“We kindly request you to stop killing.” That was the name of the creative action that took 48 hours, during which activists continuously sounded one more cry for help after another. Behind the countless coordinates, passenger numbers, timestamps and bureaucratic language is a great sadness and anger, which was all the more palpable as the action came to an end and the messages became increasingly topical. Since 2014, Alarm Phone has received over 5,000 calls from boats in distress, which it then converts into standardized reports to the responsible authorities.
So did the eventually capsized boat off the coast of Greece, in which hundreds of people – including many children – drowned. Alarm Phone had contacted Greek authorities well in advance, but a rescue effort barely got underway. Several survivors even report that the Greek Coast Guard caused the shipwreck itself, by trying to divert the vessel to other waters with a rope. In many cases, Alarm Phone can reconstruct exactly how the EU’s position in the heavily guarded area led to casualties.
Not providing a safe escape route and even actively pushing back boats is a conscious and political choice, in line with migration management agreements such as the Tunisia deal. Fortunately, the data collected by Alarm Phone is increasingly being picked up by journalists and massive protests occurred in Greece, which we subsequently supported. With a monthly contribution to Het Actiefonds or by making a larger donation to our action groups, you are bringing the end of this racial nightmare a little closer.