Mare Liberum e. V. documents human rights violations and border violence against people on the move in the Aegean Sea. On the life-threatening escape routes between Turkey and Greece, people are regularly pushed back by authorities with violent means to hinder them from reaching the EU. Through publishing testimonies, we make the voices of affected people visible and fight together to strengthen fundamental human rights. By collecting and publishing data on the general situation in the Aegean we increase pressure on responsible authorities to respect human rights and to hold them accountable for their human rights violations.
WHAT WE DO
Collecting testimonies: Mare Liberum builds networks with people who have been involved in pushbacks and want to share their stories. We conduct testimonies with people on the move on their personal experiences and crosscheck the received information with other sources. All this information is stored in our “Database on Border Violence and Pushbacks” and used for media work, advocacy and campaigning to advance the public understanding of these human rights violations, to help stop them, as well as to hold involved authorities responsible. The database is not publicly available to protect the people on the move that has given us their information.
Research: Mare Liberum conducts press reviews and research on data concerning migration movements and “operations” of border patrols in the Aegean. We collect all publicly available information on migration in the Aegean and store it in relation to the testimonies that have been collected before. Part of the research results on contextual information for articles and pushback testimonies and the other part results on an archive of news articles (soon to be publicly available). The aim is to get a historical overview about the situation at sea and border violence in the region.
Advocacy: Mare Liberum engages in advocacy within the Border Violence Monitoring Network. Together with the other partner organizations, Mare Liberum submits information about the situation in the Aegean to different institutions such as UN organs or EU organs.
We want to counter the EU’s deadly isolationist border and migration policies and show resistance against border violence (in the Aegean). Our core aims include:
- Strengthening fundamental human rights and the access to the right to asylum.
- Freedom of movement and safe passage for all.
- End of border violence.
- Showing solidarity with people on the move being in highly vulnerable situations.
- Increasing public awareness of the ldeadly escape routes and motivation to show solidarity with people on the move.
- Increase pressure on responsible authorities operating in the Aegean Sea to respect human rights and to be held accountable for human rights violations.
- Support and Collaboration with People’s on the move self-organization.
Our monitoring focuses on the border region between Turkey and Greece, which has reached an even higher level of militarisation since the dirty EU-Turkey deal of March 2016.
People on the move still find themselves forced to board unseaworthy boats to leave the allegedly „safe third country“ of Turkey – every day. Since 2014, thousands of people have drowned trying to cross the Aegean Sea. Fortress Europe is doing everything to systematically prevent protection seekers from reaching the EU. For this, they do not shrink back from the use of humiliation, violence, and torture.
The Aegean is a highly militarized border region where daily human rights violations and pushbacks are the modus operandi. This cannot be understood as a Greek project alone. Greece can count on the support of Europe, which not only tolerates pushbacks and violence at the borders but also actively supports them. The EU invests billions of euros in the militarization of the border. The EU not only supports Greece financially in forcibly warding off people on the move but it also presents itself in such operations, namely through the European border protection agency Frontex. Against this background, we demand:
- Public (greek) Authorities must rescue people being distressed and live threatened at sea!
- Stop the deadly, illegal practice of pushbacks and other human rights violations. These crimes need to be clarified and those actors involved need to be held accountable!
- Establishing safe and legal migration routes for everyone. Freedom of Movement for all!
- Abolish all camps and create safe accommodation for refugees!
- Civilian sea rescue and monitoring missions must not be criminalized and blocked!
- Stop the criminalization of people on the move and solidarity movements!
- Abolish Frontex!