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Nearly 6,000 immigrants died on the frontiers of Europe since 1988

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  • Nearly 6,000 immigrants died on the frontiers of Europe since 1988

    MELILLA / RABAT - Two men were killed in the latest attempt by African migrants to storm Spain's border fence with Morocco, and at least one of them was likely shot, Spanish and Moroccan officials have said said.

    The men died when up to 70 migrants rushed the 6-metre high fence at dawn on Monday local time with make-shift ladders.

    Moroccan guards fired warning shots to stop them entering Spain's African enclave of Melilla, the officials said.

    It was the first mass assault on Spain's African enclaves since October 2005. Then, six men were shot dead when Moroccan troops opened fire on more than 100 migrants.

    One of the dead men fell onto the Spanish side of the fence while the other died on the way to a Moroccan hospital. At least eight others were seriously injured by razor wire.

    "We have various hypotheses but the first we are working on is that the cause of death was a gunshot," Spanish government official Jose Fernandez Chacon said of the migrant whose body was recovered in Melilla.

    Madrid has since sent more troops to its border and doubled the height of its border fence to block migrants who spend months travelling through Africa in the hope of reaching Europe.

    Separately on Monday, Moroccan authorities found the bodies of 21 migrants who drowned when a boat carrying them towards Spain's Canary Islands sank off the coast of West Sahara.

    Eighteen corpses were washed up shortly after dawn on Monday and three were found later, Moroccan officials said.

    >>>Source<<<

  • #2
    Nearly 6,000 immigrants died on the frontiers of Europe since 1988

    Nearly 6,000 immigrants have died at the frontiers of Europe since 1988 as they were seeking refuge in other countries. Of these, 1,883 people alone died in the channel known as the Sicilian channel between Libya, Tunisia, Malta and Italy, according to internet blog Fortress Europe, who has a team of writers compiling a database of deaths using articles appearing on various newspapers.

    The figures, which were released yesterday, show that at least 5,742 people died since 1988 along the European frontiers. Among them 1,844 were missing at sea.

    The blog’s data cover not only deaths at sea but include immigrants who died while crossing deserts and mountain ranges.

    The figures show that in the Mediterranean Sea, and through the Atlantic Ocean towards Spain, 4,560 immigrants died. In the Sicily channel 1,883 people died along the routes from Libya and Tunisia to Malta and Italy, including 1,099 who are still missing.

    More than 1,600 people died sailing from Mauritania, Morocco and Algeria towards Spain, through the Gibraltar strait or off the Canary Islands. 358 of these are still missing.

    Nearly 450 people died in the Aegean Sea, between Turkey and Greece, including 208 who are still missing and 474 people died in the Adriatic Sea, between Albania, Montenegro and Italy, including 136 who are still missing.

    With regard to stowaways in the trucks or hidden in the containers loaded on the cargo vessels, 370 people were found dead in Albania, France, Germany, Greece, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Holland, Spain and Hungary

    In the desert, 146 persons died dehydrated while trying to cross the Sahara towards the Mediterranean Sea, from Sudan to Libya as from Western Africa to Algeria through Mali and Niger, Fortress Europe reported.

    Eighty-eight people died along the Turkish Greek border. Moreover, 51 people drowned crossing rivers delimiting the frontier between Croatia and Bosnia, Turkey and Greece, Slovakia and Austria and Slovenia and Italy.

    Thirty-four people froze to death in their tracks through the icy mountains at the border in Turkey, Greece and Slovakia, while 20 people died under the trains in The Channel tunnel trying to reach England.

    Nearly 6,000 immigrants died on the frontiers of Europe since 1988

    مهاجرون ميتون طوال حدود أوروبا

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    • #3

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      • #4
        (AGI) - Rome, Jan 5 - 1,335 underage illegal immigrants arrived on Italian shores in the course of 2006: 1,264 in Sicily, 41 in Calabria, 30 in Apulia and none in Sardinia, immigration data from the Interior Ministry showed. Out of the 22,016 illegal immigrants total, 19,622 were men and 1,059 were women. 21,400 illegal immigrants arrived in Sicily (19,099 male and 1,037 female), 282 in Calabria (231 male and 10 female), 243 in Apulia (201 male and 12 female), 91 in Sardinia (all male). The largest nationality among immigrants to Sicily was Maroccan (8,146), followed by Egyptian (4,200), Eritrean (2,859), Tunisian (2,288), Ghanaian (530), Nigerian (491), Ethiopian (479), Algerian (473), Bangladeshi (361), Sudanese (352), Pakistani (183), Ivory Coast (168), Somali (121), Nigerien (98) and Lebanese (95). The 282 immigrants to Calabria came from Egypt (278), Iran (2), Afghanistan (1) and Turkey (1); the 243 immigrants to Apulia came from Bangladesh (143), Iraq (50), Afghanistan (38), Albania (9) and Sri Lanka (3); the 91 which arrived in Sardinia were from Algeria (67) and Tunisia (24). The nationalities recorded are those declared by the immigrants when they disembarked, the Interior Ministry said.

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        • #5
          Algiers, 30 Jan. (AKI) - The Algerian government has launched a campaign in mosques against illegal immigration towards Europe. London-based Arabic daily al-Sharq al-Awsat reported on Tuesday that Abdullah Tamin, spokesman for the ministry of religious affairs, had announced that Algeria's 14,000 mosques will host a campaign targeting youths to persuade them against dangerous sea trips to reach Italy, France or Spain illegaly.

          The country's religious leaders have also announced they will issue a fatwa banning illegal immigration.

          "We have asked imams to explain to those wishing to board unsafe boats that the paradise they are trying to reach quickly will only turn out to be a dream," the ministry spokesman was also quoted as saying.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Al-khiyal View Post

            The country's religious leaders have also announced they will issue a fatwa banning illegal immigration.
            El-harga, un péché ?

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            • #7
              Algeria and Morocco are often the final stations in the migrant's odyssey from Africa to Europe. Some get stuck in cities of the lost like "The Valley" in Algeria. The more resourceful make it to Tangier, where they face racism and the constant threat of arrest. This is the fifth installment of a multi-part series. You can read the first installments here

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              • #8
                No Border Network



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                • #9
                  Dimanche 25 Février 2007 - - “Harragas”, un phénomène qui prend de l’ampleur dans les wilayas côtières de l’Est et qui s’enracine dans les esprits faisant miroiter un Eldorado à portée des rames des frêles embarcations bravant les dangers de la Méditerranée. L’aventure a séduit plus d’un et la rumeur a pris le relais pour glorifier ceux qui ont réussi sur l’autre rive, encourageant ainsi tous ceux qui hésitaient encore à “prendre le large”.

                  A Annaba, le 31 décembre 2006, veille du jour de l’an, dans la soirée, 11 embarcations de fortune ont été mises à la mer à partir de la plage de Sidi- Salem (Annaba), à leur bord pas moins de 50 jeunes prêts à tout pour rejoindre la Sardaigne. Ils prirent la mer à moins que ce ne soit la mer qui les a pris puisqu’ils disparurent et depuis, aucune nouvelle. Là aussi, la rumeur fait état de leur arrivée en Sicile, certains parmi ces clandestins auraient téléphoné pour dire qu’ils se portaient bien et que tout allait pour le mieux pour eux. Sur cette terre d’accueil, ils travailleraient déjà et gagneraient “plein de fric”. Stimulés par cette “bonne nouvelle”, dans la nuit du 22 au 23 janvier 2007, ce sont 10 adolescents qui entreprirent la périlleuse traversée sur une mer démontée à bord de 2 canots à moteur à partir de Ras-El-Hamra. Une visibilité nulle du fait d’un brouillard très dense, l’absence d’outils de navigation ont fait que les 2 embarcations se retrouvent perdues au large des côtes tunisiennes. Sauvés par le “Tropical Land” un navire marchand battant pavillon maltais, les 10 clandestins furent remis aux garde-côtes tunisiens, qui, à leur tour, les remirent à leurs homologues algériens. Cette mésaventure n’a en rien entamé la volonté et la détermination des candidats à l’émigration clandestine puisque le 3 février courant, 8 harragas âgés entre 21 et 32 ans, ont pris la mer de nuit à partir de la plage Toche toujours en direction de la Sardaigne. Ils disparurent en haute mer, leurs parents tentèrent en vain de les joindre sur leurs téléphones portables. Des informations font état de cadavres (non identifiés encore) rejetés par la mer sur les côtes tunisiennes et l’on craint qu’il s’agit là des mêmes jeunes qui sont partis de la plage annabie. Tout récemment, dans la nuit de mercredi à jeudi derniers 8 harragas ont été interceptés par les garde-côtes de la station maritime principale du port de Annaba. Dans la wilaya d’El-Tarf et à partir des plages d’El-Kala, l’été dernier, ce sont 11 harragas qui avaient volé un petit bateau – en prenant la précaution de transporter une réserve suffisante de carburant – qui avaient appareillé en direction des côtes italiennes, ils y étaient bien arrivés, mais 5 d’entre eux avaient été arrêtés, les 6 autres ont pu regagner Rome et s’y sont installés dans la clandestinité. La nouvelle s’était répandue et ces clandestins avaient été fêtés en héros, les jeunes de la région les voyaient comme des modèles à suivre. Des émules, on en trouve dans tous les villages et villes des quelque 500 km de la côte est, de la petite localité de Berrihane, ce sont 30 jeunes qui tentèrent l’aventure à bord d’embarcations de toutes sortes, certains auraient réussi à atteindre la terre ferme de l’autre côté de la Méditerranée, d’autres ont été repris et bien d’autres ont disparu. La liste des candidats est encore ouverte, le chômage et la misère étant le quotidien des dizaines de milliers de jeunes qui tentent de s’en sortir par tous les moyens, parfois au prix de leur vie. Tant que des solutions durables n’ont pas été apportées, la saignée continuera et l’on verra d’ici quelque temps des boat people à l’assaut de l’autre rive de la Méditerranée. “L’Eldorado ou la mort” telle est la devise des jeunes aujourd’hui à Annaba et dans toute sa région.

                  L'Eldorado ou la mort

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                  • #10

                    LAS PALMAS, Canary Islands: The nearly 400 migrants who thought they were sailing to Europe from the West African nation of Guinea ended up ill, stranded and broke in Mauritania. Not that the gang smuggling them much cared. By the time the engines on the migrants' rust-eaten vessel, Marine I, failed far from European shores, the gang had long since cleared hundreds of thousands of euros in cash.

                    The main institutions that are trying to protect migrants say that criminal gangs are profiting from the desire for a better life, and believe they have a reasonable picture of how the networks operate. But the picture of the gangs and evidence of where the proceeds flow is incomplete, because of the hold the smugglers have on the migrants and because many migrants die on the way.

                    What is known is that criminal involvement has enabled a surge of illicit immigration into the European Union, and that the inbound routes are always shifting, as criminals assess the risks and rewards.

                    "Globally it's a trend that has really taken off, simply because organized crime has decided to involve itself," said Hamish McCulloch, who has just stepped down as assistant director for the Interpol subdirectorate on trafficking in human beings.

                    "People get their money for finding somebody who is willing to be loaded onto a boat and transferred by sea."

                    So lucrative are the rackets that officials believe organized crime is largely to blame for the six-fold increase last year in illegal migration from African shores to the Canary Islands of Spain.

                    "Ninety percent of the immigrants coming to the EU today have been helped, and that help is to a big extent coming from organized criminal groups," said Göran Görtzen, head of the Crimes Against Persons unit at Europol.

                    In March, Senegalese police caught three members of a four-member gang whose "cayuco," or fishing boat, had set off with 160 passengers on board, leaving 25 latecomers behind.

                    According to reports in the Senegalese press, the smugglers collected more than €100,000, or $133,000, for their efforts.

                    The stakes are high, both for the migrants who sell everything they own, and for the smugglers who are ruthless in fleecing them. Officials of the International Organization for Migration said that the 369 mostly Asian migrants who boarded the Marine I, which has been in the Mauritanian fishing port of Nouadhibou since February, paid €6,000 to €10,000 for the trip from their villages to "Destination Europe."

                    Most ended up with nothing but shattered lives.

                    The economics of clandestine migration are all in favor of the gangs. The United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime estimated that it costs €40,000 to €50,000 to buy and refurbish an unused shrimp trawler like the Marine I; similar vessels lie abandoned all along the West African coast.

                    Once their passage has been paid, the migrants, hidden in safe houses until 100 or more are ready to depart, are vulnerable to extortion; smugglers commonly demand still more money for food, a better motor or a satellite navigation system.

                    When the barely seaworthy boats, packed with frightened migrants, finally set off, they carry a few barrels of fuel and barely sufficient supplies for the journey to the Canaries, which takes 9 to 12 days.

                    In the case of the Marine I, experts estimated that the smugglers raised more than €350,000 from the migrants, and walked off with a potential profit exceeding €300,000.

                    The United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime has estimated that transport of migrants from Africa to Europe nets criminal gangs about €300 million a year.

                    The gangs benefit from relative impunity. Interpol said that in many countries, smuggling people carries smaller penalties than trafficking drugs or arms; on the West African coast, only Senegal makes it officially illegal, though related abuses, when they can be documented, can lead to charges.

                    Webs have sprung up: Small-time smuggling organizations work with transnational and cross-continental networks.

                    All are opportunistic, adaptable and deeply cynical in their disregard for human life.

                    The police and other institutions doubt that there is a single person pulling the strings. "We don't know the strength, the depth, the width of the network," said Kristen Kvinge, who succeeded McCulloch at the people trafficking department at Interpol. "We don't know if there is a single mastermind, or 10 or 20 little masterminds, or 100."

                    Last year, Spanish intelligence officers working in Africa helped destroy 15 gangs, halting the departure of more than 7,000 migrants in 148 boats, the Spanish defense minister, José Antonio Alonso, said in November.

                    Those 15 gangs had links extending to Mauritania, Gambia, Senegal, Morocco and even Asia. McCulloch, of Interpol, said that more smugglers have connections with trafficking in drugs and guns.

                    The smugglers flourish best where the state is weak and where officials are more easily corrupted.

                    Antonio Mazzitelli, the representative of the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime based in Dakar, Senegal, said it would have been impossible for the Marine I to have set off unnoticed from its departure point, the Guinean port of Conakry, with its cargo of 369 human beings. "What is certain is that the organizers could count on high-level protection in Guinea," he said.

                    Some officials believe that the gangs' tentacles reach into Europe, citing the story of a yacht that set off from Cape Verde carrying 51 people, only to be discovered four months later off Barbados, a hull with 11 bodies on board. It was owned by a Spaniard who had collected €1,200 to €1,500 from its passengers before vanishing.

                    One investigator in Senegal, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the undercover nature of his work, said he believed there was foreign involvement in people smuggling: "For the big boats, there is the cooperation of Western Europeans in buying the boats and putting them in order," he said.

                    Brunson McKinley, the Geneva- based director general of the International Organization for Migration, said that migrants sometimes chose "guaranteed" packages under which the smuggler promised a second bid, free, if a first passage to Europe failed.

                    "If at first you don't succeed, you can try again at no additional cost," McKinley said. "That gives the client incentive to not rat on the smuggler."

                    But the reality may be more chilling. According to the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime, the traffickers, with the fees in their pockets, have little interest in the boat's reaching its destination.

                    "In fact, it is probably advantageous for them if it sinks," according to the agency. "They are thereby certain that there will be no survivors to inform the authorities."

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                    • #11
                      That's the real thing - closed borders actually facilitate these human trafficking rings. They would have no business if people could move freely.



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                      • #12
                        Un réseau de faussaires, spécialisé dans la confection de faux dossiers pour l’acquisition du visa pour l’Espagne, a été démantelé la semaine dernière par les éléments de la Sûreté de wilaya d’Oran. Suite à une plainte déposée, lundi dernier, par le consul d’Espagne, les éléments de la police judiciaire ont déclenché une enquête qui a permis de mettre la main sur un jeune homme de 27 ans, Z. M., dont l’adresse au centre-ville revenait trop souvent sur les demandes de visa adressées au consulat d’Espagne. Arrêté mardi dernier, selon une source policière, le suspect a dénoncé cinq présumés complices, T. F. (27 ans), M. H. (23 ans), B. B. (37 ans), B. H. (35 ans) et A. K., sa mère de 62 ans. Une perquisition effectuée au domicile du cerveau présumé, B. H., dans le quartier de Haï El Badr à l’ouest d’Oran, a permis de mettre la main sur le matériel qui aurait déjà servi à la contrefaçon de 97 dossiers de demande de visa : un ordinateur, une photocopieuse, des cachets humides…

                        Selon la même source policière, en contrepartie d’une somme allant de 2 000 à 5 000 euros, les faussaires établissaient aux candidats à l’émigration de faux dossiers dont les documents attestaient que le demandeur était employé soit à Air Algérie, soit à la Sonatrach, ces deux entreprises «ayant plus de chances» de bénéficier de l’accord du consulat d’Espagne. Trois des suspects cités plus haut se trouvent sous mandat de dépôt (Z. M., T. F. et M. H.) et un a bénéficié de la liberté provisoire (A. K., la mère de B. H.). B. H., le cerveau présumé, et B. B. sont en fuite et activement recherchés par les services de police. L’enquête a également permis de mettre sous contrôle judiciaire dix personnes sur les 97 ayant payé pour obtenir un faux dossier.

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                        • #13
                          Mardi 24 Avril 2007 -- En l’espace de quelques heures, les gardes-côtes dépendant du groupement territorial de Annaba ont eu à intervenir trois fois dans la journée d’avant-hier pour sauver vingt harragas à bord d’embarcations de fortune à quelque 37 milles marins des côtes annabies. La première opération de sauvetage a eu lieu à une vingtaine de milles au nord de Ras-El-Hamra, haut lieu de l’émigration clandestine à Annaba et ce, suite à des informations faisant part d’un bateau de plaisance était panne.

                          Il s’agissait, en fait, de six harragas dont l’embarcation dérivait au gré des vagues et qui étaient perdus en pleine mer espérant qu’un bateau les repérerait pour leur porter secours. Les gardes-côtes avaient pris la situation en main et déclenché les recherches tous azimuts pour enfin les retrouver et les ramener sur la terre ferme. La seconde intervention a eu lieu vers 13 heures à 37 milles marins au nord de Annaba. Les gardes-côtes ont pu ainsi sauver sept harragas qui comptaient rejoindre les côtes italiennes. Ce sauvetage en haute mer a été rendu possible après qu’un bateau battant pavillon marocain eut signalé la présence d’une embarcation en détresse avec, à son bord, les harragas. Une autre unité de gardes-côtes a eu à intervenir une troisième fois pour secourir et ramener sur la terre ferme sept autres harragas à 37 milles marins au nord de Ras-El-Hedid. Cette fois, c’est un bateau japonais qui a repéré l’embarcation. La saignée continue et le phénomène de l’émigration clandestine prend de l’ampleur, Annaba étant choisie pour sa proximité des côtes sud du Bassin méditerranéen.

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                          • #15
                            May 3, 2007 -- The cruise liner 'Oceania' sailed from Gibraltar today with six out of seven immigrants it had picked up off the French coast still onboard.

                            The seven were on a boat which, according to the immigrants, had sailed from Algeria, from which country they claimed to be nationals.

                            A doctor went onboard the liner when it arrived here today and one of the immigrants was certified to be 'very sick' and put in intensive care at the St Bernard's Hospital. His condition was described as 'critical'.

                            The liner sailed away from Gibraltar today with six of the seven immigrants onboard.

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