AYS Daily Digest 04/07/19: 55 people were rescued. What happens now?
Update on bombing in Tripoli detention center // Rescues and missing at sea // Over 400 arrive on Aegean islands // Fascist terror cell leader arrested // HRW releases report on abuse of refugees in Greece // Demos against criminalization of sea rescue // and more…
Feature: “Alex” Rescues 54 in Distress. But Will It Become the Next Stranded Ship?
“Alex” from the rescue group Mediterranea rescued 54 people in distress of a raft, according to the group. The NGO sent the coordinates of the distress call they received to MRCC Rome earlier in the morning, who replied that the information was forwarded to Libyan authorities. Given the often violent record of Libyan Coast Guard “rescues” and the fact that it is unacceptable to return refugees to such conditions, the group decided to carry on with the rescue. “These people must be saved, not sent back to die in Libya,” wrote the group in a public post.
As of writing, all 54 people have been taken aboard Alex. Among them are 11 women, three of whom are pregnant, and four children, according to volunteers from Mediterranea. The group reported that the Libyan Coast Guard arrived on the scene shortly after the people were rescued but left quickly afterwords.
The ship has asked MRCC Rome to grant permission to disembark in Lampedusa. Given Italy’s current policy of refusing rescue ships, it seems unlikely that the ship will be able to dock soon. Carola Rackete, the captain of the rescue ship “Sea-Watch,” which was stuck outside of Lampedusa earlier this month, was only released from jail a few days ago.
As the ship was en route to its rescue operation, it encountered the remains of a possible “ghost wreck,” a deflated dinghy floating in the Mediterranean. “There was no indication of a rescue,” the group wrote. “How many dead we will never know.” This empty wreck is the direct consequence of Italy’s policy of stranding and prosecuting rescue ships.
“In silence, humanity dies. Without witnesses.”
Updates on 01/07 Bombing of Tajoura Detention Facility
More information has been coming out in the wake of the bombing earlier this week of the Tajoura dentention center in Tripoli. Over 40 people were reported killed in the bombing, which was carried out by a militia group. However, texts messages sent from those inside the prison suggest that the number may be actually much higher, possibly over 100.
There have also been reports that the guards fired at people who were trying to flee in the aftermath of the attack. Those inside the prison say they have not only had no medical treatment since the attack, but are without food and water.
80 People Feared Dead After Shipwreck
A ship carrying over 80 people wrecked off the coast of Tunisia close to Zarzis on Wednesday. The information was conveyed by Tunisian Red Crescent volunteer and activist Chamseddine Marzoug, who stated that only five people survived the wreck. One of those hospitalized died earlier today, according to Marzoug.
Alarmphone Releases Quarterly Report
Our first ‘Central Mediterranean Regional Analysis’ has been published — covering the period between 18 March — 30 June 2019. During this period, we were alerted to 24 distress situations in the Central Mediterranean region, involving over 1,700 people. Read the report in full here.
Over 400 People Arrive on the Greek Islands in One Day (numbers via Aegean Boat Report)
Today, at least 12 boats have arrived on the Greek Aegean Islands, carrying over 400 people. 5 boats arrived on Lesvos, 3 on Chios, 2 on Samos, 1 on Kos and 1 on Rhodes.
First boat was picked up outside Neon Kidonion, Lesvos east 00.30 by HCG.
42 people, no breakdown available.
Second boat was picked up outside Neon Kidonion, Lesvos east 01.15 by HCG.
37 people, no breakdown available.
Third boat was picked up outside Agrilia Kratigou, Lesvos south 03.45 by HCG. 31 people, no breakdown available.
Fourth boat was picked up outside Neon Kidonion, Lesvos east 05.15 by HCG.
30 people, no breakdown available.
Fifth boat landed on Tsipouri Beach, Lesvos north 08.00.
46 people were on board, 22 children, 12 women and 12 men.
Sixth boat was picked up outside Chios, transported to port Chios 02.20.
27 people on board, 6 children, 12 women and 9 men.
Seventh boat was picked up outside Chios, transported to port 07.20.
43 people on board, 15 children, 11 women and 17 men.
Eight boat arrived in port Chios 10.30.
31 people on board, 5 children, 9 women and 17 men.
Ninth boat was picked up in Nisakia sea area, Samos north east, 01.30 by HCG. 21 people, no breakdown available.
Tenth boat was picked up outside Cape Prasos, Samos east 05.30.
63 people, no breakdown available.
Eleventh boat landed on Rhodes north during the night.
12 people, numbers not confirmed.
Also a twelfth boat is reported landed on Kos.
24 people, numbers not confirmed.
Over the past 24 hours, Aegean Boat Report has also recorded four boats en route to Greece which were stopped and forcibly returned by the Turkish Coast Guard.
HRW Submits Report on Torture in Greece
Human Rights Watch submitted a report to the United Nations Committee Against Torture on cruel treatment of refugees and migrants across the country in preparation for the UN Committee’s review of Greece. The report covers a number of issues in detail, including police and military violence against refugees, the mass explulsion and illegal push-backs of refugees in the Evros region, and the inhumane treatment of unaccompanied minors. You can see the report in full here.
48 Year Old Man Arrested on Charges of Belonging to Krypteía Terror Cell
A 48 year old man, who worked as an academic, has been arrested for charges of arson, damage of foreign property, serial threats, and illegal gun possession. The man is an alleged leader of Krypteía, a fascist terror cell that splintered out of the Golden Dawn political party. The group partly gained infamy after it attacked and firebombed the home of Amir, an 11 year old Afghani refugee. Amir was targeted by the group for being the flag-bearer for his school in a Greek parade.
13 People Arrested After Clash in Moria
13 residents of Moria camp on Lesvos were arrested today after a violent fight between two groups in the camp. Those arrested were all Afghani refugees, according to Greek authorities.
Demonstrations Against Death in Libya
On 06.07 demonstrations will take place against the EU financing of criminal militias and the crimilization of sea rescue. You can find a list of events and locations (mostly in Germany, but also in some other European cities and New York) here.
22 Civil Society Groups Criticize “Biometric File” of Minor Refugees
An open letter signed by 22 organizations was published today criticizing France’s policy of keeping a “biometric file” on unaccompanied minors. The procedure has been criticized for not being in the best interests of the minors, and also for being scientifically unsound. The procedure begins with a database cross-check of fingerprints, which has been critized as unreliable by the signing organizations.
Tous Migrants has released a “guide to solidarity,” informing volunteers of their rights and the law. You can read it in full here.
Two rafts carrying approximately 120 people were located by army planes on the Coast of Spain. Spanish Civil Guard boat “Río Miño” intercepted another raft carrying 11 people.
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