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AYS Daily Digest 12/09/19: Deportation is no solution

German parliamentary secretary urges Greece to speed up returns to Turkey / 74.000 people benefit from Cash Assistance in Greece / Operation “Sophia” continues with no rescue ships / German Protestant Church and SMH want to send rescue ships to the Med / Germany criticized for delaying family reunifications from Greece

Credits: Twitter/Giorgos Kosmopoulos (July 2016)

Deportations as solution of all problems — this seems to be the way the parliamentary secretary of the Interior Ministry in Germany thinks. Stephan Mayer said to Funke Mediengruppe (via DW): “We urgently need to make progress in small repatriations to Turkey, to improve the deteriorating conditions at certain hot spots on the islands.” This seems to be a reaction of the increasing number of arrivals on the Greek islands from Turkey in the recent weeks. However, this statement ignores the right of Tenthousands of poeple to ask for asylum and have a fair process — if necessary in the different instances of a court. The asylum service still needs to process some 70.000 cases.

Since that March 2016 deal was implemented, 1,904 people have been deported to Turkey, while 24,348 Syrians were resettled from Turkey to EU-countried. The deal originally meant, that all people who arrive on the Greek islands, will be deported back to Turkey. For each Syrian among the deportees, one Syrian on a waiting list in Turkey (who did not try to make it by boat) will be resettled.

Meanwhile 187 arrived on the Aegean islands today. Aegean Boat Report counted 87 on Lesvos, 35 on Chios and 65 on Samos.

In August, more than 74.000 people (37.000 families) benefited the cash assistance of UNHCR. According to their own account, the people live in 113 different locations and received a total of 7.6 Million Euros. May sound like a lot in total, but in the end it makes around 100 Euro per person or 200 Euro per family for one month.

Volunteers on the Greek island of Symi are fundraising money to deal with the increasing number of new arrivals.


The EU countries decided to extent operation “Sophia” in the Mediterranean by six months until 31st March 2020, AFP found out (via 24matins). But after the mission is without ships since March this year, they will not rescue anyone in distress. De facto, it will continue to be a surveillance missionwith drones and airplanes.

One ship, which is still present in the Mediterranean is the Ocean Viking of SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders (MSF). On Wednesday they a rescued pregnant woman in her ninth month and her husband were brought to Malta, while 82 survivors still wait to disembark at a safe harbor, writes RP Online.

The council president of the protestant church in Germany (EKD), Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, announced, that the EKD will send a rescue ship to the Mediterranean. The council agreed, to found an association in which churches, institutions and volunteers will team up to realize this project. “As long as people who seek protection are drowning in the Mediterranean and governmental action fails, we will support civil sea rescua as good as we can,” he said.

Also the NGO Spanish Salvamento Maritimo Humanitario (SMH) requested permission to send its ship Aita Mari to a humanitarian mission to the Mediterranean from next Tuesday on. SMH head Íñigo Mijangos explained, they need permission from the Maritime Administration in Spain. They might be prevented to rescue migrants, writes Diariovasco (via News from the Med).


Many police mechanisms were involved this Thursday morning close to the camp close to the park Gayeulles in Rennes, where about 400 people live at the moment. It was an “operation of control of identity”, as the authorities explained. 4 people were reportedly detained during the operation.


Refugee Support Aegean and Pro Asyl criticize, that the German Dublin Unit increasingly refuses to take charge for requests of family reunions by their Greek Counterparts:

These persistent refusals by the German asylum authorities affect first and foremost the family unity of individuals that have already suffered from conflict, war and persecution and mostly impact upon the best interest and wellbeing of refugee children that have often been separated from their families for prolonged periods.

Especially after the cap on transfers in 2017, even accepted people had to wait longer than the six-month deadline provided by the Dublin Regulation: “ RSA/PRO ASYL followed-up more than 40 cases of refugee families who had to wait on average up to one year after their ‘take-charge’ request was accepted by Germany in order to reunite with their loved ones.” More than 4000 people were affected by this practice.

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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.