1. Blocking migrants in Libya, at all costs
The attack by the Libyan Coast Guard on the Sea Watch rescue mission from a few a weeks ago is only the latest incident in a disturbing escalation of Libyan operations to capture migrants at sea, a task set for Libya by the EU and Italy, with the latter training the Libyans at sea. Zach Campbell wrote in The Intercept on how the EU plans to close the Mediterranean route hinges on leaving the Libyans to do the dirty work: violence and abuse on migrants, in flagrant violation of international laws.
2. Italy’s responsibilities in the pushbacks to Libya
Following the concerns voiced first by the European Commissioner for human rights and then by the UN Committee against torture over Italy’s connivance with the violence and the pushbacks committed by Libyans, the Italian government said, essentially: we have nothing to do with it. But our support is enough for the Libyan Coast Guard to commit indirect violations of the “non refoulement” principle, legal expert Paolo Biondi explained in Refugees Deeply.
— Paolo Biondi (@PaoloBiondi82) November 24, 2017
3. What’s behind the controversial Report episodes on the NGOs working at sea
On November 20, Rai3 aired an episode of Report titled “A sea of hypocrisy” on the migrant flows in the Mediterranean, which essentially proposed the theory of a “silent pact” between the NGOs rescuing migrants at sea and the Libyan people smugglers, while also defending the agreement with Libya, a “bad, bad deal” that is nonetheless necessary to “curtail the populist trend that could have an adverse impact on the election campaigns”. Too bad the episode revolved around unsubstantiated claims and doctored footage.
Read the fact-checking by Ottavia Spaggiari in Vita, Nello Scavo’s article in Avvenire (focusing on the edited videos and the denial by Reuters), a hot take by Francesco Floris in The Post Internazionale and the articles in Altreconomia and Valigia Blu.
4. Here’s what “help them at home” actually means
A hundred million euros to stop the migrants in Libya. On paper, the money from the EU fund for Africa – supported by Italy among others – should be used to help fight poverty, but it is being used to secure the cooperation of African countries in the attempt to stem the flow of migrants. The discovery comes from a new report by the European NGO network Concord and Cini, as told by Lorenzo Bagnoli’s article in Osservatorio Diritti.
5. Asylum seekers protesting in Cona
Better to sleep in the streets, said the asylum seekers who protested against the living conditions at the former military base turned reception centre at Conetta, in Veneto. You can read about the protest in the report by Annalisa Camilli for Internazionale.
6. Leaving Africa, finding Africa: a journey into the abandoned Olympic Village of Turin, now a home for migrants
The basements of Turin’s former Olympic Village have been evacuated, after years of serving as both shelter and workplace to dozens of migrants left to fend for themselves. Futura News takes readers on a journey in those basements, listening to the tales of stubborn hope from those who occupied them.
Fleeing Syria, arriving in Sweden after a long, desperate, perilous journey, in the attempt to heal and build a new life, only to be deported to Italy, homeless and hopeless. This is the fate of Anas and thousands of other migrants like him who were “Dublined”, their life ruined again by a fingerprint. Read the report by Eric Reidy for Irin News.
Shot in #Syria. Escaped to #Sweden for medical care only to be deported to #Italy bc of a fingerprint and told to sleep on the street: This is Anas' story & the story of 1000s of 'dublined' asylum seekers: My latest for @irinnews
on #migration in the #EU https://t.co/GViwmbTg7b
— Eric Reidy (@Eric_Reidy) November 21, 2017
8. No protection for LGBTQI refugees in Europe
Despite all the evidence that LGBTQI refugees are an especially vulnerable group – we wrote of a “double stigma” in our own in-depth analysis – the European Union has made no specific provision for them. Read the investigative report by Nidzara Ahmetasevic for Irin News.
9. The indelible shame on Manus Island
The situation is still desperate on Manus Island, where hundreds of refugees were first detained for years, then abandoned, at an offshore camp by the Australian government.
Living conditions for those stranded on the island are getting worse, and no one has listened to the repeated calls for action by human rights groups. Read the article by Richard Flanagan in the Guardian and the comic strip by First Dog on the Moon on the lengths we are willing to go to enforce our deterrence policies.
10. Why it is wrong to return the Rohingya to Myanmar
Last week, Myanmar and Bangladesh signed an agreement to repatriate the Rohingya refugees to Myanmar, a country that 600,000 Rohingya were forced to leave to escape a campaign of ethnic cleansing (as the UN described it). This premature, risky agreement further endangers “the world’s most persecuted minority”, forcing it to return to a country where it does not yet have citizenship rights, while the refugee influx is still taking place (as documented by the new UNHCR data portal). Read our own op-ed on the agreement, as well as the article by Hannah Beech in the New York Times and the report in Time magazine.
The repatriation deal between Myanmar & Bangladesh to start returning Rohingya refugees at the beginning of 2018 is near-sighted, premature & very dangerous if we wish to protect the rights of this persecuted community https://t.co/pxPaRQeEJS (@HuynhJadeH) #openmigration
— Open Migration (@open_migration) November 27, 2017
In memory. La frontiera by Alessandro Leogrande
At the time of this writing, we received the terrible news of the sudden passing of the writer and journalist Alessandro Leogrande. He was an extraordinary, enlightened man with a big heart, who wrote about the weak and disenfranchised in his books and reports. We wish to remember him with the prologue to his book La frontiera and an interview with his friend Igiaba Scego for Il Libraio on the narrative of borders. Goodbye, Alessandro.
Translation by Francesco Graziosi.
Header photo: Paolo Cuttitta (CC BY 2.0).