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Bots, fake news and the anti-Muslim message on social media

15/11/2017

INTRODUCTION

• In this report, we show how recent terror attacks in the UK have been successfully exploited by anti-Muslim activists over social media, to increase their reach and grow their audiences.

• Monitoring key anti-Muslim social media accounts and their networks, we show how even small events are amplified through an international network of activists.

• We also provide concrete evidence of a leading anti-Muslim activist whose message is hugely amplified by the use of a 100+ strong ‘bot army’.

• The global reach, low price and lack of regulation on social media platforms presents new possibilities for independent, single issue and extremist viewpoints to gain significant audiences.

• We delve into the murky and secretive world of the dark web to explore just what tools are available for manipulating social media and show how easy it is to make use of these tactics even for non-tech savvy users.

• Through testing, we conclude that even cheaply inflating one’s number of followers has an effect on the ability to reach a larger audience.

• We situate these developments in the context of increasing hostility towards Muslims and immigration in the Europe and the US.[1][2]

“Trigger events” such as terror attacks, and other events that reflect badly on Muslims and Islam, cause both an increase in anti-Muslim hate on the street[3] and, as we will show, also online.

DISINFORMATION ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter are key for public debate and political discourse.

After much criticism, especially in the wake of the tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia, both Facebook and Twitter are doing more to moderate hateful content on their platforms[4]. However, the internet is still awash with anti-Muslim websites and social media accounts on mainstream platforms. Most worrying is that their size and thus their impact is also on the rise.

Research by Miller et al. and the Runnymede Trust argues that this can likely be attributed to a general increase in anti-Muslim sentiments in Europe and the USA. These are often attributed to anti-Muslim framings of events such as Brexit, increased migration from the Middle East and North Africa to Europe, the clear anti-Muslim rhetoric in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and terror attacks.[5] [6] [7]

As part of this report, data on key anti-Muslim Twitter accounts was continuously collected between March and November 2017 in order to assess the growth and reach of these anti-Muslim movements on the platform.

The data, which can be seen in the graph below, shows a steady increase among all accounts but some stand out, with short periods of rapid increases in followers among multiple accounts.

Attempting to explain these short bursts of new followers we turn to the scholarship around “Trigger events”. Cuerden and Rogers argue that terror attacks by Muslims cause intense media debate and negative images of Islam, Muslims and immigration which facilitates this creation of a perceived conflict.

Mills et al. found that the perception of conflict between groups facilitates retribution and violence against anyone in the opposite group, as they are dehumanised and seen as monolithic.[8] However, the effect was also seen when immigration and unemployment received increased public attention, underlining that the effect is in part connected to fear and insecurity.[9]

Our data also shows clear signs of these events in the social media sphere. But the effect is not completely uniform. Events such as the Manchester and London Bridge attacks co-occur with rapid increases in followers among many of the key anti-Muslim accounts in the UK. But the Westminster attack shows much less impact on the number of followers, despite being similar to the London Bridge attack in terms of the background of the attacker and the type of incident.

It is important to acknowledge that spikes in direct hate and interest in anti-Muslim alternative media do not necessarily contribute to a long term increase in anti-Muslim hate. Increased activity in this sphere could be explained by increased mobilisation among those already holding prejudiced views of Muslims, as indicated in HOPE not hate’s Fear and HOPE 2017 report.[10]

Followers over time, post-terror attacks, for key British anti-Muslim accounts

These short periods of rapid gains in followers co-occur for multiple accounts. One example is in the hours and days after the Manchester attack, where several of the most prominent anti-Muslim accounts in the UK gained a significant number of followers. Among these were the accounts for failed UKIP leadership hopeful Anne Marie Waters (now running the far-right For Britain party), and for Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen, the leaders of the anti-Muslim street movement Britain First.

But Tommy Robinson (aka Stephen Lennon), former leader of the English Defence League (EDL), stands out. He gained +40,042 followers in the week after the Manchester attack, an increase of +17%, with the majority of those (29,396) coming within 48 hours after the bombing. Similarly, he gained +13% (22,365) and +14% (40,757) followers after the Westminster and Finsbury Park attacks, respectively. This compared to his weekly average increase of +6,422 new followers per week over the period March – November 2017.

Tommy Robinson’s (Stephen Lennon’s) number of Twitter followers over time

Increased number of followers intuitively suggests that the accounts’ resonance have increased, but this effect is far from uniform.

Unsurprisingly, at the same point as these accounts rapidly increase their number of followers, the number of interactions spikes as well. This is especially visible for Lennon/Robinson, who has managed to use Twitter in a very effective manner around each attack, with tweets that are widely retweeted. Spikes in interactions are of course also influenced by other independent factors, not all related to terror attacks, making it difficult to explain spikes when looking at a single account.

Tweets per day for Anne Marie Waters and Tommy Robinson (Stephen Lennon) after terror attacks

With each increase in Twitter followers comes a larger potential reach for every single tweet and therefore a potential influence on the public debate. A clear example of this can be seen in the aftermath of the London Bridge attack on 3 June 2017.

Out of the top 100 most shared tweets about the attack, 32 showed clearly negative sentiments against Muslims. Notable among these were tweets shared by the largest anti-Muslim accounts, such as those run by Paul Joseph Watson of conspiracy site Infowars, alt-right commentator Brittany Pettibone, Raheem Kassam of Breitbart London, Canadian far-right alternative media outlet Rebel Media and the Voice of Europe.

Lennon/Robinson’s cameraman for Rebel Media, Caolan Robinson, who posted the third most retweeted tweet after the attack, accused CNN of fabricating a “muslim protest” against the attack, ahead of the reactions by the Metropolitan Police, the BBC and London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Screenshots of tweets after London Bridge

FireShot Capture 064 - Bots, fake news and the anti-Muslim m_ - https___www.hopenothate.org.uk_bot.jpg

and

“1. Islam attacks London\n2. Libs say nothing to do with Islam\n3. Light a few candles\n4. Invite more refugees\n5. Blame Trump \n#LondonBridge https://t.co/Glefb8Tto4

International

Reactions to current events such as violent attacks are contextual and might differ between countries and continents. For example, attacks in the UK do not necessarily effect sentiments towards Muslims in North America. However, there are several indicators of a growth trend internationally for these accounts

Twitter accounts for North American anti-Muslim figures such as Pamela Geller (@pamelageller), Brigitte Gabriel (@actbrigitte) and David Horowitz (@horowitz39) are all growing steadily. On average there was a +117% growth in followers for key anti-Muslim activists in the UK and USA between March to November 2017. Significant events seem to resonate internationally as well. Geller’s and Gabriel’s account’s both showed rapid increases in followers at the time of the Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge attacks in the UK.

Brigitte Gabriel’s number of followers on Twitter over time
Pamela Geller’s follower growth on Twitter

This effect can be seen among anti-Muslim websites as well. Pamela Geller’s ‘Geller Report’ increased from one million views per month to over two million in the period between July and October 2017. Likewise, the Gates of Vienna counter-jihadist blog doubled in visitors per month between May and October 2017.[11]

Monthly visitors for Geller Report[12]

In line with previous scholarship by Miller et al. these types of events have a triggering effect in lowering the barrier for the critique of Islam, but also in direct hate against Muslims.[13]

The growth among Twitter accounts and websites spreading anti-Muslim hate is alarming. In such a key area of public interest, it is an indication of increased interest in these views and as each account or site grows, more people are exposed to deeply prejudiced anti-Muslim views.

Building networks

Far-right events and actions often take place outside of mainstream social media channels and instead on closed, anonymous or less regulated chatrooms and other types of platforms such as Gab, a free speech-advocating Twitter alternative, and group chat platform Discord.[14]

Mainstream social media is an important venue for the anti-Muslim movement to network and disseminate and get information. It has made use of these possibilities to the full. The movement is connected across Europe and the US on platforms such as Twitter, as is clearly shown by their high level of interaction on the network.

The blue circles represent key anti-Muslim accounts and the lines between them represent interaction. The data was gathered for the whole month of October 2017.

Closely-connected social media helps facilitate ‘crowdsourcing’ of anti-Muslim hate messages and propaganda between anti-Muslim activists and the wider far-right milieu. These networks allow for small, local events to be spread around the world and collated into a bigger canon of anti-Muslim propaganda. This serves to strengthen the impression that Islam is a grave threat, despite the number of terror incidents actually being relatively few and far between.

The most prominent anti-Muslim activist in the USA, Pamela Geller, publishes a daily list of “news bulletins” in her email newsletter and on her Twitter account. The list of 10-15 items gives the impression that the frequency of incidents is high but these are sourced widely and frequently include items from North America, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Australia

A very similar formula is used by websites such as Gates of Vienna, a central anti-Muslim blog, and Voice of Europe, a large Twitter account and website dedicated to reporting anti-Muslim and anti-immigration views.

Super Spreaders 

Marginal anti-Muslim activists can spread their content internationally via much larger and influential social media accounts.

One telling example of this phenomenon is how a picture of a McDonald’s flier in Arabic, posted by Swedish anti-Muslim activist Jan Sjunnesson (@sjunnedotcom), was rehashed countless times and turned into articles in at least eight languages.

On 29 April 2017 Sjunnesson posted a picture of this McDonald’s flier with the caption “McDonalds in Södertälje [a town in Sweden]”. Despite coming from a small Twitter account and being written in Swedish, it was spread quickly on Twitter and was turned into articles on multiple anti-Muslim websites warning about the increasing influence of sharia law and the loss of identity in Europe and the US. It was used by sites such as fake news outlet The Gateway Pundit, neo-nazi blog The Daily Stormer[15] and Russia’s Sputnik News[16] to promote anti-Muslim ideas.

The Gateway Pundit wrote:

Women in Islamic clothing wander around Sweden and violent Muslim men beat and rape the Swedish natives. McDonald’s is also doing their part to make sure that Sweden loses their language and identity by catering to their new demographic, Arabs.[17]

This highlights one important characteristic of social networks: that certain people are more important than others in getting a story widespread attention. These users are often called “super spreaders”, a term for the most contagious patient borrowed from the field of epidemiology.

Super spreaders don’t necessarily have huge followings themselves, but they are more connected than most, and their connections in turn are well connected. But other characteristics, such as trust outside of the network, are also relevant.[18]

Super spreaders have much higher influence on social networks than other users, as their message has a much higher probability of a large reach. In this way, they act as gatekeepers to pushing messages ‘viral’ on social media platforms. Jan Sjunnesson is a telling example. He has 7,250 followers and tweets in Swedish. Intuitively he is not a likely candidate to be featured on The Gateway Pundit. The truth is that he wasn’t. But a much larger user, Peter Imanuelsen (@PeterSweden7), was.

Imanuelsen is an English language-using, far-right, anti-Muslim hate monger on Twitter with roughly 10 times more followers than Sjunnesson. He is an associate of Voice of Europe and connected to at least six key anti-Muslim accounts [Figure 1]. Peter Sweden reposted the image one day later and it was retweeted 4,141 times compared to the original 98.

Sjunnesson’s message reached Imanuelsen, clearly a much more connected user, and it received far greater attention as an article written in The Gateway Pundit (without crediting Sjunnesson).[19]

How the McDonald’s story spread…

Dishonest skewing & fake news

Intentionally dishonest alternative media outlets such as Breitbart[20] and other social media accounts have received considerable attention in the wake of the 2016 US presidential election. Such sites and accounts have propelled the term ‘fake news’ (news items presented as fact without having any basis in reality[21], but also often including heavily skewed news with a factual basis) into common use.

The intention behind producing the content is important when it comes to fakes news. Mistakes and unintentional misinformation, as well as news satire, should not be considered ‘fake news’ (although they might look similar). It is an intention to mislead and straight-out fabrication that sets fake news apart.

However, there are different types of fake news. The spectrum of such content ranges from the clearest outright fabrications, without any basis in reality, to heavily-skewed news items based on actual events. These skewed items make use of real events but leave out important information or fabricate details to make the reader draw whatever conclusion the creator intended.

Spreading fake news often relies on strategic amplification.[22] Using the power of the network and super spreaders, manipulators can push stories ‘up the chain’ of media outlets. An item might be posted on an image board such as 4Chan, a central anonymous forum for the alternative right, where barriers of entry are low or non-existent and from where other users can pick it up and share it on mainstream social media platforms. Influential super spreaders amplify the story, which is then taken up by smaller publications which more influential outlets sometimes make use of to find new material. The Gateway Pundit is for example often referred to by Fox News.[23]

Variations of this tactic are also possible. Smaller outlets can be completely overridden if a story gets enough traction on social media. Topics covered by Trump during the 2016 US presidential election, for example, were widely shared and seen as newsworthy solely because of his candidacy.

Discussions on the use of disinformation campaigns and fake news have heavily focused on the possibility to influence electoral politics[24], but similar strategies are employed by anti-Muslim activists on social media and via alternative news sites dedicated to spreading anti-Muslim an anti-Islamic sentiments.

One typical tactic employed by fake news outlets is to use exaggerated headlines that confirm the reader’s beliefs and prejudice, to attract clicks and encourage sharing on social media. This in turn generates advertising revenue and an increased spread of the message.

Gates of Vienna, a prominent anti-Muslim hate website and Twitter account, ends its daily news feed with a caveat: “We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible” [emphasis added]. The quote epitomises the fake news formula and it is applied by most anti-Muslim alternative media outlets and social media accounts examined in this report.

Alternative media outlet Breitbart, which is run by Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon, has been at the forefront of exploiting this technique to gain readers and drive visibility. Its reporting on Islam and Muslims is largely indistinguishable from the anti-Muslim movement’s rhetoric or even that of the far right.

On Breitbart London there is often insufficient or no evidence at all to support some of the wilder claims of its headlines. Writers often de-escalate from the stronger headline claim to a weaker one in the body of the piece. Such de-escalation leads to the bizarre, openly self-contradictory nature of many articles. ‘Seven Found Guilty of Robbing German Churches to Finance Jihad’, for example, later back-pedals when it admits that: “Judges said it was unclear whether the funds they generated were actually used to support armed jihad and if so, to what extent.”

Failing de-escalation, the writer will instead attempt to rely on putative evidence that doesn’t actually support their claims either.

In ‘Europe’s Rape Epidemic: Western Women Will Be Sacrificed At The Altar Of Mass Migration’, Breitbart London writer Anne Marie-Waters (of anti-Muslim For Britain party) cites a Norwegian (specifically Oslo) rape statistic through a Christian Broadcasting network article, which neither provides a link to cited police reports and only a link to an unavailable YouTube clip when referring to the “rape epidemic”. With such poor ‘evidence’ to support the notion of a rape epidemic in Europe resulting from mass migration, Waters relies heavily on confirming her readers’ prior beliefs through mere speculation and rhetoric.

The result is an echo chamber that reinforces anti-Muslim sentiments and the belief that mainstream media (‘MSM’) cannot be trusted. Tappin, van der Leer and McKay show that readers are more likely to trust news items that confirm their own beliefs, or possibly what they hope to be true, than the other way around.[25] Simultaneously, consistent repetition of a one-sided and wholly negative perspective on Muslims, Islam and immigration also causes what Pennycook and Rand call an “illusory truth effect in which the repetition […] increases perceptions of accuracy”[26].

Steve Bannon, head of Breitbart and Donald Trump’s former chief strategist
<< Read HOPE not hate’s Breitbart report >>

The usage of social media platforms for all major anti-Muslim accounts follows a similar pattern.

Terror attacks, but also other forms of crime, are regularly published by anti-Muslim accounts on Twitter and Facebook promoting the general theme that Islam and Muslims are incompatible with or constitute threats towards Western society. Often other societal developments and news events that are not necessarily connected to Muslims or Islam are heavily skewed or even invented in order to promote anti-Muslim ideas.

A common example is the use of fabricated statistics on crime rates among Muslims. Breitbart’s attempt to perpetuate the idea that there are areas in Sweden where police have little control due to migrant and Muslim crime is one clear example.[27]

Another common take is items designed to assert the idea that Islam is gaining increasing influence over European and American society, via articles with titles such as Pamela Geller’s ‘LOOK: Before and After Islamization of American Education’. As indicated by the steadily growing readership and interaction, the tactic has proved effective.

Coordinated disinformation campaigns: a case study

Online forums and image boards coordinate anti-Muslim social media campaigns and spread wholly fabricated messages across social media. One example is the image of a woman in a headscarf on the day of the Westminster attack in March 2017.

The picture shows a Muslim woman walking with a phone in her hand, past a group of people aiding one of the other victims of the attack. It gained significant attention after a Twitter user called @Southlonestar claimed that the woman was indifferent to the suffering of others and that this was generally true for all Muslims. That the woman was indifferent was not true (this has been refuted by both the photographer and the woman herself). Other pictures in the series shows her noticeably distraught and likely shocked by what she has just seen.[28]

In November 2017 it was revealed that @Southlonestar was one of the 2,700 accounts that had been handed over to US House Intelligence Committee by Twitter as a fake account created in Russia to influence UK and US politics. Except for spreading anti-Muslim hate, it also spread messages before the US presidential election and was also one of the accounts that tweeted pro-Brexit messages on the day of the EU referendum in June 2016.[29]

No matter the circumstances behind the picture it was quickly shared by several major far-right and anti-Muslim accounts on Twitter, including those for alt-right leader Richard Spencer and Pamela Geller.[30]

Alt-right leader Richard Spencer shares the ‘fake news’ image of a supposedly uncaring Muslim woman at the Westminster attack

However, this image of the Muslim woman would soon be used for even more nefarious purposes. The same evening it was shared, the picture was appropriated by users on the /pol/ board on the online forum 4chan. One user posted a picture where the woman was montaged into another setting with the simple comment next to it “you know what to do”, meaning that he wanted his fellow users to create image montages of the woman in other settings.

The intention was further clarified in a comment below. In it, the same user uploaded a file where the image of the woman had been cut out from the background in order to make it easier to montage into other pictures. The anonymous users who posted it wrote: “Go forth and make dank OC” [“Dank” means good or high quality and “OC” means Original Content].

4chan users manipulate the Muslim woman image to reuse/superimpose elsewhere

In the comments that followed were hundreds of variations of the posted image, most situating the woman next to atrocities of varying degrees. Clearly inspired by the original post or its derivatives, the pictures aimed to send the message that the woman (and Muslims overall) were unmoved by the suffering of others – or even enjoyed it. Many of them were extreme and obvious parodies and did not leave the forum. In one she is seen walking past what looks like an extermination camp in Germany.

However, importantly some did not stay on 4chan. Two weeks later a manipulated image was spread on social media in Sweden, after four people were murdered by a car in a terrorist attack in Stockholm. The image showed a paramedic walking between what looked like covered bodies while in the background the familiar silhouette of the woman on Westminster Bridge was superimposed. It was blurred to make it fit in with the setting but undoubtedly was a cut-out from the Westminster photograph. It didn’t get widespread reach as it was debunked quickly by Twitter users, but a similar attempt was made again after the Manchester attack on 22 May 2017.

The same woman was again montaged into a picture of the place of the attack, making it look as if she was leaving the scene untouched, with victims lying behind her. This image was retweeted 52 times and liked 158 times.

Image superimposed onto Stockholm attack and, below, after Manchester arena bombing

Online-Offline

Recent actions by alternative right[31] activists have also turned up in the offline world.

During a counter-demonstration against the invitation of Mike Cernovich, an alternative right activist and conspiracist, to give a speech to the College Republicans club at Columbia University, one alternative right activist walked in front of anti-fascist demonstrators and, turning to face photographers, unfurled a large banner. The banner read: “NO WHITE SUPREMACY NO PEDO BASHING NO MIKE CERNOVICH”. The action can only be seen as a way to intentionally smear anti-fascist activists.[32]

The picture was then posted by Paul Joseph Watson, one of the most widely-followed alternative right and anti-Muslim personalities on Twitter (and editor-at-large of conspiracy site Infowars). It was retweeted over 20,000 times despite quickly being discredited as fake with the probable intention of smearing the demonstrators.

“Superficially plausible” seems to have become the motto of anti-Muslim and far-right actors on social media. Claims are often easily debunked but thanks to the speed of the network and users’ seeming willingness to share what confirms their point of view, these stories are spread widely.

MANIPULATION

On platforms like Twitter and Facebook multiple factors influence what users trust. For example, users that we know about from other contexts and those that we share contacts with are more likely to be trusted.

In the offline world, these attributes are difficult to manipulate and change only with effort or over a long period of time. On social media platforms, where users are represented with much more basic information and numerical measurements such as number of followers and number of replies, it is much easier to impersonate and manipulate these attributes.

A case in point is “Jenna Abrams”. Abrams presented herself as a pro-Trump American woman on Twitter and her witty, anti-feminist and anti-Muslim hate tweets amassed her over 70,000 followers. She was retweeted even by Trump. But Abrams never existed.

As part of the investigation into Russian influence of the 2017 US presidential election, it was revealed that the account was a bot designed to cause division and conflict in American society. Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn retweeted Abrams just three days before the 2016 election, which indicates how effectively social media can be deceptively used.

Quotes from Jenna Abrams’ Twitter account

“Muslims laughing at victims: “Shoot that m****r f**king girl right there” #LondonAttacks https://t.co/GvuKcBCdzp

To @lsarsour and @MuslimIQ, Sharia Law is peaceful. It’s simply: Beheadings Stonings Hangings Crucifixions Honor killings Genocide …

Because it is so simple to manipulate the signals of trust on social media platforms, bots and fake accounts become powerful tools in directing political discourse. Bots range from simple to technologically-advanced pieces of software that not only post content independently but interact with real users.

After the 2016 US presidential election there was much attention focused on social media bots active on Twitter. In mainstream media, bots have been discussed as a tool deployed by states and well-funded organisations, such as political campaigns, to influence elections. However, while state-sponsored disinformation campaigns present a danger, this one-sided framing of the issue overestimates the amount of funds and expertise needed to manipulate social media using bots and other dishonest amplifications techniques.

The simplest and cheapest types of bots are accessible and usable by private individuals and small organisations with little or no technical knowledge needed, readily available for purchase on various websites. These are simple bots that do not interact with other users and a relatively easy to detect. Their profiles might look genuine but their behaviour is often distinctly ‘bot-like’.

The simplest bots only follow and retweet other users, but the impact of inflating shares and follower numbers should not be underestimated. A user with a large number of followers is generally easier to trust and may seem more ‘legitimate’. Retweets, even by bots, increase a message’s reach and can potentially make a topic go ‘viral’ (see bot case study).

The more advanced bots often mix human control with artificial intelligence and are notoriously difficult to detect. “Jenna Abrams” is a case in point. But technological advancements in areas of machine learning and artificial intelligence, and increasing interest in these types of projects, mean that advanced bots are within the reach of tech-savvy individuals with minimal resources.

Case Study: Pamela Geller and social media

Pamela Geller, leading anti-Muslim activist

Pamela Geller is one of the most prominent individuals of the anti-Muslim movement in the USA. Banned from entering the UK, her website attracts 2.7 million visitors per month and she distributes a daily newsletter with news items that have a clear anti-Muslim angle.

Her main twitter account had 168K followers as of November 2017. The account is primarily used to drive traffic to her website where articles about the danger of Islam are published 10-15 times a day.

But this is not her only account. Counter to Twitter’s Terms of Service[33] [34] Geller continues to run at least one ‘mirror’. Her old account (@atlasshrugs) continues to post copies of each post from her main account, as if they were tweeted by that account. The strategy helps her stay online in case one account is suspended, while at the same inflates the reach of her message.

Counter-jihadists together: Tommy Robinson (Stephen Lennon), Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller

More noticeably, we have identified that bots are used to amplify Geller’s messages on Twitter. At least 102 accounts copy each tweet from Geller’s account, similar to her own mirror accounts, only these appear to be other individuals of varying backgrounds and only copy those tweets that do not mention other users. They do not tweet anything or little else than Geller and do so within minutes of her posts. The tweets include the photo and link to Geller’s website (as opposed to more common behaviour on Twitter, which is to retweet and thereby acknowledge the original source of the tweet).

These accounts also exhibit many bot-type characteristics. In addition to exclusively posting content with links to Geller’s website, they do not mention any accounts, including Geller. They are highly synchronised, which means they post the same content at nearly exactly the same time.[35] Furthermore they often repeatedly post the very same tweet on the same day, making them incredibly active.

Take the Twitter account @TPartyWoman as an example. On 13 November the account tweeted 34 links to Geller’s site. Some of the tweets were simply repetitions of previous tweets sent out minutes or hours earlier. The link to an article: ‘Muslim construction workers attack Jewish preschool near Tel Aviv’ was tweeted three times during the day.

Further analysis of this network (which accounts are followed and which in return follow those accounts back) reveals peculiar properties.

There is a considerable amount of overlap between the different users’ networks. Some pairs of accounts share as much as 45% of their followers, and who they follow, with each other. The probability of this type of overlap between two independent Twitter accounts with thousands of connections is remarkably low and therefore an indication that they are controlled by the same ‘bot master’.

There is no way of telling who this might be, as Twitter does not provide any identifiable information, but that these bots inflate and amplify the message of Geller’s anti-Muslim Twitter account and website is unquestionable.

The practical impact can of course be questioned. As many of these accounts follow each other the effect of each account’s activity is somewhat mitigated. But keeping in mind that there are at least 100 active accounts with an average of 2,314 followers (and at least some of their followers are likely genuine), the accounts help extend the reach of Geller’s content to at least 230,000 additional accounts per article. The tactic is a simple way to amplify Geller’s message and increase the traffic to her site, which in turn generates advertising revenue and potential sales of her newly-released book

Bots case study

What have become known as ‘social media bots’ are social media accounts that are in part or fully-controlled by software rather than a human. The idea is to shift discourse and amplify messages at a much larger scale than what would otherwise be possible if real people were broadcasting the message

Bots can be effective where it is difficult to establish the true identity behind a social media profile, especially on Twitter, where there is very limited identifiable and verifiable information.

Academic research on bots is plentiful. Several large-scale projects are actively looking to find algorithms to detect bots on Twitter in order to more accurately estimate the influence they have. Some of these methods have shown progress but the varying kinds of bots, as well as the quickly developing technology, make accurately finding bots challenging. A report from the Oxford Internet Institute states that “political actors are adapting their automation in response to our research”. Essentially it is a cat-and-mouse game between the social media platforms and academics on the one side and bot-makers on the other.

The economic and political interest in developing genuine-looking automated accounts is significant. Estimates of the number of bots on social media platforms are significant, with observers estimating between 9% and 15% of all accounts on Twitter are automated.[36] Based on Twitter’s own data – claiming to have 330 million active accounts – this translates to between 29.7 million and 49.5 million bots active on the platform.[37]

Buying influence investigation

The reach of a tweet is determined by the number of followers and how much it is spread by other users. In turn, this is dependent on the message itself and trust in the account that published the message. There is a lot to be gained from having a large reach on social media and there exists a market for inflating and expanding social media reach.

One of the simplest way of amplifying one’s message is to buy followers and retweets. This is done through services specifically designed for that purpose. On these websites, a user buys a number of followers or retweets by bot accounts that will then follow and retweet the chosen account. These bots usually don’t themselves have many real followers because of the lack of original content that they post. It is often simply retweets of a strange array of advertisements and often posted in multiple languages. Therefore, it is easy to discard ‘bought’ followers and retweets because of the low quality of the accounts and their retweets.

But we should not assume that the practice is not impactful. As part of this report we set up multiple Twitter accounts to examine the possible influence of bought followers and shares of content.

The simplest and most accessible way to make use of bots is to buy followers. This does not give access to the account itself and it cannot be directed to tweet in a particular way or be controlled in any way. But it allows one to inflate one’s number of followers. And it is cheap. One thousand (1,000) followers can be bought for between $5 – $15 depending on the outlet. Some differences in quality and guarantees of retainment are factors that influence the price.

Using a mix of different platforms, we bought 2,500 followers each for our two newly-created fake accounts, posing as an online gamer and a travel enthusiast, to assess the potential of bought influence and characteristics of artificially inflated followers.

Buying followers is generally a very easy process involving paying with a PayPal account (less established and generally cheaper sites encourage customers to pay with digital currency Bitcoin). The followers then arrive gradually over the next 48 hours.

The accounts over time gained a significant amount of followers: more than we had bought. After a week, the accounts had gained between 35% – 45% more followers than we had paid for. Many of these might have been bots but, notably, what seems like real users started to respond to our tweets with genuine, reasonable answers to the tweets we were sending out. This indicates that simply buying fake followers and retweets increases the possibility of reaching and interacting with real users, not only in theory but in practice.

Reply to our fake account

As discussed above, the cat-and-mouse game between bot-detection algorithms and bot makers leads to fast innovation in this area. Guides on how to “spot a bot”[38] are easy to come across and can be helpful in some cases. But there is no perfect way to detect all kinds of bots. Political bots have different characteristics from ‘follower’ bots for example.

When inspecting the total of more than 5,000 followers and retweeters we bought for this report, the results were not encouraging. Indiana University’s Botometer[39], an academic project using machine learning to identify bots, gave our recently created fake accounts and a vast majority of their followers a passing grade. In some cases this was better than the personal accounts of the researchers, exemplifying the difficulty of the task to accurately determine social media manipulation at scale.

Buying followers and retweets does not however give access to the actual account or the software that controls it. The user simply pays for the services of the bots. To build your own bots is somewhat more expensive, but not drastically so. There are two requirements for creating a Twitter bot.

First, you need the software needed to automate or control many Twitter accounts at once is required. These are easily available and there exist both commercial and completely free programmes that allow a user to control thousands of accounts and automate their behaviour to different degrees. One of the commercially available on is called TweetAttacksPro.

Secondly, Twitter accounts themselves are needed. Twitter attempts to block bulk creation of large numbers of accounts, making it difficult to register them in large numbers. Furthermore, to make them trustworthy, older accounts with followers and a filled timeline are better as new accounts are often seen as less trustworthy.

For this purpose, black markets of social media accounts exist on both the dark web and on the surface web. On these forums, ‘aged accounts’ – meaning accounts that were created several years ago – are for sale for as little as £3-5 each and even cheaper if one buys many at once. Many users offer hundreds of accounts to sell in packages.

Buying accounts is easier than you think

And it is possible to specify the characteristics of the account e.g. its age, what types of topic it has previously tweeted, even verified accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers are up for sale for between $500 and $1000. For Facebook, one can specify the origin, gender and age of accounts and buy these with genuine-looking timelines and friend list.

These services thereby obviate the need for the end user to actually create the bot account themselves, and as some of these accounts have been built over a long period of time or are stolen or repurposed real accounts, detecting them becomes incredibly difficult.

Footnotes


[1] Centre for the Analysis of Social Media, Demos, 2016. Islamophobia on Twitter: March to July 2016, Available at: https://www.demos.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Islamophobia-on-Twitter_-March-to-July-2016-.pdf.

[2] Tell MAMA, 2017. A Constructed Threat: Identity, Intolerance and the Impact of Anti-Muslim Hatred, Available at: https://tellmamauk.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/A-Constructed-Threat-Identity-Intolerance-and-the-Impact-of-Anti-Muslim-Hatred-Web.pdf.

[3] Tell MAMA, 2017. A Constructed Threat: Identity, Intolerance and the Impact of Anti-Muslim Hatred, Available at: https://tellmamauk.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/A-Constructed-Threat-Identity-Intolerance-and-the-Impact-of-Anti-Muslim-Hatred-Web.pdf.

[4]http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/home-affairscommittee/hate-crime-and-its-violent-consequences/oral/48836.pdf.

[5] Centre for the Analysis of Social Media, Demos, 2016. Islamophobia on Twitter: March to July 2016, Available at: https://www.demos.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Islamophobia-on-Twitter_-March-to-July-2016-.pdf.

[6] Runnymede, 2017. Islamophobia, Available at: https://www.runnymedetrust.org/uploads/Islamophobia%20Report%202018.pdf.

[7] Mills, C., Freilich, J. & M Chermak, S., 2015. Extreme Hatred: Revisiting the Hate Crime and Terrorism Relationship to Determine Whether They Are “Close Cousins” or “Distant Relatives.” 63.

[8] Mills, C., Freilich, J. & M Chermak, S., 2015. Extreme Hatred: Revisiting the Hate Crime and Terrorism Relationship to Determine Whether They Are “Close Cousins” or “Distant Relatives.” 63.

[9] Cuerden, G. & Rogers, C., 2017. Exploring Race Hate Crime Reporting in Wales Following Brexit. Review of European Studies, 9(1), p.158.

[10] https://www.hopenothate.org.uk/research/fear-and-hope-2017/

[11] https://www.similarweb.com/website/gatesofvienna.net

[12] https://www.similarweb.com/website/pamelageller.com

[13] Mills, C., Freilich, J. & M Chermak, S., 2015. Extreme Hatred: Revisiting the Hate Crime and Terrorism Relationship to Determine Whether They Are “Close Cousins” or “Distant Relatives.”.

[14] Data & Society, 2017. Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online. pp.1–106. Available at: https://datasociety.net/output/media-manipulation-and-disinfo-online/.

[15] Anglin, A., 2017. Sweden: McDonald’s Sends Out Ads in Arabic. Daily Stormer. Available at: https://dstormer6em3i4km.onion.link/sweden-mcdonalds-sends-out-ads-in-arabic/ [Accessed November 15, 2017].

[16] Anon, 2017. Swedish McDonald’s Learns to Speak Arabic Due to Popular Demand. Sputnik. Available at: https://sputniknews.com/art_living/201705031053224840-swedish-mcdonalds-arabic/ [Accessed October 18, 2017].

[17] Laila, C., 2017. SWEDENISTAN – McDonald’s in Sweden Sends Out Mailers in Arabic to Accommodate Muslim Migrants. The Gateway Pundit. Available at: http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/04/swedenistan-mcdonalds-sweden-sends-mailers-arabic-accommodate-muslim-migrants/ [Accessed November 2, 2017].

[18] Pei, Sen et al., 2014. Searching for superspreaders of information in real-world social media. Scientific Reports, 4(1).

[19] Laila, C., 2017. SWEDENISTAN – McDonald’s in Sweden Sends Out Mailers in Arabic to Accommodate Muslim Migrants. The Gateway Pundit. Available at: http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/04/swedenistan-mcdonalds-sweden-sends-mailers-arabic-accommodate-muslim-migrants/ [Accessed November 2, 2017].

[20] https://www.hopenothate.org.uk/research/investigations/breitbart-report/

[21] Allcott, H. & Gentzkow, M., 2017. Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31(2), pp.211–236.

[22] Data & Society, 2017. Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online. pp.1–106. Available at: https://datasociety.net/output/media-manipulation-and-disinfo-online/

[23] Schreckinger, B., 2017. “Real News” Joins the White House Briefing Room. Politico. Available at: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/02/fake-news-gateway-pundit-white-house-trump-briefing-room-214781 [Accessed November 3, 2017].

[24] Freedom House, 2017. Manipulating Social Media to Undermine Democracy, Available at: https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-net/freedom-net-2017.

[25] Ben M Tappin, van der Leer, L. & McKay, R.T., 2017. The heart trumps the head: Desirability bias in political belief revision. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 146(8), pp.1143–1149.

[26] Pennycook, G. & Rand, D., 2017. Who Falls for Fake News? The Roles of Analytic Thinking, Motivated Reasoning, Political Ideology, and Bullshit Receptivity. pp.1–72.

[27] HOPE not hate’s Breitbart report, page 29 https://www.hopenothate.org.uk/research/investigations/breitbart-report/

[28] Tell MAMA, 2017. The truth behind the photo of the Muslim woman on Westminster Bridge. Available at: The truth behind the photo of the Muslim woman on Westminster Bridge [Accessed October 12, 2017].

[29] Mortimer, C., 2017. Man who posted image of Muslim woman “ignoring Westminster terror victims” was a Russian troll. The Independent. Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/man-muslim-woman-london-terror-attack-phone-russian-troll-identity-a8052961.html [Accessed November 17, 2017].

[30] Geller, P., 2017. UK: Muslim President of the National Union of Students rails against “islamophobia” and ‘racism’ in wake of attack, no mention of victims. Geller Report. Available at: https://pamelageller.com/2017/03/uk-muslim-student-leader-attacks-in-wake-of-attack-islamophobia.html/ [Accessed October 13, 2017].

[31] See The International Alternative Right: From Charlottesville to the White House http://alternativeright.hopenothate.com

[32] Weill, K., 2017. Alt-Right Frames Protesters as Pedophiles With Fake NAMBLA Sign. Available at: https://www.thedailybeast.com/alt-right-frames-protesters-as-pedophiles-with-fake-nambla-sign [Accessed November 23, 2017].

[33] Twitter, The Twitter Rules. Available at: https://support.twitter.com/articles/18311.

[34] According to Twitter: “Some of the factors that we take into account when determining what conduct is considered to be spamming include: if you post duplicative or substantially similar content, replies, or mentions over multiple accounts or multiple duplicate updates on one account, or create duplicate or substantially similar accounts”

[35] Woolley, S., 2017. Resource for Understanding Political Bots. Oxford Internet Institute. Available at: https://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/blog/resource-for-understanding-political-bots/ [Accessed October 12, 2017].

[36] Varol, O. et al., 2017. Online Human-Bot Interactions: Detection, Estimation, and Characterization,

[37] Twitter, 2017. Selected Company Metrics and Financials. Twitter. Available at: http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/AMDA-2F526X/5580698337x0x961126/1C3B5760-08BC-4637-ABA1-A9423C80F1F4/Q317_Selected_Company_Metrics_and_Financials.pdf [Accessed November 15, 2017].

[38] Shaffer, K., 2017. Spot a Bot: Identifying Automation and Disinformation on Social Media. Data For Democracy. Available at: https://medium.com/data-for-democracy/spot-a-bot-identifying-automation-and-disinformation-on-social-media-2966ad93a203 [Accessed November 24, 2017].

[39] Available at: https://botometer.iuni.iu.edu

OMCT Urgent Appeals: Greece: Physical attacks and threats against refugee rights defender Ms. Ariel Ricker

κατάλογος
CASE GRE 220518
HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS
Physical attack / Threats
The International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Greece.
Description of the situation:
The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by has been informed by the Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) about the physical attack and threats against Ms. Ariel Ricker, human rights defender and Executive Director of Advocate Abroad, a legal aid civil society organisation which aims to inform refugees of their rights in Greece.
According to the information received, on April 22, 2018, at around midnight, Ms. Ariel Ricker was attacked and hit by a brick thrown at her head while she was standing guard in a solidarity circle to protect women and children refuges gathered for several days in Sappho Square, Lesvos, to protest against the conditions in Moria camp, from a group of rioters. The brick broke the safety helmet Ms. Ariel Ricker was wearing and was concussed and felt to the ground. Another solidarity actor was roughly hit with a brick 20 minutes later. Hours later, after being able to reach the hospital, Ms. Ricker was examined briefly by one nurse, then given one X-Ray and one MRI, and sent home without medication or prescription for medication.
These attacks took place in the context of a broader assault against the refugees gathered in Sappho Square, that began around 20:00, by a group of rioters. Firecrackers, bottles of water, stunners, flares, glasses from the cafes, and bricks were continuously thrown all night by the rioters at the refugees and the solidarity circle.
The police had formed four lines but failed to adequately defend the refugees and the solidarity actors and human rights defenders who were accompanying them. They even threatened multiple times to beat refugees and solidarity actors, including Ms. Ricker if they did not stay within the solidarity circle and put away their cameras. Additionally, although the attacks happened before their eyes, the police did not arrest the perpetrators of the attacks against Ms. Ricker and other defenders, while they arrested over 100 protesting refugees for illegal camping[1].
OMCT highlights that the situation of human rights defenders and solidarity actors in Greece has been critical for years. Human rights defenders dealing with this matter are consistently targeted for their legitimate work and face different types of attacks, including surveillance, arbitrary arrests, detentions, ill-treatment, entry bans and expulsion[2]. Moreover several complaints related to racism and minority’s rights have not been investigated and/or have been sent to the “archive of unknown perpetrators” [3]. The Observatory is particularly concerned by the continued increasing of violent attacks and threats against minority rights defenders in Greece [4].
OMCT strongly condemns the physical attacks and threats perpetrated against Ms. Ariel Ricker, as well as the solidarity actors protecting and providing assistance to refugees and minority rights defenders, that aim at preventing them from continuing their human right work, as well as the absence of any arrests of the perpetrators of these attacks
OMCT expresses its deep concern for the overall situation of minority rights defenders in Greece, and urges the Greek authorities to conduct an immediate, thorough, impartial and transparent investigation into the above-mentioned incidents in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before an independent tribunal, and sanction them as provided by the law.
Actions requested:
Please write to the authorities in Greece, urging them to:
i.               Put in place all necessary measures to guarantee the security and the physical and psychological integrity of Ms. Ariel Ricker as well as of all minority rights defenders in Greece;
ii.              Carry out an immediate, thorough, impartial, and transparent investigation into the events described above in order to identify all those responsible, and sanction them as provided by the law;
iii.            Put an end to all acts of harassment against Ms. Ariel Ricker, as well as all minority rights defenders in Greece, so that they are able to carry out their work without hindrance or fear of reprisals;
iv.             Comply with all the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 9, 1998, in particular with its Articles 1, 5(b), and 12.2;
v.              Ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international human rights instruments ratified by Greece.
Addresses:
  • Prime Minister of Greece, Mr. Alexis Tsipras, Email: mail@primeminister.gr
  • Minister of Justice Mr. Stavros Kontonis Email: grammateia@justice.gov.gr
  • Alternate Minister for Citizens Protection of Greece, Mr. Nikolaos Toskas, Fax: +30 210 692 9764, Email: minister@mopocp.gov.gr
  • General Secretary for Transparency and Human Rights, Ms. Maria Yannakaki, Fax: Email: ggdad@justice.gov.gr
  • Deputy Permanent Representative of Greece, Mr. Ioannis Tsaousis, First Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Greece to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 732 21 50; Email: grdel.gva@mfa.gr
  • Ambassador of Greece, H.E. Eleftheria Galathianaki, Embassy of Greece in Brussels, Belgium, Fax: (+32) 2 545 5585, Email: gremb.bru@mfa.gr
  • Permanent Representative of Greece, H.E. Papastavrou Andreas, Permanent Representation to the European Union (EU), Fax: +32 2 5515651, 5127912 Email: mea.bruxelles@rp-greece.be
Please also write to the diplomatic representations of Greece in your respective countries.
***
Geneva, May 22, 2018
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
Created in 1985, the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) works for, with and through an international coalition of over 200 non-governmental organisations – the SOS-Torture Network – fighting torture, summary executions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions, and all other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment in the world. OMCT and its SOS-Torture Network are today one of the leading networks working for the protection of human rights defenders at the international level.

[2]                See OMCT’s Written Submission to the 35th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on the
against minority human rights defenders”, issued on February 21, 2018.
[3]                See OMCT’s Urgent appeal “Greece: Impunity regarding the attacks perpetrated in December 2016 against minority rights defenders“, issued on February 21, 2018
[4]                See the Observatory’s Urgent Appeal on the break-in and arson attack of the Afghan Community Centre’spremises in Athens and the threats targeting the Hellenic League for Human Rights (HLHR), GRE 001 / 0318 / OBS 036, published on March 30, 2018.
—————————————————————————-

19/05/2018: Ομοερωτοφοβικοί και τρανσφοβικοί (μεταξύ άλλων) οι λόγοι της βίαιης επίθεσης ακροδεξιών στον Δήμαρχο Θεσσαλονίκης Γιάννη Μπουτάρη

Ομοερωτοφοβικοί και τρανσφοβικοί (μεταξύ άλλων αντιτουρκικών, αντισημιτικών κτλ.) οι λόγοι της βίαιης επίθεσης ακροδεξιών στον Δήμαρχο Θεσσαλονίκης Γιάννη Μπουτάρη, αφού ως αφορμή φέρεται η άδεια που θεώρησαν ότι έδωσε στη διοργάνωση του “δέυτερου αυτο-οργανωμένου Radical Pride” στη Θεσσαλονίκη την ίδια ημέρα με την εκδήλωση της “Γενοκτονίας των Ποντίων” στην οποία δέχθηκε την επίθεση. Ακολουθούν άρθρα σχετικά τόσο με την επίθεση όσο και με τον εγκωμιασμό της από ακροδεξιούς και ναζιστές πολιτικούς, εγκωμιαστικό άρθρο της Χρυσής Αυγής, καθώς και tweet του κοινοβουλευτικού εκπροσώπου της Χρυσής Αυγής Χρ. Παππά που προηγήθηκε της επίθεσης:

FireShot Capture 062 - (1) CHRISTOS PAPPAS (@PappasXA) I Twitter - https___twitter.com_PappasXA.jpg


 

Left.gr

Προκλητικοί οι εκπρόσωποι της ακροδεξιάς πολιτικής σκηνής στη χώρα μας, επικροτούν την εγκληματική επίθεση προς τον Δήμαρχο Θεσσαλονίκης!

 

Καθόλου συγκαλυμμένη χαιρεκακία για την επίθεση προς τον Γ. Μπουτάρη από τον Γ. Καρατζαφέρη

Φασιστική επίθεση στον Γ. Μπουτάρη στη διάρκεια των εκδηλώσεων για τη Γενοκτονία των Ποντίων (βίντεο)

Με προκλητικές αναρτήσεις στο twitter στηρίζει ο βουλευτής της Χρυσής Αυγής, Χρ. Παππάς, την επίθεση ενάντια στον Γιάννη Μπουτάρη

“Οι μέρες της προκλητικότητας που επεδείκνυε ένας μέθυσος τουρκολάγνος δήμαρχος φαίνεται ότι τελείωσαν. Την ημέρα μνήμης της Γενοκτονίας των Ποντίων, ο Μπουτάρης αποφάσισε να διοργανώσει παρέλαση ξεφτιλισμένων  που περπάταγαν σε κοινή θέα στους δρόμους φιλώντας ο ένας τον άλλον”, γράφει στην ανάρτησή του στο twitter ο χρυσαυγίτης Παππάς.

FireShot Capture 061 - CHRISTOS PAPPAS (@PappasXA) I Twitter - https___twitter.com_PappasXA.jpg

Φωτογραφία της Ευα Νοβα.

Και η μιντιακή πολιτική κάλυψη από το Μακελειό


 

Η Εφημερίδα των Συντακτών

Ομόφωνη καταδίκη για την ακροδεξιά επίθεση στον Μπουτάρη

ΕUROKINISSI

Φραστική και σωματική επίθεση από ακροδεξιούς δέχτηκε ο δήμαρχος Θεσσαλονίκης κατά τη διάρκεια εκδηλώσεων για τη Γενοκτονία των Ποντίων με λόγω αδιαθεσίας που ένιωσε ύστερα να μεταφερθεί στο Ιπποκράτειο, από όπου έλαβε εξιτήριο σήμερα έπειτα από τις απαραίτητες ιατρικές εξετάσεις.

Ο Γιάννης Μπουτάρης μετά την επιμνημόσυνη δέηση που τελέστηκε το Σάββατο στην πλατεία Αγίας Σοφίας μετέβη στον Λευκό Πύργο, συνοδευόμενος από την πρόεδρο του δημοτικού συμβουλίου, Καλυψώ Γούλα, για την τελετή υποστολής της σημαίας από ποντιακό και στρατιωτικό τιμητικό άγημα.

Κάποιοι που βρίσκονταν στην τελετή, όταν αντιλήφθηκαν τον δήμαρχο, άρχισαν να τον βρίζουν και να τον χτυπούν αντιδρώντας στη στάση που κρατά τόσο αναφορικά με το Μακεδονικό και την Τουρκία όσο και για το Radical Pride που πραγματοποιήθηκε νωρίτερα στην πόλη.

EUROKINISSI

Το εξαγριωμένο πλήθος χτύπησε και το κρατικό αυτοκίνητο του Γιάννη Μπουτάρη σπάζοντας το πίσω παρμπρίζ και προκαλώντας φθορές.

Οι συνοδοί του δημάρχου τον απομάκρυναν από τον χώρο, ενώ μετά την επίθεση ο Γ. Μπουτάρης μεταφέρθηκε στο Ιπποκράτειο νοσοκομείο, όπου υποβλήθηκε σε εξετάσεις.

EUROKINISSI

Αστυνομικοί της Ασφάλειας Θεσσαλονίκης διενεργούν προανάκριση προκειμένου να ταυτοποιηθούν οι δράστες και να διαταχθεί η σύλληψή τους.

Χαρακτηριστικά είναι τα βίντεο που δημοσιεύει το thestival.gr:

 

Ο Πρόεδρος της Δημοκρατίας, Προκόπης Παυλόπουλος, καταδίκασε έντονα το γεγονός και εξέφρασε τον αποτροπιασμό του για την φασιστικής νοοτροπίας επίθεση εναντίον του δημάρχου από περιθωριακά στοιχεία.

Ακόμα, ο Νίκος Βούτσης καταδίκασε απερίφραστα «τη φασιστική βία που εκδηλώθηκε στο πρόσωπο του Γιάννη Μπουτάρη, άξιου εκλεγμένου Δημάρχου της Θεσσαλονίκης, που έχει συμβάλει καθοριστικά ώστε η πόλη και η κοινωνία της Θεσσαλονίκης να είναι ανοικτή και σύγχρονη. Να μην αναρωτηθεί κανείς για ποιόν “χτυπάει η καμπάνα”, γιατί ακόμα και οι κυνικοί της πολιτικής που χαϊδεύουν την ακροδεξιά εκτίθενται ανεπανόρθωτα» δήλωσε ο πρόεδρος της Βουλής.

«Αυτοί που επιτέθηκαν στον δήμαρχο Θεσσαλονίκης, Γιάννη Μπουτάρη, δεν είναι ούτε αγανακτισμένοι πολίτες, ούτε συγκεντρωμένο πλήθος. Είναι απλά ακροδεξιοί τραμπούκοι που πρέπει να βρεθούν άμεσα αντιμέτωποι με τις συνέπειες των πράξεών τους. Όσο πολιτικές δυνάμεις επιτρέπουν σε ακροδεξιά περιθωριακά στοιχεία να κρύβονται πίσω από ένα δήθεν αίσθημα πατριωτισμού, τόσο το φίδι του φασισμού θα απειλεί ευθέως τη Δημοκρατία», τόνισε σε ανακοίνωσή του το Γραφείο Τύπου του πρωθυπουργού.

«Ντροπή για τη φασιστική επίθεση που δέχτηκε ο Γιάννης Μπουτάρης σήμερα στη Θεσσαλονίκη», ανέφερε σε ανάρτησή του στο twitter ο κυβερνητικός εκπρόσωπος Δημήτρης Τζανακόπουλος.

«Καταδικάζουμε απερίφραστα την εγκληματική επίθεση που δέχτηκε ο δήμαρχος Θεσσαλονίκης από ακροδεξιούς τραμπούκους. Η φασιστική αυτή επίθεση αποτελεί μια προσπάθεια στοχοποίησης και εκφοβισμού του Γ. Μπουτάρη και βρίσκει όλους τους δημοκρατικούς πολίτες απέναντι. Η προσπάθεια της Νέας Δημοκρατίας να κάνει για άλλη μια φορά φτηνή αντιπολίτευση, με αφορμή αυτή την τραμπούκικη, φασιστική ενέργεια, αποτελεί μια αθλιότητα ολκής», σημειώνει ο ΣΥΡΙΖΑ.

«Θύμα φανατικών εθνικιστών οι οποίοι παριστάνουν τους πατριώτες έπεσε σήμερα ο δήμαρχος Θεσσαλονίκης», σημειώνει ο ΣΥΡΙΖΑ Θεσσαλονίκης, καταδικάζει απερίφραστα την επίθεση και τάσσεται στο πλευρό του δημάρχου τονίζοντας για μια «ακόμη μία φορά τη σταθερή του εναντίωση απέναντι σε κάθε φωνή και πράξη εθνικιστικής, θρησκευτικής και φυλετικής μισαλλοδοξίας».

Οι Ανεξάρτητοι Έλληνες καταδίκασαν την επιθετική ενέργεια, όπως δήλωσε η εκπροσώπος του κόμματος, Μανταλένα Παπαδοπούλου, σημειώνοντας ότι «τέτοιες ενέργειες αμαυρώνουν τις εκδηλώσεις τιμής και μνήμης για τη Γενοκτονία του Ελληνισμού του Πόντου. Κάθε τέτοια βίαιη ενέργεια στρέφεται εναντίον της Δημοκρατίας την οποία οφείλουμε όλοι να προστατεύουμε».

Η Νέα Δημοκρατία σε ανακοίνωσή της τονίζει: «Οι δράστες της σημερινής φασιστικής επίθεσης πατριδοκάπηλων πρέπει να συλληφθούν αμέσως και η κυβέρνηση να συνειδητοποιήσει επιτέλους ότι η ανομία έχει ξεπεράσει κάθε όριο λόγω της απαράδεκτης ανοχής που επιδεικνύει στη βία απ’ όπου κι αν προέρχεται».

Επίσης, ο τομεάρχης Εξωτερικών της Ν.Δ., Γιώργος Κουμουτσάκος, δήλωσε το εξής: «Με το Γιάννη Μπουτάρη μας χωρίζουν πολλά. Ειδικά στις απόψεις του για θέματα εξωτερικής πολιτικής για την Τουρκία και το ζήτημα της ονομασίας των Σκοπίων. Είμαι όμως δίπλα και μαζί του στην υπεράσπιση της ελευθερίας της γνώμης και της δημοκρατικής μετριοπάθειας.
Αυτές οι αρχές ήταν ο πραγματικός στόχος της βίαιης επίθεσης που υπέστη όπως άλλωστε και άλλοι μετριοπαθείς πολιτικοί πριν απ’αυτόν».

«Πάντα θα υπάρχουν 5-6 τραμπούκοι έτοιμοι να επιτεθούν σε όσους δεν γουστάρουν» σχολιάζει στο twitter ο επικεφαλής του Ποταμιού, Στ. Θεοδωράκης, και προσθέτει: «Το πρόβλημα είναι όλοι αυτοί που διαδίδουν ψευτιές και καλλιεργούν μίσος. Και αυτοί δεν φοράνε κουκούλες, αλλά κουστούμια. Μαζί σου Γιάννη και όπως λέει ο Αγγελάκας “σιγά μην κλάψω, σιγά μη φοβηθώ”».

Η Ένωση Κεντρώων έκανε λόγο για «άνανδρη επίθεση» και πρόσθεσε ότι «τέτοιες ενέργειες δεν προάγουν την δημοκρατία και την ελεύθερη διακίνηση των ιδεών». «Πιστεύουμε, ότι η αστυνομία θα εντοπίσει και θα συλλάβει τους δράστες αυτής της απαράδεκτης επίθεσης» .

Το Κίνημα Αλλαγής υπογράμμισε το εξής: «Τέτοιες τραμπούκικες, ανεπίτρεπτες συμπεριφορές πρέπει να απομονωθούν από όλους τους δημοκρατικούς πολίτες. Τα ακραία στοιχεία που διέπραξαν αυτή την επίθεση αμαυρώνουν τη μέρα μνήμης και δεν έχουν καμιά σχέση με τη μεγάλη πλειοψηφία των Ποντίων που τίμησαν σήμερα με την παρουσία τους σε όλη τη χώρα τα εκατοντάδες χιλιάδες θύματα του τουρκικού εθνικισμού».

«Ντροπή, αίσχος και οργή! Η τραμπούκικη επίθεση εναντίον του δημάρχου Θεσσαλονίκης Γιάννη Μπουτάρη προκαλεί κάθε δημοκρατικό πολίτη. Η απερίφραστη καταδίκη αυτής της άθλιας επίθεσης είναι αυτονόητη. Η άμεση σύλληψη των δραστών είναι αναγκαία. Είναι στοιχειώδης υποχρέωση όλων των δημοκρατικών πολιτών να απομονώσουμε άμεσα αυτές τις φασιστικές συμπεριφορές γιατί η ανοχή αποτελεί συνενοχή. Ο Γιάννης Μπουτάρης είναι υπέρμαχος της ανοιχτής κοινωνίας που οραματιζόμαστε. Για αυτό αποτελεί στόχο ακραίων στοιχείων και εθνικιστών. Δεν θα τους περάσει, η βία θα ηττηθεί», υπογραμμίζει σε ανάρτησή του στα social media ο επικεφαλής της ΔΗΜΑΡ Θανάσης Θεοχαρόπουλος.

Ανακοίνωση εξέδωσε και η Νεολαία ΠΑΣΟΚ Α’ Θεσσαλονίκης: «Όποια διαφωνία και αν έχει κανείς με τον δήμαρχο Θεσσαλονίκης, κ. Μπουτάρη, οφείλει να παραδεχτεί πως πρόκειται για έναν δημοκράτη, προοδευτικό και ανοιχτόμυαλο άνθρωπο. Η επίθεση που δέχτηκε,σήμερα στο Λευκό Πύργο από ακραίους τραμπούκους είναι άνανδρη και απολύτως καταδικαστέα».

Οι πρόεδροι των τριών Παμποντιακών Ομοσπονδιών που διοργάνωσαν στην εκδήλωση -Χρήστος Τοπαλίδης (πρόεδρος της Παμποντιακής Ομοσπονδίας Ελλάδος), Χριστίνα Σαχινίδου (πρόεδρος της Πανελλήνιας Ομοσπονδίας Ποντιακών Σωματείων) και Σέργιος Καλπαζίδης (πρόεδρος της Πανελλήνιας Ομοσπονδίας Σωματείων Ελληνοποντίων Παλιννοστούντων από την πρώην ΕΣΣΔ) εξέδωσαν κοινή ανακοίνωση στην οποία αναφέρουν: «Καταδικάζουμε με τον πλέον κατηγορηματικό τρόπο την επίθεση. Ακραία στοιχεία, δράστες της επίθεσης, ουδεμία σχέση έχουν με τον οργανωμένο ποντιακό χώρο. Αναφέρουμε ότι μέλη της οργανωτικής επιτροπής των εκδηλώσεων τραυματίστηκαν στην προσπάθειά τους να προστατεύσουν τον δήμαρχο».

«Άθλια, απαράδεκτη και άνανδρη» χαρακτηρίζει την επίθεση η πρόεδρος του δημοτικού συμβουλίου του κεντρικού δήμου, Καλυψώ Γούλα, η οποία συνόδευε τον κ. Μπουτάρη στις εκδηλώσεις: «Ο Γιάννης Μπουτάρης έπεσε κάτω από τα χτυπήματα και συνέχισαν να τον κλωτσάνε. Είχαν πρόθεση να του κάνουν κακό και φαινόταν, γιατί τον χτυπούσαν και στο κεφάλι. Χτύπησαν και εμένα και τους αστυνομικούς που τον προστάτευαν. Και όταν φτάσαμε στο αυτοκίνητο, κλωτσούσαν την πόρτα, ενώ προσπάθησαν να σπάσουν το τζάμι. Ο δήμαρχος ήταν απροστάτευτος. Στον χώρο δεν υπήρχαν αστυνομικές δυνάμεις και διοργανωτής ούτε για δείγμα».

«Απόλυτα καταδικαστέα» χαρακτηρίζει την επίθεση ο περιφερειάρχης Κεντρικής Μακεδονίας, Απόστολος Τζιτζικώστας, τονίζοντας στο twitter ότι «η βία από όπου και αν προέρχεται, εναντίον οποιουδήποτε και αν στρέφεται, δεν έχει καμία θέση σε μια δημοκρατική και ελεύθερη κοινωνία. Καμία διαφωνία δεν μπορεί να δικαιολογήσει τέτοιες αποτρόπαιες πράξεις».

O αντιδήμαρχος Τεχνικών Έργων του δήμου Νεάπολης – Συκεών Αντώνης Σαουλίδης είπε: «Όσοι συμμετείχαν στα επεισόδια δεν εκφράζουν καμία αγανάκτηση. Εκφράζουν μία παραβατική συμπεριφορά απόλυτα καταδικαστέα. Ήμουν δίπλα στον δήμαρχο από την αρχή των επεισοδίων. Προσπάθησα μαζί με πολλούς από εμάς να ηρεμήσουμε τα πνεύματα, αλλά χωρίς επιτυχία όπως φαίνεται».

Ο αντιδήμαρχος απευθύνει έκκληση στους Πόντιους τονίζοντας πως “δεν μας εκφράζουν τέτοιες ενέργειες. Δεν τιμούν κανέναν και κυρίως προσβάλουν την ημέρα. Είναι χρέος μας να μην ξεχάσουμε”.

«Η φασιστική επίθεση στον Γιάννη Μπουτάρη δεν προκαλεί μόνο ντροπή. Προκαλεί ανησυχία γιατί το αβγό του λαϊκισμού και του εθνικισμού έσπασε και απειλεί ανοιχτά τη δημοκρατία και την κοινωνία», έγραψε στο twitter ο δήμαρχος Αθηναίων Γιώργος Καμίνης.

Από τη δημοτική παράταξη «Εντάξει» σημειώνεται: «Οι “Εντάξει” έχουν ταχθεί και θα τάσσονται πάντα κατά κάθε πράξης βίας, από όπου κι αν προέρχεται, όποιος κι αν είναι ο στόχος. Καμία πράξη βίας δεν μπορεί να υποκαταστήσει τη δημοκρατική έκφραση των πολιτών».

Η Κίνηση Ενωμένοι Ενάντια στο Ρατσισμό και τη Φασιστική Απειλή ζήτησε να «τιμωρηθούν οι φασίστες που επιτέθηκαν κατά του δημάρχου» σημειώνοντας πως «στο πρόσωπο του «η ακροδεξιά έβαλε στο στόχαστρο δικαιώματα και ελευθερίες, επιχειρώντας να εκτρέψει σε φασιστική σύναξη τις εκδηλώσεις των Ποντίων»

Καμιά πολιτική διαφορά με τη στάση του Δημάρχου Θεσσαλονίκης Γιάννη Μπουτάρη δεν μπορεί να δικαιολογήσει την οποιαδήποτε ομάδα φασιστών να φοράει την μάσκα του «Πόντιου πατριώτη», να φοράει μαύρες κουκούλες και να επιτίθεται δολοφονικά.
Τα φασιστοειδή που παρέμειναν ατιμώρητα και ασύλληπτα από την Αστυνομία, όταν ενθαρρυμένα από τα εθνικιστικά συλλαλητήρια έκαψαν την κατάληψη Libertatia στο φως της μέρας, αποθρασύνονται και επιτίθενται ξανά. Ηδη, από το πρωί απειλούσαν για την παρουσία του Radikal Pride στην πόλη.

Στη δήλωσή του ο συντονιστής ΚΕΕΡΦΑ και δημοτικός σύμβουλος Αθήνας, Πέτρος Κωνσταντίνου, τόνισε ότι «η Θεσσαλονίκη γνωρίζει καλά από τη δράση του φασιστικού παρακράτους, το οποίο δολοφόνησε τον βουλευτή της αριστεράς, Γρηγόρη Λαμπράκη. Αυτή η ακροδεξιά έχει στο ιστορικό της τη ρατσιστική καταδίωξη των Ποντίων των προσφύγων που έφτασαν κατατρεγμένοι στην Ελλάδα σε όλη τη βόρεια Ελλάδα και αντιμετωπίστηκαν ως «τουρκόσποροι» ενώ ούτε ένα χωράφι δεν τους άφηναν να οργώσουν για να ζήσουν. Οι πρόεδροι τριών  Ποντιακών οργανώσεων έχουν καταδικάσει την επίθεση κατά του Γιάννη Μπουτάρη. Καμία οργάνωση δεν μπορεί να δίνει στέγη και κάλυψη σε φασίστες, χρυσαυγίτες και συμμορίες που οργανώνουν δολοφονικές επιθέσεις. Καλούμε την αριστερά, τα συνδικάτα, τις δημοτικές κινήσεις να καταδικάσουν την φασιστική επίθεση και να απαιτήσουν τη σύλληψη των φασιστών δολοφόνων».

Καταδίκασε η πολιτική και πολιτειακή ηγεσία

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Χρυσή Αυγή

Ξεχείλισε το ποτήρι της οργής για τον εθνομηδενιστή, υβριστή των Ποντίων και υμνητή του Κεμάλ, Μπουτάρη.

Ο απαράδεκτος δήμαρχος της Θεσσαλονίκης αμαύρωσε την σημερινή επέτειο Μνήμης για τα θύματα του Ποντιακού Ελληνισμού, αφού επέτρεψε να διεξαχθεί την ίδια μέρα “gay pride” στην πόλη.

18/05/2018: Καταγγελία “Κίνησης αστυνομικών PASSPORT” για αντισυνταγματικές και ρατσιστικές πρακτικές κράτησης ανήλικων Ρομά στη Δυτική Αττική

Καταγγελία της “Κίνησης αστυνομικών PASSPORT” για αντισυνταγματικές επαναλαμβανόμενες και ρατσιστικές πρακτικές κράτησης ανήλικων Ρομά στη Δυτική Αττική, για μη έκδοση Αστυνομικού Δελτίου Ταυτότητας, με ενεργοποίηση χουντικού νόμου, στις 18 Μαΐου 2018:

Η Εφημερίδα των Συντακτών

Κίνηση αστυνομικών καταγγέλλει ρατσιστικές πρακτικές της αστυνομίας

https://i0.wp.com/www.efsyn.gr/sites/efsyn.gr/files/styles/teaser_big/public/field/image/2018-05/police-roma-630_0.jpg
EUROKINISSI
18.05.2018

Κάθε απόθεμα σκληρότητας και αυταρχισμού φαίνεται ότι εξαντλεί η αστυνομία απέναντι σε ανήλικους Ρομά της Δυτικής Αττικής, φτάνοντας στο σημείο να τους συλλαμβάνει και να τους κρατά με τη διαδικασία του αυτόφωρου επειδή δεν έχουν βγάλει αστυνομική ταυτότητα.

Τουλάχιστον 12 συλλήψεις ανηλίκων Ρομά φαίνεται πως έχουν γίνει το τελευταίο τρίμηνο στη Δυτική Αττική με ενεργοποίηση της χουντικής Νομοθετικής Διάταξης 127/1969, που προβλέπει ότι όλοι οι κάτοικοι της Ελλάδας είναι υποχρεωμένοι να εκδώσουν ταυτότητα μετά τη συμπλήρωση των 14 ετών.

Πληροφορίες αναφέρουν πως αυτή η πρακτική εφαρμόζεται στην περιοχή τουλάχιστον τέσσερα χρόνια.

Την ώρα που η Επιτροπή κατά των Βασανιστηρίων του Συμβουλίου της Ευρώπης κατακεραυνώνει τη χώρα μας και της ζητά να προχωρήσει στην απαγόρευση της κράτησης ανηλίκων, φαίνεται πως ορισμένοι στην αστυνομία νοσταλγούν την περίοδο της χούντας και επιχειρούν να αναβιώσουν τις μεθόδους εκείνης της εποχής, ενισχύοντας τις διακρίσεις εναντίον των Ρομά, συντηρώντας τον μηχανισμό κοινωνικού αποκλεισμού τους και καλλιεργώντας μια κατάσταση που μπορεί να οδηγήσει κάθε στιγμή σε κοινωνική έκρηξη και συγκρούσεις.

Υπάρχει όμως και ένα τελείως διαφορετικό κομμάτι της αστυνομίας, αυτό που διεκδικεί σεβασμό των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων και περιφρούρηση του κράτους δικαίου.

Τις ακραίες μεθόδους της αστυνομίας στη Δυτική Αττική φέρνει στο φως η κίνηση αστυνομικών PASSPORT (Police Activists for Solidary Societies against POverty and Racist Threat – Ακτιβιστές Αστυνομικοί για Κοινωνίες Αλληλεγγύης εναντίον της Φτώχειας και της Ρατσιστικής Απειλής).

Η κίνηση δέχτηκε σχετική καταγγελία και, αφού τη διερεύνησε, έβγαλε ανακοίνωση, την οποία κοινοποίησε στην «Εφ.Συν.»:

«Στους περισσότερους-ες από εμάς που δεν υπηρετούμε ή υπηρετήσαμε σε αστυνομικά τμήματα της Δυτικής Αττικής δεν έτυχε ποτέ να προβούμε σε σύλληψη για τέτοιου είδος αδίκημα, οπότε ήταν αυτονόητο να εκπλαγούμε δυσάρεστα στο άκουσμα της καταγγελίας αυτής. Η ομάδα μας κινητοποιήθηκε άμεσα και διαπίστωσε ότι πράγματι από μερίδα αστυνομικών, με την ανοχή τουλάχιστον των ανωτέρων τους, γίνεται επιλεκτική χρήση και “ενεργοποίηση” σε βάρος συγκεκριμένης κοινωνικής ομάδας του αναχρονιστικού και ανενεργού, επί της ουσίας, για τους περισσότερους πολίτες Ν.Δ. 127/1969 […].

»Η πρακτική αυτή συνιστά αδιαμφισβήτητα διάκριση, αντιβαίνει τη συνταγματική επιταγή για ίση αντιμετώπιση των πολιτών, αναπαράγει τον φαύλο κύκλο της περιθωριοποίησης, του αποκλεισμού και συνεπακόλουθα της παραβατικότητας. Την καταδικάζουμε απερίφραστα και καλούμε τη φυσική και πολιτική ηγεσία της ΕΛ.ΑΣ. να διερευνήσει τις καταγγελίες αυτές και να λάβει μέτρα σε συντρέχουσα περίπτωση.

»Πέραν όμως της καταδίκης αυτής και επειδή θεωρούμε αδιανόητο ο νομοθέτης να προβλέπει τη σύλληψη μικρών παιδιών και εφήβων για ήσσονος σημασίας ζητήματα, όπως και η υποχρέωση έκδοσης ταυτότητας, που μπορεί να ρυθμιστεί διαφορετικά, καλούμε τους αρμόδιους φορείς, τους βουλευτές, συλλόγους και φορείς που ασχολούνται με τα δικαιώματα του παιδιού να προβούν στις κατά τα πλαίσια των αρμοδιοτήτων τους ενέργειες για αλλαγή των προαναφερθεισών υφιστάμενων διατάξεων. Το κίνημα αστυνομικών Ρ.A.S.S.PO.RT. θα παρακολουθεί στενά το ζήτημα και θα παρέμβει όπου χρειάζεται μέχρι την οριστική επίλυση του ζητήματος αυτού», σημειώνει.

Την κίνηση αποτελούν αστυνομικοί που συμμετείχαν στο παρελθόν σε δράσεις αλληλεγγύης για τους πρόσφυγες της Λέρου, μαγείρεψαν για την κοινωνική κουζίνα «Αλλος Ανθρωπος» και πήραν μέρος στο περσινό Athens Pride.

Οπως αναφέρουν στην «Εφ.Συν.», επιθυμούν, σε συνεργασία με την οργάνωση Δράση Αστυνομικών για τα Ανθρώπινα Δικαιώματα, να συμβάλουν στον εκδημοκρατισμό των δομών της αστυνομίας, αλλάζοντας τα κακώς κείμενα εντός του Σώματος – τις αυταρχικές συμπεριφορές και τις πρακτικές που αντίκεινται στα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα.

Η «Εφ.Συν.» έθεσε την καταγγελία υπόψη του αρχηγείου της ΕΛ.ΑΣ., το οποίο απάντησε ότι θα τη διερευνήσει.

18/05/2018: Καταγγελίες ρατσιστικής βίας από 21 μετανάστες στην Πάτρα, στην Refugee Support Aegean. Θύτες: λιμενικό, security πλοίων και οδηγοί φορτηγών.

Η Εφημερίδα των Συντακτών

Έρευνα για την κακοποίηση μεταναστών στην Πάτρα ζητά η RSA

ΕUROKINISSI

«…Μας τράβηξαν από τις θέσεις μας και ενώ κάποιος μας χτύπησε με το ξύλο, ο άλλος μας χτυπούσε με όπλο ηλεκτροσόκ. Ο ένας με το ξύλο μάς χτύπησε μόνο στο κεφάλι. Τρεις από μας είχαν τραυματισμούς στο κεφάλι. Το όπλο ηλεκτροσόκ το χρησιμοποιούσαν στους λαιμούς, τους γοφούς και τα πόδια μας, έτσι ώστε δεν μπορούσαμε να κινηθούμε. Ένας από μας αιμορραγούσε πολύ από το κεφάλι. Τότε μας πέταξαν έξω από το φορτηγό…»

Ο Ιμπραήμ, 23 χρόνων από το Αφγανιστάν, περιγράφει στην οργάνωση Υποστήριξη Προσφύγων στο Αιγαίο (RSA – Refugees Support Aegean) τη βία που δέχτηκε ο ίδιος και άλλοι πρόσφυγες στο λιμάνι της Πάτρας από το Λιμενικό, από ιδιωτική εταιρεία φύλαξης, ακόμα και από ιδιοκτήτες φορτηγών.

Η οργάνωση πραγματοποίησε στα τέλη Μαρτίου επίσκεψη στην Πάτρα και συνομίλησε με 21 πρόσφυγες και μετανάστες, ενήλικους και ανήλικους, από το Αφγανιστάν, το Ιράν και το Πακιστάν, που έμεναν σε άτυπους καταυλισμούς γύρω από το λιμάνι.

Δεκαεπτά δήλωσαν ότι το βράδυ της 24ης προς την 25η Μαρτίου υπέστησαν κακοποίηση από προσωπικό ιδιωτικής εταιρείας φύλαξης και άτομα που ανήκουν στο προσωπικό φύλαξης των πλοίων.

Τα περιστατικά κακοποίησης αποτελούν καθημερινό φαινόμενο, σύμφωνα με τις μαρτυρίες, γεγονός που -όπως επισημαίνει η οργάνωση- αναδεικνύει τον συστηματικό χαρακτήρα της βίας σαν μέσο αποτροπής της παράνομης μετανάστευσης.

«Με χτύπησαν 4-5 φορές. Δεν θέλω να το θυμάμαι. Πριν από ένα μήνα, το λιμενικό με χτύπησε με γροθιές, με γκλομπ, κλοτσιές και μου πέταξαν ένα γκλομπ το οποίο με χτύπησε στο κεφάλι. Με χτύπησαν επίσης στο συκώτι. Ήμουν ανάμεσα στους φράχτες του λιμανιού προσπαθώντας να δραπετεύσω. Υπήρχαν δύο αξιωματικοί με μαύρες στολές μέσα στο λιμάνι και δύο εκτός. Με χτύπησαν χωρίς να κοιτάξουν πού θα με χτυπήσουν. Απλώς χτυπούσαν χωρίς να σκέφτονται», αναφέρει ο Γκίλαμ, 20 χρόνων, από το Αφγανιστάν.

«Δεδοµένης της πολιτικής των κλειστών συνόρων και της αδιέξοδης κατάσταση που δηµιουργεί η συµφωνία Ε.Ε-Τουρκίας, η Πάτρα αναµένεται να εξακολουθήσει να παραµένει σηµείο εξόδου για πρόσφυγες και µετανάστες που δεν έχουν νόµιµο τρόπο µετάβασης στον προορισµό τους. Η Υποστήριξη Προσφύγων στο Αιγαίο τονίζει την αναγκαιότητα να διασφαλιστούν διεξοδικές και αµερόληπτες έρευνες σε όλες τις αναφορές για τέτοια περιστατικά κακοµεταχείρισης στο Λιµάνι της Πάτρας και ζητά την επαγρύπνηση της κοινωνίας των πολιτών σχετικά µε τα χρήση βίας ενάντια σε πρόσφυγες και µετανάστες στον χώρο αυτό», σημειώνει η οργάνωση.

 


 

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Violence in Patras Port: Ill-treatment of refugees as deterrent to migration

Refugee Support Aegean (RSA) fact-finding mission (27 to 28 March 2018)

On 5 March 2018, a 14-year-old refugee boy from Afghanistan was allegedly ill-treated by coast guards in Patras port in Greece, while he was trying to stow away to Italy by hiding inside a truck. The boy was reportedly stabbed by coast guard in his foot and was beaten with batons. He was transferred to Patras General University Hospital and the case received publicity. On the same day, “The Movement for the Defence of Refugee and Migrants Rights in Patras” (a local solidarity group) issued a press release[i] strongly condemning the incident. According to the press release, policemen and coast guards in civilian clothes visited the hospital where the boy was receiving medical treatment in order “to say… that the boy was injured by himself! and… to take away his shoes”.[ii] A disciplinary investigation into the incident was ordered by the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Island Policy. The outcome is not yet known.

 

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Afghan minor injured 5 March 2018 ©Docmobile

Prompted by the reporting of this incident, Refugee Support Aegean (RSA)[iii] staff conducted a two-day fact-finding mission to Patras between 27 and 28 March 2018. The purpose of the mission was to research and document other possible incidents of ill-treatment of refugees and migrants by state or non-state actors inside and outside of the new Patras Port[iv]. The March 2018 mission was a follow-up to previous research and documentation work conducted in 2012 by PRO ASYL[v] and the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR). The research resulted in the publication of the report “I came here for peace”.[vi] Six years ago, the interviews held with dozens of refugees and migrants described systematic ill-treatment by law enforcement officers in the port area of Patras and highlighted the persistent impunity and the lack of an effective investigation of those incidents at that time.

 

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Upon their return to Patras in March 2018, RSA researchers witnessed again dozens of young refugee and migrant men (including minors) trying to sneak inside the new port. They were climbing over the metal fence and trying to hide themselves in trucks with destination to Italy. Predominantly dressed in filthy dark clothing with just a small bottle of water bound to their back, they were running inside the port, while in the background one could see ferry boats and cargo ships sailing to what the young refugees perceived as the way to a secure and peaceful life.

 

 

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The city experienced some quite months in 2015, when an unofficial corridor opened in the Western Balkans and thousands of refugees passed through in order to reach Germany and other European destinations. Refugees and migrants did not need to risk their lives by taking more dangerous routes such as the sea route between Greece and Italy. However, since late 2015, new razor wire fences were erected along borders, the Balkans route closed and the EU-Turkey ‘deal’ was announced. Refugees and migrants were forced once more to choose dangerous routes out of Greece and as a result, the number of people arriving in Patras started to increase again since March 2016.[vii] The official end of the relocation scheme in 26 September 2017[viii] further fuelled irregular migration.

 

Patras is advertised as “gateway to Europe” for the tourists and transport businesses by the Port Authority (OLPA SA) with passenger and cargo ships departing and arriving daily to and from Italy[ix], but at the same time it is a strictly guarded and defended border area for others. Security measures got stricter in Patras since the beginning of the operations of the new port and the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS)[x] got implemented from the very start. These measures became more severe with the introduction of tighter border controls inside the EU Schengen Area during the refugee crisis[xi]. The tightening of these controls was also justified on a political level as a necessary security measure in the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris and other European cities.[xii]

 

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The port is patrolled and controlled by Greek coastguard and a private security company.[xiii] Tasked with the “prevention” of irregular migration amongst others, the security staff’s mere presence at points of access and control and also in the broader port area is aimed to function as a deterrent to ‘irregular migration’. Security staff is meant to be supervised by coastguard present at the port. According to an official answer of the Patras Port Authority to RSA (11 May 2018)[xiv] the security staff is “not carrying any weapons.”

 

Meanwhile, incidents of violence against refugees and migrants by law-enforcement officials and other actors operating in the port area of Patras are reported by the refugees and solidarity people to happen on a daily basis.

 

 

“Over the past four weeks, we’ve treated over fifty patients who have been reportedly attacked by police, coast guard, truck drivers or the private security service staff. Among the injured are young adults as well as some minors. The injuries were mostly lacerations, bruises and haematoma. We also treated several dog bites and fractures. Several patients could not be treated on the spot, but had to be transferred for further treatment to the hospital.”

Docmobile, a medical volunteer group that started providing assistance to refugees and migrants in Patras a year ago

 

Local solidarity group “The Movement for the Defence of Refugee and Migrants Rights in Patras” – created in 2007 – has been denouncing the ill-treatment of refugees and migrants in the city over the years. With their recent press release concerning the reported ill-treatment of the 14-year-old Afghan boy, they found themselves suddenly under attack by the local union of coast guard officers.

 

“We brought the incident to publicity and an internal investigation was ordered. The Union of Port Police reacted later with a demand letter against our Solidarity Group, requiring us not to talk again! In recent months, both the crackdown on refugees in the harbour area and the reactionary voices calling for their removal from the area around the port have intensified. (…) The responsibilities of the government are enormous; in the criminal EU-Turkey Agreement and due to the overall repressive migration policies, the persecuted are trapped in Greece, with extremely difficult and time-consuming access to asylum and family reunification procedures. In our city – and despite the support of the Municipality to the refugee population – a hostile climate towards the refugees is being created on the pretext of the proper functioning of the harbour. And the government rushes with the voice of Migration Minister Vitsas to “reassure” that the informal places of shelter of the refugees will be evacuated “deliberately and peacefully” by transferring them to the organized camps of uncertainty and despair (…).”

The Movement for the Defence of Refugee and Migrants Rights in Patras[xv]

 

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During the two-day research mission, RSA staff met local activists and interviewed several refugees living temporarily in Patras. Αt the time of RSA’s visit, about 300 to 500 refugees and migrants were living in the abandoned factories of AVEX and Ladopoulos near the new port. RSA interviewed 21 refugees and migrants. All of them said that they had been ill-treated inside or just outside Patras port between January and March 2018. They said that the ill-treatment they experienced was mainly by coast guard officers or staff of a private security company operating inside the Patras port area (under the control and coordination of the national authorities) and/or what they described as ship security staff (such staff operates in ships under the command of the captain). RSA’s researchers have seen injuries of the alleged victims, have taken photos of some of them and they were shown evidence of injuries[xvi] where the wounds had already healed.

 

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Nineteen of the above mentioned alleged victims were Afghans, one was from Pakistan and another from Iran. The interviewees said that they had arrived only recently in Patras (maximum three months before the RSA mission). Half of them had been living for less than six months in Greece and the other half between six months and two years. The vast majority had entered the country through Evros River at the land border. The ones apprehended in Evros or Rhodopi prefectures had been in administrative detention between 4-6 months and applied for asylum during that time. The others had been arrested and released with a deportation order valid for 30 days or reached Patras without papers without being arrested at all. All the interviewees were either holders of asylum applicants’ cards or they complained that they had tried multiple times to apply for asylum application before the Greek Asylum Service, but did not succeed in having their claims registered by the competent authorities. In particular, they said that they did not manage to book an asylum registration appointment via Skype and that they had to stay homeless for long periods.[xvii] All of them complained about the lack of reception conditions, lack of effective protection and any future prospects in Greece. In Patras, they had been living in abandoned factories under deplorable conditions.

 

“I have been in Greece for the past 5-6 months. It has been two weeks since I arrived in Patras. I tried to register in a camp in Athens. I went to Elaionas. They said it was only for families. I slept for more than a week in parks because I had no more money.”

Morteza*, a 19-year-old refugee from Afghanistan[xviii]

 

“I have in Greece with my father for the past five months. The rest of our family had to stay in Afghanistan. We applied for asylum in Athens. We searched for a place to stay. We couldn’t find a house or a place in a camp. We wrote our names on a waiting list in Elaionas camp. We applied for housing in Piraeus Asylum Service. We were forced to come here. It has been now three months since we arrived in Patras. I got beaten a lot here.”

Hassan*, a 12-year old boy from Afghanistan accompanied by his father

 

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The interviewees complained that they had been ill-treated multiple times inside or outside the new Patras port by coast guard officers, “commandos” (they refer to one of coastguard’s special operations teams), police or/and private security staff of the port or/and what they described as ship security staff. Two of them complained also, that they had been beaten by truck drivers. Moreover, they stated that they were punched and kicked and suffered beatings with batons, metal and wooden sticks (as well as in one case with plastic tubes and in another case a metal chain) all over their body and mainly on the head. Those alleging ill-treatment by private security staff also complained about being shocked with ‘electroshock weapons’. In one case, a refugee was allegedly threatened by a man described as a “commando” holding a gun and ordering him to get out of the port. In another incident, a dog reportedly held by private security staff was unleashed so it would deliberately bite a child refugee trying to board a truck for Italy. Refugees and migrants were allegedly maltreated after their detection inside/or outside the port or while trying to get in/out of the port. All of them told us that the violence was unjustified. They were ill-treated while they were not resisting a possible control or apprehension and even when lying on the ground. Migrants have been allegedly chased by police cars and/or motors outside the port. The interviewees with one exception, were all left to leave the port immediately after they were ill-treated. The port authorities did not arrest the migrants or file any administrative or criminal complaint against them. In all cases, the perpetrators allegedly ill-treated the interviewed refugees by inflicting physical injury and/or psychological trauma on them.

 

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The scale of allegations concerning ill-treatment by both law enforcement officials and private security staff indicates a widespread pattern of violence rather than a few isolated incidents. This pattern also suggests that ill-treatment is used as a deterrence tool both by law enforcement officials and private security staff in order to discourage refugees and migrants from arriving to Patras port and trying to reach other EU countries through this “gate”. The majority of the interviewees did not want to file a complaint about their ill-treatment because they felt scared of the authorities. Those without papers feared apprehension, while others expressed fear of being targeted and / or no faith in the criminal justice system.

 

“I got beaten 4-5 times. I don’t want to remember that. One month ago, the port police beat me with punches, using batons, they kicked me, and they threw a baton at me that hit me on my head. They hit me on the liver. I was in between the fences of the port trying to escape. There were two officers in black uniforms inside the port and two outside. They were beating me without looking where they would hit me. They just beat without thinking.”

Ghulam*, a 20-year-old refugee from Afghanistan

 

On 27 March 2018 – between 10:30 and 11pm – half of us were inside the port and half were outside. There was a “commando” who was new. We had not seen him before. He was standing near the parking area. He suddenly pulled out his gun. It was small and black. He walked fast and with strong steps towards us and shouted ‘fyge, fyge’ [Greek: ‘go away’]. He came 10-15 metres near us. I thought he would shoot. There were four police officers in black watching the incident. I think he was drunk. I got very scared.”

Farid*, a 16-year-old boy from Afghanistan

 

“We get beaten every day here. The police, the port police, the ‘commandos’, the officers in civil clothes, the security, port staff and truck drivers. They all beat us. They try to do it without being seen. When we try to board a cargo ship there are no tourists, so they can do what they want. If there is a tourist ferry, they try to beat us in a place where someone cannot see them. Like inside a truck, behind a truck, or inside the police station. Two weeks ago. I was under a truck. I was hiding between the wheels. It was just me. Four police officers came. They surrounded the truck. I heard them shouting: ‘Come out motherfucker’. I had no choice. I crawled to get out. The one closer to me grabbed my clothing. He pulled me out. I was lying on the floor. All four of them were holding plastic pipes. All of them beat me on my head, back, legs, hands. It lasted for five minutes. At some point, I managed to stand up and run. If I had not escaped in the end, they would have killed me. In the factory, I just took pain-killers from the doctors. The pain lasted for 4 to 5 days.”

Issah*, a 17-year-old boy from Afghanistan

 

“It was 24 o’clock on Saturday night (24 March 2018) and it was raining. I was wearing my hoody. I was returning from inside the port back towards the factory. Near the customs the ‘commandos’ caught me. There were two persons inside a silver car. They were wearing camouflage trousers like those worn by the military. The car was approaching me from the back. I heard a noise and turned around and saw them. Then I started running. Suddenly, near the parking, I was hit by a stick on the back of my head, which they threw at me. I collapsed and lost consciousness. When I woke up I was still lying where I had collapsed and my head was bleeding. I went to the police inside the port and asked them for a bandage. They gave it to me and told me to go. It was the first time they beat me. I feel intense pain until now. What kind of person is that who would hit someone treacherous from the back without any reason.”

Sediq*, a 22-year-old refugee from Afghanistan

 

It was on Saturday night (24 March 20118) at 11:50 pm. (…) We were about to climb inside a truck. A car of the security staff came near. One security guard had a dog. He released the dog and sent it after me. The security men were wearing green and black clothes. The dog run towards me and I tried to escape. It bit my leg and didn’t let go. The security employee who was holding it came and pulled the dog away from me. I tried to run. He was holding the dog and running after me. I ran towards the port police and told that I had been bitten by a dog. The officer took a club and wanted to beat me. (…) I tried to run. I couldn’t climb the fence (surrounding the port) so I had to get out through the normal gate. A police car started chasing me. I ran towards the factory. Some other refugees told to police officers outside the port that I had been bitten by a dog. (…) I was bleeding. (…) The next morning I went to the hospital with my father”.

Hassan*, a 12-year-old boy from Afghanistan accompanied by his father

 

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Seventeen of the interviewees told RSA, that they were victims of a large-scale incident of maltreatment by private security staff working in the port and what they described as ship security staff. The incident took place between the late evening of Saturday, 24 March 2018, and the early hours of the next day (Sunday, 25 March 2018). According to the testimonies received, the private security staff working at the port and security staff working in a ship spotted the refugees and migrants interviewed hiding in different trucks inside the port and then started to beat them inside and/or outside of the trucks. They interviewees said that they were ill-treated, while they were sitting or lying on the floor and that they were not trying to flee or resist arrest. All of the interviewees had been allegedly beaten with truncheons all over their body, including beatings on the head and ten of them had been allegedly shocked with a type of electroshock weapon. After they were beaten and electroshocked, they were left to leave the port area. Fractures in arms and legs and wounds on their heads had to be reportedly treated by doctors and signs of their injuries were still visible during RSA’s visit. At least 10 of them told us that they got transferred to the hospital because of the ill-treatment they suffered. Furthermore, they stated that the coast guard and police authorities did not take any measure to prevent or to stop their ill-treatment by private security staff or employees of the ship. The interviewees complained that officers saw refugees who were badly treated but did not do anything to protect them. Almost half of them said that they had been also subjected to ill-treatment by coast guards in other incidents of violence.

 

We were 12 persons in a truck and four persons found and beat us. Two of them wore green vests and two were in civilian clothes. They hit me everywhere. They didn’t care which part of my body it was. They hit me also when I fell down. They hit me on the chest and I could not breath. I didn’t go to the hospital because I am scared of the police.”

Babul*, a 22-year-old refugee from Afghanistan

 

In the late night of Saturday (24/25.3.18) at 12pm I was hiding inside a truck that was inside the port. We were two persons. The truck got stopped near the boat. The door was opened. There were four persons from security. One of them entered the truck. The truck was full of cartons. The security guy found me first. He hit me inside the truck. He was hitting my head many times. I told them I am a sick person. He hit me again. I felt very dizzy. I fell down. He hit me again. (…) He was holding a black weapon. It had two small points on the front side. He delivered electric shocks on my hands many times. My whole body felt the electricity. I couldn’t breath and I couldn’t see anymore. Then he pulled me out. I fell on the street. (…) I tried to stand up and get myself out of the port. I noticed a port police car passing by. They saw me on the ground, but they didn’t come to help. They just left. Then I fainted. Somebody brought me out of the port and to the factory. I didn’t go to the hospital that night, but next morning. They had to stitch up the wounds on my head. I was bleeding a lot. I still feel dizzy three days after the beating and I have pain in my head. I have been in Patras for a month and it was the first time I entered the port. I am very tired now. That night, the security staff said many bad words. They said: “Fuck you Afghan” and showed me the middle finger”.

Ali*, a 40-year old asylum seeker from Afghanistan

 

“We were six persons in the truck. Two private security guards came. They were dressed in blue. They hit me with electricity and I fell in the sea. My friend pulled me out.”

Aref*, a 27-year-old refugee from Afghanistan

 

“On Saturday 24 March at 11pm, I was inside a truck with five others. We had been hiding there already for two hours. The truck engine had started and stopped in front of the ship. The door was opened. One security man entered. He had a torch and searched. He was wearing green and black clothes. In his one hand, there was a big wood. A second security man entered who was holding an electro shock device weapon. They closed the door behind them. They did that so nobody would see what would happen. (…) They pulled us out of our places and while one was beating us with the wood, the other was giving us electric shocks. The one with the wood was only beating us on the head. Three of us had lacerations on the head. The electro shock weapon they used on our necks, hips and legs, so we could not move. One of us was bleeding a lot from the head. Then they threw us out the truck. The one who was bleeding was taken away to the police station. When the one security gave me an electric shock I felt strong pain. (…) My hand and my arm are still in pain. I have been for five months in Greece and for two months in Patras. I had nowhere to stay. I have been beaten more than 10 times since I arrived here. Port officers and security staff beat me. They say so many bad words, that they make our hearts hurt.

Ibrahim*, a 23-year-old refugee from Afghanistan

 

“I was hiding alone inside a truck on Sunday morning. The car stopped in front of a ship. Two security guards entered the truck. One of them was holding an electro shock weapon. He hit me in the temple 3-4 times with electricity. At the same time, the other one was beating me with a metal on the back of my head. I kneeled over because of the pain. The one with the electro shock weapon was holding me from the neck and pressing me down. The metal hit my head two times. I started bleeding. I saw later two more security guards standing outside. I got pushed out of the truck and fell one metre. I hurt my knees. My clothes got wet as I fell into a small puddle. The security staff was wearing green/yellow vests. I felt very dizzy. The electric shock to my temple made me feel high pressure in my head. The electro shock weapon was black and looked like a torch. They let me go and I walked back to the factory. The next day I went by myself to the hospital.

Navid*, a 22-year-old refugee from Afghanistan describing maltreatment by private security staff on the night of 24 to 25 of March 2018

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

 

To the Greek and European authorities:

 

RSA is highly concerned about the alleged incidents and condemns the unjustified and widespread violence and ill-treatment against refugees and migrants in the port area of Patras by law enforcement officers as well as by private security staff operating in the port area.

RSA stresses that torture and other forms of ill-treatment as well as excessive use of force shall never be justified or tolerated as deterrence measure or in the name of “combating irregular migration”.

RSA calls on the Greek authorities to ensure respect of human rights of refugees and migrants in the port area of Patras as well as coordinate, monitor and control the security measures implemented in the port by both public and private actors under Greek, European and international law. The alleged widespread use of electroshock weapons against migrants by staff of private security companies in the port must be investigated a by the competent authorities.

RSA calls on the competent authorities to ensure thorough and impartial investigations into reports of such incidents of ill-treatment.

 

To the civil society:

 

RSA reminds our civil society that tolerance of ill-treatment of refugees and migrants as a mean of deterring irregular migration does not only violate the principles of a democratic society but also inevitably leads to an increase in and naturalisation of racism and xenophobia.

RSA calls on the civil society – all travellers, tourists, local residents and business people, as well as truck drivers and other professionals connected to the port of Patras – to alert the authorities if such incidents come to their attention.

ENDNOTES

[i] Source: https://www.facebook.com/notes/κίνηση-υπεράσπισης-δικαιωμάτων-προσφύγων-και-μεταναστώνστριών/532018-δελτιο-τυπου-τραυματισμός-ανηλίκου-από-λιμενικούς/1723263634379380/ (last visited on 11 May 2018)

[ii] Source: https://www.facebook.com/notes/κίνηση-υπεράσπισης-δικαιωμάτων-προσφύγων-και-μεταναστώνστριών/532018-δελτιο-τυπου-τραυματισμός-ανηλίκου-από-λιμενικούς/1723263634379380/ (last visited May 1, 2018)

[iii] Since 2016, Refugee Support Aegean (RSA) is the implementing partner of PRO ASYL in Greece.

[iv] The new Patras port started operating in 2011. Until then, the ferries travelling from and to Italy had been landing in the old port, which is located in the city centre.

[v] Research was conducted and the report written by the PRO ASYL funded project RSPA and its staff.

[vi] Source: https://www.proasyl.de/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/PRO_ASYL_Report_I_came_here_for_peace_Patras_June_2012.pdf (last visited on May 11, 2018)

[vii] Ιn 2017, the number of persons apprehended for “irregular stay ” by Patras police increased to 2,665 compared to 950 in the year before. Only in January 2018, police apprehended 439 persons (compared to 213 in January 2017). At the same time, the local solidarity group and volunteer group Foodkind estimate that the current transit population has e reached 300-500 persons. Foodkind has been providing meals to refugees and migrants living in the temporary camps near the port since February 2017.

Sources: http://www.thebest.gr/news/index/viewStory/477193 (last visited on March 30, 2018)

https://www.facebook.com/foodKIND/ (last visited on 11 May 2018)

[viii] Source: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-17-2104_en.htm (last visited on May 12, 2018)

[ix] Brindisi, Ancona, Venice, Bari, Genova, Ravenna, Trieste and Catania.

[x] The ISPS Code a regulation which grew out of anti-terror policies following the September 11 attack on the twin towers in New York.

[xi] Source: http://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/8750/border-controls-in-europe-s-schengen-zone (last visited May 11, 2018)

[xii] Source: https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/leak-temporary-internal-schengen-border-checks-could-last-four-years/ (last visited on May 12, 2018)

[xiii] Patras Port Authority (OLPA SA) entrusted a private security company with the task of port security based on the Laws of Regulation 2004/725 / EC and the Directive 2005/65 / EC.

Source: Written response to RSA by the Patras Port Authority (11 May 2018).

[xiv] Written response to RSA by the Patras Port Authority (11 May 2018).

[xv] Interviewed on 27 March 2018 in Patras.

[xvi] Such as photos or medical certificates.

[xvii] The impediments of accessing to the Asylum Service through Skype as well as delays in the asylum procedure in Greece have been reported many times.

Sources: http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_gr_2017update.pdf (last visited on May 10, 2018)

http://www.news247.gr/koinonia/megales-kathysterhseis-sto-asylo-kai-anhlikoi-ektos-domwn.6596865.html (last visited on May 10, 2018)

http://www.zougla.gr/greece/article/elikse-i-episxesi-ergasias-ton-simvasiouxon-stin-ipiresia-asilou (last visited on May 10, 2018)

AIDA 2017: Country Report: Greece.

http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_gr_2017update.pdf

https://www.efsyn.gr/arthro/epishesi-ergasias-apo-symvasioyhoys-stin-ypiresia-asyloy (last visited on May 10, 2018)

http://m.dw.com/en/as-eu-looks-away-greece-looks-for-places-to-house-refugees/a-43256983 (last visited on May 10, 2018)

[xviii] All names have been anonymised for the protection of the interviewees and upon their request.

 

IMPRESSUM

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Title photo ©Giorgos Moutafis

17/05/2018: Αντιτσιγγανικό άρθρο σε site “αμυντικής” θεματολογίας

Veteranos.gr

Αποθρασύνθηκαν και οι Γύφτοι και πήραν με τις καραμπίνες τους άνδρες της ΟΠΚΕ

17 Μαΐου 2018
Ομάδα αστυνομικών της ΟΠΚΕ, επιχείρησε γύρω στις 4 τα ξημερώματα να πραγματοποιήσει έλεγχο σε αυτοκίνητο, που θεωρήθηκε ύποπτο και στο οποίο επέβαιναν τέσσερα άτομα, σε καταυλισμό Ρομά στα Άνω Λιόσια.
Το περιστατικό αντιλήφθηκαν κάτοικοι του καταυλισμού και οι Γύφτοι του Καταυλισμού  άρχισαν να πυροβολούν στον αέρα για εκφοβισμό. Οι αστυνομικοί της ΟΠΚΕ απάντησαν επίσης με πυροβολισμούς και κάλεσαν ενισχύσεις.
Στη συνεχεία οι άνδρες της ΟΠΚΕ προχώρησαν σε προσαγωγές των επιβατών του αυτοκινήτου….Αλλά αυτό δείχνει την θρασύτητα που έχουν πια οι κάθε λογής Ρομά αφου το Κράτος αδυνατεί να επιβάλει το νόμο στα Γκέτο

17/05/2018: Καταγγελία ομοερωτοφοβικής επίθεσης ταξιτζή σε ζευγάρι στην Αθήνα

Καταγγελία ομοερωτοφοβικής επίθεσης  ταξιτζή σε ζευγάρι στην Αθήνα, στο Facebook, στις 17 Μαΐου 2018: