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CommemorActions across the world remember those killed by journeys across borders

Refugees in Libya’s detention camps begin hunger strike in protest against their treatment

A SERIES of commemorative protests, or “CommemorActions,” were held across the world this weekend in remembrance of those who have died, gone missing or forcibly disappeared on their journeys across borders.

Activists joined friends and families of the dead and missing in cities across Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Cameroon, Niger, Togo, Malta, Mexico, Britain and elsewhere.

In the Tunisian capital Tunis on Saturday, mothers and sisters held up pictures of their relatives who died or went missing in the Mediterranean.

Mothers and sisters of missing/dead in the Mediterranean gathered in front of the Municipal Theater of Tunis [Pic: Alarm Phone]

In Palermo, Italy, today, activists displayed photographs alongside the names of the missing and dead across the city and unfolded origami boats.

Photographs of the missing hung up in Palermo, Italy [Pic: borderline sicilia]

At remembrance services held in Valletta, Madrid, Athens and more, activists demanded an end to their governments’ mistreatment of refugees and called on them to open up safe routes to the continent.

A CommemorAction in Malta [Pic: El Hiblu 3]
A CommemorAction in Spain today [Pic: Red Solidaria de Acogida]

CommemorActions have been held on or around February 6 since 2020. On that date in 2014, Spanish border guards opened fire on people attempting to swim from Morocco to the Spanish city of Cueta, killing at least 14 people.

The protests are a way to raise awareness of that tragedy, known as the Tarajal massacre, and of the ongoing loss of life at borders cross the planet.

Josoor, an NGO that supports refugees at Turkey’s land borders with Greece and Bulgaria, marked the occasion today by throwing 21 rose petals into the Evros river, which splits Greece from Turkey, and planting a weeping willow tree on its banks.

“This past week alone, 21 people have been confirmed dead, with one of our team members also finding a body too,” Josoor activist Gigi told The Civil Fleet.

“Of course, we will never know how many people have actually died across these routes. And thousands of peoples’ families will live without closure and justice.

“We decided to commemorate the losses of those that we know to have died this week, alongside those who died in the Tarajal massacre and thousands of others which will never been found or identified.”

Yambio David Oliver, a Sudanese refugee stuck in Libya, told The Civil Fleet today that his campaign group Refugees In Libya were unable to mark the occasion properly because the authorities are looking to arrest some of them.

But, he said, “our comrades held in Libya’s detention centres are on a hunger strike as CommemorAction.

“They’re doing it to denounce the ill treatment of refugees in Libya, and are fasting as a means to remember the global victims of border regimes.

“We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Belarus, in Haiti and Latin America.

“On this day we call on all the global public to stand up against these border crimes and a safe passage for everyone.”

Top image shows origami boats floating in the sea [Pic: Zita Erffa / Mare Liberum]

Published by The Civil Fleet

A news blog and podcast focused on the activist-led refugee rescue and support missions across Fortress Europe

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