This video says about itself:
‘Nobody is illegal’: Thousands protest in Europe against EU-Turkey refugee deal
17 March 2016
Thousands of people have demonstrated in Spain and other countries in protest against the draft agreement between Brussels and Ankara which could see the bulk of ‘illegal’ immigrants stuck in the EU sent back to Turkey.
From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Aegean island camps in crisis as refugee numbers mount
Thursday 18th August 2016
SAVE the Children warned yesterday that refugees in Greek island camps face terrible conditions as new arrivals increase sharply.
The British charity said more than 10,300 came ashore in the first two weeks of August, two-and-a-half times the figure for the same period in July.
Greece director Katie Dimmer said: “We’re starting to see scenes reminiscent of last summer, except, this time, most asylum-seekers are unable to continue their journeys and are trapped on the islands in overcrowded facilities and under the blazing sun.
“Mothers with small babies are being forced to sleep on the ground in makeshift tents. Children and breastfeeding women are suffering from dehydration.”
Meanwhile, the Greek coast guard was searching for a people-trafficking boat with 53 passengers that reported engine trouble in the eastern Aegean, hours after rescuing 59 refugees from a dinghy in rough weather north of Kos.
Germany is to deport refugees to Greece for the first time since 2011, even though asylum seekers in the country confront catastrophic conditions and frequently end up homeless or living in extreme poverty. According to official announcements, both countries’ interior ministries have agreed to treat the refugees in line with the Dublin III regulations. In reality, the Syriza government in Athens initially opposed the demands for the reintroduction of the Dublin III provisions made by Germany, France, and the European Commission, but has finally fallen into line: here.
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70 Griekse activisten die vluchtelingen opvangen in kraakpanden zelf veroordeeld
Over 3,000 refugees have been rescued in the Mediterranean Sea over the last weekend alone. The arrivals highlight the ongoing refugee crisis affecting Europe. With the Balkan route cut under the EU-Turkey deal the numbers arriving in Greece across the Aegean have decreased. However, Italy has seen a spike in numbers arriving from the Mediterranean from Libya and Egypt.
At a news conference over the weekend, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that while numbers were declining Europe must do more to resettle refugees. ”From Europe’s side there is an obligation that must be accelerated. Because what is this (EU-Turkey) agreement?
‘We halt the illegal flows but we create legitimate flows. Which are the legitimate flows?
‘It is the resettlement from Greece and the relocation directly from Turkey… and unfortunately from the 33,000 (reallocations and resettlements) promised by the EU in 2016 only 3,000 have taken place.’
The EU-Turkey deal means that migrants arriving in Greece are forcibly sent back to Turkey if they ‘don’t meet asylum requirements.’ In exchange the EU would increase the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Turkey. With winter approaching, the EU promised more than 100m euros in aid to Greece, doubling its emergency aid commitment, to improve conditions for asylum seekers living in run-down camps.
Around 60,000 refugees are stranded in the country after borders were closed. However the 100m euros are a drop in the ocean compared with what is needed. Men, women, children and babies are trapped in closed camps, suffering from appaling conditions.
An Amnesty International research team were granted access to two closed detention centres in Greece, Moria on Lesbos and VIAL on Chios. They are operated like prisoner of war camps, with armed guards and police to stop people escaping. A total of around 4,200 people are currently detained at the two sites.
In the detention centres, Amnesty International saw or spoke to a large number of vulnerable people including mothers with babies, small children and people with disabilities, trauma and serious illnesses. ‘On the edge of Europe, refugees are trapped with no light at the end of the tunnel.
‘A setup that is so flawed, rushed and ill-prepared is ripe for mistakes, trampling the rights and well-being of some of the most vulnerable people,’ said Gauri van Gulik, Deputy Director for Europe at Amnesty International.
‘People detained on Lesbos and Chios have virtually no access to legal aid, limited access to services and support, and hardly any information about their current status or possible fate. The fear and desperation are palpable.’
A Syrian man in his late 20s told Amnesty International inside Moria detention centre: ‘I escaped Syria to avoid jail, but now I am in prison.’ The decision to move from open reception centres to closed detention camps to hold those who cross the Aegean from Turkey has resulted in thousands of people being arbitrarily detained, in some cases for weeks, while they await news on their asylum applications and future.
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