Monthly Archive for October, 2010

On the details of the upcoming RABIT mission [2 Updates]

We are monitoring the situation around the upcoming RABIT deployment to Greece. As it seems, Greece has requested 160 175 officers to be sent to Greece.

  • Denmark will contribute five to six officers, which will be able to travel within the next four days.
  • Sweden will contribute a handful of officers.
  • France has announced to mobilise the entire French RABIT pool.
  • Update 2, 4.11.2010:
  • Germany has announced to provide up to 40 officers, plus 7 patrol cars and 4 thermo vision vans (source: Sueddeutsche Zeitung, 4.11.2010)
  • The Netherlands will send 14 officers of the Royal Military Police (RMP) and 2 officers of the Rotterdam Seaport Police. These 16 will be in action until December 1 and will then be replaced by other Dutch units.

Update 30.10.2010: Frontex released a third press statement. They will deploy 175 border guards and a additional technical equipment:

In total, 175 border-control specialists have been made available by the 26 Member States and Schengen-Associated Countries participating in the first ever RABIT deployment. Joint Operation (JO) RABIT 2010 will also see an unprecedented quantity of technical equipment and other logistical and administrative support. All the costs incurred by Member States in relation to the deployment will be reimbursed by Frontex.

The specialisations of guest officers deployed will include experts in false documents, clandestine entry, first and second-line border checks and stolen vehicles as well as dog handlers and specialist interviewers, debriefers and interpreters. All RABIT officers receive mandatory human rights awareness training as part of their RABIT training by Frontex and in addition, special briefings will be held on the spot as a provision of JO RABIT 2010.

The deployment is scheduled to commence on 2 November 2010, with an anticipated duration of up to two months.

  • 1 Helicopter (Romania)
  • 1 Bus (Romania)
  • 5 Minibuses (1 Romania, 2 Austria, 1 Bulgaria, 1 Hungary)
  • 19 Patrol cars (4WD) (7 Romania, 3 Austria, 2 Slovakia, 7 Germany)
  • 9 Thermo Vision Vans (2 Austria, 2 Bulgaria, 4 Germany, 1 Hungary)
  • 3 Schengen buses (1 Austria, 2 Hungary)
  • 3 office units from Denmark

Developing story, we will update this post.

Frontex acknowledges Greek RABIT request

Frontex has granted the request of the Greek government for the deployment of the Rapid Border Intervention Teams in the Evros border.

From their press release (25th of October 2010):

Continue reading ‘Frontex acknowledges Greek RABIT request’

Frontex Rapid Border Intervention Teams to patrol the Evros border

The deployment of European border guard forces at the Greek-Turkish border increases the danger of readmitting refugees to Turkey and from there to their country of origin, where they are put at risk of facing human rights violations. The European Union should meet its obligations and ensure refugees’ protection and well-being.

Greece requested the European Union to send armed so called Frontex Rapid Border Intervention Teams (RABITs) to the Greek-Turkish border. This became public on Monday the 25th of October 2010.
Greek government statistics state that irregular migration has been increasing in the Evros-Region where the land broder to Turkey stretches over 12 km. According to the Greek Minister of Citizens’ Protection Christos Papoutsis only during the first October weekend of this year 1,400 refugees have been intercepted in that region.

Continue reading ‘Frontex Rapid Border Intervention Teams to patrol the Evros border’

Update on the Jungle of Athens

This update dates back to 14th of October 2010.

It is around 9.30 in the morning, outside the basketball court newcomers are lying on the benches; one more family with three children, two of them small babies. They just arrived this morning, they look for a place to stay… for a room…

We were walking around the whole night, we couldn’t sleep because of the rain… some of the babies with their mothers went to sleep near the church of Ag. Panteleimonas, says a young Afghan men who was deported from Slovakia. Having no other shelter they risk to be attacked in one of the most “highly protected” areas of Athens. It is the emblem of the victorious “cleaning ups and evacuations” that racist committees of residents together with fascist groups have started against the refugees; a square constantly patrolled by different groups of residents.
Continue reading ‘Update on the Jungle of Athens’

Hungary imprisons minors after Dublin II deportation

Interview with F. (17) in Zalaergerszeg detention prison

The following interview was taken under difficult circumstances, on the phone of the prison. We had never seen each other before – it was a friend of a friend who brought us in contact. F. was not in a good mood – but he said that he wants to give testimony what happens in Hungary to the deported. He hopes that maybe, if the authorities knew what happens, they might stop the Dublin-system. He says: For me it’s to late now, but maybe all the others, they should not experience the same!

Zalaergerszeg, 13th Oktober 2010 –

There are two conclusions:

  1. In Hungary the current policy is to detain refugees in general and for longer periods of time. Even if they apply for asylum they will be often detained until the first decision. And also all those, who get deported from other European countries, get imprisoned for often until the limit of six months. Hungary built 11 new detention facilities in the last months.
  2. In Zalaergerszeg there are obviously at least three minors imprisoned for a longer time, who have been deported to Hungary according to DublinII. We fear that these are not single cases and that in the other detention facilities you might also find minors.

 

Continue reading ‘Hungary imprisons minors after Dublin II deportation’

UN demands to stop Dublin II-deportations to Greece

The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak says all Dublin II associated countries need to stop all transfers of asylum seekers back to Greece under the Dublin II-regulation. He calls on the European Union to fundamentally rethink its asylum and migration policy.

Pogrom-like attacks against migrants in Attica square, Athens

During the night of October 16th, Attikis square in Athens became the setting for yet more pogrom-like attacks against migrants in the area. A group of fascists and so-called “enraged citizens” attacked a local Bangladeshi-owned mini-market. The people there, in their attempt to escape, ran toward the local mosque, only 30 meters away. They were under siege in the mosque for 1,5 hour. In the clashes, two Bangladeshi migrants were injured.

Attica square was where a hugely successful anarchist migrant solidarity demo took place only days ago. Yesterday’s sad events, however, show clearly that only our permanent, systematic presence in the area can act as a response to the poison of fascism.

See also:
Fascist anti-migrant pogroms continue at Attica square in Athens
Solidarity demonstration in Attiki Square (Athens)

Athens: riot police violently attack migrants after demonstration

Jungle of Athens: A small-talk in the rain under umbrellas and trees

It is late in the evening and the small community of homeless Afghans has moved close together to be at least a little bit protected from the rainfalls and the cold of the night. The cardboards used as sofas on the ground are wet. The few umbrellas protect the small children and the women. “It doesn’t matter to me, it matters to the small children. My pullover will become wet, then it will dry. But the babys, the become sick.” A few of the families found some temporary housing solutions, still they come and visit their friends outside in the park. Everybody is just thinking of leaving Greece. But how?

Continue reading ‘Jungle of Athens: A small-talk in the rain under umbrellas and trees’

The Battle For Attica Square

A report on the refugees’ situation in Greece from an external source, and embedding doesn’t work either. You can find the video at youtube.

Dublin II returnees victims of police violence in Greece

One of the victims of the police beatings yesterday after the antifascist demonstration (of the 8th October) is H.

Continue reading ‘Dublin II returnees victims of police violence in Greece’

About w2eu

This is the blog of the antiracist network Welcome to Europe. It was formerly known as lesvos09.antira.info.

 

The name Welcome to Europe expresses the discontent and anger we feel when looking at the fatal realities of the European external border: the long documented deaths and suffering have continued for years, and no end is in sight. We stand for a grassroots movement that embraces migration and wants to create a Europe of hospitality.

 

We maintain our focus on the European external border in Greece, but will not limit ourselves to that geographical area. The right of freely roaming the globe has to be fought for everywhere. Join us!

 

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Voices from the Inside of Pagani (2009)

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