The Human Rights Working Group represents the conscience of AEGEE and brings human rights violations into public notice. Its topics of activities cover Balkan matters, visa issues, immigration, crimes against humanity and more.

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by Rene Keijzer » 14 Jun 2007 19:12 UTC



What you will find in this post:

- International Refugee Day campaigning info

- Background information on "The fatal realities of Fortress Europe" - refugee deaths at European borders

- Campaigning and lobbying tips, ideas...

- link to ORDER FORM to order FREE campaigning material (posters, stickers, leaflets, postcards...) - form also below ... _ref07.rtf

- link to the updated version of the list of deaths ... list05.pdf

UNITED invites you to join the campaign on 20 June!

Many NGOs involved in migrants, refugees and asylum seekers' issues will organise activities Europe-wide to both raise public awareness and to lobby on a local and national level for the rights and the protection of refugees across the continent. Each NGO might have a different priority, according to their targets and their field of action, but it is of extreme importance that all actions gather together to form one strong European campaign on one specific day: 20 June.

Also this year UNITED co-ordinates the International Refugee Campaign at the European level, by keeping a on-line list of activities, by distributing free campaigning material (posters, stickers, postcards, info leaflets) and by functioning as a reference point.

Moreover, all year round, UNITED co-ordinates an on-going campaign called "The Fatal realities of Fortress Europe", a campaign, which aims at raising awareness on the tragedy going on at Europe's borders and inside detention and deportation camps all over the continent. By updating a list of already 8.800 documented deaths of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants who lost their lives in the attempt of entering Europe or because of detention/deportation companies, UNITED has created a powerful lobby and awareness-raising tool that all organisations

can use for campaigning.

If your organisation is also hosting, organising or supporting an activity related to the International Refugee Day, please check the link to the order form and return it to us as soon as possible, filled with info on your activity and with the amount of material you will need.


Please find below how your organisation can also be part of the campaign, join the movement and take advantage of the possibilities UNITED offers to whomever shows interest into the campaign.


Please, inform us as soon as your organisation start planning an activity. Tell us via e-mail where and when the activity will take place, who will be involved and what is going to happen! We will include your activity into a comprehensive list of Europe-wide activities. Many people will have the chance to know about your activity!!!


United makes available free material for the refugee campaign, in particular, the poster about 8,800 documented deaths by European migration policies, with extensive information on the back. But also postcards, stickers...they are all for you to choose on our web site!

You can order the material by filling the on-line order form ... _ref07.rtf


UNITED for Intercultural Action protests against the building of a "Fortress Europe", which leads to the death of desperate people looking for safe refuge.

UNITED collects data on where, when and under which circumstances the refugees died. All the cases contained in the list are documented. The list does not pretend to have a strong scientific basis. Nevertheless, the list is extremely important for the purposes of the Campaign to raise awareness on this issue throughout Europe. Although the lack of a strong scientific basis prevents quantitative analysis to be based on the list, qualitative research is possible. It is essential to reach researchers, journalists, and artists who, by making a creative use of the list, contribute to the awareness-raising with their work and their projects. It is only by making the list as public as possible, that a concrete action against the cruel and inhuman consequences of Europe is exclusion policy is possible.


The impact of the list of deaths is caused by the sheer numbers. Behind them, though, there are human beings. In order to make our point and spread the message of the campaign across Europe, it is necessary to give the list a human dimension. As a matter of fact, the list is a powerful tool for campaigning both as a whole, and also as a series of single cases.

Here are some cases, but you can ask us for more!!!

Greece: traffickers toss group into the sea

A 15-year-old girl drowned and two others were reported missing yesterday after human traffickers threw a group of illegal immigrants into the sea close to the southern Aegean island of Leros, authorities said.

The dead girl was among a group of Kurdish migrants found in waters off the island of Farmakonisi, located near Leros and a short distance from Turkey.

Two others, a one-year-old infant and a man, were said to be missing.

(Kathimerini, 28 April 2007)

Italy: CPT, Italian Guantanamo

Mohamed Aloui, a 33 years old man from Tunisia, was found dead on the 6th of August 2006, in his cell in a CPT in Bologna. Heroin was found next to his body but autopsy revealed that he did not use it.

He was in overdose of anti epileptic medicines, albeit he did not suffer epilepsy.

But he was classified as "dangerous" inside the Center of Temporary Stay and he was given anti epileptic medicine as a downer, just to keep him steady.

(Meltingpot, 13 August 2006)

Great Britain: the man who set himself on fire to stay in this country

Uddhav Bhandari had made his choice: his fate would not be decided in the calm, quiet arena of a British courtroom.

As he waited for his last-gasp asylum hearing, Mr Bhandari's thoughts turned to his homeland, Nepal, a place he was utterly terrified of being sent back to. Mr Bhandari, 40, doused himself with petrol from a container he had smuggled into the fourth floor of the Eagle Building on Glasgow's Bothwell Street, home to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, and set himself on fire.

Shocked staff attempted to put out the flames that were engulfing Mr Bhandari's body by using their own clothes.

"It's just so shocking and sad that someone can be so desperate. People wonder how he was able to smuggle petrol into the court but the real question is what is it about the system that makes people commit such desperate acts."

This latest and most horrific act by a failed asylum seeker highlights the human cost of the system's bureaucratic delays, complicated form-filling and legal hurdles.

(The Scotsman, 17 March 2007)

Turkey: Seven illegal immigrants freeze to death

Turkish security forces on Tuesday found the bodies of seven illegal immigrants who froze to death in the east of the country after sneaking across the border from Iran, the Anatolia news agency reported.

The bodies of the seven men were discovered in a mountainous area in Van province, on the border with Iran, during a security sweep targeting people smugglers, the agency said.

The nationalities of the victims were not immediately known.

Turkey is on a major human-smuggling route from Asia to Europe and illegal immigrants are detained on an almost daily basis.

(Turkish Daily News, 28 March 2007)


You can write a letter of protest to the policy-makers of your choice, you can also use the example letter below. There is strength in numbers, so send the protest letter to all your contacts in politics

(please, download the recent list of deaths at European borders at ... fdeath.pdf )

You can address your mail to:

The European Parliament

Committee on Human Rights and/or

Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

rue Wiertz

B-1047 Brussels, Belgium

or directly to any member of the European Parliament, at the same address

Council of the European Union,

General Secretariat / Justice and Home Affairs

rue de la Loi 175
B-1048 Brussels, Belgium


Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population

Parliamentary Assembly

Council of Europe

Avenue de l'Europe

F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex

Or to National Parliaments

Please find out the addresses of your national Parliament and the appropriate Members and Commissions from the public relations desk, or check your library.


To the responsible political body in the matter of immigration and asylum

Attn Mr X / Ms X


Dear Sir, Madam,

Re: Death of more than 8800 refugees at the borders of "Fortress Europe"

We would like to share with you the horror we felt at the news of over 8800

deaths of refugees.

Since 1993 UNITED for Intercultural Action, the European network against

racism has monitored the deadly results of the policies building a "Fortress

Europe". These deaths can be put down to border militarisations, asylum

laws, detention policies, deportations and carrier sanctions. They are not

singular incidents, but symptoms of policies that no longer see the humanity

of those fleeing their homeland.

We protest, together with UNITED with its more than 560 supporting

organisations, against these policies.

Borders cannot be shut to those seeking refuge. We have to see people as

individuals, as possible victims of global conflicts. 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.

We expect from you that you will do your utmost to make sure that policies

change and more tragic deaths are prevented.

Yours sincerely,



Enclosed: Publication with the list of documented refugee deaths


Take several copies of this poster to all the meetings, conferences and seminars that are focusing on migration issues. Try to stress the importance of its contents as well as the brutality of its figures (please ask for the updated list of refugee deaths from the UNITED's office).

It is important to bear in mind that all these deaths were due to policies that criminalise a basic human right: the right of choosing freely a place to live.

When possible and appropriate translate the contents of this publication into your language. If you do so, please send a copy to UNITED. In case you need a picture of this poster just contact us and we will provide it.


We depend on YOUR help in 2007!

UNITED is not rich and has no stable income !

Though far most of the work at the UNITED secretariat is done voluntary - still money is needed to keep the network functioning in 2007 and to secure the cooperation and information flow throughout Europe.

Your donation is most welcome:

- in cash to UNITED Postbus 413 NL-1000 AK Amsterdam

- by bank (preferable) to:

UNITED, Postbus 413 NL-1000 AK Amsterdam
Account: IBAN NL77PSTB0002343715, BIC: PSTB NL2A - Bank: Postbank, Postbus 1800, NL-1000 BV Amsterdam

(From NL: postbank 2343715)


UNITED is the pan-European network against nationalism, racism, fascism and in support of migrants and refugees, supported by over 560 organisations in 46 European countries.
How to join the network: see 'joining the network'

UNITED E-NEWS is an irregular email service to over 8500 organisations and contact persons active in the working fields: anti-racism, refugee support, anti-fascism, against antisemitism, migration, minority issues, intercultural youth work, against nationalism etc.

Regular postal mailings, containing publications such as Addressbook Against Racism, Calendar of Internationalism, Campaign reports, Posters etc. are sent to over 2400 European organisations. If you also would like to receive this mailing: see 'joining the network'


You have received this E-news because your organisation or institution is listed in the UNITED online database and/or Addressbook Against Racism; you have attended a UNITED event; have participated in a UNITED campaign; are a partner in the working fields above; and/or have expressed an interest in UNITED network's issues. To be removed from future mailings, just reply to this message with ' unsubscribe' in the subject line.

If you want to receive a copy of E-news to your own (private) email address, just send a message from that address with ' subscribe' in the subject line. (UNITED does not publish private (email) addresses)


UNITED for Intercultural Action
European network against nationalism, racism, fascism and in support of migrants and refugees

Postbus 413 - NL 1000 AK Amsterdam - phone +31-20-6834778 - fax +31-20-6834582 - -
Rene Keijzer

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