Statewatch article: RefNo# 36909
Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (6-7.8.16)
Statewatch News Online, August 2016
- Greece: Official figures on refugee arrivals (pdf): Lesvos, Chios and Samos have more "guests" than capacity in camps/detention centres. A total of 57,015 refugees are in Greece.

- MSF report on asylum seekers in Italy: an investigation on mental problems and access to territorial health services

- The catastrophic consequences of the 8km law and violence at the Hungarian-Serbian border (migszol.com/blog, link):

This is a Migszol update on the general asylum situation in Hungary between 4th July - 4th August 2016. For information for people seeking asylum, please see the information provided by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee in here.

- The 8km law and violence on the border
- Escalating situation on the transit zone
- Continuous protests in the detention centers and emptying camps
- Propaganda and conspiracy theories

- Are You Syrious (6.8.16)

Smile agains borders

"Contaminando Sonrisas, went on tour and visited several military camps, houses occupy and settlements not controlled by the state, where they met thousands of people who are hoping to find safe heaven. What they found is rather desperate picture of inhuman conditions people are left to live in. They were shocked by the conditions in the outskirts of Athens where up to 3.800 people are living in the streets. “No trees, just asphalt and barracks… this is horrible, heinous, inhuman.”

They also visited refugees living in the military field of Elefsina, more than 300 Afghans. They live in large rooms, and have no privacy, school, or any daily activities. On their short tour, they also encounter people living in ship by the road. To all of these places, they came with the smile and open heart, and they will continue touring."


Bulgaria: Volunteers and human right lawyers?— be alert

"More arrestes in Bulgaria. This time, 15 foreigner withouth identity documents were arrested near the town of Tsarevo, on the border with Turkey. Apparently, refugees were found in a car which police stopped for inspection on a road linking Tsarevo with the village of Lozenets on Friday. All of the people who were arrested claimed to be Iraqi citizens. The 23-year old Bulgarian driver of the vehicle was detained, too and police have launched criminal proceedings over people smuggling against him."

Frontex at the border: Bulgaria-Turkey

"At the same time, Frontex announced they will strengthen its activities at Bulgaria’s borders with Turkey and Serbia. This decision came after Bulgarian government asked for help.

In the coming weeks, Frontex will deploy border surveillance officers, patrol cars, thermo-vision vans and dog teams to the land border with Turkey,” Berndt Koerner, deputy executive director of the European border management agency said. “At the same time, border surveillance will also be reinforced at the Bulgarian-Serbian border.”


- Female asylum seekers in Greece face sexual harassment, assault (Reuters, link):

"ATHENS (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When Warda left her hometown of Idlib in Syria, she knew she had a long, difficult journey ahead, but it never crossed her mind that she would face increased danger as a young woman.

For the past four months, the 18-year-old has been living in a makeshift refugee camp by Pireaus harbour in Athens with her fiancé and six relatives, who also made the perilous journey to Greece via Turkey.

Forced to share a tent with her parents and use a mixed bathroom, the lack of privacy is stifling. The large numbers of young, single Syrian and Afghan men, many of whom sit in groups, commenting on the women they see, is also unnerving.

"It's hard for everyone here, but particularly for women," said Warda, who like many asylum seekers declined to give her full name."


- Are You Syrious (link)

No Border Social Center in Lesvos notified by police to leave

"The No Border Social Center in Lesvos has been notified by the police to leave its place near Mytilene within several days, with police saying “we don’t need your help”. The situation in Moria remains desperate, as the camp is overcrowded and lacks basic amenities. The NoBorder Social Center provides food, drinks and activities and is situated in a factory hall near Mythilene, owned by Alpha Bank. The Bank has given NoBorder an eviction notice on the 22nd of July."

United Rescue Aid needs help for new alarm phone system

"United Rescue Aid, a group that has been providing assistance for refugees in distress at sea, still needs €3,000 to establish a new alarm phone system. The organisation tells us that they are currently using a Skype number as an alarm phone, but got blocked a couple of months back and fear that they will be blocked again if they keep logging on from more than 2 devices. It’s therefore a matter of “personal survival at this point” to get a new system, as it is impossible to cover 24h shifts with only two people. The new system will allow multiple caseworkers to use the same number across multiple locations."

Bulgaria: Frontex to assist Bulgaria at the Turkish border

"Frontex says in response to the request from Bulgarian authorities it will “significantly strengthen its ongoing activities at the country’s land borders”. Additional assistance will focus on the border with Turkey but surveillance of the border with Serbia will also be reinforced. Frontex Deputy Executive Director Berndt Koerner says Frontex will deploy “ border surveillance officers, patrol cars, thermo-vision vans and dog teams to the land border with Turkey”."

Italy: 250–300 migrants occupy area near French border

"Around 300 migrants left the Red Cross camp in Ventimiglia during the night because of bad conditions and arrived at the woods of Balzi Rossi around 3am. Police asked them to go back to the Red Cross centre, but they refused. According to No Border activists they demanded an end to forced relocations, freedom for one Sudanese man, condemned last Monday and now detained in a CIE in Brindisi, and a better management of the Red Cross centre. Two Italians and one French were arrested and volunteers were prevented from providing water and food by the police. During the evening, police closed in on the group, clearing the woods, while some migrants tried to swim to France. According to No Border, ten volunteers were arrested."

Germany: Kurdish asylum-seekers from Turkey on the rise

"Der Tagesspiegel says growing domestic tensions in Turkey are causing more Turks to look to Germany for refuge, with most of them appearing to come from Turkey’s conflict-ridden Kurdish regions. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees says 1,719 Turks applied for asylum in Germany between January and June, with 1,510 of Kurdish origin. In 2015, only 1,767 Turks applied for asylum. Only 5.2% of Kurdish Turks’ asylum requests were approved this semester."

- Migrants break through Italian police barriers to enter France - Italian police said more than 100 migrants took forces by surprise at border town of Ventimiglia (Guardian, link)

"More than 100 migrants have broken through police barriers at the Italian border town of Ventimiglia and made their way into France, the local Italian police chief said.

They stopped on rocks near the port at the French Riviera town of Menton after breaking through on Friday afternoon and were still there in the evening under the surveillance of French police, said the Ventimiglia police commander, Giorgio Marenco.

A video posted on the website of Nice Matin newspaper showed a stream of people picking their way across rocks, followed by police in riot gear. A few started to walk into the sea."

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