AYS News Digest 13/5/22: Frontex and Switzerland — After many reports and denouncing, it’s the whistleblowers who raise the concern with people
Germany: 1in 3 negative asylum decisions handed down by BAMF end up being revised after initial court appeals / Hunger strike in Lesznowola / embarrassing data breach in the Greek migration report / calls for volunteers in France / how to support anti Rwanda deal efforts in the UK / + our team prepared some very interesting and highly useful articles, analysis, reports and personal stories — don’t miss it
Photo source: Frontex
Fearing that the country may end up being an accomplice in unlawful actions, a Swiss border guard who served in around 10 Frontex operations has said he will vote “no” in the upcoming referendum on whether or not to increase the Swiss funding of Frontex.
“Frontex has been allowed to operate along Europe’s borders without any oversight, and why the chances are low that anything will change despite their leader resigning to avoid the music.” Hear the latest @refocusmedialabs podcast
“Frontex does not work as it should”
He reportedly witnessed a number of irregularities on his deployments with Frontex, including violence against people on the move, seeking to leave Greece for other EU member states, and a colleague telling him he had accepted a bribe from a people smuggler.
Citing a lack of oversight missions, arbitrary following of rules and human rights standards, and individual cases of collaboration with smugglers, along with the widely known deprivation of freedom and human rights in the case of asylum seekers, the man in question decided to leave the Agency.
Will the Swiss people follow his lead? — We will find out after the national referendum this Snday, May 15.
Pushbacks (even) of the political asylum seekers
Many Kurdish asylum seekers are now being sent back to Turkey forcibly during pushbacks before even being given a chance to apply for asylum on Greek soil. Among them is the Kurdish writer Meral Simsek who claims she was sent back to Turkey only to face imprisonment after having crossed the Evros river.
“The vehicle smelled of blood and urine, indicating that other people had been abused in there,”
-she told AFP, adding that she was then forced to get onto a dinghy which was piloted by two migrant men who “intended to drown” her, InfoMigrants retells the account.
“Severe rule of law issues, poor methodology and sheer incompetence”
In an embarrassing data breach, the authorities had to hid the recently published “investigation report of the Migration-Nationality Subsector of the Sector of Local Authorities (A’ & B’ Grade), Decentralized Administration and Migration-Nationality of the Inspections and Audits Unit of the National Transparency Authority” as it failed to properly hide the names and personal details of those who were interviewed during the investigation.
“The disclosure of personal data and failed effort at redaction has left us with concerns over the conduct of the investigation,” said Lighthouse Reports Director Klaas van Dijken, whose phone number was included at the bottom of supposedly confidential correspondence, as one of the many breaches of privacy.
The EAD survey was conducted in March 2022 on the occasion of the publications of Spiegel and Lighthouse Reports on the relaunches taking place in Greece and Croatia.
Those investigating the report also note that it is interesting that the so-called independent authority asked the Directorate of Criminological Investigations of the Hellenic Police to the analysis of the audiovisual material provided by the journalists who published the research.
Speaking of preserving the identity, privacy and rights of those we claim to be protecting, the ABR posed a question regarding the UNCHR’s MO when it comes to the relation to the authorities and people who are counting on their support and protection:
UNHCR has consistently and strongly criticised the Greek government and its uniformed officers for their barbaric, illegal, pushbacks against people who arrive in Greece.
So why does UNHCR Greece hand the same authorities details about the locations of those men, women and children?
Suspended Lives-Letters to the world from Ritsona” — In the bookstores of France-Paris
Continuing with the practice of focusing solely on securitisation and violent protection of borders, the very basics for human living are being neglected.
As some people pointed out, there is no water, but the Samos camp has barbed wire, cameras, and surveillance…
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
“Now even the Bosnian police has become a problem for the guys on the Balkan route, who no longer have peace. Some of them managed to stay in Velika Kladusa hiding in abandoned houses, but early yesterday morning while they were sleeping, they received an unexpected visit from the police who took them and put them on the bus to Lipa. And once this is done, everything else is set on fire. Food, blankets, curtains, fur bags, everything. The stoves that the boys use to cook were also destroyed. But the thing is, they don’t give up. Nah guys never do this. Many have escaped from Lipa and arrived in Kladusa to go to the game. But there’s nothing left for them. And they need to eat, to be able to live a few days and get back to the game. Or they just need to fill as much food as they can that loyal friend called backpack. To be able to have something to eat in 15–20 days of walking,” B. Bertochi reported.
E poi succede che non bastava aver… — Barbara Bertocchi
E poi succede che non bastava aver chiuso il Miral camp, non bastava averli deportati a Lipa in #culandia, non…
SAR in the sea
Alarm Phone reported about a group of 24 people in distress in the Maltese search and rescue zone. They have already been at sea for 4 days and meanwhile have neither drinking water nor food. In fact, Maltese authorities are responsible for rescuing people from distress at sea in their search and rescue zone, but time and time again Malta disregards this responsibility.
In Italy, another landing was reported in Lampedusa, leading up to almost 1000 people arriving in 4 days.
Salvamento Marítimo saved 15 people at sea in the early morning hours of Friday, May 13 off the coast in Spain. One person in the group, however, was found dead during that mission. The group were found were sailing in a dinghy about 141 kilometers south of Gran Canary when they were sighted, according to the reports.
Volunteers report from the Ceuta Circle of Silence
NNK volunteers in Ceuta write:
In Ceuta, the Circle of Silence has been going on since 2015. For 7 years, people have not stopped gathering every second Wednesday of the month, at 19:30, in Plaza de la Constitucion, to fight against the constant violations of migrants’ rights.
As the name suggests, during the action the participants form a circle and remain silent for the agreed time. At the beginning of each circle, a presentation is made and a communiqué is read out denouncing current situations.
Unfortunately, in Ceuta, there are many violations to denounce every month: the violence of the border, of the institutions, the precariousness of the life of migrants, the constant uncertainty, the violations of the rights of minors, the discrimination, the institutional and non-institutional racism, etc.
As the water tanks are being pierced, distributions prohibited and provisional camps dismantled, more hardships for people on the move are being documented by groups on site:
Solidarité migrants Wilson is looking for people willing to engage in helping:
Drawing attention to the pushbacks and ill-treatment of migrants attempting to cross into Poland from Belarus, the increased use of immigration detention in Poland, including the routine detention of accompanied and unaccompanied children, and discriminatory treatment of non-Ukrainian refugees fleeing to Poland, including their detention, the Joint Submission to the Universal Periodic Review is available here.
Grupa Granica reports of another hungerstrike (the second one as far as I know) by detainees in one of the closed ‘Center for foreigners’ in Lesznowola.
Successful appeals, 1 in 3 cases
One in three negative asylum decisions handed down by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) end up being revised after initial court appeals, resulting in considerable costs for the BAMF, InfoMigrants reports. Refugees from Afghanistan in particular tend to be successful with their appeals in court, since the country was taken over by the Islamist Taliban group last August. Read more
Danish authorities are to permanently revoke the residency and deport a Syrian refugee wanted by the Assad regime. Muhammad Maher has resided in Denmark for seven years after arriving in the country in 2015:
Rwanda — how you can help
The reprehensible Rwanda plan is already terrifying refugees.
The UK’s plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda raise four red flags
Like many others, I was surprised and upset to hear about the UK’s new deal to offload its responsibility to tens of…
It will abuse their rights, cost taxpayers millions and break international law. We’re fighting it, and here’s how you can help, Care4Calais calls for support for their actions:
1. Donate to the crowdfunder for our legal challenge. We are raising funds to cover costs, and to protect us from Home Office costs if we don’t win: bit.ly/c4c-rwanda
2. Share these refugee information leaflets as widely as possible: bit.ly/Rwnd1and bit.ly/Rwnd1a
Please share with:
· Any refugees you know
· Anyone who works with refugees
· Any orgs who work with refugees
3. Sign up for further updates on how you can #StopRwanda bit.ly/C4Cjoin
More actions out there:
A Syrian interpreter who has worked for the British government and the White Helmets has tried to kill himself after waiting nearly two years for a decision on his asylum claim. More in a story by the Guardian.
Find out why the EU’s AI Act needs to be amended to prevent harmful uses of technology for asylum, immigration and border control purposes — next Monday:
A Window of Opportunity for EU Migration Policy
The supportive attitude of EU member states towards the millions of incoming refugees from Ukraine has created a…
- For the Yale Law School event, “EU’s Citizenship Apartheid,” Ian Urbina discusses The Outlaw Ocean Project’s reporting on the invisible wall that keeps migrants out of Europe.
- ELENA Weekly update:
ELENA Weekly Legal Update — 13 May 2022
On 6 April 2022, the ECtHR communicated a case lodged against Turkey. This case involved an Iranian woman who fled Iran…
- Feasibility study on the setting up of a robust and independent human rights monitoring mechanism at the external borders of the European Union
Feasibility Study: Independent human rights monitoring mechanism at the external borders of the EU
Publication in english · Stellungnahmen & Gutachten Feasibility Study on the setting up of a robust and…
- The response to the war in Ukraine stands in sharp contrast to the reaction to other high-profile mass movements, such as those sparked by the war in Syria and the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan last summer after Western forces pulled out. While thousands of refugees from those conflicts were welcomed, the Temporary Protection Directive was not activated, and the broader effort was geared toward preventing asylum seekers from arriving.
The EU’s real refugee policy: Division and delay
When it comes to refugees, the European Union’s treatment of those fleeing the war in Ukraine is the exception — to a…
- While EU policymakers are busy amending the text, one important question springs to mind: whose rights are we talking about?