Are You Syrious?
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Are You Syrious?

AYS News Digest 30/5/22: Is drone regulation really the priority in Libya?

fire in Greek camp / prolonged blockage of the people on board SAR vessels continues being an issue / investigation for poor managing the CPR of Bari / Kurdish asylum seekers’ hunger strike in Poland enters third week / call for volunteers in Greece

Solidarity with the hunger strikers — Wolność! Freedom! Azadî! — solidarnie ze strajkiem głodowym Kurdów


The Libyan “state” is creating an authority to regulate drones when many basic necessities are unmet in a context of intermittent conflict. It seems to be about building a state from its coercive capabilities, also to comply with EU demands to persecute migrants and refugees.

The new authority will have to regulate and supervise “all operations through which unmanned aircraft systems are used in the defense sectors, security, photography, detection, surveillance and patrolling, search and rescue, aerial propaganda and other fields ”, reads article two of the decision number 452 of the Council of Ministers of the Government of National Unity, as reported by the Italian media.


With the pushbacks, Greece is now sending up to 90 percent of those seeking protection back to Turkey. Kurds and Gülenists reportedly face years of imprisonment.

Athens — Greece wants to completely seal off its border with Turkey . The existing 35 km long border fence is now to be extended by 80 km, the Greek government announced. The country wants to prevent refugees from crossing the border. Human rights organizations have been observing increased pressure on refugees who have made it across the border to Greece for weeks.

In the meantime, a new fire was reported

The link to the fire incident is available here.

We feel very sorry for all peoples who were affected by the fire in the rubhalls. Luckily no one was injured but they lost everything they had in this fire. We try to help them with whatever we are able. But really these fires are terrible, peoples are very afraid all the time and in danger to stay there with empty hands. — Moria White Helmets

A new wall to be built between Greece and Turkey

A steel fence between Turkey and Greece is reportedly to be extended from around 40 kilometers to 120 kilometers to prevent irregular migration from Turkey, the Greek migration minister Mitarakis said.

This has sparked the usual shock and disbelief at the Greek blunt way of preventing people from exercising their right to freedom of movement:

Call for solidarity and volunteers

Our friends at Wave Greece are collecting funds to keep doing what they do best —

(…)our ‘shower system’ consists of simple buckets of warm water in our toilet cubicles; as grateful as people are for the opportunity to wash and change into new clothes, this system doesn’t match the level of services we want to provide. This is where the shower container comes in. We have been struggling to find a solution to plumb in and run the container as we operate primarily out of a wasteland on the city’s outskirts. Finally, we have found a solution with a local eco-company that specialises in renewable energy sources. One generous donor has already covered the costs of purchasing and implementing the solar panels that will be used to generate energy to heat the water for the showers. With this fundraiser, we seek to cover plumbing the shower into a nearby building to dispose of the waste-water generated sustainably, and the operational costs of increased water usage for the first three months. The total cost of plumbing installation will be 1,400EUR, and as soon as we have this covered, we can move forward with the operations and have the container up and running in the space of a week. Any extra money raised will go towards increased water costs.

Please consider donating to help us set up this incredibly important service for our community — even a little makes a big difference!

They are also looking to reinforce their volunteer groups in Greece.

If you are considering volunteering there, you can sign up here.


On the 12th of May 2022 a young man drowned in the Una river in Bihac while he was washing himself. His name was A.K., he was from Afghanistan and he has been living in Bihac for two years, stuck at this border on his way to Europe.

This awful event reminds us one more time that in this context in Bihac, and in many other places, something as simple as taking a shower can end up in a tragic way. People on the move here are not being given a proper access to showers or to health in general. Moreover people on the move shared with us that this is not the first time it happens. People drowned in this river before in a general silence and indifference, ignoring what these events tell us about the living conditions of the people at the borders, local activists report.


Thousands in the midst of rubbish and neglect, the Lampedusa hotspot turns into a camp

Rubbish bags everywhere, overflowing bins next to the mattresses thrown on the floor where many migrants have to sleep, women and men crammed into the pavilions: This is life in the centre in Contrada Imbriacola. The complex is managed by the hotel giant Badia Grande, it is reported.

The president and the operators are under investigation for managing the CPR of Bari.

The last to arrive were the 110 survivors rescued by Astral, the Open Arms sailing ship. But if the Favaloro pier has become in the eyes of many the abacus on which the cyclical ‘Lampedusa emergency’ is measured, it is behind the gates of the hotspot, where there are currently more than a thousand people, that the situation is becoming serious.


46 deaths have so far been documented along the whole French-Italian border since border controls were re-established at the border with Italy in 2015

THe Border Forensics have published an investigation, which reconstructs the events that led to the death of Blessing Matthews, a 21 years old originally from Nigeria who died at the French-Italian border in 2018 while being chased by the French gendarmerie.
The new evidence the organisation presented indicates that by chasing Blessing, the gendarmes may have put her in danger, leading to her fall into the Durance and her death.


Heads up for the 2021 report

In the whole of 2021, at least 4327 tents and tarps were destroyed during the expulsions and evictions of the provisional campsites in the Grande-Synthe area, Human Rights Observers yearly report shows. On June 7 they will publish the report holding information on the situation in Calais and Grande Synthe in 2021. They warn about the constant practice of the authorities seizing private possessions and belongings of the people on the move residing in the areas.


A wave of hunger strikes across the country is a cause for alarm:

At the same time as the Kurdish asylum seekers’ hunger strike in Poland enters third week, there are some good news too. Another court — this time the Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw — has ruled that pushbacks by the Polish Border Guard are illegal and inhumane!

Regardless of whether people have crossed the border in a regulated manner or not, they should not be sent to a country where their lives and freedom are at risk (and such a country is Belarus for refugees at the moment, as every Border Guard officer in Podlasie is aware).


Roma people fleeing Ukraine are still stuck

As we previously reported, many people don’t have the same chances of leaving the war-torn country and reaching safety.

“We try to find acceptable housing places in coordination with local governments, but they don’t want a camp full of gypsies in their territory,” a crisis manager for the local humanitarian organization OPU said.

Most people affected by statelessness residing in Ukraine will not be able to prove their residence or nationality status due to the nature of statelessness. These are largely: Roma and other minoritized groups; former citizens of the USSR who were unable to demonstrate permanent residence in Ukraine in 1991 and could therefore not acquire Ukrainian nationality; people on the move (formally asylum-seekers, refugees, and migrants) and those people living in non-government controlled areas and Crimea.

Read our previous text on this issue:


  • Afghan man who came to UK as child tried to take his own life after being threatened with removal to Rwanda — Hakim Khan says he ‘just wants to be human’ as criticism of the Home Office Rwanda scheme continues:
  • “I have a clear conscience about this. External borders must be protected!”, said the Commissioner Schinas in the most recent interview he gave to the Dutch media, more here:

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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.