Archives de catégorie : Migrants à la mer

Ed Taylor, Diary of a Rescue Worker on the Mediterranean Sea,, 04/21/ 2017

In the past week, almost 9,000 people were rescued on the Mediterranean Sea. Ed Taylor, Medecins Sans Frontieres’ project coordinator onboard the MV Aquarius, relives one such rescue on March 26, 2017. The search and rescue vessel, which has a 21-person crew and is run jointly by MSF and French charity SOS Mediterranee, rescued 515 people in five boats on one day last week.

Amid a surge in refugee boats from North Africa, a humanitarian worker describes one grueling day onboard a search and rescue ship on the Mediterranean Sea and his dismay at reactions to such rescues in Europe.

 » (…) It’s easy to question people’s motives from behind a newspaper or a keyboard. This ease is granted by the stability of our nations, but things change and sometimes they change faster than we expect. One day it may be us or our children or our grandchildren running for our lives. If that day comes, I sincerely hope there is someone there to pull us from the water.

Having later signed off on the death certificate and report written by the doctor onboard the Aquarius, I now know that the girl who died was called Berte, after her mother. She was 22 years old, and on the day she died, she chose to wear a red, navy and white striped jersey. »

photo @ High seas batter the side of the MSF-SOS Mediterranee search and rescue vessel MV Aquarius, as refugees and migrants attempt to shelter from the wintry conditions on its decks. December, 29, 2016. Kevin McElvaney/MSF

« The Uncounted: Invisible Deaths on Europe’s Borders », Ingeborg Eliassen,, 16/02/2017

« There is no official record of the number of refugees who go missing crossing the Mediterranean Sea trying to reach Europe. Ingeborg Eliassen of the Investigate Europe network explores why a European database of migrant deaths does not exist. »

MYTILINI, Greece – « Along an empty corridor, a handwritten note that reads “Register marriages, deaths, births here” signposts the cramped office of Aphrodite Andrikou, a municipal registrar in Mytilini, the capital of the Greek island of Lesbos.

There have been an awful lot of deaths to register on this island lately. In the early months of 2016, the cooling container outside Mytlini’s hospital was often full, and staff had to lay dead bodies inside the building.

Andrikou and her two colleagues have worked many long evenings and missed many family Sunday lunches to fill out all the death protocols since late 2015.

“I’m not complaining, we must care about the dead. That is our job,” says Andrikou. “This drama and these people have become part of our lives. Often I have been very sad. There were times when I cried a lot.”

In a normal year, approximately 400 people die in the harbor town of Mytilini. But recent years have not been normal.

In 2015, 856,723 refugees and migrants made it across the narrow stretch of the Aegean Sea from Turkey to the Greek islands. The population of Lesbos is around 86,000.

The numbers have steeply declined since March 2016, when the E.U. made an agreement with Turkey to stem migrant boats. Yet the number of refugees and migrants making the longer, even more dangerous Mediterranean crossing from north Africa to Italy has continued to grow.

The Mediterranean Sea is becoming deadlier every year. The U.N. estimates that at least 5,096 people died or disappeared at sea while trying to reach European soil last year. That is an increase from an estimated 3,771 deaths in 2015 and 600 in 2013.

These are estimates rather than scientific figures. Both the International Organization for Migration and the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) try to keep track of deaths based on information from a combination of sources: national coast guards and pathologists, media reports, data from aid agencies and interviews with survivors.

But no European authority has yet taken on the task of counting the dead on Europe’s frontiers. Until then, there will be no official record of the dead. »   (…)

Photo@ Ingeborg Eliassen; One part of the cemetery in Castellammare del Golfo in Sicily has been designated for migrants who have drowned in their attempt to reach Italy from northern Africa.

Sur le même thème voir :

Évelyne Ritaine, « Quand les morts de Lampedusa entrent en politique : damnatio memoriæ » , dans Effets-frontières en Méditerranée : contrôles et violences, Cultures & Conflits, 99-100, 2015, (en ligne)

Dossier/ I morti del Mediterraneo, Intrasformazione (online), 2016, 5 (1)

Et notre rubrique « Migrants à la mer » :




E.U. Border Agency Still Unaccountable on Refugees’ Rights, Apostolis Fotiadis,, 18/11/2016

Following the recent controversy over Syrians returned from Greece to Turkey, journalist Apostolis Fotiadis examines why it is so hard to hold the European agency Frontex to account for violations of refugees’ rights.

 » Last month, 10, Syrians boarded a flight organized and staffed by the European Union’s border agency, Frontex, on the Greek island of Kos, believing their destination was Athens. Instead, they landed in the Turkish city of Adana.

The Syrians had wanted to seek international protection in Greece, and carried documents indicating their intention to initiate asylum procedures. They were never given deportation orders or offered an opportunity to mount a legal challenge to their deportation.

Their return to Turkey has become a point of acute controversy between the Greek government and the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR. Amnesty International has denounced the incident as refoulement, the illegal return of refugees to a country where they could face persecution.

In recent months Greece has been under severe pressure from its E.U. partners to expedite returns under the deal reached with Turkey in March. Frontex, with a mandate to enhance external border controls throughout Europe, has helped facilitate returns under the agreement.

When questioned about its responsibility for the Oct. 20 flight, its executive director, Fabrice Leggeri, told Refugees Deeply: “The agency is not competent to decide who shall be returned. This is a national competence.”

(…) Two weeks later, the European Commission incorporated a new complaint mechanism into a regulation reforming Frontex, now called the European Border and Coast Guard (EBCG). The reformed agency, operational since Oct. 6, has an expanded mandate, providing it with more executive power over border control, reception and return operations. The EBCG will run its own dedicated pool of equipment and seconded border officers, is able to initiate operations when E.U. members states fail to provide adequate border control and can also conduct operations beyond European borders.

The new complaint mechanism has not been as ambitious as the rest of the agency’s scope. Complaints can be submitted by an individual or their legal representative. They will be reviewed for admissibility by a “fundamental rights officer” employed by the EBCG, and admissible complaints are sent to the executive director of the EBCG regarding Frontex staff, or to an E.U. member state when their forces are the subject of complaint.

A group of 13 MEPs questioned the independence of this mechanism, noting that it is subject to the control of EBCG officials “for whose decisions there is no guarantee of impartiality and transparency,” in a written query to the European Commission in February. The European migration and home affairs commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos, took five months to respond, by which time negotiations over Frontex reform had already concluded.

“The complaint mechanism is a very important step,” Keller says. “But like all the other safeguards in the Frontex mandate, it doesn’t compare at all to the enlarged tasks and powers of Frontex.”

Keller believes the complaint mechanism will not substantially alter the agency’s response to allegations of wrongdoing. “Frontex has a habit of evading responsibility by throwing it to member states. Member states have the habit of throwing it to the commission. In the end, no one wants to be responsible.” » (…)

@photo : AP/Lefteris Pitarakis. Merikarhu, a Finnish border guard vessel that is part of the E.U.’s Frontex forces deployment, patrols the Aegean Sea on Feb. 29, 2016. ibidem

‘Com’è profondo il mare’, webserie verticale: come ristabilire un criterio di verità attraverso il video, Massimo Russo,, 21/11/2016

« L’iniziativa di Repubblica: esperimenti per aiutarci a comprendere, a ricordare, a sedimentare. Ci obbligano a pensare. E non solo a reagire a caldo. La sfida è semplice: raccontare utilizzando gli smartphone, demistificare con la stessa piattaforma sulla quale vola la disinformazione digitale

La visione è in soggettiva, la barca affonda, la camera finisce sott’acqua. Le richieste disperate di aiuto, nel mare in burrasca, le conversazioni intercettate tra gli scafisti che si accordano su come negare la tragedia ai familiari, i corpi nel relitto e sulla spiaggia. Nell’epoca della post-verità (copyright Christian Salmon), « Com’è profondo il mare », la webserie in cinque puntate per gli smartphone che da lunedì sarà online in esclusiva su, risponde a un bisogno: ristabilire un criterio di realtà, farlo attraverso il video – il linguaggio del nostro tempo – e con gli occhi di chi di solito non ha voce.  (…)

Webserie come questa sono esperimenti per aiutarci a comprendere, a ricordare, a sedimentare. Ci obbligano a pensare. E non solo a reagire a caldo, come è accaduto a Gorino. La sfida è semplice: raccontare utilizzando  gli smartphone, demistificare con la stessa piattaforma sulla quale vola la disinformazione digitale. Con il medesimo linguaggio, quello di WhatsApp, delle Instagram stories o di Facebook Live. Andare in profondità, stavolta letteralmente 370 metri sotto il pelo dell’acqua, per capire perché è necessario recuperare il barcone  con centinaia di corpi nella stiva.  42° Parallelo ha selezionato centinaia di minuti di immagini girate dai migranti con i loro telefonini per portarci dove non siamo mai stati, a bordo delle carrette che di solito vediamo solo all’arrivo, stavolta durante la traversata. Non c’è audio se non quello d’ambiente, niente voci se non le chiamate di soccorso alla guardia costiera con le richieste di soccorso. »  (…)

Primo episodio – Il dramma

Secondo episodio – Il naufragio

Terzo episodio – Cibo per pesci

Quarto episodio – Rifiuti umani

Webserie in verticale: videocronaca di un naufragio, tra corpi senza vita, urla ed eroi, Attilio Bolzoni,, 21/11/2016

«  »Com’è profondo il mare » è la webserie ( 5 episodi da 3′ 30″) da oggi in esclusiva su Repubblica. it. È la seconda delle serie realizzate  » in verticale » da 42° parallelo per essere fruite sul mobile. Le immagini esclusive ci riportano alla più grande tragedia del mare legata all’immigrazione: il naufragio del 18 aprile 2015 nel Canale di Sicilia in cui morirono più di 900 persone.

 Una testa nera e riccia che da lontano sembra una boa, cadaveri stipati nelle stive come sacchi di mercanzie, sulle spiagge gli avanzi che porta il mare. Una scarpa, un telo strappato, dei jeans, una bambola, un bambino che non respira più. Corpi che galleggiano fra le onde, corpi calpestati dai piedi nudi sui barconi, corpi restituiti con l’ultima burrasca. Poi ci sono quegli altri incastrati nel blu più profondo, aggrappati a un argano o a una cima, abbracciati a un figlio, un fratello, una madre, schiacciati dai loro compagni che rassegnati si sono lasciati scivolare sino alla sabbia. Immobili, somigliano a manichini. Circondati da pesci curiosi, branchi di sgombri, di orate, di piccole cernie. »   (…)


Photo @ Sommozzatori,

Vedere anche : "Cette inimaginable étreinte dans une mer de mort" : 


Marcher sur les morts, Aris Messinis, making-of.afp, 08/11/2016

« En mer Méditerranée – C’est la forme la plus primitive d’instinct de survie dont j’ai été témoin. Marcher sur des morts, aussi délicatement que possible, pour se sauver soi-même. Je couvre la crise des migrants et réfugiés bravant les périls de la mer depuis plus d’un an. Mais ce à quoi j’ai assisté au large de la côte libyenne défie la raison.

C’est arrivé au cours d’un séjour de deux semaines sur l’Astral, un voilier de 30 mètres de l’ONG espagnole Proactiva Open Arms. Elle fait partie de cette constellation d’organisations avec pour principal objectif de sauver de la noyade ceux qui cherchent à traverser la Méditerranée. »   (…)

@photo : AFP/Aris Messinis

Voir aussi :

Scènes de guerre en zone de paix, Aris Messinis,, 10/11/2015

Évelyne Ritaine, « Quand les morts de Lampedusa entrent en politique : damnatio memoriæ », dans Effets-frontières en Méditerranée : contrôles et violences, Cultures & Conflits, 99-100, 2015,

Dossier/ I morti del Mediterraneo, Intrasformazione (online), 2016, 5 (1),