Friday, May 27, 2016

The calculated and monitored dying in the Central Mediterranean

WatchTheMed Alarm Phone Statement in light of the current situation in the Mediterranean Sea and yesterday’s events:
The EU and Death at Sea: The calculated and monitored dying in the Central Mediterranean

Yesterday, on Thursday the 26th of May, it took more than four hours for rescue vessels to arrive. Four hours of worrying and of attempts to support the anxious people on board of an overcrowded wooden boat. In a SOS call at 6.21am, our WatchTheMed Alarm Phone shift team passed on the GPS coordinates to the Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Rome. Shortly before, an emergency call had reached us via a satellite phone. The caller informed us about two boats carrying 500 people each, among them many Syrian and Iraqi refugees. At 10.31am, rescue finally approached but an hour earlier, the second boat had already capsized, within eyeshot. So far it is unclear how many people drowned or disappeared. MRCC Rome reported in their daily statement about one capsized boat and 96 survivors. Fatalities were not mentioned. However, the private rescue boat Sea-Watch, which arrived at the site of distress in the early afternoon, had to recover bodies of drowned people.

Calculated Dying
Over the past three days, and once again, thousands of refugees and migrants left the Libyan shores on overcrowded boats and moved toward Sicily: About 2600 people on Tuesday, 3000 on Wednesday and 4000 yesterday, Thursday. Nobody can still claim to be surprised, least of all those responsible for EU migration policies. But they refuse to abolish the deadly visa regime and to open up legal and safe routes. To
the contrary: the Balkan route which migration movements had struggled to open up last summer, was violently closed down. Among yesterday’s victims in the Central Mediterranean Sea are now again Syrian and Iraqi refugees. As a result of the closure of the Balkanroute and the inhumane EU-Turkey deal, refugees who arrive in Greece are being imprisoned on the Greek islands with the threat of being deported back to Turkey, while those on the Greek mainland are left without any perspective of leaving the country soon. These political changes force refugees onto the much more dangerous route via Libya.

Monitored Dying
For nearly one year now, the military operation EUNVFOR MED/Sophia seeks to monitor the Central Mediterranean Sea, between Libya and Italy. Its central mandate is the combating of the so-called smuggling networks. These ‘smuggler-hunters’ are equipped with all sorts of high-tech, the zone off the coast of Libya is amongst the best monitored maritime spaces of the world. How difficult could it be to send a small
surveillance aircraft hourly along this well-known migration route in order to locate and immediately rescue refugee boats? Instead, and again and again, Italian coastguards, private initiatives and NGOs are those
who prevent even worse disasters from occurring at sea. And when they then transport survivors to Sicily, capacities are simply lacking which means that situations as experienced yesterday occur, situations that
are apparently wanted by the responsible authorities: the dying at sea continues. And as long as it is possible, disasters are being concealed, suppressed or played down in order to avoid renewed public outcries.
We do cry out, once more and time and again about the border deaths of the past 20 years, and about yesterday’s deaths. If only there were legal and safe migration routes, nobody would have to die at sea. The
dying at sea is not a natural catastrophe and also no accident. It is, in fact, the calculated outcome of the EU border and visa regime. The dying at sea is human-made and already tomorrow, through the opening of
borders and free access to ferries, it could fade into history as a dark chapter.

The long summer of migration in the Balkans has demonstrated that once borders are open, there are no ‘smugglers’ anymore. One pays high sums and takes dangerous paths only when one is forced to do so by Frontex and co.

A world without borders is possible and both Frontex and the ‘smugglers’ would then have disappeared.
In this sense, we say: Ferries not Frontex

WatchTheMed Alarm Phone (27.05.2016)
Contact: wtm-alarm-phone(at)

Monday, May 09, 2016

Protest in Solidarity with Dr. Maqsud Aghayev in Jena and Apolda (East Germany)

Break Deportation Protest in Solidarity with Dr. Maqsud Aghayev in Jena and ApoldaBreak Deportation Protest in Solidarity with Dr. Maqsud Aghayev in Jena and Apolda.
The Centre of our political resistance and solidarity cannot hold if we are not able to defend our activists in the community.
Information event and discussion in Jena Haus Auf der Mauer: 13.05.2016 at 5pm
We are inviting you to our Information event and discussion on the criminalization and impending Court hearing of Dr. Maqsud which will take place on the 13.05.2016 at 5pm in Jena
Place: Das Internationalen Centrum - Haus auf der Mauer
im Zentrum von Jena (Johannesplatz 26)
Court hearing on Dr. Maqsud Aghayev case in the Amtsgericht Apolda,
Jenaer Str. 8, 99510 Apolda
Date: On the 18.05.2016
Audio Report on Maqsud by Miloud Cherif on Radio Reboot FM.
We are wanting to inform you all that Dr. Maqsud Aghayev, a long time activist of The VOICE Refugee Forum and The Caravan for the rights of Refugees and Migrants in Apolda – Thueringen, is calling for everyone's contribution to support his statement on his continuous criminalisation.
Since he was transferred in 2010 from Katzhütte to Apolda he has been treated by Foreign office of Apolda as persona non grata and as public enemy by the foreign office of Apolda.
There is no doubt that he is being intimidated and humiliated for his refugee activism and engagements from his protest against the discrimination and racial profiling of refugees. Most especially in his successful struggles and campaigns to close down refugee isolated camps in Katzhütte and Apolda in Thueringen.
He did not commit any crime nor was he guilty of any abuse of human rights in his entire years of residence in Apolda. The ruthless dismissal of his regular stay permit looks like a humiliating act on the part of Apolda foreign office, meant to serve as a lesson and nothing else.
We need your support and participation in our planned political intervention by The VOICE Refugee Forum and the Break Deportation network to fight back in Solidarity with Dr. Maqsud and to expose the atrocities and abuses caused by the foreign authority against this maltreatments and the discrimination of refugees living there in general.
Please contribute to the mobilisation and call to denounce their criminalisation of the Apolda Foreign office for public interest and to support us in solidarity.
Break the deportation Culture – We demand unconditional rights to residence for Dr. Magsud without compromise! Fight racism, Stop Deportations and Against discrimination and Racial profiling.
We wish you all to power up, in solidarity.
The Centre of our political resistance and solidarity cannot hold if we are not able to defend our activists in the community.
See link to the Statement and Call for solidarity with Maqsud Aghayev and exposing the Foreign Office (Ausländerbehörde) Apolda, Thüringen:
Maqsud.A, Miloud L.C. and Osaren I.: The VOICE Refugee Forum Jena