AYS Daily Digest 9/4/19 600 people remain trapped in Libyan detention center as fighting continues

64 people still trapped on Sea Eye’s Alan Kurdi// distress calls from the Mediterranean // problems with rumors spreading in camps in Greece // police inspections in Bosnia // suicide in Italy // and more…

“ A drawing by a refugee currently in a Tripoli detention centre, who says it shows how delays in evacuations from Libya, & a lack of places, mean vulnerable people are being left to suffer starvation, abuse, violence, torture, a lack of medical care & death.” Photo provided by Sally Hayden

Feature: Libya

Heavy clashes are continuing in the south of Tripoli, leaving 600 people in Qasir bin Gashir detention center still in need of rescue. Men, women, and children are without food and water. Some are reporting that they have not eaten since Thursday.

In total there are 1,300 refugees in detention centers in Qasr Ben Gashir & Ain Zara all affected by the conflict.

The detention center in Qasir bin Gashir, where 600 people are trapped. Photo by Francesca Mannocchi

IOM has now suspended its activities due to the escalation of fighting.

UNHCR managed to relocate over 150 refugees from Ain Zara, in southern Tripoli, to UNHCR’s centre up north. Their safety is up in the air still considering they are still in Tripoli. Also, UNHCR left 120 people behind in Ain Zara, who are still scared for their lives.

MSF visited 3 detention centers in Tripoli on Tuesday:

“We delivered a 3-week supply of TB + other essential medication to refugee & migrant patients to ensure they are able to continue treatments amidst the ongoing conflict.”

Europe’s continued funding for the Libyan Coast Guard to curb migration, while ignoring the instability and disastrous situation for people trapped in detention centers, is failing. Protecting human rights must come first!

In the mean time, the EU officials expressed their concern about the escalated fighting conditions in Libya almost only in regards to suspected immigration increases if the fighting turns into a full blown civil war. Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar, who controls most of the oil in the country, heard appeals from EU officials to stop the fighting. On Monday, EU foreign relations chief Federica Mogherini said:

“I make a very strong appeal to all sides in Libya, and in particular to Haftar, to stop hostilities and return to the negotiating table under UN auspices.”

Yet there is serious concern that a rise in migration from Libya will result in more right wing party leadership in Europe. It seems everyone is trying to take advantage of the chaos in Libya, while the human cost, particularly for those trapped in detention, is only increasing.


Maritime rescue has moved 38 people to Melilla who arrived on Sunday. There were 31 women and 7 minors. Photo by Antonio Ruiz


Alarmphone has released a summary of the 5 distressed calls they received last week. “Four boats reached Greece while one group was returned to Turkey.” 3 people died close to Rhodes, but they do not have further information. Find out more about the 5 calls here.

Alarmphone has also released their 6 Week Report for February 4 to March 17, 2019 “The European Industry of Hot Returns by Sea.” The discuss the offensive that the Eu has conducted in the western Mediterranean. Find out more here.

A 24 year old woman was evacuated from Alan Kurdi Sea Eye this morning. Her health was at risk and people cannot continued to be detained off shore on these boats. Photo by Mediterranea Saving Humans

It’s been 6 days since Sea Eye’s Alan Kurdi boat rescued 64 people and still cannot disembark. Operations management describes the situation as food and drinking water become scarce:

“ → 64 people , including 12 women, a child and a baby are waiting for a safe haven aboard the “Alan Kurdi”
 → EU Commission is negotiating with member states on the reception of rescued persons
 → Basic human rights and basic needs are violated
 → Operational management informs Maltese authorities about scarce drinking water and food supplies
 → Rescuers report in interviews about torture, trafficking and sexual violence in Libya”

Alan Kurdi needs a port of safety!


Refugee Info is providing support on how to receive financial support from the government if you’ve declared your taxes. Find out more here.

A sad story of hope coming from No Name Kitchen team in Patras. Please find out more here how you can help them distribute food and take care of laundry, providing some form of human dignity.

“A few weeks ago, rumors began to circulate that the borders of northern Greece would be open, allowing refugees to cross into the rest of Europe. Over the weekend more than 1500 people gathered near Diavata camp in Thessaloniki, waiting for the rumors to be true in order to leave Greece.
The rumors were just rumors and all those people were trapped in an improvised camp, facing a severe police blockade and running away from tear gas. Many of the refugees who were in transit in Patras decided to join the “Caravan of hope” and they traveled to Thessaloniki or Athens to try to cross or to demonstrate and demand their right to freedom of movement.”

Refugee Support EU is reporting that people are starting to leave camps in Greece in protest.

“ Last Thursday 300 walked out of Alexandria camp and we’ve seen about 100 suddenly leave Katsikas.”
A heavy police presence and action to evict 26 unregistered new arrivals is causing people to loose any hope in a proper asylum system — so they are on the move. Photo by Refugee Support EU


A 28-year-old Gambian man named Gaye Demba, hanged himself at a reception center in Turin, claiming he had “wounds that weren’t able to heal.” The psychological trauma of the refugee experience is profound and can lead to devastating consequences. Europe must be kinder.

Hundreds of new arrivals are came to Italy in the past few days through the Balkan route. Ports have closed, but people are still finding ways. Find out more here.


State announced more police inspectors at the bus and railway stations in Sarajevo and Tuzla due to an increase number of people arriving.

“We will take biometric data from each migrant. We will not allow persons who are not registered to walk across BiH. Tonight we move into action and our people will be on the ground,” says Slobodan Ujic, Director of the Foreign Service Department.

However, it remains unclear how this will be done. Additionally, people who are assisiting to people on the move ariving to the country, are saying that there is hardly anybody who do not register upon entering the country. Registering allows people to drive in a public transportation or stay in hotels and hostels. However, Bosnian government for many months insist on claiming that they do not know identity of people who are coming, and that they are not registered. At the same time they are issuing numbers showing how many people are registered.

This approach is part of intimidation and fear mongering coming from the government, and the media controled by the political parties.

At the same time, they talk about alleged increase of the crime associated with the people on the move. An independent source — Izbjeglice u Velikoj Kladusi news blog — gives a proof of these tactict, that unfortunatly are working.

Residents of Bihać and Velika Kladuša often complain that the security of their communities has been breached due to the migrant crisis. Official crime statistics, however, show the opposite:

“The number of crimes recorded in these places during 2018 is almost identical to that of 2017 when migrants were not in the this area at all,” cites Refugees in Velika Kladusa (Izbjeglice u Velikoj Kladusi) news blog.

One person, a young boy from Libya, was found under a bus in critical condition. Apparently, in Sarajevo he sow the bus with Italian license plates and assumed he could arrive in Italy. Instead, he ended up in the far east of Bosnia, city of Srebrenica, where the group from Italian tourists were heading to. He was found in a critical condition and taken to the local hospital. Find out more here.


UNHCR’s March 2019 Serbia update:

According to the UNHCR, the Asylum Office of the Ministry of Interior, ruled on 15 asylum applications during March, granting protection to 11 and rejecting 4.

So far in 2019 only 25 people have been granted asylum in the country on the edge of the EU border, hosting thousands more people seeking refuge.


Care 4 Calais is reporting that 50% of the people they support suffer from dental pain. While a common and treatable ailment, refugees often do not have access to simple health care to help with the excruciating pain. They were visited by a group of caring dentists over the weekend, but need support in continuing to provide basic services. Find out more here.

Refugee Community Kitchen needs donations to continue providing hot meals with rice.

“Every week we use 1 pallet (1040kg) of rice at a cost of £990. Please consider making a donation or even better, sponsoring a pallet!”

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