Israeli forces violently suppress villagers working their land in Nabi Saleh

Unlike in previous demonstrations, two army jeeps invaded Nabi Saleh today an hour before the demonstration was due to begin. After midday prayers, over 60 villagers, joined by a number of Israeli and international activists, marched from the center of the village along a path through the olive groves on to the main road. The march then diverted into the valley below the village and proceeded towards the olive groves located by road 465, the road closest to the Halamish settlement that occupies Nabi Saleh land.

Palestinian activists protesting the denial of access to Nabi Saleh's land (Photo by ISM)

Palestinian activists protesting the denial of access to Nabi Saleh’s land

Reaching the olive groves, the villagers started clearing the lands around the olive trees and several army and border police jeeps arrived. One of the soldiers shouted at the crowd with a megaphone declaring the area a close military zone. The nonviolent protesters continued working the land, but Israeli forces began shooting tear gas canisters at them.

Despite the crowd dispersing around the valley, Israeli forces continued shooting tear gas canisters and then began aiming directly at people. The canisters ignited the surrounding agricultural land on fire and, with the high temperature and strong winds, the flames soon spread throughout the valley.

A number of villagers went peacefully towards the soldiers to protest the denial of access to their own land, but were soon met with stun grenades thrown, tear gas canisters shot and skunk water sprayed at them.

Israeli forces also launched several rounds of multiple tear-gas canisters from jeep-top launchers.  As a result, three people were treated for tear gas suffocation by Red Crescent personnel.

When the valley was full of tear gas, protesters marched back to the village where three border-police officers remained shooting tear gas canisters first at young boys still near the valley, and then further tear-gas and rubber-coated steel bullets indiscriminately into the village.

The protest finished at around 4:30pm when Israeli forces retreated back to the main road.

The village of Nabi Saleh has been demonstrating against the theft of the natural spring and the occupation since December 2009. Israeli forces violently suppress the weekly Friday protests by shooting tear gas canisters, skunk water, sound bombs, rubber coated steel bullets and even live ammunition at protesters. Two people have been killed, Mustafa and Rushdi Tamimi, and many others severely injured. Bassem Tamimi, from Nabi Saleh, has spent 17 months in Israeli jails, merely for being a prominent activist at the protests. After more than three year and despite the repression, Nabi Saleh continues to fight against the injustices of a brutal military Israeli occupation.


Israeli forces shoot tear gas canisters at protesters setting the land on fire (Photo by ISM)

Israeli forces shoot tear gas canisters, setting the land on fire

Skunk water truck spraying protesters (Photo by ISM)

Skunk water truck spraying protesters while soldiers shoot tear gas canisters

(Source / 31.05.2013)

U.N. adds Syrian militant al-Nusra Front to sanctions list

A still image of in a video showing fighters of the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front in Syria executing 11 men.

The U.N. Security Council on Friday blacklisted Syrian militant group al-Nusra Front and added it to its global sanctions list because of its links to al-Qaeda.

The group, a feared force battling President Bashar al-Assad, is now subject to an international asset freeze and arms embargo, according to an announcement made by the Security Council’s al-Qaeda sanctions committee.

France and Britain jointly sought al-Nusra’s designation after blocking a demand by the Syrian government.

Al-Nusra leader Abu Mohammed al-Jawlani last month pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, confirming suspicions of ties between the rebel group and the militant group founded by the late Osama bin Laden.

The U.S. government designated al-Nusra a terrorist organization last year and added al-Jawlani to its terrorist blacklist this month.

Western nations are acting against al-Nusra in a bid to shore up moderate opponents of Assad. The 26-month old Syrian conflict has left more than 94,000 dead, according to Syrian activists.

Experts have said al-Nusra gets aid from al-Qaeda’s Iraqi affiliate and the Security Council announcement specifically mentions links to al-Qaeda in Iraq.

The Islamist element of the Syrian conflict poses a quandary for Western powers and their Arab allies, which favor Assad’s overthrow, but are alarmed at the growing power of militant Sunni Muslim fighters whose anti-Shi’ite ideology has fuelled sectarian tensions in the Middle East.

While Assad has repeatedly labeled opposition forces as “terrorists,” Western powers have backed non-Islamist rebel fighters by providing aid and non-lethal assistance.

On Monday, the European Union effectively lifted an arms embargo that could allow countries to arm certain rebel forces by failing to agree to renew it.

(Source / 31.05.2013)

Een brief van een overledene

By Marianna Laarif

Kennen jullie mij nog? Of zijn de levenden gewoon om de doden snel te vergeten? Weten jullie nog toen ik mij te midden van jullie bevond tijdens de vorige Ramadan? Ook ik bevond mij tussen de menigte die knielend en buigend de nachten in de moskeeën doorbracht. Ook ik nam ootmoedig deel aan salaat at-tarawieh. Ook ik behoorde toen tot de vastenden, de biddenden en de filantropen (weldoeners). Ik wist toentertijd niet dat het mijn laatste Ramadan zou zijn.

Had ik het geweten, dan had ik nog meer mijn best gedaan om goede daden te verrichten en had ik meer liefdadigheid uitgegeven.
Had ik het geweten, dan zou ik geen enkel gebed in de moskee missen en dan had ik er alles aan gedaan om de Koran meerdere malen uit te lezen.
Had ik het geweten, dan zou ik op een afstand blijven van de zonden en mij niet begeven onder de slechteriken.
Herkennen jullie mij nog? Ik was het die jullie innig omhelsde op de dag van al-cIed.
Had ik geweten dat het mijn laatste cIed was, dan had ik jullie nog inniger omhelsd en had ik afscheid van jullie kunnen nemen.
Vergeet mij niet in jullie smeekbeden. Ik heb jullie smeekbeden hard nodig. Vraag Allah om mij en alle andere dode moslims in genade aan te nemen. Wij hebben reeds afscheid genomen van het huis van daden en wij zijn aangeland in het huis van verrekening. Benut iedere minuut en iedere seconde van jullie leven om het goede te verrichten. Probeer zoveel mogelijk bagage bijeen te rapen ter voorbereiding op het Hiernamaals. De beste bagage hier is Godsvrees. Neem voorbeeld aan degenen die reeds zijn heengegaan. De dood die hen heeft getroffen en die jullie ook niet zal sparen. Het wereldse leven is slechts een brug die ons verbindt met de eeuwige verblijfplaats, namelijk het Hiernamaals.
Mijn beste broeder en zuster, stel je eens voor dat deze Ramadan jouw laatste Ramadan zal zijn. En laat vervolgens dit idee jullie ertoe zetten om al datgene te doen wat Allah behaagt en meer standvastigheid te verkrijgen om tevens na het eind van deze grootse maand het Rechte Pad te blijven bewandelen, zodat jullie niet tot diegenen zullen behoren die na hun dood het volgende zullen roepen:
“O mijn Heer, laat mij terugkeren (naar het wereldse leven). Hopelijk kan ik goede werken verrichten voor wat ik nagelaten heb.”
(Soerat al-Moe’minoen: 99-100)

‘Islamization’ Reveals Gap Between Hamas Government, Movement

Palestinian members of Hamas national security forces march during a graduation ceremony in Gaza City, May 21, 2013.

In an unusual step, the Hamas bloc within the Palestinian Legislative Council held a session on the morning of May 29, 2013, questioning Interior Minister Fathi Hammad about violations of freedom in the Gaza Strip and Minister of Antiquities and Tourism Ali al-Tarshawi about the destruction of an archaeological site. Although there are some who consider this step not to be in earnest, the spokesman for the Gaza government Taher al-Nono said in an interview with Al-Monitor, “We consider this an important and natural step in the development and transparency sought by the government in Gaza.”

This step carried out by the Hamas bloc in the Legislative Council raises many questions about the extent of agreement and disagreement between Hamas the movement and Hamas the government. Has Hamas’ experience in ruling increased the movement’s credibility?

Nono said that Hamas’ arrival to power meant that they lost some supporters and gained others, and in any case one cannot please everyone. He said that since the very beginning the government has been flexible with the movement, yet maintained distance between the two, and that they have learned from Fatah’s experience in power.

Sami Abu Zuhri, the spokesman for the Hamas movement, said that the movement’s popularity is stable, yet it has benefited through increased power at all levels via the government. He said that the government has exercised its role independently of the movement, and the latter is involved only in the process of evaluating some observations and errors.

Mushir al-Masri, a member of the Hamas movement in the Legislative Council, said that there are some disagreements concerned with the government’s on-the-ground dealings with the outside world, which require positions that are more open than those of the movement. This, however, does not mean that the movement and the government do not agree on the majority of issues, particularly those that concern issues of nationalist principles.

During a meeting with Al-Monitor at the Legislative Council’s media department, Masri stressed that there is injustice in the way international parties have dealt with the government, despite the fact that it is independent of the movement. The world still considers the government one of Hamas’ many faces, and it was placed on the international list of terrorist organizations. He confirmed that the government would succeed via the financial support and backing of its positions it received from Hamas’ institutions.

Masri added that the movement would never allow the government — which it gave birth to — to relinquish or change its principles, as the Fatah movement did during its experience in the Palestinian National Authority (PA).

This adaptability and flexibility within the movement was predicted by Shaul Mishal and Avraham Sela in their book “The Palestinian Hamas,” published in 1999. They write: “It [Hamas] is the movement of the Islamic resistance, which was born shortly after the outbreak of the intifada in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in late 1987. Since that time, it has been mediating between the two extremes and searching for gains. Its message — which is filled with Islamic slogans and values, and behavior indicative of the political reality — calls for a holy war against Israel, yet did not rule out the possibility of a temporary cease-fire.”

Governance and economy

In a phone interview with Al-Monitor, Nono said that Hamas’ experience in power was something new for the movement, and represented a fundamental change. While its institutions had previously been managed by the movement’s supporters, it was now forced to deal with all of society. This led to a change in its policies, particularly given that it had to deal with foreign states for the first time.

He added that after the military conflict between Fatah and Hamas in June 2007, no one was willing to work with the administrative apparatus formed by the Hamas government. Thus, Hamas has been working alone on improving itself to get to where it is today, by relying on foreign training. This is the opposite of what occurred prior to 2007, when its administrative apparatus was disobedient and focused only on day-to-day affairs. Yet, after 2008, they began to talk about efficiency, and the recent war brought about a new model of high-quality administrative work.

Yezid Sayigh’s book, “Three Years of Hamas Rule,” published by the Al-Zaytouna Center for Studies and Consultations in Beirut in 2010, notes that in the six months following the military conflict in 2007, Hamas was able to tighten its control on the joints of governance in the Gaza Strip in terms of both security and the economy. It would not have succeeded were it not for former PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad‘s decision that allowed tens of thousands of PA employees to stay at home instead of coming to their workplace.

Sayigh adds that in the following years, Gaza’s ministries began to coordinate and exchange information in a highly committed manner, and constantly updated their websites. This is despite the fact that in the beginning, the ministries were governing the Hamas movement’s institutions: the preaching department, the military wing and the movement’s Shura Council. Analysts consider this council to be a shadow government that works to ensure the government’s policies are consistent with the movement’s broader agenda.

Sayigh stressed that the Hamas government was administering Gaza via a unique economic system that depended on a mix of three sources of income: smuggling through the tunnels, monthly aid provided by Fayyad’s government, and services and salaries provided by non-governmental organizations, first and foremost the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

Abu Zuhri, the Hamas movement’s spokesman who met with Al-Monitor in his office, said that the government had made a number of achievements in the social sphere, notably by putting an end to nepotism and providing security, economic alternatives (via cultivating liberated lands), necessities such as fruit and vegetables, meat and eggs (through some of the possible industries), and substantial assistance to the unemployed. They also employed university graduates and built housing projects for the poor.

Hamas and society

“We’re Erdogan, not that Taliban.” This phrase is constantly repeated by moderate leaders within the Hamas government in response to attempts by extremists within the movement to Islamize society. They do this through launching what resemble “trial balloons” and waiting for a response. The government quickly renounces these measures and considers them “individual acts” if they are met with rejection. These “test balloons” began in the summer of 2009, when a “virtue campaign” was launched that required female lawyers to wear headscarves and prevented gender mixing in public places.

Abu Zuhri said, “Some mistakes were made, this is only normal. No government is without mistakes, but these were not systematic or deliberate, and they are usually made by certain parties within the government. We do not remain silent about them; we try to fix them.”

Nono said that those in the government are aware of the gaps and mistakes and they are trying to fix them. They also listen to complaints made by citizens and civil society organizations. He cited the example of “sagging pants” — which was immediately rejected by the government, and they called for an end to any extralegal measures. He said that any decision that infringed upon public freedoms — such as banning women from smoking water pipes — was halted immediately, yet the media never mentions this.

While these “mistakes” are in line with the movement’s primary goals — one of which is establishing an Islamic community — they are contrary to the pragmatic face of the movement, which has always been subject to reality and open to delaying the movement’s greater dreams. This has caused a number of the movement’s members to split off and join the Salafists, particularly after the government took control of the mosques, appointed Friday preachers and fought against Salafist organizations, led by Abdel Latif Moussa‘s organization. Hamas killed Moussa and 20 of his followers in August 2009, as they considered the Hamas movement to be the only religious movement in Palestine, and they did not accept any competitors also keen to revive Sharia law.

In “The Palestinian Hamas” this range from political pragmatism to religious extremism is addressed: “Despite growing religious extremism, Hamas lives in the world of social relations and primary needs. It is racing toward relationships that benefit the movement. This world of bargaining is increasing due to fears of the emergence of new powers that could cause the movement to lose opportunities and achievements.”

(Source / 31.05.2013)

Israel imposes heavy fine on owners of building threatened with demolition

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– An Israeli court in Jerusalem decided to postpone implementation of demolition order against the Manara building in Tel al-Foul neighborhood in Jerusalem, and imposed a fine of one million and 400 thousand shekels on its inhabitants.

Local sources said that the inhabitants in the apartment building had earlier received demolition notices under the pretext of unauthorized construction; however, lawyer Ziad Qawar succeeded to obtain a resolution to postpone the implementation of demolition orders in order to initiate licensing procedures.

Mokhtar Bassam Abu Hillel, one of the building’s owners, said that the court imposed on him a fine of 91 thousand shekels, noting that this racist step aims to Judaize Jerusalem and displace its indigenous population.

He demanded the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah to provide material support to the building’s owners to help them pay these fines, so that they will be able to stay in their homes.

The Manara building was built more than ten years ago, and is inhabited by more than 200 people.

(Facebook / 31.05.2013)

Russia to sell 10 MiG fighter jets to Syria

Russia is to sell at least 10 fighter jets to the Syrian government amid heated international debate over arms supplies to the violence-stricken country.

Russia to sell 10 MiG fighter jets to Syria

MiG said it planned to sign a contract to send the MiG-29 M/M2 planes to Damascus

Sergei Korotkov, director general of the government-controlled MiG aircraft manufacturer, said it planned to sign a contract to send the MiG-29 M/M2 planes to Damascus.

“A Syrian delegation is presently in Moscow,” he said, according to Russian news agencies. “The details and timescale of a possible contract for delivery are being discussed.” Other reports suggested a contract had already been signed some time ago.

The Kremlin supports Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and has resisted western attempts to censure his regime for alleged atrocities during the country’s two-year civil war. More than 70,000 people have died in the fighting.

This week, Britain and France forced the European Union to lift an arms embargo on Syria, opening the way for western-backed rebels fighting Mr Assad’s forces to receive weapons supplies.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said the UK had no immediate plans to send arms to the rebels but could now do so whenever it liked.

Moscow reacted sharply to the end of the embargo, promising to deliver S-300 air defence batteries to Damascus as a means of restraining “hot-heads” who it claimed were pushing for outside intervention in the conflict.

Reports in the Russian media on Friday rejected claims the weapons had already arrived, with the Vedomosti daily citing a Russian defence industry source as saying it was unclear if the weapons would be delivered this year.

Mr Assad confirmed in a television interview on Thursday that Russia was fulfilling contracts to supply him with arms, although he did not make clear if S-300s had been delivered.

In a March weapons order uncovered by US media, the Syrian army requested its Russian supplier to provide a quote for 20,000 Kalashnikovs and 20 million rounds of ammunition, among other hardware.

(Source / 31.05.2013)

Israel razes home of 13-member family

The Jerusalem municipality is billing Badwan al-Salaymeh for the destruction of his home.

On a massive pile of rubble that used to be a two-story home, Badwan al-Salaymeh’s cat paced back and forth searching for her two missing kittens.

“The human rights organizations will probably care more about the pets — even animals have more rights than us Palestinians,” al-Salaymeh said as he climbed the mound of concrete and metal.

The front yard gives the impression of a miniature war zone: the collapsed home in the center, the metal fence dented and bent, the garden uprooted, the trees flattened under the bulldozers.

Early in the morning on Wednesday (29 May), approximately 100 Israeli police officers arrived at his home in the Beit Hanina area of Jerusalem, accompanied by two bulldozers. According to witnesses, two minors were arrested for throwing stones, one of whom was said to be around 12 years old. Another was injured after inhaling tear gas.

The al-Salaymeh family had stayed in the nearby West Bank village of al-Ram the night before, where they were celebrating a wedding. When officers swarmed the neighborhood and began the assault, one woman and two children were in the home.

Police “laughing at us”

“Everybody was crying, and some of [the police] were laughing at us,” said 40-year-old Osama, Badwan’s son-in-law, who arrived during the middle of the demolition. “They had gas and sound bombs.”

The building was home to four family apartments, and its demolition means the displacement of 13 persons.

Marwan al-Salaymeh, one of Badwan’s brothers, arrived during the middle of the demolition after receiving a frantic phone call from a neighbor: “I asked where they expected us to go. The captain told me to go to Jordan. ‘You have nothing here,’ he said — even though my father and grandfathers were Palestinians.”

Badwan al-Salaymeh built his home in 2000. In 2011, he received notice from the Israeli-controlled Jerusalem municipality that his home lacked the required building permits and Israel therefore considered it illegal.

After several unsuccessful attempts to obtain the necessary building permits, which are rarely granted to Palestinians, especially in Jerusalem, al-Salaymeh began to pay fines totaling 200,000 shekels ($54,000 dollars). He told The Electronic Intifada that he had been making monthly payments of $600 for the previous two years.

“Court is your enemy”

View of rubble of destroyed two-story home

The destroyed home was a gathering place for the extended family.

“We do everything to make our homes legal,” al-Salaymeh noted as he rummaged through what’s left of the home. Furniture, prayer mats, toys, photographs and a mangled satellite dish could be seen in the ruins.

“When your court is your enemy, you can’t do anything,” he said. Adding insult to injury, the municipality has also informed him that he will have to pay the bill for the demolition.

Before the demolition, Badwan’s two brothers and four sisters gathered at his home each month for a party. When the weather was mild, they sat in the garden, surrounded by the grape vines and apricot trees that are no longer standing.

His 24-year-old nephew, who lived in a flat on the first floor, was preparing to get married. Because police officers prevented them from getting their belongings out the house, gifts, gold, money, plans, receipts and passports were all buried beneath the wreckage, according to Badwan.

“We loved meeting here because the house is nice,” Marwan said and paused. “Well, it was nice,” he corrected himself.

Because the demolition began in the early morning, it got underway at the same time students were walking to the nearby elementary school. Approximately 100 children stopped and gathered to witness the scene, a neighbor said.

Israel “wants to destroy everything”

The following day, a group of approximately 15 neighbors and friends visited the al-Salaymeh family as a show of support. They sat on plastic chairs under an open tent erected in the only free corner of the yard and drank coffee as they assessed where to start rebuilding.

“Why did they do this to my uncle’s house?” Marwan’s 10-year-old son asked him as he surveyed the scene.

Marwan turned, switching back to English: “What can I tell him? He was playing with his cousins here in the garden just weeks ago. He will be a young man in ten years. I don’t know how this will affect him, what he’ll want to do.”

His other brother, Muhammad, shook his head and said, “Israel wants to destroy everything that calls itself Palestinian.”

According to the Jerusalemites Campaign, Wednesday’s demolition was the ninth to take place in Jerusalem over the last two weeks. At least 450 additional homes have been delivered demolition orders from the municipality and are awaiting destruction (“IOF demolishes Jerusalem building, displaces 13,” 29 May 2013).

The Jerusalemites Campaign also notes that “US Secretary of State John Kerry was in the region last week, yet his visit went without comment on the demolitions despite being in Jerusalem a mere 48 hours before seven homes had been bulldozed.”

In 2011, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) stated that one-third of occupied East Jerusalem is set aside for Israeli settlements. Only 13 percent is available for Palestinian construction; city planning ignores Palestinians’ “basic housing and development needs” and “entire neighborhoods … are unplanned, underserviced and face the threat of wide-scale demolitions,” an OCHA report stated (“East Jerusalem: Key Humanitarian Concerns” [PDF]).

Israel’s complex bureaucratic permit regime and constant expansion of settlements are used to pressure Palestinians in East Jerusalem to move elsewhere in the West Bank or beyond. Palestinians in Jerusalem regularly have their residency revoked for arbitrary reasons.

Nonetheless, Badwan al-Salaymeh promised to rebuild his home. “He’s not going anywhere,” his son-in-law Osama said. “Staying here on his land is his idea of resistance, it’s his intifada.”

(Source /31.05.2013)

Preparations continue for the GMJ on 7th June

Preparations for the next Global March to Jerusalem continue across the region and around the world. On the 46th anniversary of the Zionist occupation of East Jerusalem, we are hoping that this year’s GMJ will raise global awareness about the suffering of Palestinians in Jerusalem and the increasing violations against the holy city’s religious sites, both Christian and Muslim. The GMJ will focus on organizing peaceful mass demonstrations in Palestine and the neighboring countries, getting as close to Jerusalem as possible, as well as protests in major cities around the world. In this context, we are pleased to announce the following events in support of the GMJ, culminating on Friday, 7th June:

In an interview today with Quds Press, Palestinian activist Salah Al-Khawaja, member of the GMJ International Executive Committee, called for mass participation in this year’s march on 7th June, which inside the West Bank will include a peaceful rally in front of Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, as well as peaceful protests throughout the Occupied Territories at those sites where weekly protests against the separation wall and illegal settlements usually take place.

The GMJ committee in Gaza and Dr. Ahmad Abu Halabiya, also a member of the GMJ International Executive Committee, held a press conference with local and international television and radio networks, as well as the Information Ministry of Gaza, to call upon the media to draw more attention to the increasing violations against Jerusalem and its people.

Turkey has announced that there will be two peaceful demonstrations at 2 pm on Friday 7th June in support of the GMJ: one in front of the Fatih Mosque in Istanbul, and another in front of the Israeli embassy in Ankara.

And finally, in addition to the march in Cairo on 7th June that will begin after Friday prayers at the Unknown Soldier Memorial and head towards the Al-Azhar Mosque, the Al-Quds International Institution held a press conference yesterday to launch a global campaign to support Jerusalem, which will include increased media outreach to raise awareness about Jerusalem, as well as a series of meetings with both religious and political leaders in Egypt to come up with a political strategy for safeguarding the Arab identity of Jerusalem and its Christian and Muslim holy sites.

For all English language media inquiries, please contact Dr. Sarah Marusek by phone on 001 845 489 7002 or e-mail at

(Source / 31.05.2013)

“It is Al-Quds…It will never be Yerushalem” campaign kicks off in Cairo

images_News_2013_05_30_Ahmer-0_300_0[1]CAIRO, (PIC)– Al-Quds international institution initiated its global campaign “It is Al-Quds…It will never be Yerushalem” on the forty sixth anniversary of the occupation of the whole city, which will fall on the seventh of June.

Yasin Hamoud, director-general of the institution, told a news conference on Wednesday in Cairo that the campaign is aimed at shedding light on the status of Jerusalem (Al-Quds) following 46 years of its occupation.

Hamoud added that the campaign would work on actively involving the issue of Jerusalem in the political and media discourse and rallying the Arab and Muslim streets to provide moral and financial support for the holy city and its people.

He said that the Arab and Muslim nations are fully responsible for defending Jerusalem in the face of Judaization activities and supporting the steadfastness of its natives.

For his part, Hamid Al-Ahmer, chairman of Al-Quds institution, stated that the Aqsa Mosque is being exposed to Judaization attempts to build the so called Jewish temple in place of the Dome of the Rock, warning that the daily violations at the Mosque is aimed at dividing it between Muslims and Jews.

Al-Ahmer called on the Arab and Islamic governments and peoples to show firm stance against Israel’s violations in Jerusalem and to adopt a comprehensive strategy to consolidate the Arab and Islamic identity of the holy city.

(Source / 31.05.2013)

N.: uitzetting naar Malta, de immigrantenhel


Malta_Detention_Centre_275_WebsiteGevlucht uit Libië. Kwam in Malta aan, met een tijdelijk visum, maar werd daar onmiddellijk in detentie gezet.

Malta mag dan wel bij de EU horen, maar de Maltese detentiecentra behoren bij de meest bekritiseerden in Europa: zowel het UNHCR, Human Rights Watch en het Europees Hof spraken zich uit over de extreem lange detentieduur, de veelvuldige opsluitingen zonder proces en de ‘betreurenswaardige omstandigheden’ in de detentiecentra. N. kan er over meepraten. Hij zat er maanden in een kooi en werd er mishandeld. N. vluchtte, kwam naar Nederland en vroeg hier asiel aan.

Maar de IND beschouwt hem als een ‘Dublin-claimant’ en stuurt hem terug naar Malta.

Net als in Griekenland, zijn asielprocedures in Malta zo goed als niet bestaand. De detentiecentra zitten barstensvol: een barak, container, tent of kooi wordt al gauw met dertig mannen of vrouwen gedeeld. Medische zorg is er niet, net zomin als juridische bijstand. Net zomin als voldoende voedsel, stromend water of gesloten riolen.

Onder de opgesloten vluchtelingen zijn ook veel alleenstaande jongeren; Malta is al herhaaldelijk op de vingers getikt voor het in detentie houden van kinderen, maar trekt zich daar vooralsnog niets van aan.

Wie het geluk heeft vrij te worden gelaten komt in een ‘open centrum’. Maar daar zijn de omstandigheden niet veel beter. “Iedere unit heeft een keuken en wasgelegenheid,” verklaren de Maltese autoriteiten. Maar de keukens hebben geen water of gootsteen. De waterhokken hebben geen afvoer en het water blijft enkelhoog staan. De daken lekken, de steunbalken roesten weg.

En naar deze hel wordt N. maandag 3 juni teruggestuurd, terwijl hier in Nederland zijn procedure nog loopt.

Interview met één van de vluchtelingen in het Safi Barakken detentiecentrum.

Opnames bij de Maltese detentiecentra

Beelden van de situatie in het Marsa open centrum


(Source / 31.05.2013)