Each of these items would deserve its own post with its own analysis but quite frankly, I am a bit burned out today. I can only offer so many words before these issues take a toll. So, here’s a roundup of items regarding the ongoing dehumanization of migrants/ People of Color in Europe:
At The Guardian, Diane Taylor writes “The UK dehumanises immigrants – no wonder tragedies happen in detention”. From the article:
Asylum seekers are widely perceived to be a large group of undeserving people who scrounge benefits and gobble up social housing and jobs that should be reserved for British citizens. The facts – that asylum seekers only make up about 5% of migrants, are banned from working, and often have zero government support or accommodation – are drowned out by scaremongering from rightwing tabloids and politicians.[…]
Hardwick manages to claw back some of the humanity we have lost by highlighting shocking individual cases, including the pregnant woman who was tipped out of a wheelchair
Also at The Guardian, Diane Taylor and Rowena Mason write “Home Office staff rewarded with gift vouchers for fighting off asylum cases”
Home Office officials are being rewarded with shopping vouchers for helping to ensure failed asylum seekers lose their attempt to stay in the country, new documents reveal.
Official guidance obtained by the Guardian shows that immigration staff have been set a target of winning 70% of tribunal cases in which asylum seekers are appealing against government decisions that they should leave the UK.
These officers are also incentivised by Home Office reward schemes involving gift vouchers, cash bonuses and extra holidays, according to information received under freedom of information laws.
This is such a textbook example of the marriage of capitalism and racism. What better way to “incentivize” dehumanization and Othering than through the promotion of consumerism? For every failed asylum seeker, a shopping reward as a tool to enforce white supremacist capitalism.
At Enet English (Greek Independent Press), Investigation into alleged Greek coastguard abuse of migrants. From the article:
"The Hellenic Coastguard commandant has ordered the investigation of three distinct cases of alleged ill-treatment of third-country nationals by staff of the Hellenic Coastguard for the period between August and December 2013," Shipping Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis informed Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe’s human rights commissioner, on January 10.
In November, a German-based human rights organisation produced a report that said refugees attempting to enter Greece through the Aegean were being systematically, illegally and, in cases, brutally pushed back by the Greek authorities, in contravention of international law and with the complicity of the European authorities. Amnesty International has also raised its concerns about the same issue.
Ireland, 700% gap in reports of racism to gardai [Irish Police] and PSNI. From the article:
A MASSIVE 700pc gap between racist incidents reported to gardai and those reported to police in the North has prompted a call for an urgent review of reporting in the south.
The figures suggest that many victims in the south “are still choosing to suffer in silence rather than come forward,” according to the Immigrant Council of Ireland, which has reviewed statistics for the two jurisdictions.
At Open Democracy, Clare Sambrook writes “Man, 84, dies handcuffed in hospital: UK border control by the GEO Group”. From the article:
At Gatwick Airport last year, on Wednesday 23 January, British immigration officials detained an elderly Canadian man. He was taken to hospital. Then he was locked up at Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre. A doctor examined him, reporting to the authorities that he was “frail, 84 years old, has Alzheimer’s disease …demented”.
The doctor marked his papers: “UNFIT for detention or deportation. Requires social care.”
The British Home Office chose to ignore the medical advice and continued to detain him.
On 8 February he was taken to hospital in handcuffs, then returned to his cell. Two days later he was taken back to hospital and kept in handcuffs for five long hours. His condition worsened. The cuffs stayed on. His heart stopped. Medical staff tried and failed to resuscitate him. The handcuffs were removed. His name was Alois Dvorzac.
Bonus Australian newspaper feature: What do you think about Australian Customs not retrieving the bodies of the asylum seekers who were in the boat that capsized off Christmas Island?