Archive for the 'Border' Category

Dublin-Deaths between Kerkyra/Greece and Bari/Italy (15th of January 2011)

The following testimony of Amin Fedaii, a 16-year-old afghan refugee, is alarming. More than 20 refugees (mainly from Afghanistan) died while trying to flee from Greece and to reach their relatives and friends in other European countries.

The asylum system in the crisis-ridden Mediterranean country has entirely collapsed. Refugees cannot find protection neither any income and often even no accommodation. Against this background deportations to Greece according the Dublin II-regulation have been stopped in many European Countries, but the affected persons got stuck in unbearable conditions in Athens or in the harbour-cities of Patras and Igoumenitsa. While EU-citizens can travel without any problems, refugees are trapped: a regular exit is refused, although they have – particularly if they come from war-zones like Afghanistan – good chances to receive a residence permit on humanitarian grounds in many EU-countries.

Amin survived and is now living in an accomodation for minor refugees in Hessen, Germany. But he had to experience the meaningless death of 20 persons by drowning, because firstly entry and afterwards their rescue has been refused: 20 more victims of a merciless european border regime, which obviously is calculating with the death of refugees.

More than 2.000 refugees and migrants died in the Mediterranean Sea within the last 6 months, mainly when they tried to reach Malta or Italy from Libya or Tunesia. Dead bodies in the Mediterranean Sea are washed ashore daily. Besides the bodies also their faces, hopes and dreams are lost. These daily deaths, be it at the external or internal European borders, remain shocking.

The victims are warning and accusing: This Europe is not safe, human rights and refugee rights have lost all relevance! They ask the ones alive to take action against this Europe of Frontex – borders and walls. And to struggle and to invent a Europe of solidarity, overcoming the deathly migration regime as it happened in history with the dark sides of the Middle Ages.

When I tried to flee Greece

I first tried to flee Greece in January 2011. In Athens, they put us in one truck with 200 persons. Beforehand, they told us that the truck would have air conditioning. It had not and so we ran out of oxygen soon with so many people. Soon many people fell unconscious. We started knocking the boards and screaming for help, but the driver did not react. One person had decided not to enter the truck before and we had his mobile number, so we called him to come and open the door for us, because we where not far yet. He did not come quickly, so we had no other chance and we called the police. They picked us from the truck and kept us for one night in police station.

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Patras: A harsh welcome to Europe

Freedom, not Frontex

Statement of the network afrique-europe-interact, welcome to europe and network critical migration and border regime research. If you would like to sign, please send a short mail containing name/organisation and city to fsf@antira.info.

Download a pdf in the following languages: english arabic french italian spanish german

Freedom, not Frontex
There cannot be democracy without global freedom of movement

The dynamic of the Arab spring is emanating into the entire world. The movements of revolt in the Maghreb encourage and give hope, not only because despotic regimes that have been believed invincible were chased away. Although the direction of further developments remain open it is obvious that the domino effect of the Tunisian jasmine revolution swiftly brought back the old insight that history is driven from below. The struggles are directed against the day-to-day poverty as well as against general oppression, they are as much about better living conditions as they are about dignity, in short: “bread and roses”.
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Declaration of solidarity with the hunger strikers in Greece – Legalisation and equal rights now – Call for a week of action

The 25th of January is the day on which 300 migrants in Greece started a hunger strike. Their demand is a collective legalisation of all the people excluded from Greek society based on their status – be it asylum seekers, not recognised refugees, illegalised people, exploited migrant labourers. It is not the first hunger strike in Greece where human beings are forced to use such a drastic measure to fight for their rights.

Hunger strikers in Thessaloniki

Hunger strikers in Thessaloniki


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Sudanese Refugees in Patras

A short TV report on the situation of Sudanese refugees in Patras, that does for once not try to problematise migration, but focuses on the situation of the protagonists and gives a voice to them.

US embassy cables: Greece and migration

The Guardian released two embassy cables provided by the by now well-known wikileaks cablegate that report on the Greek government’s position and strategy on dealing with irregular migration. This article provides a short summary of the contents. Both reports were written shortly after the change of government in October 2009, in December and February respectively. They don’t offer any surprising insight, but sketch some policy lines.

  1. Greece tackles migration and asylum issues. 4th of December 2009
  2. Greece revamps security service and tackles immigration. 1st of February 2010

The first embassy cable, Greece tackles migration and asylum issues confirms that asylum and migration are high priority to the new government, both on a domestic as well as on a European level. From the summary:

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Protest in Istanbul [1 Update]

The Migrant Solidarity Network in Istanbul is calling for a demonstration on Saturday, the 8th of January in Istanbul, concerning the increasing militarisation of the borders around Turkey. Issues are the to be established Turkish border agency as well as the announcement by the Greek government to build a fence at the land border between Turkey and Greece.

Saturday, 8th of January 2010, 14:00, Galatasaray Square.

Update

Here is a video from the action. Our friends write:

The meeting on Saturday was attended by about 30-35 people. Interestingly enough the attendance of the press was quite impressive. The protest appeared on many mainstream media outlets, paper and virtual.

Here is the call in Turkish:
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Afghan Refugee crushed between two trucks in Patras, Greece

On Saturday afternoon, 27th of November, a 24 years old afghan refugee, father of three children, was crushed between two trucks during his effort to climb in one of them and leave for Italy. This happened in the national road Patras-Korinthos (in Greece).
According to the Group for solidarity to refugees and immigrants the 24 year old man together with other afghan refugees was trying to enter a truck while it was stopped in front of a traffic light. Behind it there was another truck and its driver tried to push away the refugees by honking and approached the truck in front of him. The afghan man did not manage to escape and was severely injured. He was transferred to the hospital of Patras where he passed away 5 hours later. The police characterized the incident as a slight accident and the driver was released instead of standing trial.
Today (29th of November) in the afternoon there will be a demonstration at the central square of Patras against this decision.
A lot of refugees try to climb and hide in trucks at the port of Patras that are leaving for ports in Italy. Some of the refugees die of suffocation inside the boat, others suffer accidents like the one stated before.
As long as the borders are closed, there will be people dying during their effort to cross them. Dublin regulation must be abolished and European borders must open.

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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