Monday, September 29, 2014

Almost 40,000 Migrants Lost their Lives Crossing Borders/Seas Since 2000: IOM

Mediterranean Sea alone did cost over 22,000 migrants' lives since 2000 sounds like almost 4 thousand faceless and nameless fellow human-beings had lost their lives unnecessarily every year since 2000 while trying to escape - persecution, killing, or poverty. They were somebody's sisters brothers daughters or sons and now they are just statistics. Unfortunately, thanks to the the rise of anti-migrant right wing parties all over the industrialized world, the death toll of migrants seems to rise even more in the coming years. Every country which tightens its borders and does everything to prevent immigrants from entering its "sovereign land", is a complicit to this human tragedy unfolding everyday from Australia, to the US; from South Africa to Italy; from Saudi-Arabia to Libya.  
Geneva - IOM today (29/9/2014) released “Fatal Journeys: Tracking Lives Lost During Migration,” the world’s most comprehensive tally to date of migrant fatalities across land and sea.
With a count surpassing 40,000 victims since 2000, IOM calls on all the world’s governments to address what it describes as “an epidemic of crime and victimization.”
“Our message is blunt: migrants are dying who need not,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing, “It is time to do more than count the number of victims. It is time to

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Number of Syrian Kurds fleeing to Turkey nears 140,000: UNHCR

GENEVA. September 23 (UNHCR) The UN refugee agency on Tuesday said more than 138,000 refugees, mainly ethnic Kurds fleeing militant threats to towns and villages in northern Syria, have crossed into southern Turkey since Friday.
The latest arrivals passed through the two remaining open border points at Yumurtalik and the crossing east of Murstipinar/Akmanak.
UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming said the Turkish authorities had told the refugee agency that they are now managing the entry of refugees through two border points (previously nine) in three phases: security checks in order to maintain the civilian character of asylum; health checks, including measles and polio vaccination for very young children; and registration.
Mobile registration centres, large trucks donated by UNHCR and complete with computers, biometric and photographic equipment, are operating in the border crossing of Yumurtalik and in the yard of a primary school of Namik Kemal, Suruc.
Registration is also being carried out by government officials at a boarding school in Onbirnisan, in Suruc district hosting an estimated 50,000 refugees, as well as the Suruc town center less than 15 kilometers from the Syrian border.
Once registered, refugees receive an ID card, which provides access to free health care services in Turkish clinics, as well as other aid provided by local municipalities, non-governmental organizations and other aid agencies. The card is a critical document that also shows refugees have the temporary protection of the Turkish government.
"UNHCR field staff are visiting the border areas and areas hosting refugees on a daily basis, assessing urgent needs and coordinating the response among other humanitarian actors," Fleming said.
"Our field staff report the majority of new arrivals are women, children and the elderly, who arrive exhausted having walked several kilometers to safety on a dusty, rough road, with their luggage. Some of the elderly and disabled are carried to safety by relatives, their wheel chairs hopelessly unsuited to the rough terrain," she added.
On arrival, the refugees are given water before being transported to a registration point. The Turkish Red Crescent has set up a medical observation tent for injured refugees and more than 290 Syrians were taken to the Suruc hospital by ambulances over the weekend.
The refugee agency has already provided tens of thousands of relief items blankets, sleeping mats, jerry cans and plastic sheets to help in the response, coordinated by the government of Turkey. More aid is on the way.
UNHCR's Fleming said the first in a series of airlifts bringing aid for up to 200,000 people is expected to arrive in Turkey, from Amman, Jordan, on Wednesday afternoon. Another three flights from Amman and Copenhagen are expected to follow later in the week.
Many refugees are sheltering with relatives and friends, while others are staying in schools, wedding halls, mosques or other buildings. The Turkish government has set up two transit centres for 10,000 people each at Suleymansah Park in Mursitpinar and Onbirnisan, in Suruc, with support from UNHCR. The government also continues its work on two new camps already under way Derik Camp in Mardin and Islahiye camp also with UNHCR support.
Source: UNHCR

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Confessions of the Ex-‘Revo’: Befekadu Hailu

They are still indignant, confident and with unwavering devotion for human rights and the rule of law; the usual suspects, the one and the only ones- Zone9bloggers from the notorious Ethiopian prison still pen, criticize and inspire thousands regardless of the hardship they have to go through on a daily basis. I still couldn't believe this piece was written by someone who is being incarcerated for the crimes he didn't commit. Befqadu and his colleagues are critiquing the brutal and vengeful regime knowing that their shackles on their skinny arms and legs will be fastened harsh for such writings. I think, we are the ones who are in jail; THEY- the unbeatable young, fearless and innocent Ethiopians are sacrificing their lives to free us, AMEN!      
There was a time in my life when I used to think a lot about revolution in Ethiopia. In fact, in 2011 during the so called ‘Arab Spring’ I wrote a rejoinder article when Ethiopian democracy activists (especially those who are based in diaspora) planned a ‘Day of Rage’ using

የቀድሞው “የአብዮት አድናቂ” ኑዛዜ በፍቃዱ ዘ ኃይሉ

ወይ ጥንካሬ፡ ወይ ብስለት፡ ወይ የዓላማ ጽናት እንጂ ሌላ ምንም ሊባል አይችልም፡ይህንን የበፍቄን በሳል እና ትንተና የተሞላበት ደብዳቤ ለሚያነብ ሰው፡ በርግጥ፡ አንድ፡ ባልሰራው ወንጀል ቁምስቅሉን ከሚያይ እስረኛ የተጻፈ ነው ብሎ ለማመን እጅግ ይከብዳል። ዛሬም ይጽፋሉ፡ ይተቻሉ ያላንዳች ፍራ፡ ምንም እንኳን እንዲህ ዓይነቱ አልበገር ባይነት ተመርኩዞ በቀለኛውና ጨካኙ መንግስት የነገው ህይወታቸውን እንደሚያጨልመው እና በነዛ ቀጫጭን እጆቻቸው ላይ ያጠለቀውን ካቴና የበለጠ እንደሚያጠብቀው ቢረዱም። የታሰርነው፡ እኛ እንጂ እነሱማ ነጻ ናቸው።  
ርዕሱን  አላስታውሰውም ‘ንጂ እ..አ በ2011 Arab Uprising በመባል የሚታወሰውን አብዮትተከትሎ፣ ኢትዮጵያውያን ፌስቡከኞችም (በተለይ ዲያስፖራ የሚገኙ) ግንቦት 20 ላይ (ልክ በኢሕአዴግ የ20ኛ አገዛዝ ዕድሜ)   “Anger day” በሚል በፌስቡክ አብዮትመጥራታቸውን ተቃውሜ አንዲት ጽሑፍ ጽፌ ነበር፡፡ በዓመቱ ደግሞ ‹‹ አብዮት ወረት ነው›› በሚል ርዕስ በፌስቡክ አብዮት ለማስነሳት ፍላጎት ያላቸው በርካቶች እንዳሉ ገልጬ ነገር ግን ይጎድላቸዋል የሚባሉትንነገሮች ዘርዝሬ ጽፌ ነበር፡፡ በነዚህ ሁለት ጽሑፎች ላይ፣ ላዩን አብዮትን የተቃወምኩ ቢመስልም እውነታው ግን ጽሑፎቹ በተጻፉበትወቅት ሕዝቡም፣ ተቃዋሚ ልሂቃኑም፣ ሁኔታዎቹም ለአብዮት ዝግጁ አይደሉም የሚል ዝንባሌ ማሳየቱ ነበር፡፡
ከሌላ ዓመት በኋላደግሞ ‹‹ስለለውጥ›› በሚል ርዕስ ተከታታይ ጽሑፎችን በ‹‹ዞን 9›› ላይ በግል ተነሳሽነት ማስፈር ጀምሬ ነበር፡፡ ጽሑፉን የጀመርኩት ‹‹ኢሕአዴግ ሥልጣኑን በምርጫ ይለቃል?›› በሚል ጥያቄ ነበር፡፡ ‹‹አይለቅም›› የምልባቸውን ምክንያቶች ካስቀመጥኩ በኋላ የለውጥ አማራጭ የምላቸውን (አብዮት፣ሰላማዊ አለመታዘዝ /civil disobedience/ የመሳሰሉትን) በየዘርፉ እየቀነጫጨብኩ ለማሳየት ነበር ዓላማዬ ከዚያም ‹‹የለውጥ ፍርሃት››፣ ‹‹የሥርዓት ለውጥ እና ሃይማኖት››፣ ‹‹የ1966ቱ የኢትዮጵያ አብዮት እና የማኅበራት ሚና›› የሚሉ ርዕሶችን በማንሳት በሐሳቦቹ ላይ በሐቀኝነት ለመከራከር ጥረት አድርጌያለሁ (ከዚህ በላይ አልገፋሁበትም እንጂ)፡፡ በበኩሌ ስለአብዮት በደንብ ያነበብኩትም፣ ያሰብኩትም፣ የጻፍኩትም፣ የተረዳሁትም ያኔ ነበር፡፡ ያኔ በአብዮት ላይ የነበረኝ እምነት ተሸርሽሮ ግማሽ ደርሶ ነበር፡፡ ተንጠፍጥፎ ያለቀው ግን

Monday, September 15, 2014

Over 2,500 people have drowned or gone missing trying to reach Europe: UNHCR

Half of those arriving in Europe by boat are refugees from Syria and Eritrea.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres and Special Envoy Angelina Jolie visited the naval rescue headquarters in Malta yesterday, on a weekend in which new boat sinkings were being reported off Egypt and Libya claiming more innocent lives. Ms. Jolie and Mr. Guterres met three survivors of one of the tragedies, who had been rescued by a commercial vessel and brought to Malta by the Maltese authorities.
In the Maltese capital Valletta, Ms. Jolie also visited Syrian refugee families who survived a similar devastating boat tragedy last October. They included a couple from Damascus whose three small children perished during the crossing, and a doctor from Aleppo whose wife and three year-old daughter drowned. Half of those arriving in Europe by boat are

Human Traffickers deliberately sunk Migrants boat in Mediterranean sea, killing 500

A picture released by the Italian navys shows migrants being rescued off the coast of Sicily
Migrants being rescued off the Coast of Sicily
About 500 migrants are feared to have drowned after the boat carrying them from Egypt to Malta was apparently deliberately sunk by people-traffickers, an intergovernmental group has said. The news – based on the accounts of two Palestinian survivors – emerged on the same day up to 200 more people were feared dead when another boat heading to Europe capsized off Libya. The Geneva-based International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said there was no independent verification for what happened, mainly because only nine people are believed to have survived. The IOM's account comes from the two Palestinians, who were rescued by another boat and taken to Sicily. If the men's account is correct, by the IOM's tally about 2,900 migrants

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Young Iranian asylum seeker died in Australia for medical neglect

Hamid KehazaeiHere we go again with another young man's life which was unnecessarily lost due to Australia's cruel policy against refugees and asylum seekers. When he left his country, he was looking for freedom and peace somewhere far away, little he knew he would end up in a notorious detention center which did cost his precious life. Right or left, Australian politicians spent/spending sleepless nights to bar refugees from entering their 'country' which their ancestors looted from Aborigines. Rest in Peace young man! A victim of racist policy.
Twenty four years old Iranian asylum seeker Hamid has been declared brain dead in a Brisbane hospital following his family's decision to switch off his life support. He had been declared ‘brain dead’ after contracting septicaemia from an infection contracted while in offshore detention on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, a refugee advocacy group says. Hamid Kehazaei's family decided to donate his organs

Calais : de l’exaspération des habitants au désespoir des migrants

Le nombre de sans-papiers à Calais, dont la très grande majorité souhaite se rendre en Angleterre, a explosé depuis le début de l'année 2014. Une situation qui pousse à bout les habitants et les migrants. France 24 est allé à leur rencontre.
 Elle avait haussé le ton ce weekend, exaspérée par la passivité britannique face au drame migratoire de Calais. Natacha Bouchart, la maire UMP de la ville du nord de la France, a finalement obtenu une réponse. Elle, qui avait demandé l’aide des Britanniques pour endiguer le flux de migrants illégaux a réussi à faire sortir  son voisin du mutisme. Face à la menace de l’édile français de bloquer le port de la ville, le ministre de l’Immigration anglais a proposé, dimanche 7 septembre, d’offrir à Calais les hautes clôtures d’acier qui avaient sécurisé la venue des chefs d’État lors du sommet de l’Otan à Newport. Soit 21 km de grillage de près de trois mètres de hauteur.
Que la proposition de Londres doive être prise au sérieux ou non, la menace lancée par

'Israel 'coercing Eritreans and Sudanese to leave' Human Rights Watch

A child from the African migrant community holds a placard ahead of a protest against Israel's detention policy toward migrants, in Tel Aviv (15 January 2014)The Irony is, this country which was founded at the beginning of 20th century by a few Israeli refugees who fled Europe to escape arbitrary detention, killing and inhumane treatment. Fast forward 2014, their descendants are repeating what happened to their parents, grandparents and great grand parents against fellow helpless and defenseless African refugees whose only crime is having a bit of more melanin on their skin. It just breaks my heart what these fellow human-beings have to go through in the Negev desert with no hope neither future. They have to chose the lesser two evils: being detained indefinitely in the "free country" or go back and face persecution, rape, and of course to be a modern day slave in the military camps in the case of Eritreans. Being a refugee is not a choice; these people have left their families, friends, careers and their home country behind, as if this is not enough, they are being treated like criminals is an open racism at its best.   

Saturday, September 6, 2014

አንድም የተሰደደ ጋዜጠኛ የለም: ሚኒስትር ዴኤታ ሽመልስ ከማል

ህምም የዛሬን አያድርገው እና አቶ ሽመልስ ከማል ቀደምት ከሚባሉት የግል ጋዜጣ ባለቤቶች እና ጋዜጠኞች ነበሩ። ከስራቸው ጋር 
መንግስት አንድም የተሰደደ ጋዜጠኛ የለም አለበተያያዘም ለእስር  ተዳርገው እንደነበር የመመረቂያ ጽሁፌን ለማዘጋጀት ከዛሬ ዓስር ዓመት (አቤት ጊዜው እንዴት ይሮጣልጃል) ኢትዮጵያ  ሄጄ እሳቸው እና ባልደረቦቻቸው እንዲጸድቅ ደፋ ቀና ሲሉለት  የነበረውው የፕሬስ ረቂቅ ህግ በተመለከተ ባደረግኩላቸው ጥናታዊ ቃለመጥይቅ ላይ ገልጸውልኝ ነበር። እነሆ ዛሬ ምኒስትር ሆነው የቀድሞ የሙያ አጋሮቻቸው የነበሩትን ንጽሃን ኢትዮጵያን በህግ ጠለላ ሆነው ግማሹን ለእስር ገሚሱን ደግሞ ለስደት ማጋለጣቸው ሳያንስ እንዲህ ዓይነት ዓይንአውጣ ውሸት በአደባባይ መናገር ግለሰቡ ታማኝነታቸው ሳይማር ያሰተማራቸውን እና ለተመረቁበት የህግ ትምህርት ስነምግባር ሳይሆን ለማን እና ለእነማን እንደሆነ በየጊዜ እያስመሰከሩ ይገኛሉ። ቦ ጊዜ ለሁሉ አይደለም የተባለው፡ ለማንኛውም ለሳምንታዊው አዲስአድማስ ጋዜጣ የሰጡት ቅጥፈት የተሞላበት ቃለምልልስ ይሄን ይመስላል።  
ክስ ያልተመሰረተባቸው ጋዜጦችና መፅሄቶች የሚያትምልን አጣን አሉ
ማተሚያ ቤቶች አናትምም ማለታው ሊያስመሰግናቸው ይገባል” አቶ ሽመልስ ከማል
ፍትህ ሚኒስቴር በ6 የግል ሚዲያ ተቋማትና ባለቤቶቻቸው ላይ ክስ መመስረቱን ተከትሎ 16 የሚደርሱ