What is truth?

Hi Thomas,

On 18 March, the EU reached a controversial deal with Turkey to send all refugees arriving in Greece back to Turkey. [1] This deal was designed to close the treacherous Aegean route, but in reality will just force people through ever more dangerous routes in their escape from war and persecution. [2]

In protest at this deal, and under concerns of worsening conditions, many aid agencies including Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), UNHCR and Save the Children have ceased large parts of their operations in Greece. [3] Taken together, this deal means more people taking greater risks to reach safety, and fewer places for them to turn to for help.

In all of this, there is also the danger that volunteers helping refugees face criminalisation but this, at least, is something the European Commission is open to hearing our thoughts on. As citizens of Europe, they want to know what we think about criminalising those offering humanitarian assistance. [4] We have to tell them not to punish brave people who help refugees when they need it most – right now.

Sign now to make sure that those offering hugely lacking assistance to refugees in Europe do not face criminal charges.

Earlier this month, a Danish woman was fined for driving a Syrian family from southern Denmark to Copenhagen.She now faces a human-smuggling trial for her act of generosity. Her husband is also facing a fine after giving the family coffee and biscuits and then driving them to the railway station, where he bought them tickets to Sweden. [5]

A human trafficker is paid by people to bring them across borders. [6] But when people offer life-saving humanitarian assistance to refugees, or simply show a fellow human some basic kindness, there is no financial gain: it is simply an act of humanity.

The situation is quickly escalating, with two Syrian refugees setting themselves on fire in protest of the EU’s increasingly inhumane policies towards migrants [7], and thousands now stuck between Greece and Macedonia, being teargassed by authorities. [8] We cannot allow our societies to degenerate even further to the point where our governments can arrest us for helping vulnerable people.

So let’s come together and make sure that in a worsening humanitarian crisis, those who are dedicating their time and their hearts, to helping those who need it most, are free from criminal punishment.

Sign now to make sure that nobody get punished for offering hugely lacking assistance to refugees in Europe.

We cannot allow for Europe to fall into a self-inflicted humanitarian crisis. And while our governments are ploughing forward with utterly dehumanising and inhumane deals, we, the people of Europe, should be able to continue to respond with basic human kindness to those who need it.

In hope,

Rebecca (London), Olga (Rome), Virginia (Madrid), Oliver (Berlin), and the whole WeMove.EU team.

This campaign is run in partnership with Social Platform.

[1] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/18/eu-strikes-deal-with-turkey-to-send-back-refugees-from-greece

[2] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/18/syrian-refugees-europe-leaders-finalise-eu-turkey-deal

[3 http://www.ekathimerini.com/207280/article/ekathimerini/news/idomeni-in-tense-state-as-ngo-withdrawal-continues

[4] https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/Migrant-smuggling-2016

[5] http://qz.com/637120/an-act-of-kindness-or-human-trafficking-a-danish-woman-is-on-trial-for-giving-a-ride-to-refugees/

[6] http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/apr/22/migrant-crisis-smuggling-trafficking-politicians-dont-seem-to-know

[7] http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/en/news/sections/generalnews/2016/03/23/migrants-fresh-protests-in-idomeni-msf-leaves-lesbos_b82e3359-9a2f-42a7-bd7e-e47338042030.html

[8] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/29/teargas-fired-as-refugees-try-to-breach-greece-macedonia-border

 

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