Δευτέρα, 2 Οκτωβρίου 2017


Alexandra Novosseloff

The book "Walls Dividing People" began with Isaac Newton's quote: "People build too many walls and not enough bridges." This new book's intention is to explore this question in order to know whether or not, and how, bridges can strengthen the links between communities and contribute directly to reconciliation and peace.

While bridges are often among the primary targets of conflict, how are their reconstruction perceived by post-conflict populations and in search of lasting peace? To what extent, and under what conditions, do bridges really succeed in bringing together populations that have been divided? I tried to analyze the social, cultural and political scars, as well as the factors of unity, of nine crisis or post-conflict situations around the world.

Bridges in Mostar and in Mitrovica
A Border Bridge Between Greece and Turkey

The Allenby Bridge Between the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Jordan
The Bridges over the Dniestr River between Moldova and Transnistria
Along The Enguri River between Georgia and Abkhazia
The Friendship Bridges Between Tajikistan and Afghanistan

The Border Bridges Between China and North Korea

The International Bridges over the Rio Grande between the United States and Mexico

The Bridges of the Mano River Region

Κυριακή, 24 Σεπτεμβρίου 2017



“Quello che è stato fatto in Grecia è la messa a punto e la sperimentazione di un sistema normativo che ha come obiettivo quello di rivoluzionare il diritto d’asilo, permettendo una riduzione dei diritti storicamente riconosciuti ai richiedenti asilo.Alla Grecia si è chiesto di forzare alcune normative o di emanare alcuni istituti e renderli sistemici per sperimentarli”.
È il quadro che emerge dal report realizzato da un gruppo di legali dell’ASGI (Associazione per gli studi giuridici sull’immigrazione) dal titolo “Esperimento Grecia: un’idea di Europa”, che traccia un bilancio del sistema di asilo greco a poco più di un anno di distanza dall’accordo tra Unione europea e Turchia siglato nel marzo 2016.

Gli obiettivi del Report

L’obiettivo di questo secondo momento di osservazione e monitoraggio (qui i risultati dei precedenti viaggi) è stato quello di aggiornare le informazioni raccolte lo scorso giugno, con l’idea di mettere in luce come in effetti la Grecia possa ancora e sempre più essere considerata alla stregua di un laboratorio per la sperimentazione ed il perfezionamento delle più recenti politiche europee in materia di gestione dei flussi migratori il cui fine, ormai sempre più esplicito, sarebbe quello di ridurre drasticamente gli arrivi nello spazio europeo.
In questa dimensione, la politica degli accordi bilaterali, l’utilizzo del metodo hotspot, l’introduzione dei meccanismi procedurali legati ai concetti di “paese di primo asilo”, “paese terzo sicuro” e “paese di origine sicuro” nell’ambito delle procedure di asilo e l’attribuzione di un ruolo sempre più centrale alle agenzie europee, sono strumenti che già a partire dal marzo del 2016 si sono rivelati indispensabili per determinare una radicale diminuzione dei flussi migratori provenienti dalla Turchia e diretti in Grecia.
Questi stessi dispositivi hanno un ruolo centrale anche nelle prospettive di riforma del sistema di asilo europeo e nei processi di esternalizzazione del controllo delle frontiere e delle procedure di asilo.

Bloccare gli arrivi

Lesbo Grecia
Foto di Stefano Rubini
“Alla Grecia si è chiesto di forzare alcune normative o di emanare alcuni istituti e renderli sistemici per sperimentarli”

Quali sono gli strumenti messi in atto in Grecia e che hanno permesso questa rapida diminuzione dei flussi?

Παρασκευή, 11 Αυγούστου 2017


Daniel Trilling

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Daniel TrillingThe refugee crisis in Europe began with the shipwrecks off the coast of Libya in April 2015 and ended seven months later with the terrorist attacks in Paris. The long journeys, deaths, detentions and expulsions faced by the many thousands of uninvited migrants who try to reach Europe by sea or by land did not begin or end there. But the ‘refugee crisis’ is best understood as the brief period in which European leaders were forced to confront the disaster of their border policies; when the strength of public feeling at the damage caused by these policies was enough to force many politicians into making grand statements about Europe’s obligation to save lives, and even to consider opening borders or increase resettlement numbers. The Paris attacks supplied an excuse to start closing borders again, since it appeared that one or more of the perpetrators had slipped into Europe along the refugee trail from Turkey. The Balkan migration route, from Greece to Hungary and beyond, was the first to be sealed off. In the days immediately following the Paris attacks, Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia and Serbia began to stop undocumented migrants from crossing: first, anyone who wasn’t Syrian, Iraqi or Afghan; later, everyone. Since then, while the rhetoric may vary, the actions taken have been broadly consistent: a shoring up of the old border regime, the toughening of conditions inside Europe to deter migrants, and the further outsourcing of European border control to governments in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
The immediate effect of closing the Balkan route was to trap refugees, mostly from the Middle East and Afghanistan, in Greece. By the end of 2016, about sixty thousand were living in fifty or more camps scattered around the country (with an undetermined number at large), trying to lodge asylum claims or waiting for an opportunity to take a smuggling route into Western Europe. Conditions in the camps are often dire: overcrowded and with poor sanitary conditions. Despite unprecedented funding, mainly from the EU (an investigation for the website News Deeply found that the $803 million spent so far is, per head, ‘the most expensive humanitarian response in history’), many camps weren’t ready for winter – thousands had to live in tents in freezing conditions. The EU, the Greek government and UNHCR blame one another for the failure, but the truth is that the outcome suits Europe by deterring would-be migrants. ‘It sends the message that Greece is a mess so don’t come this way,’ one human rights advocate told News Deeply.

Παρασκευή, 21 Ιουλίου 2017


The border wall between Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, Calif. Tomascastelazo/FlickrCC BY-SA
It seems like every month brings news of another border wall going up.
Europe’s Baltic States, worried about invasive neighbours, are raising a fence along their eastern frontier. Meanwhile, in Asia, Chinese President Xi Jinping is calling for the building of an iron wall around the Xinjiang region.
In Latin America, Ecuador appears to have begun erecting concrete panels along the Peruvian state line. In Africa, a barrier between Somalia and Kenya, made of barbed wire, concrete and posts, is nearing completion.
This is a far cry from the illusion generated by the fall of the Berlin Wall — and by the utopian dream of a world without borders that emerged in the 1990s.

The Wall: a new status quo in international relations

At the end of the Cold War there were just 15 walls delimiting national borders; today, with 70 of them in existence around the world, the wall has become the new standard for international relations.

More walls in a world without borders.

With the proliferation of border walls and their normalization in the rhetoric of U.S. President Donald Trump, democracies have adopted the tactic as though it were a classic policy tool in foreign relations and defence.
And yet these rampant fortifications come at a hefty price, as much for the governments and international relations as for the local economies and populations affected. For those most vulnerable, for the middle class, for those pushed out by the walls (Saskia Sassen’s “expelled” peoples), the cost is exorbitant.
As symptoms of a rift in the world order, as manifestations of the failings of international cooperation, these barriers also come at a cost to those they shut out — the world’s “untouchables”.
The reality is that, despite being entrenched in international law, their freedom of movement is not as valuable as others’, each passport carrying its own set of rights.

Δευτέρα, 26 Ιουνίου 2017


By Leila Bodeux

Today, 20 June, is World Refugee Day. [socialistalt/ Flickr]
EU leaders will this week meet to agree, once more, on ways to keep migrants out of the EU. Out of sight may be out of mind but such a policy is only encouraging the deaths and suffering of tens of thousands of people, warns Leila Bodeux.
Leila Bodeux is Caritas Europa’s policy and advocacy officer for migration and asylum.
Caritas Europa believes that the EU and its member states now have a choice: they can continue the outdated, harmful migration policies or they can help stop this tragedy by investing in a modern and dynamic, welcoming Europe.
As François Crépeau, UN special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, said: “The so-called ‘migration crisis’ is policy driven. Placing restrictions on mobility is part of the problem, not of the solution.”
Attempts by the EU member states to stem migration mirror a blatant failure to fulfill their moral and legal duties to help people in need. Worldwide 80% of refugees are hosted in developing countries, yet rather than helping to relieve this burden, EU countries are pushing these countries to do even more.
A clear example of this trend is the ongoing negotiation on the reform of the failed Dublin system, which is increasingly framed around border controls, return and readmission agreements. Politicians try to step up the number of rejected asylum seekers to give credibility to the EU asylum system with the public opinion. Yet such an approach is widely misguided.
Recent research shows that the majority of Europeans (56%) are actually in favour of welcoming more refugees in their country.
The need for such facts to be acknowledged is clearly vital given the tragedy of the Mediterranean route, which has turned the sea most known as a holiday destination into an open-air cemetery.
Since the beginning of the year, 1,650 people have died trying to cross to Europe. In 2016, more than 5,000 people died trying to make the crossing. But the avoidable deaths of pregnant women, toddlers and babies do not seem to move our leaders anymore.

Παρασκευή, 23 Ιουνίου 2017



Journalists and teachers fleeing the post-coup purge have been 'pushed back' across the border, activists say

A refugee man sits near the river while waiting to cross to Europe near Turkey’s western border with Greece and Bulgaria, in Edirne, on September, 23, 2015.

ATHENS – As the final editor of Turkish political magazine Nokta, before it was shut down by authorities, Murat Capan oversaw the publication of an issue which predicted the country would descend into civil war. 
For this act, he now sits in jail, facing 22 years in prison, after being convicted of attempting to overthrow the constitution. 
Initially, when the authorities issued an arrest warrant in his name, Capan sought asylum in neighbouring Greece. His journey back to a Turkish jail is one that Greek authorities were complicit in, according to a human rights organisation.  
Capan and two friends had crossed the Evros River – which demarcates the border between Greece and Turkey - in the early hours of 24 May and asked Greek police in the town of Didymoteicho for asylum, according to the Hellenic League for Human Rights (HLHR).
There has been a change in policy ... it couldn’t be done without the knowledge of the government, or the chief of police
- Kostis Tsitselikis, former president of the HLHR
But rather than being taken to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as they were told they would be, they were driven in two unmarked vehicles back to the edge of the river.
There, it is alleged, they were met by a group of armed, masked men in military uniforms, without insignia, who said nothing, except to beckon them into an inflatable boat.
Despite protesting and asking again for asylum, they were deposited by the mute men, hands bound, on the opposite bank near a Turkish army outpost and subsequently found by Turkish authorities.
The Greek government has denied that account and Turkish media said that Capan was detained by soldiers of the Turkish 54th Mechanised Brigade attempting to cross the border. But the HLHR, which also reported a second similar incident days later and believes there to be a third, suspects Greek authorities of conducting "coordinated" deportations of Turkish asylum seekers.
Greek officials did not immediately respond to Middle East Eye’s request for comment but have publicly denied the allegations of refoulement.

Circumventing asylum procedures?

Kostis Tsitselikis, former president of the HLHR, who has been in direct contact with Capan’s relatives, told MEE that the incidents suggest a worrying change of policy from the Greek authorities.

Τετάρτη, 14 Ιουνίου 2017


Τσιτσελίκης Κωνσταντίνος

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Τσιτσελίκης Κωνσταντίνος

Η διαπίστωση αυτή δεν προέρχεται από κάποιον ακτιβιστή των δικαιωμάτων που ρέπει στον καταγγελτικό λόγο, αλλά από το Ευρωπαϊκό Δικαστήριο Δικαιωμάτων του Ανθρώπου, που ανέδειξε αυτή την παθογένεια σε σειρά αποφάσεών του.

Η πρακτική του κουκουλώματος σε πράξεις ή παραλείψεις των οργάνων της δημόσιας τάξης και ασφάλειας, που οφείλουν να ενεργούν υπέρ των ανθρώπων, πολιτών και αλλοδαπών, δεν είναι σπάνια στην ελληνική πραγματικότητα. Μάλιστα, συχνά, τα στραβά μάτια κάνουν και η Δικαιοσύνη και τα πειθαρχικά όργανα της Αστυνομίας / Λιμενικού κατά περίπτωση.
Η διαπίστωση αυτή δεν προέρχεται από κάποιον ακτιβιστή των δικαιωμάτων που ρέπει στον καταγγελτικό λόγο, αλλά από το Ευρωπαϊκό Δικαστήριο Δικαιωμάτων του Ανθρώπου, που ανέδειξε αυτή την παθογένεια σε σειρά αποφάσεών του. Η «υπόθεση του Φαρμακονησίου» εκκρεμεί ακόμα στο Στρασβούργο, αλλά και εκεί δεν αποκλείεται να έχουμε ανάλογα ευρήματα. Η κοινότοπη αυτή εισαγωγή αναφέρεται σε μία πρόσφατη υπόθεση, για την οποία καλούνται οι αρμόδιοι να αναλάβουν ελεγκτική δράση: τις επαναπροωθήσεις Τούρκων πολιτών που αναζητούν προστασία στην Ελλάδα. Η διενέργεια επαναπροωθήσεων εδώ και λίγες εβδομάδες στον Έβρο έχει λάβει διαστάσεις πάγιας πρακτικής, ανατρέποντας τις σύννομες διαδικασίες που αντιμετώπιζαν οι μέχρι σήμερα φυγάδες από τη γείτονα. Τι άλλαξε, λοιπόν, και η ΕΛΑΣ αντί να διευκολύνει, όπως όφειλε (και ορθά έπραττε), την κατάθεση αιτήματος ασύλου, στέλνει σούμπιτους στην ανατολική όχθη του Έβρου ανθρώπους σε απόλυτα ευάλωτη θέση που αναζητούν προστασία, με ό,τι αυτό συνεπάγεται;
Ευκαιρία για τις αρχές να δείξουν ότι μπορεί να σπάσει η κακή παράδοση και ότι ο φύλακας των φυλάκων μπορεί να λειτουργήσει απερίσπαστος από ανώτερα πολιτικά κελεύσματα ή απλά από την ανθρώπινη τάση να «προστατεύσουμε τους δικούς μας» από την έκθεση στον δημόσιο έλεγχο. Η υπόθεση αυτή, ειδικά στο δεύτερο σκέλος της, προϋποθέτει ότι δεν υπάρχει εντολή από πολιτικό προϊστάμενο για την άσκηση μιας πρακτικής που παραβιάζει θεμελιώδη δικαιώματα.