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AYS News Digest 07/09/2022 Germany Deportation to Pakistan

France: Back to school, but not for everyone // UK Protest against Rwanda flight // Children have died at sea due to inaction by Malta // Frontex in Africa


Germany Deportation Flight to Pakistan

Pakistan is currently experiencing ‘a climate disaster of epic proportions’, yet a charter flight still flew from Munich to Islamabad on 7th September. More than 1,000 people are reported to have died and 33 million remain homeless since flooding began in late July with the monsoon rains. UNHCR state that Pakistan is a ‘safe country’ to deport people to. Even before the natural disaster, this statement was not applicable to everyone from Pakistan, certain minorities groups face persecution and there have been court cases attempting to prevent the removal of Ahmadi Muslims who will “most certainly face grave and life-threatening danger.”

500 people were expelled from Germany to Pakistan last year, the fourth ranked country from Germany. Groups are calling for the current flooding needs to be taken into consideration when assessing if it is safe to return.


Journalists and activists are facing increasing pressure from authorities when reporting on migration issues. Following the recent news of threats against Greek journalist Giorgos Christides (as reported here), others are experiencing similar intimidations. UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders Mary Lawlor states that actions will be taken against Greek government ministers regarding this.

Residents of Eleonas have penned a letter outlining and condemning the behaviour of authorities in relation to closing of the camp. The letter was co-signed by almost 20 organisations, and details how residents have been threatened with having their asylum claims ‘blocked or removed’ — an act that is entirely illegal. Read the full letter here.


Back to school: but not for everyone

Whilst much of Eurpope’s children are starting a new school year this week, more than 100,000 children are excluded from the French school system. Unaccompanied minors, as well those from the Roma community or people living in irregular housing are missing out on their educational opportunity. Ecole pour tous collective have been campaigning for inclusion with demonstrations at the Paris City Hall. Their aims are to highlight the impact of evicting people from places like squats or empty land forcing children to leave their school.

200 undocumented people in Vincennes detention centre face ‘deplorable’ conditions. Publication StreetPress has conducted an investigation which involved meeting those detained and sharing their stories. This follows previously reported acts of violence against detainees which have gone unanswered.

This comes as a report into other French detention centres is published. The annual report for 2021 is the work of five associations. The year began with many pandemic restrictions in place yet:

“throughout France, the prefectures locked up men, women and children, to the detriment of their health, in particular mental.” La Cimade

The emphasis of the report is that people are shuttled between criminal detention and immigration detention, often without explanation. It also highlighted the detention and, in some cases, expulsion of people who had a legal right to be in France.


Protest against Rwanda flight

As the court case against the policy to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda continues, a protest is being organised at Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre. A bus is being organised from central London for those wishing to join. Full details here.


Children have died at sea

The sad news of a four year old who died at sea has been published. Activist group Civil Fleet reported on the news and gave a full account of what happened. After days at sea, the child was finally flown by Navy helicopter to hospital in Greece after the intervention of a cargo ship. Despite the efforts of medical professionals, she died on the way.

The illegal non-action of the Maltese authorities when rescue is needed within the Maltese Search and Rescue zone has been previously reported by AYS and is the subject of several articles in big media outlets. Al Jazeera also report on the sad loss of life due to inaction of authorities, whilst this article in the Maltese Times argues that the response of Maltese authorities is racist and that a boat of European people in danger would be helped.

Meanwhile, a joint operation between SOS Humanity and Resqship resulted in the successful rescue of 111 people. The boat was in distress in Libyan waters and included Libyan and Syrian nationals as well as one toddler and a baby.


Frontex in Africa

The EU policing authoritiy Frontex has made a rare reply to a request for data. The letter, which responds to questions posed by members of the Left Party, gives detailed answers to questions about the purpose of Frontex officers in different African nations. You can read the full letter here.


Tuesday 6th September was CommemorAction Day. Those who have lost their lives at the external borders of the European Union on the Balkan route were highlighted by organisation Blindspots.

Whilst a minute’s silence was held at the Tunisian border where an ‘unforgotten cemetery’ lies at the border fence.


The plight of Rohingya in Malaysia: Once one of the countries most supportive of the Rohingya, Malaysia has become increasingly hostile to the persecuted group, leaving many fearful of arrest and struggling to work or attend schools.

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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.