Posted by clandestina on 31 December 2009
source: athens indymedia
In the last two days in Athens downtown, particularly around the area of Ermou (High) Street, the police have launched a manhunt against immigrants street-vendors, which has resulted in numerous injuries and an unknown number of arrests.
It is indicative that during a visit of comrades at a public hospital to support a wounded immigrant who had been arrested some hours ago, two more immigrants, wounded on their chests, heads and legs by the cops came at the same hospital.
The immigrant is kept under detention and will be led tomorrowat the Athens Courts at Evelpidon street, accused of resistance, disobedience and property damage . Note that although he displayed his documents during the arrest, these “disappeared” after the arrest and he is now in risk of deportation.
Also, on 30 Decembe at noon one more immigrant street-vendor was led to court with the usual charges cops accuse people of after beating them (resistance to authority, disobedience, etc.); he has been released after a regular trial date was set.
Solidarity tomorrow at 10.00 at the Evelpidon courts is important.
There have also been reports of municipal police hunting street vendors who tide their large bikes furiously on the pavement and amidst people walking, posing serious safety threats.
Posted in Calls to Action, Campaigns, Appeals & Petitions, Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Short Reports | Tagged: Athens, Ermou Street, immigrant abuse, municipal police, police, street vendors | 3 Comments »
Posted by clandestina on 30 December 2009
The fasco-thugs in Chania, Crete made one more hideus, cowardice assault (for the previous ones see this and this). In the small hours of Dec 27 inside a bar in the city’s Venetian Port area (an area with many bars) they beat with baseball bats and knuckle dusters two Palestinians and one Moroccan guy, as well as a German woman who was in their company. They only person in that company they did not beat was a Greek woman. The “hit squad” of the thugs entered the bar prepared and with the sole purpose of attempting the murderous assault they did attempt, without having been provoked in no way whatsoever.
The male immigrants suffered injuries at their head and face, but were not in immediate need of hospitalisation after receiving first aid treatment. The German woman is at hospital, with very severe injuries at her head and with face virtually deformed.
source: Forum of Migrants in Crete’s blog.
Posted in Calls to Action, Campaigns, Appeals & Petitions, Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases, Short Reports, Undeclared War news | Tagged: Chania, Crete, far right, fascist attacks, immigrant abuse, para-state | Leave a Comment »
Posted by clandestina on 26 December 2009
Text below by BRISTOL NO BORDERS
“A report published by Migreurop (a Euro-African network of 40 organisations from 13 countries working on issues of immigration policy, externalisation and their consequences within and beyond the EU’s borders) in October 2009 paints a vivid picture of the effects of the EU’s migration policies by focussing on three regions in which a number of common denominators are identified in spite of the significant difference between them (the Calais region and the north of France, the Greek-Turkish border and the Oujda region in eastern Morocco). These are added to by a case study on events on the Italian island of Lampedusa, where practices have been adopted for the sake of expediency that confirm the suspicion that legal guarantees and human rights conceived as minimum standards for the treatment of all human beings are becoming a luxury that is not meant for migrants who have been criminalised and de-humanised as “illegals”.”\
The themes that run through all the sections from specific areas are those of controls and attempts to stop migrants, their detention in awful conditions that often entails abuses by guards, and a de-humanisation that goes so far as to result in deaths and in the use of legal and illegal dissuasive practices, among which the Dublin II regulation and illegal repatriations are identified as being particularly harmful. Instances of resistance against policies enacted by government by migrants themselves and local populations that express solidarity for them are also examined. A special emphasis is placed on how some French policies are officially justified as seeking to prevent “a draught” that would encourage others to migrate towards Europe, that the authors interpret as people being made to endure dreadful situations not for their own sake, but for the message to reach their home countries and particularly those who might be tempted to follow them in the future.
Surprising parallels are drawn, such as those between the “tranquillos” in northern Morocco and the so-called “jungles” in France, which are both make-shift shelters self-managed by those attempting to escape the attention of the police, immigration authorities, in short, to become invisible while they try to plan the next stage in their journey after hitting a dead end. In Morocco, they face the choice between trying to cross a heavily guarded stretch of the sea in which thousands have died en route to Spain, trying to climb the six-metre-high fencing erected around the Spanish north African enclave cities of Ceuta and Melilla, or to reach them by swimming around the border, again, risking death. In France, they have the Channel blocking their way into the UK, the Dublin II regulation stopping refugees among them from claiming asylum in case they are sent back to the countries they first entered the EU from (most often Greece, where the level of successful applications is well below 1%), resulting in a likelihood of them never being able to obtain asylum regardless of whether they fulfil the requirements for it.
Everywhere, the police are on their tracks, and capture involves the risk of detention, sometimes entailing violence as well as terrible living conditions, and expulsion, except for those who come from countries to where some European states will not expel them (unlike the UK, France does not usually repatriate Afghans), although this is not an issue if they are captured in Morocco or in Greece, where night-time returns to Turkey in perilous conditions across the river Evros are commonplace. The Italian practice of directly returning intercepted boats to Libya without identifying the people on board or their nationalities since May 2009 is a classic example of how the wish for expediency is trampling even the limited guarantees provided by increasingly harsh national immigration laws- expulsion without a judicial authority issuing a formal order; the presence of likely refugees disregarded; returns to presumed transit countries where they are likely to experience further abuses.
There are many excerpts of first-hand accounts from migrants’ experiences, ranging from a complete lack of understanding of the situation in which they are forced, for instance an Afghan youth in Calais who wonders how it is possible that he is not allowed to stay, nor allowed to leave and is thus condemned to roaming aimlessly, feeling as if he were “in a cage”, to harrowing descriptions of spiteful and mocking treatment at the hands of border guards that went so far as to lead people to perish, both on the Moroccan-Spanish border and the Greek-Turkish one.
The lasting impression caused by the report is that thousands of people are facing incredible ordeals as a result of policies, that awful living conditions from poorer countries are entering the EU as a result of exclusion and the creation of categories that are permanently forced to live in a condition of invisibility. On the other hand, to help them “regulate” immigration flows, the EU and its member states are funding a vast expansion of the internal security apparatus in bordering countries and of tough laws that are often implemented on the basis of skin colour.
This often means that visits by authorities from European countries and EU institutions for negotiations with third-country governments in this field result in indiscriminate round-ups in neighbourhoods in which large numbers of migrants live and in the spread of racism, both by security and police forces as well as by members of public, for example in north African countries against sub-Saharan migrants suspected of seeking to emigrate to Europe.The report is available on the Migreurop website:
Les frontières assassines de l’Europe (French, original)
Europe’s murderous borders (English)
Fronteras asesinas de Europa (Spanish)
Posted in Calls to Action, Campaigns, Appeals & Petitions, Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Interviews and Testimonies, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases, Publications, Long Reports, Analyses, Reviews & Research | Tagged: Aegean, Algeria, border war, Calais, deportations, Greece, immigrant children, immigrant women, Italy, Lampedusa, Libya, Migreurop, NGOs, pushbacks, refugee camps, Turkey | Leave a Comment »
Posted by clandestina on 24 December 2009
source: athens indymedia article
Early today the police put on a plane from Crete to Athens the Turkish political refugee Ridvan Celik (Rido), who has been claiming political asylum since 1991 in Greece.
Rido who was persecuted by the Turkish Military for refusing to join the army and fight the Kurdish rebels) fled to Greece in 1991 and since then has filed twice political asylum applications.
Rido was arrested on Dec 6, 2009, when riot police attacked a group of 20 comrades who were on the road for the rally point of the march to commemorate the completion of of one year since the murder of Alexis Grigoropoulos and the rebellion that followed.
Until today morning he had been detained at the Heraklion police headquarters. The mobilisation for his release and the reinitiation of political asylum processes did not bear fruit.
Apparently this secret transport to Athens and the day the Greek state chose for it (24 Dec) means that they intend to deport without crating fuzz.
UPDATE: according to athens indymedia users, Rido is detained at Petrou Ralli Police dpt.
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Posted by clandestina on 23 December 2009
Immigrants to get citizenship
Cabinet approves pioneering draft law to give foreigners and their children greater rights
Second-generation immigrants are going to be given the right to claim Greek citizenship and vote in the country’s elections, the Cabinet decided yesterday.
In what will be groundbreaking legislation for Greece, the proposed law would allow some 250,000 children who have been born in the country to migrant parents to call themselves Greek. Under the draft law, now open to public consultation, if one of the child’s parents has been living in Greece for at least five years in a row, then their son or daughter will be able to claim citizenship.
This right will also be available to children who have attended the first three years of primary school in Greece or have studied at Greek schools for a total of six years. The Interior Ministry estimates that if the law is passed before next year’s municipal elections, then 150,000 second-generation immigrants will be able to vote in the polls.
The bill also proposes that foreigners living and working in Greece legally for five consecutive years will be able to be naturalized, allowing them to vote and run in local elections but not general elections.
Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis said that police have already been instructed not to arrest or deport second-generation immigrants over paperwork discrepancies.
New Democracy accused the government of ignoring the significance of awarding someone citizenship, while the nationalists Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) accused PASOK of “distorting the electoral body.”
Yesterday’s Cabinet meeting was also memorable for another reason, as it was the first time that the head of the Church of Greece was invited to take part. Archbishop Ieronymos repeated proposals that unused Church property be used to help raise money for noble causes.
Posted in Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Short Reports | Tagged: citizenship. sans papier, Greece, immigrant children, legislation & policies, PASOK, Political Parties, political rights, second generation | Leave a Comment »
Posted by clandestina on 23 December 2009
source: human rights watch website
(New York) – Many governments’ policies toward migrants worldwide expose them to human rights abuses including labor exploitation, inadequate access to health care, and prolonged detention in poor, overcrowded conditions, Human Rights Watch said today in advance of International Migrants Day, on December 18, 2009. A 25-page roundup of Human Rights Watch reporting on violations of migrants’ rights this year, “Slow Movement: Protection of Migrants’ Rights in 2009,” includes coverage of China, Cuba, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.
Read the rest of this entry »
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Posted by clandestina on 21 December 2009
Greece violates EU asylum right
Complaint submitted to the European Commission
On November 11, 2009, PRO ASYL, along with fellow refugee organizations Dutch Council for Refugees, Finnish Refugee Advice Center, and British Refugee and Migrant Justice, filed a complaint with the European Commission against Greece. Twenty other European refugee organizations support the complaint.
PRO ASYL demands that the European Commission immediately initiates an infringement procedure in the European Court of Justice based on Greece’s failure to abide by fundamental European asylum policy. Greece provides for asylum protection within its laws, however it falls short of its legal obligations in practice.
COMPLAINT & REPORT available at NGO complaint against Greece. The report includes many testimonies.
Posted in Calls to Action, Campaigns, Appeals & Petitions, Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases, Publications, Long Reports, Analyses, Reviews & Research | Tagged: asylum, deportations, detention, Dublin Regulation, immigrant abuse, legislation & policies, NGO, pushbacks, refoulements, system of (in)justice, unaccompanied minors | Leave a Comment »
Posted by clandestina on 20 December 2009
Text in Greek available here.
On the occasion of the International Migrants Day
From Anti-Immigrant Summer to Zero Tolerance on Election Bait
Just over a month and half ago Prime Minister Papandreou used the Global Forum on Immigration & Development proceedings in Athens to sketch government measures which would stand for a humanitarian turn compared to the policies and situation of the recent months . He described as necessary
“[T]o stimulate the participation of immigrants in the political life of the country, through the possibility of Greek citizenship acquisition, particularly of course for the so-called ‘second generation’, in which we are suggesting the acquisition of citizenship by birth for the new person born in our territory.”
For people in Greece, though, the announcement of the Secretary for Home Affairs Theodora Tzakri two weeks later, which made clear that Greek citizenship would be granted only to children born to legal immigrants, came as no surprise.
The doctrine of “Zero tolerance to illegal migration” goes hand in hand with this government’s humanitarian turn… As for what this turn is all about, it aims at incorporating immigrants mostly from Albania, after two decades of overexploitation, and in exchange for votes. A phony exchange indeed.
Along with this, the dividing of immigrants into ‘good’ and ‘bad’, ‘useful’ and ‘superfluous’, ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ becomes more intense, and the system of exploitation grows deeper roots .
As we wrote in our above linked text on the Global Forum on Immigration & Development:
“The aim of developmental policy is to control migration flows (through the FRONTEX patrols and detention centres) as well as to regulate them (through 5-year rotating work permits, the annulment of asylum rights), in order to keep a stable proportion of productive inhabitants within the increasingly ageing, unproductive populations of Europe. In other words, recycling the migrants will keep the indexes of development in check, development being the systematic and bloodthirsty pillage of lives and resources, time and space.
According to the “UN Population Division report on replacement migration”, if the Europeans want to keep their ratio of older people to active workers at the 1995 levels, the Union will need 135 million immigrants by 2025.
This demographic issue is only part of the story, and maybe not the most important. Neoliberalization inside Europe has meant a weakened, destabilized labor force. It’s not just that capital wants selected migrants because it needs more workers, it wants migrants because they are powerless, unorganized, low-paid workers for whom there will be no job security, no health care and no pensions.In other words, they are far cheaper and less troublesome workers”.
Illegal immigrants are necessary because through them the rights of the legal ones are suppressed (there is of course rotation of people in these roles). At the same time, illegal immigration helps governments maintain a useful xenophobic atmosphere to impose authoritarian policies. “Migration management” includes both authoritarian hysteria and humanitarian logistics. The two seemingly opposite positions are the two sides of the same coin of subjugation.
So let’s outline against this backdrop the government’s humanitarian turn after the elections of October 2009…
The Doctrine “Insulated Greece”
The new doctrine was introduced by Minister of Citizen Protection (= Public Order) M. Chrisochoïdis on Tuesday, December 15, at his meeting with the FRONTEX Executive Director J.Laitinen. The construction of the Southeast Mediterranean FRONTEX Headquarters at the U.S. base of Aktion or at Piraeus has been a permanent request of the Greek government, which proudly stated that 75% of illegal entry arrests at the sea borders of EU for this year took place in the Aegean sea.
A few days earlier in the frame of FRONTEX operations (on Saturday, December 12) officers in Samos island, on no notice whatsoever and violently, carried out with utmost secrecy the transfer of over 85 Afghan refugees from the local detention center to the island’s airport at Pythagorio. There the refugees were boarded on an airplane which departed for an unknown destination.
The slaughter in the Aegean Sea continues
In less than two months, 16 migrants have died in the icy waters of the Aegean. Most of them were children.
- On Tuesday, October 27, 8 immigrants, three adults and five children, drowned in the east part of the Aegean Sea.
- On Saturday, November 7, the lifeless bodies of six children from Palestine, aged 2 to 12 years, washed up on shore near Bodrum (Alikarnasos), Turkey. The boat in which 19 Palestinians – half of them children – squeezed themselves on an effort to pass from the Turkish town of Turgutreis to Kos island overturned 500 meters from the shore.
- On Friday, December 11, a boat carrying undocumented migrants sank near the island of Leros. Fishermen found 25 migrants perched on a rocky island and two more lifeless bodies in the sea.
Incidents of abuse and humiliation by the police amount to dozens, and most of them never reach the public attention. We report the following characteristic cases:
- In the afternoon of October 22, immediately after the visit of Secretary of State Vougias the detention center in Pagani of Mytilene, police officers responsible for guarding the center abused and beat prisoners, including a 17-year boy, who was evacuated to the Vostanio Hospital, where lesions were diagnosed on his head, back, waist and arms. According to the interpreter, the police promised 350 euros to the victim to buy his silence.
- On the 19th of November in the afternoon a 35-year old immigrant was beaten by two officers serving at the infamous Aghios Panteleimonas Police Station in Athens. Her two year old child witnessed the beating and the arrest, and along with her mother remained under custody at the Kypseli Police Station for four hours! The incident became known only because the woman is married to a famous Greek musician.
- On Friday, November 20 , immigrant detainee Mohammed bin Taher collapsed in the courts of Evelpidon street in Athens. His condition was such that he was taken to hospital by ambulance. As reported by the his fellow detainees (and he later confirmed) Mohammed bin Taher had been savagely beaten by police at the Omonoia Police Station.
- On the 9th of October Mohammed Kamran dies after the treatment he received by the policemen who had raided the house where he and fellow Pakistani workers resided in Nikaia, Athens.
The para-state mechanism was launched last summer against immigrants and since then it has been working relentlessly despite the supposed change of policy.
Para-state organized violence encourages and feeds the diffuse social one.
- Thus, on November 8, four immigrants who had been working at olive fields in Messolongi, Western Greece, were attacked with crowbars and clubs and beaten savagely by circa 15 people. The immigrants were transferred to the emergency dept. of the Messolongi hospital. The immigrants had been asking their wages from the owner of the fields in which they had been working. They were ambushed and beaten in an old warehouse, where they had an appointment with their employer to get their money.
- In late November the trial of 25 immigrants (mainly Arabs and one Afghan) took place; they had been arrested during the events of December 2008 and had been detained ever since. All this period they were considered missing. All of them were sentenced to imprisonment from 7 months to 3 years. It is characteristic for the fairness of the trial that only one interpreter had been assigned , who translated simultaneously for 24 defendants who were divided in three groups in the court’s room. The Afghan who did not understand Arabic was seated on the last bench of the room…
- On Friday, December 11, in Thessaloniki, a report was issued by the Hellenic League for Human Rights, about the detention centers in Evros and Rodopi. The survey took place from the 25th to the 29th of November 2009 and states:
In many cases there is inadequate lighting, ventilation and heating (…) At virtually none of the premises visited have the possibility to go outdoors on some yard. Even in detention centers where there is an adequate yard, the large number of detainees on the one hand and the lack of personnel on the other allows usually only for some prisoners to have outdoor breaks for a minimum period and not on a daily basis (…) Food in many cases is inadequate, the quantity and quality in general varies (..). The care taken for sanitation and hygiene conditions varies from inexistent to inadequate (…) The availability of medical and nursing staff is poor and at all cases occasional (…) The detainees were in total confusion regarding their rights, the time of their detention and ill-informed as to asylum procedures; interpreters were not available.
December 18, 2009
Group of Immigrants and Refugees, Thessaloniki
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