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.
News from the Borders 22.06.2022
- The people of Afghanistan are suffering so much and now a huge earthquake with over 1000 dead. I hope that the international community will support the survivors and that humanitarian aid will be provided quickly.
- Over 900 rescued people urgently need a safe haven! They are waiting on the Aita Mari, Sea Eye 4 and SeaWatch4 to be able to go ashore and have their rights respected. Read more on the channels of Sea-Eye, SeaWatch and maydayterraneo.
- In Uganda receive refugee families a hut and a piece of land at their disposal. The residents can thus provide for themselves and also have the right to seek other work or education.
News from the Borders 21.06.2022
- The UN is significantly reducing food rations for refugees in Africa. For many people in East Africa, the Food rations halved. The World Food Program is short of money and the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine is causing food prices to rise.
- After the European Court of Human Rights Prevented deportations from UK to RwandaThe government of Boris Johnson is now considering breaking away from the European Convention on Human Rights instead of simply respecting human rights.
- Green youth spokesman Timon Dzienus and Green politician Tareq Alaows call for a Reform of the asylum policy and an end to the unequal treatment of refugees.
News from the Border 20.06.2022
- The Situation for refugeeswho want to come to the EU has been getting worse rather than better for about a decade. That's what I was talking about with Nd.
- I talked to RND about the fact that the EU governments cynical and that there are double standards when it comes to refugees.
- On the occasion of World Refugee Day, my colleague, Luise Amtsberg, Human Rights Commissioner of the Federal Government, demands that the Admission program for Afghanistan implemented faster must be.
News from the Borders 16.06.2022
- Since today the third episode of the Spotify podcast series "Memento Moria" outside. In it you can hear, among other things, how I explain why the terrible conditions on the Greek islands are politically desired, how we make laws in parliament and what my two cats are called.
- More than 100 million people worldwide are displaced – 42 percent of them children. The UNHCR today launched its new report on escape published worldwide. You can find the report with lots of information and statistics here.
- A journalist has worked with the Protection seekers on board the British plane to Rwanda spoken. People talk about everything from being picked up in their cell to having their flight canceled at the last second.
News from the Borders 15.06.2022
- For the time being, Boris Johnson's Plan to fly protection seekers to Rwanda failedbecause the European Court of Human Rights has intervened. Asylum seekers – for example from Albania – are to be deported from UK to Rwanda without asylum procedure. Instead of defending the right of asylum as an essential international responsibility, asylum foes like Boris Johnson want to deport this responsibility. Here a classification by Maximilian Pichl on Twitter.
- The crew of the Sea-Eye 4 has in three rescue missions. 416 people rescued from distress at sea. Not far from a rescue mission of Sea-Eye, in turn, a rescue mission of the Spanish rescue ship AITA MARI was disrupted by the Libyan coast guard, who have taken people remaining on the dinghy to Libya.
- Why do refugees from Ukraine return in the middle of the war? Because they are homesick - and because they feel everything can be better endured together in one placesays 22-year-old Darina Kostuchenko, who has returned to Kiev.
News from the Borders 14.06.2022
- Today should be at 10:30 pm the first deportation flight with seven people from England to Rwanda take off. However, following a decision by the European Court of Human Rights, it is now unclear whether the plane will take off. The judges assume that the people would not have access to fair, efficient and constitutional procedures.
- Despite ongoing pushback in Greece, the government refuses to open an investigation and thus defies fundamental principles of the rule of law.
- 64 percent of Poles think their country should offer Ukrainian refugees protection until they can return to Ukraine. Almost 30 percent were in favor of allowing them to settle permanently in Poland.
News from the Borders 13.06.2022
- The British government was supposed to deport dozens of asylum seekers to Rwanda starting tomorrow, but most of them could be sue successfully. Among the remaining eleven people to be flown to East Africa tomorrow are four Iranians, two Iraqis, two Albanians and one Syrian.
- Food prices continue to rise, with now already over half of the people in Afghanistan do not have enough to eat. Up to 97 percent of the population is at risk of falling below the poverty line.
- Associations for the support of conscientious objectors call for granting asylum to deserters and refuseniks from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.
News from the Borders 9.06.2022
- After exhausting days the 344 rescued on the SeaWatch3 ashore in Pozzallo.
- Hundreds of Russian journalists flee before Putin's crisis regime, entire editorial offices are being set up in exile. A fund and visa facilitation are supposed to help.
- Arndt Dohmen was with the organization Medical Volunteers International for seven weeks in the refugee camp Mavrovouni on Lesbos, to help there as a doctor and says that nothing is good at Europe's external borders.
News from the Borders 8.06.2022
- Human rights groups have filed an injunction with the High Court in London. requested to prevent the first mass deportations of asylum seekers to Rwanda scheduled for next week.(English)
- Ahead of the meeting of EU interior ministers next Friday, the Austrian Minister of the Interior Gerhard Karner (ÖVP) very far to the right and proposes to carry out asylum applications outside the EU in the future in order to get rid of people.
- Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth visited Odessa and the Republic of Moldova. In Chisinau, she assured Moldova of support in caring for the refugees. Moldova has received the most refugees from Ukraine in terms of population.
News from the Borders 7.6.2022
- People who have been living in Germany for five years or longer with only a toleration permit are to be given the opportunity in the future, to stay here permanently legally. This is an important point from the coalition agreement that we Greens have been particularly committed to.
- Federal Foreign Minister Baerbock has announced in Pakistan that it will bring additional former Afghan local forces of the German Armed Forces as well as persons at risk to Germany.
- People fleeing the Ukraine war to Poland can move freely there. Other refugees sit there in Internment camps fixed.
News from the Borders 6.06.2022
- Ukraine continues to be attacked, but Millions of refugees are said to have already returned. Krystyna Kuschynska is back with her husband in Lviv – and feels calmer despite air alarms.
- Thousands of people are deported from Libya and Algeria, according to Doctors Without Borders, and left to fend for themselves in the desert in Niger. Among them are severely injured, survivors of sexual violence and severely traumatized people.
- Every year the Norwegian Refugee Council publishes a List of 10 refugee situationswho are politically and medially forgotten in the world.
News from the Borders 2.06.2022
- The Polish government would like to Suspend payment to Ukrainian refugees of €9.33 a day from July 1. People with disabilities, pregnant women and large families should continue to receive support – all others do not (Polish).
- The vice president of the EU Commission, Margaritis Schinas, claims in an interview with de Volkskrant that there is a need in the EU no systematic problem with pushbacks and that NGOs and independent media should not be relied upon in this matter.Julia Verheul recorded parts of the interviews on Twitter translated into English.
- The Deportation agreement between Great Britain and Rwanda is to be enforced starting next week. The first people have already received their deportation notices.
News from the Borders 01.06.2022
- Russian menThose who evade military service do not yet have good prospects of obtaining the right to stay in Germany.
- Roma refugees are accused, among other things, of not coming from Ukraine, because some no Ukrainian passports possess. However, such accusations fail to recognize the reality of life for Roma in Ukraine.
- The conference of interior ministers begins today in Würzburg. Human rights organizations call for a Deportation stop by the countries and rapid implementation of the reform of the right to stay.
News from the Borders 31.05.2022
- The first mission of Sea Watch's new rescue ship "Aurora" was successful: 85 people were rescued and quickly brought to a safe port on Lampedusa.
- Yesterday spoke the Interim Head of Frontex, Aija Kalnaja, before the Interior Committee here in Parliament, and said that Frontex employees were "traumatized" by the current situation.
- Currently, thousands of people are brought from Afghanistan to Germany, yet there are bs justified criticism of the treatment of the former local forcesbecause it takes too long.
News from the Borders 30.05.2022
- The Greek government intends to Completely seal the border with Turkey in the northeast of the country. The existing 35 kilometers of border fence are to be extended by 80 kilometers for this purpose.
- The future Slovenian government, consisting of Green Liberals, Social Democrats and Left Border fence with Croatia by the end of this year.
- After a long wait, last night Ocean Viking was finally given a safe harbor in Sicily assigned where the 296 rescued can disembark.
News from the Borders 25.05.2022
- 75 people missing in the Mediterranean Sea. After a boat capsized with around 100 people fleeing to the EU, the Tunisian coast guard was able to rescue 24 people. More than 70 people are missing.
- The Sea Watch 3 sets off on its mission. After leaving Sicily behind, the ship & crew are now on their way to the Libyan search and rescue zone.
- The Dispute over refugee policy has overshadowed the meeting of ministers from the five German-speaking countries. Luxembourg promotes a more generous admission, Austria blocks.
News from the Borders 24.05.2022
- A sailing ship of the German NGO Resqship has off the coast of Libya 75 people rescued from distress at sea. The people were handed over to the Ocean Viking, which now has nearly 300 rescued people on board after several rescues. Resqship stated that the Libyan coast guard had previously approached and demanded a handover of the people. The crew refused, citing international, European and German law.
- As of today, refugees from Ukraine can submit their exchange Ukrainian banknotes for euro. Up to 300 euros can be exchanged per person.
- Refugees from Ukraine can immediately Hartz IV applications submit. Applications can also be submitted online. As of June, they will be entitled to Hartz IV benefits if they have a residence permit and are in need of assistance and capable of working.
News from the Borders 23.05.2022
- The UN announces that for the first time more than 100 million people are on the run worldwide.
- DGB chief Yasmin Fahimi has a Rethinking German migration policy demanded. Refugees should quickly be entitled to basic benefits and direct access to the labor market.
- In Sicily ended on Saturday after a three-hour hearing the preliminary proceedings against 21 sea rescuers. It remains unclear whether a main hearing will take place.
News from the Borders 17.05.2022
- Although it violates the case law of the European Court of Justice and the Federal Constitutional Court, the BAMF continues to cause Deportations of gay men in states where homosexuality is punishable by death.
- The Sea-Watch 4 has a safe harbor. Last night, authorities designated Augusta as the port of disembarkation for the 145 people the crew has rescued over the past two weeks.
- On Saturday, Sicily will host the Trial against 21 sea rescuers for alleged trafficking will begin. It is the largest trial to date, and ex-Interior Minister Matteo Salvini is also involved.
News from the Borders 16.05.2022
- In Switzerland, a vote was held yesterday to decide whether the country should Expansion of Frontex and finance it. 71.5% voted in favor. The clear result also came about because the proponents of Frontex stoked fears that Switzerland would be kicked out of the Schengen area in the event of a "No" vote.
- In 2017, the Iuventa crew rescued a total of 14,000 people from the Mediterranean Sea. This week, a total of ten sea rescuers from the organization „Jugend rettet“ on trial in Italy.
- Currently there are around 830,000 refugees from Ukraine in Germany. Currently, around 2,000 arrive every day, compared with 15,000 in mid-March. At the same time, around 20,000 refugees from Poland returned to Ukraine – including some from Germany.
News from the Borders 13.05.2022
- More than six million people fled Ukraine, according to the United Nations. Within Ukraine, more than eight million people have fled. However, 1.6 million Ukrainians have also entered the country since the war began.
- Only a few days ago, Erdoğan had announced that the Return of one million Syrians* to their home countries was being prepared. Now the Turkish president is apparently backing away from this.
- At Civil Fleet Podcast Luiza Izuzquiza explains why Sea Watch and FragdenStaat sued Frontex.
News from the Borders 12.05.2022
- In view of increasing repression by the Taliban, the Greens insist on a forced admission of people from Afghanistan in Germany.
- Abdelfetah Mohamed comes from Eritrea and fled across the Mediterranean to Europe ten years ago. Today he is volunteer on the Ocean Viking and saves even people from drowning. (English)
- A fire in a completely overcrowded Cypriot refugee camp has killed At least six people injured have been. The Pournara camp is intended for up to 1,000 people, but twice as many now live there.
News from the Borders 11.05.2022
- During his time as Frontex Director, Fabrice Leggeri has been increasingly radicalized. Spiegel reports how Frontex made this possible and what happened in the days and weeks leading up to his resignation.(Paywall)
English version (Without paywall)
- Millions of Syrians are dependent on humanitarian aid, the War in Ukraine worsens the supply situation. At a Syria donor conference in Brussels, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Federal Foreign Office pledged 1.05 billion euros in aid for the coming years.
- The Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration (SVR) has appealed to political parties and decision-makers to Working conditions for immigrants in the health care sector significantly improve. Without migration, the industry would face collapse.
News from the Borders 10.05.2022
- With Watson in Switzerland I spoke about the situation at the external borders, the upcoming Frontex referendum next Sunday and my role as part of the Frontex investigation team.
- UN Secretary General Guterres has more international aid for the Republic of Moldova in the care of Ukrainian refugees.
- The German ships „Sea-Watch 4“ and „Sea-Eye 4“ have over the weekend 122 people rescued in the Mediterranean Sea.
News from the Borders 5.05.2022
- Yesterday we voted in Parliament on the budget of Frontex: with a majority of 492 votes, the budget was not released for the time being. The refusal of the budget discharge is an important call for the Reform of the Border Management Agency. Crimes at the external borders must finally have consequences in the EU again.
- Andrea Costa, who helped refugees at the train station in Rome and was on trial yesterday because of it, was acquitted. A victory for solidarity!
- Yesterday, the EU-funded Libyan coast guard has Sea-Eye 4 threatened and asked to leave "Libyan territory" even though they were in international waters. The Sea Eye rescued 57 people.
News from the Borders 3.05.2022
- The 101 rescued on board the Geo Barents have a safe harbor assigned and were able to go ashore in Sicily. The 295 people on board the Ocean Viking continue to wait for the allocation of a safe port.
- Glazier Andrea Costa has helped refugees at the train station in Rome get a place to sleep, a hot meal and medical care. Now he is threatened with Prison sentence for providing tickets to refugees for bus travel within Italy bought.
- In the future, Great Britain wants to Ship asylum seekers directly to Rwandano matter where they come from. There are already some refugees from Afghanistan living in the country.
News from the Borders 2.05.2022
- The Bundestag decided on Friday to extend the mandate for German soldiers to participate in the EU mission „Irini“ off the coast of Libya by one year. Unlike before, however, the training of the Libyan coast guard is no longer provided for.
- Fast 400 people waiting on board the Ocean Viking and Geo Barents to its safe harbor.
- According to UNHCR 3,000 people died last year in an attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea in the direction of Europe. The number of unreported cases is probably much higher.
News from the Borders 29.04.2022
- After various lies, dozens of scandals, and thousands of pushbacks, must be Frontex Director Leggeri finally resigns. The fact that it took so long and that mafia-like structures became possible at Frontex is a scandal that goes far beyond Leggeri.
- I had already called for this several times, most recently at the beginning of March when the Report of the EU Anti-Fraud Authority Olaf was presented.
- A deaf 17-year-old Briton was arrested by the police mistreated because he is black. The police put him in custody for deportation at Gatwick Airport and registered him as a Nigerian. The young man is a British citizen who has never left his home country.
- The three young men charged in the El Hibu case in Malta have given their testimony on the crossing from Libya to Malta. The court has Your side of the events still not heard.
News from the Borders 28.04.2022
- A joint investigation reveals that Frontex has documented pushbacks in its own database and has labeled them as "Prevention of departure" classified. The Mirror was involved in the research (paywall).
- With the support of FragDenStaat sues Sea Watch Frontex before the ECJ because of the systematic and illegal pushbacks. They demand that Frontex release its information.
- Denmark pays Kosovo € 15 million per year, so that up to 300 foreign inmates serve their sentences there. After that, they are to be deported.
News from the Borders 27.04.2022
- The EU Commission has published the so-called Rule of Law Mechanism against the Government in Budapest activates what we as the Green Group in the European Parliament have been calling for for a long time. This could cut Hungary's financial support by billions.
- Great Britain would like Rwanda as a "deportation station and transport refugees there, although human rights are massively disregarded there.
- The border controls from Austria, which have been reintroduced and steadily extended since 2015, are, according to the Case law of the ECJ unlawful. A new threat is required for an extension, which did not exist.
News from the Borders 26.04.2022
- Within two days off the coast of Libya, the Ocean Viking has more than 160 fugitives rescued from distress at sea. Yesterday, the crew of the ship rescued 94 people from an overloaded inflatable boat. Already on Sunday, the ship had rescued more than 70 fugitives. More information can be found on the SOS Mediteranée social media channels.
- At the end of March 2021 17 people deported from Germany to Ethiopiaalthough civil war is raging there. The deportation cost about 430,000 € and was accompanied by 76 police officers.
- Because the Lebanon almost completely dependent of grain from Russia and Ukraine, a hunger crisis is looming in the country. Development Minister Svenja Schulze was on site and promised help.
News from the Borders 25.04.2022
- In the past few days several boats sunk off the Tunisian coast, with at least 26 people drowned. 320 fugitives were rescued.
- The United Nations World Food Program does not have sufficient funds and has had to reallocate them. Fayness Alpha lives in the Dazeleka refugee camp in Malawi and can now no longer feed their children.
- The Bavarian Integration Commissioner Gudrun Brendel-Fischer (CSU) wrote last week: "Ukrainian refugees do not need to be told how a washing machine works or that cooking is not allowed on the floor of the room." The Refugee Council reads the statement as if she distinguishes here between "civilized" European refugees and other "uncivilized" ones and demands her resignation.
News from the Borders 22.04.2022
- There were over 10,000 documented pushbacks in the Aegean last year. The Pushback Report 2021 from Mare Liberum shows how normalized and commonplace brutal pushbacks at the border between Greece and Turkey have become.ND summarizes the findings here together.
- 756 German officials, 11 Italian airplanes, 62 Bulgarian patrol cars and 101 Austrian deportation officers: AsktheState researched how individual European countries supported Frontex in 2015 – 2021.
- Around the final report of the state parliament inquiry committee on the death of the innocently imprisoned Syrian Amad A. there are political dispute. The 1450-page report was published on Wednesday after three and a half years of investigative work. The SPD and the Greens cast a special vote and distanced themselves from the report.
News from the Borders 21.04.2022
- After the fire in Moria one and a half years ago, six Afghans were sentenced, yet there are justified doubts about their perpetration and the judicial process.The Guardian has written a longread about the criminalization of refugees and helpers and reworks the story of Moria.
- According to a court ruling, the Netherlands may no longer transfer foreign nationals to Croatia under the Dublin Regulation, without first conducting an examination of the factual circumstances.
- At Explosions at a school in the Afghan capital Kabul at least six people were killed. Members of the Shiite Hasara, who are frequently attacked by the IS terrorist militia, live in the neighborhood.
News from the Borders 20.04.2022
- Five million people were according to UNHCR displaced throughout Ukraine since the beginning of Putin's war of aggression. This is the largest movement of refugees in Europe since the end of the Second World War.
- The European Court of Human Rights ruled that refoulement of people to Greece is legal.What this means for the fight for human rights is discussed by Lore Graf and Maximillian Pichl in the Friday.
- Poland welcomes millions of Ukrainian refugees - the Border with Belarus, however, Warsaw continues to keep closed. Concerned and activists report increasing violence. (paywall)
News from the Borders 19.04.2022
- At Border river Evros a fugitive has been shot dead while trying to reach Greece from Turkey in a rubber dinghy.
- Again and again people die while trying to cross the river Evros. from Turkey to the EU. The Greek government is doing everything it can to cover this up.
- In Greece, after a shipwreck, one of the survivors faces over 200 years in prison & a father is arbitrarily charged for the death of his 6-year-old child. Here is all the info about their case and how you can support the Samos2.
News from the Borders 8.04.2022
- Ukraine reports At least 39 killed in attack to the Kramatorsk railroad station. There thousands of fugitives were waiting for evacuation.
- The Council of Europe has Increase in unlawful refoulement of asylum seekers at the European external borders. These pushbacks happened systematically and across Europe.
- In Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia, an estimated 15 million people affected by drought.
News from the Borders 7.04.2022
- The Lesbian and Gay Association (LSVD) has Sharp criticism of German deportation practice The country has been a persecuting country, where the death penalty is imposed on homosexuality.
- LeaveNoOneBehind turns two years old. Therefore we make today at 19:00 a Insta-Livewhere you can ask Patrick from our task force team your questions.
- Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, is currently home to 80,000 refugees and 3.2 million displaced in the country.
News from the Borders 6.04.2022
- At the Polish-Belarusian border pushbacks continue to take placewhile Poland allows millions of Ukrainians to enter the country.
- For more than half a year, the Taliban in power in Afghanistan. Since then, many people in the population are afraid and the need is growing.
- The Italian authorities assigned the Sea-Eye 4 the port of Augusta.
News from the Borders 4.04.2022
- For years, the EU has been Detention centers for refugees financed. Now it has become known that at least one prison continued to operate even after the Russian invasion began.
- According to UNHCR almost 100 people drowned on the flight to Europe after their completely overcrowded boat capsized off the Libyan coast. Four people could still be rescued.
- During his visit to Malta, Pope Francis took advantage of the History of St. Paul to draw attention to the situation of boat refugees and call for more compassion. He also spoke with the El Hiblu 3, who are currently being tried.
- The Pope with the El Hiblu 3
News from the Borders 31.03.2022
- Because Zi Faámelu is trans, she was not allowed to simply leave Ukraine and had to flee under very bad circumstances. In Germany, she wants to use her voice to help the community.
- While the EU welcomes Ukrainians, it operates a regime of deterrence in West Africa, says sociologist Olaf Bernau. Blame is also a false myth.
- On Monday afternoon rescued the Crew of the merchant ship KARINA under the command of Ukrainian captain Vasyl Maksymenko, saved 32 people from drowning in the international waters off Libya.
News from the Borders 30.03.2022
- Numerous organizations call for The German government is calling on federal politicians to support deserters and conscientious objectors from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, especially Russians, who could otherwise be unintentionally implicated in crimes.
- The Libyan coast guard was also trained by the Bundeswehr. That is now a thing of the past. Instead, there is a Commitment to rescue at sea.
- As of the reporting date December 31, 2021, approx. 1.95 million protection seekers registered in the Central Register of Foreigners with different residence titles.
News from Borders 29.03.2022
- Human rights experts stated yesterdaythat many Libyan detention centers for refugees continue to be sites of horrific systematic abuses, including crimes against humanity.
- The Sea-Watch 3 is on its way to the central Mediterranean.
- If you want to become active in sea rescue yourself, you will find here free jobs and internships at Sea-Eye.
News from the Borders 28.03.2022
- On Friday, Ocean Viking rescued 128 escapees from an overcrowded inflatable boat, with rescue coming too late for two people. They are among the approximately 350 people who have died this year on their flight to Europe, according to the IOM.
- The case of El Hiblu 3 in Malta shows according to critics:insidehow Black refugees are treated in a racist manner.
- Ethiopia declares „humanitarian ceasefire“ in Tigray.. Since the fighting began, thousands of people have been killed and more than two million others have been forced to flee, according to UN figures.
News from the Borders 25.03.2022
- Four activists of Grupa Granica were detained in Poland only because they provided humanitarian aid to a family with seven children who have been stuck in the Polish-Belarusian border area for three months. The Statement of the group you can find on Instagram.
- Thousands of people have died in the Mediterranean Sea. Volunteers create a place of memory for some of them on Lampedusa.
- Girls in Afghanistan should be allowed to go back to school. On the very first day, however, the Taliban rulers issued another ban. The students are stunned.
News from the Borders 24.03.2022
- Eurostat has published the asylum statistics for the year 2021, according to which 535,000 people submitted an initial application. Accordingly, there are 1.2 asylum applicants per 1000 EU citizens. You can find the dates here.
- While millions of people from Ukraine receive protection, the rule of law continues to be undermined at other external borders of the EU. Franziska Grillmeier took a look at the situation along the Ukrainian border and on Lesbos.
- In Russia and Belarus, people are evading deployment in wars that violate international law. But there are also conscientious objectors in Ukraine. Pro Asyl demands: Those who flee the war effort must be given protection. Demands and info at Pro Asyl.
News from the Borders 23.03.2022
- At least 52 people were detained in Poland after they fled Ukraine. The reason is that they come from Africa and are black. Der Spiegel has researched the cases and talked to a student from Kamerum who is in jail.
- The government in Greece distinguishes between "real" and "fake" refugees in order to justify that Ukrainians are currently taken in while others are mistreated, beaten or simply thrown into the open sea. SRF reports in this 6-minute radio feature.
- The Open Arms is finishing its 89 mission in which they saved 28 people from drowning. Learn more at Open Arms on Twitter.
News from the Borders 22.03.2022
- While the world looks to Ukraine, the Taliban in Afghanistan have begun a wave of house-to-house raids. A woman affected reports in Zeit Online.
- Iranian mother and 13-year-old daughter deported after 10 years in Germany. The Hessian Refugee Council accuses the state of Hesse of violating the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child when deporting them. Here is the press release of the Refugee Council.
- While people from Ukraine are welcomed with open arms in the EU, brutal and illegal pushbacks continue to take place at the other external borders. The Border Violence Monitoring Network reports on 19 pages about the current developments on the Balkan route.
News from the Borders 21.03.2022
- The bodies of 17 people were discovered off the Tunisian peninsula of Cape Bonwho wanted to flee to Europe. According to the IOM, 234 refugees have died in the Mediterranean so far this year. The data of the IOM finder you here.
- The military in Myanmar has killed thousands of people from the Rohingya Muslim minority and displaced hundreds of thousands. The USA now wants to classify these crimes as genocide.
- On one of the last British flights out of Kabul, instead of people, there were dogs and cats. This could become a problem for Boris Johnson.
News from the Borders 18.03.2022
- The UN High Commissioner urged more international aid for suffering people in Afghanistan. According to Filippo Grandi, it is not only in Ukraine that misery reigns.
- On foreign pressure Taliban allow girls to attend high schools.
- So far this March, only one refugee boat with 56 people reached the Canary Islands, which is far below the average of the past two years.
News from the Borders 17.03.2022
- Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri covered up the brutal operations of Greek border guards - apparently against the will of his staff. Der Spiegel reports (paywall).
- Activist Olaf Bernau has written a book about the importance of migration in Africa. In the taz Talk he talks about "Fighting the Causes of Flight“.
- In the shadow of the war in Ukraine, the Taliban seem to have little regard for world opinion. Journalists' lives are in acute danger, according to Reporters Without Borders.
News from the Borders 16.03.2022
- Salvini must stand trial for statements against sea rescuer Carola Rackete. The mirror reports about it.
- The Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig ruled that the federal government may stop admission programs of the states for refugees.
- Marina has made her house on the Polish border a shelter for refugees and is seen as a hero. Dorota did the same on the border between Poland and Belarus and could end up in prison for it. The Independent reports on the two women.
News from the Borders 15.03.2022
- Priest Gábor Iványi was a confidant of Viktor Orbán, but now they are no longer friends. Today, Iványi cares for those whom Hungary's government does not want - and now also for Ukrainian refugees. Time Online has potraitted him.
- Tens of thousands of people in Somalia are fleeing - from the drought that has taken away their livelihoods. And because of the war in Ukraine, even less aid is arriving than before. Der Spiegel reports in this video about the situation.
- Omar fled Syria in 2015. Today he lives openly queer in Berlin-Neukölln. The story of a self-discovery. The Taz tells the story of his self-discovery.
News from the Borders 14.03.2022
- The Greek Coast Guard rescued 101 people from a sinking boat on Sunday who were on a route from Turkey to Italy. Refugees are increasingly taking this long and deadly route because they face pushbacks and mistreatment in Greece. Tagesspiegel reports here.
- In 2021, there were more fatalities than ever before on the so-called Atlantic route. DW discusses the backgrounds to this.
- Europe distinguishes between good and bad refugees, and if the continent were as civilized as people here like to claim, everyone would be treated equally, says Mohamed Amjahid. You can find his text in the taz here.
News from the Borders 11.03.2022
- Important ECJ ruling: Refugees who are to be deported may not be detained together with criminals. Learn more at Pro Asylum.
- Geo Barents calls for a safe haven for 111 gerrette. 52 of the people are minors, the youngest being a four-year-old child. More on Twitter at MSF Sea.
- Yesterday saw the release of the fourth of six episodes of the podcast "Inside Kabul Airlift." To be heard at Spotify.
News from the Borders 10.03.2022
- I talked with Sally Starken and Ralph Ruthe on their podcast "Generally Educated" about how to help refugees from Ukraine now. You can listen to the episode here listen
- Italy will start a trial against sea rescuers on May 21. A preliminary hearing will decide whether charges of „aiding and abetting unauthorized entry into Italy“ will be dropped or whether a years-long trial will be launched that could end with a 20-year prison sentence. The statement of the Iuventa crew can be found here here.
- Greece's practice of systematically rejecting asylum applications as inadmissible and referring protection seekers to Turkey blatantly violates EU law. RSA and PRO ASYL call on the EU Commission to initiate infringement proceedings against Greece. Background information at Pro Asylum.
News from the Borders 09.03.2022
- For the deportation of a single person to Zimbabwe who was required to leave the country, the federal government last year spent nearly 198 775 € issued.
- The 23-year-old Masouma Tajik fled from the Taliban to Kiev half a year ago and now had to flee to Poland again. The Guardian has spoken with her.
- The Thuringian Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow advocates expropriating the yachts of Russian oligarchs and transferring them to Sea-Watch for sea rescue.
News from Women's Fight Day 2022
- Refugee women and girls are affected by gender-specific discrimination. On the occasion of International Women's Day on March 8, PRO ASYL and state refugee councils call for asylum procedures to finally be gender-sensitive and to ensure the protection of refugee women and girls in Germany. You can find the press release here.
- Ahead of International Women's Day on March 8, Foreign Minister Baerbock expressed her appreciation above all for the women in Ukraine. „We see you. We stand by your side“, she said in Berlin at an event on gender justice with activists from around the world. tagesschau.de reports.
- On Women's Day, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian women face persecution and sexual abuse. Women are particularly unprotected in times of war. This must change. Anastasia Tikhomirova's commentary at Zeit Online.
News from the Borders 7.03.2022
- About 5000 Afghans live in Ukraine, many of them hoped for a better life there. Now quite a few of them are fleeing the war - for the second time. Der Spiegel reports (paywall).
- Doctors Without Borders rescued 31 people in the Mediterranean Sea yesterday. When Geo Barents reached the boat, it was already sinking.More about the rescue at MSF Sea on Twitter.
- Yesterday, hundreds of refugees demonstrated in front of the UNHCR headquarters in Libya. They denounce that the processing of their asylum applications has been pending for years and that some of them are thrown into prisons. Refugees in Libya on Twitter.
News from the Borders 04.03.2022
- NGOs have been documenting pushbacks in Croatia for six years – there were 9114 in 2021 alone, and as many as 16,400 in 2020.16 European organizations condemn the crackdown in this statement.
- Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi referred to Ukrainians in parliament as "real refugees" and played them off against people from other states to justify Greece's unlawful treatment of refugees. Human Rights Watch criticizes him for.
- Half a year after the Taliban took power documents the photographer Stefanie Glinski how the country has developed.
News from the Borders 03.03.2022
- Several hundred people managed to cross the meter-high border fence into the Spanish exclave of Melilla in northern Morocco.
- Anyone who wants to leave Afghanistan needs a passport. That makes the head of the passport office a powerful man. The FAZ visited him and shows how desolate the system in Afghanistan is.
- The Commission has proposed to the Council to recommend Greece to conduct independent investigations into all serious allegations of ill-treatment by the Greek police and the Greek coast guard at the external borders. Statewatch explains what this means in concrete terms.
News from the Borders 02.03.2022
- For many Syrians in Germany, Russia's attack reminds them of what happened in their homeland. Tareq Alaows appeals not to repeat mistakes of that time.
- Representatives of the British House of Lords voted late Monday night by a clear majority against the right-wing Home Secretary's plans to criminalize protection seekers who enter the country on irregular routes.
- Today the crew of the Sea Punks is on the road, to get a new ship.
News from the Borders 01.03.2022
- EU anti-fraud report: Leggeri lied to the European Parliament and covered up the illegal dragging of refugees to the open sea, even though he knew about it. You can find a detailed report in the mirror (paywall) and a Summary at ORF.
News from the Borders 28.02.2022
- On Saturday, the SeaWatch 4 reached the port of Porto Empedocle in Italy, bringing 129 rescued people ashore.
- Omar El Manfalouty from Egelsbach is involved in sea rescue as a pilot: In his spare time, the 29-year-old flies to the Mediterranean to spot boats in distress from the air.
- Baran C. was an aid worker for the Bundeswehr in Afghanistan. He saved himself from the Taliban and came to Germany. Three sons, however, had to stay behind. Der Spiegel tells its story (paywall).
News from the Borders 25.02.2022
- A Syrian with protection in Austria wanted to join his daughters in Belgium. There it may be rejected, says the ECJ. But family ties must be respected in the future, he said.
- Tobi Schlegl works as an emergency paramedic and has a Book about his volunteer work on the Sea-Eye 4 written.
News from the Borders 24.02.2022
- In Kiev and other Ukrainian cities, long lines of cars are forming heading west. People hope to find safety in the west of the country. Check out the New York Times for live updates on the situation.
- U.S. expects as many as five million people to fleeif Putin continues to escalate the situation in Ukraine. Initially, Ukraine's Eastern European neighbors would be particularly affected.
- Poland must prepare for a large number of fleeing Ukrainians. But that doesn't even bother the ruling right-wing populist PiS, which has otherwise opposed taking in refugees.
News from the Borders 23.02.2022
- According to the Advocate General at the ECJ, Sea-Watch ships may in principle be inspected in Italian ports. The Italian authorities may now find themselves vindicated in having rightfully detained Sea Watch 3 and Sea Watch 4 under absurd pretexts.
- Using patrol boats, the Italian Coast Guard rescued 573 people. The operation took place about 100 kilometers off the coast of Calabria.
- So far in 2021, the police have counted more than 1,250 crimes against refugees and their accommodations. Most of the acts were motivated by right-wing extremism.
News from the Borders 22.02.2022
- UN Refugee Commissioner Filippo Grandi warned against „normalization“ of illegal pushbacks. „What is happening at Europe's borders is both legally and morally unacceptable and must stop."
- 2,400 refugees from Afghanistan are currently still living in relatively good conditions in hotels in Albania. Most are waiting to continue their journey to the USA.
- The EU is using development aid funds to finance a deployable radar system for the Libyan coast guard. The force, known for its brutality, wants to use it to drag refugees back to the civil war country.
News from the Borders 21.02.2022
- With the Kabul Airlift, we have so far helped around 1,600 people to leave Afghanistan. The six-part podcast "Inside Kabul Airlift" about the first weeks of our project appears on Spotify. The first part is released on 17.02., every week comes a new episode.
- Six months after the Kabul airlift, 12,000 Afghans are still stranded in Abu Dhabi. Actually, the emirate was only meant to be a stopover on the flight from the Taliban's revenge, but the U.S. is stalling.
- Since 2014, up to 1.5 million people have fled the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Concerns are growing about an invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Some countries are preparing to receive large numbers of fleeing people in the event of an emergency.
News from the Borders 18.02.2022
- Together with other members of my group, I have submitted a question to the Commission in which we ask questions about Croatia's systematic pushbacks. The Commission refuses to act and justifies its inaction with a monitoring mechanism that is not independent and obviously does not work. You can find my request and the answer here.
- According to research by the „Spiegel“ and other media such as the „Guardian“, Greek border guards allegedly threw three people seeking protection into the sea in September 2021, two of whom drowned. BR24 summarizes the results in German and without paywall.
News from the Borders 17.02.2022
- Greek border guards probably threw two men into the sea and killed them. Reports are mounting that the deaths of people are being accepted in order to avoid asylum applications. The Guardian reports without paywall.
- The Greek Efstratia Mavrapidou, who gained international attention for her help to refugees on Lesbos, died Tuesday at the age of 96. President Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou praised her commitment as "deeply human".
- The EU is allowed to cut funds to member countries that violate the rule of law. This is what the European Court of Justice has ruled - and thus dismissed claims brought by Poland and Hungary.
News from the Borders 16.02.2022
- Poland's government expects up to one million refugees in the event of a possible Russian attack on Ukraine. Cities and towns have now been asked to prepare.
- Thuringia's Migration Minister Dirk Adams (Greens) wants to stick to plans for a program that would allow Afghan nationals to come to Thuringia: "The situation in Afghanistan has not changed. The need to help here is undisputed."
- In Greece, people seeking protection after boat accidents are criminalized and subject to extremely high penalties. Most often, the criminalized are themselves people on the run, punished for allegedly steering the boat.
News from the Borders 15.02.2022
- In a joint statement Pro Asyl, Kabul Airlift and the Afghanistan Sponsorship Network have presented a 10-point plan to rescue persecuted people from Afghanistan.
- Kicking and beating with iron bars and agonizing days in detention: People on the run report inhumane conditions in Romania and mistreatment by the police there.
- Two-thirds of the refugees who arrived in Britain in small boats after crossing the English Channel suffered from hypothermia. Hundreds also had burns and broken bones.
News from the Borders 14.02.2022
- The Ocean Viking ship of SOS Méditerranée rescued more than 200 people from the Mediterranean Sea in four rescue missions within 24 hours.
- The Spanish coast guard said Friday it has rescued more than 290 people from distress at sea. They had tried to cross the Atlantic to the Canary Islands.
News from the Borders 11.02.2022
- Croatian police officers have received an internal instruction not to be filmed during pushbacks and the mistreatment of fugitives in the future. The pushbacks are to continue, but reporting is to be prevented. Croatia came under pressure because journalists filmed how Croatian police mistreated refugees and deported them illegally. The document proves that the pushbacks are ordered.
- Ijaz K. drowned on December 28th during his escape in Croatia. His friends reported it to the police and were then illegally deported to Bosnia. They now demand that the Croatian authorities at least search for the body of their friend.
- 400 people protested on Wednesday against the planned deportation center at BER. Commissioning is planned for 2025, according to the Brandenburg Ministry of the Interior. The Green Party and the Left Party are critical of the construction project.
News from the Borders 10.02.2022
- Poland is fortifying its border with Belarus at a cost of 366 million euros. A wall more than five meters high is to prevent people from entering the EU. Spiegel explains the background in this four-minute video analysis.
- Next week, the EU-Africa Summit will take place. Development funds are unfortunately increasingly being used to move the EU's external borders to Africa and seal itself off.
- For the year 2021, IOM counts 1977 people who died or went missing while fleeing across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. The dead were commemorated at the port of Senglea in Malta.
News from the Broders 09.02.2022
- Following evidence of torture by Greek officials, I told Der Spiegel: "This has nothing to do with border protection anymore, these are crimes against humanity."
- Almost 41,000 people who have previously received protection in Greece are waiting for an asylum decision in Germany. German courts have ruled that those seeking protection in Greece were at risk of homelessness and hardship and therefore should not be sent back there.
- Thousands of people continue to be stranded in Belarus on the border with Poland. The Guardian reports and publishes a photo series showing the current situation.
News from the Borders 08.02.2022
- Refugees and migrants in Lithuania receive 1,000 euros when they fly back to their countries of origin. This is financed from EU funds. A minority, nearly 272 people, agreed in 2022.
- Luxembourg has not deported people to Afghanistan as a matter of principle since 2015 and also wants to maintain this policy and help those seeking protection to arrive.
- On Sunday, hundreds of refugees and Greeks protested in Athens against the pushbacks of the Greek government and its inhumane treatment of protection seekers. Already on Saturday there was a similar demonstration in Istanbul.
News from the Borders 07.02.2022
- After 19 people froze to death following a suspected pushback, UN refugee agency now also investigating Greece for mistreatment and human rights violations. In this article, Deutschlandfunk explains how the systematic pushbacks work.
- At the last minute, the deportation of Heybet Sener from Munich to Turkey was prevented. The 31-year-old is threatened with imprisonment in Turkey for political reasons. Activists and representatives of churches, the Green Party and the Left Party successfully campaigned against the deportation.
- 1.7 million people, mainly women and children, are enduring sub-zero temperatures in Syrian refugee camps. Welthungerhilfe fears a humanitarian catastrophe.
News from the Borders 04.02.2022
- At the informal meeting of EU interior ministers in Lille the member states agreed that EU members that do not take in refugees should pay contributions in the future. At the same time, according to the plans, refugees are to be registered more comprehensively after their arrival and filtered with regard to their asylum prospects. In addition, a Schengen Council is to be established.
- Ibrahim B. has been living in Germany for seven years and has a residence status, but when he was on vacation in Greece, he was kidnapped by Greek officials and dumped on the open sea off Turkey.
- A state reception program in Schleswig-Holstein was supposed to offer endangered Afghans the chance to be accepted in the state. But the Federal Ministry of the Interior under Horst Seehofer did not allow the program. In the meantime, other federal states have also launched reception programs - but even under Minister Faeser, the Ministry of the Interior has not yet announced whether it agrees.
News from the Borders 03.02.2022
- The bodies of twelve people were found on the Greek-Turkish border, which Turkish officials say were previously pushed back from Greece.
- After France took over the Council Presidency on January 1, the interior ministers of the EU member states are meeting today in Lille. Macron promotes more deportations and partitioning and wants a "reform of the Schengen area."
- In Malta, the El Hiblu 3 are on trial for flimsy reasons, because as teenagers in 2019 they convinced the ship's captain to take them and more than a hundred other people to Malta rather than tow them back to Libya.
News from the Borders 02.02.2022
- Greek officials are resorting to increasingly brutal means to keep out asylum seekers. Iranian Parvin A. was pushed six times, tied up and reports being beaten with wooden clubs – and has now called in the UN.
Here, Parvin describes her story and Forensic Architecture lay out how they researched.
- The institution deals in its current issue with human rights violations by Frontex and presents a detailed fact check.
- The EU has been working with Libya for five years to stop people fleeing. In that time, over 82,000 people have been trafficked back to Libya. Amnesty International calls for an end to cooperation with Libya.
News from the Borders 01.02.2022
- Barbed wire, soldiers, border police. The taz took a look at how a new wall is being built across Europe in Poland.
- In this 20-minute film Isabel Schayani describes the current situation on the Polish border with Belarus for WDR and tries to explain how it could come to this.
- Thousands of Yazidi children fled with their families from IS. Photographer Kilian Foerster has accompanied some of them over seven years.
January 2022 news
News from the Borders 31.01.2022
- At the Federal Delegates Conference I was elected to the party council of BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN and am very much looking forward to this task.
- The European Commission welcomes the German government's proposal to participate in a „coalition of those willing to take in“.
- Taliban apparently killed more than 100 local forces and ex-government employees.
- A pregnant journalist wants to return to her native New Zealand, but she is denied entry. Instead, she gets help from the Taliban in Afghanistan. In New Zealand, this sparks a discussion about humanity, in Afghanistan about the staging of the Taliban.
News from the Borders 28.01.2022
- The Polish activists of Grupa Granica consider the construction of the wall with Belarus illegal. In addition, the construction would endanger an important nature reserve. The new wall is 5.50 meters high, 186 kilometers long, costs around €353 million and is scheduled for completion by June.
- Every tenth person in the initial reception facility in Giessen is Corona-positive. Hundreds of people are in quarantine in temporary halls. The Hessian Refugee Council is clearly critical of the conditions.
01/27/2022: EU continues to fund Libyan coast guard +++ Endangered Chechen faces deportation +++ Commission considers Greek processing of asylum applications to be contrary to European law
- The Libyan coast guard mistreats refugees and drags them back to undignified conditions. The EU program for their training and funding is nevertheless to be continued.
- German authorities refuse asylum to a young Chechen and his mother -. although it is indisputable that the murderous regime of Ramzan Kadyrov is after him.
- Greece rejects asylum applications on the grounds that Turkey is a "safe third country", but Turkey does not allow the rejected applicants to enter the country. From a question of mine it now emerges that the EU Commission classifies this procedure as contrary to European law. My request, the answer and a short assessment on my homepage.
- One of the last British evacuation flights from Kabul had dogs and cats on it, but no people, which outraged many Britons. Prime Minister Johnson claimed to have known nothing. Now it came out that he himself approved the operation.
01/26/2022: Seven people frozen to death off Lampedusa +++ Amnesty calls for release of Afghan women's rights activists +++ 439 on Geo Barents continue to wait for safe haven
- Seven people froze to death in an overcrowded wooden boat fleeing from North Africa to Lampedusa. 280 people could be rescued from the boat, which was about 20 meters long.
- Amnesty International has called for the release of two women's rights activists in Afghanistan who were reportedly tortured. The two had taken part in protests against the Taliban.
- The 439 rescued on the Geo Barents continue to wait for safe harbor. You can get updates on the situation on Twitter at MSF Sea.
- For four weeks, photographer Sebastian Sele accompanied the 25-member crew of the Ocean Viking on the Mediterranean.
01/25/2022: Greek government leaves one-third of refugees on islands starving +++ 23 million people in Afghanistan at risk of hunger +++ Poland begins construction of border fence with Belarus
- In the overcrowded camps on the Greek islands, one third of the refugees go hungry. Of the 16,559 people there, more than 6,000 are currently not receiving adequate access to food, according to the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Around 40 percent of the people in the camps are children.
- According to the UN, 55 percent of Afghans, or 23 million people in total, are at risk of hunger. According to the UN, the country needs at least $4.4 billion to overcome this crisis. It is only because of this emergency that international representatives are meeting with the Islamist Taliban in Oslo.
- Construction of a controversial fortified border fortification has begun on the Polish-Belarusian border. The government in Warsaw decided on the €353 million project last year. The wall is to be 5.5 meters high and 186 kilometers long.
- The snow and freezing temperatures continue to have a firm grip on the refugee camps in northern Syria. The situation, which has already been critical, continues to worsen. The humanitarian catastrophe is just around the corner. Euronews reports in this short video.
- The UNHCR issued an appeal yesterday, requesting $59.6 million for some 100,000 refugees from Cameroon and internally displaced people in Cameroon. The clashes in Cameroon began on December 5 in the village of Ouloumsa on the border with Chad and are also related to dwindling water resources due to climate change.
01/24/2022: Hundreds of people at Poland's external EU border still need help +++ 439 rescued on Geo Barents await allocation of safe haven +++ 16 EU states call for EU to fund border fencing
- According to Polish aid workers, the situation of refugees on the border with Belarus has not yet been resolved. Thus, in the first three weeks of January, 345 people in the border area „had asked for humanitarian, medical or legal assistance“, said Monika Matus of the action alliance Grupa Granica. The Polish Border Guard said that 810 people had tried to cross the border irregularly from Belarus so far in 2022. Der Spiegel interviewed the new human rights commissioner of the German government, Luise Amtsberg, on the subject.
- After several days on rough seas, the people rescued from distress by the Louise Michel and the Mare Jonio were able to set foot on Italian soil. Meanwhile, 439 people are still waiting on the Geo Barents on the allocation of a safe port. Malta, as the nearest safe port, should provide this, but does not.
- At a border management conference in Lithuania, 16 EU countries signed a joint declarationin which they call on the EU to support measures against refugees and to seal off the country. The main issue is EU funding for border fences and surveillance technology at the external borders. The EU Commission rejects demands to cover the costs of building border fences.
- Talks have begun in Oslo with representatives of the Islamist Taliban on the situation in Afghanistan. On the other side, representatives of Norway, the EU, the U.S. and other countries, as well as representatives of Afghan civil society, including Afghan women, journalists and human rights activists, will take part in the meeting.
- Haitian DJ Peterson crossed the Colombian jungle with his family and then got stuck in Mexico. Now he is on his way to the USA - although he is threatened with deportation to Haiti.
01/21/2022: Refugees at external borders not adequately protected from Corona +++ Three NGO ships rescue over 600 people in the Mediterranean +++ Snowstorms worsen refugee situation in Syria and Lebanon
- At the external borders, too little is still being done to protect refugees from Corona. Unfortunately, the pandemic is also being used as an excuse to close camps and restrict access to the press. I spoke to watson.de about the current situation.
- The Geo Barents of "Doctors without Borders", which Mare Jonio of Mediterranea Saving Humans and the Louise Michel currently have over 600 people on board, whom they rescued from distress at sea in recent days. In several of these missions, the call for help of people in distress at sea had been received via the emergency hotline of the initiative „Alarm Phone“.
- The Spanish Coast Guard rescued a total of 130 people from five boats in distress yesterday and in the morning hours and brought them to Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria. The largest rescue involved a boat with 62 people, which was still more than 80 kilometers off the coast of Fuerteventura. Cope reports (Spanish).
- Icy temperatures and snowstorms lasting for days exacerbate the suffering of thousands of refugees in Syria and Lebanon. Three children died after snowstorms in Syrian camps.
- UNHCR is deeply concerned on the deteriorating situation of Eritrean refugees in the Tigray region. Those affected report twenty preventable deaths in the past six weeks. There is a lack of medicines in particular.
01/20/2022: Switzerland to hold Frontex referendum +++ Fabrice Leggeri honored by Greek migration ministry +++ Refugee councils publish multilingual asylum guide for refugees
- Activists in Switzerland have collected enough signatures for a referendum on Frontex. In the fall, Parliament tripled the contribution to the EU border protection agency Frontex to 61 million francs. This is now to be put to the vote in a referendum on May 15, if the Federal Chancellery concludes that there are more than 50,000 valid signatures. Here you can find the initiative on Twitter.
I spoke to the Swiss WOZ in November about the referendum.
- The Greek Migration Ministry wants to honor Frontex Director Fabrice Leggeri for his "merits" in "managing the migration crisis." This is an exposing decision by the Greek government, because Leggeri lied to us MPs in the Frontex investigation group several times and prevented the investigation of serious human rights violations, and probably gets the prize mainly for preventing a full investigation of the Greek pushbacks.
- The Bavarian and Munich Refugee Councils have developed multilingual explanatory videos on the asylum procedure for those affected. They are intended to serve as signposts in the asylum procedure and to support refugees in being able to handle their asylum procedure in an informed and independent manner.
- The Geo Barents of Doctors Without Borders rescued 109 people this morning. The location of the inflatable boat could be determined thanks to AlarmPhone.
- Yesterday, the European Union Asylum Agency (EUAA) officially became operational, replacing the European Asylum Support Office (EASO). EASO will thus be transformed into a fully-fledged EU agency. This is a sub-item from the Commission's proposed Pact on Asylum and Migration, but there has otherwise been no progress in implementing it so far.
01/19/2022: Over 1500 dead on the central Mediterranean route in 2021 +++ First dead on the English Channel this year +++ Germany approved record arms exports in 2021
- The IOM lists more than 1500 dead or missing on the so-called Central Mediterranean Route in 2021. According to internal UN report 30,990 people had been intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard and returned to Libya as of Dec. 14, nearly three times the number in 2020.
- Last Friday, a refugee fell from an inflatable boat on the English Channel and drowned. This is the first known fatality on this route in 2022. 30 other people were rescued from the inflatable boat.
- The grand coalition approved a record €9.35 billion in arms exports in 2021. In 2020, the figure was €5.82 billion. The biggest customer for German arms exports is the autocratic regime in Egypt. The current government has agreed on a more restrictive approach to arms exports and is working to enact stricter rules.
- There are currently around 3.6 million internally displaced persons in Afghanistan. The withdrawal of aid from abroad after the Taliban came to power crippled the economy and led to a hunger catastrophe, which mainly affected those who had to flee within Afghanistan.
- Restrictions on freedom of movement, dress codes, occupational bans: According to a UN report women in Afghanistan are systematically discriminated against and marginalized.
01/18/2022: Beating Croatian police back on duty after three months +++ Absurdly high prison sentences for refugees in Greece +++ Iraq flew nearly 4000 people out of Belarus
- In October, a research network reported about violent pushbacks at the EU's external border with Bosnia-Herzegovina and also published a video. On it, police officers could be seen systematically torturing refugees and beating them with a baton. In response, three intervention police officers were suspended, but they are now back on duty.
- In Greece, refugees driving the boats in the Aegean Sea are often unjustly criminalized. They receive absurdly high prison sentences of up to 146 years because they are accused of smuggling. Often, these are people who take the helm because they themselves cannot pay for the crossing.
- According to the Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesman. In the past two months, eleven return flights were carried out by the Iraqi government, during which a total of 3,817 Iraqis were flown out of Belarus and 112 from Lithuania.
- Hesse's only "safe house" for queer refugees and its 28 residents have moved from the industrial park on the outskirts of Frankfurt to the city center.
- Behrouz Boochani fled persecution from Iran to Australia in 2013 and was detained there on Manus Island for six years. The poet and filmmaker took the Đoković case as an opportunity to write about it, How inhumane Australia's refugee defense is and how quickly the attention to the situation of those affected evaporates again.
01/17/2022: Interior Minister Faeser works on "coalition of the willing" +++ German government wants to take in more people from Afghanistan +++ More than 40 people presumed dead in Moroccan waters
- In order to end the blockade in EU asylum policy that has been going on for years, Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser wants a „Coalition of host member states“ forge. Such a coalition could move forward and thus set in motion the further development of the European asylum system, the SPD politician said after a meeting with EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson.
- Germany evacuated around 10,000 people from Afghanistan by the turn of the year. But thousands are still fleeing the Taliban in their own country. Many of them are hoping for help from Germany. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock shows herself ready to do so. In this feature, Deutschlandfunk reports on the situation and also lets the Kabul Airlift have its say.
- Three underage teenagers made it to Rome in August on one of the last evacuation flights from Kabul. When they try to join their uncle in Germany, they are detained by federal police officers and end up in Bavarian deportation custody instead.
- More than 40 people are presumed dead on the flight to Europe. There were 55 people on board a boat leaving the Moroccan town of Tarfaya, ten of whom were rescued. According to Alarm Phone, Moroccan authorities intervened only eleven hours after they were informed about the case. You can find the message at Copa (Spanish).
- The small Hessian town of Witzenhausen declares its solidarity with people on the run and becomes a safe haven.
01/14/2022: HRW criticizes Germany for handling people from Afghanistan +++ Yemen needs $3.9 billion in humanitarian aid +++ Spanish coast guard rescues 73 people
- Human Rights Watch sees serious failures in the withdrawal of the Bundeswehr from Afghanistan. The coalition at the time largely ignored the need of human rights activists, journalists, and local staff to leave the country before the withdrawal of international troops, HRW said in its annual report. The Human Rights Watch World Report, which also criticizes European refugee policy, can be found here.
- I talked about it with zdf-todayhow those in charge at the time blocked our attempts to rescue as many people as possible from Afghanistan in the summer.
- The UN estimates that Yemen will need about $3.9 billion in humanitarian aid this yearto help around 16 million people survive there. Last month alone, more than 15,000 people were displaced in Yemen. The UN estimates that 377,000 people have been killed since the war began.
- Off the coast of Gran Canaria, the Spanish coast guard rescued 73 people from boats during the night.
- Sport helps many refugees on Lesbos to get through the harsh conditions on site. The NGO Yoga and Sports with Refugees supports them to be able to do sports at all. We have also supported the NGO several times with LeaveNoOneBehind funds.
Jan. 13, 2022: 17 children pushbacked in the Aegean +++ Space Eye wants to use satellites for civilian sea rescue +++ Open letter calls for Dresden to be made a safe haven
- On January 9, 25 people fled to Lesvos, including 17 children. They could not apply for asylum, were imprisoned, beaten and abandoned at night at sea on a rubber dinghy without a motor. These crimes are simply unbearable.
- High-resolution images from Earth observation could help with civilian sea rescue operations in the Mediterranean. However, these have to be purchased from commercial providers because openly accessible images from EU satellites are of low quality. An initiative now wants to enrich this data with other sources and evaluate it with algorithms.
- In an open letter, Seebrücke calls on the city council in Dresden to join the Safe Harbors Alliance.
- According to Libyan media, more than 600 people were arrested. The refugees had been in front of the local headquarters of the refugee agency UNHCR protested against their living conditions.
- War has been raging in Syria for ten years. According to UNHCR, 13 million people have fled since then, and about 2.8 million of them live in northwestern Syria. Some families have settled in ancient settlements and are somehow trying to establish themselves among dangerous rubble. ntv publishes an impressive photo series about the people in the ancient ruins.
12.01.2022: "Pushback" is the unword of the year +++ Ocean Viking fixed again +++ Most asylum applications in Germany come from people from Syria and Afghanistan
- The "Unwort" jury criticizes the use of the term "pushbacks".because it "whitewashes an inhumane process" that deprives people fleeing their homes of the opportunity to exercise their right to asylum. According to the jury, the use of the term conceals the violence associated with the act of pushing people back.
- Italian authorities have once again detained the rescue ship "Ocean Viking" of the organization SOS Méditerranée on flimsy grounds.
- Last year, 190,800 applications for asylum were filed in Germany. 17.5 percent of the applicants are infants born in Germany. Most applications come from people from Syria (over 70,000) and Afghanistan (around 31,000).
- Five months after the Taliban took power, numerous refugees in Berlin are still waiting for their relatives to be evacuated from Afghanistan. Many local forces have not yet been evacuated – although they have long had promises of admission.
- Lebanon's refugee camps are home to 1.5 million people from Syria, who make up more than one-fifth of the total population. A generation without prospects is growing up here.
Jan. 11, 2022: 600 refugees detained in Libya +++ UN says €4.5 billion in aid needed for Afghanistan +++ More than 35,000 people attempted to cross the English Channel into the United Kingdom irregularly in 2021
- In Libya, some 600 refugees were detained in Tripoli on Monday morning, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and International Rescue Committee (IRC). The aid organizations demanded that the Libyan authorities release the people and protect them from violence.
- For assistance in Afghanistan and neighboring countries with Afghan refugees, the UN needs at least €4.5 billion this year. This is the largest humanitarian appeal the United Nations has ever made for a country.
- More than three times as many refugees wanted to cross the English Channel last year. In 2021, 1,360 cases were recorded with more than 35,000 people on board. In 2020, authorities recorded around 870 attempted crossings with a total of about 9,550 people.
- The UK Home Office has told a Syrian asylum seeker that he can return to Syria because it is safe there. It is the first case of its kind. It concerns a 25-year-old man who fled forced recruitment by Bashar al-Assad's army, where he might have been forced to torture and murder other people. Should he return to Syria, he faces forced recruitment and torture.
- Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and her Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio stress that they want to cooperate more closely on refugee policy and will not simply accept the deaths in the Mediterranean. Baerbock also stressed that it was important for some states to take the lead.
01/10/2022: Thousands of refugees detained in Poland +++ Several bodies discovered in the Aegean +++ Frontex asks court to drop case
- After dramatic weeks on the border strip, thousands of people have made it from Belarus to Poland. There, they are often interned in detention centers. For those affected, this perpetuates the trauma.
- At the end of December, several refugees died in accidents on boats in the Aegean Sea. Now several bodies, including that of a three-year-old child, have been discovered. The death toll could be much higher.
- Frontex demands from the judges of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg, to dismiss a lawsuit and also wants to shift the costs of the lawsuit to the two plaintiffs, a minor asylum seeker and a recognized refugee. The two plaintiffs argue that Frontex contributed to fundamental rights violations that the two suffered during their flight to Greece.
- Australian authorities have placed tennis star Novak Đoković with refugees in a hotel. This hotel also houses people who have been incarcerated for up to nine years and were previously detained at the notorious offshore camp in Nauru.
- The traffic light coalition wants to take in more refugees legally, reunite more families - and offer protection seekers better prospects in Germany. In all likelihood, the new Federal Minister of the Interior, Nancy Faeser, will no longer put the brakes on the involvement of local authorities in the same way as her predecessor, Horst Seehofer of the CSU. But it is still unclear how the municipalities will be involved in the coming years.
Jan 07, 2022: New classification of Afghanistan by BMI +++ Doctors without Borders leaves Polish-Belarusian border region +++ Climate refugees in focus of Migration Policy Institute podcast
- In the future, Afghanistan will be considered a "country of origin with good prospects of remaining". How Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser came to this decision and what this now means in practice for people from Afghanistan.
- For three months, the organization Doctors Without Borders has been trying to provide humanitarian aid to the people on the Polish-Belarusian border. The ZEIT has written about why the aid organization is now leaving the region.
- Climate flight will determine migration movements more and more in the future. The Migration Policy Institute podcast recorded an episode explicitly on this topic.
- Under the title "Fortress Europe", the Telegraph the border fortifications in the EU graphically processed. How many Berlin walls this adds up to and where there are walls everywhere, you can see here.
- Many people from Syria are still missing from their relatives. With "Gone but not forgotten", the BBC has published a report on this topic. Here you can have a look at them.
Jan 06, 2022: 70 people illegally returned to Tunisia +++ Winter onset in Afghanistan poses major problems for people +++ Lithuania ends state of emergency on Belarus border
- 70 people who had rescued themselves on an oil platform in the Mediterranean Sea were returned to Tunisia by the Tunisian authorities. Aid organizations consider this illegal, at Euractiv you can read the background.
- Millions of people in Afghanistan do not have enough to eat, now also comes the onset of winter with snow.
- Time and again, human rights violations occur at the maritime border between Greece and Turkey. The NGO Aegean Boat Report has once again been able to clearly prove a pushback with the help of visual material.
- Local protest on Chios has prevented heavy machinery from being unloaded from a ship. Presumably, they were to be used for the construction of the new closed camp, at the greek-speaking Efsyn you can learn more.
05.01.2022: Over 11,900 pushbacks at the EU's external borders in 2021 +++ Woman dies on escape route from Afghanistan to Turkey +++ Escape across the English Channel up significantly in 2021
- Over 11,900 pushbacks at Europe's borders were documented in 2021. More information can be found at Borderline Europe.
- A woman has died in a snowstorm on the Iranian-Turkish border after fleeing from Afghanistan to escape the Taliban. You can read more about the life-threatening circumstances of the escape route in the Mirror.
- More than three times as many people tried to flee across the English Channel from France to Great Britain in 2021 as in the previous year. The background and what consequences are drawn from this, you can read at the ZDF read.
- A total of 127 people have been rescued by sea rescue organizations in the last 24 hours, all of them trying to reach the Canary Islands. More in the Spanish-language newspaper EFE.
- The Taliban are having mannequins removed from stores in Afghanistan, and some of them are having their heads chopped off. In the tagesschau you will learn the background.
Jan 04, 2022: More than 4,000 people drowned on Atlantic route in 2021 +++ Aid organizations criticize federal government's local forces procedures +++ People on Chios protest against closed camps on island
- More than 4000 people drowned last year fleeing towards the Canary IslandsThe number of unreported cases is significantly higher.
- The Federal Government wants to facilitate the local forces procedure and thus accelerate the departure from Afghanistan. The Tagesspiegel has written about why aid organisations are criticising this and what their demands are.
- The Greek government has defended its plans for closed camps on the Aegean islands despite clear protests against them from the island's population. You can read more in the Greek-language Politis Chios.
- A former local employee from Afghanistan is now safe in Schleswig-Holstein. The man spoke to NDR about his situation and that of his relatives and friends in Afghanistan.
- Not even 40,000 people tried to flee across the border from Belarus to Poland into the EU last year.
We are back from vacation and wish you all a happy and hopefully healthy new year!
Jan 03, 2022: 16 people drowned in the Aegean on Christmas +++ Sea rescue organisations save hundreds of people over Christmas +++ Germany to speed up admissions from Afghanistan
- A total of 16 people drowned off the Greek island of Paros at Christmas while trying to reach Italy via the Mediterranean Sea from Turkey. You can read a detailed report in the Berliner Zeitung.
- In the days over Christmas, civilian sea rescue organisations saved the lives of hundreds of people in the Mediterranean. The rescued are now safe in Italy after authorities delayed landing them for days.
- Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock wants to considerably simplify the admission of Afghan local staff and thus speed up their departure.
- Hundreds of people are still being denied entry and access to an asylum procedure in the EU at the Polish-Belarusian border.
- The number of arrivals and rescues via the so-called "Atlantic route" from the West African coast towards the Canary Islands continues to increase. The Spanish-language newspaper EFE has summarized the situation in recent days.
News from December 2021
22.12.2021: Interview on EU refugee policy in Migazin +++ Analysis of the new Greek strategy on asylum policy +++ Press freedom in Afghanistan further restricted
- In recent days, hundreds of people have been rescued from drowning in the Mediterranean. I explain in Migazin why I think the debate in the EU is tainted.
- With the newly opened closed camps and the reduction of crossings due to human rights violations, the Greek government has adopted a new strategy. Statewatch analyzed them and wrote them up here.
- With the Taliban coming to power, the situation of the press in Afghanistan has changed dramatically. Now more media outlets have been closed.
- The situation for women in Afghanistan has worsened dramatically in recent months. Die Zeit has done research on former women's shelters and their residents.
- Absurdly high penalties for people who cannot afford to cross the Channel and therefore control the inflatable boats have been in place in Greece for some time. Now such a sentence has also been pronounced in Great Britain, after the crossing of the English Channel. You can read about the background in the English-language Independent.
We are taking a holiday. The next news will be on January 3, 2022. Stay healthy and come well into the new year!
21.12.2021: 6,000 Afghans still have to wait for entry to Germany +++ Situation on the Sea Eye 4 comes to a head +++ New self-help organisations founded on Lesbos
- More than 6,000 Afghans with families in Germany are waiting for a visa to enter the country. About their situation and why they are particularly threatened.
- An Iraqi mother, a football fan from Yemen, a teenager from Syria: At least 17 people have died in the border area between Belarus and Poland since September. The Mirror tells of their dreams, fears and goals.
- The Hazara are a minority in Afghanistan who have been threatened with persecution and torture since the takeover. You can read how many of them are now trying to leave the country at tagesschau.
- The "Rise Above" of the sea rescue organization Mission Lifeline has been assigned a port. But over 200 people on the Sea Eye 4 are still waiting for a port. The situation on board continues to deteriorate.
- In the spring of 2020, two refugee self-help organizations formed on Lesvos. About the work of the "Moria White Helmets" and the "Moria Corona Awareness Team".
20.12.2021: New evidence of human rights violations at the EU's external border with Belarus +++ Activist reports on her flight to Kiel +++ State reception programme in Thuringia for Afghan relatives under discussion
- Human rights were violated on the EU's Polish-Belarusian border, for which the human rights organization Amnesty International has presented new evidence.
- An activist from Afghanistan was on the run for more than 10 weeks, now she is safe in Kiel. The NDR reports about the escape and the background.
- The federal state of Thuringia intends to present a state admission programme for Afghan nationals. The SZ explains how it is to be better designed and why it is to cost around 1.5 million euros.
- Many people in Afghanistan are currently waiting for a passport. After some time, the Taliban have now started issuing passports again.
- The Sea-Eye 4 has rescued over 200 people from distress at sea in the last few days. The ship is now waiting for a port to be allocated by the Italian authorities.
17.12.2021: Denmark wants to rent 300 places for people in detention pending deportation in Kosovo +++ Violence against refugees in Germany is not sufficiently recorded +++ Commission proposes tightening the Schengen Borders Code
- The Danish government's goal is to stop taking in any protection seekers at all and to process asylum applications abroad, if at all. Now Denmark also wants to rent 300 prison places in Kosovo, where people are to sit until they are deported. People could be in prison for a very long time because deportation to home countries like Syria is currently not possible, but Denmark revokes people's residence permits anyway.
- According to a report by the Amadeu Antonio Foundation, the police crime statistics in particular do not reflect the current extent of right-wing extremist or racist incidents against refugees. There had been many cases where refugees had become victims of the most serious violence without the case appearing in the crime statistics or being made public in a press release. The brochure "Lives in Danger – Violence against Refugees in Germany" can be found at here.
- The Commission has proposed to tighten the 2016 Schengen Borders Code to make it even more difficult for those seeking protection to access procedures based on the rule of law and to further criminalise migration and flight. The New York Times reports.
- Sea-Eye and Mission Lifeline have rescued a total of almost 200 people from distress at sea in the central Mediterranean. During their mission, the crew of the „Rise Above“ south of the Italian island of Lampedusa took more than 65 people on board, the Saxon organization Mission Lifeline said. The team of the „Sea-Eye 4“ rescued elsewhere in two missions a total of just over 125 refugees from drowning.
- People demonstrated in the southern English coastal town of Hastings against the inhumane refugee policy of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel. When another rubber boat with landed on the coast in Hastings, citizens rush to the beach and provide people with wool blankets and warm drinks.
16.12.2021: SOS Méditerranée rescues 114 people and publishes annual review of sea rescue +++ UK fails to adequately support protection seekers who arrive +++ Up to 14 million children face hunger in Afghanistan
- The Ocean Viking of SOS Méditerranée rescued 114 people from distress at sea this morning. In addition, SOS Méditerranée published its annual review of sea rescue operations for 2021, which shows that this year more people drowned in the Mediterranean and many more were brought back to Libya than last year. Here you can find the review of the year.
- Inspectors found out that suicidal women who had been repeatedly raped by people smugglers were not adequately supported once they arrived in the UK. Similarly, a girl who suffered fuel burns while crossing the English Channel did not receive proper medical care for two days, leaving her scarred for life.
- Aid agencies estimate that up to 14 million Afghan children will go hungry in the winter. They demand exemptions from the sanctions against the Taliban.
- The Syrian civil war has driven countless people from their homes. Many are seeking safety in the opposition region of Idlib. Francisco Seco, photographer for the US news agency AP, was in Sarmada at the end of November and captured moments from the lives of the refugees.
- Cisse, Christian and Narcisse were among the first rescued from the sea rescue ship „Sea-Watch 4“. One year later, they are still fighting for a future in Europe. evangelisch.de visited them in Lyon, Toulouse and Asti in northern Italy.
15.12.2021: Between July and October only 2505 asylum seekers from Afghanistan and the Middle East arrived in Poland +++ More than 100 local forces murdered by Taliban +++ Taliban no longer allow federal government to fly charter flights from Kabul
- Poland registered 2,505 asylum seekers from the Middle East and Afghanistan from July to October - a really manageable number of people, because of which governments of Member States, the Commission and the Council have lapsed into completely excessive war rhetoric. Asylum seekers are being held there in isolation in detention camps for the duration of the procedure. Fifteen people have already died at the EU's external border with Belarus in recent months.
- A new report from the UN states, that over 100 local staff, as well as several activists and media workers, have been murdered in Afghanistan.. The real number, however, could be far higher than the one currently mentioned. In addition, the Taliban recruited child soldiers and oppressed women. In particular, the security situation of women in the judiciary is alarming.The short report of the UN can you read here also directly.
- The Taliban prevent federal government from continuing to fly people out on charter flights. In recent weeks, there had been two charter flights in cooperation with Qatar that had brought people to Germany via Doha.
- Berlin wants to take in human rights activists, journalists, artists and opposition figures from Afghanistan. To this end, the Senate decided on Tuesday to establish a state admission programme, under which about 100 Afghan nationals will be admitted each year for the next five years.
- Italy has quietly resumed cooperation with the Libyan coast guard and sent a military ship there. And this despite the fact that the Libyan coast guard is responsible for illegal pullbacks and the dragging of people into torture camps and has also shot at people and prevented rescues.
12/14/2021: Former Danish integration minister sentenced to two months in prison +++ Trial of Salvini continues +++ Around 1000 people at border fence between Belarus and Poland
- Denmark's former Minister of Integration Inger Støjberg has been sentenced to 60 days in prison for misconduct in office. The court ruled that Støjberg had acted intentionally in the case of the separation of an asylum-seeking couple from Syria.
- Matteo Salvini must stand trial on Friday for his anti-refugee policies. The trial against the Lega leader for deprivation of liberty and abuse of office continues in Palermo. Salvini faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
- First they camped at the border fence, now they sleep in a warehouse: At Poland's external border, around 1000 people are hoping that they will be able to exercise their right to apply for asylum in the EU after all.
- At least 30,000 people have fled violent clashes in northern Cameroon to neighbouring Chad. Last week, fighting broke out between herders, fishermen and farmers in the village of Ouloumsa over dwindling water resources, which has since spread to neighbouring villages. Ten villages have been burned to the ground.
- Hundreds of thousands of people from Haiti sought a better future in Chile. But now more of them are leaving the country than immigrating. Racism and hardly any chances for visas and work are driving them away - towards the USA. Der Spiegel took a look at the situation in Chile.
12/13/2021: Situation on the English Channel comes to a head +++ Libya drops refugees in the middle of the desert +++ Baerbock calls on Poland to allow humanitarian aid on Belarus border
- Mahmoud wants to go to England, like all the others from Iraq, Sudan and Eritrea. But for now they are stuck - on the French side of the English Channel. The taz was on site and talked to the people.
- More than two weeks after a boat capsized in the English Channel killing at least 27 people fishermen have found a body in the net of their cutter off Calais.. Two survivors made serious accusations against British and French authorities. From their sinking boat they had alerted the French coastguard and the British police. Both had referred to the other side and no one had helped.
- I spoke to WDR about pushbacks, the situation at the external borders and Lukashenko's blackmail. The basic problem remains that there is no common European refugee policy. You can listen to the interview here listen up.
- As reported by the UN Human Rights Office. Libya apparently transported a group of 18 Sudanese across the desert and abandoned them to their fate at the border with Sudan.. Recently, children and pregnant women have probably also been taken out of the country in this way.
- Foreign Minister Annalena During her inaugural visit to Warsaw, Baerbock called on Poland to allow humanitarian aid for migrants and refugees in the region on the border with Belarus.
10.12.2021: 15 EU states want to take in 40,000 people from Afghanistan +++ People seeking protection continue to die at the border with Poland +++ Frankfurt creates more places for LGBTIQ refugees
- Germany and 14 other EU states announced yesterday at the EU conference of interior ministers, that they want to take in 40,000 particularly vulnerable people from Afghanistan. Germany alone is to take in 25,000 people through the resettlement programme. As recently as August, the Council refused to give a concrete figure.
- Afghanistan's economy is in the doldrums. Many people do not know where to get food, the health system has collapsed. The result: more and more children are malnourished.
- The body of a Nigerian man was discovered by Polish police on Wednesday. This is the 14th documented fatality on the Polish-Belarusian border. Five days earlier the Kurdish Iraqi Avin Irfan Zahir, mother of five children, died. The Süddeutsche Zeitung reports.
- The "La Villa" shelter for refugees from the LBGTIQ community gets a new location in Frankfurt. There are more places there - and thus a safe place for more people. Before Christmas, the 21 people are to move into a vacant, somewhat aging hotel in the city center.
- A sensational trial against two fugitive men is taking place in Samos. In an interview with "das Lamm", German activist Julia Winkler talks about the trial and why the discourse around smugglers does more harm than good. You can read the interview read here.
Dec 9, 2021: EU interior ministers:inside meeting on migration issues +++ Britain legalises pushbacks +++ Berlin takes in people, in Bavaria conservatives and right-wingers vote against state admission programme
- The EU interior ministers meet today on the proper handling of refugees at the external border. The EU Commission has already granted Poland, Latvia and Lithuania the possibility under Article 78, paragraph 3, to restrict the fundamental right to asylum and to detain people for up to 5 months. Germany is no longer represented by Horst Seehofer, but by the new Interior Minister Nancy Faeser.
- The British House of Commons has voted in favour of a significant tightening of asylum legislation. It is planned that people who try to cross the English Channel by boat may be forced out of their own waters again by British authorities. In addition, irregular entrants are to be prosecuted more severely and their asylum claims are to be assessed less favourably, although there are hardly any legal opportunities to apply for asylum in the United Kingdom.
- From 11 to 14 December, the second edition of the charity event „SOS SESSIONS“ will take place – to raise money for the mission of SOS Méditerranée. I will be there, too, and that's why I talked to Radioeins about sea rescue in the Mediterranean. You can listen to the five minute interview listen to it here.
- Within the framework of the state admission programme, Berlin has 95 refugees received from Lebanon. These are people from Syria who are particularly in need of protection and who previously lived in Lebanon. Next year, 100 more people are to be taken in.
- In Bavaria, the Greens demand a state admission programme for people rescued from distress at sea in the Mediterranean. The motion was supported by the SPD, while CSU, Freie Wähler and AfD voted against. The FDP abstained.
8.12.2021: Kabul airlift already evacuated 1000 people +++ Activists in Switzerland collect signatures for a Frontex referendum +++ In Belarus only about 7000 people still want to enter the EU
- The 2-year-old Afat is the 1000th evacuee of the Kabul Airlift. I am very happy that through commitment and donations so many people could be evacuated in the meantime and hope that the new government will quickly take more responsibility for people in Afghanistan. Click here to go to the Homepage of the Kabul Airlift. In the Leaves for German and International Politics I wrote in detail how the German government abandoned many people in Afghanistan and then we founded the Kabul Airlift.
- Thousands of local Afghan forces and their families still waiting to leave for Germany. Despite almost 25,000 promises of admission, only about 7000 people have come so far.
- Switzerland is not a member of the EU, but it is part of the EU border guard and also pays for Frontex. Now a referendum is being promoted asking whether Switzerland should increase funding for Frontex. If Switzerland doesn't, it would be tantamount to abandoning the Frontex system. The Republic reports and also talked to me about the issue.
- According to the Polish Government's estimates, the following are still in existence still about 7000 persons in Belarus who want to enter the EU irregularly. At present, the number of attempted illegal border crossings at Poland's border with Belarus is decreasing.
- The day before yesterday the Spanish coast guard rescued 57 people from distress off the Canary Islands, just a few days earlier they rescued 283 people spread over five boats . In the first 11 months of this year, just under 20,000 people arrived in the Canaries this way. IOM counts 936 fatalities, whereby the number of unreported cases on this route could be significantly higher.
7.12.2021: ECHR obliges Poland to take aid measures at Belarusian border +++ 600 people wait at Minsk airport to return to Iraq +++ The Guardian publishes a review of high-tech surveillance systems at the EU's external borders
- The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has obliged Poland in several cases toThe judges ordered that the situation of those seeking protection at the border with Belarus be improved through emergency measures. In some cases, the judges ordered that the people be provided with food, water and clothing, that they be allowed to contact their lawyers or that they not be deported to Belarus. It remains to be seen whether Poland has complied with the orders.
- Rebin, Heara and Bijan tried to cross the border between Belarus and Poland. They failed and were forced to return to northern Iraq. Soon they want to try again. Ze:tt spoke to them.
- More than 600 people from Iraq are waiting at Minsk airport – they are mostly Kurds who have fled and have been waiting for a return flight for days without getting anything to eat. Now, apparently, a plane from Baghdad is on its way to Belarus.The Spiegel reporter Christina Hebel tweets from Minsk airport. Already three days ago she wrote a Articles about the situation (paywall).
- From military drones to sensor systems to experimental technology, the EU and its member states have spent hundreds of millions of euros over the past decade on technology to detect and stop people seeking protection at their borders. The border between Poland and Belarus is becoming the frontline for this technology after Poland last month approved a €350 million wall with advanced cameras and motion sensors. The Guardian has a Overview of the growing number of high-tech monitoring systems created.
- Rohingya sue Facebook for $150 billion in damages. Facebook's algorithms allegedly fueled violence against Rohingya in Myanmar and their displacement. The UN had described the displacement of the Muslim-majority ethnic group from Myanmar in 2017 as genocide.
- In a conversation with ego-fm I explainedThe new Federal Government's plans for Afghanistan. Humanitarian aid is to be provided directly on the ground, and support is to be provided to neighbouring countries to create prospects for refugees there. The local forces procedure is to be reformed and legal and safe means of escape are to be created in order to prevent people from embarking on life-threatening escape routes out of helplessness.
6.12.2021: 38-year-old refugee from Iraq dies in Poland +++ Because of Corona two million migrants less worldwide +++ Pope visits Lesbos and calls for respecting human rights instead of building walls
- The 38-year-old Kurdish refugee Avin Ifran Zahir died in the hospital of Hajnówka near the Belarusian border. The pregnant woman was found in the forest by refugee helpers in November. While she was dying in the hospital, a group of refugees found her near the border. a concert with Lou Bega and Las Ketchup takes placewho played for the Polish troops "defending" the external borders.
- On Saturday again took off from the capital Minsk a plane bound for Erbil. According to information from Minsk, 419 people were on board.
- The Corona crisis has restricted mobility worldwide - with extreme consequences for migrants and refugees, as an IOM report shows. For the year 2020, the report counts around 281 million migrants worldwide - two million fewer than had been expected before the pandemic. Mirror reports. You can find the IOM report here.
- The Pope visited the new Moria on Lesbos. In his subsequent homily in Athens, Francis said it was bitter that there were still people in Europe who acted as if this problem did not concern them. Without naming individual states, he called for human rights to be upheld in dealing with refugees instead of building walls.
- According to IOM st least 1255 people have died fleeing to Spain this year up to 3 December.. Among them 937 on the way to the Canary Islands alone.
- In Afghanistan according to Human Rights Watch over a hundred former security forces have been killed or disappeared. EU and US call on Taliban to grant amnesty to security forces.
12/3/2021: Council of Europe Anti-Torture Committee publishes serious allegations against Croatia +++ Court rules: Asylum seekers may apply in Germany even if previously promised protection in Greece +++ Arrivals from Belarus decline
- The Council of Europe's anti-torture committee criticises systematic pushback of asylum seekers by Croatian police in report. There is no longer any doubt – this borders on crimes against humanity. This is no way to become a Schengen member. The press release and the 39-page report of the Council of Europe you can find here.
- According to a ruling by the Higher Administrative Court of Bremen, Greece is not a country where the basic and human rights of refugees are secured. Therefore, under certain circumstances, refugees are allowed to file a second asylum application in Germany, even if Greece has previously granted them protection.
- In November, fewer people arrived in Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia on the route via Belarus and Poland. Dhe responsible Federal Police Directorate Pirna registered 1099 irregular entries with reference to Belarus last month - after 1794 persons in October.
- France has rejected Britain's proposal for joint patrols of the English Channel. In a letter, French Prime Minister Castex stated that it was unacceptable for British police or military personnel to patrol the coasts of France - this was not possible for reasons of sovereignty alone.
- A meeting with refugees is considered the most important moment of the second day of the Pope's trip. According to the Cypriot government, Francis plans to take 50 people from Cyprus to Italy after his visit.
12/2/2021: 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
- The EU Commission wants to soften certain asylum rules for those seeking protection at the border with Belarus. For example, the asylum process could be extended and deportations simplified. In addition, the authorities are to have four weeks, instead of the current maximum of ten days, to register asylum applications. In total, protection seekers could now be detained for up to 20 weeks. In addition, the Commission wants to allow simpler and faster deportations. On Deutschlandfunk I criticized this proposal (from minute 2.27).
- Together with my group colleague Alexandra Geese I have written a letter to the Commissionin which we explain how refugees in the new camps on the Greek islands are monitored around the clock and locked up like felons. The situation is almost certainly contrary to EU law, yet the camps are being financed with EU money from the Corona reconstruction fund, which is not earmarked for this purpose.
- At the EU's external borders in Poland, Croatia and Greece, there are massive restrictions on the freedom of the press. The EU Commission, many member states and political parties in Europe tolerate the daily violation of the law at our external borders, because to them compartmentalisation is more important than the rule of law. The taz reports about the phenomenon and has also included a comment of mine in the text.
- Greek security authorities arrested German journalist Tim Lüddemann on Monday. The freelance filmmaker had taken pictures of a refugee camp on Lesbos. After a few hours he was released.
- The ship mechanic Raphael Reschke from the „Sea Punks“ sets off with six others on a sailing ship to the Mediterranean to save lives. SWR accompanied them and filmed this 45-minute documentary.
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.
- According to estimates of the Polish border guards, there are still about 10,000 people in Belarus.who want to come to the EU. That is a manageable number of people whom the EU could easily grant their right to asylum procedures with a better asylum policy.
- The Polish parliament has approved a law that temporarily restricts freedom of movement and freedom of the press at the EU's external borders with Belarus. Access for journalists is decided by the head of the border guard. According to the opposition and human rights organisations, the law violates the Polish constitution.
- The Bavarian and Hessian Refugee Councils call on the interior ministers of the federal states to stop deportations to Ethiopia.. The conflict in the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray is spreading and threatens to plunge the entire country into civil war. The occasion is also the conference of interior ministers starting today in Stuttgart.
- Just seven months after he was hired, Frontex's fundamental rights officer Jonas Grimheden is voicing his frustration. The EU agency does not follow his advice when it comes to possible violations. Grimheden said that while Frontex was not necessarily involved in violations itself, it appeared to be supporting national authorities that were breaking fundamental rights.
News from November 2021
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.
- The Taliban have asked the EU for help in running Afghanistan's airports. Both sides agreed that the airports must remain open, the European External Action Service (EEAS) said after talks in Doha. The Taliban reiterated their promise to allow people to leave the country if they so wished. The press release of the European External Action Service can be found here (English).
- The EU has created a shadow system that stops people seeking protection before they reach the EU's shores. Libyan militias then send them to inhumane detention centres where torture, sexual violence and starvation are on the agenda. The New Yorker reports in detail on the detention centers and publishes shocking footage from the camps.
- The Greek government has opened two more closed camps on the islands of Leros and Kos. The camps are secluded and surrounded by barbed wire fencing and equipped with surveillance cameras and X-ray machines for security checks. There are also magnetic doors and gates that remain closed at night.
- So far this year, the German Federal Police has registered about 10,600 irregular entries from Poland via Belarus.. In November, the number was around 2800.
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
- The British Border Police union is fighting back against Home Secretary Priti Patel's plans, which wants to make it legal to push back small boats in the English Channel, thus legalising pushbacks. Last Wednesday, 27 people died crossing from France to the UK.
- Refugee organisations in Berlin drew attention to the situation of refugees at the Polish-Belarusian border with a sea of lights made of thousands of green candles.. In large illuminated letters, the initiators demanded on Sunday at the action in front of the Reichstag building, a „recording Now“.
- Hundreds of Iraqis are being flown back to Iraq from Belarus, but the situation remains tense. The Belarusian border guards also reported one death on the Lithuanian border. The man, who was about 30 years old, was found on the Belarusian side in a sleeping bag with no signs of life.
- SWR1 interviewed journalist Theresa Breuer, who works with me on the "Kabul Airlift". In three quarters of an hour she tells us in detail how our work works and how we currently continue to save people.
- When the last German soldiers left Afghanistan, Deniz Ahmadi and Mohammad Rasol gave the go-ahead. Shortly thereafter, they began fleeing the Taliban. Now the air traffic controllers are stranded in Pakistan. They must not stay long.
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
- Two special flights had left Baghdad for Minsk to bring back 617 Iraqi citizens.said a spokesman for the Iraqi Foreign Ministry. A week ago, more than 430 mainly Iraqi Kurds had already been returned.
- 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.
- According to the responsible Advocate General at the European Court of Justice (ECJ), Germany is not allowed to place deportation prisoners in normal prisons under a special rule. The EU Return Directive stipulates that third-country nationals to be removed must in principle be accommodated in special detention facilities. If such detention facilities are not available, they can be accommodated in normal prisons, but separately from prisoners.
- Pope Francis visits Cyprus while arranging transfer of refugees from Mediterranean island to Italy. How many there will be is still unclear.
- The Sea Watch 4 has been assigned Augusta, Sicily as a safe port. Thus, the 461 rescued people on the ship can soon go ashore.
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
- At least 27 people have died when a boat capsized in the English Channel. The accident occurred off the coast of Calais.
- The German government is making slow progress in rescuing endangered local forces of the Bundeswehr and other German institutions from Afghanistan. The Home Office now acknowledged that a total of 3813 local staff are still waiting to leave.
- Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused Belarus and Poland „of serious human rights violations“ against people in the border area. „While Belarus has created this situation without regard to the consequences for the people, Poland shares responsibility for the acute suffering in the border area,“ said Lydia Gall of HRW on Wednesday. Belarusian border officials may also have used torture against migrants.
- After the fire in Moria, the EU supports the construction of new camps on the Greek islands. They are closed and far from towns. Critics remind them of prisons.
- Without migrants and refugees, the German labour market would be largely unviable.. A comprehensive Study by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation shows where they are particularly needed as skilled workers - and what that means for the future.
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
- On Tuesday morning, a fugitive was found dead on the border to Poland, north of Guben.. According to the Federal Police, it is a 25-year-old Iraqi. Already at the end of October, an Iraqi who was traveling with several refugees was found dead near Görlitz.
- The EU Commission provides Poland, Lithuania and Latvia with an additional 200 million euros for "border protection and in return expects the countries to examine the asylum claims of those seeking protection. The additional funds may not be used for the construction of fences or walls, but for surveillance technology or border protection vehicles.
- According to its own statements, Belarus is continuing the repatriation of protection seekers from the border region with Poland. 118 people would have left the country on Monday via the capital's airport in Minsk.
- The Belarusian opposition leader Tikhanovskaya gave a speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg today at noon.. She spoke of the people's struggle for freedom against the Lukashenko regime, the political prisoners and how the regime instrumentalises those seeking protection. And she stressed once again that Lukashenko is not the legitimate President of Belarus, must not be recognised and sanctions must continue to apply. Yesterday there was also a debate on the situation of refugees in Belarus and on the EU's external border with Poland.
- Many of those seeking protection at the Polish border are Kurds from northern Iraq. The prime minister of the autonomous Kurdish region Masrur Barzani is now asking the EU for help to crack down on smugglers.
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
- Tagesspiegel journalist Sebastian Leber was arrested by Croatian police on flimsy grounds and had to spend a night in prison. He was accused of "people smuggling" because he reported from the border area between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, where the Croatian police systematically torture and pushback people on the run. However, the public prosecutor's office did not see any evidence for the crime of human smuggling and released the journalist. Here, Sebastian Leber himself recounts how he was suddenly suspected of being a trafficker and put on trial (paywall).
- The Greens in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania have called on the state government toto support the admission of people on the Belarusian-Polish border and to reaffirm its own willingness to accept them. The Federal Government, which is still in office, has so far rejected admission from Belarus.
- The Sea Watch 4 rescued another 107 people from a wooden boat in distress. Among them is a newborn baby that was born on the boat. After the evacuation of the woman, the newborn and five other people for medical reasons, there are now 475 people on the Sea-Watch 4, which needs a safe haven as soon as possible.
- Since Saturday, 589 people have been rescued from distress at sea in 14 operations off the Canary Islands and brought to Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria.
- The German government has so far taken 8500 local personnel and their families out of Afghanistan, more than twice that number are still stranded, according to the German Foreign Office. Criticism is growing over the slow pace of evacuations.
- 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.
- Meanwhile, some people from Belarus were brought back to IraqFor many, however, it is still unclear what is happening to them. A first case of corona has now also been discovered in the emergency shelter.
- The Sea Watch 4 rescued a total of 120 people from distress at sea yesterday. Subsequently, she was threatened by the Libyan coast guard although she was in international waters. The situation has since eased.
- Yesterday was the first day of the trial of Sean Binder, Sarah Mardini and 22 other people who were criminalized for providing humanitarian aid. After one hour, the court adjourned the trial to the next higher instance. I spoke to DLF Kultur yesterday afternoon about the background and why I don't think the trial is about the rule of law.
- For the first time since the Taliban took power, German diplomats have met for talks with Taliban representatives. Der Spiegel has the background.
- People continue to flee at risk of their lives via the route from the West African coast to the Canary Islands. Again, there were also fatalities, the Spanish-language newspaper Canarias7 reported.
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
- Helping people in need and ending up in court for it? This is now commonplace in Europe. Today, the trial of Seán Binder, Sarah Mardini and 22 other defendants was to begin in Greece. They face up to 25 years in prison. But now, despite years of waiting, the trial has simply been postponed again. Seán Binder explains here how absurd the postponement of the trial is and what the real background to the charges against her is.
The taz reported on the case.
Leave No One Behind tweeted live from the courtroom.
- The head of the EU border agency Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, announces support for the repatriation of up to 1700 Iraqis. Frontex is working with the Polish authorities on this, he told the AFP news agency. Flights are to be chartered for this purpose in the coming weeks.
- Ten people died in an overcrowded boat off the Libyan coast. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said that 99 survivors were recovered from the wooden boat by the team of the rescue ship "Geo Barents". According to MSF, these are "ten avoidable deaths".
- Nearly 2400 people are in detention pending deportation in Greece – often in deplorable conditions, shielded from the public and completely in the dark about what will happen next for them. The journalist Franziska Grillmeier spoke for the Fluter with one of the refugees in deportation custody.
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
- After people at the Kuźnica border crossing were attacked by Polish police with water cannon and tear gas, Belarusian ruler Lukashenko let fugitives sleep in a warehouse. But there was not room for all the people there.
- Angela Merkel was the first Western leader to speak to Lukashenko on the phone since his "re-election" in 2020. The German chancellor was thus de facto the first EU head of government to recognise Lukashenko as the official election winner and legitimate ruler. Green Party politician Omid Nouripour criticizes Merkel's phone call on Deutschlandfunk radio.
- 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.
- Because they were used by people for their passage to United Kingdom could be used, the sporting goods retailer has Decathlon stopped selling kayaks in the outlets of two towns in northern France. No more kayaks would be sold in the shops of Calais and Grande-Synthe „due to the current situation“.
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
- Poland uses water cannons and tear gas against refugees at the border. This is the Polish government's reaction to people who do not want to freeze to death in the freezing cold, but who are not allowed to walk back even on the Belarusian side.
- In the jungle on the Belarusian border with the EU, thousands are trying to escape the cold and hunger. Their choice is: smugglers or pushback? And some residents are already afraid of a possible civil war because of the many soldiers. Zeit Online took a look around the Polish restricted area on the border with Belarus.
- 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.
- According to the UN, for the first time, more than 84 million people worldwide are on the run. You can find the UNHCR report here.
- The Spanish coast guard has found two dead bodies on a refugee boat off the coast of Gran Canaria. Four more people have been taken to hospital by helicopter. The boat with a total of 42 people on board has been discovered about 180 kilometers south of the Canary Island.
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.
- Thousands of people are still hoping to reach the EU via Belarus. Other groups of people are making their way from Minsk. The hope of many refugees is fading a little more with each passing day. Der Spiegel took a look at the situation on the ground (paywall).
- 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....
- On Saturday, we were able to evacuate 148 people from Afghanistan using the Kabul airlift, including local Bundeswehr personnel. After many smaller evacuation operations, this was the first donor-funded flight towards Germany since August.
- Eight people were killed on the voyage from mainland Africa to the Canary Islands – their boat apparently drifted in the sea for a week without propulsion. Off the Calabrian coast, 500 people were rescued from two boats.
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
- Shelter seekers spent another night in freezing temperatures in makeshift camps. Thousands of people are still stranded there with no quick help in sight.
- The European press review eurotopics has collected 16 commentaries from nine countries on the situation on the border between Belarus and Poland and translated them into German. Here you can get a good overview of how the topic is discussed in Eastern Europe.
- The federal government flew 329 people out of Afghanistan on Wednesday on its first charter flight. In addition, the Ministry of Defence has recognised the work contracts of 13 Afghan air traffic controllers.
- The Norwegian Refugee Council estimates that between 4000 and 5000 Afghans are currently fleeing to Iran every day. Since the Taliban took power, at least 300,000 people are said to have fled from Afghanistan to Iran. You can read more on the page of the Norwegian Refugee Council.
11/10/2021: Green MPs on Belarus border +++ Afghan air traffic controllers sue federal government +++ Pastor sentenced for church asylum
- The newly elected Green MPs Julian Pahlke and Merle Spellerberg went to Poland as observers – and are shocked.
- Two major groups of fugitives are said to have broken through the border from Belarus to Poland at two points on their hoped-for way into the EU, according to a Polish media report.
- Thus Görlitzer:innen help the refugees who arrive in Germany from Belarus.
- Ten Afghan air traffic controllers work for the Bundeswehr for years. But when the Bundeswehr ends its mission, they are left behind. Now one of the men is suing the federal government.
- Because he granted church asylum to a person from IranPastor Stefan Schörk had to answer to the Bayreuth district court. Now he's been convicted. Unfortunately, church asylum, which has existed for 1600 years, is increasingly criminalized in Germany.
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
- Leave No One Behind, Seebrücke and Cadus try to bring relief supplies to the border with Belarus todayThe day of the fall of the Berlin Wall is a reminder that the lesson to be learned from 9 November 1989 is that we must not build a new iron curtain across Europe.
You can find out more on the homepage of "Mauerfall Jetzt".
- 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.
- The initiative "Fall of the Wall Now" is calling for an end to the injustice on the EU border with Belarus and to prevent further deaths. On the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, they are travelling to the Belarusian border and calling for a humanitarian corridor. You can also find a video of "Mauerfall Jetzt" on Twitter.
- The government of Alexander Lukashenko is striving to increase air connections from the Middle East to Minsk to expand. Dozens of flights from Istanbul, Damascus and Dubai are to land in Minsk every week in the future. According to the latest landing plans of the Minsk airport, about 40 flights a week from Istanbul, Damascus and Dubai are planned until March.
- Four women's bodies were found in a house in Mazar-i-Sharif. Among them was a women's rights activist. They may have been lured into a trap when they tried to leave the country after the Taliban took power.
- After several days and nights in the field together. with Mission Lifeline's Rise Above, the sea rescue ship Sea-Eye 4 rescued more than 800 people and brought them to Trapani in Italy.
11/05/2021: At least three dead around Calais +++ Belarusian soldiers threatened to shoot at Polish soldiers +++ MEP watches pushback by Greece
- A regional train has hit a group of people in Calais, killing one person and injuring three others. On a beach south of Calais, one dead and two hypothermic shelter seekers were also found next to a small boat on Thursday. One person had already died in a boat accident the day before, and another is missing.
- Belarusian soldiers have threatened to shoot at Polish soldiers in the border area, according to the Polish Ministry of Defence. Belarusian soldiers who were accompanying people seeking protection had threatened to "open fire".
- Tonight Sea Eye and and Mission Lifeline rescued over 400 people from a double-decker wooden boat. When the Rise Above of Mission Lifeline arrived at the boat, there was already a leak in the boat through the water. Several people were in the water without life jackets and had to be rescued from the sea. One person was successfully resuscitated on the way to Sea-Eye 4. There are now more than 800 people on the Sea-Eye 4, which has set course for Lampedusa.
- Emergency services have rescued more than 400 people from the English Channel between France and Britain. According to French figures, some 15,400 people attempted to cross the Channel between January and the end of August alone.
- 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.
- 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.
- On Tuesday night, nearly 120 Afghan protection seekers reached the port of Portopalo di Capo Passero in southern Sicily. Although, according to the IOM, more than 1500 people have already died this year trying to reach Europe via the Mediterranean, more and more Afghans are choosing this route because the others are closed.
- In the next few weeks, 112 people in particular need of protection will arrive in Berlin from Lebanon, including 21 families with children. They are the first Syrian refugees who will have a safe home through a Berlin reception programme - after having fled to neighbouring Lebanon during the civil war.
- On Tuesday, 56 people, local Afghans and their families, were received at Frankfurt Airport. The sponsorship network Afghan Local Forces flew the people out to Germany without government support. The costs for flight and visa were also covered by the association. The association criticizes the outgoing German government for its lack of political will to save the people.
- Future protection seekers from Afghanistan will probably find work in Germany more often and be able to settle in more easily than compatriots who arrived here in recent years. This is what researchers at the Nuremberg Institute for Employment Research (IAB) predictwho have analysed current data on the Afghan community in Germany and those who are likely to arrive soon.
News from October 2021
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
- My colleague Theresa Breuer explains in the NZZhow we have evacuated 579 people from Afghanistan so far.
- 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.
- On the A4, police officers discovered a van with 30 refugees. One of the people found, a 32-year-old Iraqi, was dead. The police department Görlitz is now investigating in coordination with the federal police, what exactly happened there.
- The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) sounds the alarm in a new report because of the increasing number of climate refugees. It points out that in 2020, around 30.7 million people were displaced by natural disasters - more than three times as many as by conflict and violence, namely 8.9 million. You can read the entire 60-page report here.
- The Italian village of Riace was a model of integration. Refugees brought new life to the dying village on the Ionian coast of Calabria. But now the former mayor Domenico Lucano has been sentenced to 13 years in prison on flimsy grounds. In this 53-minute feature, Deutschlandfunk reworks the whole story about Riace, the refugees and Mimmo Lucano.
10/28/2021: Germany abandons thousands of local workers +++ Kretschmer (CDU) promotes border wall +++ Doctors Without Borders brings 367 rescued to Palermo
- Thousands of local forces and human rights activists' lives are in danger in Afghanistan. They want to leave, but Germany has closed its rescue list.
- Saxony's Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) wants to keep those seeking protection from Belarus out of the EU with fences and walls. The head of the umbrella organisation of GDR victims criticises this: "Walls and barbed wire have never stopped anyone from seeking their way to freedom". The EU Commission rules out financial support for walls at the external borders.
- According to a Research by WDR and NDR German authorities have already warned in spring of a scenario in which dictators like Lukashenko abuse people seeking protection to put pressure on the EU.
- The Geo Barents of Doctors Without Borders was able to go ashore in Palermo with 367 rescued. There, the refugees, among them 172 children according to the aid organisation, were to be tested for the coronavirus and then distributed to reception and quarantine camps.
- 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
- Four children between the ages of three and 14 died when a boat sank in the Aegean Sea. 22 other fugitives were rescued.
- A group of refugees from Iraq reached the coast of Greece's Peloponnese peninsula in September. Local residents provided for them. But Greek authorities claim the people never reached the coast.
- In five rescue operations within two days, MSF teams aboard the Geo Barents rescued 367 people from distress in the Mediterranean Sea. Of these, 172 were minors and some were small children. The high number of rescued children and young people is unusual even for experienced sea rescuers. 134 minors were on the dangerous crossing without parents. Many rescued people were already hypothermic and dehydrated when the rescuers arrived.
- With the "Aliens Law" that came into force today, fugitives can be expelled from the country immediately after an unauthorized border crossing into Poland is logged. Poland is thus legalising a pushback practice that is incompatible with EU laws and values, as well as with international refugee law.
- Those who flee from Belarus via Poland to Germany usually end up in Brandenburg. The authorities there are then responsible for the initial reception. This is to change - a faster distribution of refugees to other federal states is planned.
10/26/2021: Poland increases number of soldiers to 10,000 +++ Commission won't fund walls at external borders +++ Mediterranean route shifts to Calabria
- Poland wants to increase the number of soldiers on its border with Belarus to 10,000 because of the rush of people seeking protection. Defence Minister Blaszczak announced that 2,500 more soldiers would be sent to support the border guards. According to Polish sources, on the weekend around 60 to 70 people seeking protection tried to force their way across the border into the country.
- Meanwhile, Green Party deputy leader Jamila Schäfer is calling for help for people in the Belarusian-Polish border region. "EU Member States have a duty to ensure access to an asylum procedure in the EU at all times, as guaranteed by international and European law.", she told the German Press Agency. "Now, with the help of the UNHCR, people are to be provided with humanitarian aid on both sides of the border."
- Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stressed that the EU would not finance barbed wire or walls at the external borders. A number of government leaders, most notably the new Austrian Chancellor Schallenberg, called for just that.
- In the Mediterranean, flight routes are shifting. The island of Lampedusa is increasingly being replaced by the coast of Calabria in southern Italy as the destination for many people wanting to reach Europe.
- Greece has declared Turkey a "safe third country" for refugees from five countries. Therefore, even people from Syria currently have hardly any chance of asylum in Greece. The Greek lawyer Yiota Massouridou from Refugee Support Aegean explains the situation in an interview with PRO ASYL.
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
- Deutschlandfunk was on Samos, spoke to those affected and produced a 19-minute piece.
- In Guben, the neo-Nazis of "Dritter Weg" called for the hunting down of people seeking protection. On Saturday, people from Guben and Berlin demonstrated against the action of the right-wing extremists. But in Guben, where the AfD is also strong, there is unfortunately also a lot of understanding for the action of the neo-Nazis. Zeit Online was there and spoke with an Eritrean refugee who describes the situation.
- The Green politician Luise Amtsberg has called for a distribution of the protection seekers coming from Belarus among the EU states. "If it doesn't work, then it will just have to work with some," the politician said on ZDF, referring to a smaller group of EU states.
- Rising gas prices, starving people and a state that is running out of money: Afghanistan is threatened with bankruptcy. Now the Taliban want to set up an employment program in which people are paid with wheat instead of money.
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
- On Wednesday Polish divers found the body of a 19-year-old man in the river bordering Belarus. This means that eight people have died in recent weeks trying to apply for asylum in the EU.
- Watson has summarized the current situation on the border between Poland and Belarus. The EU Commission must not simply accept Poland's actions, but must now initiate infringement proceedings and make it clear that Poland will be deprived of funds if the government does not comply with applicable EU law.
- The chairman of the EKD Council, Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, welcomes the "change of track" formulated in the exploratory paper. This means that people can switch from the asylum system to forms of labor migration. He "expressly" supports this, Bedford-Strohm said on Thursday at the presentation of a basic statement by the two major churches on migration and flight entitled: "Shaping migration in a humane way." In the document, the churches call for "a more active culture of naturalization." You can find the whole document here.
- 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.
- Albania has taken in more than 1000 refugees from Afghanistan and housed them in hotels on the Adriatic coast. It is a counter-model to Moria, where refugees are treated well and appropriately.
21/10/2021: Socialists call for infringement proceedings over pushbacks +++ Council of Europe also calls for end to pushbacks +++ Asylum seeker sues Frontex
- Yesterday evening, pushbacks were debated in the plenary of the European Parliament. The responsible Minister of the Interior, Ylva Johansson, criticised the current Polish practice and stressed that pushbacks must never be normalised and legalised. With the Social Democrats, the second largest group in the European Parliament is now also calling for infringement proceedings against Poland, Greece and Croatia.
You can watch the plenary debate watch at this link (from 20:30)
- The Council of Europe is also calling for an end to pushbacks. The Council of Europe also criticises attempts to legalise pushbacks.
- 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.
- I did a longer interview about this with Daily Perspectivehow we can stand up for the rights of refugees in Europe. I was also allowed to speak about my book "Europe is abolishing itself".
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.
- Although the Polish police illegally pushback hundreds of people every day, and at least six people have already died on the border with Belarus, Horst Seehofer offers Polish police help in sealing off. However, Seehofer will also soon leave his post as Federal Interior Minister. The Greens in the Bundestag called on the German government and the EU not to generally turn back refugees. It is a pan-European task to guarantee adequate accommodation and a fair asylum procedure for those seeking protection.
- Soldiers in Austria have found almost 30 people crammed into a very small space when they checked a minibus near the Hungarian border. Two refugees were already dead. The trafficker escaped.
- Afghanistan's economy will shrink by up to 30 percent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This is all the more dramatic because the country is already operating at an extremely low level.
- 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
- Thousands of people demonstrated in Poland against the pushbacks on the border with Belarus. Under the slogan "Stop torture at the border", people in Warsaw marched in front of the Sejm, the first chamber of parliament. A rally was also held in Krakow.
- For two months 31 protection seekers stuck at the border between Poland and Belarus. Neither side wants to let them into the country. The Belarusian border guards won't let the people back and the Polish border guards won't let them into the country. The people fear that they will not get out of this zone alive.
- Belarus continues to attract people and now wants to lease aircraft in Ireland to do so. The EU foreign ministers now want to prevent this with new sanctions. The EU should finally create safe escape routes so that it can no longer allow itself to be blackmailed so easily by a dictator.
- More than two weeks after security forces stormed their shelters, several thousand people seeking protection in Tripoli are living on the streets. According to Libyan human rights activists, up to 4,000 people sleep on the pavement every night around the UNHCR headquarters in the Serrakh district alone. They wait in vain for a meal or medical care.
- In Lebanon, food prices have increased more than six-fold in the past two years. Many people barely have enough to eat. Syrian refugees in the country are suffering particularly, with 67 percent now having to skip meals, according to the UNHCR.
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
- The Sea Watch 3 is finally back in action and has already saved 120 people from drowning this weekend.. Since the beginning of the year, according to the (IOM), 1456 people have already died fleeing across the Mediterranean. The number of unreported cases is higher. For more info, follow Sea-Watch on Twitter.
- Belarus is allowing protection seekers to pass through to Poland in an organised manner in order to get back at the EU sanctions. Poland tries to stop the entry with illegal means such as pushbacks and physical violence and accepts deaths for it.
- Since August, thousands of people seeking protection have reached Germany via Belarus and Poland to apply for asylum. Most of them arrive in Brandenburg. Zeit Online visited an initial reception centre in Eisenhüttenstadt.
- Despite massive criticism from the UN Human Rights Office, the EU continues to adhere to the planThe European Commission has decided to provide new search and rescue vessels for the Libyan coast guard for the first time. The Libyan coastguard often takes people to Libyan camps where they face torture and death.
- Many families in Afghanistan have invested heavily in their children's school careers over the past 20 years. Because the Taliban disregard the value of education, it was all for nothing, says teacher Tamina Sarwari.
15.10.2021: EU supports Libyan coast guard +++ Poland erects "barrier" to Belarus +++ French government calls for migration deal with UK
- Despite massive criticism from the UN Human Rights Office, the EU continues to adhere to the plan, to provide new search and rescue vessels for the Libyan coast guard for the first time.
- Poland's government has announced plans to replace the barbed wire fence on the border with Belarus with something more solid. The word wall is avoided. A budget of the equivalent of 366 million euros has been earmarked for the project.
- France is calling for a migration deal between the EU and Britain. French Interior Minister Darmanin said on Sunday that he was in favour of a European treaty that would solve the problems of asylum applications, deportations and family reunification.
- The German artist collective "Peng" wants to help a family of refugees to buy their way into the European Union as investors.
- Many people were killed in the terrorist attack at Kabul airport on August 26. Among the victims is also 24-year-old Nasir, who lived in Bavaria.
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
- A court in Naples finds that returning people rescued at sea to Libya is a crime. The captain of the Asso28 was sentenced to one year in prison for bringing 101 protection seekers back to Tripoli. From now on, those responsible for any civilian ship involved in pushbacks can be tried and convicted. Der Spiegel reported on the Asso 28 case back in August 2018.
- Thousands of refugees had to go to court until the Foreign Office allowed their families to join them. Lawyers call the ministry's conditions extortionate. A large part of the lawsuits regarding family reunification do not lead to a verdict, but end in a "Berlin settlement". Learn more about it at fragdenstaatwho uncovered this together with the magazine Kontraste and Ippen Investigativ.
- Fighting around the Yemeni city of Marib has displaced some 10,000 people in the past month. One of the worst wars of our time has been raging in Yemen for years. This should be borne in mind when people from Yemen now come to the EU via Belarus to claim their right to apply for asylum. So far, more than four million people in Yemen have lost their homes because of the war.
- Nearly 100 people were rescued by the Spanish coastguard off the Canary Islands on Tuesday. The people were taken to Gran Canaria.
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
- In Libya, some 4000 people seeking protection have been arrested and taken to camps where they are systematically tortured. The Libyan coast guard, which is co-financed by the EU, also brings people into these camps..
- At least 15 people have drowned off the coast of Libya as the Libyan coastguard forced back a boat carrying people seeking protection. This is what the 90 survivors reportwhich were towed back to Libya by the coast guard. Regular updates on the situation on the Libyan coast you get at Safa Msehli, IOM Press Officer.
- Since August, more than 4,300 people have entered Germany via Belarus and Poland. These come primarily from Iraq as well as Syria, Yemen and Iran.
- The Croatian ambassador to Switzerland is sharply attacking Swiss radio for publishing evidence of pushbacks. The Croatian government still does not admit that the pushbacks are systematic and now simply goes about downplaying the human rights violations and calling the journalists names...who are carrying out important educational work.
10/12/2021: Right turn in Turkish refugee policy +++ Croatian government admits mistreatment of protection seekers +++ 348 people rescued in the English Channel
- Turkey makes a U-turn in its refugee policy and systematically starts illegal pushbacks to Iran. After taking in millions of people seeking protection, partly at Europe's request, Turkey now wants to close its borders and deport many refugees.
- The Croatian Minister of the Interior, Davor Božinović, admits to mistreatment of refugees by police officers, but pretends that these are isolated cases. This is a white lie, because in reality the interior minister himself is responsible for the violence against those seeking protection, and we can only hope that the Croatian government will be held accountable for these crimes. I talked to Der Spiegel about the systematic pushbacks.
- German government urges investigation into pushbacks by Croatia. The new reports and pictures were "noted with great concern". The Croatian authorities must clarify this quickly and comprehensively, a Federal Foreign Office spokesman said in Berlin on Monday.
- 348 people were rescued from distress in the English Channel near Calais at the weekendwho were trying to cross the strait to the UK in small boats. French rescue ships and two military helicopters from France and Belgium were involved in the more than 20 rescue operations.
- The number of people arriving irregularly in Germany via Belarus and Poland is increasing. In Brandenburg, 392 persons were apprehended in the German-Polish border area over the weekend. The people come primarily from Iraq as well as from the civil war and crisis countries Syria, Iran and Yemen.
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
- Mass arrests, torture, rape: The situation for refugees in Libya is catastrophic. In the last few days six people have been shot dead in a prison and thousands thrown into such prisons and camps. The Libyan coast guard, according to a new UN report, also mistreats refugees and transfers them to detention centres where they are threatened with torture and sexual violence. The coast guard was trained and equipped by the European Union.
- So far the EU Commission has not funded border fences and walls. Ministers from twelve member states have now a joint letter to the EU Commission and call for this regulation to be changed. The demand comes from Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia.
- Human rights activists in Greece are criminalized and prevented from doing their work. They are subjected to intimidation, threats and attacks, also from the official side. The report can be found at Human Rights Watch.
- Prior to Gran Canaria 40 people were rescued from distress at sea and on Lampedusa, twenty people reached the European mainland.
- Malte Lehming demands in the Tagesspiegel a new beginning in German refugee and migration policy and believes that the humanitarianism of the Greens and the economic friendliness of the FDP could miraculously complement each other.
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
- At the Croatian EU external border, an ARD research team filmed brutal abuse and pushbacks. The team also accompanied a family on their way from Bosnia to Croatia. The article ends with my assessment of the new surveillance mechanism in Croatia, which unfortunately is only a fig leaf and will not prevent pushbacks and abuse. At Monitor, you'll find the entire research, including my commentary on the planned rehash (starting at minute 16).
- Following renewed reports of violence at the EU's external borders, Commissioner Ylva Johansson has spoken out. She condemned the violence and announced investigations. However, it has often expressed concern about the situation in the past, without any improvement so far.
- Rescue at sea continues to be criminalised and prevented. How this works in Italy, has been written down by the organization Borderline Europe.
- The bodies of 17 people washed up on the Libyan coast. They drowned while trying to flee to Europe. IOM counts 1369 deaths in the Mediterranean so far this year alone.
- The human rights organization Human Rights Watch has made accusations against the French police. The latter is alleged to have deliberately forced shelter seekers into homelessness and harassed them.
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
- Social science accounts prove that there was no "pull effect" from German refugee policy in 2015. The authors of the study conclude that the "Merkel effect", the attracting effect of German refugee policy on refugees, is a delusion.
- The U.S. has allowed 11,411 protection seekers into the country in the past 12 months, which is very few. The background is the Corona crisis and the aftermath of Donald Trump's term in office. For the coming year, Joe Biden announced in September that he would take in up to 125,000 people seeking protection.
- As Britain invests millions in security measures, refugees on the ground say the gangs controlling the Channel are growing more powerful. Because the more dangerous the routes become, the more people rely on the smugglers. The Guardian has spoken to those affected.
- Refugees have been stuck on the Polish-Belarusian border since August. The Jungle World was on site in the Polish village of Usnarz Górny, shortly before the Polish government declared a state of emergency there and closed the area to journalists and human rights activists.
- This year already 1819 people with 120 boats landed on the Balearic Islands. Most of the people seeking protection come from Algeria.
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
- Dozens of people drowned after their boat capsized on the way to the Canary Islands - 12 children are believed to be among the dead. Another boat with 62 people on board is missing in the Atlantic. According to Caminando Fronteras, in the first six months of this year alone at least 2087 people died trying to reach Spain, and thus the EU, by water.The Data of Caminando Fronteras you can find here (Spanish, but thanks to graphics and illustration well understandable).
- The Federal Government calls for rapid support for persons seeking protection in the border area between Belarus and Poland. It is now important that "humane solutions are found quickly for these people", said government spokesman Steffen Seibert in Berlin. They must be provided with clothing, food and medicine, "especially now when temperatures are dropping".
- Belarus continues to let refugees through to neighbouring countries. Now also the Number of people on the German-Polish border has risen sharply. By the end of September, federal police officers had taken a total of 1556 people into custody, as the Federal Police Headquarters in Berlin announced on Friday - 1305 of them in September alone. The people come mainly from Syria, Yemen, Iran and Iraq.
- The EU border agency is demanding that the small organisation "Ask the State" reimburse over 10,000 euros in legal fees. Frontex head Leggeri thus demonstratively opposes the European Parliament, which had demanded to drop the demand.More you can read on the Homepage of FragDenStaat.
- Almost three months after the suspension of medical aid due to several worrying incidents, Médecins Sans Frontières has resumed work in two detention centres in Tripoli, Libya. The aim is to restore vital medical care to the migrants and refugees detained there. Here you can find the press release of Médecins Sans Frontières Sync and corrections by n17t01.
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 +++
- Domenico Lucano, as mayor, invited hundreds of refugees to his village of Riace and created a model of coexistence. But for helping refugees, he has now been sentenced to 13 years in prison by an Italian court. In Italy, people are showing solidarity with him under #MimmoLucano and #IoStoConMimmo.
- The Polish parliament has extended the state of emergency on the border with Belarus by 60 days. The press and aid organisations are thus further denied access.
- For more than seven weeks, 32 refugees from Afghanistan have been stuck on the Polish-Belarusian border near the village of Usnarz Górny. In addition, several people have died in recent days after being pushed by Polish police.
- The Federal Court of Justice ruled that the adoption of an adult refugee is inadmissible if its main purpose is to make deportation more difficult. Specifically, the case involved a couple from Andernach and a young Afghan who had come to Germany at the beginning of 2016. In August 2016, the couple took in the young refugee, who was about 17 years old at the time, into their household.
- Amnesty International and Pro Asyl have demanded from the parties involved in the future federal government to anchor a strengthening of refugee rights in the coalition agreement. They demand that human rights violations at the EU's external borders be punished and that a European sea rescue service be set up.
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
- The EU Commission wants to take stronger action against "smugglers", according to a new action plan. The Commission is selling this as a success, but the focus on the fight against smugglers is meant to conceal the fact that no progress is being made with the common European asylum policy as a whole. Moreover, there are hardly any safe escape routes to the EU and most refugees rely on smugglers. You can find the action plan here.
- Amnesty International has accused Poland of illegally returning refugees. The Polish border guards, meanwhile, make no secret of the fact that they carry out pushbacks and even announce this proudly on their Twitter channel. Amnesty also calls for an end to the state of emergency.
- Poland is trying to deter fugitives via text message, but is also sending a signal to its own population. All people in a certain zone around the border are currently being sent the following message: "The Polish border is sealed. Belarusian authorities have told you lies. Go back to Minsk! Don't take pills from Belarusian soldiers."
- After the fire in Moria, Germany took in 2812 people from Greece - officially. In fact, many more set out because they are treated inhumanely in Greece and have no prospects.
- This year, the refugee agency UNHCR's highest award goes to a humanitarian organization in the conflict-ridden country of Yemen.. The relief organization Dschihl Albena stands for humanity, compassion and dedication.
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
- The Polish Border Guard proudly announced on Twitter that a new record was set yesterday and 473 people were prevented from crossing the border or pushed back. These are clear human rights violations. The photo was accompanied by a hooded policeman posing at the border post. You can find the tweet in Polish here. You can use the translation function on Twitter.
- This year, around 17,000 people reached England irregularly across the English Channel. In the whole of 2020, there were still 8400. Since Brexit, the British government can no longer send people back to France so easily. Now Boris Johnson's government is considering systematically carrying out pushbacks on the high seas and thus endangering people's lives.
- Joe Biden's administration has pledged to take in up to 125,000 refugees a year. In the meantime, his predecessor Donald Trump had lowered that cap to just 15,000 people.
- The Geo Barents has finally been assigned a safe port after a long wait. The 60 people on board can now be brought to Augusta in Sicily. Learn more on the Doctors Without Borders Twitter channel.
09/28/2021: Poland to extend state of emergency +++ 16-year-old Iraqi dies after pushback from Poland +++ Mediterranean states advocate EU distribution mechanism
- Poland wants to extend the state of emergency on the EU's external border with Belarus by 60 days. As a result, aid organisations and journalists still have no access to the border. According to government figures, around 1200 refugees made it across the border in August. They were arrested and taken to guarded reception camps.
- There was another death at the Polish-Belarusian border. This time a 16-year-old Iraqi died after pushback by the Polish border guards. Gazeta Wyborcza reports (Polish).
- Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Malta and Greece spoke out in favour of a "predictable and binding mechanism" for distributing refugees in the EU after a meeting in the southern Spanish city of Malaga on Saturday. EU member states such as Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic have strictly rejected such regulations for years.
- The European Parliament's Committee on Budgetary Control recommended freezing parts of Frontex's budget. The budget for 2022 should only be fully released when Frontex fulfils certain conditions. The press release of the European Parliament can be found here.
- More than 750 people seeking protection have arrived on Lampedusa in several boats. Crammed into an old fishing boat, 686 people initially reached the island, where they were able to go ashore. Shortly after, the coast guard discovered four much smaller boats with 67 people.
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.
- I gave an interview to Deutschlandfunk about the current situation at the Polish external border. In it, I say that we in the EU lack solidarity and only make ourselves vulnerable to blackmail because we lack a robust asylum system based on the rule of law.
- Several refugees have died at the border between Poland and Belarus. The low profile shows: We have become accustomed to the atrocities. The taz criticizes this in this commentary.
- The crew of the rescue ship "Ocean Viking" had in the past days 122 people rescued from a total of four boats in the Mediterranean. Now the ship was allowed to dock in Sicily to bring the refugees ashore. So far this year According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), at least 1,392 refugees have died in the attempt toto cross the Mediterranean.
- In Sri Lanka, the Tamil and Muslim minorities face daily repression. The federal government knows this - and continues to deport there.
- Thousands of refugees are waiting at the US-Mexican border, most of them in vain. They have gone through hell - because the human drama begins for them thousands of kilometres further south. Der Spiegel accompanied them and shot this 6-minute video.
09/24/2021: Another death at the border with Belarus +++ Frankfurt am Main becomes a safe haven +++ Turkish refugee policy becomes more restrictive
- At least five refugees have died between Belarus and Poland this week alone. It is very cold there at night and frostbite occurs. But the Polish police are pushing back the people and aid organisations and journalists are not allowed to enter the border region. BBC managed to film this 6 minute piece about the situation on the ground, despite restrictions on press freedom.
- The fifth death this week on the border between Belarus and Poland is believed to be a man from Iraq who died of a heart attack. He is said to have suffered this heart attack after the Polish police picked him and a group of men up.
- In response to the cynical abuse of protection seekers by Belarus, the taz demands: "Recording now! Otherwise, the dead will not have been the last victims."
- Frankfurt am Main becomes a safe haven. The city councillors voted on Thursday evening by a majority for the motion of the coalition of the Greens, SPD, FDP and Volt to join the alliance of cities and take in refugees beyond the number provided for under the Königstein Key.
- Turkey is becoming increasingly restrictive in its refugee policy. Afghans do not want to accept the country in large numbers and many Syrian refugees are also afraid of having to leave the country soon.
23.09.2021: "Cologne Declaration" criticizes EU refugees +++ 30 documented cases of pushbacks on Balkan route in August +++ Mounted U.S. Border Patrol agents chase refugees from Haiti
- More than 80 celebrities from art, science and politics practice in the "Cologne Declaration" harsh criticism of the European Union for its treatment of refugees. The letter was initiated by IIPM, LeaveNoOneBehind, Sea-Watch, Seebrücke, ECCHR, Equal Rights Beyond Borders, medico international, School of Political Hope and NTGent.
- The Border Violence Monitoring Network has published its report for August. It documents 30 pushbacks on the Balkan route alone, affecting 324 people. It also deals with violence against refugees from Afghanistan and the use of sexual violence by the Croatian side. 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
- In the past few days. four refugees died at the external border between Poland and Belarus. Now there are more and more eyewitness reports according to which an Iraqi woman was already in Poland and her body was later dragged back to Belarus. At present, it is almost impossible to verify the events independently, because journalists currently have no access and freedom of the press is severely restricted.
- Nine months after the great fire in the Bosnian camp Lipa, the living conditions on site are still absolutely inhumane. Many of the people fleeing come from Afghanistan, yet they are denied the right to apply for asylum in the EU.
- The taz has my book "Europe is doing away with itself" reviewed and in it sums up well what I was about when I wrote it.
- Doctors Without Borders criticizes the conditions in the closed mass camp on Samos and states: "All we can do for our patients anymore is help them survive."
- In Namibia, the parliament has again postponed the ratification of a genocide compensation agreement with Germany. This was preceded by a protest rally by descendants of the ethnic groups affected by the genocide committed by the Germans and a debate. Several hundred people entered the parliament.
Sep 21, 2021: People die at Polish external border, but Merkel does not criticize Poland +++ Polish president speaks of refugees as "organizing storm attack" +++ Millions of people in Germany may not vote on Sunday
- The Polish government confirms the death of three fugitives on the border with Belarus. During her state visit to Warsaw Angela Merkel expressed no criticism of Poland but instead stressed the relevance of "border protection", that is believed to have caused the deaths of several people here.
- The Polish government does not see itself as partly responsible for the deaths on its borders and President Mateusz Morawiecki instead described the fugitives as an "organised assault". The right-wing populist Morawiecki has now ordered the deployment of 500 soldiers to the external border.
- Millions of people who have lived in Germany for a long time won't be allowed to vote next Sunday. In the taz, some of them write what that means for them.
- The Geo Barents rescued 54 people from distress at sea. As the MSF ship approached, some cried out, "Our suffering in Libya is finally over." If you want to stay up to date, follow MSF Sea on Twitter.
- A new closed mass camp has opened on the Greek island of Samos. Strict surveillance and walls ensure that people cannot leave the camp at any time - like in a prison.
20.09.2021: Four people died at border with Belarus +++ Fire broke out on Samos +++ New mass camp set up on Samos, resembling a prison
- Four dead people have been discovered on the border between Poland and Belarus. The people were trying to get to the EU from Belarus. Why and from what they died is not yet clear.
- A fire broke out at the Vathy camp on Samos last night.... The camp has been cleared for a few days. Most recently, there were still just under 500 people housed there.
- On Samos, the new hotspot camp has now been built, which resembles a prison in many places. The camp is fenced in with barbed wire and equipped with surveillance cameras, X-ray scanners and magnetic doors. It also has a detention center and is accessible only by electronic chip. The gates remain closed overnight. It is one of five such camps planned on the Aegean islands of Leros, Lesbos, Kos, Chios and Samos. The EU has earmarked 276 million euros for the project. medico international reports on the conditions.
- Yesterday, the Ocean Viking... Rescued 13 more people from distress at sea and is now caring for 129 rescued people on board.
17.09.2021: Greece seals itself off even more +++ New mass camp on Samos +++ Mosaic of 48,000 should make clear: Human rights are #none negotiable
- Greece is building a fence on the Turkish border to keep out refugees. The fact that more people fleeing the Taliban could now be arriving doesn't seem to interest the authorities there. DW reports.
- Greece opens a new camp on the island of Samos. Residents and critics speak of an "open-air prison".
- Seebrücke, Sea-Watch and #LeaveNoOneBehind demand a future federal government for which the following applies: Human rights are #nonnegotiable. For this they have created a mosaic of 48,000 individual images in front of the Bundestag. You can see the impressive picture here.
- In Bottropp, people are fighting for the city to join Seebrücke's "Safe Harbours" initiative. The Waz reports.
- An Iranian asylum seeker is to present his passport at the Starnberg 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
- As interior minister, Matteo Salvini refused to allow several rescue ships carrying refugees to dock in Italy. Now the ex-minister has to stand trial in a case.
- This year, 14,400 people have already crossed the English Channel into England. Now British Home Secretary Priti Patel is threatening pushbacks. The Standard reports.
- On Monday the school year started again in Greece. However, many children in the refugee camps will not attend school because they are denied their basic right to education.
- The Malteser Migration Report 2021 "Facts instead of Mood-Mongering" sheds light on the migration situation in Germany and offers many insights into the reality of life for people who have not been in Germany for very long. The researchers also come to the conclusion that integration has made great progress in recent years. You can read the entire report read here. T-Online summarizes the results here together
14.09.2021: According to the World Bank, 200 million people could lose their homes by 2050 because of climate change +++ EU Commission blocks funds to Greece +++ In Greek camps, the situation for people with disabilities is particularly hard
- Climate change could drive more than 200 million people from their homes over the next three decades, according to a World Bank report. But with immediate and coordinated steps to reduce emissions and support green and sustainable development policies, climate migration could be significantly reduced, it said. Tagesschau.de summarizes the report and discusses the various scenarios.
- The European Commission has asked Greece to set up an independent monitoring mechanism to monitor human rights at its external borders. Such a mechanism serves mainly to prevent pushbacks and is the condition for the release of €15.83 million requested by Greece from the Commission.
- For people in wheelchairs, the situation in the Greek camps is particularly difficult. The taz accompanied 33-year-old Alafaat from Syria and reports on his everyday life.
- Photographer Vincent Haiges was aboard Doctors Without Borders' Geo Barents in August and documented the rescue mission. You can see his photos at Zeit Online.
09/13/2021: 126 people rescued from the English Channel +++ 32 Afghan refugees continue to be detained at Poland's external border +++ Sea Eye rates political parties on their attitude to sea rescue
- The French navy rescued 126 people from the English Channel. Between early January and late August, more than 15,000 people had attempted the crossing, many of them in overloaded inflatable boats, according to French authorities.
- In the border region between Poland and Belarus, 32 Afghan refugees have been waiting for over a month, unable to move forward or back. In an interview, they describe their situation as dramatic; they speak of hunger and weakness. Journalists are not allowed to see the people, but the WDR was able to organise a conversation via telephone..
- The federal election is in 13 days. At Sea Eye you can see how the parties stand on sea rescue and basically on human rights at the EU's external borders. and which parties you should consider if you want to stand in solidarity with people on the run.
- People without a German passport are not allowed to vote in the Bundestag in Germany. In a city like Berlin, this means that a quarter of the population is excluded from the elections. We Greens want to change that. The Tagesspiegel took a look at what concepts the parties have to deal with this challenge.
- The Geo Barents of Médecins Sans Frontières, together with the Italian coastguard, has rescued around 40 people from distress at sea.
10.09.2021: British government threatens pushbacks in the English Channel +++ 30 Afghans have been stuck at Poland's external border for weeks +++ 120 people are rescued off Lampedusa
- The British government wants to rely on pushbacks in the English Channel in 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
- There are also many German schoolchildren stuck in Afghanistan who were not rescued in time by the German government. People are being killed there, while lists are being checked at a snail's pace in the Ministry of the Interior. In conversation with Watson, I explain again the failure of the federal government in Afghanistan.
- Following new evidence of early warning by the federal government of Taliban victory in Afghanistan. we have intensified our demand for clarification and are finally demanding answers from Heiko Maas.
- During the rescue mission in Kabul, the U.S. used Ramstein Air Force Base as a way station for its evacuees. People on German lists who have already applied for asylum in Ramstein are now being taken to a US plane and are to be flown to the USA against their willbecause BMI refuses to give the U.S. the info.
- A year ago Moria burned down and after the disaster the EU Commission promised "No more Morias". This promise has been broken. When I visited the new Moria a few weeks ago, the conditions were still inhumane. I talked about this with the ARD studio in Brussels. Also with Mirror Daily Podcast I had a conversation (behind the paywall, unfortunately). On my homepage I also report about my last visit to Lesbos and the current situation.
- Last March, EU Commissioner Ylva Johansson visited Lesbos and promised the Greek government more than 155 million euros for the construction of two new camps on the islands of Lesbos and Chios. The Greek government then announced that the new camp on Lesbos would be completed by September, which has not happened. tagesschau.de reports.
- Dozens of aid organisations criticise that nothing has improved since the fire and that the planned camps only aim to make the work of aid workers more difficult and to keep those seeking protection away from the population.
Sep 07, 2021: German government warned early of rapid collapse in Kabul +++ People protest in Kabul against Taliban +++ Syrian refugees abused and disappeared after return
- The German government always stresses that the rapid Taliban victory came as a surprise. However, it had already received a warning from the USA at the beginning of August to prepare for an emergency in Afghanistan. The Greens are calling for a parliamentary committee of inquiry into the events surrounding the withdrawal. Der Spiegel revealed (paywall)..
- Hundreds of people took to the streets of Kabul today to demand women's rights and demonstrate against the Taliban.. The Taliban broke up the protests by starting to shoot in the air.
- Even after the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, the Federal Government wants to insist that applicants for family reunification learn German in their home country. In August, there were 4,173 Afghans on the "appointment waiting lists" to apply for family reunification. The taz reported exclusively.
- Syrian intelligence services have detained, tortured and disappeared refugees and Syrians who have returned home, according to Amnesty International. According to a report published by the human rights organization, Syrian intelligence agents committed serious human rights crimes against 66 returnees, including 13 children. Under these circumstances, it is completely unacceptable to discuss deportations to Syria. tagesschau.de summarizes the study. The complete study can be found on the homepage of Amnesty International.
- Germany has failed in its evacuation from Afghanistan, writes lawyer and Green politician Tareq Alaows. He himself fled Syria in 2015, writes about his experiences and demands that the German government take responsibility for the people from Afghanistan. You can read his text at Zeit Online.
06.09.2021: Taliban say they conquer whole of Afghanistan +++ Spiegel interview with Kabul airlift +++ Sea Eye 4 brings 29 rescued to Sicily
- According to their own account, the Taliban have conquered the province of Punjir and now control all of Afghanistan. The resistance group NRF had previously proposed a ceasefire.
- In an interview with Spiegel Online, Theresa Breuer explained once again how we started the Kabul Airlift and how obstacles were put in our way to prevent us from rescuing as many people as possible. You can read the interview here.
- The city Reutlingen takes in 25 of the peoplewho were rescued with the help of the Kabul Airlift.
- The Sea Eye 4 brought 29 rescued people to Porto Empedocle in Sicily today - including two heavily pregnant women and four babies. If you want to stay up to date with the rescue operations, then follow the Sea Eye on Twitter.
- Time and again, Italy arrests ships in its ports that want to rescue people in distress. EKD Council President Bedford-Strohm is now sharply attacking the authorities and demanding a quick release of the "Sea-Watch 4". "It cannot be that ships that could save lives are arbitrarily detained while people die in the Mediterranean"Beford-Strohm said.
03.09.2021: Seehofer rejects Thuringia's state admission program for Afghans +++ Berlin wants to admit more local forces from Afghanistan +++ Poland imposes state of emergency on border and restricts press freedom
- Thuringia's planned state reception programme for relatives of Afghans living in the Free State cannot be implemented. This is justified by the fact that Horst Seehofer and the Ministry of the Interior do not see any necessity for a state admission at the moment. With its own admission programme, Thuringia wanted to make it possible for relatives of Afghans to come to the federal state under certain conditions.
- Green Party top candidate Bettina Jarasch is also calling for a reception programme for relatives of Afghan refugees in Berlin. At the same time, Jarasch criticizes the federal government for having recognized the situation in Afghanistan too late and for having made the acceptance of refugees difficult or even refused it for a long time. More on the positions of the different parties in Berlin you can find out at the RBB.
- After the end of the airlift, the only option left for people in Afghanistan is to flee overland. Thousands are currently waiting at the border with Pakistan, but are not being let in. After the two largest neighbouring countries Iran and Pakistan have already taken in around 80% of the refugees from Afghanistan, Germany and the EU now also have a responsibility to take in more people.
- I spoke to Weltzeit about why we cannot leave the people in Afghanistan to their fate now and why people need a chance to escape. You can listen to the contribution at Deutschlandfunk Kultur.
- Poland has declared a state of emergency in the border region with Belarus, which also means that journalists are no longer allowed to report on the ground. Near the border town of Usnarz Gorny, Afghan refugees have been stuck in no man's land for weeks, unable to enter Poland or return to Belarus.
02.09.2021: Refugees from Afghanistan face closed land borders +++ Turkey seals itself off from fleeing Afghans with a wall +++ Sea Eye 4 rescues 29 people from distress at sea
- After the end of the airlift from Afghanistan, many people dare to flee by land: at the Islam Kala crossing alone, on the border with Iran, thousands of people are crowding in. At the border with Pakistan, many people are standing in front of closed borders. Read more about which countries want to take in people seeking protection from Afghanistan and which don't, at Time Online.
- The Turkey is currently building a 300-kilometer border wall with Iran - especially to stop protection seekers from Afghanistan. This means that this escape route is now also closed to many people seeking protection from Afghanistan.
- The President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, has criticised EU states for their attitude towards Afghan refugees. He expressed "great disappointment" on Wednesday at the outcome of Tuesday's special meeting of EU interior ministers, which agreed on compartmentalisation.
- The Sea-Eye 4 rescued 29 people from a wooden boat in the Mediterranean Sea. Among them were eight women, two of whom were pregnant, and four babies. If you want to stay up to date with the missions, then follow Sea Eye on Twitter.
- The taz has visited some of the activistswho planned the airlift mainly from a Berlin apartment and gives an insight into their work.
01.09.2021: Kabul airlift is a great success with rescue of 209 people +++ EU Council and Commission do not want to make concrete commitments to take in people from Afghanistan +++ Afghanistan's neighbouring countries do not want to take in people seeking protection from Afghanistan
- I did an interview with "Welt" about the Kabul Airlift, in which I explain that the action and the rescue of 209 people is a great success. You can find the interview on my Instagram.
- At yesterday's meeting of EU interior ministers, it became clear that the priority of the Council and the Commission is to prevent refugees from Afghanistan from entering the EU. Those who want to flee from the Taliban should, according to their ideas, stay in the region - and under no circumstances come to Europe. In this way, the EU is not living up to its responsibilities.
- The Council and the Commission want protection seekers from Afghanistan to be accommodated primarily in neighbouring states. But the large neighbouring states Iran, Pakistan and Uzbekistan no longer want to let many of them into the country. About 2.5 to 3 million Afghans are estimated to live in Iran and about 3 million in Pakistan.
- Poland wants to impose a state of emergency on the border with Belarus. It is a step directed against the refugees on the border between the two states, who are being politically instrumentalised by the Belarusian regime.
- In the current episode of the Grenzfrei podcast of the Münchner Flüchtlingsrat is about pushbacks. Here, my colleague Michael Schneiss explains what exactly happens during pushbacks, which actors are involved and what role Frontex actually plays.
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
- I spoke to Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland about my criticism of the German government for its conduct in relation to the Kabul airlift. Publicly it was claimed that the plane was wanted, but after landing on the ground it was clear: our plane was not to evacuate people. When Portugal gratefully accepted our offer to evacuate their local Afghan forces, German diplomats apparently tried to force the plane not to evacuate anyone. Here you can find my video on Instain which I once again set out in detail my criticism of the Federal Foreign Office.
- The time reporter Wolfgang Bauer sat in the airplane of the Kabul air bridge and tells in an interview with Deutschlandfunk Kultur how the action was massively slowed down by German authorities.
- Amid the confusion of official evacuation flights from Kabul, the Kabul Airlift has emerged - and single-handedly rescued nearly 200 people. Politicians could learn a thing or two from them, comments the Süddeutsche Zeitung.
- Pakistan's ambassador to Germany, Faisal, has rejected the admission of further refugees from Afghanistan. "Pakistan is not accepting any more refugees from Afghanistan," he told the Tagesspiegel. However, his country was doing everything in its power to support the departure of Afghans to other countries. Pakistan has already taken in between three and four million Afghans. Now "richer and bigger" countries should take in refugees from there, Faisal added.
- Ahead of today's EU ministerial meeting on Afghanistan, Luxembourg's immigration minister Jean Asselborn has called for the EU to take in tens of thousands of Afghan refugees. "The European Union should be ready to provide 40,000 to 50,000 resettlement places for people from Afghanistan"said Asselborn. Other states, such as Austria, do not want to take in any refugees from Afghanistan. Read more about this at T-Online. You can watch the press conference of the EU ministers from 18.15 under this link
- Professor Werner Schiffauer explains why Seehofer's Interior Ministry played the key role in the local forces debacle in Afghanistan. It bears responsibility for blocking timely action and for the subsequent disaster of evacuating local forces.
30.08.2021: Kabul Airlift Update +++ The German Foreign Office lies about the Kabul Airlift.de +++ More than 10,000 people were left behind in Afghanistan despite guarantees of admission from Germany
- Actually, I'm still at a loss for words after a very exhausting few days, but: after the federal government called off the evacuation in Kabul, we were able to use the Kabul airlift to get 189 people to the airport and from there to safety.
- After the accusations against the Foreign Office by the Kabul airlift, the Foreign Office has responded. Instead of admitting this scandal, they apparently try to flee forward and get entangled in false allegations and contradictions. I have dissected this in detail in the video. You can watch the 56-minute video on my Instagram.
- Among the approximately 5300 people that Germany evacuated from Afghanistan, only about 100 were former local forces and their families. More than 10,000 people who worked for the Bundeswehr or development projects are still on the Foreign Office's departure lists. In addition, there are about 1600 activists and journalists who have to fear the revenge of the Taliban.
- After being confined to Palermo for ten weeks, dhe Sea-Eye 4 again on mission in the Mediterranean Sea. The ship is urgently needed there, the sea emergencies are increasing.
- At Lampedusa, 539 refugees arrived in a landing on Saturday.n. They had previously been discovered helplessly floating in the Mediterranean Sea in an overcrowded fishing boat just 15 kilometres off the coast of Lampedusa by Italian patrol ships and rescued. A total of just under 800 people arrived on Lampedusa on Saturday.
- Germany took in 47,400 refugees in the first half of this year. In contrast, 7,360 people were deported and 4,374 left voluntarily. These are very low figures and Germany has enough space and resources to take in more people.
27.08.2021: Many dead in Kabul airport attack +++ Evacuation flights end +++ Greece plans deportation law that violates international law
- At least 85 people were killed and many more injured in attacks in the Kabul airport area. The so-called Islamic State claims the acts as its own.
- The evacuation in Afghanistan will end in a few hours for all EU member states. Meanwhile there are still no proposals on how to deal with those seeking protection. The EU once again presents a sad picture, comments Deutschlandfunk.
- A new law on the "reform of the deportation and return procedure" is to be passed in Greece. According to the NGO Refugee Support Aegan, it ignores not only numerous Greek expert:ing bodies, but also international and EU law. You can read the message here (Greek).
- In mid-May, about 8000 people tried to cross from Morocco to Ceuta - hoping to reach mainland Europe. Many of them are still stuck there.
- "The real problems are on land"Federico Soda, head of mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), describes the situation around the Mediterranean Sea and explains what drives people into the arms of smugglers.
08/26/2021: Situation in Kabul remains dramatic +++ How the election campaign determined definitional issues for local forces +++ Greece disregards health of protection seekers
- The situation at Kabul airport remains dramatic. In a few days, evacuation flights will be halted. More info from on the ground has tageschau.de.
- Questions about political responsibility for the disaster are growing louder. In a Report of the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland it becomes clear how the decisions of those politically responsible have an impact on the ground and what the consequences are for the people.
- In several cases, the European Court of Human Rights has recognized the Greek authorities' ongoing disregard for the health and lives of protection seekers in the Mavrovouni camp. Read more at the Legal Centre Lesvos.
- A boat accident off the Canary Islands has left 52 people drowning as they try to flee to Europe. Learn more at t-online.
- Conservative and right-wing politicians link the current situation in Afghanistan with a discussion about internal security in Germany. Current research shows that this has nothing to do with each other. More on this at the TIME.
25.08.2021: German Armed Forces accused of failing to provide assistance +++ UN accuses Taliban of serious human rights violations +++ People entitled to family reunification are left behind in Afghanistan
- There will not be enough time for the airlift to fly out all those in need of protection. The sponsorship network of Afghan local forces of the Bundeswehr accuses the Federal Government of failing to provide assistance. Angela Merkel was also responsible.
- At a special session of the UN Human Rights Council... on the situation in Afghanistan, the Taliban were accused of serious human rights violations.
- Many people who are waiting for their families to join them in Germany are also stranded in Afghanistan. In the taz such a story is once described.
- While the UN Human Rights Council explicitly discusses the oppression of women, the Greek government considers Kabul a safe city for women.
- If they have survived the life-threatening flight across the Mediterranean, those seeking protection in Greece now receive a €5,000 fine as a welcome, because they entered the country without a valid Corona test....
08/24/2021: Fundraising for charter flight to Kabul underway +++ 300,000 signatures for safe escape routes +++ Human Rights Watch calls for internationally coordinated reception of refugees
- For a long time we have been working with organizations on this, now we can make it public: We have a charter flight to Kabul to support the evacuation! Now we need your Donate. More at #LeaveNoOneBehind on Twitter.
- A petition on change.org calls for safe escape routes from Afghanistan. The petition has already collected 300,000 signatures in a short time. Hhere you can sign and share the demands.
- "Chaos at Kabul airport: symbol of 20 years of war Afghanistan" - Deutsche Welle comments on what the pictures from Kabul have to do with neo-colonialism. You can find the commentary worth reading here.
- The organization Human Rights Watch has called on European states to lead a global initiative to welcome those seeking protection.
- How refugees from Afghanistan are already experiencing the failure of EU asylum policy: Die Welt with a report from Lesbos. You can read the article here (paywall).
23.08.2021: EU disputes admission of protection seekers from Afghanistan +++ Civil society demands immediate admission +++ Greece continues to seal itself off
- In an interview with the Deutschlandfunk Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn has called for admission quotas within the EU, noting that while human rights are always used as rhetoric, they are never acted upon. Meanwhile, the Slovenian leaderswho is currently also EU Council President, for not helping people in Afghanistan.
- Civil society has long been calling for a human rights-based refugee policy. Despite heavy rainfall in some places, thousands of people demonstrated in Germany over the weekend in favour of accepting people seeking protection from Afghanistan. More on this has been published by the Deutschlandfunk.
- According to its own information Greece has completed a 40 km long border fence on its land border with Turkey. Heavily guarded and equipped with the latest surveillance technology, it is intended to ensure that fewer people have a chance to apply for asylum in the EU. Reuters knows more.
- The debate over taking in people from Afghanistan clearly shows that, due to the blocking attitude of some member states, the EU has failed for years to develop a common plan for taking in people seeking protection. Politico has the here summarized.
- The sea rescue ship GeoBarents from the Organization Doctors without Borders has a safe harbor and can bring the 322 people rescued from distress at sea to Augusta.
20.08.2021: BND warned already in December 2020 +++ Taliban kill more people in search of journalists +++ Greece plans to suspend asylum law again
- There is growing evidence that many agencies have long warned of the rapid collapse, but that was politically ignored. Among others, the Federal Intelligence Service warned the Federal Government already in December 2020. The report on this can be found in the Mercury.
- Meanwhile, it turns out that the Taliban's press conference was, as expected, more play than reality. Journalists in Afghanistan are being hunted down and people are being killed. Reuters has more information.
- While thousands of people fear for their lives in Afghanistan, the EU is discussing how best to avoid having to help them. The Mirror has researched what plans Greece, among others, has.
- The situation in Afghanistan remains chaotic. Many people are trying to get to the airport in Kabul to get out of the country. The tagesschau reports that the Bundeswehr has been able to evacuate a total of 670 people so far.
- Demonstrations will also take place in many cities over the next few days. More information is available at kabulluftbruecke.de
08/19/2021: Interior Minister Seehofer blocked local force evacuation for months +++ Foreign Office calculates local force numbers down +++ More and more cities register rallies
- Two months ago, the German Conference of Interior Ministers had already called on the Federal Government to initiate the rapid admission of local forces from Afghanistan. But Interior Minister Seehofer in particular blocked the move. The Tagesspiegel has internal documents, documenting the failure of the federal government.
- In recent years, employment relationships of local staff have apparently been deliberately converted into bogus self-employment in order to be able to evade responsibility more easily. According to Foreign Minister Maas, only 2,500 local staff are involved, but the reality is different. In this Spiegel conversation worth watching. an ex-military soldier reports from Min 14:20 on how long-time supporters are now being given the cold shoulder.
- But even the few local employees who, according to the narrow definition of the Federal Government, may hope for protection, are constantly confronted with new hurdles: Employees of the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) are told that only parts of their family are allowed to leave: Grandparents or adult sons would have to be left to the Taliban. "GIZ confronts local forces with a choice: leave sons behind - or stay" writes Der Spiegel.
- Protests are also planned across the country today and on the weekend. More and more rallies are being registered to demand the rapid evacuation and reception of people seeking protection. A central demonstration will take place on Sunday at 1 pm in Berlin. You can find a current overview and much more collected at kabulluftbruecke.de.
- "They should rather fight the Taliban properly" - sentences like these are often used to 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
- At a first press conference after the takeover, the Taliban appeared friendly, spoke of women's rights and safe conditions. This has little to do with reality.
- Yesterday the EU Foreign Ministers met to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. Now they want to negotiate with the Taliban, but with conditions.
- The chaos in the evacuation from Afghanistan continues. On DLF, my colleague Cem Özdemir assessed the situation.
- In the last 24 hours, over 50,000 people have already used the kabulluftbruecke.de tool to write to their MPs. This is a very effective way to build up pressure on politicians. Feel free to share the link with those around you, you can join here.
- That the Taliban have now taken power is a sad reality. Meanwhile, this is also sinking into the consciousness. The Guardian describes in an articlewhat consequences this now has for women journalists, among others.
- At the border between Belarus and Lithuania a pushback took place. The border guards were filmed during it. The situation is tense, the ZEIT reports.
17.08.2021: Action cable air bridge started +++ Rallies planned in many cities +++ Evacuation via Kabul airport still chaotic
- In order to increase the political pressure on those responsible, we have launched the Kabul Airlift campaign. At kabulluftbruecke.de you can write your congressmen, donate and inform yourself. Feel free to share this with your friends and family.
- Today and in the next few days, demonstrations for the rescue and reception of Afghan protection seekers are planned in many places, and there were already initial gatherings yesterday. Larger demonstrations are planned for the weekend. At kabulluftbruecke.de there is now also an overview of actions of the Seebrücke, in which you can take part.
- The situation at Kabul airport has stabilized in the last few hours, and the evacuation of embassy personnel has begun. Thousands had gathered there in recent days, fleeing the Taliban, and some desperate people had clung to planes taking off from the outside and crashed. The first German plane now flew out only seven people, more planes are to follow. Ongoing updates in the FR ticker.
- The rescue operations following the hasty withdrawal of troops are also proceeding in such a chaotic manner because the German government had previously refused for months to guarantee the protection of local forces. A corresponding motion by the Greens in the Bundestag in April was rejected by the grand coalition in June.
- Now it may be too late for most. In a disturbing ZDF interview on Heute Journal. Markus Grotian of the Afghan Local Forces Sponsorship Network confirms that there is little hope for the survival of many long-time supporters: "We have to dissolve our safehouses, the Taliban are going door to door. If any rescue comes, it will be too late."
06.08.2021: Sea-Watch 3 has a safe haven +++ Greens call on Heiko Maas to present a new situation report for Afghanistan +++ Greek camps evacuated due to forest fires
- The Sea-Watch 3 is now on its way to Trapani, which has been designated as a safe haven by the Italian authorities. The 257 rescued people will soon be able to go ashore. The Ocean Viking is still waiting for a safe harbour.
- We Greens call on Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) to finally present a new and realistic situation report for Afghanistan, which also includes the current war crimes in the country. The current report still reflects the situation in May, before the Taliban began their offensive. A new situation report would make it quite clear that deportations to Afghanistan are currently out of the question. Here is my open letter, in which I asked Heiko Maas already three weeks ago to update the situation report.
- Thousands of refugees were evacuated from the Malaksa camp and brought to Ritsona because of the forest fires in Greece. Parwana Amiri describes the situation on Twitter.
- With the so-called Integration Act, the grand coalition wanted to facilitate the integration of refugees, but migration researchers criticise some points. Above all, the residence requirement has done more harm than good to integration into the labour market. The probability that refugees whose residence was determined by the state would find paid work was a good six percentage points lower than that of those who did not have a residence requirement. Read more about the review in the Tagesspiegel.
- In the UK, refugees now even face a prison sentence of up to four years if they enter the UK irregularly. This threatens above all people who try to get from Calais to Great Britain. DW reports from Calais.
- Belarus no longer wants to take back refugees from Lithuania. They now face being stuck in no man's land.
05.08.2021: Federal government sticks to deportations to Afghanistan +++ Greek ombudsperson declares deportation detention unlawful if deportation cannot take place promptly +++ Tolerance towards refugees decreases in Turkey
- The bombing in Afghanistan's government quarter was the reason for the cancellation. Deportation flight from Germany is to be "made up for in a timely manner", according to the Federal Interior Ministry. Although the Taliban are on the advance and many people are being killed every day, the German government wants to continue deporting people there.
- In order to In order to temporarily suspend the repatriation of refugees to Afghanistan, the Greens want to use their participation in the governments of the federal states.
- When Afghan local workers are admitted to Germany, employees of subcontractors are largely left out. We Greens criticise this and demand that local staff in Germany also be admitted.who did not work directly for the Bundeswehr but through subcontractors for the German troops, because they are just as endangered.
- The Greek Ombudsperson ruled that it is not lawful to hold rejected asylum seekers in detention pending deportation if there is no prospect of timely deportation. Specifically, the case involves 19 people whose asylum decisions were rejected and who are to be deported to Turkey. However, Turkey has not accepted rejected asylum seekers since March 2020. Therefore, the Greek Ombudsperson is demanding the release of the 19 people who are being unlawfully detained. Read more at Equal Rights Beyond Borders, who filed the class action complaint.
- In Turkey, there is an increase in racist campaigns against refugees. One mayor even enforced that they should pay ten times as much for water and other municipal fees as locals.
04.08.2021: Deportation flight to Afghanistan stopped +++ Lithuania considers building 508-kilometer fence on border with Belarus +++ Amnesty calls for decriminalization of sea rescues
- Yesterday's Deportation flight from Munich to Kabul cancelledafter some of the Afghans have already been taken to the airport. There is no official reason yet, but it could be related to the fact that the European Court of Human Rights yesterday stopped the imminent deportation of an Afghan from Austria.
- The Lithuanian State Border Guard has proposed to build a four-metre high and 508-kilometre long fence along the border with Belarus., the cost of which is estimated at more than 150 million euros. EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson also said during her visit to Lithuania on Monday that a physical barrier between Lithuania and Belarus was necessary.
- Four years ago, the Italian authorities seized the rescue ship Iuventa - on the occasion of the anniversary, Amnesty International calls on the Italian authorities to end the proceedings against the crew members and other sea rescue NGOs. The human rights organisation also calls for the criminal offence of "aiding and abetting irregular entry" to be amended in such a way that the work of sea rescuers is decriminalised.
- The Ocean Viking and the Sea-Watch 3 have rescued around 800 people in the past few days and now need a safe haven. The people on the ships are suffering from the high waves and the oppressive heat. Many are seasick and dehydrated, some have suffered burns. Learn more on Sea Watch's social media channels.
- Annalena Baerbock calls for the creation of an immigration ministry. It is important to create "participation-oriented perspectives" and this is better possible if the immigration policy is detached from the competences of the Ministry of the Interior.
03.08.2021: ECHR stops deportations to Afghanistan +++ Over 100 Frontex officers to be sent to Lithuania +++ People increasingly fleeing Tunisia to EU
- The Federal Foreign Office urges German nationals to leave Afghanistanbecause it was too unsafe. Today should according to information from Pro Asyl a deportation flight from Germany and Austria to Kabul. But today also the European Court of Human Rights an injunction stopping a deportation to Afghanistan scheduled for today.
- Every day, several hundred people from Afghanistan reach Turkey. About half a million Afghans already live there, but the majority of people in Turkey are against accepting more refugees from Afghanistan.
- So far this year, 3832 irregular entries from Belarus have been registered in Lithuania. That is why EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson was on the spot and promised that soon more than 100 Frontex officials will be in the country.. Instead of talking about a 'hybrid war against the EU', as the Lithuanian prime minister does, the EU should let Lukashenko's provocations go to waste and assure people of an asylum procedure based on the rule of law.
- The political situation in Tunisia could once again encourage more young people to make their way to Europe. Among them are a particularly large number of academics who no longer see a future in the country, which has been hit hard by political crises, the corona pandemic and the collapse of tourism.
- On the issue of asylum, resistance to the methods of right-wing Home Secretary Priti Patel is increasingly forming in Britain. The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee has denounced the "shocking conditions" in undignified barracks where minors are crammed together. The sea rescue service, which has been criticised by the government on several occasions, is inundated with donations.
02.08.2021: Ocean Viking and Sea Watch 3 rescue over 800 people in the Mediterranean +++ Although the Taliban are overrunning Afghanistan, Armin Laschet still wants to deport there +++ I talk to Sonntagsblick about the failure of European refugee policy
- In several missions, the Ocean Viking and Sea-Watch 3 have saved more than 800 people from drowning. There are currently 555 people on board the Ocean Viking and 263 on the Sea Watch 3. There are still at least three more boats in distress that need immediate assistance. You can find updates on social media at SeaWatch and SOS Mediterranée.
- According to the IOM, at least 1113 people have died crossing the Mediterranean this year. If we want to prevent the deaths of even more people, we finally need support for civilian sea rescue by the EU, coast guards of the member states that actually rescue refugees, and our own European sea rescue mission. The current figures on drownings in the Mediterranean Sea can be found at the Missing Migrants" page of the IOM.
- Although the Taliban are taking over more and more regions and killing people, Armin Laschet and Horst Seehofer still want to deport people to Afghanistan. They justify this by saying that criminals have to be deported consistently, but on the one hand criminals also have a right not to be deported to death and on the other hand the "criminals" are also people who have been caught several times without a ticket or have committed similar minor offences.
- In an interview with Sonntagsblick I talk about how the situation of refugees has deteriorated since 2015, why they are granted fewer and fewer rights, and why we in Europe simply accept it when people die, when that is exactly what we should not do.
- The UN warns of famine in Ethiopia's Tigray region, where it is having trouble delivering humanitarian convoys to some 5.2 million affected people. Food supplies are also in short supply in refugee camps in Tigray, where people from neighbouring Eritrea live, he said. There is also a high risk of disease outbreaks, especially in overcrowded refugee camps without adequate sanitation.
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.
- Alone 2392 civilians were wounded or killed in Afghanistan in May and June, according to a published United Nations report. - In view of this situation, the Federal Government should suspend deportations to Afghanistan.
- Greece has the EU Commission urged to persuade Turkey to take back rejected protection seekers. There are now 1908 people on the Greek islands whose asylum applications have been rejected, Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis said in a letter to the Brussels authority. According to the agreement Turkey would have to take these people back, but has not done so since the start of the corona pandemic.
- Beneficiaries of protection or asylum seekers who have been transferred from Italy to Germany and have no prospects of finding accommodation or work in Italy may not be returned. This was decided by the Higher Administrative Court for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.
- With the RBB Inforadio I spoke about 70 years of the Geneva Refugee Convention. and about how and why it is being gutted at our external borders.
- Berlin will, for humanitarian reasons, in the next five years accommodate an additional 100 people per yearwho have fled to Lebanon. The admission takes place outside the usual asylum procedures, as the Berlin Senate Interior Administration announced.
- 171 people are said to have entered the EU from Belarus to Lithuania within one day -. more than ever before. In Lithuania they now face several months in prison.
28.07.2021: The Geneva Refugee Convention (GRC) turns 70. On this occasion, all news today have a reference to the world's most important document for the protection of refugees
- On its 70th birthday, the Geneva Convention on Refugees is dying. On this occasion I talked to the Frankfurter Rundschau about itthat the EU massively violates the CSF by mistreating, drowning or turning back refugees. Also on my homepage I have a short text to this.
- pianist Igor Levit and columnist Georg Diez have written an important article in the Tagesspiegelin which they call for an "aggressive humanism" and write that we must understand flight as an act of freedom and finally understand the 21st century as the century of the refugees.
- professor Sandro Mezzadra talks in an interview with Diary on how the Geneva Refugee Convention is currently under attack by states such as Denmark and the UK, and how the policy of externalisation contradicts the spirit of the Refugee Convention. He also explains why he is involved in sea rescue and why for him there is no strict distinction between theory and practice.
- In a Interview with Radio Eins, lawyer and political scientist Maximillian Pichl explains, why refugees in many EU states can no longer claim their rights under the Refugee Convention. And why reasons such as climate change and socio-economic exploitation should also be recognised as reasons for flight. I also spoke with Maximilian Pichl in my podcast about his study on the "Moria Complex"..
- Alexander 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
- At least According to the IOM, 57 refugees drowned yesterday in a shipwreck off the Libyan coast.
- The Libyan Coast Guard threatens to arrest the crew of the SeaWatch3. They falsely claim the Libyan SAR zone as their territorial waters, even though they are international waters. Ships like the Sea-Watch 3 want to help people in distress and bring them to a safe place. But the EU-funded militias are there to prevent people from fleeing Libya in the first place.
- Currently, with the SeaWatch3, the Ocean Viking and and the Astral two civilian rescue ships and one observation ship in the central Mediterranean. In addition, the Geo Barents of Médecins Sans Frontières is free again as of today and is being prepared for the next mission.
- Due to massive deficiencies, deportations to Hungary have been suspended in recent years. Now it came out through a question in the Bundestag that there was another Dublin deportation to Hungary in the first quarter of 2021. So in practice Germany is once again deporting people to Orbán's increasingly autocratic regime.
- The Taliban are on the outskirts of Kabul. Many inhabitants of the Afghan capital are desperate and wonder whether they should flee. A few young women want to fight. The FAZ made an interesting report with impressive pictures on site.
26.07.2021: Tajikistan agrees to take in 100,000 Afghan refugees +++ The German Foreign Office downplays the situation in Afghanistan in order to be able to continue deporting +++ France calls for Frontex to be deployed at the English Channel
- Afghanistan's neighbouring country Tajikistan agreed to take in 100,000 refugees from Afghanistan. The US is also providing USD 100 million in aid for refugees from Afghanistan. Now that the Taliban have conquered a large part of the country, the German government should also finally stop deportations to the country.
- In its report, the Foreign Office plays down the advance of the Taliban in order to be able to continue deporting people to Afghanistan. The taz has the report, and an analysis of the 26 pages shows that the AA makes outdated or false claims in several placesthat whitewash the current security situation in Afghanistan.
- The Turkey is building a 144-kilometer-long, three-meter-high concrete wall with Iran. This is to deter Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban and trying to reach Turkey via Iran.
- French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin is calling for the EU border protection agency Frontex to also become active at the EU's northern borders. He had contacted Frontex himself and asked it to become active in the English Channel.
- Lithuania's foreign minister is calling for tougher sanctions against Belarus as long as the authorities there simply allow refugees to cross the border into the EU. He described this practice as "hybrid warfare". I think that instead of lapsing into such military language, the EU should rather concentrate on how to deal with the few thousands of refugees at the external border in a humane manner and in accordance with the rule of law.
07/23/2021: Online disinformation is link between far-right and right-wing parties +++ Infant dies in Lesbos camp +++ Greece criminalizes human rights monitoring
- A study shows: Online disinformation targeting refugees and NGOs acts as a "crucial link" between right-wing extremists and established right-wing parties. In Germany, it is primarily the AfD that disseminates misinformation from right-wing extremists. The 30-page study can be found here. Euractiv has the results in a clear article summarized.
- A three-month-old infant died two days ago in the Mavrovouni refugee camp on Lesvos. According to local news, the child was vomiting the night before he died, but was not taken to a doctor in time. If you want to learn more about the situation on the Greek islands, then follows the correspondent Franziska Grillmeier, reporting on the scene.
- The government in Athens is taking action against organizations and individualswho prove that the state has violated human rights and document this on the Internet. An authority set up with EU funding is involved in the investigations.
- On the morning of July 3, 27 people landed on Samos and were subsequently pushed back. You can find the video of the well documented pushback here.
- In the small town of Voghera in Lombardy... a local councillor from the radical right-wing Lega shot a homeless man from Morocco.
- About 450 Sans-Papiers in Brussels end their hunger strike for the time being. Belgium is home to around 150,000 undocumented migrants. They are exposed to exploitation on the labour and housing markets, UN experts warned last week.
- Yesterday, 238 people crossed the border fence between Morocco and the Spanish exclave of Melilla. They were taken to a processing center where their status is checked. They also have to go into self-isolation there to prevent the possible spread of the coronavirus.
21.07.2021: Hunger strikers in Belgium in critical condition +++ 20 people drown in the Mediterranean and 500 are dragged back to Libya +++ With "Now" I talk about my book
- 475 people have been on hunger strike in Brussels for two months. Some could die, doctors warn. The government is arguing about how to deal with the people, many of whom have lived in Belgium for many years. The Greens and Socialists want to withdraw from the government if one of the strikers dies.
- Some 20 refugees have drowned in the Mediterranean in the past 24 hours, while more than 500 others have been towed back to Libya. On Twitter, Safa Msehli regularly reports on repatriations to Libya.
- I spoke with "Now" about my new book, the connection between activism and politics, and what I'd bet a case of beer on. You can read the full interview here.
- Sweden, Finland and Norway have suspended deportations to Afghanistan. Germany, the UK, Denmark and Switzerland continue to deport there. The taz gives an overviewhow other countries are currently dealing with deportations to Afghanistan.
- In the greater Athens area alone, some 40,000 homeless refugees have been camping out on streets, squares and camps for weeks. Members of the association "Wir packen's an" travelled to Greece to help.
20/07/2021: My book on European refugee policy is published today +++ MEPs demand from the Commission to finally take action against Croatia's violent pushbacks +++ Sea-Eye sells Alan Kurdi
- My book 'Europe is abolishing itself' is published today. In it I deal with the question of how the EU knowingly breaks its own law, betrays values and what consequences this has for us. I also write about the possibilities for change and how individuals can become active. You can read it at Rowohlt and buy the book as paperback and e-book.
- Together with other MEPs I have written a letter to the Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johanssonin which we demand that action finally be taken against the violent pushbacks at the Croatian border.
- Sea-Eye sells the rescue ship "Alan Kurdi". The Regensburg-based aid organization justifies the move by saying that the blockade of civilian rescue ships by the Italian authorities had placed a heavy financial burden on it. The ship will go to the Italian sea rescue organisation ResQ and will be operated under the new name of ResQ People into new assignments.
- Within 24 hours, 430 people crossed the English Channel from France to England. For the year as a whole, there have been around 8000 so far. On my homepage I wrote in FebruaryWhat impact will Brexit have on flight and migration in England?
- In Herrsching, Bavaria, the container village for refugees is scheduled to close in 2023. Hamidoula Javari then fears that he too will have to move far away and lose his friends.
07/19/2021: At least 955 people drowned in the Mediterranean this year +++ Sweden suspends deportations to Afghanistan +++ Scientist calls for better access to trauma therapy for refugees
- Currently, not a single civilian rescue ship is underway in the Mediterranean because many are prevented from doing their work for flimsy reasons. According to the IOM, at least 955 people have died in the Mediterranean on their way to Europe so far this year. Last year 404 people died in the same period. You can always find the latest figures from the IOM here.
- After Finland, Sweden is now also suspending deportations to Afghanistan. Germany and the other EU member states should now do the same. Therefore I have written a letter to Heiko Maas and ask him to adjust the assessment of the current security situation in the situation report, irrespective of any domestic political motives and in accordance with new findings and developments.
- In the wake of the refugee crisis, Frank Neuner, together with other scientists, has recommended, all Refugees to be psychologically screened upon arrival. Studies have shown that between 25 and 40 percent of refugees are traumatised. He called for better access to treatment for traumatised refugees.
- Japan recognizes only one percent of all asylum applications. Those who have to leave the country again sometimes spend years in deportation custody - under absolutely undignified conditions. Even the death of a woman in prison did not trigger a rethink. tagesschau.de reports on the appalling conditions in Japan.
- The head of the EU border protection agency Frontex has covered up human rights violations. Despite this, the EU states are apparently not taking any action - they are condoning the permanent breach of the law. There seems to be a consensus that refugees should be kept out at all costs, and for that they are apparently prepared to suspend the law and their own values.
16.07.2021 Study shows that reports on refugees are increasingly negative +++ Refugees are subjected to massive violence by the Libyan coast guard +++ Lithuanians discuss measures to seal themselves off from the outside world
- A study by the University of Mainz shows that Germany's leading media are reporting less frequently and more negatively about refugees. The Süddeutsche Zeitung reported most positively. The most negative was Bild. The two public news broadcasts have almost reversed the tenor of their reporting, the study says: "While almost only positive reports about refugees were broadcast here in 2015, both are now among the media with the most negative portrayal." 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
- For four months, we MEPs have been investigating allegations against Frontex. Director Leggeri lied to us on several occasions, actively prevented the investigation of serious human rights violations and destroyed evidence. It is obvious that Frontex knew about human rights violations but did nothing. The presentation of the results of the working group can you here Watch.
- I wrote a guest article for T-Online in which I call for consequences after Frontex covered up human rights violations. The article appeared under the title "Violence, law-breaking, torture: anything goes at EU borders."
- The Taliban conquer more and more areas, people flee, the Afghan government asked for a stop of deportations, but Germany continues to deport. Therefore I have written a letter to Heiko Maas and ask him to adjust the assessment of the current security situation in the situation report, irrespective of any domestic political motives and in accordance with new findings and developments.
- The withdrawal of NATO troops and the advance of the Taliban are also having a major impact on Afghanistan's neighbouring countries. New shelters for refugees are already being built in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
- Three people died on the Mediterranean, before 81 other people were rescued from the same boat. NGOs accuse the Maltese military of deliberately delaying the rescue operation.
Jul 14, 2021 Lithuanian parliament to jail fugitives +++ More people flee Taliban +++ Germany maintains deportations to Afghanistan, Finland suspends them
- The Lithuanian parliament has approved sweeping arrests of fugitives in conflict with neighbouring Belarus. After their entry they are to be thrown into prison for six months. For rejected asylum seekers the rights of appeal will also be restricted.
- Since January 2021, an estimated 260,000 Afghan:in are newly displaced within the country, mainly due to insecurity and violence, in addition to the already three million internally displaced people. Many people are fleeing because they fear for their lives following the withdrawal of Western troops and the new rise to power of the radical Islamist Taliban. Currently, up to a thousand people a day arrive in Turkey.
- In spite of the situation in Afghanistan, the Federal Government continues to deport people to the country.. Finland proves that things can be done differently. Deportations to Afghanistan have now been suspended there.
- Pakistan no longer willing to accept refugees from Afghanistan and get rid of those who are already there. Yet there are currently over two million Afghans living in Pakistan, of whom 1.4 million are registered refugees. Moreover, a fence is currently being built on the border between the two countries.
- Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi claims that all accusations of pushbacks against Greece are unfounded and that people are not being illegally deported to Turkey. With this he is apparently in a parallel reality, as also a new Short documentary of the BBC ...is occupied. And here's Mitarachi's statement on Twitter.
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
- 475 undocumented people are on hunger strike in Belgium. They demand their legalisation and a reform of the right of residence. Many of them have lived and worked in Belgium for years and have children who have grown up in Belgium.
- The Taliban conquer more and more provinces in Afghanistan and the government already asked for a halt to deportations to the country yesterday. The Interior Ministry is considering a temporary halt to deportations and the Foreign Office is working on a new situation report. In view of this situation, it is completely unacceptable that just last Wednesday 27 people were again deported from Germany to Kabul.
- The Thorsten Frei (CDU), deputy chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag, spoke out against such a stop.. In view of the current situation, this is absolutely incomprehensible from a human rights perspective.
- The EU is working with the Libyan coast guard to prevent people from arriving in Europe. This regularly results in serious human rights violations and the refugees are returned to a country of civil war. The Berliner Zeitung talked about this with Sea Watch.
Jul 12, 2021 Afghan government asks for suspensions of deportations +++ Federal Constitutional Court declares one judge biased in asylum dispute +++ Frontex expands presence at Lithuanian border
- The Afghan government has called on European states to suspend deportations to the country for three months. Due to the increasing violence of the Taliban and rising numbers of Corona infections, the repatriation of rejected asylum seekers is currently a cause for concern, according to a statement by the ministry responsible for refugees. The federal government should take this seriously and suspend deportations to Afghanistan now.
- The Federal Constitutional Court has declared a Hessian administrative judge biased in an asylum case. The reason: In another trial, the judge ruled that NPD election posters with the inscription: "Stop the invasion: Migration kills!" were allowed to hang. According to the judge, this was not incitement of the people but "partially representing reality" and further wrote that a "danger to German culture and legal order as well as human life" was "not to be dismissed out of hand."
- Frontex to send 30 additional forces and technology to Lithuaniato prevent people from entering the EU from Belarus. The autocrat Lukashenko is currently trying to put pressure on the EU by allowing refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan to pass through. Lithuania itself is planning to expand its border with Belarus at a cost of €42 million. Germany and Poland will each send a helicopter to Lithuania in the coming days.
- Those rescued in the Mediterranean 573 people are affected by the Ocean Viking landed in Italy. By Saturday evening, all had left the rescue ship in the port of the Sicilian city of Augusta, SOS Méditerranée said.
- I was a guest on the podcast "Talk ohne Gast". With Til Reiners and Moritz Neumaier I talked about my work as a politician, the situation at the external borders but also about original election campaign strategies. You can listen to the episode listen to the longer version here or watch in a slightly shortened version here on video.
07/09/2021 Ocean Viking has a safe haven +++ Lithuania erects new fences on border with Belarus +++ CDU and SPD advocate mass camps at external borders
- The Rescue Ship "Ocean Viking" with more than 570 refugees on board may dock in Sicily.
- Lithuania has started, erect new fences and barriers on the border with Belarus. The reason is that dictator Lukashenko is reacting to the EU sanctions against Belarus by deliberately allowing refugees to cross the border into Lithuania.
- Domestic politicians from CDU and SPD are in favour of setting up EU-funded hotspots at the external borders. They justify this by saying that faster procedures could succeed there of all places. In reality, however, this creates undignified mass camps like the one in Moria, which are intended as a deterrent.
- The According to IOM, the Libyan coast guard has already intercepted almost 16,000 refugees on their way to Europe this year and returned them to Libya. - more than in the whole of last year.
07/08/2021 At least 2087 people died fleeing to Spain this year +++ Person deported to Afghanistan presumed dead by grenade +++ Romania becomes key country on Balkan route
- At least 2087 people have died on the routes to Spain so far this year, according to the NGO Frontline Defenders. On the route to the Canary Islands alone, at least 1922 people have died in 57 boat accidents. The 12-page report in Spanish can be found at here. In the L'essentiel, the report is published in German. summarized.
- A man who was in the The man, who was deported from Hamburg to Afghanistan on February 1, is said to have died there by a grenade.
- Armed Afghan women take to the streets in protest against Taliban. They are resisting the Islamists robbing them of their basic rights again.
- More people try to reach Western Europe via Romania. In the first quarter of 2021, around 6,500 people arrived irregularly in Romania, compared to around 10,000 in the whole of 2020.
- From the Ocean Viking, a man jumped into the water. He was rescued from distress at sea a week ago and stated he could no longer stand the uncertainty and situation on the ship. The Ocean Viking rescued over 570 people and now urgently needs a safe haven.
07.07.2021: British government closes itself off to protection seekers +++ Greek prime minister thinks pushbacks are right even though they violate existing law +++ 92 dead in 11 days off Tunisian coast
- The British government wants to turn away people on the high seas in future and send those seeking protection to reception centres in third countries, while their applications are being processed. In addition, people who enter the UK irregularly are to be punished with up to four years in prison.
- Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has described and legitimised pushbacks as a common practice of Greek border protection in an interview. He thinks it's right to stop people on the water so that they can't apply for asylum in Greece. For him, the decisive factor is not whether someone legitimately wants to apply for international protection in the EU, but from where the boat sets off. The individual examination, which must take place according to the Convention on Human Rights, is thus consistently ignored. You find the interview (in Greek) here, meanwhile there are many good translation tools available online.
- Another 21 people drowned yesterday as they fled across the Mediterranean Sea off Tunisia. This means that at least 92 people have already lost their lives on this route within 11 days.
- The Prosecutor's office in Agrigento investigates in which June 30 incident in which Libyan coast guard fired on inflatable boat carrying 64 people. The Libyan coast guard is accused of trying to cause a shipwreck.
- The Afghan Shafi Qias has fought her way up from the Moria refugee camp to become a designer. In her Athens apartment, she sews fashion that is meant to show "that boundaries are fluid" - and has already been featured in "Vogue".
06.07.2021: Heiko Maas (SPD) maintains deportations to Afghanistan +++ Deportation flight to Afghanistan today +++ Lithuanian government declares state of emergency
- Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) considers deportations to Afghanistan still considered acceptable, despite the ever worsening security situation. Since the withdrawal of international troops began in early May, the Taliban have conquered many districts. The Taliban are currently outside Mazar-e Sharif, which also poses an acute threat to the remaining local Afghan forces following the withdrawal of the Bundeswehr.
- The next deportation to Afghanistan is planned for today, probably from Hanover airport. In view of the current situation in Afghanistan, this is absolutely irresponsible. Amnesty International demands an immediate stop to deportations. The Bavarian Refugee Council provides information and introduces people who are to be deported.
- The Lithuanian Government has on declared a state of emergency last FridayThis is because more and more people are entering Belarus irregularly. These are mainly refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, while Belarusian opposition members are currently often not allowed to leave the country. Dictator Lukashenko is apparently trying to blackmail the EU by opening the borders to refugees.
- The Geo Barents is the latest case of an NGO ship being detained by Italian port authorities. Doctors Without Borders calls on Italian authorities to quickly release Geo Barentsso that the ship can set sail again.
- At In an interview with the Tagesspiegel, SOS Méditerranée founder and captain Klaus Vogel explainshow the Mediterranean is misused as a "bulwark against migrants" and why he accepted the Federal Cross of Merit with some shame.
07/05/2021: Ocean Viking rescues 572 people +++ 43 people drown off Tunisia +++ Franziska Giffey (SPD) calls for deportations to Syria
- Tonight, the Ocean Viking another 369 people from a wooden boat, which threatened to capsize throughout the rescue. Those rescued were brought safely on board during the operation, which lasted more than five hours, where there are now 572 people. Previously, the Ocean Viking had already rescued 203 people from distress at sea in four rescue operations in just a few days.
- 43 people drowned in boat accident off coast of TunisiaAccording to information, 84 people were pulled out of the water by rescue workers and survived. Only on Friday, the Geo Barents of Doctors Without Borders was also prevented from leaving, and the Sea-Watch 4 and the Sea-Eye 4 are currently not allowed to leave to rescue drowning victims.
- Franziska Giffey (SPD) calls for deportations to Syriawhere people are threatened with torture and death. Giffey does not say how this is supposed to work, because then she would have to admit that a deal with the mass murderer Bashar al-Assad would be needed.
- 250,000 euros are required for a Sea-Eye fundraiser was collected - on the occasion of the birthday of Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer. For some reason, however, he did not want to accept the donation certificate in person.
- Three years after the deportation of 69 Afghans on Seehofer's 69th birthday, NDR and Deutschlandfunk spoke with the people who were deported at that time. NDR meets the people in Kabul, in undignified camps on the Greek islands and in the Bavarian province. In fact, some were able to return as skilled workers. You can listen to the four-part radio feature here.
07/02/2021: Ocean Viking rescues over 40 people +++ Collective deportation to Afghanistan likely planned next Tuesday +++ Sea-Eye raises money for a birthday present to Horst Seehofer
- The Ocean Viking rescues more than 40 people from distress at sea. A Libyan coast guard patrol boat disrupted the first of the two rescue operations. Among the rescued are 15 minors and five women, one of whom is pregnant, according to SOS Méditerranée. The rescue organization reported on the operation on Twitter.
- The Bavarian Refugee Council has received informationthat a collective deportation to Afghanistan is to take place next Tuesday, presumably from Hanover airport. In my latest podcast episode, I talk with Shikiba Babori about the situation in Afghanistan.
- Sea-Eye is collecting donations to give Horst Seehofer a present for his 72nd birthday. Three years ago Horst Seehofer joked at a press conference that 69 people were deported on his 69th birthday. Now, three years later, Sey-Eye wants to present him with a donation certificate for sea rescue.
- A man was found dead in the Bosnian refugee camp Lipa. At this time, authorities believe he committed suicide. Half a year ago I wrote here about the undignified conditions in the Lipa camp.
- The Woz reports on how the right of asylum in the EU is increasingly degenerating into a fiction.
07/01/2021: Libyan coast guard fires on refugee boat +++ Greece cuts money to refugees +++ France rescues 46 people from distress in the English Channel
- Deep in the Maltese rescue zone, the Libyan coast guard fires shots in the direction of a refugee boat and tries to ram the boat with its ship. She does it with the ship Ras Jadir, which was given to her by Italy in May 2017.
- Greece is massively cutting funds to refugees in Greece. Around 25,000 asylum seekers now remain without financial support because they live outside the camps, according to UNHCR estimates. Greek Migration Minister Mitarakis thinks this is the right thing to do because in his opinion the people should be deported anyway. On my homepage I have summarized how the money is distributed to refugees in Greece.
- More people than ever before recently tried to cross the English Channel from France to the UK. In June alone, there were over 2,000. Now French responders have rescued dozens again. Some were already suffering from hypothermia.
- Frontex registered around 400 irregular border crossings from Belarus to Lithuania in June. While Belarusian opposition figures are currently finding it difficult to leave the country, Belarusian border officials seem to be allowing people from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan to simply pass through in order to put pressure on the EU.
News from June 2021
30.06.2021: Significantly fewer asylum applications in the EU +++ At least seven dead off Lampedusa +++ Immigration to Germany declines
- According to the report of the EU Asylum Agency EASO the number of asylum applications in Europe fell by 32 percent in 2020, the lowest level since 2013. In total, 485,000 people applied for protection in the EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland in 2020. In 2019, there were still 716,000. The extensive EASO report (384 pages) can be found here.
- In a boat accident off Lampedusa... at least seven fugitives were killed this morning, including a heavily pregnant woman. The boat capsized five nautical miles from the island, according to Italian radio. Rescue workers reportedly recovered the bodies of the people and brought 48 survivors ashore. Nine other people are believed to be missing.
- Net immigration to Germany declined in 2020 for the fifth year in a row. Over the course of the year, around 220,000 more people migrated to Germany than left. The the Federal Statistical Office reported. In the past 30 years, there has been the highest number of immigrants in 2015, with an influx of 2.14 million - the lowest figure was in 2008, when net immigration was minus 60,000. You can find a summary at Zeit Online.
- The EU Commission stresses that the fight against traffickers is a central concern. But according to a new study by the United Nations they have little fear of prosecution.
06/29/2021: In my podcast Shikiba Babori explains the current situation in Afghanistan +++ Local forces of the German Armed Forces demonstrate in Afghanistan +++ Refugee children in Greece often cannot attend school
- In my podcast, I talk with journalist Shikiba Babori about the current situation in Afghanistan, the troop withdrawal and the future of the people in the Hindu Kush. In particular, we focus on the rights of women and minorities. And we also explain why freedom of the press is better in Afghanistan than in many neighbouring countries. You can listen to the episode here. And you can also subscribe to the podcast at Spotify, Itunes or Soundcloud
- Yesterday there were renewed demonstrations in Afghanistan by local forces who feel they have been left behind. The local forces had not only supported the Bundeswehr mission in various capacities, but also political projects of the Federal Government in Afghanistan. In doing so, they exposed themselves to the revenge of the Taliban, who are now striving to return to power.
- After three months, Greek law actually provides a place in school for refugee children, but this rarely happens. While people in the pandemic around the world are learning digitally, refugee children on Lesbos often don't even have paper or a stable electricity connection.
- Although the number of refugees on the Greek islands is falling, their situation there is not improving. The conditions put a strain on people not only physically, but also mentally; children are already being treated for suicidal thoughts. And new hotspots are popping up on the mainland.
06/28/2021: 33 European cities form safe havens alliance +++ Bamf forces refugees to stay in their home countries +++ 40 dead in boat crash between Western Sahara and Canary Islands
- For the right to asylum, 33 European cities stood up in Palermo. Together, they signed a declaration and thus founded the "International Alliance of Safe Haven Cities". In the paper, the cities call for the right to asylum to be upheld in every European state, for reception quotas for the voluntary reception of refugees in municipalities, and for direct funding of reception in cities by the European Union to the municipalities.
- Germany denies protection status to homosexual refugees on inhumane and illegal grounds. Some are advised to deny themselves in their home country, although such justifications are not justifiable according to the European Court of Justice. Some have even been forcibly outed by the German authorities, making a return to their home country impossible. Der Spiegel spoke with Michael from Nigeria, who was forcibly outed by the BAMF.
- Forty people, including two children and ten women, died in a shipwreck on the way to the Canary Islands. A fishing boat was still able to rescue 22 people from the boat. Helena Maleno Garzón provides regular updates in Spanish on the situation on this route.
- The Ocean Viking left the port of Marseille yesterday evening. The team will conduct training and exercises at sea before reaching the central Mediterranean. If you want the latest information on the missions, follow SOS Méditerranée on Twitter.
- Maltese authorities relayed positions to the Libyan coast guard to prevent a boat from reaching Maltese waters, according to Sea Watch. The people were then forcibly returned to the unsafe civil war country of Libya, where they face torture and inhumane treatment. Here I have written down why the EU must not outsource sea rescue to Libya.
25.05.2021: 5.7 billion euros for Turkey, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon +++ More cooperation with third countries to counter migration +++ Conference for solidarity-based refugee policy in Europe
- The EU will continue to spend a lot of money on Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries. The EU Commission proposes a total amount of 5.7 billion euros. Of this, 2.2 billion euros are to go to Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. The bulk, 3.5 billion euros, is earmarked for the 3.7 million Syrians in Turkey.
- At the European Council meeting, the unresolved problem of dealing with refugees within the EU was not a topic of yesterday's statement. On the other hand, cooperation with third countries is to be expanded so that fewer people arrive. In concrete terms this means that the EU pays dictatorships and doesn't look too closely when the money seeps away.
- The European conference "From The City to the Sea" starts today in Palermo.where various European cities are today forming an alliance to welcome refugees. I discuss at 17:30 with Gesine Schwan, Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, Muhamad al-Kashef, Chiara Cardoletti and the two mayors of Potsdam and Palermo, Mike Schubert and Leoluca Orlando." More info, the videos of the conference and a link to attend can be found here.
- He wants nothing to do with Horst Seehofer's refugee policy - yet the mayor of Rottenburg am Neckar is a CDU member. Now Stephan Neher and mayors from all over Europe are putting pressure on governments to take in more refugees.
- 267 people have been rescued in a boat accident off Tunisia's coast.
06/24/2021: Croatian police illegally deport babies, pregnant women and children with disabilities +++ Consequences must follow after latest Frontex investigation group meeting +++ UNHCR report says 1.47 million people would need to be resettled next year
- New videos show how even sick and pregnant women are systematically denied access to asylum procedures in Europe based on the rule of law. Entire families are being brought back across the Croatian EU border through the forest at night. Ursula von der Leyen is simply watching the rule of law being abolished at the external borders.
- Following the last public meeting of the Frontex investigation group in the European Parliament, consequences must now follow. The investigation confirmed the accusations against the Greek coastguard and also Frontex. I also call for the immediate publication of maritime emergencies in the future.
- According to the latest UNHCR report, 1.47 million refugees would have to be resettled in the coming year. Currently, however, the number of such resettlements is at a low because there are not enough countries willing to accept them. In the whole of 2020, fewer than 35,000 people were resettled worldwide through these programmes.
- Last year, a project in Hanover enabled 139 refugees with toleration to obtain the right to stay. The will of the authority was also a prerequisite.
06/23/2021: Doctors Without Borders withdraws from Libyan camps +++ HRW says Frontex is doing too little to address basic human rights abuses +++ Amnesty documents pushbacks and torture by Greek authorities
- Doctors Without Borders end their work in Libyan refugee camps in Tripoli. The people there are regularly beaten and mistreated by the guards. Médecins Sans Frontières is also no longer able to guarantee the safety of its staff in the two camps of Mabani and Abu Salim.
- Human Rights Watch concludes that Frontex is doing too little to combat systematic human rights violations at the EU's external borders. Although Frontex was active there, serious human rights violations occurred in Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary and Malta.
- In a report published today, Amnesty International documents 21 illegal pushbacks from Greece to Turkey. Torture was also used. Amnesty calls on the Greek government to end the illegal pushbacks immediately. You can find the 46-page report here.
- The Ritsona camp for refugees is a symbol of Greece's tightened policy: it is sealed off from the outside world by a concrete wall. In this three-minute video, the residents explain what it's like to be locked up there.
- Greece wants to use noise cannons to keep refugees away from Europe at its border with Turkey. Deutschlandfunk Kultur comments: "The noise cannon is a degrading, indeed: dehumanising weapon. As such, however, it would fit in only too well with the contempt for humanity at the EU's external borders."
06/22/2021 Germany to take in more local Afghan workers after all +++ 13,000 people repatriated to Libya this year +++ 11,000 relatives of refugees waiting for family reunion visas
- Germany will take in more people than planned from Afghanistan who have helped the Bundeswehr in its mission in the country. All so-called local staff who have worked for the Bundeswehr and other German security agencies since 2013 are now eligible. Initially, it was planned that only Afghans at risk who had worked as interpreters for the Bundeswehr within the past two years would qualify for relocation to Germany.
- Since the beginning of the year, the Libyan coast guard has so far towed more than 13,000 people back to the civil war country. There people are threatened with accommodation in torture camps and inhuman treatment up to systematic rape and murder.
- Almost 11,000 relatives are waiting for an appointment at German missions abroad for a visa to join their family in Germany. Actually, the federal government promised to grant visas to up to 1,000 people per month through family reunification, but in reality this year it was only between 264 and 473 visas per month.
- The EU Commission is taking the German airport procedure as a model for the new pact on asylum and migration. According to this procedure, asylum applications can be rejected as unfounded. Although a person is on German territory, the legal fiction applies that he or she has not entered the country. NGOs like Pro Asyl criticize this practice.
- The new podcast "Migraton" deals in its first episode with the current situation at the EU's external borders. From minute 23.30 onwards, a parliamentary speech of mine on the current situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina is also quoted.
06/21/2021: Family deported from Pirna even though five of their seven children were born in Germany +++ Heiko Maas doesn't want EU sea rescue mission +++ EU uses questionable technological methods for border controls
- Imerlishvili family deported to Georgiaalthough five of the seven children were born in Germany and the two oldest were still toddlers when the family came to Germany in 2013. They were deported to a country that was completely unknown to them, whose language they do not speak and in which they know no one. SPD and Greens in Saxony speak of an "inhumane deportation practice". The neighbors demand in this petitionto bring the family back to Pirna. This touching videoin which the eldest daughter speaks, was written one day after the deportation.
- In an interview with "Welt" Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) speaks out against an EU sea rescue mission and instead wants to give Turkey more money to stop refugees from coming to the EU. He describes relations with Turkey as "constructive" despite the massive human rights violations in the country.
- The Standard reports that surveillance at the borders is to be given greater technological support. Controversial methods are also being tested as part of non-transparent research projects. Border controls are currently seen as a means of reducing the number of asylum applications and trying out questionable methods such as lie detectors or sound cannons. You can find the post with a comment from me here.
- The integration minister of Brandenburg, Ursula Nonnemacher (Greens), has spoken out in favour of strengthening the right of residence of young refugees. Young people who are urgently needed in the country should be given the prospect of staying.
- In his commentary on World Refugee Day Heribert Prantl writes: "Every day the EU kills migrants - by failing to provide assistance. And those who come to Germany are finished off - in so-called anchor centers. This is pathetic."
06/18/2021: 82.4 million refugees worldwide +++ Trial and verdict in Moria 6 case face criticism +++ Criminal conviction against Reisch overturned
- In 2020, almost 82.4 million people worldwide were displaced - more than ever before. This is according to the new report of the UNHCR. The reasons for this are wars, climate change and pandemics.
The entire 71-page report you can read here.
A summary you can find at the mirror.
- Nine months after the fire in the Moria refugee camp, six young Afghans are sentenced to long prison terms. And this despite the fact that no witness present saw them on the alleged night of the crime. The trial and the verdict have come under criticism.
- A court in Italy has suspended the penalty order against German captain Claus-Peter Reisch for rescuing refugees. The civil court in Ragusa has cancelled the fine of 300,000 euros, Reisch from Landsberg am Lech told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur on Thursday. The confiscation of his ship "Eleonore" had also been lifted.
- On the occasion of the conference of interior ministers, Pro Asyl, the state refugee councils and Youth without Borders demand a nationwide moratorium on deportations to Afghanistan and Syria.
Here you can find the press release of Pro Asyl.
- Deutsche Welle reports here again about the rescue of more than 500 people by the Geo Barents of Doctors without Borders and the Nadir of Resqship.
- Between 2015 and 2019, an average of 27,200 children with protection status were born in Germany each year. One third of these had the Syrian Nationalityeleven per cent of the newborns had Iraqi nationality, ten per cent had Afghan nationality and six per cent had Nigerian nationality. Many of them are threatened with deportation to a country they have never been to before.
06/17/2021: Crew of the Nadir negotiates to bring rescued to Italy instead of Libya +++ CDU politician wants to have people deported to Syria +++ Syrians:inside flee from Denmark to Germany
- The German observation ship Nadir has found a distress at sea in the Maltese sea rescue zone. Instead of sending a rescue ship, Malta had only alerted the Libyan coast guard, which wanted to bring people to the internment camps. The crew refused. With political pressure and negotiations, in which I also played a part, it was finally possible to achieve that the Italian coast guard rescued the people and brought them to Italy. Find out more on RESQSHIP's Twitter channel.
- At the start of the conference of interior ministers in Rust, Baden, Baden-Württemberg's Interior Minister Thomas Strobl (CDU) spoke out in favour of more deportations to Syria. He knows you can't do that because people are being abused and killed there and it would take a deal with Assad. He's only interested in catering to right-wing populist sentiment.
- Syrian refugees are leaving Denmark for fear of being deported to their old homeland. The Jumaa family is now seeking asylum in Schleswig-Holstein. Time visited them.
- So far this year 391 people entered Lithuania irregularly from Belarus - most come from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq and Iran. In the whole of last year there were only 81 people. Thus the dictator Lukashenko is trying to put pressure on the EU while forbidding his own citizens to leave the country to seek safety from his police state.
- In the last few weeks, 481 people have gone missing on the voyage to the Canary Islands. We do not know whether they are still alive or not. The Spanish Público reports here on the disappearances.
06/16/2021: Overcrowded camps on Lampedusa +++ Spain calls for frontline deployment at border +++ Asylum seekers sue European Commission
- The facilities for refugees on Lampedusa are completely overcrowdedbecause around 2,000 refugees have arrived there in the past four weeks. For the small island, that's a lot of people, but not for the EU with its 450 million inhabitants. Unfortunately, the German government is also currently refusing to take in people from Italy.
- In the ongoing diplomatic dispute with Morocco... Spain wants to ask the EU for the presence of the European Frontex border protection agency in the North African exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla. Spain accused Morocco of "blackmail". Rabat wants to increase migration pressure on Spain by suspending border controls so that Madrid will revise its position in the Western Sahara conflict.
- Off Lanzarote, 27 people were saved from drowning. Europapress reports (in Spanish).
- transcript Verlag published the anthology "Kämpfe um Migrationspolitik seit 2015" (Struggles over Migration Policy since 2015), which examines the developments in European refugee policy in recent years from a critical perspective. Which forces have prevailed and what shifts have occurred discursively and politically? And what does this mean for emancipatory and pro-migrant perspectives? You can read the anthology free of charge as a PDF here.
06/15/2021: Bishops call for deportation stop +++ Up to 200 people capsized off Yemeni coast +++ Former Frontex vice criticizes developments at EU agency
- Ahead of the conference of interior ministers, which will meet from Wednesday to Friday, bishops are urging the suspension of deportations in cases of imminent human rights violations in the home countries. At present, they consider deportations to Syria or Afghanistan to be fundamentally wrong.
- The German Institute for Human Rights also calls on the interior ministers to stop deportations to Syria. You can find the press release here.
- Fishermen recovered 25 bodies off the coast of Yemen yesterday. According to the authorities, a boat with up to 200 refugees on board had capsized earlier. According to the fishermen, the dead were discovered in the Bab al-Mandab strait, which lies between Djibouti and Yemen. More information about the route and the dangers you get at the mirror.
- The former deputy head of Frontex, Gil Arias Fernández, criticises the ongoing human rights violationswhich the agency allows to happen. He also warns against arming and infiltration by right-wing forces.
- The social democratic government in Denmark is currently pursuing the most right-wing refugee policy in the EU. Those affected live in fear. Der Spiegel was there and spoke with them and the opponents of an individual right to asylum.
06/14/2021: Geo Barents needs safe haven for 410 rescued +++ 1200 protection seekers land on Lampedusa, 1000 returned to Libya +++ Pope calls Mediterranean Europe's biggest graveyard
- The crew of Doctors Without Borders' Geo Barents has rescued 410 people in the Mediterranean Sea in two days. Now the ship needs a safe haven. Find out more on MSF Sea's Twitter channel.
- Over the weekend there were a total of 16 landings with around 1200 people on Lampedusa within 24 hours. At the same time, about 1000 people were intercepted on the Mediterranean Sea and brought back to the civil war country Libya. There is a detailed report on this in Italian in la Repubblica.
- Pope Francis has called the Mediterranean "the largest cemetery in Europe." The occasion was the inauguration of a memorial in the Sicilian city of Syracuse, off whose coast many people drowned in 2015 when a boat carrying migrants sank. This year, according to the IOM, at least 811 people died in the Mediterranean crossing to Europe, 675 of them on the central Mediterranean route.
- Nine months after the fire in Moria, a court has sentenced four young men to ten years in prison each. No media or other observers were allowed at the two-day trial. The defendants' lawyers criticized that they had not received a fair trial.
- Arte has published a report on the illegal pushbacks through Greece. You can see the 24-minute film here.
06/11/2021: Geo Barents rescues 26 people +++ 450 people dragged back by Libyan coast guard +++ European Court of Justice rules Germany must base subsidiary protection on individual cases, not death statistics in region of origin
- Médecins Sans Frontières' Geo Barents has rescued 26 people from distress at sea. Among them 15 unaccompanied minors. Find out more on MSF Sea's Twitter channel.
- Around 450 people were towed back to the civil war country by the Libyan coast guard during the night. UNHCR Libya reports.
- The European Court of Justice has handed down a decision in the German asylum application case concerning two Afghans from Nangarhar province who had applied for subsidiary protection in Germany. Although there is an armed conflict there, according to German jurisprudence, not enough people were killed there to grant subsidiary protection.... The European Court of Justice has now ruled that it is not legal to use a minimum number of civilian victims in the region of origin as an exclusion criterion.
- With other Members, I have tabled a question to the Commission on the sound cannons that the Greek Government intends to use against people fleeing. The cannons reach up to 162 decibels and can cause serious permanent hearing damage. We want to know from the Commission whether such sound cannons are also supported with EU funds.
- The trial of the so-called Moria 6, accused of setting fire to the camp last September, begins today. 70 organisations from Europe demand fairness and transparency in the trial of the six accused refugees. They demand a fair and just trial, based on the presumption of innocence.
06/10/2021: Greece to stop letting people from Syria and Afghanistan apply for asylum +++ Greek government defends sonic cannon deployment +++ Deportation flight carrying 42 people lands in Kabul
- Greece to stop people from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Somalia from applying for asylum in future and argues that they entered via "safe Turkey". These are the five states from which most asylum seekers have come to Greece in recent years. In fact, this would be tantamount to abolishing the fundamental right to asylum for the majority of those seeking protection in Greece.
- Dhe Greek government is defending the use of sound cannons against refugees on the border with Turkey: "What the police do, they must do in their own way," Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi said during a visit to Brussels. EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson, on the other hand, called the use of noise cannons "a strange way to protect its borders" at a joint press conference.
- The plane with the deported Afghans has landed in Kabul. Although Afghanistan is considered to be the most unsafe country in the world, the coronavirus is rampant and the Taliban are currently conquering more and more areas, the Federal Government is sticking to deportations to Afghanistan.
- For many refugees, the island of Samos is a place without a future. Many live here in inhumane conditions. While the EU builds new camps, it is often volunteers who try to alleviate the plight of the people. BR describes the situation on the ground.
- Doctors without Borders criticize the situation in the Greek camps. The promise not to build any new Morias has been broken. Instead, Médecins Sans Frontières criticizes that Moria seems to serve as a model for new mass camps at the external borders. You can find out more on the homepage of Doctors without Borders.
09.06.2021. In an interview with Deutschlandfunk Kultur I talked about the illegal strategy to seal off Europe. +++ EU interior ministers:inside no closer to a common refugee policy +++ Seehofer wants to prevent secondary migration to Germany
- With Weltzeit on Deutschlandfunk Kultur I spoke about European refugee policy and how the impression is being created that the EU is waging war against people trying to reach Europe on rubber dinghies.
- At yesterday's meeting of the EU interior ministers once again no progress has been made towards a common European asylum system. The only thing the EU states can really agree on at present is more isolation and more cooperation with third countries so that fewer people arrive in the EU at all.
- Horst Seehofer promised under the German presidency last year that there would be a common European solution for a European refugee policy, which he failed to deliver. This is also due to the fact that Horst Seehofer has never worked towards a solidarity-based system.but above all wanted to prevent people from the EU states from travelling on to Germany at the external borders.
- On the past mission of the See-Eye 4, the crew witnessed it twiceI would like to point out that Frontex is apparently deliberately not cooperating with sea rescue organisations, but is working with the so-called Libyan coast guard, which is illegally taking people back to Libya.
- In the squalor of the new Moria, people from Afghanistan have built a school. International aid workers support them. The Frankfurter Rundschau was on site.
- Vice-President of the EU Commission Margaritis Schinas visited the land border between Turkey and Greece and said that border protection symbolised "European values". He did not elaborate on whether he also meant the sound cannons, militarisation or the numerous violent pushbacks.
08.06.2021: Today deportation to Afghanistan +++ European Court of Auditors criticises Frontex +++ Associations and NGOs demand from EU interior minister:inside end of mass camps at external borders and more reception from Greece
- The Taliban are conquering more and more territory in Afghanistan and the security situation is worsening. Tens of thousands of local people who worked for the NATO forces want to flee because they are afraid of the Taliban's revenge. Despite this situation, a deportation flight is scheduled to leave Leipzig/Halle airport for Afghanistan this evening. The Deutsche Welle briefly discusses the situation of the local forces. Today at 7 p.m. a rally against deportations to Afghanistan will take place at the airport.
- The EU Court of Auditors has massively criticised Frontex in a report. I call in the mirror for the EU Parliament to block the Frontex budget. We cannot continue to waste taxes on opacity, inefficiency and human rights abuses.
- The meeting of EU interior ministers is currently taking place, where they are negotiating the future of European asylum policy. In a joint statement, several human rights organisations and social associations call forThe German government should suspend plans to build closed mass camps at the EU's external borders. In addition, Germany should take in more refugees from Greece. The open letter with the demands can be found at the Homepage of Doctors without Borders.
- Critics accuse the Greek government of using torture techniques to deter fugitives. The focus of criticism is the sound cannons, which can leave permanent damage to people.
- The EU Commission called on EU states to take in refugees from Italy who are currently arriving in the country via the Mediterranean. The CDU/CSU and SPD reject this for Germany and see no need for action.
07.06.2021: Comprehensive study on deported Afghans published +++ Tomorrow evening the next deportation flight leaves for Afghanistan +++ Sea-Eye 4 detained in Palermo
- The majority of Afghans deported from Germany apparently leave Afghanistan again shortly afterwards. In a recent study, only one out of 113 deportees stated that they wanted to stay in Afghanistan. Moreover, deportees have often never been to Afghanistan or were last in Afghanistan as children and are deported to a country they hardly know. A summary of the study you will find at tagesschau.de. The entire study by Friederike Stahlmann can be found here.
- At least eleven civilians were killed in a bomb attack in western Afghanistan. Although Afghanistan is considered the most unsafe country in the world, deportations from Germany to the country are to take place again tomorrow evening. On my homepage I have statedhow an EU agreement should facilitate deportations to Afghanistan.
- The Sea-Eye 4 was detained by the Italian authorities on flimsy grounds so that it could no longer rescue people. The Sea-Eye 4 rescued 408 people from the central Mediterranean Sea during its last mission in May and brought them to Pozzallo in Sicily, including around 150 children. At least 811 people have drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean since January, according to the IOM.
- Although Médecins Sans Frontières' Geo Barents has been in the Libyan SAR zone for a week, it has not yet been deployed and departures from Libya are the lowest in months. Migration researcher Matteo Villa points out that such facts show that the civilian rescue ships in the Mediterranean are precisely not a pull factor that drives people to dare the dangerous crossing of the Mediterranean. Matteo Villa's comment on Twitter.
- The Tagesschau reports that Greece is closing its borders with the help of the EU Commission. In addition to special cameras and lie detectors, sound cannons 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
- SRF Global has made a program about the criticism of human rights violations by Frontex. I and the head of Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, were also interviewed. You can find the interview with me starting at minute 11:37.
- A majority in the Danish parliament has passed a law that makes asylum centres in other countries possible. So far, the government has held talks with RwandaTunisia, Ethiopia and Egypt. However, even if the applications are approved, according to the government, the people will not be brought to Denmark, but will remain in the countries. The Danish Refugee Council criticises the proposals in this press release.
- Until the end of 2027, the EU will provide Turkey, Albania, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina with around €14.2 billion to prepare for EU accession. In return, Turkey and the countries of the Western Balkans are expected to prevent refugees from entering the EU.
- Greek authorities began vaccinating refugees against Covid-19 on Lesvos, Chios and Samos just yesterdayalthough the country has been vaccinating since January. It is incomprehensible that the people in the camps are being vaccinated so late, because they are particularly at risk due to the cramped conditions and lack of hygiene, and many of them are actually infected.
- The Kara Tepe family camp on Lesbos offered a humane alternative to the infamous new Moria, now also called Kara Tepe. Now the authorities have closed it down and the most vulnerable people end up in the slum next door.
- Legal aid NGO Equal Rights Beyond Borders has this week won its 50th case in court rejecting an application for family reunification from Greece to Germany. More than 60 percent of applications for family reunification are rejected by Germany. Of the cases that end up in court, however, around 70 per cent of the rejections are overturned in court.
03.06.2021: International Commission of Jurists rejects EU Pact on Migration and Asylum in its current form +++ Ministry of the Interior does not want to help Bundeswehr personnel from Afghanistan +++ Religious woman found guilty for church asylum
- The International Commission of Jurists calls on the European legislator to reject the proposal for a screening regulation and the proposal for an asylum procedure regulation as part of the Commission's proposal for a new Pact on Migration and Asylum. The Commission's proposals would lead to longer detention of refugees.
- Following the withdrawal of German troops from Afghanistan, local Bundeswehr aid workers are particularly at risk. Many fear revenge by the Taliban and want to enter Germany. However, the Ministry of the Interior rejects a corresponding change in the rules.
- The catholic nun Juliana Seelmann was found guilty by the district court of Würzburg for granting church asylumbecause the Franciscan helped two women from Nigeria. According to their own statements, they were forced into prostitution in Italy and then fled on to Germany. The traditional church asylum is more and more under pressure in Germany.
- Following criticism from Spain, Morocco has announced that it will make greater efforts to take back unaccompanied Moroccan children who are in the EU without papers.
06/02/2021: 23 people drown in the Mediterranean +++ Greek government to use sound cannons against refugees +++ Dutch journalist detained in Greece for reporting pushbacks
- At least 23 refugees have died in the Mediterranean on their way to Italy. This means that almost 800 people have already drowned in the Mediterranean this year alone.
- Greece wants to use sound cannons against refugees at the border to prevent access to asylum procedures. This is obviously against European law and despicable. Hopefully the EU Commission will prevent it. You can find a report from DW News on the sonic cannons via my Twitter profile.
- A film crew from the Netherlands has been taken to a police station in Greece for questioning without giving any credible reasons. The team had been working for the public-law institution VPRO reported about pushbacks at the Greek-Turkish border. There, not only the human rights of refugees are trampled upon, but also the freedom of the press.
- With a giant life jacket as floor graffiti the work of sea rescue and the life-threatening flight of thousands of people across the Mediterranean to Europe will be commemorated on Frankfurt's Unicampus. "We only make visible what everyone knows and suppresses," reads a statement by the artists. This year, at least 773 people died in the Mediterranean Sea on their way to Europe.
- The city of Ibbenbüren declares itself a Safe Haven and reaffirms its solidarity with people on the run. Find out if your city is already a safe haven and how to make a city a safe haven on the Seebrücke homepage.
01.06.2021: NGOs sue Frontex +++ Saturday is day of action against deportations to Afghanistan +++ Greece cracks down on refugees with new technology and AI
- Non-governmental organisations are suing the EU border agency Frontex. The case in question concerns a woman from Burundi and a 15-year-old Congolese boy. The accusation is that they both tried to seek asylum on the Greek island of Lesbos last year and were left to fend for themselves at sea, without water or food. I have spoken to MDR about my assessment of the accusations.
- This coming Saturday, a Germany-wide day of action against deportations to Afghanistan will take place. More about the campaign, and whether there will be one in your city, can be found here. How the EU is currently facilitating deportations to Afghanistan despite it being considered the most dangerous country in the world, I have explained in this text.
- At its border with Turkey, Greece is testing digital and physical border measures against fugitives using artificial intelligence. AI-assisted lie detectors and robotic interrogators have been tested, and satellite data and drone footage are also being used. In addition, armored trucks emit deafening noise through a "sound cannon" in the direction of Turkey.
- Many people seeking protection are currently being brought from the Greek islands to the mainland. Many of them end up in the Eleonas camp near Athens, which is now struggling with overcrowding. The living conditions there are so bad that comparisons are already being made with the Moria slum on Lesbos.
- The managing director of Sea-Eye, Gordon Isler, writes in the Morgenpostwhat cities like Hamburg can do in the current situation to live up to their responsibility.
- Mission Lifeline is naming its rescue ship after the Egyptian Marwa El-Sherbini, who was murdered by a racist in Dresden in 2009. Mission Liefeline made the announcement on Twitter here.
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
- Lawyers of the Federal Foreign Office have outed homosexual and bisexual asylum seekers in their countries of origin - even though they face long imprisonment or even the death penalty there. Die Welt spoke to one of those affected.
- Hundreds of minors are stranded in the Spanish exclave of Ceuta. They can neither return to Morocco nor travel on to Europe. Many hide out of mistrust of the police.
- The Irish association "Refugee Rescue" wants to raise two million €, to buy a new ship and save lives in the Mediterranean. Currently, the association is involved in the deployment of the Sea-Eye 4.
- During the night, 348 people were intercepted on the Mediterranean Sea and returned to the civil war country of Libya, where they face imprisonment and torture. Find out more on UNHCR Libya's Twitter channel.
- In the Greek refugee camp of Katsikas, there have been more than 170 cases of infection with Covid-19 in recent days. More than 1,000 people currently live in the camp. The protection against infection in the camps is absolutely insufficient. Doctor Apostolos Veizis reported on Twitter.
27.05.2021: Fewer naturalisations due to Brexit and Corona +++ German government admits mistakes in dealing with homosexual protection seekers +++ Expert:inside demand monitoring of refugees' human rights compliance in Greece
- Last year, significantly fewer people were naturalised in Germany. This was mainly due to Brexit and the Corona pandemic, as reported by the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden on Wednesday. In 2020, 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.
- In a letter to the Lesbian and Gay Association LSVD, the Foreign Office and the Ministry of the Interior have admitted mistakes in dealing with homosexual persons seeking protection. The association criticized that the BAMF seems to have a "paranoid fear" that people seeking protection are only pretending to be lesbian or gay and that the office is denying their identity in rows. In addition, the LSVD explains here why they are against the Commission's proposal for the new migration and asylum pact.
- Asylum seekers in Greece live in a legal parallel world of detention without a court order, arbitrary police violence and illegal pushbacks. Experts call for an independent monitoring system.
- US President Biden calls for ceasefire in Tigray. Earlier, the UN had expressed alarm at mass arrests in several refugee camps in the region. The region is home to many refugees who have now taken flight once again.
- In its April report, the Border Violence Monitoring Network documented a total of 42 pushbacks on the Balkan route, affecting a total of 1125 people.
05/26/2021: NGOs file lawsuit against Frontex +++ Assad gets re-elected +++ UN human rights office raises allegations against EU refugee policy
- Three NGOs have filed a human rights complaint against the EU border agency Frontex at the European Court of Justice on behalf of two protection seekers. The victims, an unaccompanied minor and a woman, were forcibly rounded up on the Greek island of Lesbos, robbed and eventually abandoned at sea on rafts with no water, food or means of navigation, a joint statement by Front-Lex, Progress Lawyers Network and Helsinki Monitor said. The press release of the three NGOs can be found here.
- In Syria, the ruler and war criminal Assad has allowed himself to be re-elected. Experts call the elections a farce. During Assad's time in office, more than half of the population fled the country, and as long as he is in power, most of them will not be able to return.
- The UN Human Rights Office publishes a report on the events in the central Mediterranean and accuses the EU of condoning human rights violations. Here you can find the press release of the United Nations.
- On Lesbos, people's freedom of movement is being further restricted. At weekends, people are sometimes not allowed out at all, and at other times, in the middle of the pandemic, they have to wait in long, narrow queues to be allowed out. Isabel Schayani updates on the situation on the ground on Twitter.
- The Tunisian navy has rescued 100 people from an inflatable boat. The people had left the Libyan town of Suwara and were on their way to Europe. This year, 743 people have already died in the Mediterranean on their way to Europe.
05/25/2021: Frontex chief tries to cover up pushback scandal and ignores his own human rights commissioner +++ CDU politician:inside calls for more mass camps at EU external borders +++ Hundreds of unaccompanied minor protection seekers are in Ceuta
- For months, Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri has been under pressure over his border guards' involvement in illegal pushbacks in the Aegean. Internal documents show: Frontex's own human rights officer spoke of "solid evidence" of pushbacks in the Aegean, but Frontex chief Leggeri may simply have passed it over.
- CDU politicians are pushing for hotspots for refugees in Italy and Spain. As a model for these camps they cite the newly emerging camp on the island of Lesbos, of all places, where the Greek government and the EU have failed for six years to create humane conditions. Instead of new mass camps at the EU's external borders there needs to be a coalition of the willing that goes ahead and is prepared to distribute protection seekers among European states. On my homepage you will find our concept for a fair and efficient asylum system in Europe.
- Most people have been deported from Ceuta to Morocco in recent days, but hundreds of minors remain in the Spanish exclave. These are also teenagers and children who come from West African countries.
- In its refugee and migration policy, the EU is currently relying on outsourcing border controls to countries such as Morocco and Libya, says migration researcher Jochen Oltmer in Dlf. This is associated with risks, because one also works together with regimes that do not comply with EU standards.
- On Monday night, the Taliban attacked the provincial capital Mehtarlam of Laghman province in eastern Afghanistan. They are taking over ever larger parts of the country, which will foreseeably force many people to flee. On my homepage I have summarized how the EU tries to facilitate deportations to Afghanistan, although it is considered the most unsafe country in the world.
- The Bavarian Refugee Council assumes that the next collective deportation to Afghanistan will take place on 8.06.2021. Click here for the Twitter account of the Bavarian Refugee Council.
20/05/21: EU Commission works on new deals with Libya and Tunisia +++ Over 180 people drowned despite Frontex planes circling nearby +++ Greek migration minister claims illegal pushbacks are legal
- The EU Commission's plans include relieving Italy of the burden of incoming refugees and concluding new deals with Libya and Tunisia on refugee protection. Currently, the responsible Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, is in Tunisia with the Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese.
Yesterday Johansson gave an interview to the Italian "Repubblica". Der Standard has summarized it in German here.
- Frontex is increasingly monitoring Europe's borders from the air. BuzzFeed News has reconstructed several cases, in which a total of more than 180 refugees drowned, despite Frontex planes previously circling nearby.
- Greek migration minister Notis Mitarakis defends illegal pushbacks on high seas and spreads the false claim that these are legal. This is nonsense because the Geneva Refugee Convention, the European Convention on Human Rights and EU law oblige member states to guarantee people the right to an asylum procedure and to comply with the principle of "non-refoulement" - even if they enter irregularly. Border authorities must therefore always carry out an individual assessment of the need for protection if the person entering wants to apply for asylum.
- The owner of a Libyan-flagged fishing vessel alleges that Malta paid for pushbacks by the fishing vessel on several occasions.
- The Spain correspondent of the taz writes how refugees are misused by Morocco as bargaining chips: "When it comes to securing Europe's external borders, Brussels negotiates with despots and dubious rulers. As long as they deliver - and get the world's poor off our backs - they are our friends."
20.05.2021: Case against Carola Rackete dropped +++ Sea-Eye 4 assigned a safe haven +++ Number of internally displaced persons increases worldwide
- A case against Carola Rackete is dropped. The court found that Rackete's actions fulfilled the duty of rescue at sea and did not constitute "resistance or violence against a warship."
- The Sea-Eye 4 has been assigned a safe port and is allowed to land in Pozzalo, Sicily. This is good news, but it is incomprehensible why hundreds of exhausted people were not allowed to go ashore in Malta, even though the ship was already off the coast there. Learn more on the Sea-Eye Twitter channel
- The number of internally displaced people worldwide is at an all-time high, according to data from the Norwegian Refugee Council. According to the report, around 55 million people were displaced in their home countries at the end of 2020. In addition to conflicts, this is also due to natural disasters and climate change.
- The Romanian town of Timișoara is increasingly becoming a transit station on the so-called Balkan route. With other borders closed, people are looking for new routes. tagesschau.de has spoken with people on the run.
- Belgian authorities have rescued 49 people in distress at sea. The boat with mostly Vietnamese people probably started in France before.
19.05.2021: More Corona cases in the new Moria +++ Spain deploys tanks and soldiers in Ceuta +++ Expert commission on causes of flight presents report
- The Greek government seems to be pursuing a strategy of infiltration, even if they don't say so. In the new Moria, there was a positive rate of about five percent in 322 tests last week.
- Frontex falsely registered minors as adults in several cases on the Greek islands. For young people, this has serious consequences for their health and safety.
- Spain is deploying tanks and military on the border between Ceuta and Morocco and has now deported more than half of the 6,000 or so people who recently reached the Spanish exclave by swimming. This two-minute video discusses the background.
- The In its final report, the Expert Commission on the Causes of Flight recommended that the government should take stronger action against global warming and put arms exports to the test so that fewer people have to flee their home countries. In the authors' view, Germany should also set up a coalition of states that takes in a certain number of refugees directly from their regions of origin each year. The 220-page report, but also a 12-page summary, can be found at at this link.
- In a boating accident in the Mediterranean Sea. over 50 lives were lost. 33 other people were rescued by workers on an oil platform.
18.05.2021: Debate on sea rescue in the EU Parliament +++ Sea Eye 4 needs a safe haven +++ Thousands of people from Morocco arrive in Ceuta
- I had the opportunity to speak today in the EU Parliament on sea rescue in the Mediterranean. I find it pathetic that EU states have decided that people in the Mediterranean should rather drown or be mistreated in Libya than reach Europe alive. You can watch the entire debate here.
- According to the IOM, at least 685 people have died in the Mediterranean so far in 2021. This is more than in the same period of 2020, 2019 and 2018. Despite these figures, there is no European sea rescue mission and currently only the Sea-Eye 4 is operating because other ships are detained on flimsy grounds.
- The Sea-Eye currently has over 400 rescued people on board and is looking for a safe haven. Malta has refused the request, so the ship is heading towards Italy. Presenter Tobias Schlegl is on board as a paramedic and reports on his Twitter account.
- Doctors without Borders continues sea rescue operation in the Mediterranean Sea - this time with our own chartered ship: The Geo Barents.
- Around 6,000 people from Morocco had arrived in the Spanish exclave of Ceuta by Tuesday morning, but around 1,600 of them have already been deported back to the neighbouring country. Morocco let the people pass, according to Spanish media, because it is angry that Spain allowed the medical treatment of the head of the Polisario independence movement for Western Sahara, Brahim Ghali, in a Spanish hospital. Morocco claims the territory on its southern border as part of its national territory.
- Refugees from Moria are once again addressing the European public in light of rising Corona numbers in the camp. You can read the open letter here.
17.05.2021: Sea-Eye 4 rescues 330 people +++ Residents:inside prevent deportation in Glasgow +++ New Moria completely unsuitable for people with disabilities
- The Sea-Eye 4 rescued 99 people overnight, mostly from Syria, and now has 330 people seeking protection on board. Last night, however, around 680 people were also intercepted in the Mediterranean and returned to the civil war country of Libya. You can read more about the rescues at the Twitter account of the Sea-Eye. To pullbacks to Libya regularly tweets Safa Msehli, IOM Spokesperson.
- The 26-year-old medical student Marianne Pretschner is committed to Sea-Eye. In the summer of 2019, she was deployed in the Mediterranean Sea and did what she also wants to do as a future doctor: save lives. The SZ spoke with her.
- About 200 people blocked a street in Glasgow to protest the deportation of two people. With success. Read more about the background, which also has to do with the conflict between Scotland and the United Kingdom, in the SZ.
- Khaled Al-Afat was transferred to the new Moria together with 400 refugees with disabilities. He cannot reach many areas with his wheelchair. For people like him, life in the inhumane camp is even more complicated than for many others. The ND visited him.
- In 2020, around 102,000 initial applications for asylum had been submitted in Germany. That was just half of what had been set as the "upper limit" in the coalition agreement, said the Chairman of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany Heinrich Bedford-Strohm on Saturday at the 3rd Ecumenical Church Congress. If you realize this development, he said, the ongoing haggling over where people could go is "unworthy."
12.05.2021: Council of Europe criticizes Greek government +++ Broad alliance calls for easing family reunification for people with subsidiary protection status +++ Man on Lesbos faces life imprisonment after trying to save people
- The Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe has written a letter to the responsible Greek ministers in which she demands an end to the illegal pushbacks, to allow the NGOs to work and to finally improve the conditions in the camps. In their reply, the responsible ministers simply deny that illegal practices occur and claim, contrary to all the facts, that the conditions in the camps have substantially improved.
You can find the letter from the Human Rights Commissioner here.
Here is the ministers' response.
- Although many survivors are currently landing on Lampedusa in Italy and the EU Commission has called on member states to help take in refugees, there have been no offers yet. Germany, France, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Spain had taken part in an earlier distribution and it is important that this time again a coalition of willing EU states goes ahead and takes in people from Italy.
- Clubs, associations and city leaders have called on the federal government to facilitate family reunification for refugees with subsidiary protection status. One reason for the appeal initiated by Pro Asyl is that in 2020 only 443 visas were issued per month for relatives of beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, although the law provides for a quota of 1000 visas. It is also criticised that applicants sometimes wait longer than a year for an appointment at German missions abroad.
- Mohamad H., 27, from Somalia is facing life in prison after he tried to save 33 people in a shipwreck off Lesbos. The prosecution accuses him of being the driver of the boat and thus of smuggling and putting people's lives in danger.
- Human traffickers earn around €50 million a year in the Western Balkans, according to a new study. They make most of their money in places where refugees are affected by illegal pushbacks. You could take away the traffickers' business if people could apply for asylum in the EU, as is their right.
You can find the comprehensive study here.
11/05/2021: Me and 48 other MEPs call for evacuation of refugees from new Moria due to lead exposure +++ Libyan militias torture and enslave refugees +++ Over 2000 people land on Lampedusa
- Together with 48 other MEPs, I have written a letter to the European Commission in which we demand that all camp inmates be moved immediately to areas not contaminated with lead. The health and safety of these people is at great risk. They must not be kept in these conditions any longer. You can find the letter on my homepage.
- Libyan militias enslave refugees or torture them to extort money from their families. These are also the militias with which the EU cooperates as the Libyan coast guard.
- A total of 2128 people arrived on 20 boats on Sunday and Monday night, according to Italian authorities. The EU Commission has called on member states to help Italy take in refugees.
- The "Sea-Eye 4" got a new medic. Hamburg's ex-presenter Tobias Schlegl signed on to the sea rescue ship and is helping off the coast of Libya.
- A person flees Syria because he doesn't want to fight in the military there. According to the Administrative Court of Baden-Württemberg, however, this is not a reason to be recognised as a refugee in Germany.
10.05.2021: Sea-Watch 4 detained, Sea-Eye 4 launches into area of operations +++ Libyan coast guard deports over 700 people to civil war country +++ Germany must retrieve Syrian deported to Greece
- This weekend, around 1400 refugees reached the island of Lampedusa. Meanwhile, according to media reports, the Sicilian judicial authorities again arrested the Sea-Watch 4. The pretext this time is that too many life jackets were found on board and that the ship's sewage system was not designed for such a high number of rescued persons.
- The SeaEye 4 has departed for the area of operations. You can find out more about this on the Sea Eye social media channels
- More than 700 fugitives were intercepted by the Libyan coast guard yesterday and taken back to the civil war country where they face torture. At least five people, including a child, drowned when their boat capsized. IOM press officer Safa Msehli regularly tweets about pullbacks to Libya.
- Munich administrative court rules: Germany must bring back a Syrian deported to Greece. The human rights organisation Pro Asyl described the decision as a "slap in the face" for Federal Interior Minister Seehofer. The agreement with Greece to be able to send refugees back directly at the German-Austrian border was clearly illegal.
- The EU Commission wants to encourage more people to return "voluntarily" and expand Frontex into a return agency. Ramona Lenz and Nina Violetta Schwarz of Medico International explain in their guest article in the Frankfurter Rundschau how this looks in reality.
07.05.2021: Activist acquitted again +++ Italian mayor calls for European sea rescue programme +++ Journalist reports on smear campaigns against civilian sea rescuers:inside
- The activist Hagen Kopp helps people threatened with deportation. The co-initiator of Alarm Phone criticized the criminalization of solidarity and reported serious, often fatal consequences of deportations. Yesterday he was acquitted again in the second instance.
- The mayor of Palermo calls for a civilian European sea rescue programme in the Mediterranean. European cities, NGOs and aid organisations could work together with the support of the European Union. In June he is organising the solidarity congress 'From the sea to the city' with the mayor of Potsdam.
- "It's very hard - and the police nowhere our friend: they beat us at all borders." The Croatian police are particularly brutal. The Frankfurter Rundschau spoke with people seeking protection on the Balkan route.
- Journalist Mathilde Auvillain reports on her experiences on the Aquarius and about the discrediting and criminalisation of civilian sea rescue by European politicians and media disinformation.
- A right-wing terrorist group has been busted again in Germany. They planned attacks on alleged migrants and politicians and talked about a civil war. Fascists are well networked, the group has, among others, contact with another right-wing terrorist group that wants to kill Green politicians and is currently on trial.
05/06/2021: Activist against deportations in court +++ Pushbacks of minors in France +++ Drones for Frontex +++
- "Migration is a human right for me." The activist Hagen Kopp wants to save people from deportations and is therefore standing in court again today. Der Spiegel interviewed him.
- France sends dozens of unaccompanied underage refugees back to Italy every month. For many, the police change their age so that they are considered adults. Families with children are also sent back to Italy without being given the opportunity to apply for asylum. Human Rights Watch reports.
- Frontex is already flying planes over the Mediterranean and transmitting data on shipwrecked people, in some cases directly to the 'Libyan Coast Guard'.. Now Frontex is also testing the use of drones. The agency is also to be equipped with quadrocopters. Read more about these costly plans at Netzpolitik.
- Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) presents its annual report on pushbacks and torture. Physical and psychological violence, humiliation and threats are reported. In addition to the situation in Greece and Croatia, one focus is on the analysis of European chain deportations.
- At least 130 people drowned in the Mediterranean Sea on April 22, 2021 even though they could have been saved. AP News has reconstructed and written down their story: https://apnews.com/article/united-nations-africa-europe-middle-east-migration-3614fc9520fb84fd50323bfa2a9ca01c
05/05/2021: 2,000 deaths from pushbacks since pandemic began +++ Illegal pushback documented +++ European Parliament backs civil society
- This year, more than 600 people have already drowned trying to reach Europe. Some 5,000 people have been returned to Libya, where more than half a million people are fleeing in completely inhumane conditions.
- Since the beginning of the pandemic, at least 2,000 people have died as a result of illegal pushbacks. Systematic pushbacks by Frontex play a major role. The Guardian reports.
- The SPD is calling for a fundamental reform of Frontex under a new director. In doing so it is calling for the replacement of the director Fabrice Leggeri, who has been in office since 2015, and more parliamentary control of the agency. You can read about the background in Der Spiegel.
- 31 people were allegedly severely mistreated and even shot at by Greek authorities over five days in December 2020. The families were separated, taken to Turkish waters and shipped to life rafts. One of the fugitives survived only because he was revived by his friends in the life raft. Mare Liberum reconstructs the case.
- The European Parliament calls on Frontex to withdraw the invoice sent to Frag den Staat and to refrain from future transparency complaints. In doing so, Parliament is backing important civil society work and is committed to transparency.
04.05.2021: Deportation flight to Afghanistan cancelled because safety of accompanying police officers cannot be guaranteed +++ USA accepts more refugees again +++ German court strengthens rights of refugees
- A deportation flight to Afghanistan planned for today has apparently been cancelled. However, the decisive factor for the decision was not the danger for the refugees, but for the German police officers accompanying them.
- Donald Trump had capped refugee admissions at 15,000 people per year. Joe Biden wants to increase that number to 62,500 people initially by September and to 125,000 people a year in the next fiscal year.
- The Lower Saxony-Bremen Regional Social Court has strengthened the rights of refugees who have already been recognised by another EU country but were subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment there. It awarded unreduced asylum benefits to a woman who fled Nigeriabecause the woman had to prostitute herself or beg for a living in Italy.
- On 06.03.21, 19-year-old Qosay Sadam Khalaf died after being taken into custody by police. He fled Iraq years ago to escape massive human rights abuses. Relatives demand clarification of the circumstances of death.
Death in Custody documents the 181 known deaths of People of Colour in Germanywho died as a result of police violence or in police custody.
- The Sea-Watch 4 and its 455 guests on board have been assigned a safe port and landed in Trapani, Sicily last night. Find out more on Sea-Watch's Twitter channel.
03.05.2021: More than 600 refugees rescued from the Mediterranean in the last days +++ Kara Tepe on Lesbos closed, so even more people in the new Moria +++ Greece is a dead end for many refugees
- Civilian sea rescue organisations have rescued more than 600 refugees in the Mediterranean within a few days. The German aid organisation Sea-Watch said it had taken a total of 455 people on board in six rescue operations by Saturday evening and is still waiting for a port to be allocated. The ship Ocean Viking of the organisation SOS Méditerranée brought 236 refugees to Sicily on Saturday.
- On 1 May alone, 172 people were returned from the Mediterranean to the civil war country of Libya. On the morning of 2 May, at least eleven people drowned off the Libyan coast. Pullbacks and boat mishaps are regularly reported by IOM Libya.
In this post I explainwhy the EU must not outsource sea rescue to Libya and people must not be returned to the civil war country.
- For hours, a boat carrying shelter seekers drifted at sea off the Greek peninsula of Peloponnese. A passing freighter pulled the 170 people to safety.
- On Lesbos, the Kara Tepe camp was closed, although the conditions there were relatively good. The people were moved to the new Moria. The midwife Julia Falkner is on site for Doctors Without Borders and reports in this video about the catastrophic conditions.
- Greece is also a dead end for many refugees outside the hotspots on the islands. In the reportage of WRDforyou you can learn more about the situation of the refugees.
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
- Frontex sends information on sea rescue cases in the Mediterranean directly to the "Libyan Coast Guard" via WhatsApp groups and emails. Until now, Frontex has also claimed to the European Parliament that they only inform sea rescue coordination centres about sea rescue cases. In this way, they justified the fact that no coordinates are given to surrounding ships that can ensure the fastest possible rescue. A summary and my commentary on the illegal actions of Frontex can be found on my homepage.
- The EU border protection agency Frontex is to be expanded into a European deportation police force in the future. Migration researcher Jochen Oltmer is critical of Frontex's new mandate. Deutschlandfunk interviewed him.
- For the dispatch of their new ship to the Mediterranean Sea, the Sea-Eye rescuers have received support from the aid organization Sea-Watch. The latter has agreed to support the completion costs of the "Sea-Eye 4" and the long-term and sustainable strengthening of the structures with 550,000 euros. The Sea-Eye 4 reached the Mediterranean today. Sea-Eye founder Gordon Isler updates on the location of the Sea Eye 4 on Twitter.
- About 60 people were taken at dawn from the relatively good camp Kara Tepe and brought to the new Moria. There was no comprehensible reason at all to bring the people to a worse mass camp. This is simply to show that refugees at the European borders should not have the right to a decent life. Mission Lifeline posted photos of the action on Twitter.
- Single refugees living in shared accommodation in Germany will receive less social benefits than those living alone since 2019: 328 instead of 364 euros. This is significantly less than Hartz 4 and social courts doubt that this reduction is constitutional.
04/28/2021: Ocean Viking rescues 236 people +++ EU Commission backs "voluntary return" +++ EU Parliament denies Frontex discharge
- Yesterday, 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
- Frontex is increasingly relying on air surveillance with chartered aircraft. The cynical calculation here is that people in distress at sea can no longer be rescued and brought to safety if there are no more ships on the ground. Last week around 130 people drowned, while from the European side only a Frontex surveillance plane was sent out, but no rescue ship.
- The Greens are committed to protecting people who have to leave their homes because of climate change. In the discussion on the election programme, we discuss what opportunities there are for this over the next four years.
- The monk Abraham Sauer took in a refugee in the Missionary Benedictine Abbey of Münsterschwarzach. The public prosecutor's office charged him with this. Now the district court of Kitzingen acquitted him.
- The Legal Centre Lesvos has brought an action against Greece before the European Court of Human Rights. It accuses Athens of violence in unlawful operations against refugees to prevent their arrival in Greece.
- Did you know that there is a film school in the Greek camps? The actress Katja Riemann visited it and made a documentary about the refugees at the school. You can find the film at Arte.
04/26/2021: Green European Group launches campaign for municipal reception of refugees +++ State government in Thuringia wants to continue taking refugees from Greek camps +++ German government offers Greece money to be able to deport there
- On social media, people are demanding their right to be in solidarity under #WelcomingEurope. Over 600 solidarity-minded municipalities in 17 EU countries want to welcome refugees. The map with over 600 host communities you can find here[ Door Closes ] And... here you can watch the video of the campaign.
- Thuringia received a total of 177 refugees from the Greek camps between August 2020 and March 2021. The state government in Thuringia also wanted to start its own state programme to take in more people from the Aegean islands, but was forbidden to do so by the Interior Ministry under Horst Seehofer. The Greens and the Left Party in Erfurt are pushing for a lawsuit, but the SPD doesn't want one. This legal opinion commissioned by me... states that the federal government should not simply refuse to accept some refugees by the federal states.
- On the Greek island of Lesbos, the closure of the municipal camp Kara Tepe began over the weekend. It was considered a showcase camp where particularly needy refugees, such as women and children, were housed. It is being closed so that the refugees are no longer housed near the city.
- After several courts ruled that refugees can no longer be deported from Germany to Greece because they face lack of care and homelessness, the federal government is offering money to Greece. The aim is to change the conditions for refugees recognised in Greece so that they can be deported from Germany again.
- Denmark wants to deport people to Syria and has already withdrawn the protection title of more than 250 Syrian refugees. This decision is based on a completely incorrect assessment of the security situation in the country. In the European Parliament, we adopted a resolution on 11 March which clearly states that Syria is not a safe country to return to. Pro Asyl explains the background.
22.04.2021: Last plane with refugees from Greece lands today +++ Denmark prepares deportations to Syria +++ Groko extends IRINI naval mission
- Today, 103 refugees from Greece have landed in Germany. The Federal Ministry of the Interior said it was not planning any further admissions. Yet it would be important to continue taking people out of places like the new Moria.
You can read more about this in the press release of Pro Asyl.
- Denmark's government wants to deport Syrian refugees. Germany has similar plans. Time visits a family whose relatives were killed by the Assad regime. The family is to be deported.
- The grand coalition has decided to continue the IRINI mission. The ships in the Mediterranean are supposed to prevent arms smuggling and deliberately bypass certain zones so as not to have to rescue people in distress at sea. Julian Pahlke summarized why the Marin mission is problematic on Twitter here.
- There are currently around 123,000 refugees from Africa living in Germany. 54,000 of them, or around 44 per cent, fled to Germany from the brutal regime in the north-east African country of Eritrea. 24,000 people have found their way to Germany from Somalia on the Horn of Africa, which is torn apart by terror and civil war. A report on the figures, which are based on a question by the Green member of the Bundestag Filiz Polat, can be found here.
- The vast majority of Syrians and Eritreans who immigrated to Germany between 2013 and 2019 feel comfortable in Germany. This is the result of a study conducted by the Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB) and the Bamf Research Centre.
21.04.2021: Call for a ban on deportations to Afghanistan +++ Expert:innen explain why deportations to Syria violate fundamental human rights +++ Court rules: No deportations from Germany to Greece
- "If the West leaves, then the refugees must stay." Markus Deckert demands a deportation stop for Afghanistan - also because the Taliban could once again bring large parts of the country under their control.
- Denmark wants to be the first EU member to send refugees from Syria back to parts of the country designated as "safe". In a guest article, several experts and NGOs call for a rethink and explain, why deportations to Syria violate fundamental human rights.
- Yesterday, the Higher Regional Court of Lower Saxony ruledthat refugees who have already received international protection in Greece may not be deported there.
- The Border Violence Monitoring Network documented 31 pushbacks on the Balkan route in March, affecting a total of 671 refugees. Refugees are also increasingly forced to use routes contaminated by mines from the war, which cost the life of one refugee last month.
- The city of Leer in Lower Saxony is a safe haven. The council has decided that people can be accommodated in Leer beyond the distribution quota. Furthermore, the city joins the alliance "Cities of Safe Harbours".
You can find out whether your town is one of the 243 safe havens in Germany on the Seebrücke homepage.
20.04.2021: Collective deportation from Frankfurt to Pakistan +++ "Ask the State" has to pay less court costs because of Frontex +++ Italian authorities wiretap journalists, damaging freedom of the press
- About 40 people from Pakistan are deported from Frankfurt to Islamabad. One was only a few days away from an employment toleration, another will be separated from his wife with the deportation. The Frankfurter Rundschau explains here why some of the people actually fulfil the conditions for a right to stay.
- The EU border police Frontex wanted €23,700 from the NGO "Ask the State" - the European Court now reduced the bill by more than half. "Ask the State" is to pay legal costs after suing for the release of information from Frontex.
- The Sicilian public prosecutor's office accuses NGOs of collaborating with Libyan traffickers - and has wiretapped journalists. The accusations have no factual basis and the action is an attack on the freedom of the press.
- The Commission commissioned two studies to examine the use of artificial intelligence in domestic policy. Automated systems could detect irregular migration flows and be used for law enforcement.
- Political scientist Volker M. Heins believes that a world of open borders is a necessary utopia and has written a plea for it. The Süddeutsche Zeitung interviewed him.
19.04.2021: Seehofer tries to obstruct Frontex reconnaissance +++ Hotel owners in Gran Canaria take in refugees +++ Thousands of refugee children and young people missing
- I was leaked an internal mail about the human rights violations at Frontex, which is very incriminating for Horst Seehofer and the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Obviously, the Federal Ministry of the Interior lied to the German Bundestag and tried to obstruct the clarification... You can read more about it in my thread on Twitter.
- Two hotel owners on Gran Canaria accept refugees in their hotel and also take over the costs. The living conditions are much better than in the camps. N-TV visited the hoteliers and the refugees.
- More than 18,000 refugee children and young people disappeared from state care in Europe between 2018 and 2020. In Germany alone, there were 724. Children and young people in particular are at risk of being exploited. The data of the research network "Lost in Europe" can be found clearly visualized at tagesschau.
- Serbian Constitutional Court ruled in favour of 17 people from Afghanistanwho were illegally pushed back from Serbia to Bulgaria in February 2017. These pushbacks have been used by most states on the Balkan route between Greece and Austria since 2016. Convictions are very rare.
- At least 41 people have drowned off the Tunisian port city of Sfax. According to the United Nations, they were on their way to Europe when their boat capsized. Only three people could be rescued.
04/16/2021: Belgian woman has taken in a total of over 50 refugees in need +++ More people fleeing West Africa to Europe +++ Pro Asyl calls for halt to deportations to Afghanistan
- 52-year-old Christel from Brussels has an unusual flat share: Over a period of 18 months, she hosted over 50 refugees. That was going quite well until the police started accusing her of human trafficking - because they couldn't believe she was just trying to help.
- Armed conflicts and the Corona crisis are forcing more and more people from West Africa to cross to the Canary Islands. There they are stuck in overcrowded camps. A new Moria is threatening to emerge on Spanish soil.
- Due to the planned withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan, Pro Asyl has again urged to stop deportations to the country. A strengthening of the Taliban is to be expected, and no opposition is safe in the country.
- The doctor Martin Binder has worked voluntarily in the refugee camps Moria and most recently Kara Tepe on the Greek island of Lesbos. The doctor from Reutlingen reports on the despair of his patients and on his own powerlessness.
- Without inventors with a migration history, the number of patents registered in Germany would have fallen over the past ten years, a study by the Institute of the German Economy states.
04/15/2021: Almost nothing remains of the 2018 Bamf scandal +++ Brutal human trafficker in Libya set free +++ Study proves: Migration hardly a topic in German curricula
- In 2018, Bremen's Bamf is said to have granted masses of unjustified asylum. Now the process has begun and it is already clear that there were no systematic false positive decisions on asylum applications and that the alleged scandal is not one. On the other hand, it is a scandal that the Bamf has wrongly rejected more than 20,000 applications.
- Libya has released one of its most dangerous human traffickers. Abd al-Rahman Milad, better known by his nickname Bija, is accused of shooting at boats and causing them to sink. The EU and Italy cooperated with him because he was part of the Libyan coast guard.
- A study by the TU Dresden has examined the topics of migration and integration in German curricula. The authors criticise that migration phenomena are often linked to crisis developments such as flight and expulsion.
- Refugee councils criticize planned collective deportations to Pakistan. Such collective deportations could take place on 20 April and 18 May. You can find out more on the homepage of the Bavarian Refugee Council.
- After fighting in the Colombian-Venezuelan border area, more than 3,000 people again sought protection in Colombia a few weeks ago. Colombia has officially received 1.8 million refugees from the neighbouring country. You can find out more about the many millions of refugees from Venezuela on the UNHCR homepage.
04/14/2021: Biden withdraws troops from Afghanistan +++ Bamf wrongly rejected 21,224 asylum applications +++ Denmark to deport to Syria
- President Biden wants U.S. soldiers out of the country by the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. As the mission was not successful, the country is in danger of being largely taken over by the Taliban afterwards. Nevertheless, a new repatriation agreement was recently concluded. Here I wrote down how the EU is trying to facilitate deportations to Afghanistan, even though it is considered the most unsafe country in the world.
- Of 68,061 Bamf decisions reviewed last year, the courts declared 21,224 to be unlawful - almost one in three. The success rate is particularly high for those seeking protection from Afghanistan, where 60 per cent of the Bamf decisions reviewed by the courts were overturned. It is a scandal that the Bamf is obviously encouraged to decide to the disadvantage of those seeking protection.
- Denmark has classified the Syrian capital Damascus as safe - an assessment with which the country stands alone in Europe. So far the residence permits of several hundred Syrians have been cancelled or no longer renewed because of this. Deutsche Welle has spoken with those affected.
- 17 people were rescued after an engine failure in the Ionian Sea, after trying to get from Greece to Italy. It is a good 100 kilometres of open sea from Corfu to the Italian cape of Santa Maria di Leuca in Apulia.
- Sicilian prosecutors have spent months shadowing dozens of reporters covering migration and sea rescue. The government is getting into trouble.
04/13/2021: Thousands of recognized refugees continue to flee from Greece to Germany +++ Spanish human rights activist deported from Morocco +++ A new Lesbos looms on the Canary Islands
- Because Greece treats recognised refugees badly, many travel to Germany and apply for asylum again. According to the Bamf, in the first three months of the year about 2900 people who had already been recognised in Greece have filed a new asylum application in Germany. The Higher Administrative Court in Münster ruled in January that people cannot be deported to Greece because they face homelessness and "extreme material hardship" there. You can get more background information at ProAsyl.
- The Spanish human rights activist Helena Maleno Garzón was deported in January from her Moroccan home in Tangier, where she has been living for twenty years and where she works for the human rights of refugees. In this video on Twitter, she explainshow Spanish and Moroccan authorities are trying to prevent their work.
- A new Lesbos is looming on the Canary Islands. The Spanish islands in West Africa are increasingly becoming hotspots where refugees are being housed in camps in ever worse conditions and are not allowed to move on.
- Four people were found dead yesterday on a boat off the Canary Island of El Hierro. A total of 23 people were on board. The 19 survivors were flown to Tenerife.
- 34 people have died in the sinking of a refugee boat off the coast of Djibouti. In recent years, Djibouti has become a transit country for people who want to reach the Arabian Peninsula to find work. At the same time, many people are fleeing in the opposite direction from the civil war country of Yemen, which lies on the other side of the strait.
04/12/2021: Alan Kurdi is free again +++ Hagen becomes safe haven +++ 132 boats turned back in Frontex operations
- The rescue ship Alan Kurdi has been freed after six months. Meanwhile Italy's systematic attacks on sea rescue organisations continue. Meanwhile the Dresden-based association Mission Lifeline has christened "Rise Above", a new rescue ship for use in the Mediterranean. tagesschau.de reports on Italy's tough stance against sea rescue. You will also find the statement from Sea-Eye.
- The city of Hagen officially declares itself a Safe Haven for refugees and joins the "Cities of Safe Havens" alliance. On the homepage of the Seebrücke you will findwhether your city is already a Safe Haven and how you can get your city to become a Safe Haven.
- The Greek coast guard systematically drags refugees back to the open sea, with Frontex helping. According to yet to be published Frontex statistics, this affects 132 boats alone since March 2020.
- Europe is using a new tactic in the Mediterranean to fend off refugees: aircraft instead of rescue ships. Frontex is also cooperating with the Libyan coast guard. The Republic has summarized her research in this Long Read.
- The crews of French ships have rescued 84 people from the English Channel.
09.04.2021: Press freedom restricted in Greece +++ Croatian border guards use sexual violence against protection seekers +++ Further ambiguities in Frontex training
- Again and again there are reports that journalists in Greece are hindered in their work.
Franziska Grillmeier wrote in the Frankfurter Rundschau, as she experienced the situation on Lesbos recently.
- In one incident at the Croatian border, border guards used sexual violence against a person seeking protection. The incredible story was written up by the English-language newspaper The Guardian.
- Frontex has booked courses for its border guards with a company whose aim is to recruit informants. But they do not want to admit that they put this knowledge into practice.
- The sea rescue organization Sea-Eye receives further support. Like some other dioceses, the diocese of Limburg has now also promised financial support.
- In the camp "Las Raices" on Tenerife refugees have to live under unacceptable conditions. After a protest against the conditions, some refugees were subsequently arrested. Background in the Spanish-language El Diario.
08.04.2021: Amnesty criticizes situation in Greek refugee camps +++ Malta breaks international law +++ Judicial hearing in Alan Kurdi case in Italy
- Amnesty International, in its 2020/21 annual report. sharply criticized the situation in Greek refugee camps. In the report presented yesterday, the human rights organization analyzes the legal situation worldwide.
- Malta is breaking international law. This is the conclusion of a report by the Council of Europe. Protection seekers who have fled to Malta by sea have to live for months without contact to family, help from NGOs is made difficult, visits are denied.
- The sea rescue ship Alan Kurdi of the NGO Sea-Eye has been detained in Italy for six months. Yesterday it came to a hearing in court. Background information on the blockade and how it could continue can be found at n-tv.
- Frontex has been criticised for numerous human rights violations. One problem is the lack of possibility to control the agency.
How this situation could arise is explained by my MEP colleague Tineke Strik in an interview with WOZ.
- The Canary Islands continue to receive many people seeking protection from West African countries. In the last 24 hours alone, there were around 140 people. Overall, about twice as many people arrived in Q1 2021 as in the same period last year. It is unclear how many people die on the run. Experts assume that the number of unreported cases is high.
07.04.2021: Another collective deportation to Afghanistan +++ Sicilian prosecutor's office intercepts journalists during investigations against private sea rescue +++ Pushbacks at the Croatian border again
- According to the Global Peace Index, Afghanistan is one of the most insecure countries in the world. Germany is deporting there again today from Berlin.
- Private sea rescue has been massively criminalized for years. Journalists have also been systematically wiretapped by the Sicilian public prosecutor's office.
Read more about this attack on press freedom in the FAZ.
- At the Croatian border, there are repeated pushbacks by Croatian border officials. Following renewed human rights violations in early April, the UN Relief and Works Agency Bosnia and Herzegovina is now calling for immediate action.
- On the Greek island of Samos, almost 3,200 people are living in the Vathy camp, which was only built for 648 people. Not only is the hygienic situation unacceptable, but the mental health of those seeking protection is also alarming. Here the NGO Europe Must Act describes the situation.
- According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), over 4,000 people have already been stopped fleeing and returned to Libya in 2021. There they are threatened with inhumane living conditions and imprisonment.
- The city of Rostock supports private sea rescue. The Hanseatic city intends to support the Sea-Eye organisation with an annual sum of several thousand euros.
06.04.2021: Malta's sea rescue control centre obstructs sea rescue +++ Corona outbreak at Ritsona refugee camp in Greece +++ 400,000 people in Kenya face dissolution of their camps with no follow-up prospects
- Malta's sea rescue coordination centre once again failed in its duty under international law. First of all, reported emergencies at sea were ignored, writes Zeit Online. Now she even claims that the people seeking protection were never in the rescue zone, reports the NGO Alarmphone. Fortunately, all 270 people have now landed on Lampedusa.
- Corona has broken out in the overcrowded Ritsona camp in Greece. However, the simplest protective measures such as keeping a distance and regular hand disinfection simply cannot be observed due to the undignified conditions. One resident shares her story in this video.
- The Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps in Kenya are home to some 400,000 people. They are threatened with disaster, the camps are to be closed down, but there is no successor solution as yet.
- Pushbacks are part of everyday life in the Greek Aegean Sea. The ZDF Morgenmagazin tried to draw a picture of the situation and accompanied the Turkish coast guard in action. You can find the short report here.
- In recent days there have been further pushbacks off the Greek island of Lesbos. Frontex also seems to be involved again. The NGO Mare Liberum reports.
04/01/2021: EU naval mission "Irini" rescues no people from distress at sea +++ 166 GB of video footage proves pushbacks at Turkish-Greek maritime border +++ Germany should continue to take in refugees from Greek camps
- The EU naval mission "Irini" in the Mediterranean Sea, which was decided a year ago, has so far not rescued a single person from distress at sea. The predecessor mission Sophia, on the other hand, rescued around 45,000 people from 2015. Under pressure from EU states like Italy and Malta, the ships simply bypass the migration routes so as not to have to rescue people. In Der Spiegel I give a classification of how the EU can support sea rescue.
- I have received 166 GB of material with videos of pushbacks by the Greek coast guard. The material comes from the Turkish authorities and we will have it analysed by independent experts. There are a lot of unpleasant questions coming up for Frontex and the Greek government. You can see a snippet at my Twitter.
- We yelled for help, but all they did was yell, "Get out of here! Get out!" - In this report, the NGO Alarmphone collects evidence of pushbacks and other human rights abuses in the Aegean. In 79 out of 125 emergency calls received between February 2020 and March 2021, people had their fundamental rights violated.
- Since April 2020, the German government has brought more than 2,500 protection seekers from Greece to Germany on charter flights. The programme is now coming to an end, but many people are calling for it to be extended. Here you can find the demands of Amnesty International.
- The chairman of the EKD, Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, has also called for the continued admission of refugees from Greece. He also calls the situation in the camps at the external borders a "disgrace for Europe."
- The Libyan coast guard today intercepted 138 people in the Mediterranean Sea on their way to Europe and brought them back to Tripoli. They face imprisonment and torture in the civil war country.
- In this text I explain, why the North African Mediterranean states cannot be considered "safe havens" and why the EU should therefore not outsource sea rescue to these states.
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
- Because the CSU-led Federal Ministry of the Interior refuses to give its consent to a state admission from Thuringia on the basis of questionable arguments, the Greens and the Left Party in Thuringia want to file a complaint against it.
- More than 1000 people have been prevented from fleeing by the Libyan coast guard in recent days. There they are threatened with imprisonment and torture.
- Thousands of recognised refugees are systematically driven into homelessness in Greece. Without a permanent residence, they in turn have no entitlement to support. The ZDF made a short report about this politically created vicious circle.
- 276 million euros are being made available by the European Commission for the construction of new camps on the Greek islands, EU Commissioner Ylva Johansson announced during her visit to Lesbos yesterday. But whether this will improve the situation, or whether these camps will be built at all, is completely unclear.
- There are high hurdles for family reunification of Uyghurs to Germany. The Green Party politician Margarete Bause considers the current practice of the Foreign Office "almost scandalous", because it is often impossible for members of the persecuted minority to obtain the necessary documents.
03/29/2021: New camp on Lesbos won't be ready in time +++ UNHCR counts hundreds of pushbacks through Greece +++ New reports of pushbacks at Croatia's external border
- People in the new Moria will likely have to hibernate in tents for another winter. This had already been foreseeable since last October, but apparently the EU Commission is now also aware of it. An evacuation that could quickly end the suffering is nevertheless not planned so far. The responsible EU Commissioner Ylva Johansson is visiting the islands today.
- The UN refugee agency has handed over tip-offs to Greek authorities about several hundred suspected pushbacks. Greece sometimes simply abandons people at sea. The organization warns that the right to asylum is in danger.
- Journalists are finding it increasingly difficult to report unhindered on the situation on the Greek islands. My questions about press freedom have also gone unanswered by the authorities. Tonight at 7 p.m., several of them will speak about how their work is being hindered. Here you can register for the event.
- The pushbacks on the Croatian-Bosnian border continue. Three weeks ago, a man died because he stepped on a mine. A young Afghan man claims to have been pushed back 57 times. How he fared on his 58th attempt, you can read in the taz.
- Thousands of refugees cross the Alps between Italy and France every year. The stricter the controls, the more dangerous the escape routes. Deutschlandfunk Kultur did a half-hour report on the subject.
03/26/2021: Free the El Hiblu 3 +++ Federal police claim suicide attempt in new Moria was 'cooking accident' +++ UN calls for nearly 5 billion euros in aid for refugees from Syria
- Two years ago, more than 100 people were rescued from drowning in an inflatable boat from the oil tanker El Hiblu, which was on its way to Libya. Three teenagers aged 15, 16 and 19 persuaded the crew to bring the people to Malta because they were facing torture and imprisonment in Libya. The three became known as El Hiblu 3 and are now on trial in Malta.
Here you can find the joint statement of 27 organisations, demanding the release of the defendants.
- After a woman set herself on fire in the new Moria, federal police believe it was a "common cooking accident." The report was leaked to the public - but it is obviously false.
- The United Nations and its humanitarian partners are appealing for help for millions of refugees from the civil war country of Syria. For the year 2021, an amount of 4.9 billion euros would be needed in the region.
- The European Council is meeting again today and is also negotiating a new refugee deal with Turkey. I spoke with Detektor FM about what is going wrong. Click here for the interviews with me and the scientists Maximilian Pichl and Gerald Knaus.
03/25/2021: UK to deter refugees and move them to asylum centres outside the country +++ European Council negotiates new EU-Turkey deal +++ Kenyan government to close refugee camps, pushes for redistribution of hundreds of thousands
- People who enter the UK irregularly are to be deterred and given poorer prospects for asylum. This is cynical because there are often no legal ways for refugees to enter the UK. Home Secretary Patel also says she wants people who have applied for asylum in Britain, initially to asylum centres outside the country until a decision is reached on the asylum application. I have also written this text on the impact of Brexit on flight and migration, which gives a little more background on the subject. https://erik-marquardt.eu/2021/02/08/die-auswirkungen-des-brexits-auf-flucht-und-migration-in-europa/
- The European Council is meeting today and tomorrow and is also negotiating a new refugee deal with Turkey. Unfortunately, the outcome threatens a new deal aimed at sealing off the country instead of providing serious protection for refugees. I wrote up what the problem is with the EU-Turkey deal here.
- Almost half a million people live in the two camps Dadaab and Kakuma in Kenya. Now the Kenyan government wants to close the camps in the short term. The Kenyan government is threatening to simply take the people to the Somali border if the UNHCR does not redistribute them.
- In his book Move, Indian-American political scientist Parag Khanna predicts a century of global migration for all - and doesn't think it's so bad. Time spoke with him.
- Since 2014, over 20,000 people have drowned trying to reach the EU by water. These people leave behind grieving relatives. The New Humanitarian has visited these relatives.
24.03.2021: EU Parliament refuses to confirm Frontex budget +++ Green parliamentary group calls for end to EU-Turkey deal +++ Precarious status for Syrian draft dodgers
- The European Parliament's Committee on Budgetary Control is stepping up the pressure on Frontex by refusing to discharge its 2019 budget. The reason is that Frontex has not hired human rights observers. There are also allegations of harassment and the EU agency has met with companies that are not on the lobby register.
- Greens call for end to EU-Turkey refugee deal. The motion of the Green parliamentary group in the Bundestag states: "With the agreement with Turkey, which essentially violates asylum law, the EU has accepted that the responsibility to protect refugees lies solely with Turkey - a country that is itself driving people to flee with increasing human rights violations."
- Despite a ruling by the European Court of Justice, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees does not grant Syrian conscientious objectors full refugee status.
- The Ocean Viking has rescued 116 survivors, including 51 unaccompanied minors. The last survivors have now disembarked in Sicily. Information about the missions can be found on the SOS Méditerranée social media channels.
- Around 60 people may have died in a shipwreck off the coast of Libya.
- Rescue workers have recovered at least 15 bodies after a major fire at a refugee camp for Rohingya in Bangladesh. According to the authorities, thousands of shelters in the camps were destroyed. At least 400 people are still missing.
23.03.2021: EU Commission seeks European coordination of sea rescue +++ Two-year-old girl dies after crossing to Canary Islands +++ Major fire in Rohingya refugee camp
- A new contact group of the EU Commission met for the first time yesterday.l and declared the aim to coordinate sea rescue at European level in the future. According to the responsible Commissioner Ylva Johansson, rescued persons should also be brought ashore more quickly and sea rescuers should no longer be criminalised. This would be a major step forward compared to the current situation, in which rescuers face prison sentences and rescue ships are blocked. However, the EU Commission has been promising for years to take action against criminalisation, and so far there have been no visible successes. This can also be seen in the renewed arrest of the Sea-Watch 3.
- A two-year-old girl died after crossing from Western Sahara to the Canary Islands. Paramedics initially resuscitated the hypothermic child, but she later died in hospital. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said the case was a "wake-up call for everyone's conscience." More background on the case and the dangerous Atlantic route can be found at El País.
- A fire broke out in a Rohingya refugee camp in southern Bangladesh on Monday afternoon. There was initially no information on the dead or injured. Residents spoke of dozens of victims. At least 20,000 Rohingya have fled their homes.
- Two asylum seekers in Berlin and Eberswalde have taken their own lives - probably out of fear of deportation. Hundreds of people demonstrated against institutional racism and for the right to asylum in Eberswalde at the weekend.
- Italy's handling of sea rescues in the Mediterranean has not loosened after the fall of right-wing Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. The only things that are new are style and methods.
22.03.2021: Sea-Watch 3 stranded in Sicily +++ Ocean Viking and French Coast Guard rescue people from distress at sea +++ Global water shortage leads to increasing refugee movements
- The Sea-Watch 3 is moored in Sicily after saving 363 lives. The absurd accusation: the ship was carrying too many people. The alternative would have been to let the people drown.
- The Ocean Viking rescued 106 people from an inflatable boat in distress. It was located about 60 kilometers off the Libyan coast.
- The French coast guard rescues 72 fugitives from distress in the English Channel. They were near the port city of Calais in two boats.
- On today's World Water Day, UN Refugee Agency warns of increasing refugee movements due to global water shortages. According to Unicef, 450 million children worldwide also live without access to sufficient water.
- Five EU border states call for greater cooperation in the distribution of refugees in the EU at a meeting in Athens. The meeting is overshadowed by serious accusations. Greek coast guard officials, for example, allegedly beat seven people and then threw them tied up into the sea. Three people are said to have died, says Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu. The Greek coast guard rejects the accusations.
03/19/2021: Denmark plans racist law +++ Samos mayor endorses confirmed pushbacks +++ Afghan refugees not safe in Turkey
- Denmark has announced that it will set a maximum threshold for residents of "non-Western" origin. The law stipulates that within ten years a limit of 30 percent should apply in city districts. But it doesn't solve a single real problem when the Danish government now calls racial discrimination a "limit on the percentage of the population of non-Western origin."
- The mayor of East Samos said in an interview yesterday that the pushbacks would return normalcy to the people on his island. So he simply admitted that these are taking place, while the Greek government continues to deny it and call it Fake News.
- Three mayors from Lesvos, Chios and Samos criticise the current plans for the EU's new migration pact. They accuse the EU of abandoning the countries at the external borders. Instead they call for solidarity and a fair distribution of responsibility in Europe.
- According to a new study by Pro Asyl refugees from Afghanistan are on their own in Turkey. The country offers them no security.
- An eight-year-old wants to hang herself, a boy sells his brother, children prostitute themselves for a place in a tent: SPIEGEL accompanied four minors from the Moria camp.
18.03.2021: Important study on Moria and hotspots at the external borders +++ Massive criticism of EU-Turkey deal +++ Father sues Greek coast guard after death of his son
- Medico International has a study on Moria and published the concept of hotspots at the EU's external borders. It sets out that this is not a humanitarian disaster, but the result of deliberate political choices. On Radio Eins, author Maximilian Pichl summarizes the results in a 5-minute interview.
- In a comment HR journalist Alexander Göbel criticises the EU-Turkey deal because the EU is trying to buy its way out of responsibility with money. In his opinion it would be better to have a common European refugee policy worthy of the name. Here you can find my text on 5 years of the EU-Turkey deal.
- Also aid organisations consider the EU-Turkey deal in this form to have failed and call for a rethink.
- Despite the criticism, negotiations are currently underway on a new edition of the deal. The Turkish government is making high demands in return. Zeit Online explains what the negotiations are about.
- A six-year-old drowned while trying to escape. His father is suing the Greek coast guard. She is alleged to have delayed the rescue, thus causing the death of people.
17.03.2021: Why the EU-Turkey-Deal failed +++ Duration of asylum procedures in Germany increases significantly +++ Residents complain against house rules in Freiburg shelter
- The EU-Turkey deal was agreed exactly five years ago. Time was bought at great cost and not used. The result was undignified mass camps like Moria and a dependence on Erdoğan.
Here I have written down the background.
- According to a recent analysis by migration expert Karoline Popp, the reception system for refugees on the Greek islands established with the EU-Turkey deal is "largely dysfunctional". Here you can find background information.
The report by Karoline Popp and the Expert Council on Integration and Migration can be found here.
- Last year, the average duration of asylum procedures in Germany increased to 8.3 months. This is significantly longer than in 2019, when procedures took an average of half a year (6.1 months).
- House rules in asylum homes disproportionately interfere with fundamental rights. This is what four refugees in Freiburg are now claiming in a lawsuit.
- Photographer Julia Schaefermeyer was on board the Ocean Viking and accompanied women and girls who had to flee Libya. You can find their stories and photos in Vogue.
16.03.2021: 10 years of civil war in Syria +++ Situation for Syrian refugees in Lebanon particularly difficult +++ New Corona Falls on Samos
- The civil war in Syria began 10 years ago. An end is still not in sight. Swiss radio provides an overview of the fighting.
- In terms of population, most refugees from Syria live in Lebanon. Pandemic and economic crisis in the country hit them particularly hard.
- There are three new cases of Covid-19 in the Vathy camp on the Greek island of Samos. Unfortunately, little is being done in the camp to prevent its spread: 3317 people are crammed into a place designed for only 648.
- Afghan women's rights activist Sarah S. reports on the situation in Samos and how her son has already witnessed suicides twice. The interview was published in Der Spiegel in December.
- Yesterday, EU interior ministers met in a videoconference and agreed to put more pressure on African states to accept deportations.
15/03/2021: EU interior ministers discuss flight and migration +++ European Parliament questions Frontex on internal investigations +++ Cypriot government builds new wall
- The interior ministers of the EU states met today to discuss the issues of flight and migration. They came no closer to a humane and common European refugee policy. The only thing they can all agree on is more intensive cooperation with third countries. In concrete terms: better isolation. You can watch the 25-minute press conference on the meeting here.
- Also today, the European Parliament's Frontex Inquiry Group, of which I am a member, met. We are questioning members of the Frontex management board about their internal investigations. You can watch the session here.
- The Europe magazine of the ARD reports in this video about brutal pushbacks by the Greek authorities and lets those affected have their say.
- The government of Cyprus is having an 11-kilometre barbed wire barrier erected to the north of the country. The aim is to prevent refugees from reaching the south of the EU state. The island is divided into a Greek-dominated south and a Turkish-dominated north.
- Germany and Turkey are currently negotiating a new refugee deal. Turkey is preventing refugees from travelling on to the EU. The German government wants Turkey to continue doing so.
03/11/2021: Iuventa crew apparently charged on political grounds +++ Spain backs quick deportations in Canaries +++ 82 refugees from Greece land in Germany
- The crew of the rescue ship Iuventa and other rescuers are facing charges in Italy, although after four years there is still no credible evidence against the rescuers. The Swiss Woz reports extensively on the case.
- Spain relies on quick deportations: Four flights a week to Western Sahara, with 20 passengers each. Now repatriations to Senegal are also beginning. An agreement with Mauritania also allows all those to be sent back there who have passed through Mauritanian territory or Waters have traveled.
- In Germany, 82 refugees have arrived who were previously living in camps in Greece.
- The Italian coast guard has discovered three boats off the island of Lampedusa within a few hours and rescued a total of 187 people.
03/10/2021: Council of Europe accuses EU of being responsible for thousands of avoidable deaths +++ 39 people drowned in Mediterranean +++ Deportation flight from Hanover to Afghanistan
- The Council of Europe complains that human rights are systematically ignored on the routes across the Mediterranean. This causes thousands of avoidable deaths every year, criticises the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović.
- At least 39 people drown on the way from Tunisia to Italy. Their destination was apparently Lampedusa.
- Last night, people were deported from Germany to Afghanistan at Hannover-Langenhagen Airport. In the middle of a pandemic, to the most unsafe country in the world. In this text I explain why Afghanistan is considered the most dangerous country in the world and how the EU is trying to facilitate deportations.
- In Turkey, 55 refugees have been freed from a container in the port of the western Turkish city of Izmir. The people had been locked up for almost six days, he said, calling out for help and banging on the door as they ran out of air.
- Thousands of refugees are still stuck in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They sleep on bus stops, in the woods or in crowded camps.
09.03.2021: Fire in new Moria and untenable conditions for children +++ Greece builds new border fence +++ Spanish coast guard rescues 107 people
- Exactly 6 months ago Moria burned down and today it burns again in the new camp. Actually, everything was supposed to get better, but when the attention was gone, nothing got better. No school, bad food, many unheated tents and hardly any freedom. Unicef, meanwhile, in a recent report, speaks of of unacceptable conditions for the approximately 2200 children in the new Moria. On the states, I made this short infographic video.
- The Greek government is raising a five-meter-high, 27-kilometer-long steel barrier on the Evros River, which will soon be completed.
- The Spanish coast guard has rescued 107 people from drowning from two boats off the Canary Islands. One boat was drifting off Tenerife, the other off Gran Canaria.
- The NGO "Ask the State" publishes further internal reports on Frontex pushbacks. Frontex tried to ban the publication of the documents.
- The Greens call for a reorientation of integration policy. "We have to answer structural problems with structural measures," integration policy spokeswoman Filiz Polat told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur. "That means, for example, moving away from short-term project funding to permanent funding for organizations."
03/05/2021: What's known about pushback allegations against Frontex +++ EU cooperation with Libyan coastguard could be extended +++ Smugglers pushed people into water off Djibouti, at least 20 drowned
- Yesterday in the European Parliament, we questioned Frontex Director Fabrice Leggeri about the accusations against Frontex. ZDF-Heute has summarized what his agency is accused of in a video.
- In September, an underage refugee was abducted by Greek authorities at the Vathy camp on Samos and abandoned on the open sea in the Aegean. Now the NGO Glan is suing on behalf of the teenager.
Read more about the practice of the Greek coast guard in the mirror.
You can find Glan's report on the specific case here.
- In 2020, the Libyan Coast Guard intercepted at least 11,981 people in the Mediterranean Sea and returned them to the civil war country, where people face imprisonment and torture. Although the actions of the Libyan coast guard cost several people their lives, the mission responsible is now demanding more money from the EU and an extension of the mission by two years.
- Off the coast of Djibouti, tugboats pushed about 80 people off the boat, at least twenty of whom drowned. The ship had set off for Yemen with more than 200 people.
- Fearing fighting, more than 7,660 people have fled Nigeria for Maradi in Niger this year. The Maradi region in southern Niger is now hosting nearly 100,000 displaced people, including 77,000 Nigerian refugees. Despite border restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Niger continues to provide access to asylum. The UNHCR provides information on its website.
04.03.202: Frontex Management Board suspects legal violations by the Agency +++ Frontex Inquiry Group meeting in the European Parliament +++ Italian Prosecutor calls for trial of Iuventa
- The Frontex Management Board cannot rule out legal violations in the pushback scandal. Unfortunately, the Management Board is not independent and also includes in its report very absurd protective claims by the Greek Government. The main representatives on the Management Board are the EU Member States, which provide the majority of Frontex border guards.
- Today, the first proper meeting of the Frontex Inquiry Group took place in the European Parliament. We questioned Frontex chief Leggeri and Commissioner Johansson and we managed to get the meeting open to the public so that anyone interested could follow. You can watch the session here.
- The crew of the rescue ship Iuventa, employees of the NGO "Save the Children" and "Médecins sans Frontières" are facing a trial in Italy for smuggling. The Italian public prosecutor's office justifies this with the unfounded accusation that the sea rescuers collaborated with Libyan human traffickers. They are being criminalised because they saved 14,000 people.
- More and more people from Syria in Lebanon live from collecting rubbish, including many children. Der Spiegel followed eleven-year-old Wael as he digs through garbage to feed his family.
03.03.2021: One year ago the EU-Turkey deal failed +++ Sea-Watch 4 is free +++ European Court of Human Rights rules: Hungary treats refugees inhumanely
- A year ago the EU-Turkey deal failed. Unfortunately, the desolate situation has not changed since then. As a reminder, here is an interview I gave to Deutschlandfunk exactly one year ago.
- The Sea-Watch 4 is free. After a 6-month blockade, the ship can soon return to the central Mediterranean to save lives. Meanwhile, the Sea-Watch 3 can bring 363 rescued people to Sicily.
- Hungary has treated a family inhumanely, according to a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights. The family of five had to live in a 13 square meter container between April and August 2017. In addition, there was no adequate food and sometimes no food at all.
- People across Greece have been thrown out of their shelters since the weekend. The expiry of the EU-funded Filoxenia programme could leave up to 7,000 people stranded on the streets of Athens, Thessaloniki and Corinth. Read more about it in the Ekathimerini.
- At the beginning of December, the Conference of Interior Ministers lifted the ban on deportations to Syria. Now it turns out that was just cheap populism by Horst Seehofer. You can't deport people from Germany to Syria at the moment, and that's a good thing.
Mar 02, 2021: Over 1600 attacks on refugees in Germany in 2020 +++ Man suffers heart attack during deportation from Bavaria +++ Around 5000 people have so far arrived in Italy on boats across the Mediterranean in 2021.
- In 2020, there were at least 1,606 recorded attacks on refugees in Germany, and 201 people were injured. The assault statistics include insults, incitement of the people, damage to property and acts of violence.
- On February 23, 2021, a deportation flight left Munich Airport for Armenia. A man suffered a heart attack at the airport, had to undergo emergency surgery and is now in the Munich Heart Centre.
- In January and February, just under 5,000 people reached Italy across the Mediterranean. So far this year, more refugees are arriving from Eritrea - one of the worst dictatorships in the world. You can find the dates on this page of the UNHCR.
- Around 30 people were detained in Tunisia because, according to the Interior Ministry, they had planned to travel from there by boat towards Europe. It is estimated that around 8000 people arrived in Italy from Tunisia via the Mediterranean Sea in 2020. In 2019, there were only around 800. You can find more info in French here.
- A resident in the new Moria found a hand grenade on the premises. The site is on a former firing range and ammunition is regularly found. In addition, the soil is contaminated with lead.
01.03. 2021: Infringement proceedings against Greece +++ Sea-Watch 3 rescues more than 300 people +++ Sea-Eye 4 christened
- I am calling for infringement proceedings against Greece because the government is systematically violating EU law, breaking human rights and preventing any process of coming to terms with the situation. People have been shot at the border, there are more and more reports of illegal practices including robbery and torture. This must finally have consequences.
- Because she could no longer bear the situation, a 27-year-old Afghan woman set herself on fire in her tent in the new Moria eight days ago after bringing her family to safety. The woman survived. Now the Greek prosecutor wants to charge them with arson.
- After seven months of forced break, the private rescue ship "Sea-Watch 3" is back in action - and saved more than 300 people from drowning from Friday to Sunday. Read more in the mirror and on the Sea-Watch Twitter Channel.
- On Sunday, the "Sea-Eye 4" was christened by Claudia Roth. The rescue ship is scheduled to begin its mission in the Mediterranean in the spring.
- More than 150 people were intercepted by the Libyan coast guard on the Mediterranean Sea on Friday and taken back to Libya, where they face torture, detention and inhumane treatment. A total of 3700 people have already been intercepted on the Mediterranean Sea and brought back to Libya this year alone. Current figures can be found on the IOM Libya Twitter Channel. I also declare in this articlewhy we must not outsource sea rescue to Libya.
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.
- Last autumn, two specific cases became known in which groups of people who had entered Austria and asked for asylum were nevertheless deported back by the police. One of the persons concerned has now been able to file a complaint; the case will be heard next week in Graz before the Styrian Regional Administrative Court.
- About 60,000 people have fled the Tigray region to Sudan, according to the UN refugee agency. A third of them are children. Humanitarian aid to the region is currently blocked, which is why the EU is withholding around €90 million in aid to Ethiopia.
- Violence, sub-zero temperatures, tents in the mud, lack of hygiene. The photographer Alea Horst reports as a photographer on the situation in the new Moria. In this short film, Hessischer Rundfunk shows the photographer's work and the terrible situation on the ground.
02/25/2021: Woman in new Moria sets herself on fire +++ Seven-year-old child dies after fire in Greek camp +++ EU commissioner calls for faster investigation into Frontex allegations
- A pregnant 26-year-old Afghan woman set herself on fire in the new Moria. In the meantime she is better and could be released from the hospital. According to the doctors at the hospital, the eight-month pregnant woman was suffering from psychological problems because she thought that her application to leave the country for Germany had been rejected.
- A seven-year-old child has died after a fire in a container apartment in a Greek refugee camp. The fire brigade suspects that the cause was a cooking area. Only a few days ago, a psychologist from the aid organization Doctors Without Borders had criticized the safety deficiencies, especially in heating.
- According to EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson, the process of dealing with the accusations against the EU's border protection force Frontex is not progressing fast enough. One of the issues at stake is possible illegal refoulement of protection seekers at the EU's external borders, known as pushbacks. She says: "I'm a little concerned why it's taking so long to clarify this."
- In Bosnia and Herzegovina, thousands of people living outside the official camps are dependent on the help of volunteers. However, the Bosnian authorities are making it more difficult to provide aid and are threatening foreign aid workers with expulsion.
- In the so-called "anchor centres", i.e. closed mass camps in Germany, an asylum procedure takes an average of 77 days, while outside the camps it takes 82 days. Horst Seehofer's goal of significantly speeding up the procedures has thus been missed. Nevertheless the Interior Ministry is sticking to the camps because it's not about faster procedures at all, but about housing people outside settlements and separating them from active civil society. You can get more background at Migazin.
24.02.2021: Millions in aid for Rohingya from Myanmar +++ Italian freighter rescues 232 people from distress at sea +++ Mühlheim city council wants to take in 50 refugees from camps at the EU's external borders
- The EU is providing €39 million for the care of refugee Rohingya in Bangladesh. The Muslim population group has long been discriminated against in Myanmar. As a result of attacks by the military, hundreds of thousands of them fled to Bangladesh in 2017.
- 232 refugees were rescued from distress by the Italian freighter "Asso Trenta" and brought to Sicily on Monday. The ship's crew also recovered a body. Also on Monday, the rescue ship "Aita Mari" docked in Sicily with 102 rescued people.
- The city council in Mühlheim wants to take in 50 refugees from camps on the outer borders. The motion of the Greens and the CDU was followed by all members of the democratic parties. Unfortunately, such initiatives are currently still failing due to Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, who refuses to allow municipalities to take such steps.
- "Kids bite themselves until they bleed". Psychologist Katrin Glatz-Brubakk treats traumatized children in the new Moria.
- A refugee has been found alive in a bag of toxic waste in the port of the Spanish exclave of Melilla. A total of 41 people were found in the port on Friday, according to police. You can find the shocking video at FAZ.
02/23/2021: European Parliament launches investigation into Frontex +++ People drown due to disastrous Libyan coastguard operation +++ Situation in Canary Islands comes to a head
- A scrutiny group in the EU Parliament is investigating the European border protection agency Frontex as of today. At its heart is the question of whether the agency has systematically committed human rights violations. I, too, am one of the 14 members of the group.
- Yesterday a video appeared showing how the EU-funded Libyan coast guard "rescues". No dinghy to transfer, no life jackets, many people fall into the water, a total disaster. Several people drown. Torture awaits those who survive. For more info and the video of the incident, follow me on Twitter.
- In Libya, authorities say they have freed at least 156 refugees from Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan from a house used by people smugglers.
- Are the Canary Islands becoming the second Lesbos? Last year 23,000 people arrived there in boats, in the first weeks of this year there were 2,000. The authorities are overstretched. Deutschlandfunk Kultur has recorded a feature on the subject.
- Hope for Syrian Conscientious Objectors: Following a court ruling, thousands of refugees from the civil war country are once again applying for asylum in Germany.
- "The militarisation of borders will cost the EU a great deal of money - and our ultimate credibility as a continent that stands up for human dignity", comments the Standard from Vienna.
22.02.2021: Millions of people in Syria do not have enough to eat +++ Catastrophic conditions continue in the new Moria +++ Italian coast guard rescues 50 people from distress at sea
- The humanitarian situation in Syria has deteriorated extremely in 2020, especially for refugees. More than twelve million people do not have enough to eat.
- The cold weather of the past few days has once again highlighted the catastrophic conditions in the new Moria and the other camps on the Greek islands. In addition, two tents burned down on Friday until the occupants were able to extinguish the fire themselves. These fires are now commonplace and are probably often related to the incorrectly installed power lines. You can see what the power lines look like on my Twitter channel.
- The Italian coast guard has rescued nearly 50 refugees from boats in the Mediterranean. A boat capsized around 15 nautical miles off the island of Lampedusa as emergency services tried to bring people on board. According to the Interior Ministry, just over 2,900 refugees have arrived in Italy by boat so far this year.
- On Saturday alone, some 500 people fleeing Libya were intercepted and returned to the civil war country, where they face torture, imprisonment and other inhumane conditions. The IOM press officer regularly reports on these incidents.
In this text on my homepage I explainwhy people rescued from distress at sea cannot simply be taken to Libya, but must be taken to a safe port.
- In May 2018, there was a massive police operation in the refugee accommodation in Ellwangen with hundreds of officers and several detentions because the residents had previously successfully resisted deportation. A court has now judged the officers' actions to be partially disproportionate.
19.02.2021: Number of asylum applications in the EU drops massively +++ Aita Mari rescues 102 people from distress at sea +++ Lampedusa erects a memorial for drowned refugees
- The number of asylum applications in the EU falls by a third compared to the previous year and overall to the lowest level since 2013. According to the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), a total of around 461,300 people applied for asylum in the EU in 2020. In 2019, the figure was 671,200, with most protection seekers coming from Syria, Afghanistan and Venezuela.
- The Spanish NGO ship "Aita Mari" has rescued 102 people from distress at sea. The refugees were on board a ship in distress off Libya. The ship now needs a safe haven.
- On Lampedusa, a memorial is being erected in a former quarry for those people who drowned in the Mediterranean on their flight to Europe. In the past two days, more than 300 people have arrived in boats on Lampedusa.
- NGOs that help refugees and migrants are harassed and prevented from doing their work across Europe. In Cyprus, KISA, one of the most active NGOs, has now been struck off the register of associations.
- The EU has provided Bosnia-Herzegovina with almost €90 million for the care of refugees. Nevertheless, the current situation is absolutely inhumane. In this film, Spiegel TV asks how this can be and where the money has gone.
02/18/2021: Karlsruhe joins sea rescue alliance United4Rescue +++ Belgian policeman sentenced to one year probation for fatal shooting +++ Over 1400 people drowned in the Mediterranean in 2020
- Karlsruhe is the first city in Germany to join the sea rescue alliance "United4Rescue". Karlsruhe had already declared itself a "safe port" in 2019 and is prepared to take in more refugees rescued from distress at sea.
- According to updated figures from the IOM, at least 1,417 people died trying to reach Europe via the Mediterranean Sea in 2020. You can find the numbers at the IOM's Missing Migrant Project.
- A Belgian policeman is sentenced to one year probation, after he killed two-year-old Mawda Shawri with a gunshot during a chase. The incident occurred in May 2018 when police tried to check a suspicious van and the driver tried to shake off police. There were around 30 people in the van, many of them refugees. The driver of the van was sentenced to four years in prison.
- While pictures of snow-covered Athens are going around the world, thousands of people are still living in the new Moria on Lesbos, which is still not winterized.
- Germany has taken in another 26 refugee families from Greece. The plane from Athens landed in Hanover on Wednesday. However the German government's promise to take in a total of 1553 people from the burned-down Moria has not yet been kept. We have space and we should also take in more people again instead of letting them suffer at the external borders.
Feb 17, 2021: Greek government downplays lead exposure in new Moria +++ 'Open Arms' brings 146 refugees to Sicily +++ Near Calais, around 500 people wait to brave perilous crossing to UK
- According to Human Rights Watch, the Greek government is downplaying the risk of lead poisoning in the new Moria. The camp was built on a former shooting range. So in addition to the many risks in the new Moria, there is apparently also the danger of lead poisoning.
- Nato wire, 4m² per person, camera surveillance and motion analysis algorithms. What sounds worse than most prisons in the EU, corresponds to the plans of the Greek government for people whose only "crime" is to have fled. Europe Must Act publishes a newsletter on the current situation.
- Around 500 people are currently still near the northern French town of Calais, waiting for a chance to reach the UK. But since Brexit, it has become even more difficult for refugees to reach the country. You can read about the impact of Brexit on flight and migration on my homepage.
- The Spanish rescue organisation "Open Arms" has rescued 146 people from distress at sea with its rescue ship of the same name and brought them to Sicily.
"Legally, the matter is clear: if a boat carrying refugees is forced to change course and the refugees are thus prevented from applying for asylum, there is a violation of international law. What is legally clear is morally an indictment of the EU."
You can find the whole commentary by journalist Rainer Hermann in the FAZ.
02/16/2021: Lawyers want to take Frontex chief Leggeri to court +++ Germany barely accepts recognised refugees from Moria +++ Refugees bring new life to Calabrian mountain villages
- The European border protection agency Frontex has been implicated in human rights abuses in the Aegean. Lawyers now want to take legal action against the head of the authorities, Leggeri.
- Around 130 recognised refugees will be brought directly from Lesbos to Germany tomorrow. Germany agreed to take in 1533 refugees after the fire in Moria. So far, however, only 333 of them are in the country.
- Many people left the Calabrian mountain villages in the past decades to build a new life in the north of Italy or Europe. The places became deserted. Now refugees are coming to these villages and bringing new life. Many communities there want to take in more people.
- CDU/CSU politician Volker Kauder and SPD politician Hilde Mattheis are calling for more refugees to be taken in from Lesbos. In doing so, they both oppose the policies of the grand coalition, which prevent the admission of more people and even prohibit Länder and municipalities from taking in more people, even if they explicitly demand it.
- The Regional Social Court of Lower Saxony-Bremen strengthens the rights of Roma refugees from the Balkan states. Many of them are subject to such severe discrimination in their countries of origin that they are unable to obtain documents relating to their citizenship and therefore find it difficult to prove their identity. Therefore, this must not be a reason to reduce benefits.
15.02.2021: About half of the refugees in the Mediterranean are taken to Libya by the so-called Libyan coast guard +++ Greek migration minister lies +++ Tens of thousands of children born in Germany are threatened with deportation
- The so-called Libyan coast guard intercepted 9541 people at sea last year, according to the commander of the EU naval mission "Irini". This is almost half (47 percent) of all people who made their way to Europe from the North African civil war country in 2020. In Libya, people face imprisonment and torture.
- Although illegal pushbacks by Greece have been proven and documented many times, the Greek migration minister Mitarakis claims in an interview with the weekly newspaper "To Vima" that the reports are fake news. Mare Liberum, on the other hand, documented that from March to December 2020 alone, over 9000 people fleeing were forcibly pushed back into Turkey, depriving them of their right to asylum.
- In Germany, about 1.1 million people have a temporary or an unclear residence title. They are excluded from naturalisation. Even if their children were born and raised in Germany, they are still threatened with deportation to a country they often do not know.
- The warlike conflict between the Ethiopian central government and the TPLF ruling in Tigray has exacerbated the grave situation of refugees from Eritrea. Arte reported in this short film about the situation of refugees from Eritrea.
- The Zaher family has been at the Bosnian-Croatian external border for six months. Before that, they had already been in Moria for nine months. An arrival is still not in sight for them.
02/12/2021: Watson interviewed me on Frontex allegations +++ Mare Liberum report says human rights for refugees in Aegean systematically abolished +++ Municipalities charge very high prices for refugee accommodation
- Frontex has been criticised for meetings with the arms lobby and human rights abuses. I was talking to Watson about it, what needs to change now with the EU Border Agency. Zeit Online also reports again in detail about the accusations against Frontex.
- The human rights of refugees in the Aegean are systematically violated, according to the "Pushback Report" by the NGO Mare Liberum. He said that from March to December 2020 alone, more than 9,700 refugees were forcibly pushed back to Turkey, depriving them of their right to asylum.
- For a place to sleep in the refugee accommodation, the city of Hemmingen charges 930 euros for a double room with 20 square meters. The taz explains how these disproportionately high prices come about.
- Katrin Glatz-Brubakk cares for children in the new Moria camp for Doctors Without Borders. In this video, the psychologist reports how the children increasingly lose the courage to live.
- The EU is partly responsible for the terrible situation of refugees in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The whole subject is well dealt with in this feature by Deutschlandfunk Kultur.
11.02.2021: IOM calls for end to pushbacks +++ Situation for refugees in Lebanon worsens +++ WDR shows film on situation at EU external border between Croatia and Bosnia
- UN migration agency IOM criticises illegal pushbacks by several EU states against refugees - and speaks of "excessive force and violence against civilians".
- Lebanon has taken in the most refugees in the world in terms of population. But the economic crisis is affecting the country. In the Lebanese winter, many people from Syria struggle against cold and hunger.
- Refugees freeze at the EU's external border between Croatia and Bosnia. When they try to cross into Croatia, they are mistreated and illegally turned back. The WDR shows the situation in this documentary.
- The border management agency Frontex is to be comprehensively upgraded with drones, biometric data, AI-driven risk analyses as well as lie detectors.
- In July 2018, 69 people were deported to Afghanistan and gained notoriety because Interior Minister Horst Seehofer was happy about the "gift" for his 69th birthday. Some are now back in Germany. Legally, because they are needed as skilled workers.
02/10/2021: European Parliament votes for my report on border procedures +++ Frontal21 reports on Frontex scandal +++ International law expert explains why refugees can hardly defend themselves when their rights are disregarded
- The European Parliament has voted by a large majority in favour of my implementation report on border procedures. Parliament is thus sending out a clear signal for respect for the rule of law and human dignity in the asylum system. I am very pleased that I was able to get this position through as rapporteur. You can find more information about the report on my homepage.
- In the ZDF broadcast Frontal21 last night, a federal police officer, who was himself in action with Frontex.. He says that illegal rejections take place and that this is also known to those responsible. I also speak in the contribution and demand clarification and above all that the border police prevent crimes and do not commit them themselves.
- The international law expert Dana Schmalz explains in an interviewwhy the fundamental rights of refugees are so systematically violated and why those affected have hardly any possibilities to defend themselves against this.
- The European Court of Justice declared Hungary's pushback of refugees to Serbia illegal. But Viktor Orbán's government is ignoring the ruling and simply carrying on.
- The brutal pushbacks at the EU's external border between Bosnia and Croatia are still taking place. The Croatian security authorities are responsible for this. Currently, journalist Franziska Grillmeier is researching on site, interviewed here by SRF.
09.02.2021: Pro Asyl demands deportation stop to Afghanistan +++ Storm on Lesbos +++ Syrian defends himself in court against the reading of his mobile phone by German authorities
- In view of a collective deportation to Afghanistan planned for today, Pro Asyl has called for a nationwide ban on deportations to the country. Afghanistan was the world's most insecure country in 2020 for the second year in a row, according to the Global Peace Index.
- A storm on Lesbos makes life there even worse. Five months after the fire in Moria and the promise that things would be different nothing has improved. The Greek government is preventing help on the ground and the other EU states are preventing evacuation because they don't want to take in the people. It's supposed to snow in the next few days. Check out my instagram channel for a video of the storm.
- Data protection my ass: The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees reads out the mobile phone data of refugees in order to establish their identity. Mohammed A. is now suing against this procedure. Human rights lawyer Lea Beckmann explains why this lawsuit is important in this Twitter thread.
- Nearly one million refugees from Venezuela who are in Colombia illegally are to be granted safe residence status. With these measures, the government wants to help integrate the people into Colombia's economic life. The temporary protection status allows them to move freely in the country and to use the health system.
- Yesterday, Sea-Watch observedhow a Frontex plane circled over a boat from which 32 people were illegally dragged back to Libya. If Frontex was again involved in illegal pull-backs to Libya, the border agency has again violated international law.
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 +++
- Allegations of fraud, secret lobby meetings, armament and systematic turning a blind eye to human rights abuses: I spoke to Zeit Online about the accusations against Frontex.
- The civilian aid ship "Ocean Viking" may bring 422 people rescued from distress at sea to the Mediterranean island of Sicily.
- How families are unlawfully torn apart: 60% of applications for family reunification from Greece to Germany are rejected. The majority of these rejections are revoked by courts. The organization Equal Rights Beyond Borders has prepared an evaluation of its lawsuits against these rejection notices.
- Tomorrow, despite the pandemic and the very bad security situation in the country, another deportation to Afghanistan is planned. The Saxon Refugee Council is calling for a demonstration today at 6 p.m. at the main train station in Leipzig.
Here you can find background information from Pro Asylwhy deportations to Afghanistan are repeatedly stopped by the courts - often at the last second.
On my homepage you can also find an articlein which I explain why Afghanistan is not a safe country to deport to.
02/05/2021: New accusations against Frontex director +++ Many boats in distress in the Mediterranean +++ Ocean Viking rescues more than 400 people from distress at sea
- New allegations heavily incriminate Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri. It's about bullying, mismanagement and a possible fraud case.
- Tonight, ZDF Magazin Royale will publish an episode about the accusations against Frontex. The episode will be broadcast on ZDF at 23.00. In the Livestream you can see the episode already from tonight 20.00 clock here.
- The civilian air reconnaissance mission Moonbird sighted eight boats in distress in the central Mediterranean yesterday alone. The crew is currently flying another mission to find 5 boats whose whereabouts are unclear. Here is a summary of the current situation by Sea-Watch's head of operations.
- The Ocean Viking has saved over 400 people from drowning since yesterday. Now the people need a safe haven. You can keep up to date with the rescue at SOS Méditerranée.
- Within 24 hours, more than 1,000 people tried to flee from Libya across the Mediterranean to Europe. Most of them were intercepted and returned to the civil war country, where they face torture and inhumane conditions. Regular updates on the situation in Libya are available on the IOM's Twitter channel in Libya.
02/04/2021: Court bans deportation to Afghanistan +++ Germany takes in persecuted Belarusians +++ Refugees accuse Maltese authorities of torture
- Germany may deport even healthy men of working age to Afghanistan only under special circumstances. This was decided by the Administrative Court of the State of Baden-Württemberg. The court justified this with the bad economic situation due to the pandemic. According to the ruling, it was not possible for a man to "legally satisfy his most basic needs for food, shelter and hygiene" after a deportation.
- Opposition members oppressed by the regime in Minsk are to find refuge in Germany. People who have been traumatised by torture should receive support and treatment.
- Refugees in Malta accuse the Maltese authorities of torture. Specifically, it involves cases of physical violence, solitary confinement, electrocution, and denial of medical care.
- In Tigray, a humanitarian catastrophe is taking place before the eyes of the world. Many people are fleeing, there is a threat of famine. Refugees from Eritrea, who actually sought protection in Ethiopia and are now cut off from international aid, are suffering in particular. Amnesty International has started a petition calling on Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to allow humanitarian aid. You can sign the petition here.
- Another 42 refugees have arrived in Germany from Greece. These are ten families with 23 adults and 19 minors. The people are distributed among North Rhine-Westphalia, Berlin, Lower Saxony, Bavaria and Schleswig-Holstein.
- There are currently two boats in distress in the central Mediterranean, according to Alarmphone. One boat is off the coast of Libya and the other is within the Maltese Maritime Rescue Zone.
02/03/2021: Tareq Alaows wants to be the first refugee from Syria to enter the Bundestag +++ Situation on Greek islands remains inhumane +++ EU increasingly relies on drones
- In 2015 he fled across the Balkan route to Bochum. Six years later, Tareq Alaows wants to run for the Green Party in the Bundestag. The Tagesspiegel introduces you to Tareq.
- Around 16,000 people are stranded on the Greek islands. The camps on Samos and Chios in particular are completely overrun. On my homepage you will find an overview of the situation on Lesbos, Samos and Chios..
- The EU pays more than 300 million for surveillance with drones. For four years now, unmanned systems have been flying in regular operation for the agencies of the European Union. Now individual governments are also receiving funding for drones at their borders.
- US President Joe Biden has signed three executive orders aimed at reuniting separated refugee families and partially reversing the inhumane refugee policies of the Trump era. One directive aims to reunite 600 to 700 refugee children with their parents. You can find out a bit more background at BBC.
- The doctor Gerhard Trabert travelled to Bosnia-Herzegovina to help people seeking protection. The Bosnian authorities have forbidden him to provide medical care to people in the burned-down Lipa camp. He did it anyway.
02.02.2021: Right-wing vigilantes in Gran Canaria call for "hunt for Arabs" +++ Greek migration minister talks up island jails and continues to lie about pushback reality despite evidence +++ The Ocean Viking is back in action
- Right-wing vigilantes in Gran Canaria call for the "hunting of Arabs" and attack refugees and migrants. According to the local aid organisation Cruz Blanca, attacks on people who have arrived in the Canary Islands in recent months are becoming more frequent.
- In a ZEIT interview Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi continues to deny that the Greek government is conducting pushbacks and that the conditions in the camps are deliberately so degrading in order to deter. He conceals the fact that hundreds of heated containers could have been installed for accommodation for months if the Greek government did not prevent it.
- The Ocean Viking is back in action to save lives. It is currently the only civilian rescue ship active in the central Mediterranean. If you want to stay up to date, follow SOS Méditerranée on Twitter.
- Many countries around the world exclude refugees from their vaccination strategies against COVID-19. "More than a third of the 114 countries that have created vaccination plans so far do not include people on the run" says Boris Breyer, press officer for SOS Children's Villages.
- A report by Swiss Refugee Aid (SFH) shows: Asylum seekers returned to Italy under a Dublin procedure have little access to adequate accommodation. Their fundamental rights are not guaranteed. The SFH therefore advises against transfers to Italy.
02/01/2021: 127 people died in January trying to reach Europe +++ Rescue organizations continue to be prevented from doing their work +++ "Bergdoktor" donates €30,000 to Sea-Eye
- According to the IOM, 127 people have already died trying to reach Europe in January. 105 drowned in the Mediterranean, 22 in an attempt to reach the Canary Islands from the African mainland. Despite the many deaths, civilian sea rescuers continue to be prevented from doing their work. You can read more about the disasters at the Project page "Missing Migrants" of the IOM. The Frankfurter Rundschau also reports.
- The managing director of SOS Méditerranée Germany, Verena Papke, explains the tricks used by civilian rescue ships to make their work in the Mediterranean more difficult: Interview in the Frankfurter Rundschau.
- "Bergdoktor" Hans Sigl donates 30.000 € to Sea-Eye. 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
- At last, a body to investigate human rights violations at external borders is being set up. I have been calling for this for months. It is an important step on the road to the rule of law at the European external borders. The serious allegations of human rights violations at the EU's external borders must be clarified. The extensive evidence of illegal activities by state actors has shown that pushbacks at the external borders are not an isolated incident.
- The deportation of schoolgirls and their families from Vienna is being heavily criticised in Austria. Federal President Alexander van der Bellen comments: "I cannot and will not believe that we live in a country where this is really necessary in this form."The case has led to tensions within the government of the conservative ÖVP and the Greens. In the run-up to the deportation, Greens had campaigned for the family to stay.
- According to Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, the German government plans to ban entry from countries with a high incidence of the mutated coronavirus variants. This could also affect free travel within the Schengen area if entry from EU states is banned.
- The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has sharply criticised European states that turn back refugees at their borders. These pushbacks violate European law and are simply illegal. The right of asylum as such is in danger in the EU.
- Catholic dioceses support sea rescue. The German aid organization for sea rescue Sea-Eye is supported with a total of 125,000 euros by the three Catholic (arch)dioceses of Munich and Freising, Paderborn and Trier. With the support of the Catholic dioceses, the transfer of the ship Sea-Eye 4 to the Mediterranean Sea is to be financed.
28.01.2021: New podcast episode on the situation of refugees in Bosnia +++ Spanish government builds mass camps +++ Frontex stops operations in Hungary
- In the new episode of my podcast "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.
- By mid-February, the Spanish government plans to set up more refugee camps on the islands of Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Fuerteventura. Until their asylum applications are processed the people are to be held on the islands. The Spanish government stresses that the conditions shouldn't be as bad as on Lesbos. But the initial situation is very reminiscent of that on the Greek islands with their undignified camps. Another EU state is thus relying on mass camps at its external borders instead of a humane refugee policy.
- Frontex is suspending its operations in Hungary because the agency would risk engaging in lawbreaking there. However, they want to remain active in Greece, where Frontex has been proven to have broken the law.
- The mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, has affirmed after a visit to the rescue ship Open Arms, that the city council will act as a private prosecutor against Italy's former interior minister, Matteo Salvini. Salvini is on trial for deprivation of liberty and falsifying documents after refusing to allow the Spanish ship Open Arms with 163 people on board to enter the port of Lampedusa in August 2019.
- Violent conflicts in the Sahel have already forced 2.9 million people to flee their homes. UNHCR therefore expects more people to try to flee across the Mediterranean to Europe again in 2021 and calls for more action to save lives on the escape routes.
01/27/2021: Court bans deportations to Greece +++ Refugee children on Lesbos suffer more than ever +++ Museum of Jewish Refugees in Shanghai reopens
- The Higher Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westphalia in Münster has ruled that refugees recognised in Greece may not be deported there at present. The people there were at serious risk of inhuman and degrading treatment.
- In the new Moria, children suffer from apathy, and suicide attempts are also common. Fear and nightmares have almost all
- Thousands of Jews fled from the National Socialists to Shanghai. The reopened Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum records this little-noticed part of history and documents the fates of Jewish refugees.
The Waz has published a short video about this.
- With temperatures near zero, refugees in Bosnia seek shelter under tents made of tarpaulins in the forest, in abandoned buildings and emergency shelters. Dozens of people have already had to be treated for severe frostbite.
01/26/2021: Floor of new Moria poisoned with lead +++ Thousands of people stranded in Canary Islands +++ More refugees try to reach Italy via Albania
- The new Moria has been built without preparations on a former firing range of the Greek army. Now, following public pressure, the Greek government has ordered an investigation of the soil. The soil is probably contaminated with lead, but the government has so far refused to publish the results.
- Thousands of people are stranded on the Canary Islands, sometimes under questionable conditions, as the authorities are completely overwhelmed. This report is dedicated to the question of whether a new Moria is looming.
- The closure of the Serbian-Macedonian border is causing more refugees to seek a way back into the EU via Albania. From there they attempt the dangerous crossing to Italy in rubber dinghies.
- Fleeing people fight their way through snow across the Alps. In the snow and freezing cold, people try to cross the mountains to France or Austria. Many report being turned back, so-called "pushbacks", by the French or Italian police, others report mistreatment or harassment. T-Online accompanies people on the run in this video.
01/25/2021: Ocean Viking rescues 373 people +++ People flee rising violence in West Africa +++ Virtually no political refugees from Hong Kong in Germany
- SOS Méditerranée's Ocean Viking rescued 373 people from distress at sea in two days and has been assigned a safe haven.
- According to survivors' reports, 17 people drowned in a boat accident off the Libyan coast. Since the beginning of the year, at least 80 people have drowned in the central Mediterranean while trying to reach Europe. Read more on the Twitter profile of Safa Msehli, spokesperson for IOM.
- The United Nations warns of increasing violence in the Sahel states of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. More than two million people are now displaced in the three countries following the recent attacks.
- Thousands of migrants continue to freeze in the snow at the EU border. Teacher Amina Jusić is helping them, but it's becoming increasingly difficult: The report in the weekly newspaper Friday.
- Germany currently grants asylum to virtually no politically persecuted person from Hong Kong. Out of six asylum applications submitted by Hong Kong people, only two were accepted.
01/22/2021: Frontex chief Leggeri apparently obstructs investigation +++ Ocean Viking rescues around 140 people +++ ECHR examines conditions in Greek camps
- Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri must fear for his office. In an internal report, the Frontex Management Board denounces Leggeri's information policy in the pushback affair. The Frontex Management Board had set up a working group to investigate the involvement of Frontex border guards in illegal refoulement of people on the run, so-called pushbacks.
- The Ocean Viking rescues about 140 people from two inflatable boats in distress. You can find information about the mission on Twitter at SOS Méditerranée.
- The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is examining conditions in Greek camps. It involves cases of poor medical care, inhumane living conditions and unlawful detention.
- The civil war in Syria continues to rage, dictator Assad is still in power, and torture and persecution are still a threat. Nevertheless, the Conference of Interior Ministers has not extended the ban on deportations to Syria that has been in place since 2012. Here Pro Asyl explains what the deportation stop means for Syrians in Germany.
01/21/2021: Biden plans right to stay for millions in U.S. +++ 43 people die off Libyan coast +++ Journalist to be deported from Germany to Pakistan
- The new US President Joe Biden starts his term with important steps in migration policy. He stops the construction of the wall, lifts the entry barriers for people from 13 Muslim-majority countries and wants a right to stay for the so-called "Dreamers".
- 43 people have drowned in a shipwreck off the Libyan coast. Only ten people could be rescued. The UN refugee agency is calling for more rescue operations in the Mediterranean. According to IOM figures, at least 900 people drowned last year trying to reach Europe across the Mediterranean.
- The critical journalist Muhammad Azhar Shah is to be deported from Germany to Pakistan. But there he is threatened by danger because of his work.
- The deputy leader of the conservative ruling party Nea Demokratia, Adonis Georgiadis, said openly back in March why the situation on the Greek islands is so bad: "For them to stop coming, they need to hear that those who are here are doing badly."
Panorama summarizes here why the conditions in the new Moria are not an "accident" but politically intended.
- Tens of thousands of refugees are facing famine in Ethiopia's Tigray region. The people had originally fled Eritrea and are now suffering from the conflict between the TPLF and the central government.
20.01.2021: Broad alliance calls for evacuation of Bosnian camp Lipa +++ Fewer and fewer refugees reach Greece and the EU +++ Frontex delays recruitment of human rights observers
- An alliance of around 140 organisations calls for the immediate evacuation of the Lipa refugee camp in Bosnia and the reception of those seeking protection in the EU. "The images from Lipa are harrowing" reads the appeal signed by Pro Asyl, Seebrücke, Leave No One Behind and church associations, among others.
- In 2020, only 14,848 refugees reached Greece. In the previous year of 2019, there were 72,422. Two reasons for the decline are the illegal pushbacks by the Greek government and the Corona pandemic.
- While trying to get to Lesbos, one person freezes to death and three others are missing. One group had reached a rocky coast of the island at night and had to hold out there for hours in temperatures below freezing.
- Frontex was to recruit 40 people by 5 December to work on human rights monitoring at the agency. So far, not a single person has been hired, while the agency has been shown to have committed serious human rights abuses in recent months.
- The German government had agreed in October 2018 that 12,000 people per year would be allowed to come to Germany via family reunification. In 2020, however, only 5311 relatives of beneficiaries of subsidiary protection were granted visas.
19.01.2021: Debate on external borders in the European Parliament +++ Baker prevents deportation of his apprentice +++ Another 37 people disappeared on the Mediterranean Sea
- I spoke today in Parliament on the humanitarian situation at the external borders. Bosnia and Herzegovina is the EU in a test tube when it comes to asylum policy. The people are suffering because no one is taking responsibility.
- The situation for people on the Bosnian-Croatian border is deteriorating dramatically. With snow and temperatures around -10°C, thousands must continue to hold out in the forest without protection. These pictures show the everyday life of the people.
- The baker won. With a hunger strike and a wave of solidarity, the Frenchman Stéphane Ravacley prevented the deportation of his apprentice to Guinea.
The Berliner Zeitung reports on the case, which is making waves in France.
- For a week now 37 people disappeared on the Mediterranean Seahope for their salvation is fading.
- In Guatemala, troops have stopped thousands of people from Honduras, who had made their way to the Mexican-American border. They also used tear gas. There were several injured.
18.01.2021: Sleet on Lesbos +++ "Anchor centres" miss their target +++ Hungary continues to unlawfully deport asylum seekers
- There has been sleet on Lesbos, temperatures drop below freezing. People are freezing and have nothing to heat. The summer tents in the new Moria are damp.
- The mass camps introduced by Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, euphemistically called "anchor centres", are failing to achieve their declared goal: There it even takes longer than averageto consider an asylum application. Because too many people live there in too little space, there has also been an increase in corona infections.
- Hungary is detaining people seeking protection in transit zones - and turning them back before their asylum applications have been examined. The European Court of Justice prohibited this in December. Now human rights activists are sounding the alarm: The lawbreaking continues.
- In northwest Bosnia and Herzegovina hundreds of people still have to flee in sub-zero temperatures and live in self-made tent shelters or empty buildings.
- Cold, hunger and disease are affecting people in refugee camps in northwestern Syria. ZDFheute spoke with refugees about their daily struggle for survival.
14.01.2021: Frontex director criticised after being questioned in Bundestag +++ Refugees in Bosnia desperately trying not to freeze to death +++ Germany taking in fewer refugees rescued from distress at sea than promised
- The Bundestag's Interior Committee has questioned Frontex head Leggeri about breaches of the law by his agency. The questioning of the Frontex director, initiated by the Greens, was intended to shed light on an illegal pushback in which the German Federal Police had also been involved.
- Around 2000 people are trying not to freeze to death in the snow and cold in the forest in northern Bosnia-Herzegovina. The burnt-down Lipa camp is considered uninhabitable despite new tents - and the municipalities are blocking help. All attempts by the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to set up new camps have failed due to the resistance of the municipalities.
- In the reception of shipwrecked refugees from the Mediterranean Sea Germany has been falling short of its commitments for years.
- The jury of the "Sprachkritische Aktion" has chosen the terms "repatriation sponsorships" and "corona dictatorship" as the unwords of the year 2020. The term "repatriation sponsorships" is a term used by the EU Commission in migration policy. It refers to the option for those countries that do not want to take in refugees to help with deportations instead. The jurors criticized the word for being cynical and euphemistic.
- 26 men have been deported from Germany to Afghanistan. The charter plane, which took off from Düsseldorf, landed in the capital Kabul on Wednesday morning. On my homepage you can find a report on how the EU is also trying to facilitate deportations to Afghanistan, even though it is considered the most unsafe country in the world.
01/13/2021: Storm on Lesbos worsens situation in new Moria +++ Frontex chief in Bundestag interior committee today +++ Hungary warned by Commission
- The situation in the new Moria is getting worse. After heavy rain and thunderstorms the camp was flooded and some tents just flew away. Now also the temperatures drop below freezing point. People are confined to the camp and there is no heating in most of the tents. This film by STRG_F sums up the situation in 20 minutes.
- Today Frontex head Fabrice Leggeri heard in the Bundestag's Interior Committee. In the process. The aim is to clarify why he allows the European border protection agency to be involved in illegal pushbacks and why clarification is systematically prevented. The hearing will also focus on the Federal Police.
- Hungary is warned off the EU Commissionbecause it simply ignores rulings on asylum and continues to smuggle thousands of people illegally into Serbia.
- Refugees in Bosnia seek shelter in winter in abandoned buildings. With sub-zero temperatures, snow and no heaters, it's the only option they have to avoid freezing to death.
- Bente Scheller of the Heinrich Böll Foundation writes in Die Welt, that deportations to Syria are a security policy own goal. Negotiations with Damascus on repatriations would only enhance the Assad regime's diplomatic standing. People in Syria are also threatened with murder and torture.
Jan 12, 2021: EU anti-fraud agency launches investigation into Frontex +++ jetzt.de publishes chronicle of 2020 Mediterranean situation +++ Deportation flight to Afghanistan to take off today
- Border agency Frontex is involved in illegal pushbacks and Frontex director Fabrice Leggeri is covering up these crimes. Now, the EU's anti-fraud agency an investigation was initiated. On the subject I have a thread on Twitter written.
- Hungary is said to have deported almost 2,500 people to Serbia without a legal procedure. The role of Frontex in particular raises questions.
- One year, eight ships, more than 3500 people rescued. Now.com collects in this chronicle the important events, facts and figures on the situation in the Mediterranean Sea in 2020.
- A collective deportation to Afghanistan is planned for today. As various refugee councils reportthe flight is scheduled to depart from Düsseldorf Airport this evening. It would be the second deportation flight to Kabul since the beginning of the corona pandemic.
- More than 1,500 underage refugees are missing in Germany. 607 of the missing are under the age of 13, according to a report.
11.11.2021: New Moria flooded again +++ Moonbird reconnaissance plane back in action +++ Number of asylum applications in Germany down for fourth year in a row
- The new Moria is flooded again and according to the weather forecast, it's supposed to keep raining all week. All promises to improve conditions on the Greek islands have been broken.
- The Moonbird flies again. This will allow Sea-Watch to continue its aerial reconnaissance mission over the central Mediterranean.
- In 2019, 102,581 people submitted a new asylum application in Germany. The number of asylum applications in Germany has dropped for the fourth year in a row. The reasons for this, apart from the reduced flight movements to Europe, are above all the human rights violations by EU states and the corona pandemic.
- Albanian security forces rescued 45 Syrian refugeeswho were in distress during the crossing of the Adriatic Sea to Italy.
- Snowfall and a plunge in temperatures over the weekend have left the Lage in Bosnia's burnt-out Lipa refugee camp. The Bosnian armed forces have erected new tents, but they are not enough for all the people.
Nov 08, 2021: Ocean Viking launches new operation in the Mediterranean +++ French baker goes on hunger strike to prevent deportation of his apprentice +++ Six times fewer people arrived on Greek islands in 2020 than in 2019
- After 5 months of blockade the rescue ship "Ocean Viking" starts a new mission in the Mediterranean. The ship is expected to leave the port of Marseille this weekend.
- An French baker has gone on hunger strike over the planned deportation of his apprentice. "I will not stop until I achieve something," said Stéphane Ravacley. The 50-year-old wants to prevent the deportation of his apprentice, who comes from Guinea, with the protest action.
- While just over 59,700 people arrived on the Greek islands in 2019, the number of new arrivals fell to just under 9700 in 2020. One reason is the illegal pushbacks through Greece, which regularly put lives at risk.
- More than 700 refugees and migrants have already arrived on the Canary Islands this year.
- In this new podcast the Border Violence Monitoring (BVMN) talks about the situation of refugees, criminalization of refugee assistance and the activities of the extreme right in Serbia.
07.01.2021: Greece puts people's lives in danger, Turkey saves them +++ Balkan route: Pushbacks by Frontex at the Greek-Albanian border? +++ Family reunifications take a long time in Germany
- Greece brings people through Pushbacks in the Aegean Sea put their lives in danger and the Turkish coast guard rescues them. It is embarrassing that someone who disregards human rights as much as the Turkish Government has to explain to us now what human rights are in the first place.
- More and more people in Greece are trying to reach Western Europe via Albania. Many report illegal "pushbacks" to the Greek side of the border - with the participation of the EU Border Management Agency.
- The waiting period for family reunification in Germany is often over a year. The German Institute for Human Rights (DIM) demands from the Federal Government Legislative reforms to allow more family reunification of refugees.
- In Bosnia-Herzegovina, beds are brought from the empty Bira camp to Lipa, where there is no electricity, running water or heating. It would make more sense to just move the people to Bira camp, but they're not doing that because the central government has caved in to protests that have sometimes threatened to set the camp on fire.
- Before Gran Canaria 125 shipwrecked people were rescued. On Tenerife a boat came in with four dead.
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
- After the fire in the Bosnian camp Lipa, 900 refugees are still homeless. In the freezing cold, they sleep in homemade plastic huts and thin tents on the bare ground.The head of the immigration office now says, it would take four months to develop Lipa into a permanent camp with electricity and water. So people are supposed to freeze all winter.
- Around 20,000 people were deported in Germany in 2019. Pro Asyl has collected examples of thiswhat it means to be "consistently deported".
- Last night 83 people intercepted in the Mediterranean and taken to the civil war country of Libya, where they face torture and inhumane treatment.
- It took six attempts for Sarah S. to reach European soil in an inflatable boat. Afghan women's rights activist reports daily danger here - and why her son is in desperate need of help.
04.01.2021: Pro Asyl demands admission of protection seekers from Bosnia +++ Open Arms rescues 265 people and can enter Sicily +++ Esslingen becomes "safe haven
- Pro Asyl criticises the situation of those seeking protection in the Bosnian camp Lipa at the EU's external border. "Croatia beats back protection seekers at EU border, entire EU watches idly", says the managing director Günther Burkhardt. Around 900 people are currently in Camp Lipa, where there is no electricity, no water and no proper heating.
- The Spanish rescue ship Open Arms, which has taken in 265 shipwrecked people in two operations in the Mediterranean in recent days, has been allowed to land in Sicily.
- The Swabian city Esslingen joins the "Safe Harbours" alliance signaling their readiness to receive.
- In 2020, the Aegean Boat Report has a total of. 321 pushbacks were registered by the Greek authorities, during which 9174 children, women and men were illegally deported. Many among them were endangered and abandoned on life rafts in the open sea.
- In the new Moria, 2021 begins just as it ended in 2020. Despite the promises of the EU Commission, the situation has still not improved.
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
- A large fire has broken out in the Lipa refugee camp in northwestern Bosnia. The camp is being evacuated today. The IOM is now withdrawing and about 1200 people are now threatened with homelessness. This leaves over 3000 refugees and migrants in Bosnia without shelter. Aid organisations warn that people could freeze to death.
- In an open letter the people in the new Moria turn to the Europeans and the EU-Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen and write: "We studied the laws protecting animals in Europe and we found that even they have more rights than we do."
- "Now" interviews the journalist Franziska Grillmeierwho lives on Lesbos. She reports on how people are treated there - and what may still be in store for us.
- Germany donates vehicles to the Croatian border police to the value of 835.000 €. In this way, the Federal Government supports a policy of illegal pushbacks and torture to cases of sexual abuse towards protection seekers.
- After the breakup of a refugee camp in Paris, many of the people are homeless. Hundreds are wandering through the city. Activists warn that it is only a matter of time before people die.
12/22/2020: Seehofer covered up Greek crimes +++ Saving the world without "the world" raise over €75,000 +++ Ocean Viking is free
- Seehofer apparently covered up Greek crimes. Greek border guards systematically abandon refugees at sea. An internal document now suggests that Interior Minister Horst Seehofer concealed a breach of the law.
- "Welt-Autor" offered the treasurer of the Green Youth, Timon Dzienus, to donate €500 to charity if he would let them interview him. But he didn't want that and started to collect money under the motto "Save the world without the world". A total of over €75,000 was raised for Sea Rescue and LeaveNoOneBehind.
- The rescue ship Ocean Viking is free again and returns to the Mediterranean to save lives.
- The Salvamento Marítimo saves 39 people off the coast of Spain.
- Under pressure from the EU, the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina have now agreed to Bira camp into a container camp for 1500 refugees. The camp was built in April 2020 to quickly get refugees and migrants off the streets because of Covid-19. It was never intended for winter. The IOM therefore threatened to stop work in the camp, which would have made 1500 people homeless.
- Lebanese Farah Demir is an intensive care nurse who has lived and worked in Hamelin for 34 years. Because she cannot produce a passport, she is threatened with deportation.
21.12.2020: Development Minister Gerd Müller denounces conditions in the new Moria +++ Thousands of people die on the run, most on their way to Europe +++ Onset of winter threatens thousands of refugees in Bosnia
- "Nowhere did such dire conditions prevail as on Lesbos", says Development Minister Gerd Müller (CSU). Yet more people are not to be taken in. Well.
- Together with more than 40 celebrities from politics and civil society, I am calling forI hope that the misery on the Greek islands will end and that people will be taken in.
- Thousands of people die on the run. As of December 17, the UN Organization for Migration (IOM) has counted 3174 deaths worldwide. About 1800 of the people have died in Europe or on their way to Europe, according to the IOM.
- An estimated 3,000 people are at risk of freezing to death in northern Bosnia because they have no permanent shelter. Radio FM4 spoke with activists and rapper Kid Pax about the situation.
- Europe's shame in 1,500 pages. The "Black Book" collects cases of illegal refoulement at the external borders of the EU. Many refugees report excessive violence in it. The "Black Book" was compiled by the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN). The listed cases, which concern 12,654 deported persons, are only a fraction of the actual extent of this practice.
- From January to the end of October, 8802 people were deported from Germany. The main countries of destination were Albania (733 people), Georgia (711 people), France (639 people), Serbia (608 people) and Moldova (525 people).
18.12.2020: Politicians* demand admission of people from Moria +++ "Los for Lesbos" publishes videos on the situation at the external borders +++ Hundreds of non-infected people are quarantined in Hessian refugee shelter
- 243 members of the Bundestag from all democratic parties appeal to the federal government for the admission of refugees from Moria and other camps.
- Los for Lesbos creates documentary videos to inform about the situation at the European external borders. Here you can find the videos and spread the info.
- Refugees are actually only supposed to stay for a short time at the initial reception facility in Neustadt, Hesse. Now hundreds of people are trapped here because of a Corona outbreak...even though they're healthy.
- I was interviewed at the time about the situation on Lesbos and the new Moria...t: "What we need are two things: member states that take responsibility for European values, and a Commission that enforces European law against member states."
- 88 refugees from Greek camps arrived in Germany on Thursday. A total of 19 sick children landed in Hannover together with their so-called nuclear families. In addition, there were two unaccompanied minors who were brought to their mother living in Germany under the Dublin family reunification agreements. Since April, Germany has thus taken in a total of 1519 people from Greece, it said.
- At In the Serbian village of Majdan, directly on the border with Hungary and Romania, around 450 refugees and migrants are waiting at the gates of the EU. - often without a chance of an asylum procedure. An ECJ ruling could now change this.
- Resettlement and ethnic cleansing, forced deportation and flight: The historian Andreas Kossert has written a narrative about flight and expulsion.
17.12.2020: ECJ rules: Hungary violates EU law with asylum rules +++ Constitutional Court in Weimar rejects AfD complaint +++ AA confirms internally: intolerable conditions on Lesbos
- The European Court of Justice has ruled, that Hungary is violating European law with its asylum rules. The court condemned Hungary mainly for "unlawful detention" and turning back people in need of protection.
- Constitutional judges confirm hardship rule for refugees. In Thuringia, a hardship commission can grant refugees a residence permit for humanitarian reasons. The AfD had filed a lawsuit against this - and failed in court in Weimar.
- Federal Foreign Office confirms internally: intolerable conditions in refugee camps on Lesbos. Ask the State has requested the internal situation report and publishes it exclusively. They show that diplomats have been complaining about "intolerable conditions" since the spring. Nevertheless, the German government does not act.
- More than 500 people have died this year trying to reach the Canary Islands, which belong to Spain, off the coast of Morocco. Catapult shows where the accidents occurred on a clear graphic.
- Salvamento Marítimo rescues 41 people in the Alborán Sea between Morocco and Spain from distress at sea.
16.12.2020: Interior Ministry to carry out collective deportation to Afghanistan today +++ Around 3000 homeless refugees face winter in Bosnia +++ New Moria is flooded
- Despite the hard lockdown, a collective deportation from Leipzig/Halle Airport to Afghanistan is to start today. It is completely irresponsible to stubbornly stick to hectic deportation actionism during a nationwide lockdown, explained Pro Asyl managing director Burkhardt. Also the Police union in Bavaria demands suspension of deportation flights to Afghanistan for the time being. Should the flight take place, it would be the first collective deportation to Afghanistan since March.
- Round Since the beginning of this week, 3000 refugees have been exposed to the cold and wet in northern Bosnia without any shelter.
- The conditions in the new Moria are even worse than in the old one. In addition to the many catastrophes, there is now the fact that the camp is completely flooded and the Greek government does not want to change anything for the time being. It is incomprehensible why people are left to suffer like this when there is actually money and hotels on the islands are empty.
- The UNHCR turns 70. The UN Refugee Agency was founded when millions of people were displaced after the Second World War, became stateless and in some cases could never return to their homes. At that time, most of the world's refugees came from Europe. Actually, the UNHCR was only supposed to exist for a few years, but unfortunately flight and displacement became a constant in our world. Today, more than 80 million people worldwide are on the run.
- At a deportation center in Saudi Arabia, Human Rights Watch (HRW) says. Hundreds of migrant workers detained in inhumane conditions. Wardens had tortured and beaten some of them. Between October and November, at least three people are reported to have died in the custody of the Saudi authorities. These conditions also explain why people from Syria tend to fly to Turkey and Europe rather than Saudi Arabia.
15.12.2020: Seehofer fails to reach agreement on European asylum system +++ Greece obstructs NGOs from helping refugees +++ Sea rescuers say more and more minors fleeing across Mediterranean Sea
- Interior Minister Seehofer actually wanted to resolve the conflict within the EU over a new asylum law this year, but he failed to achieve his goal. The MEP Erik Marquardt criticised the German Presidency for not having taken a step closer to a common asylum system.: "We are in for another winter of unheated tents and violence against protection seekers. To end these undignified conditions, we don't need a new pact, we need EU law to be enforced and EU governments to step forward and not allow the EU to let protection seekers freeze to death."
- Greece has von the EU has received 2.8 billion euros for refugee care from 2015 to date.. In relation to the number of people admitted, this is more than any other country in the world has received per capita. Nevertheless, the situation is terrible and it is also made more difficult for NGOs to help. Erik Marquardt says: "The effort and the obstacles that are put in the way of the organisations are largely underestimated. It is also hardly possible to get access to the camp in order to supply the people with food".
- More and more unaccompanied minors are among the Mediterranean refugees. The SOS Mediterranee states, that their share had risen from 16 percent in 2016 to 25 percent in 2020.
- The BBC has documented several cases in which people were pushed out of Greece, sometimes several times. Frontex knows about these pushbacks, but its chairman Fabrice Leggeri recently lied in the European Parliament about one of these cases.
- Winter is here and dhe situation for the more than 3000 people on the run in Bosnia-Herzegovina remains catastrophic. Many have no heating and not even a roof over their heads and are in danger of freezing to death.
12/14/20: Pro Asyl calls on European Parliament to prevent new migration pact +++ Greek border guards allegedly mistreated refugees in new Moria +++ IOM threatens to close camp in Bosnia
- The managing director of Pro Asyl severely criticises the EU Commission's planned new migration pact for disregarding the rights of refugees. Günter Burkhardt writes in the FR: "Disenfranchisement is hidden in a paragraph jungle of hundreds of pages"He calls on the European Parliament to prevent the Pact.
- In Greece, three border guards and a policeman are facing trial, for allegedly mistreating refugees on the island of Lesbos. The four men are being investigated for assault, torture and violations of anti-racism laws. Four men can be seen beating two refugees in a tent camp in a recording from Friday. Meanwhile, the new Moria is flooded after days of rain.
- In the refugee camp Lipa in Bosnia hundreds of refugees spend the winter, partly only in plastic tents. It is connected neither to the water nor to the electricity grid and can only be reached via a dirt road that now resembles a mud track. IOM has given the central government an ultimatum. If no solution is found for the camp, the IOM will abandon it..
- Will Gran Canaria be the new Lesbos? It is the most dangerous route to Europe: Hundreds of people flee from mainland Africa to the Canary Islands every day. There they encounter overtaxed authorities and sceptical locals.
- The fact that more and more people flee across the Atlantic to the Canary Islands has also with the conflict in Western Sahara to do. In November, the Polisario called off the ceasefire with Morocco. Last week, the US became the first major state in the world to recognize Morocco's sovereignty over Western Sahara.
11.12.2020: Deportation stop to Syria ends +++ Deportations to Syria as PR for Seehofer +++ 400 people arrive in Gran Canaria every day
- The since 2012 existing Deportation ban for Syria expires at the end of the year. During the consultations of the interior ministers of the Federation and the Länder, the representatives of the SPD-led Länder could not prevail with their demand for an extension.
- The FR comments: "Horst Seehofer is a master of the sham debate. He is proving that once more these days when he announces that he will lift the ban on deportations to Syria. If Germany still ends up deporting no one to Syria, Seehofer won't explain to the people that the government is also bound by the law. No, he will blame the SPD and the Greens. That's how you damage democratic discourse."
- Lost in the Atlantic. Around 400 people from West Africa currently arrive on the island of Gran Canaria. Per day. A crossing is much cheaper than over the Mediterranean and can already be had for a few hundred €. But many refugee boats disappear into the vastness of the ocean.
- At Refugee camp Moria with wheelchair? 25-year-old Abdulkarim reports on the catastrophic conditions under which physically disabled refugees have to live on Lesbos.
12/10/2020: More than 80 million people on the run +++ German government takes in far fewer refugees than it should +++ Around 3000 homeless refugees freeze in Bosnia-Herzegovina
- More than According to the United Nations, 80 million people worldwide are fleeing violence and conflict.more than ever before. This sad milestone is estimated to have been reached in the middle of the year.
- An answer to a Green Party question shows that the federal government is taking in less than half as many refugees as it should. According to the answer, in September, the states agreed to take in 3,709 already recognized refugees, but the federal government left it at 1,553. In addition, the states would have taken in 544 unaccompanied minors, while the federal government only allowed 150 to enter via an EU quota. The spokeswoman on refugee policy for the Greens' parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Luise Amtsberg, says: "It is shameful that the European member states are visibly losing their compass of values and not putting an end to these conditions."
- According to IOM, around 3000 refugees are currently homeless in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Most of them are currently freezing in the forests not far from the Croatian border. The local authorities in the canton of Una-Sana closed several camps at the end of September on the grounds that they consider them to be pull factors. In reality, the aim is simply to get the refugees out of the cities and towns.
- After Horst Seehofer Norbert Röttgen is now also calling for the deportation ban for Syria to be lifted. Deportations to Syria are currently not possible because there is war, there are no safe regions, there are no diplomatic relations with the regime of the genocide Assad and people who are sent back to Syria are threatened with murder and torture.
9.12.2020: Greece dumps refugees at sea after arrival on Lesbos +++ New Moria likely built on contaminated soil +++ Overfishing by European crawlers leads to flight and migration
- Illegal pushbacks in the Aegean: Greece abandons refugees at sea after arrival on Lesbos. While those responsible deny it, border guards are resorting to increasingly brutal methods - apparently also against pregnant women.
- The new Moria was probably built on lead-contaminated soil, according to Human Rights Watch.. The Greek authorities previously refused to test the soil on the old firing range and brought the people to this totally unsuitable and dangerous place.
- Many of the people currently coming to the Canary Islands are fishermen from Senegal. Because European crawlers are fishing their coasts dry, they can no longer survive there and are heading off. Over the past three years, the situation has worsened.
- The EU Commission wants a common European refugee policy: it has proposed a pact for asylum and migration and thus wants to reorganise one of the most difficult EU issues. Unfortunately it is relying on deterrence, mass camps at the external borders and cooperation with dictators. SWR Aktuell reports.
- Even serious criminals should not be sent to the dictator Assad. The Federal Foreign Office describes the serious human rights violations in Syria in a situation report. Deportations from Germany are out of the question, comments the Tagesspiegel.
8.12.2020: Initiatives call for deportation stop +++ Turkish coast guard rescues people pushed by Greece in Aegean +++ Three months after Moria fire, conditions remain catastrophic
- Several refugee aid organisations and charities appealed to the interior ministers to generally refrain from deportations in the Corona pandemic. "Many countries of origin of asylum seekers have ramshackle health systems and are unable to provide care for those suffering from the virus," the appeal, published by Pro Asyl on Monday, said.
- The Turkish coast guard rescued 69 people, which were pushed by Greece in the Aegean Sea. In calendar week 49, the Aegean Boat Report 12 pushback cases involving 218 people.
- Three months ago, Moria burned down. From the ashes arose a new and even worse Moria. The Deutschlandfunk and Arte have published recommendable documentaries on the current situation.
- In November alone, more than 8000 people arrived in often rickety boats across the sea on the Canary Islands. The Spanish government is pragmatic and accommodated many of them in hotels, some of which are almost empty because of the Corona crisis. But there are also the first racist attacks. So stones flew against a reception center for underage refugees in Las Palmas.
Dec 7, 2020 El Hiblu 3 faces years in prison +++ Celebrities help fight prejudice with facts +++ Thousands flee Tigray for Sudan +++
- - The "El Hiblu 3" fear life imprisonment for helping refugees. The young people, two of whom were only 15 and 16 years old respectively at the time of the events, could be jailed for life because they resisted returning to Libya, where they faced imprisonment and torture. The young people acted as interpreters on the oil tanker "El Hiblu" because they wanted to preserve their lives and those of the other people who had been rescued with them from distress at sea. Amnesty International is collecting signatures for an appeal to Malta to drop the charges.
- There is a lot of prejudice against refugees. 17 celebrities have joined Lot for Lesbos teamed up and rebut one prejudice with facts.
- According to the United Nations, more than a thousand people have again fled from the embattled Tigray region in northern Ethiopia to neighbouring Sudan. A total of 47,000 refugees have now arrived in Sudan, he said. The UN refugee agency welcomed the Ethiopian government's willingness to allow humanitarian aid deliveries to Tigray.
- Eritrean refugee, building cleaner and now a Social Democrat MP in New Zealand. Ibrahim Omer was received with applause in Parliament.
- In the month of November, the Aegean Boat Report documented a total of 28 illegal pushbacks by the Greek coast guard. In the process, 606 people, children, women and men, were deprived of their fundamental right to asylum.
- Berlin opens second quarantine shelter for refugees. Up to 150 Corona-infected people are to be accommodated in Biesdorf. The first accommodation in Pankow so far no longer offers enough space.
12/4/2020 Frontex chief lied during questioning +++ 8157 refugees and migrants landed irregularly in Canaries in November +++Bangladesh resettles Rohingya on inhospitable island
- Pushback allegations. Frontex chief Leggeri told the EU Parliament the untruth and defended himself and his agency with a false statement.
- In November, a total of 8157 refugees and migrants arrived irregularly in the Canary Islands. This is a historic record. In the whole of 2020, this makes 19,566 people so far. Hannes Neubauer from Mission Lifeline reports about his mission on site.
- Rohingya camps in Bangladesh have long been overcrowded. The refugees are now being taken to an island that human rights activists consider completely unsuitable. The island of Bhasan Char was formed only in 1999 by the silt of the Meghna River, which flows into the Bay of Bengal. It is therefore unstable and also prone to devastation by cyclones because of its location, say human rights and environmental experts.
- 99 more refugees landed in Germany on Thursday. Germany has thus taken in a total of 1291 people from there since April. After the devastating fire in the Moria camp the German government had promised to take in 1553 recognised refugees. By September 2020, the Greek government wants to build a new camp on Lesbos.
12/3/2020 Thousands of asylum claims by people from Afghanistan wrongly rejected +++ Lots for Lesbos 2 launches +++ Hard winter ahead for refugees on Balkan route
- Almost 10,000 refugees from Afghanistan have appealed against rejected asylum decisions since the beginning of the year. and got it right 59.1 percent of the time. Accordingly, a total of 5644 negative asylum decisions for Afghan asylum seekers were overturned. The decisions in the remaining cases are also ambiguous.
- Actor Volker Bruch wants to collect donations for refugees again with his colleague Trystan Pütter. The refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos had burned down, everyone had seen it. "But nothing has improved for the refugees at the external borders."Bruch announced.
- In Bosnia-Herzegovina, it is snowing and temperatures are slipping below freezing. Especially for the many homeless people who live in the forests on the border to Croatia, this is a catastrophe in the making. Also on the Greek islands people will freeze again this winteras in previous years.
- About two-thirds of immigration to Germany in 2019 was from other European countries. As in 2018, the main country of origin of immigrants was Romania, with a share of just under 15 per cent. This was followed by Poland and Bulgaria. In the area of refugee migration, Syria remained the most important country of origin - 27.6 per cent of all asylum applications were submitted by Syrians. The number of people applying for asylum in Germany fell in 2019 for the fourth year in a row.
- Erik Marquardt, migration policy spokesman for the Greens in the EU Parliament, continues to see massive human rights violations at the external borders. From Marquardt's point of view the European external borders continue to rely too much on deterrence, in some cases with massive violations of human rights. A pan-European solution is still a long way off.
12/2/2020 MEPs call for consequences after Frontex involvement in pushbacks +++ Frontex sues NGO +++ Eritreans demand family reunification
- Illegal pushbacks with Frontex involvement: Green MEP Erik Marquardt calls for the establishment of a European Parliament committee of inquiry. Social democrats demand Resignation of Frontex chief Leggeri.
- Frontex takes "Ask the State" to court, after they repeatedly helped to uncover illegal machinations of the EU agency. It is very unusual at the EU level to hire private lawyers for information requests and then demand these costs from civil society organisations. In view of Frontex's budget of billions of euros, one must assume that this is pure harassment of critical civil society.
- Eritreans demand family reunification. Through the Civil war in Eritrea's neighbouring country Ethiopia the situation worsens. For the vast majority of Eritrean women and children, it is precisely the bordering Tigray Civil War Province Sanctuary. They are now particularly vulnerable, and that's why your men are pressing the State Department.
- France wants to monitor beaches more closely. 30 kilometres of Atlantic separate France from Great Britain. Time and again, fugitives try to cross in rubber dinghies. Paris has now pledged to monitor beaches more closely, including using drones and radar technology.
- Refugees instead of holidaymakers - double crisis in Gran Canaria. There are five potential ways out for refugees and migrants in the Canary Islands.
12/1/2020 Frontex chief to be questioned by MEPs today +++ Overcrowded camp in Canaries cleared +++ Bundestag MEPs barely spoke about situation in Lesbos
- Today at 1:50 p.m., the Frontex Director Fabrice Leggeri questioned by MEPs. The subject is Frontex's involvement in illegal pushbacks. Leggeri told the untruth at a hearing on 6 July, claiming that Frontex was not involved in pushbacks.
- In the night to Monday the last refugees left the port quay of Arguineguín in the southwest of Gran Canaria. At times, up to 2600 people crowded into the initial reception centre in the Canary Islands, although it was only built for 400 people. Now they were housed elsewhere in tents and hotels.
- German Members of the Bundestag hardly spoke about the situation there until the fire in the Moria refugee camp. With the help of the ParlSpeech dataset, the taz analysed all speeches made in the Bundestag during the current legislative period. The documents were automatically filtered according to how often they contained the words "Lesbos" and "Moria". The topic was most frequently addressed by the Greens and the Left Party.
- Only months after the fire in Moria, the first aid deliveries from Austria are now arriving on Lesbos. Unlike other EU states, Austria did not accept any refugees from Moria and justified this by wanting to help "on the ground".
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.
- Greek border guards have abandoned refugees at sea - and German federal police officers helped with that. The SPD now demands the withdrawal of the German Frontex forces.
- German Journalists accuse Greek coastguard and police of obstruction and intimidation. The Greek authorities tried to prevent reporting on violent pushbacks. In an interview with the FR Jan Theurich confesses about these conditions and says: "People describe the camp as a prison."
- Great Britain and France want to increase gThe Commission is taking action against cross-Channel migration. To this end, police presence and surveillance systems are to be expanded, among other things.
- France is now the EU country with the highest number of asylum seekers. Images of tent camps make the headlines time and again. But the political will to improve the accommodation and care of refugees is lacking.
- Mission Lifeline cruises off West Africa. The NGO is using a new ship to search for shipwrecked people in the Atlantic Ocean near the Canary Islands.
- On Saturday people demonstrated under the motto "Migrating is not a crime, no human being is illegal". in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
11/27/2020 Frontex chief lies to public +++ Seehofer wants to deport people to Syria where they face murder, torture and forced recruitment +++ Thuringian initiatives call for deportation stop
- How Frontex chief Leggeri misled the public on illegal pushbacks in the Aegean. The European Border Agency has been involved in pushbacks in the Aegean Sea on several occasions: Refugees were dragged out of EU waters, officials observed this or were even involved. Frontex chief Leggeri is now coming under pressure because of internal documents.
- Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer (CSU) has called for the general ban on deportations to Syria not to be extended beyond 31 December. Those who are perceived as opponents of the Assad family are still threatened with torture and death, according to human rights organisations.
- More than 40 Thuringian initiatives have called on the state government to stop the deportation of refugees during the Corona pandemic. First of all, deportations in the winter period until April 2021 would have to be refrained from.
- The Abbess Mechthild Thürmer must go to court because she granted refugees church asylum. The nun has no regrets. Visiting a selfless woman.
- Dresden will not be a "safe haven". Push to take in more people narrowly defeated at City Council. The municipality Panketal in Brandenburg, on the other hand, shows solidarity with people on the run and becomes a "safe haven."
11/26/2020 At least eight people drown off Lanzarote +++ Mediterranean countries demand more European solidarity +++ Thuringia Greens want to sue Seehofer
- At least eight people drowned in a boat accident off Lanzarote. Meanwhile, the government in Madrid continues to refuse to bring people to the mainland.
- Spain, Italy, Greece and Malta have called for more solidarity from other EU countries in taking in and distributing refugees. In a letter to the EU Commission, the four states demand a joint mechanism.
- Thuringian Greens want to file suit against Seehoferbecause it prevents the state from taking in more refugees than is provided for in the nationwide distribution key. Astrid Rothe-Beinlich explains: "Thuringia should now also file a lawsuit. After all, it is the right of a federal state to set up such an admission programme for humanitarian reasons or reasons of international law. Seehofer's refusal to Berlin's and Thuringia's state admission programs is simply untenable in the view of many legal experts."
- Corona in refugee homes. No chance of keeping distance rules: If Corona breaks out in a refugee shelter, quarantine has severe consequences. The people inside are fenced off. According to refugee organisations, however, refugees could be much better protected if they did not have to stay in the huge collective accommodation for so long as a matter of principle.
- The burned down camp Moria on the Greek island of Lesbos is has long since become a cipher for a failed European refugee policy. For 2.5 months, the 7,200 refugees in new camp on Lesbos no longer given hot showers. Showers only by cold bucket showers or in the sea.
11/25/2020 Frontex covers up human rights abuses +++ Spain sends police to Senegal +++ Protests against police violence after eviction of refugee camp in Paris
- Frontex chief Leggeri must justify his officials' involvement in illegal pushbacks in the Aegean. Internal documents now show that the EU agency covered up crimes.
- The Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha González visited Senegal. Spain will increase its police presence in Senegal to prevent migration. Cooperation with the Senegalese coast guard has existed since 2006.
- Film footage of the evacuation of a refugee camp in Paris has sparked outrage in France. The criticism focuses above all on the aggressive behaviour of the police. Demonstrators - supported by the Left and the Greens - had protested against the increasing number of evictions in the Paris area want. IMinister of the Interior Darmanin ordered an investigation.
- The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights warns the parties to the conflict in Tigray against violations of international law. Angela Merkel, meanwhile, has promised Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamduk support for those who have fled Ethiopia. She did not yet give any concrete details on the extent of the aid.
- According to Sea-Watch 130 people were illegally towed back to Libya. The coordination of the forbidden repatriation to a civil war country was possibly taken over by a present military aircraft of the EU military operation IRINI.
11/24/2020 Number of resettlements at an all-time low +++ Switzerland threatens to withdraw Frontex officials +++ Refugee protests in Paris
- The Number of people who can move through resettlement programs is at an all-time low. For many people, this is the only way to seek protection legally and outside their region of origin. By the end of September 2020, 15,454 refugees had been resettled globally. Of the refugees resettled this year, 41 per cent are from Syria.
- Illegal deportations: The European border agency Frontex is facing allegations of illegal pushbacks. Switzerland, which also sends Frontex officers to the EU's external border, now threatens a red line to pull. Learn more about the background in the Woz.
- The French authorities have issued a informal refugee camp in Saint-Denis evacuated. The police threw some of the people just straight out of their tents. In protest, the people set up a new camp on the Place de la République. Also This was cleared during the night by force and with the use of tear gas.
- A refugee boat has wrecked off the Greek tourist island of Rhodes. Ten people were apparently able to swim ashore. A fugitive was killed.
- Criticism of chain deportations from Italy. NGOs criticize Italy for deporting people to Slovenia triggering a series of chain deportations leading from Slovenia via Croatia to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
- Violence against refugees, pushbacks, systematic disregard for human rights - there are many reports describing this as common practice of the Croatian police on the border with Bosnia. In an interview with Deutsche Welle, I explain that this is also due to pressure from other EU states.
- Welcome to hell: A report from the Libyan detention centres for refugees.
11/23/2020 Spain sets up mass camps in Canary Islands +++ UN expects up to 200,000 new refugees from Ethiopia +++ Greek authorities criminalize activists
- Spain wants in the Canary Islands set up temporary mass camps for refugees. Migration Minister Escrivá said during a visit to Las Palmas in Gran Canaria that the camps should have space for up to 7,000 people and be available in a few weeks. Spain does not allow refugees on the mainland. Some now fear that in the Canary Islands. a new Moria arises. So far this year, more than 18,000 people from Africa have arrived in the Canary Islands. More than 500 have died in the crossing, according to the IOM.
- Crisis in Ethiopia: UN fears 200,000 people will be forced to flee. At present, a good 31,000 people are already on the run.
- Greek authorities investigate refugee aid workers for espionage and people smuggling. The defendants criticise Greece for wanting to divert attention from its own crimes in this way.
- Despite Corona, they have to live in collective accommodation, finding work is even more difficult, and integration courses often only take place virtually: The pandemic is hitting immigrants and refugees particularly hard.
- "We really went through 72 hours at a stretch." Interview with Gordon Isler (Sea-Eye) in the taz.
11/20/20 Military service is a reason to flee +++ Council of Europe anti-torture committee raises allegations against Greece +++ Croatia's government under pressure over pushback videos
- Military service is a reason to flee. The issue has been disputed between German courts for years, now the European Court of Justice has provided clarity. Syrian men who left their country because of the threat of military service will in future be able to enforce comprehensive refugee protection under the Geneva Convention. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) had previously only granted them subsidiary protection in many cases. ProAsyl sees the judgement as a success and criticises the BAMF: "In recent years, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees has unjustly denied numerous Syrian conscientious objectors the refugee status to which they are entitled."
- Council of Europe harshly criticises Greece's treatment of refugees. Poor conditions in camps, inhumane treatment, illegal refoulement: The Anti-Torture Committee of the Council of Europe is making strong accusations against Greece.
- For a long time there was silence in Brussels about the reports of violations of the law on the Croatian-Bosnian border. But following new revelations about illegal pushbacks of migrants, the EU Commission is demanding answers.
- The city Titisee-Neustadt wants to take in people from refugee camps on the Greek islands. This was decided by a majority of the municipal council at its meeting on Tuesday. The city also joins the alliance "Cities Safe Ports".
- Thousands of people in Ethiopia are fleeing fighting in the Tigray region. Meanwhile, the government in Addis Ababa said its troops had captured a number of locations in the northern province of Tigray and would soon reach the provincial capital of Mekelle.
11/19/2020 Video evidence on pushbacks at Croatia's external border +++ Greece continues to rely on mass camps on islands +++ In Gran Canaria, residents protest for refugee rights
- Beatings, electric shocks, sexual violence: systematic and brutal violence at Croatia's external EU border has been documented for over three years. So far, the Croatian government denies that these illegal pushbacks are taking place at all. Now Der Spiegel publishes a video that proves the practice beyond doubt. A comprehensive Video analysis is available on Youtube. Also the ARD Studio Vienna reports (no paywall here).
- The Greek migration minister wants to continue detaining refugees on the Greek islands. However, he promises that new and better camps will be built there by autumn 2021 and that none of the asylum seekers will then spend more than six months on the island.
- Hundreds Residents took to the streets of Gran Canaria to demonstrate for the rights of refugees and denounce the conditions there. More than 15,000 people have arrived in boats from Africa to the Canary Islands since August alone.
- So far 32,224 people arrived in Italy since the beginning of 2020 after sea crossings across the Mediterranean Sea, 38.7 percent of whom were from Tunisia. In the same period of 2019, the figure was 9944. You can find more exact dates on the homepage of the IOM.
- In a 25-page letter from the Greek Government describes how border operations along Turkey are intended to deter people from entering the country to seek asylum.
11/18/2020 Greek authorities issued order for pushbacks +++Berlin Senate sues Seehofer +++ Hesse's 81% to accept war refugees
- An discovery of a documentThe Greek coastguard has been ordered to push people back into Turkish waters, which repeatedly leads to life-threatening situations and is clearly in breach of the law.
- Berlin had repeatedly declared its willingness to take in refugees from the Greek islands. But Interior Minister Horst Seehofer opposed the idea. Now the state parliament wants to go to court. This expert opinion provesthat the Home Secretary cannot simply withhold his consent.
- An Large majority of Hessians have a positive attitude towards immigration 82 percent are in favor of the immigration of highly qualified specialists, but 81 percent are also in favor of accepting war refugees. Just under 75 percent are of the opinion that the Migration enriched social coexistence.
- Regional President of the Canary Islands speaks of a "continuing contempt" of the Spanish Interior Ministry towards the refugees on the Spanish islands. Antonio Morales is calling for an immediate solution that includes bringing people to the mainland and not leaving refugees on the streets.
- The Border Violence Monitoring Network publishes its October report on the situation on the Balkan route. The report is based on 40 reports in which the interviewees report physical, psychological and structural acts of violence. In Croatia, one case of rape was also documented.
- Documents published by the Guardian show a coordinated and illegal attack on the rights of those trying to reach Europe via the Mediterranean. Specifically, it is about the EU's cooperation with the so-called Libyan coast guard.
- The Municipality of Alpen in North Rhine-Westphalia wants to be "safe haven for refugees and is prepared to take in six additional people rescued from distress at sea.
11/17/2020: Canaries demand Madrid bring minors to mainland +++ Alleged pushbacks by Austrian officials +++ In Senegal, people mourn those who died en route to Europe
- Hundreds of boat people are arriving on the Spanish islands in the Atlantic these days. They are simply dumped on the Canary Islands and forgotten, comments Karin Janker in the SZ. Antonio Morales, the island president of Gran Canaria, criticizes: "I think Europe has a clear strategy to turn us into a prison island. Just as happened in Lesbos or in Lampedusa, in Ceuta or in Melilla. They think to themselves, "People won't come to me on the mainland - we'll keep them on the islands. We're turning these areas into deterrent prisons." In the meantime, the Canary Islands government is asking Madrid to bring 500 to 800 minors to the mainland. The Spanish government plans to Construction of camps in the Canary Islands.
- "The videos are gruesome, but they are real." Interview with Open Arms founder Òscar Camps in the SZ.
- Report on pushbacks of people at Austrian border. The Austrian police allegedly handed over persons seeking protection to the Slovenian authorities even though they had filed an asylum application. If the allegations are true, this would mean that Austrian authorities were involved in illegal chain deportations.
- In Senegal, activists organised a commemoration on Friday for the more than 400 people who drowned on their way to Europe this year. Many contributions can be found on Twitter under the hashtag #LeSenegalEnDeuil. There was a call for one second of silence for each dead person - eight minutes in total.
- Refugee Rights Europe (RRE) and the End Pushbacks Partnership (EPP) have comprehensive report on pushbacks at Europe's borders published.
- This month alone Aegan Boat Report so far documents 16 cases of pushbacks by the Greek coast guard. A total of 374 people were deprived of their human right to an asylum application and a fair trial by the Greek government.
- The German authorities shall send Deportation notices to urgently needed caregivers from Southeastern Europe. At the same time, Germany has programmes to recruit nursing staff from abroad.
16.11.2020: Situation in Canary Islands comes to a head +++ Sea-Eye sends a new ship to the Mediterranean +++ AlarmPhone makes serious accusations against Malta
- The Atlantic route is considered the deadliest route in the world. For 14 years, hardly any refugees landed on the Canary Islands - now thousands are coming again. The Frankfurter Rundschau explains why this is the case. Human Rights Watch expert Judith Sunderland also talks with the FR about overcrowded tents, denied rights and the calculation of the Spanish authorities in Gran Canaria.
- Sea-Eye presents a new ship. The Sea-Eye 4 is largely financed with 434,000 euros from the alliance for sea rescue United4Rescue. The ship is to be deployed as quickly as possible. You can participate here. The ship should be ready for operation as soon as possible, because many other rescue ships are currently blocked and only the Open Arms is currently operating in the Mediterranean. Only on Friday another 20 people drowned in a shipwreck.
- The organization Alarmphone accuses Malta of systematically ignoring rescue calls and thus being responsible for the deaths of many people. The responsible rescue coordination centre simply does not answer the calls and would rather let people drown than rescue them. Even if the people were in the Maltese rescue zone. In the past few days alone, Malta has ignored more than ten calls, Alarmphone criticises.
- The rescue ship "Open Arms" with more than 250 people rescued from distress at sea has reached the Italian coast. There the migrants were picked up by two ships, where they'll be quarantined in Corona for the time being.
- The Musawi family fled from the war in Afghanistan to Lesbos. She experienced the inferno of Moria, slept on the street. Now she lives in the temporary new camp. How is she doing there? The father reports.
13.11.2020: Rescue ship Open Arms allowed to enter Italy +++ 90 people drowned off Libya +++ Member states at external borders reject Commission proposal on common asylum policy
- The Rescue ship Open Arms allowed to enter Sicilian port of Trapani. On board the ship are 200 people rescued in the central Mediterranean and the bodies of six people who died in a shipwreck. Among those lost is six-month-old Jospeh from Conakry, Guinea.
- Two boats carrying refugees sank off the coast of Libya. at least 90 people drowned. 47 survivors are said to have been brought ashore.
- European asylum policy: According to a report by German diplomats, it is above all the member states at the external borders that reject the proposals of the EU Commission. Attempts by the German Council Presidency to persuade the 27 EU member states to agree to von der Leyen's proposals as soon as possible were unsuccessful.
- EU complaints body opens investigation into Frontex. Frontex is involved in illegal pushbacks of refugees, according to SPIEGEL reports. The EU's ombudsman is now investigating whether the border protection agency's control mechanisms are failing.
- Dozens of Sudanese refugees detained in Cairo after protests. According to Amnesty International, around 70 people, including children, were detained after peaceful protests. The protests erupted after 12-year-old Sudanese Mohamed Hasan was stabbed to death by an Egyptian, with racist motives.
- Refugee camp on Lesbos. "The situation has worsened" - interview on Deutschlandfunk.
12.11.2020: Six people, including a toddler, drown in boat crash +++ Greek authorities push protection seekers, without food, onto island +++ EU demands answers on violence at Croatian border
- In the case of a Pushback by Greek authorities has seen around 70 people taken to an island in the river Evros, according to latest figures. Among them several children and a pregnant woman. The people have been abandoned on this island without food or drinking water and have apparently been there for several days. It is cold, they are freezing and the Greek authorities are apparently prepared to put these people's lives in danger.
- Six refugees were killed off the coast of Libya. died during the crossing to Europe. Among the dead is a six-month-old baby. It was pulled out of the water alive, but did not survive. The deceased baby's name is Joseph and he's from Conakry...the capital of Guinea. The Spanish aid organisation Open Arms was able to rescue around a hundred others from a completely overcrowded rubber dinghy.
- The EU demands answers on violence by Croatian border guards in three-page letter. In the letter, Commissioner Ylva Johansson asks Croatian Deputy Prime Minister Davor Božinović to disclose how many allegations have been made in the past three months and how many of them are being investigated.
- Fire on Samos: A large fire has broken out in a registration camp. Several household gas cylinders had exploded. Around 3,800 people are currently living in the Samos camp. That is about six times the capacity of the camp.
- Canary Islands: The Atlantic route is considered the "deadliest" escape route in the world. Nonetheless, this year alone, 14,000 protection seekers fled to the Canary Islands by boat. That is seven times more than in the same period last year. Most end up in Gran Canaria, where the accommodation is overcrowded.
11.11.2020: EU Commission gives ultimatum to Frontex chief Leggeri +++ Bishops demand reception of people on Greek islands +++ ARD reports on violence at Croatian external border
- By the end of November, Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri on the involvement of his border agency in illegal pushbacks of refugees. Since April, Frontex officials have been demonstrably in at least six so-called pushbacks nearby. A video shows how a Frontex ship initially blocks an overloaded refugee boat but fails to rescue the occupants. The migration expert Gerald Knaus criticizes: "I fear the will to enlighten is not very great".
- ARD reports, how Brussels, Berlin and co. ignore Croatian border violence and massive human rights violations by the Croatian police. The European Ombudsman said yesterday that an investigation is being launched into "possible human rights violations". Amnesty International criticizes: "Numerous human rights abuses, including beatings and torture, have been documented over the years. Carried out by Croatian police officers whose salaries may be funded by the EU."
- The Bishops of the Protestant Church in Central Germany (EKM) call for an admission The German government has called for more refugees currently living on Greek islands to arrive in Germany before Christmas: "No refugee should have to live in a mass camp on a Greek island at Christmas. With the onset of winter, the situation there is worsening dramatically. The bishops appealed to Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) to finally accept existing offers of help from municipalities and federal states.
- A refugee from Afghanistan loses his son in a boating accident off Greece. The Authorities want to lock him up in jail because of it. The case reveals a lot about the human rights situation in Europe.
- The Rescue Ship Open Arms saves 88 people from drowning.
- New Turn of events in so-called BAMF affair. An anonymous whistleblower accuses the investigators in the so-called BAMF affair of not taking exculpatory material into account. The public prosecutor's office in Bremen has initiated proceedings.
- Thousands flee from the Ethiopian state of Tigray to Sudan. Since last week, the Ethiopian army against the so-called People's Liberation Front TPLF before.
- Zeit Online address the issue in their podcast "What Now" the conditions on Lesbos and the dangers of the approaching winter.
10.11.2020: Frontex involvement in pushbacks must be investigated +++ German government to deport to Afghanistan again +++ Father of drowned refugee child arrested
- Human Rights Watch (HRW) is calling for an investigation into Frontex's involvement in illegal pushbacks. The Frontex board is holding a special meeting today to discuss these allegations. HRW criticizes: "The fact that Frontex may have been involved in human rights violations at the Greek border is very serious."
- Deport with protective mask. The Federal government plans to deport people to Afghanistan again - despite rising corona numbers and a deficient health care system in the country.
- From Saturday to Monday morning, on the Spanish territories, the Canary Islands 2,206 migrants arrived in 58 open wooden boats. Most of the refugees would have settled in the port city of Areguineguín in the southwest of Grand Canary registered. According to Europa Press, 1,800 people are cramped in there. Many of the boats come from Senegal, some 1,600 kilometres away. The crossing is extremely dangerous and has claimed hundreds of lives in recent weeks.
- Material for Turkish navy worth billions. Since 2004, the German arms industry has delivered warships or parts for them worth 9.8 billion euros to Turkey. In the meantime, German arms exports to the Turkish navy have been suspended because of the conflict between the NATO partners. Greece and Turkey over natural gas deposits in the eastern Mediterranean. The government in Athens has called on EU partner Germany to stop them. So far the German government has only stopped the export of arms to Turkey that could be used in the Syrian war.
- Lockdown in Moria 2.0: Mare Liberum reportsthat the Greek authorities have so far failed to implement adequate Covid 19 measures for the camp, instead strict rules and draconian measures have been implemented. No mask even in your tent? 150 € fine! That's equivalent to two months of financial support for refugees.
- The Father of drowned refugee child is arrested by Greek authorities and is to be charged. The father and his son were part of a group of 25 people trying to reach the Greek island of Samos. The NGO Help Refugees/Choose Love criticizes: "These accusations are a direct attack on the right to asylum and it is outrageous that a grieving father is being punished for trying to get himself and his child to safety."
9.11.2020: Refugee child drowns off Samos +++ Arrivals surge in Canaries and Lampedusa +++ Lockdown in new Moria
- Refugee child drowns off Samos. Six other people are missing.
- At the weekend about 1,600 people arrived by boat from West Africa... in the Canary Islands. In Gran Canaria Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska and EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson went to see the situation for themselves.. 2,000 people are provisionally in vacant hotels, More of them every day. Commissioner Johansson wants to conclude new agreements with the countries of origin in order to be able to deport people more easily, but such agreements are politically extremely unpopular in the mostly West African countries of origin.
- 2,430 refugees and migrants arrived on Lampedusa in the first six days of November. Three boats with 248 people on board reached the southern Italian island last Saturday night alone, local authorities reported.
- The daily pushback horror. 8,521 - this is the number of refugees who have been illegally pushed back since March 2020when they tried to cross the Aegean Sea. Mare Liberum has counted information on 266 pushback cases, but the actual number is most likely much higher.
- Worse than Moria: No hot water, no heating, no electricity - the residents of the Kara Tepe refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos are afraid of winter. Doctors without Borders is calling for the camp to be closed down immediately. Residents have been on lockdown since Saturday. The Greek authorities have now also started to provide assistance to residents who do not wear masks, to impose penalties, that most of them can't afford. Given the living conditions and the failed Corona policy in the mass camps, this seems like a bad joke.
- They fled to Switzerland as minors in 2015 - three people tell.
- The Bremen BAMF affair is smaller than assumed. At the beginning of the affair about machinations of the Bremen refugee office there were 1200 suspicious cases. Now only 20 of 121 charges are to be tried.
6.11.2020: Great Britain closes itself off +++ Criminalisation of civil society in the Western Balkans +++ Demand for a deportation stop for Roma in Germany
- On the defense against flight and migration Britain increases its military presence in the English Channel. The UNHCR expressed "grave concern" in August that warships were being used against "small inflatable boats". This could lead to "dangerous and deadly incidents". Preventing migration was a key election promise of the Brexiteers.
- An Report of the Centre for Peace Studies and the Border Violence Monitoring Network sheds light on the criminalization of activists and helpers on the Balkan route. In addition to formal criminalization, cases of severe verbal and physical violence are documented.
- The Federal Roma Association and the Roma Center, together with 77 other associations, initiatives, and organizations, have issued an appeal sent to Chancellor Merkel, Interior Minister Seehofer and the 16 interior ministers. Some lose their residence status because they lost their jobs in the course of the Corona crisis. Among those threatened with deportation are people from the former Yugoslavia, some of whom have lived in Germany for 30 years and whose children were born in Germany.
- Yesterday 54 unaccompanied minors transferred from Greece to France. France has agreed to receive a total of 350 unaccompanied minors from Greece.
- Church Asylum: The Diocesan Council of Catholics in the Archdiocese of Bamberg shows solidarity with Abbess Mechthild Thürmer. She had taken in a woman from Eritrea in her convent and thus saved her from the authorities. Thürmer collected a fine of 2,500 euros, but did not pay.
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
- This year alone, so far 11,409 protection seekers landed in the Canary Islands. The figures refer to the period from January to the end of October. Accordingly, so far 411 boats arrived on the Canary Islands. In October alone, there were 5328 people. The last time so many people landed on the Canaries was in 2007 with 12,478. The route was hardly used in recent years, also because it is considered particularly dangerous, long and deadly. At least 414 people have died trying to reach the archipelago this year.
- The BAMF scandal in Bremen is not and never was a scandal. After more than 1,200 cases of fraud were assumed at times, it turned out after extensive checks that the vast majority of the notices had been issued correctly. Of 18,315 positive notices, 165 cases, or 0.9 %, were initially found fault with. Now there are also doubts about the documents on which the indictment is based.
- District of Constance donates to Sea-Eye. The district of Constance has declared its solidarity with people on the run in the meeting of the district council on 9 December 2019 and positioned itself against the criminalization of sea rescue on the Mediterranean. Against this background, the first 10,000 euros have now been transferred to Sea-Eye after the budget has been released.
- Violence and dead rats. Based on the notebook of social workers.who worked in the "Safe Zone" of the Moria camp, the cruel conditions were retraced, under which minors were imprisoned there.
- "Five years ago, the small village of Sumte on the Elbe made headlines for taking in 750 refugees in one fell swoop. How did that work out and what is the village like now?"
11/3/2020: Corona fire and infestation on Samos +++ Algeria drops thousands of refugees in Sahara +++ 900 protection seekers arrive on Lampedusa within hours
- Fire in Refugee camp on Samos makes 150 people homeless. The fire occurred in front of the registration camp of Vathy. Instead of isolating Corona Falls, the whole camp was locked up. This strategy of infestation quickly had catastrophic consequences in the case of Moria. Currently, about 4200 people live in the mass camp on Samos.
- Algeria abandons thousands of people seeking protection in the desert. The number of deportations from Algeria has increased dramatically in recent weeks. Many of the people are brought in trucks to the border with Niger - and then simply abandoned in the Sahara.
- 900 protection seekers arrived on Lampedusa within a few hours. Twelve boats with around 670 people reached the southern Italian Mediterranean island on Monday night. On Sunday, three boats with over 200 people had reached Lampedusa.
- Illegal pushbacks against protection seekers by Frontex: Is the German Navy watching?
- "We can't live here". After the fire in Moria, everything was supposed to get better. But rain, corona, dirt and scabies are just a few of the problems facing people in the Greek camps right now.
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 +++
- Frontex chief Leggeri is coming under pressure, because his agency is involved in illegal pushbacks in the Aegean. Now the EU Commission is also expecting answers from the head of its border protection agency. The first parliamentarians are calling for his dismissal.
- Anyone Seventh defendant Federal Office for Migration and Refugees decision to be overturned by courts. "Pro Asyl" calls the high correction rate a "scandal".
- In the so far largest documented pushback around 200 people seeking protection were deported illegally.
- Round There are 100 Corona Falls in the Vathy refugee camp on the Greek island of Samos. Affected people are crammed into very small spaces. The Greek authorities are doing too little to ensure adequate medical care and prevent the spread of the virus.
- The EU naval operation IRINI assists the Libyan coast guard with repatriations of people trying to flee across the Mediterranean by providing information on the locations of boats. Legal experts criticise this because Libya is not a "safe haven".
- Lenz Jacobsen reflects in his Zeit column on the inhumane treatment of refugees at Europe's external borders: "The ever worsening conditions on the islands, the escalating images and news reports may serve above all to show those who want to make the journey that it's not worth it. But they have a second effect: Europe's external deterrence is matched by an internal hardening of Europeans. An erosion of moral standards." https://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2020-10/eu-fluechtlingspolitik-fluechtlingslager-lesbos-griechenland-europa-5vor8
10/28/2020: MSF calls for something to be done about the spread of Covid 19 on Samos +++ Four people die in the English Channel +++ Greece continues illegal practice of pushback
- Doctors Without Borders calls on the Greek authorities, finally strengthen its response to the spread of COVID-19 in the Vathy camp on the island of Samos and move vulnerable people to safe accommodation on the mainland or in other EU countries. So far, the authorities have not responded adequately, despite the fact that in the camp with 4300 residents, over 100 people have tested positive and some of them have developed symptoms and are at serious risk.
- Four refugees die trying to cross the English Channel into Britain. Among the dead are two children aged five and eight. The small fishing boat capsized yesterday at 9.30 am.
- Despite clear evidence, Frontex still does not admit to involvement in pushbacks. The EU agency claims absurdly continues to claim that it has not violated any laws, but now wishes to verify this.
- According to Mare Liberum. so far in October alone, 841 people have been victims of pushbacks in 23 incidents. Adding to this frighteningly high number is the fact that those incidents of which camera footage has been released show a disturbing level of perfidious thoroughness, coupled with an absolute disregard for human life.
- The number of arrivals of refugees in Gran Canaria is increasing massively. So far this year, over 8100 people have reached the Canary Islands, While in the whole year 2019, it has been 1028 persons.
- Many countries of origin refuse to take back their own citizens because they face "strong opposition" from their own population. The commissioner in charge Johansson wants to change thatin order to be able to deport more people in the future.
- The historian Andreas Kossert has written a book about the history of flight. Der Spiegel interviewed him about it.
27.10.2020: EU Commission calls for accountability report from Frontex +++ Number of irregular entries from Turkey sharply reduced +++ EU decides to deploy large drones in the Mediterranean Sea
- EU Commission Calls for accountability report of Frontex. The Commissioner responsible Ylva Johannson is very concerned about the reports of illegal pushbacks by Greece with the involvement of Frontex. It is calling for an investigation and wants to ensure that no more pushbacks are carried out by EU states.
- The Number of irregular entries from Turkey into the EU has fallen sharply. The right-wing populist scaremongering about millions of refugees just waiting to get from Turkey to the EU is thus proving to be nonsense. Announcements from Ankara that tens of thousands of people would be allowed to cross the EU border turned out to be empty threats.
- Reports of brutal mistreatment of protection seekers and illegal refoulement at the border to Bosnia-Herzegovina are increasing. Now Brussels is also announcing that it will look into the actions of Croatian officials.
- CSU politician Alexander Dobrindt demands a suspension of basic human rights and human dignity. He wants to deport people to Syria, where the population is systematically tortured and murdered. Dobrindt conceals the fact that deportations to Syria would hardly be possible without cooperation with the war criminal Bashar al-Assad.
- The European Union has decided to deploy large drones in the Mediterranean for several years, now Italy is following suit. The beneficiary companies from Israel and Italy have already carried out tests for Frontex in recent years. The Italian Ministry of the Interior is providing €7.2 million.
- At least eleven people, including a pregnant woman, drowned off the Libyan coast on Sunday.
10/26/2020: Frontex involved in illegal pushbacks +++ Salvamento Marítimo saves 52 people from +++ Greek government to build new morias on islands
- These in the Spiegel published research prove for the first time that Frontex officials know about the illegal practices of the Greek border guards - and are partly involved in the pushbacks themselves. Breaches of the law have become commonplace at Europe's borders. And the EU is letting it happen. Frontex officials publicly claim to know nothing about pushbacks by Greek border guards. Yet the agency has 600 officers on duty in Greece as well as ships, drones and aircraft. Still you can find the research results in more detail at Bellingcat.
- Gran Canaria: The Spanish Salvamento Marítimo saved 52 people from drowning saved.
- New morias are to be built. Against the resistance of the population and local politicians, the Greek government wants to build even more camps on the islands.
- The Sea-Watch's Moonbird will again fly civilian air reconnaissance missions over the Mediterranean Sea and help prevent people from drowning in the central Mediterranean.
- More and more people are trying to find out about to take the very dangerous sea route to the Canary Islands. They do it because the other routes are almost closed and the EU forces people onto ever more dangerous routes in order to be able to claim their right to asylum.
- Thousands of people seeking protection are living in miserable conditions in Bosnia. The state fails to care for them. Local politicians bully them, residents are hardly allowed to help.
- An Libyan coast guard member charged for first time with human trafficking charged.
10/23/2020: Seehofer to review deportations to Syria +++ New Moria to remain open through winter +++ Five people missing in the central Mediterranean Sea
- Seehofer wants to examine deportations to Syria. So far, there has been a ban on deportations. Syria is one of the worst dictatorships in the world, where a dictator wages war against his own people and where people are systematically tortured and murdered.
- The Greek Government would like keep the new Moria running like this until summer 2021 and refuses to provide a solution for the approaching winter. The conditions are absolutely inadequate and the refugees are exposed to massive suffering in the low temperatures.
- Thousands of refugees are stuck in Bosnia on their way to the EU. They are intercepted and deported in the Croatian border country. A war invalid tries to alleviate the hardship with his aid organization.
- 13,000 refugees are staying on the Greek island of Lesbos, Germany wants to take in 1553 of them, but resettlement has been slow so far - now a second plane has landed with people seeking protection.
- More and more Lebanese, especially young ones, want to leave their country. The wealthy take the plane, many poor try to get to Europe via the Mediterranean.
- Five people, including two girls and a pregnant woman, are missing after a boat accident in the central Mediterranean. 15 people were rescued by fishermen.
22.10.2020: 15 dead in boat crash in Libya +++ Over 2000 protection seekers reach Canaries +++ Green youth set up over 1500 chairs in Augsburg
- 15 people died in a Boat accident off the Libyan coast. Five people were rescued by fishermen and brought to shore.
- More than two thousand people seeking protection have reached the Canary Islands in two weeks: more and more people are trying to reach the islands via the perilous Atlantic route to enter the EU.
- Greece Hires another 800 border guards. Of these, 600 are to be deployed on the Evros alone. Minister Mihailis Chrisochoidis explained this in militarised rhetoric, saying that it was intended to build up a "second line of defence".
- Via 1,500 chairs have the Green Youth Augsburg on Wednesday on the town hall square. They are protesting for the acceptance of refugees from Greece.
- In Germany there are now 200 safe havens. It is local authorities that are demanding to be allowed to take in people in need, but this has so far been prevented by the federal government.
- Federal Government Pledges 30 million euros for Rohingya refugees. Hundreds of thousands have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh. They should be helped further.
21.10.2020: Alleged sexual abuse by Croatian police +++ Merkel rejects municipal reception of refugees +++ New camp on Lesbos worse than Moria
- Protection seekers on the Balkan route have been according to a report in the Guardian whipped, robbed and sexually abused by Croatian police. The Danish Refugee Council documented these cases during pushbacks in just five days, between 12 and 16 October. One man reported being beaten with a branch and sexually assaulted. An examining doctor confirmed that sexual violence was clearly perpetrated against the man. Other shelter seekers reported that Croatian police officers forced them to undress and lay naked on top of each other. Police officers allegedly took selfies with the naked men.
- Thousands of refugees are still homeless after the fire in the Greek camp Moria. German municipalities want to help and have turned to the Chancellor for help. But Angela Merkel turned down the municipalities.
- New camp worse than Moria, according to Oxfam. The approaching winter makes the situation even worse.
- Austria has sent aid for refugees on Lesbos, which does not help but remains in Athens. 150 pallets, to be exact.
- Currently, more and more people are trying to cross the English Channel to the UK irregularly. In 2020 alone, there have been 7294 people in a total of 565 boats. This Monday, there were about 100 people, including one child.More refugees arrive on the Canary Islands again.