[fyeg_gen-l] Fw: Weekly deaths at European borders

FYEG FYEG at europarl.eu.int
Thu Jun 19 20:11:05 CEST 2003

From: 	UNITED <info at unitedagainstracism.org>
To:	<info at unitedagainstracism.org>
Date: 	6/19/03 8:09
Subject: 	E-NEWS 19/06/2003: Weekly deaths at European borders

UNITED E-NEWS 19/06/2003

20 June International Refugee Day
"Weekly deaths at European borders - fatal realities of Fortress Europe"

On Monday this week, many would-be-immigrants from Africa drowned 
near Sicily in a Sea tragedy. On Tuesday, in the Strait of Gibraltar 
Spanish marines rescued about 160 refugees, who got into distress. 
While the leader
of Italy's far-right Lega Nord suggests to shoot "illegal" immigrants 
with cannons out of the water, thousands of refugees in desperate 
situations die at the borders of Fortress Europe.

UNITED, the European network against racism, monitors refugee deaths 
since 1993. The network of 560 anti-racist and refugee organisations 
has documented over 3800 deaths 
(http://www.united.non-profit.nl/pdfs/listofdeaths), who for instance 
drowned in the
Mediterranean See, the Strait of Gibraltar, suffocated in trucks or 
committed suicide in Europe's detention centers.

On 18 June this year, BBC reported about a would-be-immigrant, who 
died after jumping into the English Channel. It seems that the 
25-year-old man from the Ivory Coast decided to jump overboard when 
the crew found him hidden on the upper deck of a container ship. 
Earlier this year, a 22-year old Nigerian died of a lack of medical 
care in the refugee transit center in Thurhof (CH), followed just a 
few days later by a 18-year-old Iraqi, who crushed to death while 
trying to climb on a lorry in Calais (F) on its way to England.

UNITED spokesperson Leon Wansleben says: "All these deaths tell us a 
simple truth: Refugees will keep on coming to Europe even if we try 
our best to lock up Europe's doors. On the EU summit in Thessaloniki 
on 20 and 21 June,
the European leaders will discuss on how to protect the external 
borders from clandestine immigration. It is frightening that the push 
factor behind this policy of external border control is the desired 
decrease of asylum
applications. Europe's commitment to the 1951 Geneva Convention, 
whose 52 anniversary is ironically celebrated on 20 June, is ignored 
at the moment."
UNITED also criticizes UK's proposal for EU 'Transit Processing 
Centers', which will be discussed in Thessaloniki. Human Rights 
organisations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch call 
such centers "unlawful and unworkable" driving even more refugees 
underground. UNITED is convinced that instead Europe should turn to 
policies that address the causes for flight. Global social injustice 
and world-wide armed conflicts make people leave everything behind 
and risk their lives. "If we do not take care that the global 
political and socio-economic situation gets better, we cannot 
realistically expect people to stay in situations that we ourselves 
would find unbearable. Our commitment to human rights demands us to 
see refugees as human beings with individuals rights and needs."

Many non-governmental organisations co-operate in support of refugees 
around 20 June, the International Refugee Day 2003. In nearly all 
European countries activities take place, for example:
- In Great-Britain, several human rights and refugee organisations 
organise a Refugee Week with more than 160 activities all over the 
country. Please check www.refugeeweek.org.uk/
- The African Refugee Network in Ireland organises the "World Refugee 
Day Awards"
- In Romania, the Youth Forum for European Integration undertakes 
different activities around 20 June.

At the Prague Bienale Art Exhibition (27.6 - 31.8) the Italian artist 
Mario Rizzi will present an installation based on the UNITED Refugee 
Death List.

http://www.unitedagainstracism.org more information about the refugee campaign
http://www.united.non-profit.nl/pdfs/listofdeaths the list of refugee 
death cases
http://www.united.non-profit.nl/pdfs/deathlist2003.pdf the campaign 
poster documenting the refugee deaths can be ordered for free from 
the UNITED secretariat (max 100)

http://www.go-no-go.nl photo exhibition about the refugee situation 
at European Borders:
http://border-rescue.social-impact.at/ Internet project on refugee 
deaths and Czech-Austrian border

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UNITED for Intercultural Action
European network against nationalism, racism, fascism and in support 
of migrants and refugees
Postbox 413   -  NL 1000 AK Amsterdam
phone +31-20-6834778  -  fax +31-20-6834582
info at unitedagainstracism.org  -  http://www.unitedagainstracism.org
Start your cyberday on http://www.icare.to   -  Internet Centre 
Anti-Racism Europe

Aleksandar Jovanovic
Office Coordinator and Administrator
Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG)
European Parliament 
ASP 8G138
Rue Wiertz
B-1047 Brussels, Belgium
tel:+32 2 284 24 40
fax:+32 2 284 92 73
mob: + 32 4 86 96 17 18
e mail: fyeg at europarl.eu.int
web: www.fyeg.org

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