Evros: Three immigrants froze to death, two drowned during Frontex Rabit-Operation

Friday, 17.12.2010: The dead bodies of two sans-papiers immigrants who tried to cross the greco-turkish border were discovered near Nea Vissa village. The two men from Africa froze to death, while a third one was found almost dead and transfered to the Didymoteicho hospital. Nea Vissa is close to the city of Orestiada, were Frontex headquarters are located.

Update I (20.12.2010): Another immigrant that has frozen to death was discovered in the Nea Vissa region. He was between 25 and 30 years old, from Africa.

Update II (7.1.2010):Two more immigrants were found dead in the Evros region. They probably drowned, trying to cross Evros river.

Frontex: Blood on your hands, now also in Evros region. In the end, not really surprising… Oh, you are just a coordinator?! What do you guys in Warsaw and at the border think, whose cameras and patrols forced the dead to hide themselves so long and so far from urban terrain that they froze to death?

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Article in the german magazine “Spiegel”:

Greece-Turkey: Border police chase refugees in minefield

The treatment of refugees on the border between Greece and Turkey shocks German policemen. The policemen who are engaged there in the European Frontex unit, report to information from SPIEGEL shootings and inhumane detention centers.

Hamburg – The treatment of refugees on the Greek-Turkish border touches even hard-boiled German policemen who are deployed there in the European police force Frontex. People would be prevented with physical force from crossing the border, German officials report to SPIEGEL information; some of them were chased away by gunfire while hunting them in an area with anti-tank mines. Detainees were transported in dilapidated vans with no seats and windows to the reception centers, where they were housed and interrogated under inhumane conditions. The sanitary conditions there were so bad that officials wore masks and gloves. Since methods and conditions were contrary to German law, the responsible officer has already directed his men not to participate any longer in certain missions. At the end of November, federal interior ministry officials flew to Greece in order to get a picture of the conditions. “Germany watches the development with concern and Greece has been asked to improve the situation of refugees,” said a spokesman of the Ministry

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Rabit-operation in Greece

Update II:

Frontex annouced that a decision has been signed to extend the RABITs Joint Operation 2010 in Greece until March 2011. The RABIT Teams have been deployed at the Greek-Turkish land border since the 2nd of November and initially were to stay for two month.

Besides the European Commission provides an additional package of €9.8 million to Greece for further technical support on asylum and border issues.

Update I:

In total, 175 border-control specialists have been made available by the 26 Member States and Schengen-Associated Countries participating in the first ever RABIT deployment.

The assets made available from Member States’ commitments to Frontex’s Centralised Record of Available Technical Equipment (CRATE) are as follows:

  • Helicopter (Romania)
  • 1 Bus (Romania)
  • 5 Minibuses (1 Romania, 2 Austria, 1 Bulgaria, 1 Hungary)
  • 19 Patrol cars (4WD) (7 Romania, 3 Austria, 2 Slovakia, 7 Germany)
  • 9 Thermo Vision Vans (2 Austria, 2 Bulgaria, 4 Germany, 1 Hungary)
  • 3 Schengen buses (1 Austria, 2 Hungary)
  • 3 office units from Denmark

Source: Presse Release III

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Frontex Rapid Border Intervention Teams to patrol the Evros border

Greece requested the European Union to send armed so called Frontex Rapid Border Intervention Teams (RABITs) to the Greek-Turkish border. This became public on Monday the 25th of October 2010. Greek government statistics state that irregular migration has been increasing in the Evros-Region where the land broder to Turkey stretches over 12 km. According to the Greek Minister of Citizens’ Protection Christos Papoutsis only during the first October weekend of this year 1,400 refugees have been intercepted in that region.

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Frontex PRESS KIT: Rapid Border Intervention Teams

Frontex Press Release I

Frontex Press Release II

Rough translation of the Network for social support to migrants and refugees announcement on RABIT’s operation at Evros:

The development of Frontex’ Rapid Border Intervention Team in Evros region is not a blessing, European help or “solidarity”. A modern military unit to confront not an opposing army but of the fugitives of poverty, imperialist wars and climate change, is not only a threat for asylum rights in Europe, a fact that raises the risks in migration routes and the possibility of deportation to a country where migrants’ lives are threatened. It is a threat to the whole society, a society even more addicted to “state of emergency” policies, policies of stigmatization and collective responsibility, mass deportation and detention, policies emanating from the darkest periods of European history. It is clear: the “solidarity” of European governments is on exporting repression mechanisms, on rights restrictions and on enforcement of anti-social policies. It proves the ideological proximity between Papandreou, Berlousakoni and Sarkozy, a common effort to redirect social rage on immigrants, who are becoming scapegoats of economic crisis. We insist: it is not migrants who threaten the income, employment and security of local people. It is the illegalization and precarization policies which make migrants vulnerable to labor exploitation and social exclusion. It is the denial of any reception fascilities and the dismantling of existing hospitality structures. It is the violation of the right to political and umanitarian asylum proceedures. It is the policies which assign immigration policy to police and repressive mechanisms. That’s why we resist to the efforts of the government and the media to create the image of immigrants as a threat. We resist Frontex, the most developed part of european militarism which directs against the “new enemy” created by the European neo-racism.

Unwelcome migrant hunters of Frontex!
Solidarity with migrants!

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Bulgaria: New Ships to guard Black Sea Border

Bulgaria inaugurated five new coast guard patrol vessels to guard the Black Sea border to EU as a measure to meet the requirements for accession to the Schengen Agreement. (…) All five new ships have been included in Bulgaria’s integrated system for the observation of the sea border, which is part of the European External Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR). They will be taking part in operations of the Frontex Agency, coordinating the operational cooperation between member states in the field of border security under the European Patrol Network project.

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“Le Monde”, Paris: Frontex launches first expulsion charter

For the first time since it was launched in 2004, Frontex, the Warsaw-based agency responsible for the EU’s external borders, has funded and organised its own charter flight to deport undocumented aliens. Le Monde reports that on 28 September, “in a deliberately low-key operation,” 56 Georgian migrants arrested in Poland, France, Austria and Germany were flown from Warsaw to the Georgian capital Tbilisi. In 2011, Frontex, which has has been granted a budget of 676 million euros for the period 2008-2013, plans to organise and finance between 30 and 40 charters to repatriate migrants who have illegally entered the EU. For Frontex’s deputy director, the increased role of the European Union “will come as a relief to national governments who will no longer have to ‘carry the burden’ of negative public opinion, embarrassment and disapproval prompted by collective repatriation procedures.” Le Monde also notes that “another advantage” of grouped operations is that they benefit from the “added weight” of the EU, “which can exert more pressure than individual member states when negotiating with third countries on the return of their citizens.”

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29.09.2010: Blockade of a Frontex Meeting in Brussels

The Security and Defense Agenda thinktank organised a roundtable on ‘finetuning EU border policy’, in Brussels on September 29th. Key speaker was Ilkka Laitinen, Executive director of FRONTEX. Thirty activists disturbed the meeting of industrials, politicians, lobbyists and ‘independant’ experts.

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Furthermore,  there has been protest against Frontex at the airport of Brussels on the 2.10.2010: Pictures

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Bye-Bye, Frontex

Today, unkown activists beautified the Frontex-Box on the Greek island of Samos. The Frontexplode-Campaign welcomes this action, but denys any responsibility. To say it with Ilkkas´ words:

We are not responsible. We are just a coordinator!

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FRONTEX: The movie 2.0.

New version of the FRONTEX film: It also includes the actions against FRONTEX on the greek island of Lesvos and during their “birthday party” in Warsaw.

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Bremen: Small action against the link between space research, military purposes and the FORNTEX war against refugees

General Motors of the European Army and Border Surveillance (EABS) says „Thank you“ to the space researchers at the COSPAR 2010 in Bremen.

COSPAR is a big meeting of up to 3000 space researchers from all over the world that took place in Bremen this month. It was mainly financed by the Bremen based multinationals OHB and EADS who are involved in European satellite programs like GMES or SAR-LUPE that are used by the German army and also by FRONTEX in the war against refugges.
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