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After years of the EU and Greece turning a blind eye, Moria refugee camp on Lesvos burned to the ground on the night of 8-9 September 2020. The underlying structures, however, remain in place and continue to reproduce the injustice elsewhere.
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Co-signed statement from Europe Must Act.
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To what extent are German police and Bundeswehr (german military) ships involved in practices that violate international maritime law, the Geneva Convention and applicable EU law?
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The situation in the camps on Kos and Leros is a bit different, since they are continuously “closed” camps by definition. As the camps and the islands hosting them are much smaller, there are fewer solidarity networks and very little information about the current situation.
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An overview of illegal and inhumane pushbacks in the Aegean Sea.
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In July 2020, the European Union granted an additional 500 million Euro to Turkey within the framework of the so-called "EU-Turkey Deal". Over 6 billion Euro have so far been paid to Turkey by the EU since the 2016 deal, whereby EU leaders persuaded the country to support them in “protecting their borders” by forcibly preventing a further influx of refugees.
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The initial idea that COVID-19 would make everyone equal quickly was misplaced, especially on Lesvos. While race, nationality, gender, and wealth do not physically determine who is most likely to be infected with COVID-19, these factors starkly influence how comfortably and efficiently people can protect themselves from or suffer an infection with the virus.
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On June 29th the Turkish Coast Guard picked up a dinghy in distress. The boat had reached Greek waters before but was stopped there by the Hellenic Coast Guard. Instead of rescuing the people from the absolutely unseaworthy dinghy as it would have been their duty, the Coast Guard took away their fuel and pushed the 40 people on board back to Turkish waters.
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While for several weeks now pushbacks and dangerous standoffs at sea became the common practice in the Aegean to prevent migrants from reaching Greece, we witness that at the same time there are many efforts to ‘empty the island’ and push refugees to leave.