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‘Worse Than World War I’

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 8:59
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Human Wrongs Watch By Baher Kamal*

14 March 14 2016 (IPS) – When the leaders of 28 European states enjoy again this week their exclusive flights, luxurious suites and official limousines, to meet for a new summit in Brussels to adopt a final decision on their proposed plan of using refugees as bargaining chips, 20.000 Syrians will most probably be still starving in the Idomeni camp in Greece, in a situation that has been described as “worse than World War I.”
 Desperation in Idomeni camp | Credit: Dimitris Tosidi/IRIN

Meanwhile, European top diplomatic, legal and juridical experts have been working round the clock to find the best possible ‘politically-correct’ make-up to covert a new draft, camouflaging the one that the European Union leaders reached with Turkey during their March 7 summit in the Belgium capital.

But regardless of any “official” formula that may come out of the new summit, the fact is that the EU plan aims at getting rid of asylum seekers, refugees (and by the way also migrants) in a flagrant violation of all international treaties and conventions that they all signed.

For this purpose, Europe wants all refugees arriving from Turkey to be returned back on the spot, against a payment to Ankara of three billion dollars to be added to the other three billions promised last November—six billion dollars in total.

Once the refugees have been sent back to Turkey, the EU may then select among them those who the EU may wish to take as asylum seekers.

The European formal argument is that the successive refugee waves may have included some human beings coming from Iraq and Afghanistan—two countries that were invaded by US-European-led military alliances, and therefore may be classified as just “migrants”

In the meantime, images from Idomeni refugee camp in Greece are dramatically self-explanatory: flooded small tents, muddy grounds, heavy rains, storms, barefooted children, more and more cases of pneumonia and gangrene, parents crying for help, no drinking water, no milk… and babies born in the open air.

A humanitarian worker with Doctors Without Border/Medicins Sans Frontieres told Spanish TV networks La Sexta: “the situation is worse than World War I.” (1914-1918).

The Greek authorities are currently making huge efforts to “re-distribute” the more than 20.000 refugees stranded in the Idomeni camp—which has capacity to host A mere 1.500—in other so-called improved locations.

Is Turkey Really the Big Winner?

Strangely enough, the European plan has been promoted by many European media as a result of Turkish heavy pressure on the EU.

Also by some politicians like Philippe Lamberts, Belgian MEP and co-chair of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, who said “Europe’s governmentshave shown ‘unconscionable cowardice’ over migration crisis”.

Or like international affairs analyst Finian Cunningham, who for over 20 years worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent, and who wrote: “Smelling EU fear, Turkey moves in for $6.6 billion kill”.

Otherwise, UN officials, human rights defenders and civil society organisations have strongly criticised the European plan. See some examples:

— The United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR expresseds “concern” over EU-Turkey plan.

— United Nations human rights chief calls on EU to adopt more ‘humane’measures on migration.

— Doctors Without Borders/Medicins Sans Frontieres wrote: “European Union and Turkey Reach Inhumane Agreement on Refugees”.

— Amnesty International wrote: “EU and Turkish leaders deal death blow to the right to seek asylum”.

— Human Rights Watch considered that “EU/Turkey:Mass, Fast-Track Returns Threaten Rights“.

— “Turkey can always resort to ‘weapon of massmigration’ against Europe” – Dr. Rainer Rothfuss, Geopolitical Analyst and Consultant.

Anyway, in addition to the growing, inhumane suffering, the plan may well mark the beginning of the end of Europe, as we know it.

Robert Savio, founder of IPS-International News Agency, and of Other News, summarised this evident risk in his lucid analysis “Can Europe Survive – Back to a Better Yesterday?”.

And the Winners Are… The Human Traffickers!

The European plan is expected to end up in a loose-loose game, with growing waves of xenophobia and extreme right movements, like what has just happened in Germany with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party suffering major setback in key regional elections on 13 March over her liberal refugee policy.

Let alone the clear erosion of human rights in Europe as a consequence of violating international laws by repatriating asylum seekers to such an unsafe country, Turkey, that more and more crack down on social protests and the media.

The big winners of this EU-Turkish refugee “bazaar” are obviously the criminal groups who obtain multi-millionaire benefits from desperate humans, and who are now looking for new routes, including sending them to Russia and from there to the Baltic states, or take them from Turkey to Libya and from there to Italy or otherwise move them to Morocco to dump them in Spain.

*Baher Kamal’s article was published in IPS, here.

Related IPS Articles

baher-kamal*Baher Kamal, Egyptian-born, Spanish national secular journalist. He is founder and publisher of Human Wrongs Watch.

Kamal is a pro-peace, non-violence, human rights, coexistence defender, with more than 45 years of professional experience.

With these issues in sight, he covered practically all professional posts, from correspondent to chief editor of dailies and international news agencies. 



More articles by Baher Kamal in Human Wrongs Watch:

‘Take My Iraqis and Give Me Some Syrians’ – Europe to Turkey

New Nuclear Hysteria in the Middle East

Africa Launches Largest Trading Block with 620 Million Consumers

Big War Lords Playing Brinkmanship Game in Syria

Cameron at large: Want Not to Become a Terrorist? Speak Fluent English!

Women’s Rights First – African Summit

Africa, Only If It Bleeds It Leads?

Seven Top Challenges Facing African Women

Africa Focuses on Women Rights, Reaffirms Solidarity with Sahrawi People in Struggle for Self Determination

Once Auctioned, What to Do with the ‘Stock’ of Syrian Refugees?

… And All of a Sudden Syria!

Silence, Please! A New Middle East Is in the Making

The Over-Written, Under-Reported Middle East (II): 99.5 Years of (Imposed) Solitude

The Over-Written, Under-Reported Middle East (I): Of Arabs and Muslims

Syria – Minding the Minds

Egypt in the Rear Mirror (I): The Irresistible Temptation to Analyse What One Ignores

Egypt in the Rear Mirror (II): Who Are the Not-So-Invisible Powers Behind the Troglodytes?

Fed Up With Empty Promises, The Arabs May Abandon Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Anti-Nukes Move from Norway to Bahrain

Middle East Nuclear Free Bid Moves to Finland – Yet Another Lost Chance?

Annual Spending on Nuclear Weapons, Equivalent To UN Budget For 45 Years

Watch The Sky–It May Rain Atomic Bombs

Save The Planet? Just Eat Cars, Drink Fuel!

Who Is Afraid of 300 Or 400 Or 500 Million Miserables?

Violence And Death For Millions Of Life-Givers

Whither Egypt (I) – Did You Say Dictatorship?

Whither Egypt (II) – Economic Bankruptcy

Politicians Promote Fossil Fuels with Half a Trillion Dollars a Year

Who Dares to Challenge a 32 Billion Dollars Business – Human Trafficking?

Palestine: Yet Another One Hundred Years of Solitude

Does Anyone Know Anything About A New Country Called South Sudan?

South Sudan: Yet Another Kitchen-Garden?

Somalia? Which Somalia? Some Facts About Everybody’s — Nobody’s Land

Requiem For Palestine (I): A Conflict Born With A Solution

Requiem For Palestine (II): Can Gruyere Be A Solution?

The Mediterranean Sea Is Sick, Very Sick

2016 Human Wrongs Watch


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