimes against humanity in prisons and against refugees. 
  • On Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Leros and Kos, the Greek government still registered 4490 people at the end of September. In 2020, the number was just over 40,000 for several months. Most of them are still in Greece, sent to Athens by the Greek government, where many end up homeless due to lack of support. Another reason why the numbers are so low is the systematic pushbacks by the Greek coast guard, preventing people from reaching the islands at all.
  • Horst Seehofer's time as interior minister is coming to an end. His term of office includes numerous tightening of asylum laws, detention pending deportation and a blockade attitude towards the admission of refugees. PRO ASYL summarizes, in which areas intolerable conditions became the new normality under Seehofer.
  • For years Turkey has taken in millions of people seeking protection from Syria and other crisis regions - also at the request of the EU. But now the government is taking a radical turn in its refugee policy and wants to get rid of refugees again instead of taking in more refugees from Afghanistan. Deutschlandfunk has produced this 19-minute feature on the subject.

4.10.2021: People drowning on Atlantic route +++ German government calls for humanitarian aid for refugees at Polish EU external border +++ Refugees from war zones arrive at German border with Poland

1.10.2021: Domenico Lucano sentenced to 13 years imprisonment +++ Poland extends state of emergency +++ BGH rules that adults may not be adopted to prevent deportation +++ 

News from September 2021

30.09.2021: EU Commission to crack down on smugglers +++ Amnesty accuses Poland of pushbacks +++ Poland sends SMS to deter fugitives

09/29/2021: Polish police proudly announce human rights abuses +++ 17,000 people reached England irregularly across the English Channel this year +++ US government raises cap on refugees

09/28/2021: Poland to extend state of emergency +++ 16-year-old Iraqi dies after pushback from Poland +++ Mediterranean states advocate EU distribution mechanism

27.09.2021:I spoke to Deutschlandfunk about the lack of solidarity at the Polish external EU border +++ 122 people rescued by the Ocean Viking go ashore +++ 2021 at least 1392 refugees killed trying to cross the Mediterranean. 

09/24/2021: Another death at the border with Belarus +++ Frankfurt am Main becomes a safe haven +++ Turkish refugee policy becomes more restrictive 

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. 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 are celebrating the camp as a new era of "migration management". But the people would rather not stay in Samos at all - they want a normal life at last. 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

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

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

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 immigration 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 

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 

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

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 future and openly admits this - 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 USA. The people in Afghanistan - including German nationals - are simply being 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

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

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

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

News from August 2021

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

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

27.08.2021: Many dead in Kabul airport attack +++ Evacuation flights end +++ Greece plans deportation law that violates international law

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.

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

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 divert attention from the failures of the Nato states. In a video, sociologist Aladin El-Mafaalani has briefly summarised why the Afghan army's quick abandonment is perfectly 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

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

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

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 

03.08.2021: ECHR stops deportations to Afghanistan +++ Over 100 Frontex officers to be sent to Lithuania +++ People increasingly fleeing Tunisia to EU

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.
July 2021 News

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.

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 Goebel 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 

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

07/23/2021: Online disinformation is link between far-right and right-wing parties +++ Infant dies in Lesbos camp +++ Greece criminalizes human rights monitoring 

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 

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 

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  

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." A 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 

Jul 14, 2021 Lithuanian parliament to jail fugitives +++ More people flee Taliban +++ Germany maintains deportations to Afghanistan, Finland suspends them

07/13/2021 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

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 

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

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

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

06.07.2021: Heiko Maas (SPD) maintains deportations to Afghanistan +++ Deportation flight to Afghanistan today +++ Lithuanian government declares state of emergency

07/05/2021: Ocean Viking rescues 572 people +++ 43 people drown off Tunisia +++ Franziska Giffey (SPD) calls for deportations to Syria

  • Tonight, 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 

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 

News from June 2021

30.06.2021: Significantly fewer asylum applications in the EU +++ At least seven dead off Lampedusa +++ Immigration to Germany declines 

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 

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 

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 

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 

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

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

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

06/18/2021: 82.4 million refugees worldwide +++ Trial and verdict in Moria 6 case face criticism +++ Criminal conviction against Reisch overturned 

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

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 

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 

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 

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 

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 

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 

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 are also used, which can cause permanent damage. 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 

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

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

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

News from May 2021

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 

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, some 109,900 foreigners were granted citizenship - 15 per cent fewer than in 2019. Syrian nationals made up the second-largest group among naturalised citizens for the first time. 

05/26/2021: NGOs file lawsuit against Frontex +++ Assad gets re-elected +++ UN human rights office raises allegations against EU refugee policy 

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 

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

20.05.2021: Case against Carola Rackete dropped +++ Sea-Eye 4 assigned a safe haven +++ Number of internally displaced persons increases worldwide 

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

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 

17.05.2021: Sea-Eye 4 rescues 330 people +++ Residents:inside prevent deportation in Glasgow +++ New Moria completely unsuitable for people with disabilities 

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.

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

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 

07.05.2021: Activist acquitted again +++ Italian mayor calls for European sea rescue programme +++ Journalist reports on smear campaigns against civilian sea rescuers:inside

05/06/2021: Activist against deportations in court +++ Pushbacks of minors in France +++ Drones for Frontex +++ 

05/05/2021: 2,000 deaths from pushbacks since pandemic began +++ Illegal pushback documented +++ European Parliament backs civil society 

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 

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

News from April 2021

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 

04/28/2021: Ocean Viking rescues 236 people +++ EU Commission backs "voluntary return" +++ EU Parliament denies Frontex discharge 

  • Yesterday, theOcean 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

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 

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

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 

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 

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 

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

04/14/2021: Biden withdraws troops from Afghanistan +++ Bamf wrongly rejected 21,224 asylum applications +++ Denmark to deport to Syria 

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 

04/12/2021: Alan Kurdi is free again +++ Hagen becomes safe haven +++ 132 boats turned back in Frontex operations 

09.04.2021: Press freedom restricted in Greece +++ Croatian border guards use sexual violence against protection seekers +++ Further ambiguities in Frontex training 

08.04.2021: Amnesty criticizes situation in Greek refugee camps +++ Malta breaks international law +++ Judicial hearing in Alan Kurdi case in Italy

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 

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

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 

News from March 2021

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 

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

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.

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 

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

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 

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 

03/19/2021: Denmark plans racist law +++ Samos mayor endorses confirmed pushbacks +++ Afghan refugees not safe in Turkey 

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 

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 

16.03.2021: 10 years of civil war in Syria +++ Situation for Syrian refugees in Lebanon particularly difficult +++ New Corona Falls on Samos 

15/03/2021: EU interior ministers discuss flight and migration +++ European Parliament questions Frontex on internal investigations +++ Cypriot government builds new wall 

03/11/2021: Iuventa crew apparently charged on political grounds +++ Spain backs quick deportations in Canaries +++ 82 refugees from Greece land in Germany

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

09.03.2021: Fire in new Moria and untenable conditions for children +++ Greece builds new border fence +++ Spanish coast guard rescues 107 people 

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

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 

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 

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. 

01.03. 2021: Infringement proceedings against Greece +++ Sea-Watch 3 rescues more than 300 people +++ Sea-Eye 4 christened

News from February 2021

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.

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

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 

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 

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 

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 

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 

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

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 

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 

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 

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 

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 

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 

02/08/2021: "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 +++ 

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

02/04/2021: Court bans deportation to Afghanistan +++ Germany takes in persecuted Belarusians +++ Refugees accuse Maltese authorities of torture

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

  • 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

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. Together with his wife Susanne, the actor won 30,000 euros in a celebrity special of the ARD show "Das Quiz mit Jörg Pilawa" on Saturday evening. The money will be invested in the ship SEA-EYE 4 of the German rescue organization of the same name, 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.
News from January 2021

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

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 "Dickes Brett" I talk with my colleague 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.

01/27/2021: Court bans deportations to Greece +++ Refugee children on Lesbos suffer more than ever +++ Museum of Jewish Refugees in Shanghai reopens

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

01/25/2021: Ocean Viking rescues 373 people +++ People flee rising violence in West Africa +++ Virtually no political refugees from Hong Kong in Germany

01/22/2021: Frontex chief Leggeri apparently obstructs investigation +++ Ocean Viking rescues around 140 people +++ ECHR examines conditions in Greek camps 

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

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 

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

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

01/13/2021: Storm on Lesbos worsens situation in new Moria +++ Frontex chief in Bundestag interior committee today +++ Hungary warned by Commission


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

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

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

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 Lesbos by September 2021. The islanders and camp residents are looking 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 

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

News from December 2020

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

12/22/2020: Seehofer covered up Greek crimes +++ Saving the world without "the world" raise over €75,000 +++ Ocean Viking is free

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

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

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

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

  • 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

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

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

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

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

Dec 7, 2020 El Hiblu 3 faces years in prison +++ Celebrities help fight prejudice with facts +++ Thousands flee Tigray for Sudan +++

12/4/2020 Frontex chief lied during questioning +++ 8157 refugees and migrants landed irregularly in Canaries in November +++Bangladesh resettles Rohingya on inhospitable island

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

12/2/2020 MEPs call for consequences after Frontex involvement in pushbacks +++ Frontex sues NGO +++ Eritreans demand family reunification

12/1/2020 Frontex chief to be questioned by MEPs today +++ Overcrowded camp in Canaries cleared +++ Bundestag MEPs barely spoke about situation in Lesbos

News from November 2020

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.

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

11/26/2020 At least eight people drown off Lanzarote +++ Mediterranean countries demand more European solidarity +++ Thuringia Greens want to sue Seehofer

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

11/24/2020 Number of resettlements at an all-time low +++ Switzerland threatens to withdraw Frontex officials +++ Refugee protests in Paris

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

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

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

11/18/2020 Greek authorities issued order for pushbacks +++Berlin Senate sues Seehofer +++ Hesse's 81% to accept war refugees

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

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

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

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

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 

10.11.2020: Frontex involvement in pushbacks must be investigated +++ German government to deport to Afghanistan again +++ Father of drowned refugee child arrested

9.11.2020: Refugee child drowns off Samos +++ Arrivals surge in Canaries and Lampedusa +++ Lockdown in new Moria

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

5.11.2020: SOS Children's Villages demand humane accommodation 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 the winter", reports Popi Gkliva, SOS Emergency Relief Coordinator of SOS Children's Villages. "Even families with small children have to sleep on the streets," Gkliva reports.
  • Greek police block the main gate of the newMoria. They 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: More than 11,000 refugees have already landed on the Canary Islands this year +++ Constance district donates to Sea-Eye +++ Bremen "BAMF scandal" was based on dubious documents

11/3/2020: Corona fire and infestation on Samos +++ Algeria drops thousands of refugees in Sahara +++ 900 protection seekers arrive on Lampedusa within hours

News from October 2020

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 +++

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

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

10/26/2020: Frontex involved in illegal pushbacks +++ Salvamento Marítimo saves 52 people from +++ Greek government to build new morias on islands

10/23/2020: Seehofer to review deportations to Syria +++ New Moria to remain open through winter +++ Five people missing in the central Mediterranean Sea

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