Are You Syrious?
Published in

Are You Syrious?

AYS Daily Digest 7/8/20: As informal networks keep others alive, the official policies oppose solidarity projects

Support networks for Lebanon /// Sexual abuse at Petrou Ralli /// An overview of the situation at Victoria square /// Spain: “Slavery has been abolished on paper, but minds are still controlled by racism” /// In total, 141 people transferred after the suspension of flights due to lockdown /// Seehofer denies Thuringian state government’s attempt of solidarity /// recommended podcast, readings & more news

The total number of injured people after the explosion in Lebanon has reached 5000, according to data released by Lebanon’s health ministry. Palestinian and Syrian refugees living in Lebanese refugee camps have offered to give away their houses to those in need.

Take time to listen to the most recent of a series of online discussions by the Latitude Adjustment Podcast. In this podcast LAP talk about the situation in Lebanon, hosts and guests from Lebanon have been discussing and sharing links for ways in which you can lend your supports. Here is the link to the live discussion:

Some of the organisations helping refugees are now also organising support to those affected by the catastrophe and the families of the victims. In the coming days we will feature some of the ways you can get involved, support, provide aid or take part in direct help. Follow the AYS Daily News Digest for more info.

One of the organisations providing support is Anera. Find out more here.

Also, there is a fundraising to repatriate females houseworkers back to Sierra Leone:

The situation of domestic workers in Lebanon is critical : the sanitary restrictions left many jobless, while others saw their incomes cut off, or suffered from an increased number of abuses. There is no specific organisation able to respond to their basic needs in Beirut. While most NGOs in Lebanon provide alimentary relief for refugees, they usually support domestic workers for legal and administrative processes. However what they need the most right now is basic relief such as shelter or food.


These women are heroes who left their country and sacrificed their lives hoping to offer a better future to their children. Instead, they were imprisoned in a modern slavery network and deprived of their passports. These are real tragedies impacting their lives, but also the ones of their children, parents, family, and their whole social circles back in Sierra Leone. The mental, social, and economic consequences run deep for the home country.

It is a short- term but necessary solution. The targeted amount (US$ 2000) has been calculated according to their cost of living.

UNHCR Update (7 August 2020)

A report with summaries and infographics in Arabic and English is available here.

The situation worsens for people stuck in Moria:

With nine new cases of COVID-19 among locals in Lesvos, it brings the total current number of infected to 14 confirmed cases on the island. Most are residents of Plomari where, according to the media reports, public spaces of the village are constantly disinfected as a precaution.

A fine of € 5000 for breaking quarantine and entering the Greek territory?

23 Turkish citizens, including 10 children, arrived at around 7.00 in the afternoon of Thursday, August 6th, by boat at the area of ​​Afani Naftis in Vrontados, Chios.
The port officials reportedly arrested them, but the Turkish citizens asked for political asylum as they are persecuted in their country, while it was found that they were families. Later in the day, they were transferred to the quarantine structure in the area of ​​Lefkonia. Tomorrow they are expected to take a coronavirus test and if it turns out that they are not carriers, they will be given the relevant documents and will move to Athens, for the examination of the request for political asylum.
Also, two people have been detained as traffickers, one was the captain of the boat and the second, who is of Afghan origin, was on the beach of Vrontados. The boat was confiscated.

Unconfirmed sources say the refugees were given a fine of € 5000 for breaking quarantine and entering the Greek territory.

Athens: Victoria square — an overview

Sexual abuse at Petrou Ralli

The pre-removal detention center of Attiki, in Tavros (Petrou Ralli), once again comes under the spotlight as a quagmire of sexual abuse for detained women.

The report says:
“On Saturday 25/7, a new prisoner in P.R. needed to go down to the infirmary section for her regular insulin injection. While a policewoman was accompanying her there, another male officer offered to take her down instead. The officer was a man called Dimitris who is well-known as a rapist in the detention center and has been named in previous accounts of assault from women detainees. Outside the infirmary, the woman was harassed by five officers. Finally, she was transferred by Dimitris to the garage, instead of the 3rd floor, with the elevator, where he attempted to rape her.” Read more here, and denounce the violence — everywhere.

Action for Women invite you to support the pomegranate project

Action for Women

“From the corrosive effects of Covid19, civil unrest and racial violence in the US, rampant homelessness in Athens and now the tragedy that unfurled in Lebanon, the underlying themes of oppression, inequality and uncertainty can overwhelm many of us, creating a sense of helplessness.

If there is anything we’ve learned from our sisters who have fled violence, conflict and persecution here in Greece, is that the human spirit is resilient. After an initial successful pilot phase since May 18th post lockdown, we are proud to present the Pomegranate Project, shaped by our sisters’ voices.

The pomegranate is the Greek and Persian symbol of regeneration, strength and new life. Its seeds symbolise the lives each woman is striving to rebuild which we collectively work to protect and empower each other.

The Pomegranate Project is the first of its kind in Greece. It is run entirely by women, for women, offering a holistic programme to protect and empower women displaced by conflict and violence. Women’s voices and experiences are always at the forefront of the Project. We have been running activities and language/basic IT literacy classes under strict health measures here in Athens, providing women from multiple nationalities with the safe space to learn, develop skills while receiving psychosocial support.”

Find out more here:…/secure-safe-housing-for-displaced-wom…

This comprehensive approach is the much needed response that requires significant financial support from civil society. With your support, our sisters can access a holistic protection and empowerment programme to recover, heal and integrate into their new home.

After having passed through the Balkan Route, people who manage to arrive in Italy, reach Trieste in very bad health condition, local groups keep reporting. “Symbol of cruelty of rejections,
The story of this boy tortured by Croatian police in September 2019, miraculously arrived at TS in February 2020, has no end.” — Photo report by Lorena Fornasir

Second ship for accommodation for new arrivals to be stationed in Calabria

Once the first ship, stationed at Lampedusa, has been filled to its maximum capacity, the second ship, stationed in front of the coasts of Calabria, will be available to be used for the overspill. However, it will mainly be used to host those who arrive on the Ionian coasts and, in case of need, also those who arrive in Sicily. More here.

Long-awaited transfer from Rome to Germany

58people, asylum seekers who had landed in Italy on October 16 and 30 last year onboard the Ocean Viking, have finally left Rome for Germany. None of them tested positive for COVID-19 prior to departure.
As News from the Med reported, this increases the number of asylum seekers transferred after the suspension of flights due to lockdown to 141.

The transfer was organized by the Department of Civil Liberties and Immigration of the Interior Ministry — led by Michele di Bari — as part of the European voluntary redistribution process.


“Four singers and one musician deliver their story in texts and songs, each and then together to tell exile and their quest for freedom. Uighur, Iranian, Sahrawi, Congolese, Venezuelan, they have left their country and fight a double fight: that of the emancipation of their people and gender. Far from the banned, they can sing their right to exist.” — performances at L’atelier des artistes en exil on August 8, 9 and 10 at 6pm

Alarm Phone Report, silence from the mainstream media

22 days homeless with no solution in sight

After three of the settlements that housed almost 400 people burned down in the recent fires in Huelva, most of the survivors have lost everything: money, photos, documentation and even dogs that they had taken in. This Wednesday they once again stood with dignity in a demonstration that began at 10 in the morning and lasted for three hours whereby they have called for a solution for all the people affected by these fires, most of whom originally come from Mali and Senegal. In their statements to the media, the affected ones said that they do not want a free home, but to “pay for a home with a decent solution that can be sustained with work.”

The government knows under what conditions we work, businessmen know that they do not comply with the law, people know how we live

It is the daily, omnipresent, structural racism that crashes against the people, what bothers most the people working as agricultural workers in Lleida, who have for a while now been raising their voices about the abuse at work and working conditions that are below any legal and standard minimum.



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

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
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.