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  • Brune Bušića 42, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
  • areyousyrious@gmail.com
  • Brune Bušića 42, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
  • areyousyrious@gmail.com

AYS DAILY DIGEST 19/8/2017: Sweden — no country for old people!?

Government in Sweden to deport 106-year-old woman to Afghanistan // Over 300 new arrivals to Greece // Love from Medborgarplatsen // The healthcare situation in Croatia disastrous// Deportation from Norway to Afghanistan

Photo by Ung i Sverige

Feature

The decission that Bibihal Uzbeki, 106 years old lady who was forced to leave her home, will be deported back to Afghanistan — together with 11 members of her family — is beyond cruel. While Sweden government brags about its openness and respect for human rights, they are not ready to offer shelter to somebody like Bibihal.

After she heard news about deportation, Bibihal suffered the stroke and is not responding. According to her family, she now sleeps all days and spends the nights talking to herself in her temporary home in Hova, Gullspång.

Photo Marjan Vucetic/AP

“Previously she could walk around by herself and she was speaking to us,” her son Mohammedullah Uzbeki told to the local reporter from Blank Spots. He is worried that she neither could manage the journey back nor survive in Afghanistan.

The entire family escaped from the city of Kunduz in 2015, after the Taliban attacked the region. In 2015, they went on a dangerous journey, like many people from Afghanistan, over the mountains and the sea, and on foot through the biggest part of the Balkans only to be able to continue to Sweden. Bibihal’s son and grandchildren took turns to carry her on their backs until Germany when they got a wheelchair.

It took them 20 days to arrive in Europe.

The young kids in the family have already learned Swedish, and their parents wanted them to get a future in this country, hoping for the best for their family. In 2015, when the family arrived in Sweden, the media were writing about Bibihal as the oldest refugee in the world. “We had problems many times. I suffered a lot,” she told The Guardian. “I fell and injured my head. I have scars on my head.”

Nevertheless, their application for asylum was rejected in June this year and now they are facing deportation. According to the Migration Agency’s decision, Bibihal must return to Afghanistan, or “to any other country willing to take her in”, which makes this decision even crueler. Like she is not a human being.

According to the UNHCR, older people make up some 8.5 per cent of the overall refugee population, majority women. Nevertheless, this is a group hardly anybody speaks about or takes care off. In camps, there are no programs for them, health care is limited, and they are often abandoned and depend only on family members.

At the same time, this is the population that is most reluctant to leave their homes, and when they do so, it means that no other choice was left to them.

So far, UNHCR or any big organizations taking care of refugees did not react to this ridiculous decision by Swedes migration authorities.

We hope that granny Uzbeki will spend her last days in peace, where she want to be, close to her family.

Greece

8 boats arrived in Greece over the last 48 hours bringing over 362 people.

While people are arriving at overcrowded islands, where the most reliable help is offered — again — by volunteers, UNHCR officials went to the island of Crete, where there is hardly any refugees, “to assess the situation”. As the local media report, the UNHCR representative in Greece Philip Leclerc went on Crete on Friday and is expected to stay until Monday “to evaluate the progress of a state-backed program to accommodate refugees whose asylum applications have been accepted”, the local media report. Others call this type of travel short holiday, but in UNHCR language it is “assessment of the situation”.

According to the official data, a total of 1,421 people arrived on the islands of the eastern Aegean so far this month. More than 14,000 migrants are currently in facilities on the islands, a third of them on Lesvos.

Photo by No Border Kitchen Lesvos

No Border Kitchen Lesvos needs help in order to be able to help people and provide the only decent meal many have on this island. In their today’s post, they remind that the people are still arriving, every day, while camp is far over capacity.

“We never see most of the new arrivals — those who survive the crossing are left sitting in prison vans over night then ferried straight into Moria prison camp. People from “problem nations” are subjected to a fast-track deportation process intended to “process” their asylum claims, immediately refuse them, and dump them back in the suffering they fled before they can draw breath.

Sometimes we do make contact into new arrivals, arriving in squats or flats in the city. One man who just made it over from Turkey — after being illegally pushed back three times by the Turkish coastguard — joked he was going to get a tattoo of the EU flag, he was so excited to have made it here.

How could we tell him what awaits him? That the EU condemns the thousands of refugees here to months on months of uncertainty, malnourishment, and violence in inhumane conditions? That the EU consistently ignores its own conventions on human rights and the rights of refugees? That his case will be handled with contempt and disdain, and that the border regime will do everything in its power to dehumanize him then push him back once more?”

Call for volunteers

Refugee Info Bus needs volunteers in Athens between the 24th of August and the 3rd of September.

“Do you also have a drivers license that is recognized by the European Union? Please get in touch as we would love to work with you. Our Refugee Info Bus team is missing the driving member as they are going on a little holiday — and we need to keep going to visit all the camps that we visit each week, on the mainland.”

Interesting and important new research by RefuComm. Their dedicated team interviewed 100 refugees at Chios confirming that there is an enormous and pressing need for information. “100% of refugees who were involved in the research told us they don’t get any information at all about their rights and the procedures for gaining a successful outcome. This has had and continues to have disastrous consequences. We are making it too easy for people to be rejected. Our research showed that they don’t have the most basic information.”

RefuCom offers possible solution to overcome this problem — ‘chatbot’, “a cutting edge but simple way for people to be able to ask specific questions about their particular situation without having to research lots of information that doesn’t apply to them.” See their last post where you will find more info about this.

Croatia

In Zagreb reception center Porin people got scabies, including minimum 2 children. In there more cases there is suspicion of a pulmonary TBC. Local general practitioners are present in the center, but obviously, it is not enough, while the Doctors of the World (Medicins du Monde), who was the only healthcare service in Porin for a long time, left at the beginning of August due to the cessation of funds. It is little to say that the healthcare situation is disastrous.

Serbia

Help us to help our friend to help our friends s in Sid, and thank them for all they are doing there for months now. Many people need their help. They prepare food for over 150 people every day. And much more.

“No Name Kitchen is a small NGO formed by independent volunteers whom I have had the opportunity to work with. Since their formation in Belgrade last winter they started cooking a hot meal a day for the hundreds of refugees living in an abandoned warehouse. The warehouse has since been demolished and they have now moved their kitchen to the border town of Sid, next to the border with Croatia. They continue to serve hot food to a few hundreds of refugees living there, often providing their only source of nutrition.”

France

Police continue preventing people from staying in the makeshift camp at Porte de la Chapelle. They even force people to leave from benches around. However, there are between 50–100 people who are there and volunteer who are trying to help them.

Photo AYS

Sweden

While granny Uzbeki waits for the decision on her appeal against deportation, hundreds of young Afghans and Swedes are still protesting against their government policy of deportations.

Ung i Sverige reports every day on their FB page about new events.

Today, about 1000 people came to greet them and share some love. “We don’t even see any opponents because there’s so much love at Medborgarplatsen,” was their message. Opposite to this groups was about 100 counter-protesters who chanted “Stå upp för Sverige” (Stand up for Sweden). They chanted “Out with the scum” and “No Afghans on our streets,” but the love was stronger today.

Participants in the protests formed a human chain in front of the young Afghans in the Medborgarplatsen square, holding up white sheets of paper with red hearts on.

The protest is going on for over two weeks now.

Norway

Another country that deports people to Afghanistan. Janne Løken visited the place where people are being locked down before the deportation. Among other, her friend who was in Afghanistan last time when he was 7 years old and has not family members of support in the country.

“Today I have been to probably the saddest place in Norway, trandum. Trandum detention as they so nice call it. Refugee camp stood on the sign along the way. But it’s nothing but a prison. The first thing that meets you is high piggtrådgjerder and I get associations for Moria,” she writes.

“Then there’s nothing to do. He thought it should be a library where they could borrow books but it’s not. A gym thought he’d be good too. I totally agree. No phone, no internet. He can call 5 minutes a day but can’t access his own phone before he leaves. During the day, he plays chess with other inmates… They’re being treated just like criminals. We were sitting on several tables with a visitor. Like you’re watching a movie from prison.”

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