From the Aegean to the English Channel – the refugees who are Europe’s shame


syrian-refugees Refugees trapped Greek-Macedonia border

This weekend hundreds of  thousands of people demonstrated in cities across Europe to demand #SafePassage for the hundreds of thousands of refugees from war zones still trying to cross Europe to safety. But in the last few days middle Europe closed its doors: Austria, Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary and Macedonia each took measures to ensure these refugees are either turned back to Greece or remain trapped in Greece, a country that has been bankrupted by the Euro Group and is doing its best, despite its dire financial circumstances, to help how it can. For a while Fortress Europe’s drawbridge was raised; now it seems it has not only closed, but the moat has been widened too…

According to a Guardian report

19 February: Austria imposes a daily limit of 3,200 people entering the country and restricts asylum applications to 80 a day.

21 February:…

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Human pack animals at Europe’s 6m high Spanish Gates

Earning a living on border of Morocco’s Spanish enclave

For Moroccan porters, smuggling goods through the border of Melilla exacts heavy toll and brings a meagre income.

from Jose Colon  at AJE with thanks

A man at the border pushes back some women trying to cross with packages on their backs. [Jose Colon/MeMo/Al Jazeera]

Melilla, Spain – At 6:30am, the sun has not made its appearance yet  and the border of Melilla’s Chinatown quarter is illuminated by the orange glow of street lamps.

The border crossing is a maze of wires and winches that convey a sense of unease and fear.

The  six metre-high border fence across the road, contributes to the feeling of a hostile environment that surrounds Melilla, the tiny Spanish enclave in the northeast of Morocco. Ahead, on the Moroccan side, the murmur of distant shouts and blows can be heard.

A man with a whip strikes at the load carriers. It is believed that local authorities hire Moroccan enforcers to keep order. [Jose Colon/MeMo/Al Jazeera] Continue reading “Human pack animals at Europe’s 6m high Spanish Gates”

Brutal ‘Fortress Europe’ evictions in Morocco lead to Forest Camps

The EU and Spain pay Morocco and other countries to persecute migrants en route and to let them dump unwanted and undocumented migrants there.

migrants in Boukalef carry a dead friend after the illegal evictions

Desperate immigrants from war torn countries that for decades have been ‘debt cows’, milked for abusive debts by the IMF and western banks are terribly persecuted. Just enough are let close to Europe’s borders so they can bargain for more ‘aid’.

en español   en français


Moroccan Mafia Police do Spain’s and the EU’s dirty Work

There was a mass eviction operation that was discriminatory against non-national blacks at Tangier-Boukhalef. During the course of the operation conducted by the Moroccoan authorities one migrant from Cameroon was killed and the other one was injured. Continue reading “Brutal ‘Fortress Europe’ evictions in Morocco lead to Forest Camps”

street children in Melilla: stop the repression!

en castellano abajo/ Spanish below

 these are the banners in memory of Oussama who died here when he fell from the cliff trying to 'jump a boat' to Europe, the  'Prodein' kids rights group were fined 1500 euros for the action. 
these are the banners in memory of a child,  Oussama, who died here when he fell from the cliff trying to ‘jump a boat’ to Europe, the ‘Prodein’ kids rights group were fined 1500 euros for this action to honour him.

Melilla and Ceuta are  Spanish enclaves in Morrocco, remnants of colonialism, like Gibraltar in Spain. As well as the 1000’s of adults impaled or trapped on the 5 metre fences some children manage to slip through into Europe’s shameful fortress. The group Prodein is trying to help them.


PRODEIN statement against repression in Melilla

About 60 children live in the streets of Melilla hoping to catch the boat to take them to Europe, where they believe that a better future awaits them. Unaccompanied Alien Minors (MENA) are subjected every day to different types of violence that violate their rights and undermine their dignity and destroy their ‘childhood’. Continue reading “street children in Melilla: stop the repression!”

Spain: fortress Europe: immigrants storm fences, occupy islets

Paramilitary Spanish Civil Guards have evacuated this morning  83 immigrants who remained in the small island of land in the archipelago of Al Hoceima, and delivered to the Moroccan gendarmerie to most of them.

The eviction occurred this morning and concluded at 4:30, according to the sources, who have indicated that they are 73 persons transferred to Morocco, which is a few meters from shore islet of Spanish sovereignty.

Spain, meanwhile, has arrested 10 immigrants, according to the agreement reached last night between the two countries for the evacuation of Earth Island and the distribution of its occupants, in two groups arrived there last week.

The eight children and two mothers who were in the Earth Island this morning have been moved to Melilla, where they received medical care. It is expected that most leave the hospital today to begin the process marked in the Aliens Act, and from there, the Temporary Centre for Immigrants Prison (CETI) Melilla or a shelter, in the case of minors who traveling alone. Continue reading “Spain: fortress Europe: immigrants storm fences, occupy islets”

Migrant stories from Fortress Italy

63 Libyan migrants 'left to die' 
The Council of Europe found that a "catalogue of errors" by Nato and coastguards resulted in the deaths of 63 refugees sailing in a small boat from Libya last May.

Only nine people on board survived after the craft drifted in open seas for two weeks. Two Nato ships nearby failed to respond to distress calls, and no country launched a rescue mission, the council said. It concluded there were many opportunities to rescue the survivors.

It’s spring, and while most of us are already organising our summer holidays, some people have very different journeys in mind. In Northern Africa, migrants from all over the continent try to reach the Sicilian coast by any means. Crowds of men, women and children leave in little boats at the mercy of the sea, without knowing whether they’ll get to the other side alive. A few days ago an inflatable boat with more than 50 people on board was rescued in the Sicilian Channel just before sinking due to a broken engine. It was coming from Lybia, and it’s not the only one. Another boat was rescued south of the island of Lampedusa – renamed “The New Alcatraz” for its infamous detention centre. The Maltese authorities hadn’t done anything about it because it carried “illegal immigrants”. Many more boats have been sighted, some rescued, some left to their destiny: a story so common we’ve got used to it.

For those who make it to Sicily hoping to build a new life, hell begins: most of them get locked up in detention centres, waiting to be identified by the Italian authorities, and in most cases, eventually deported back to their countries of origin. The conditions people endure in detention centres can be compared to those of Nazi concentration camps. In one centre, the local authorities decided to bury 5 people in a mass grave with no marker.

Recently, a Tunisian man who was to be deported threw himself from the deck of the boat in Palermo’s docks and ended up in hospital with serious injuries. The newspapers talked of a “tragic accident”, deliberately blind to the truth: he preferred to die rather than to be taken back to his country. In the local detention centre in Pozzallo, a group of Tunisian migrants who had been informed of their imminent deportation, started a hunger strike and other protests against the guards of the centre. They were immediately moved to a different centre and then deported anyway. The newspapers are full of stories like these, that people read as if they were soap operas, without realising the protagonists of these stories are real people, flesh and bone like us.

In the meantime, a little the boat that NATI 'forgot'.beacon of hope sparkles for people born in Italy from migrant parents. Two Bosnian brothers had been locked up in a detention centre in Modena to pay for the “mistakes” made by their parents: they’d lost their job and consequently their permit. The children, then still minors, had become “illegal” and had eventually been locked up with their parents.

The brothers were finally released a few weeks ago, after the judge decided that children of migrants, who are born in Italy, cannot be imprisoned in detention centres. The sentence didn’t go unnoticed by right-wing parties: Maroni, from the Northern League, defined it a “crazy decision”, and Bertolini, from Berlusconi’s People of Freedom, painted the justice system as a tool in the hands of the lefties, accusing the judge of bypassing the decisions made by the Parliament.

This sentence is but a grain of sand, but it’s a beginning, a domino that didn’t fall as planned. While some politicians keep referring to people locked up in detention centres as “guests”, we will keep calling these centres what they really are: concentration camps.

Inspiration for this article: here herehttp://www.infoaut.orgAn ever interesting blog to read about migration in the Mediterranean is Fortress Europe (now available in several languages).

Reblogged with thanks from



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