Syrians Return Home or Flee Again As Regime Recaptures Jordan Crossing
Thousands of Syrians who fled to the Jordanian border amid a Syrian government offensive in southern Daraa province returned home after Russia brokered the surrender of opposition forces in several towns. Thousands of others fled yet again to parts of western Daraa and Quneitra where opposition forces have vowed to fight on.
Syrian troops recently recaptured the Naseeb border crossing with Jordan, held by the opposition for three years. The offensive has displaced 330,000 people since it started on June 19, according to U.N. figures. Many displaced Syrians fear conscription or retribution if they return to areas retaken by the regime.
Germans Protest Moves Against NGO Rescues
Some 12,000 Germans held a rally in Berlin in support of NGOs rescuing people in the Mediterranean; there were smaller protests in other German cities. Protesters held aloft life jackets and banners reading: “Human rights don’t stop at the Mediterranean.”
Italy’s far-right interior minister sparked a political crisis in Europe – and a humanitarian crisis at sea – by refusing to allow NGO rescue ships to dock. Matteo Salvini said Italy would inform European counterparts at a meeting this week that official ships patrolling the Mediterranean would also be refused harbor after an Irish navy ship rescued 100 people and docked in Sicily.
A DEEPER LOOK
The Associated Press: Italy’s Anti-Migrant Minister Steals Partner Party’s Show
“Five weeks after taking national office, interior minister Matteo Salvini, who heads the right-wing League party, is outshining his coalition rival and fellow deputy premier, Luigi Di Maio, whose 5-Star Movement is the Italian Parliament’s biggest party. Opinion polls indicate that Salvini’s anti-migrant, anti-European Union party has soared in popularity since it placed third in Italy’s March 4 election.”
French Court Says Farmer’s Aid to Migrants Justified By ‘Fraternité’
France’s constitutional court ruled that a French farmer who helped migrants enter the country should not be charged with a crime as he was acting according to France’s highest values: “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité.”
“The principle of fraternity confers the freedom to help others, for humanitarian purposes, regardless of the legality of their presence on national territory,” the council said in response to Cédric Herrou’s lawsuit challenging his conviction last year. It was the first ruling to treat fraternity as a constitutional principle.
“It is an improvised response, an attempt to inject order into chaos. Getting in the notebook is paramount. For the desperate foreigners whose future hinges on it, the stakes are high.”
“Most striking was that players were much more prepared to pay – by allocating a greater amount of tax money to refugees – for the costs of welcoming refugees when a mandatory integration program for refugees was adopted.”
“The International Commission on Missing Persons, based in The Hague, is in the early stages of helping Malta and three other Mediterranean countries – Italy, Greece and Cyprus – share information on migrants buried in unmarked graves.”