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Are You Syrious?

AYS Daily Digest 01/06/20: 11,000 people in Greece at risk to lose their shelter

Greece start largest equipment purchase for riot police since 2004 // Solidarity from Syria // Cyprus launches SMS campaign // French Activist Cedric Herrou faces another court case and more…

Protests against the eviction. Photo: Twitter/@Refugees_Gr


As more than 11,000 people are at risk of losing their shelter in Greece, protests are organized from Tuesday on as the process of moving them out of state facilities began. According to Efsyn, even pro-government press started to criticize a lack of planning and financial mismanagement. Ekathimerini adds that it was unclear how long this will take and how many of these people received asylum or have been rejected and therefore may face deportation. “Those who have been granted asylum will be able to join job training programs and claim social benefits”, the Migration Ministry said. However it is not clear whether the people will receive cash assistance.

The Khora Asylum Support Team reminds us that all white cards which have expired between 13 March and 31 May are automatically extended for six months. Hence, it is not necessary for now to renew this document until the new deadline. It may be helpful to take a copy of this decision to show to police in case of a control.

After more than one week of quarantine in a bus, 16 people on Lesvos were transferred to the camp of Kara Tepe. A new site for quarantine was opened there , writes Ekathimerini. Additionally, 213 new arrivals from May on the island were quarantined in Megala Therma in the north of Lesvos.

On 29 and 30 May, 99 people were prevented from crossing the Mediterranean and pushed back to the mainland by the Turkish Coast Guard.

Meanwhile, Greece introduced the highest equipment purchase for its riot police since the Olympic Games in 2004. As the country intends to prepare for another attempt by Turkey to open its border towards the EU, “shields, helmets, uniforms, bullet-proof vests and other supplies, including large quantities of tear gas” worth 20–34 million euros were bought, Ekathimerini reports. The EU Commission promised 700 million euros to the country to secure its border.


In Northern Syria, The White Helmets treated nine new cases of food poisoning in a camp for Internally Displaced People (IDP). Serious cases were transferred to hospitals for examination.


Cyprus plans to start a SMS campaign to tackle disinformation. Smugglers were telling people they could get a passport to travel to other EU countries, Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said, according to Ekathimerini. He added, that Cyprus is not part of the Schengen area and therefore new arrivals would be trapped on the island. Further, some 700 quarantined people are supposed to be released as soon they are free of scabies. They are in a center on the outskirts of Nicosia since late March.


The French activist Cedric Herrou still faces punishment for helping people on the run. After he was acquitted on charges of facilitating illegal migration, the Lyon Public Prosecutor appealed to the Supreme Court. Since 2017 he has been arrested eleven times, his Lawyer told OpenMigration.


According to Malta Today, some 425 are currently quarantined on four tourist boats the government chartered, Authorities are currently not allowing new arrivals to disembark on the shore. At the same time, Prime Minister Robert Abela was cleared of homicide charges, according to InfoMigrants. Over Easter, Maltese forces pushed back five dead people to Libya, another seven went missing. The inquiry said that Malta followed its international obligations. Also, in a second case, the crew of an army boat was cleared from accusations to have sabotaged a boat.

On Monday, Maltese authorities refused to follow an emergency call of Alarmphone, saying some 75 people are in distress in Malta’s SAR zone. Tuesday afternoon the team received info that a boat had arrived in Lampedusa, assuming this was the same group.


No Name Kitchen in Serbia released a detailed report about their experiences in Šid the last two weeks. It shows, how people are still restricted in their freedoms, despite the fact that the state of emergency has ended:

Even thought they have permits to leave, we have reports of people in Principovac who were intercepted by military personnel at the corner of the warehouse where they usually shop and then were forced to return to the camp without their provisions.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Police forces prevented 150 people from entering the country by crossing the Drina River, Federalna write. From the other side, NoNameKitchen reports of a pushback by Croatian police to Bosnia, again by forcing the people to take off clothes and burn them.

In Tuzla, volunteers prepare the day center to offer haircuts. To make this work, they are asking for helpful equipment.

After posting a picture with two people, journalist Vanja Stokić received serious death threats in her city. First rejected, solidarity and public pressure helped her to make the police act on this. On Kosovo 2.0. she noted her experiences.

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Are You Syrious?

News digests from the field, mainly for volunteers and people on the move, but also for journalists, decision makers and other parties.