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Geflohen, inhaftiert, abgeschoben – Was das EU-Türkei-Abkommen für Geflüchtete auf Lesbos bedeutet (German Media – Alsharq)

Für tausende Geflüchtete wird die griechische Insel Lesbos über Monate zum Freiluftgefängnis. Hier warten sie darauf, dass ihr Asylantrag bearbeitet wird – oder gleich auf ihre Abschiebung. Die Entscheidungen der Behörden wirken meist willkürlich, die Bedingungen sind extrem. Ein paar von ihnen sind nun in Hungerstreik getreten, berichtet Valeria Hänsel. Seit 15 Tagen hat der Menschenrechtsaktivist Arash Hampay nichts mehr gegessen. Aus Protest. In der Stadt Mytilene auf der griechischen Insel Lesbos sitzt er auf dem zentralen Sapfous-Platz, inmitten kleiner Läden und Cafés voller Touristen. Neben ihm steht ein Schild mit der Aufschrift: „Flüchtlinge sind keine Verbrecher.“ Arash Hampay hatte in Iran eine Menschenrechtsorganisation gegründet, die sich für Kinder, Frauen und Flüchtlinge einsetzte – bis er selbst zum Flüchtling wurde. Aufgrund seiner Arbeit wurde er mehrfach festgenommen und schwer gefoltert, ihm wurden die Achillessehnen durchtrennt und die Zähne ausgeschlagen. Während Arash [...]

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Free Us Or Be Responsible For Our Deaths (EU Media – Bordermonitoring)

The barbed wired camp Moria on Lesvos has been declared a migratory hotspot by the European Union. Since the EU-Turkey Statement came into force on March 20, 2016, refugees arriving on the Greek islands are prevented from moving on to the mainland. Under most precarious conditions, they are kept in tents or containers inside Moria. Some of them have been there for more than a year. Although it looks like a high-security prison, most people are allowed to leave the camp during daytime. But some refugees are also detained day and night in Moria’s prison “Section B”. Arash’s brother Amir is one of the detainees in Moria’s pre-removal prisons.   Eight months ago, the two brothers arrived on Lesvos Island. They came to seek asylum after they were repeatedly arrested and threatened by the Iranian police for their work in a [...]

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Els refugiats de Turquia: malviure en la pobresa o abocar-se al mar (Catalan Media – Elsetembre)

Mohammed es passa el dia recorrent els contenidors d’escombraries d’Esmirna, la gran ciutat turca de les costes de l’Egeu. Té poc més de 20 anys, però les seves perspectives de futur no són gaire engrescadores. D’origen sirià, va fugir de les bombes que queien sobre Alep per refugiar-se a Turquia quan va complir la majoria d’edat. Des d’aleshores, la seva vida quotidiana és una pugna constant per tirar endavant. Amb un carretó de rodetes fràgil que arrossega amunt i avall, el jove porta uns guants gruixuts i regira entre deixalles per trobar qualsevol material que sigui reciclable. Recull tot tipus de plàstics, cartrons i metalls que després vendrà a preu de saldo. Tanmateix, com la majoria de refugiats residents a Turquia, Mohammed no treu prou diners per sobreviure de manera digna. Des de l’esclat del conflicte armat de Síria, Turquia [...]

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Las condiciones de los centros de deportación de refugiados en Turquía son peores que en la cárcel (Spanish Media – Eldiario)

Esmirna, con una población de más de tres millones de habitantes, es uno de los puntos de Turquía en los que se acumulan más solicitantes de protección internacional. Según las estadísticas gubernamentales, residen allí más de 110.000 refugiados que sobreviven en condiciones muy precarias. La ciudad también alberga dos centros de deportación en los que, según defensores turcos de derechos humanos, se encierra a personas en situación irregular y a refugiados que son expulsados de las islas griegas a Turquía tras el acuerdo bilateral con la Unión Europea de marzo del año pasado. “Los espacios de internamiento están en condiciones inhumanas, peor que las prisiones”, alerta en una conversación con eldiario.es el abogado Deman Güler, copresidente de la Plataforma de Juristas por la Democracia, una asociación que lucha por la defensa de los derechos humanos en Turquía. “Mucha gente permanece encarcelada allí [...]

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Greeks Think Country Has More Refugees Than Cited, But Welcome Them (Greek Media – The National Herald)

Most Greeks think there are more than 200,000 refugees and migrants stuck in the country, far from the official estimates of 64,000 given by the government and human rights agencies. That was the finding of a poll taken by AboutPeople on behalf of VouliWatch, an independent Parliamentary watchdog, which said 60 percent of Greeks have vastly overestimated the numbers, and that half of those think the real figure is more than 200,000. The figures were released on the occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, commemorated annually on March 21 but the survey also showed that most Greeks were welcoming to the newcomers who have been abandoned by the European Union, which shut its doors to them. The refugees and migrants, including nearly 14,000 on Aegean islands, are in limbo with the suspension of an European Union swap deal [...]

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Most Greeks overestimate refugee numbers, survey finds (Greek Media – Ekathimerini)

Most Greeks grossly overestimate the number of refugees stranded in the country, according to a new study which, however, found that the majority view the integration of newcomers in a positive light. According to the poll carried out by AboutPeople on behalf of VouliWatch, an independent parliamentary watchdog, six in 10 Greeks think that there are currently more than 100,000 refugees in Greece. Half believe the number is larger than 200,000, according to the same figures. Official data show that fewer than 62,000 are in Greece. The figures were released on the occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, commemorated annually on March 21. According to the survey, 72.8 percent said refugee children should be granted access to Greek schools, while 60.1 percent said young refugees should join Greek pupils’ classes. Meanwhile, 55.7 percent of respondents said refugees who are trapped [...]

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Europe Has Killed My Hope – London Review of Books (UK Media)

Alongside a Frontex vessel flying the Union Jack, a group of Afghan men sat dangling makeshift fishing rods into the harbour at Mytilene. It’s over a year since EU and Turkish leaders signed an agreement to ‘end’ irregular migration across the Aegean. Brokered shortly after a cascade of border closures along the overland Balkan route, the deal says that migrants who cross to Greece after 19 March 2016, if their asylum applications are considered inadmissible, will be returned to Turkey. In exchange for gatekeeping at its end, Ankara would receive €6 billion, visa-free travel for Turkish nationals and a promise to fast-track EU membership talks. By the end of 2016, only 1183 ‘irregular’ migrants had been returned to Turkey, but arrivals in Greece by sea have dwindled: around 2800 so far this year, a fraction of the 150,000 who made [...]

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