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refugees' boat

08 November 2012            #scroll down for English#

L’appello del sindaco di Lampedusa all’Unione Europea

Sono il nuovo Sindaco delle isole di Lampedusa e di Linosa

Eletta a maggio, al 3 di novembre mi sono stati consegnati già 21 cadaveri di persone annegate mentre tentavano di raggiungere Lampedusa e questa per me è una cosa insopportabile. Per Lampedusa è un enorme fardello di dolore. Abbiamo dovuto chiedere aiuto attraverso la Prefettura ai Sindaci della provincia per poter dare una dignitosa sepoltura alle ultime 11 salme, perché il Comune non aveva più loculi disponibili. Ne faremo altri, ma rivolgo a tutti una domanda: quanto deve essere grande il cimitero della mia isola?

Non riesco a comprendere come una simile tragedia possa essere considerata normale, come si possa rimuovere dalla vita quotidiana l’idea, per esempio, che 11 persone, tra cui 8 giovanissime donne e due ragazzini di 11 e 13 anni, possano morire tutti insieme, come sabato scorso, durante un viaggio che avrebbe dovuto essere per loro l’inizio di una nuova vita. Ne sono stati salvati 76 ma erano in 115, il numero dei morti è sempre di gran lunga superiore al numero dei corpi che il mare restituisce.

Sono indignata dall’assuefazione che sembra avere contagiato tutti, sono scandalizzata dal silenzio dell’Europa che ha appena ricevuto il Nobel della Pace e che tace di fronte ad una strage che ha i numeri di una vera e propria guerra.

Sono sempre più convinta che la politica europea sull’immigrazione consideri questo tributo di vite umane un modo per calmierare i flussi, se non un deterrente. Ma se per queste persone il viaggio sui barconi è tuttora l’unica possibilità di sperare, io credo che la loro morte in mare debba essere per l’Europa  motivo di vergogna e disonore.

In tutta questa tristissima pagina di storia che stiamo tutti scrivendo, l’unico motivo di orgoglio ce lo offrono quotidianamente gli uomini dello Stato italiano che salvano vite umane a 140 miglia da Lampedusa, mentre chi era a sole 30 miglia dai naufraghi, come è successo sabato scorso, ed avrebbe dovuto accorrere con le velocissime motovedette che il nostro precedente governo ha regalato a Gheddafi, ha invece ignorato la loro richiesta di aiuto. Quelle motovedette vengono però efficacemente utilizzate per sequestrare i nostri pescherecci, anche quando pescano al di fuori delle acque territoriali libiche.

Tutti devono sapere che è Lampedusa, con i suoi abitanti, con le forze preposte al soccorso e all’accoglienza, che dà dignità di esseri umane a queste persone, che dà dignità al nostro Paese e all’Europa intera. Allora, se questi morti sono soltanto nostri, allora io voglio ricevere i telegrammi di condoglianze dopo ogni annegato che mi viene  consegnato. Come se avesse la pelle bianca, come se fosse un figlio nostro annegato durante una vacanza.

Giusi Nicolini

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Translation of the public letter from the major of Lampedusa to the EU

by NOAS :
“I am the new mayor of the islands of Lampedusa and Linosa. Since I got elected this May I have been brought to my knowledge how 21 people has died at sea when they tried to reach Lampedusa, and to me this is unbearable. For Lampedusa this brings an enormous load of grief. We had to ask for help by the mayors of other towns in the province to bury eleven bodies, as we did not have any more space to bury them on the island. We will make some more, but I want to ask you all a question: how big should the cemetery of Lampedusa be?

I cannot understand how such a tragedy can be considered to be normal, how it is possible to ever forget the fact that, for example eleven people, of whom eight were very young women and two boys of eleven and thirteen years old, died last Saturday during a trip that should have been for them the start of a new life. 76 people of those who tried to escape to Lampedusa have been rescued but it initially were 115 people. It seems the number of people who dies is always much bigger than the number of bodies that the sea gives back.

I am outraged by people’s indifference and by Europe’s silence. I am shocked that Europe who has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize says nothing about the carnage that has taken so many lives.

I get more and more persuaded by how the European policy on immigration considers this tribute of human lives as a way to moderate the flows of migration, if not, as a deterrence.
But if this escape route is people’s last chance to hope, I believe Europe should feel shame and disgrace for their deaths.

In this very sad page of history that we are all writing, one can find comfort in how men of the Italian state rescue human lives 140 miles away from Lampedusa, while someone just 30 miles away from the shipwreck, as last Saturday, should have been rescued by the motorboat that our former government gave to Gheddafi. Their request for help was ignored and the boat is instead used to confiscate our fish boat far away on the Libyan sea.

Everybody should know that it is Lampedusa, through its citizens, through the rescue and reception forces that value the human lives of all people, and which give pride to our country and to all of Europe. So if the deaths are only our deaths, I will as a symbol of their value send a grief telegram for each person who has died.
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Nobel Peace Prize 2012 awarded to European Union

In 2012 the EU received the Nobel Peace Prize for advancing the causes of peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said its decision was based on the stabilising role the EU has played in transforming most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace.

The EU’s most important achievement, according to the committee, has been “the successful struggle for peace and reconciliation and for democracy and human rights “.

The work of the EU represents “fraternity between nations” and amounts to a form of the “peace congresses” cited by Alfred Nobel as criteria for the Peace Prize in his 1895 will.

The European Union is the 21st international organisation to win the award since 1901.

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DUBLIN II REGULATION

The objective of this Regulation is to identify as quickly as possible the Member State responsible for examining an asylum application, and to prevent abuse of asylum procedures.

SUMMARY

This Regulation establishes the principle that only one Member State is responsible for examining an asylum application. The objective is to avoid asylum seekers from being sent from one country to another, and also to prevent abuse of the system by the submission of several applications for asylum by one person.

The objective and hierarchical criteria are therefore defined in order to identify the Member State responsible for each asylum application.

Criteria

The criteria are to be applied in the order in which they are presented in the Regulation and on the basis of the situation existing when the asylum seeker first lodged his/her application with a Member State.

  • Principle of family unity

Where the asylum seeker is an unaccompanied minor, the Member State responsible for examining his/her application is the Member State where a member of his/her family is legally present, provided that this is in the best interest of the minor. In the absence of a family member, the Member State responsible is that where the minor has lodged his/her application for asylum.

For adults, where the asylum seeker has a family member who has been allowed to reside as a refugee in a Member State, or if the application for this person is underway, that Member State will be responsible for examining the asylum application, provided that the person concerned so desires.

In addition, asylum applications submitted simultaneously or on close dates by several members of a family can be examined together.

  • Issuance of residence permits or visas

Where the asylum seeker is in possession of a valid residence document or visa, the Member State that issued it will be responsible for examining the asylum application. Where the asylum seeker is in possession of more than one valid residence document or visa issued by different Member States, the responsibility for examining the asylum application will be assumed by the Member State that issued the residence document conferring the right to the longest period of residency.

The same rules apply where the asylum seeker is in possession of one or more residence documents that expired less than two years earlier or one or more visas that expired less than six months earlier, but where the asylum seeker has not left the territories of the Member States.

  • Illegal entry or stay in a Member State

Where the asylum seeker has irregularly crossed the border into a Member State, that Member State will be responsible for examining the asylum application. This responsibility ceases 12 months after the date on which the border has been illegally crossed.

When the asylum seeker has been living for a continuous period of at least five months in a Member State before lodging his/her asylum application, that Member State becomes responsible for examining the application. Where the applicant has been living for a period of time of at least five months in several Member States, the Member State where he/she lived most recently shall be responsible for examining the application.

  • Legal entry in a Member State

Where a third-country national applies for asylum in a Member State where he/she is not subject to a visa requirement, that Member State will be responsible for examining the asylum application.

  • Application in an international transit area of an airport

Where a third-country national applies for asylum in an international transit area of an airport of a Member State, that Member State shall be responsible for examining the application.

Exceptions

If no Member State can be designated on the basis of the criteria listed, the first Member State with which the asylum application was lodged will be responsible for examining it.

At the request of another Member State, any Member State may accept to examine an asylum application for humanitarian reasons based in part on family or cultural considerations, provided that the persons concerned consent.

Taking charge of the asylum applicant

The Member State designated as responsible for the asylum application must take charge of the applicant and process the application.

If a Member State to which an asylum application was submitted deems that another Member State is responsible, it can call on that Member State to take charge of the application. A request to take charge or to take back should provide all the information for the Member State requested to determine whether it is actually responsible. Where the requested State accepts to take charge of or to take back the person concerned, a reasoned decision stating that the application is inadmissible in the State in which it was lodged and that there is the obligation to transfer the asylum seeker to the Member State responsible is sent to the applicant.

Context

The Dublin II Regulation replaces the 1990 Dublin Convention which set the criteria relating to a country responsible for processing an asylum application. All EU Member States shall apply the Regulation, including Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

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07 Oktober 2013 – ‘Kein Platz im Boot’ von Heribert Prantl – Sueddeutsche Zeitung

Der Massentod vor Lampedusa ist Teil der EU-Flüchtlingspolitik, er gehört zur Abschreckungsstrategie. Die Außengrenzen des Friedensnobelpreisträgers wurden so dicht gemacht, dass es auch für Humanität kein Durchkommen gibt. Über die Menschenverachtung der Schmuggler kann man lamentieren – aber sie kann nur gedeihen, weil es in der EU-Politik keine Achtung vor Flüchtlingen gibt.

Ein Kommentar von Heribert Prantl

Das Mittelmeer ist ein Massengrab. Die toten Flüchtlinge sind Opfer unterlassener Hilfeleistung; womöglich handelt es sich auch um Tötung durch Unterlassen. Sie sind jedenfalls Opfer der europäischen Flüchtlingspolitik, der Politik also des Friedensnobelpreisträgers von 2012, der Europäischen Union. In dieser Politik hat die Abwehr von Menschen den Vorrang vor der Rettung von Menschen. Diese Politik behandelt den Flüchtlingstod auf dem Meer wie ein Schicksal, das man nicht ändern kann, nicht ändern will und nicht darf – weil die Politiker fürchten, dass Hilfe noch mehr Flüchtlinge anlocken könnte.

Hilfe gilt als Fluchtanreiz. Deshalb ist sie verboten, deshalb wird sie bestraft, deshalb nimmt die EU-Politik den Tod der Flüchtlinge fatalistisch hin. Die Tränen, die nun angesichts des Massentodes vor Lampedusa von EU-Politikern zerdrückt werden, sind Krokodilstränen; und die Reden dieser Politiker sind Krokodilsreden. Der Tod der Flüchtlinge ist Teil der EU-Flüchtlingspolitik, er gehört zur Abschreckungsstrategie, die der Hauptinhalt dieser Politik ist.

Das Boot, mit dem sich vorige Woche Kinder, Männer und Frauen nach Lampedusa retten wollten, war fast leer – weil die verzweifelten Flüchtlinge zu Hunderten ins Wasser gesprungen sind. Sie wollten sich retten und sind ertrunken. Aber nicht nur deswegen war das Boot leer. Es war auch leer, weil Europas Politik ihre Flüchtlingsstrategie auf den Satz vom “vollen Boot” gründet: Der Wohlstand soll in Europa drinnen, die Armut draußen bleiben. Deswegen wurde vor 20 Jahren das deutsche Asylrecht geändert. Man tat so, als sei die Änderung ein Beitrag für ein neues, gemeinsames EU-Asylrecht.

Der damalige Innenminister Manfred Kanther schwärmte von einem EU-Konzept, von einem europäischen Verantwortungszusammenhang. Das neue deutsche Recht, so schwadronierte er 1995 vor dem Verfassungsgericht, sei Teil dieses Konzepts, dessen schützende Wirkung sich noch entfalten werde. Die höchsten Richter glaubten dieses Geschwätz oder trauten sich nicht, es infrage zu stellen.

Die Botschafter der Menschenrechte kommen nicht so elegant daher

Zwei Jahrzehnte später ist vom angekündigten Schutzkonzept nichts zu sehen. Das deutsche Asylabwehrrecht wurde europäisiert. Entfaltet hat sich ein System der Unverantwortlichkeit. Jeder EU-Staat schiebt den Flüchtling ab in den nächsten, jeder wäscht die Hände in Unschuld. Die Hin-, Her- und Abschieberei ist Hauptinhalt des EU-Flüchtlingsrechts.

Staaten haben Botschafter mit Schlips und Kragen. Die Menschenrechte haben auch Botschafter, nur kommen die nicht so elegant daher. Die Flüchtlinge sind die Botschafter des Hungers, der Verfolgung, des Leids. Doch Europa mag diese Botschafter nicht aufnehmen und nicht empfangen. Die europäischen Außengrenzen wurden so dicht gemacht, dass es dort auch für Humanität kein Durchkommen mehr gibt.

Die Politiker sprechen von “illegaler Einwanderung”. Wann ist ein Mensch illegal? Ist es illegal, wenn er sich zu retten versucht? Ist es illegal, wenn er sich dabei sogenannter Schlepper bedienen muss, weil er sonst wegen der juristischen und faktischen Absperrmaßnahmen von vornherein keine Chance hat?

“Zerreißt den Mantel der Gleichgültigkeit, den Ihr um Euer Herz gelegt”

Die Flüchtlinge sind nicht illegal, sie werden illegalisiert. Zu den Grundirrtümern der vergangenen Jahrzehnte gehört der Glaube, dass man Flüchtlinge gerecht sortieren könne: in “gute” Flüchtlinge, die allein aus politischen Gründen, und in “böse”, die allein aus wirtschaftlichen Gründen kommen. Alle Anstrengungen wurden darauf verwendet, alle sind gescheitert. Wann wurde je mit gleicher Kraft versucht, den Menschen dort zu helfen, wo sie das Schicksal trifft?

Eine Politik, die das, was sie “illegale Einwanderung” nennt, zu verhindern sucht, kann ohnehin nur dann erfolgreich sein, wenn sie ein gewisses Maß an legaler Einwanderung zulässt. Wenn keine Einwanderung zugelassen wird, wenn es auch keine nachhaltigen Versuche gibt, die Verhältnisse in den Fluchtländern zu verbessern – dann wird die Politik von Menschenschmugglern gemacht. Über deren Menschenverachtung kann man dann lamentieren; sie kann gedeihen, weil es in der EU-Politik keine Achtung vor Flüchtlingen gibt.

Die EU-Politik ist stolz auf ihre Grenzschutztruppe Frontex. Darf man wirklich stolz sein auf eine Truppe, die nur Grenzen schützt, aber nicht Flüchtlinge? In den Flugblättern der Weißen Rose hieß es einst: “Zerreißt den Mantel der Gleichgültigkeit, den Ihr um Euer Herz gelegt.” Diese Sätze aus furchtbarer Zeit sind keine Sätze nur für das Museum des Widerstands; sie haben ihre eigene Bedeutung in jeder Zeit, auch in unserer. Sie gelten in Diktaturen und Rechtsstaaten, auch im “Raum des Rechts, der Sicherheit und der Freiheit”, wie sich Europa gerne nennt.