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AYS Daily Digest 29/4/19: Another Ship in Distress Ignored & More Police Violence in BH

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Apr 30

Police violence against a 16-year old at the BH-Montenegro border / more vessels in distress, SAR teams must wait for the CG /

Photo Credit: Emanuela Zampa. “They deny it can still happen. Because it’s not like then, no. And Nazis and fascists have no equal in evil, while Europe today only tries to manage the crisis, flows, borders. Because the bodies, behind that barbed wire are different. Because here in Bira, no one is killed.” In some hours we should have more news on what will become of the people in this centre, as the regional politicians are ending their 2-day visit to the ‘camps’ in the north-west of Bosnia


Border Violence Monitoring reports:
A group of people was apprehended by the Bosnian police near Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and, under the pretext of being brought to the official camp in Sarajevo, they were held in detention for 16 hours in the Klobuk border crossing point — the one that is known for holding people in cage-like detention cells. In the morning, they were loaded into two white vans and brought to the border with Montenegro.

“When the group noticed that they had not been brought to Sarajevo, they asked the policemen repeatedly: ‘Where are we going? Please give us asylum!’ But the officers answered, saying ‘No English, no asylum, Bosnia full.’”

“A 16 year old boy said to the Bosnian policemen:

‘I will tell UN what you are doing!’ One officer answered: ‘Fuck your mother! Fuck UN!’

This officer kicked the young man with his heavy black boots on the side, so that he fell out of the car onto the ground. The officer took a ‘heavy metal stick’ and beat the young man on his head; two wounds started to bleed heavily.”

Read the whole report on the incident on Border violence monitoring page.

Reports of push-backs from Bosnia-Herzegovina to Montenegro have been reaching us more and more often in the last couple of weeks, the group confirms, as the BH state police applies the same measures as their ‘European’ counterparts to stem the recent surge of arrivals to their country. After all, “it’s all within the European standards”, as we’ve been told.

Ship in Distress off Libyan Coast

A ship in distress was reported in the Libya SAR (Search and Rescue) zone at approximately 9:20 am today. Italian SAR has taken over the coordination, and no updates are currently available. It seems that there has not yet been an attempt at a rescue. The Alarmphone rescue line NGO stated that “the distress situation is ongoing. MRCC Rome and RCC Malta have been informed — we expect a rescue operation according to international law!”

Alarm Phone was informed by some of the people on board that their motor had died at midnight the previous night, meaning they have been stranded at sea for over a day now.

Photo Credit: Watch the Med/ Alarmphone.
A tweet from Sea-Watch referring to the same boat in distress.


146 people evacuated to Italy from Libya

A total of 146 people, the majority of them Somalian and Eritrean refugees, have been evacuated from Misrata in a joint agreement between the UNHCR and Italian and Libyan authorities. These people are the first in a proposed plan to evacuate 300 people and the second group is supposed to follow shortly.

A video taken by people trapped in the Abu Salim detention center in South Tripoli was posted by journalist Sally Hayden today.


Heavy shelling has been reported today in an area in western Hama near a refugee camp. It is believed that the shelling is by Assad’s forces.

According to a Syrian activist, this same refugee camp near the Turkish border was targeted by a Russian-aligned militia on Monday, and killed civilians.

Search and Rescue

Rescue Ship Stopped by German Government

The search and rescue ship Mare Liberum has been blocked from leaving Lesvos by the German Federal Ministry for Transportation. “The ministry of transportation, led by the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) politician Andreas Scheuer, apparently wants to perfidiously prevent any civil presence in the Mediterranean Sea to document human rights violations and the effects of the European Union’s deadly border policy. We are urging for an accelerated response to repeal the decision,” said a spokesperson for the NGO. You can read their entire press release (EN) here.

46 People Still Missing in the Alboran Sea

A boat carrying 46 people, including a two year old child, is missing for the second day in the Alboran Sea between Spain and Morocco. The family members of some of those on board have been contacted.

Increase in Boat Interceptions by the Turkish Coast Guard

There has been an increase in the number of refugee boats being intercepted by the Turkish Coast Guard (TCG), according to numbers released by Turkish authorities. Aegean Boat Report stated, “Last week 52 boats were stopped, and 1,501 people were arrested. This is the highest number of boats stopped in one single week for over a year. Is Greece prepared for what would happen if Turkey should look the other way, and again let boats flow towards the Greek Aegean Islands…”

A boat carrying refugees being intercepted by the TCG. Photo Credit: Aegean Boat Report


New Arrivals on Lesvos (via Aegean Boat Report)

Two boats arrived on the north east coast of Lesvos this morning. One arrived outside Xampelia, carrying 12 people — 2 children and 10 adults.
Another boat was picked up a bit further south around the same time, carrying 5 people. No further information available on this last boat.


This Friday a press release was published by the coordination group for stateless people in Belgium. Their statements were partly based on a recent study on undocumented people in Belgium. Among their findings:

— their average duration of presence is 7 years (which guarantees a real anchorage in Belgian society)
 — 89 % of undocumented people work (often first in a declared way, then under the table when they lose their rights.


Asylum Decisions Put “on Hold” by German Office

The asylum proceedings for a number of Syrians in Germany have been halted by the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). This move was caused by a reassessment of the security situation in Syria, according to reports from German media.


A new far-right party that goes by the name of “Hard Line” has achieved the threshold for elections in Denmark. The party has taken a hostile attitude towards immigrants in the country, vowing to deport every last non-Westener who has not been granted asylum in the country if elected. The leader of the party has been convicted under the country’s anti-racism laws, and the “Hard Liners” have been blocked from holding demonstrations in Copenhagen after a hand grenade was found left in an immigrant neighbourhood after one of their rallies. Given the party’s violent history, other political leaders, including the leader of Denmark’s Alternative party, have moved to block the “Hard Line” from entering elections despite their meeting the threshold.


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