1. Over 100 migrants attempt to escape Libyan prison, more than 2,000 rescued at sea
While more than 2,000 people were being rescued in the Mediterranean over two days- including a young Eritrean who died in transit and a child who was born on the Aquarius after the rescue, 107 North African migrants tried to escape from the notorious secret camp of Bani Walid. The guards from the detention camp opened fire on the migrants, killing 15 and injuring 25, according to the local hospital.
Meanwhile, according to AFP, the UN is weighing the first-ever sanctions on six migrant smugglers in Libya. According to the Catania prosecutor, the former smugglers now enrolled in the Zawiya Coast Guard following the deals with Italy are also involved in the fuel smuggling network that is robbing Libya of its resources. Cecilia Anesi, Lorenzo Bagnoli and Giulio Rubino from IRPI wrote about it in Open Migration, picking up the work of Daphne Caruana Galizia, a reporter who was killed last October in Malta. Researchers Tuesday Reitano e Mark Micallef suggest that the agreements signed by Libya with Italy and the EU to stop migrants are undermining the peace process and the stabilisation of the country.
2. An extraordinary map of the effect on EU development aid funds in Niger
After writing his three-part special on Niger on Open Migration (read it here, here and here), Giacomo Zandonini has published with Daniel Howden an extraordinary investigative piece in Refugees Deeply on the effects of development aid funds allocated in Niger by the EU to stop the flow of migrants. Professor Maurizio Ambrosini debunked the “help them at home” myth for us.
3. The deal between Spain and Algeria and its costs for migrants
Just as the data show a 40 per cent increase in migrant arrivals in Spain, the country has signed an agreement with Algeria to fight illegal immigration. The Spanish Prime Minister congratulated his Algerian counterpart on the drop in migrant arrivals, but the consequences are appalling: thousands of deported Sub-Saharan migrants are perishing in the desert between Mali and Niger. The UN has also called out on Algeria to stop mass expulsions. Such agreements are nothing new for Spain. More than 10 years ago, then-President José María Aznar lay the foundations for migration control. Pushbacks, deals with African countries and a sophisticated network of border control: a decade later, large parts of the Spanish system have been replicated everywhere in Europe.
4. Project Labanof identifies the migrants who drowned on April 18, 2015
Nearly half of the 8,000 migrants who drowned on a boat in the Strait of Sicily on April 18, 2015 were minors. 13 Italian universities, coordinated by a coroner in Milan, have been working to identify them, and now, thanks to Project Labanof, they might finally have a name. On June 11, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) will gather at a round table in Rome for a joint project with Italy, Greece, Malta and Cyprus to identify migrants who went missing in the Mediterranean.
5. In Senegal, visiting the families of the immigrants murdered in Florence
Idy Diene, Modou Samb and Mor Diop were all Senegalese, and they were all murdered in Florence. Reporting for Internazionale, Annalisa Camilli went to Senegal to meet their families.
6. Government contract and immigration, the first reactions
Repatriations and No More Businesses. Before the proposed government was rejected last Sunday, this was the title of the chapter on immigration in the “Contratto di governo per il cambiamento”, the document that sealed the alliance between the two winning parties in the March election. While the anti-immigrant rhetoric is raising concerns among the foreign communities of Italy (who are already shaken by recent events), many are wondering whether the solutions proposed by the League and the Five Star Movement are actually feasible.
7. A journey through Europe in seven countries
About 50 asylum seekers in Divata, Greece, have blocked a busy highway in protest against overcrowding in the camp they are housed in. On Lesbos, “Cartoline da Lesbo” (Postcards from Lesbos) is a window into the life on the island, as seen through the volunteers’ eyes. Germany is ready to roll out mass holding centres for asylum seekers, in a sudden reversal of its policies of the last few years. During the weekend, 25,000 people who coordinated through the network of clubs and raves outnumbered the 5,000 who gathered to attend the AfD anti-immigrant march in Berlin. Even Montenegro is planning to build walls like the one between Serbia and Hungary, and the crackdown on migrants in Hungary has affected civil society groups. Fasting Muslims in Ramadan are “a danger to all of us“, said Denmark’s immigration minister Inger Stojberg, who has made similar remarks in the past. And while Belgium’s Prime minister has given the green light to a project that will make it possible to put children in detention centres, issues of migration in Bosnia – a key country along the new Balkan route – refugees get sucked into petty political squabbles.
8. A Rohingya refugee died on Manus Island in apparent suicide
He had fled the violence against the Rohingya in Myanmar, trying to reach Australia, and he took his own life on Manus Island. This is the story of Salim, deported by Australian authorities on the Papua New Guinea island because he was undocumented. More than 700,000 Rohingya are estimated to have left their land and fled to neighbouring countries, starting from Bangladesh. Substantial help might come from Canada, which has offered to take in Rohingya refugees and provide financial aid.
9. Refugees from the Zaatari camp map their world
Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp is a world. A huge one, where refugees and staff face serious spatial challenges. A geographer from the Rochester Institute of Technology created a lab in the camp to teach Syrian refugees to map their world.
10. The paradox of the passport
We know how much of the migrants’ suffering can be traced back to the inequality in the freedom of movement, and the power of visas and documents. This is why we recommend you read these thoughts by Atossia Araxia Abrahamian in the New York Review of Books on the evolution of the passport paradox.
Foto di copertina di Guglielmo Mangiapane via MSF Sea