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AYS Daily Digest 3/9/19: 1500 people transferred from Lesvos to Mainland

Day three on the Alan Kurdi rescue mission // Mixed reactions to METAdrasi receiveing funding in Greece // police raids in Italy // homelessness in Denmark // and more…

“Day Three of the Alan Kurdi’s standoff at sea — A Tunisian migrant sits on the German NGO Sea-Eye migrant rescue ship ‘Alan Kurdi’ in international waters off Malta in the central Mediterranean Sea.” Photo by Sea-Eye, Quote by Darrin Zammit

SEARCH AND RESCCUE IN THE SEA

The 104 people rescued from the ship Eleanor will be accepted by 5 different countries: Germany, France, Ireland, Portugal and Luxembourg. Learn more here.

In an update from Fronteras_Sin Filter:

“15 missing in the sea of Alboran and 2 survivors. The patera left Algeria 5 days ago. More death in FronteraSur while Frontex and Spanish state security forces track the area in search of shipwrecked people.”

Corsica Linea, a French passenger ferry company, rescued 18 people off the Balearic Islands on Monday. Spain allowed for the people to enter afterwards. It is every ship captain’s duty to respect international law and rescue those at sea, and the crew of Corsica Linea fulfilled their duty.

Greece

The news that organisation METAdrasi received USD 2 Million as a prize from The Conrad Hilton Foundation seemed to have upset some of the people working with refugees in Greece. As Documenting Afghanistan reports, METAdrasi has a “track record of ranging from physical abuse to harassment, intimidation to mismanagement.” In psychologist Lyla Schwartz’s letter she wrote in concern to the Conrad Hilton Foundation, she expresses her professional opinion and experience working with METAdrasi as:

“Since 2016 I have been engaged in my capacity as a psychologist with vulnerable minors that Metadrasi was tasked with providing care for, I witnessed or was made aware of a multitude of highly irregular, unscrupulous and unethical practices, which are particularly worrying given that the organisation’s beneficiaries are vulnerable, unaccompanied minors with uncertain immigration status. Volunteers as well as lawyers working on the cases of minors under Metadrasi’s care have concurred with me.”

Documenting Afghanistan mirrors this disappointing direction of funds, which would have the potential to be a lot more effective through other avenues of protecting the most vulnerable in Greece:

“The Conrad Hilton Foundation hasn’t just made a mistake, but has helped to endanger refugees in Greece by funding METAdrasi…For now, we at Documenting Afghanistan ask that those involved in refugee support share this information among your networks and contact the Conrad Hilton Foundation to demand they stop funding METAdrasi immediately and reallocate funds to those individuals or organizations most in need.”

You can contact the Conrad Hilton Foundation here.
As we reported previously, AYS hopes the funds will bee directed to help support and house many unaccompanied minors across the country.

Islands

In reaction to the escalating debilitating conditions and violence in Moria, as we started reporting yesterday, about 1500 people were transferred from Lesvos to the mainland. According to Greek media, the transfer continued as follows:

“The movement started at 5am, while the staff of the MORC worked all weekend to make sure they were logged and informed of the trip. By 11am the speedboat CALDERA VISTA had already departed, carrying the first 635. Then, at about noon, the AQUA BLUE ferry boarded 781 refugees and migrants aboard departed from Mytilene, shortly before 7 pm, to the port of Thessaloniki.”

Volunteer groups emphasize that the official story does not paint the whole picture:

“The official story is that people will be sent to other (maxed out) refugee camps in Northern Greece. From a reliable source we have heard that they will be ‘dumped’ in camps in which the situation is so bad that other organisations have left the camps.”

RSA notes the the official government response includes that after temporarily being held in camp of NeaKavala they will move to a new structure which has just been finished. The people on Lesvos cannot be trapped any longer with the heartbreaking mental health crisis they are going through, but taking people out of one crowded refugee camp on the island to another crowded refugee camp on the mainland is NOT a durable or humane decision.

“We are currently in Camp Moria on Lesbos . Conduct talks with the leader, the local authorities, the UNHCR and Frontex . This morning again 120 people arrived. The infrastructure is hopelessly overloaded. Unworthy conditions in the middle of the EU.” Photo by Michel Brandt

According to Aegean Boat Report, “At least twelve boats have arrived on the Greek Aegean Islands (Tuesday), four on Lesvos, five on Samos, and three on Chios.”

First boat → Lesvos, 25 people, numbers not confirmed

Second, third and fourth boats → Lesvos, numbers not available

Fifth boat → Chios, 27 people (4 children, 7 women, 16 men)

Sixth boat → Chios, 39 people (5 children,17 women, 17 men)

Seventh boat → “blocked by Turkish Coastguard on the border outside Chios airport 09.30. 6 men jumped in the sea and swam towards the Greek Coastguard who was in the same location. 40 people traveled towards Chios, only 6 men arrived. The rest were taken back to Turkey and arrested.”

Eight boat → transported to Samos, 30 people, numbers not confirmed

Ninth, tenth and eleventh boats → Samos, 53 people, 50 people, 50 people, numbers not confirmed

Twelfth boat → Samos, 35 people, numbers not confirmed

Also from Monday’s arrivals:
Lesvos 3 boats, 115 people.
Chios 1 boat, 45 people.
Samos 1 boat, 35 people.
Kos 1 boat, 38 people.
Other islands 2 boats, 69 people.

In an update from Symi island:

“The number of refugees on Symi Island has been around 150 the last few days. There are many small children, and just as before nothing besides one meal a day is provided by the authorities. No drinking water, no breakfast, no lunch, no diapers, no showers, no baby formula, nothing. Technically they are under detention and not allowed to leave the premises of the police stations, even though some seem to get out …There is no NGO on Symi to step in to help. The EU, the Greek State, and the UN have failed these people the last 11 days…Thank you (to) all () for taking responsibility to do the right thing for people you don’t even know ”

Mainland Greece

2,000–3,000 people filled the streets of Exacheia on Tuesday in protest of the racist police raids that evicted 143 refugees last week. Another big protest is announced for September 14th. For a more in depth take on the situation in Exarcheia, read this piece by John Malamatinas.

A rumor was floating around that refugees are able to use Athens public transit for free. This is not the case, and volunteers are urged to use this public transit resource in spreading helpful information to those in need.

Serbia

“Recently, we spoke to an 18-year-old from Algeria, after his return from Croatia, whose neck was marked with scars left after he was choked by a Croatian police officer using his own shirt as a sort of makeshift noose. In detail, the 18-year-old described to one of our volunteers who routinely logs the reports of individuals returning from the border how after telling screaming to the officers near him that he could not breathe, he was thrown onto the ground and kicked him in the face, breaking his nose.” Photo by No Name Kitchen

Italy

“Updates on the police operation at the garrison of Piazzale Giovanni Spadolini…The budget of this operation carried out by diligent public order officials, who were accompanied by more than 30 agents in riot gear without counting the staff loves and the municipal police, is 12 detainees translated into the police station for investigations, despite most of them of them could, on the spot, prove their identity and regularity of stay and that despite this they will be forced to wait over 12 hours, without food, in the cells of the immigration offices the unnecessary feedback of the case.” Photo by Baobab Experience

Read Kesha Niya’s updated report on recent police brutality in Italy. Circumstantial details include:

“During August we got to know about 1072 people who were pushed back from France to Italy, 40 unaccompanied minors, 20 women and 10 accompanied kids. The Italian police still tries to make us go away but they still have no real reasons to do so. Lots of people we met are in Italy since just a few days. They arrived by boat from North Africa or by foot through the Balkan road…Many of the ones who arrived by Slovenia have serious feet infections due to the long distances they have to walk.”

Find about about this new resource for unaccompanied minors in Italy: “‘You have arrived in Italy’ is the multilingual information brochure for unaccompanied foreign minors arriving in Italy, drawn up as part of the project Strengthening guardianship system in Sicily and legal information at the northeast border “ created by the Italian Council for Refugees in partnership with the UN Refugee Agency — UNHCR.”

MEDU — Doctors for Human Rights needs a Doctor for their continuation of the Terragius Project. Find out more here.

France

“One more raid! At 15 pm this afternoon, five police vans, the police commissioner of the 19th arrondissement and an empty bus landed at porte d ‘ Aubervilliers. They stopped all those who couldn’t present them identity papers and put them on the bus, direction the police station then the retention center.” Photo by Utopia 56 Paris et Ile-de-France

Denmark

Even though refugees have been granted legal residence in Denmark, the country is making it systematically harder for refugees to stay, which includes becoming homeless. If permits are revoked, then people lose their jobs and sub sequentially their homes. Learn more here.

We strive to echo correct news from the ground through collaboration and fairness. Every effort has been made to credit organisations and individuals with regard to the supply of information, video, and photo material (in cases where the source wanted to be accredited). Please notify us regarding corrections.

Apart from daily news in English, we also publish weekly summaries in Arabic and Persian. Find specials in both languages on our medium site.

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Are You Syrious?

Are You Syrious?

Daily news digests from the field, mainly for volunteers and refugees on the route, but also for journalists and other parties.