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Proyecto de Investigación Santander-Universidad Complutense de Madrid (PR26/16-20330)

Esta página web responde a los trabajos realizados en la investigación sobre Evaluación del recuerdo y otros trastornos psicológicos asociados a trauma / Assessment of memories and other psychological disorders associated to trauma, desarrollado por el Grupo UCM de Investigación en Psicología del Testimonio (ref. 971672), en el marco del proyecto titulado Evaluación de necesidades psicosociales en refugiados y solicitantes de asilo

Trauma en refugiados y víctimas de guerra



Se considera refugiado a “una persona que, debido a un miedo fundado de ser perseguido por razones de raza, religión, nacionalidad, membresía de un grupo social o de opinión política en particular, se encuentra fuera de su país de nacimiento y es incapaz, o, debido a tal miedo, no está dispuesto a servirse de la protección de aquel país; o de quien, por no tener nacionalidad y estar fuera del país de su antigua residencia habitual como resultado de tales eventos, es incapaz, debido a tal miedo, de estar dispuesto a volver a éste” (Convención sobre el Estatuto de los Refugiados; ONU, 1951)
Las personas que han solicitado asilo en países de la Unión Europea y concretamente en España ha crecido notablemente desde 2011, principalmente por el conflicto ucraniano y sirio. Así, 1.287.100 de personas pidieron por vez primera asilo en la Unión Europea entre enero de 2015 y enero de 2016 (Oficina Estadística de la Unión Europea, 2016).
No obstante, Europa no es el único lugar de destino de los refugiados, así por ejemplo, son cientos los que han llegado en los últimos años a Chile, un 50% de ellos procedentes de zonas en conflicto de Colombia, pero también de Afganistán, Siria o Palestina.
Los solicitantes de asilo en Europa proceden principalmente y en este orden de los siguientes países: Siria, Ucrania, Mali, Argelia, Palestina, Nigeria, Pakistán, Somalia, Venezuela e Irak (Comisión Española de Ayuda al Refugiado, 2014).
Al margen de cuál sea la resolución de la solicitud de asilo; esto es, que sean reconocidos como personas refugiadas, reciban protección internacional o protección subsidiaria, la realidad es que estas personas se han expuesto a un proceso de migración que lleva implícito una serie de fases en las que experimentan una sucesión de estresores y situaciones que les pueden marcar en lo sucesivo (Zimmerman, Kiss y Hossain, 2011).

‘Siento haberme ahogado’

MSF estrena en EL PAÍS un documental sobre la situación que mueve a los sirios a huir de su país

 
Belén Domínguez Cebrián
Madrid 
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 "Mamá, siento haberme ahogado". Son las supuestas palabras de una joven siria que presumiblemente se ahogó intentando alcanzar las costas Europeas a través del mar Egeo y cuyas palabras fueron halladas en una carta. Aunque nunca se supo si la historia de la misiva es real, la ONG Médicos Sin Fronteras (MSF) ha querido utilizarla igualmente para producir un documental en el que llama la atención de la situación migratoria en Europa porque "lo que describe es real tanto en el origen como en la huida", explica MSF.

Fotograma del documental de Médicos Sin Fronteras.
Fotograma del documental de Médicos Sin Fronteras.
Con mejor suerte que esta joven, más de un millón de migrantes —en su mayoría sirios que huyen del horror de más de seis años de guerra— lograron alcanzar Grecia a través del mar Egeo desde 2015. Desde el 1 de enero de 2015 hasta la fecha han muerto en esta ruta 1.336 personas, según la Organización Internacional para las Migraciones (OIM). El año pasado 5.153 personas murieron en el intento de cruzar el Mediterráneo. MSF estrena este jueves en EL PAÍS y en la página de Facebook de la sección de Internacional la versión en castellano de este documental a través del cual pretenden llamar la atención de lo que sucede a orillas de la UE.

 

EU/Greece: Asylum Seekers’ Silent Mental Health Crisis

Identify Those Most at Risk; Ensure Fair Hearings
Human Rights Watch
July 12, 2017
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Souda refugee camp on the island of Chios. Poor living conditions in the camp and overcrowded hotspots, with little to no access to basic services, such as sanitation and proper shelter is key factor that contributes to psychological distress.
Souda refugee camp on the island of Chios. Poor living conditions in the camp and overcrowded hotspots, with little to no access to basic services, such as sanitation and proper shelter is key factor that contributes to psychological distress.
© April 2017 Private/Human Rights Watch
(Brussels) – The EU-Turkey deal designed to stem migration and refugee flows to Greece has had a devastating impact on the mental well-being of thousands of women, men, and children trapped on Greek islands since March 2016, Human Rights Watch said today. In research conducted in May and June 2017 on the island of Lesbos, Human Rights Watch documented the deteriorating mental health of asylum seekers and migrants – including incidents of self-harm, suicide attempts, aggression, anxiety, and depression – caused by the Greek policy of “containing” them on islands, often in horrifying conditions, to facilitate speedy processing and return to Turkey.
 “The psychological impact of years of conflict, exacerbated by harsh conditions on the Greek islands and the uncertainty of inhumane policies, may not be as visible as physical wounds, but is no less life-threatening,” said Emina Ćerimović, disability rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The European Union and Greece should take immediate action to address this silent crisis and prevent further harm.”
Thousands of asylum seekers, including women and children, are trapped in worsening conditions in EU-sponsored processing centers – so-called hotspots – and other facilities, amid an ongoing flow of new arrivals and slow decision-making on the part of the Greek government. In December 2016, the EU and the Greek authorities ended exemptions for vulnerable groups protected by Greek law from the requirement to remain on the islands. The EU-Turkey deal, signed in March 2016, commits Turkey to accept the return from Greece of most asylum seekers who traveled through its territory and arrived on the Greek islands, in exchange for billions of euro in aid, visa liberalization for Turkish citizens, and revived negotiations for Turkish accession to the EU.
Human Rights Watch met in Greece with representatives from the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR), International Organization for Migration (IOM), European Commission, Greek Asylum Service, local and international nongovernmental organizations (including disabled persons organizations and aid organizations), lawyers, and volunteers. Human Rights Watch also interviewed 37 refugees, asylum seekers, and other migrants on Lesbos, including unaccompanied migrant children. The vast majority of interviewees described the deteriorating mental health among asylum seekers and other migrants trapped on Greek islands.
“Camps are places where vulnerabilities are created,” one IOM official said.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which provides medical care on the islands of Samos and Lesbos, reported a high prevalence of depression, anxiety, and psychosis, and a significant increase in suicide attempts and incidents of self-harm, particularly since January 2017.
The trauma of war or forcibly leaving homes is enough to trigger anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in asylum seekers and migrants. But medical personnel interviewed said that mental health of asylum seekers and migrants has been impacted by factors related to the EU-Turkey deal. These include insecurity; harsh camp conditions; lack of access to services and information about the asylum process and their prospects for the future; delays in the asylum procedure; detention and fears of being detained and deported to Turkey; and feelings of hopelessness.
Rabiha Hadji, a 33-year-old Kurdish mother of four children from Syria who was detained at the Moria hotspot on Lesbos, was refused asylum protection in Greece on the basis that Turkey is a safe third country for her and her family. “My hope is dead since they brought me here,” she said. “We saw all the terrible miseries [in Syria] but me and my children haven’t seen a jail [until coming to Greece].” She was awaiting deportation to Turkey.
An EU official in Athens confirmed the negative impact that prolonged uncertainty has had on people’s mental health on the islands. Asked what steps the EU will take to address the issue, the official said the aim is to speed up the asylum process and to increase returns to Turkey in a timely manner, thus preventing people from being trapped on the islands for longer than needed.
While length of the asylum procedure is one factor contributing to people’s distress, speeding up the process could undermine the effective exercise of asylum seekers’ rights. The length of asylum procedures should not be reduced at the expense of the quality of the process. Human Rights Watch has documented cases since the EU-Turkey agreement entered into force in which there were no interpreters, or inadequate ones, during asylum and admissibility interviews and serious gaps in access to information and legal assistance.
Registration and examination of asylum claims on the islands are prioritized based on nationality, resulting in severe delays for people of some nationalities, including for people from Afghanistan and Iraq. Asylum seekers from countries with a relatively low claim recognition rate, such as Algeria and Morocco, are often detained because Greek authorities allege that they apply for asylum merely to delay or frustrate returns to Turkey, raising concerns about the use of arbitrary detention based on nationality.
This differential treatment, and frustration at delayed procedures, has led to unrest in the hotspots and island detention facilities and psychological distress, Human Rights Watch found.
Greek authorities, with EU support, should ensure asylum seekers have meaningful access to a fair and efficient asylum procedure based on individual claims, not nationality. Asylum seekers should be admitted so that their claims for protection can be examined on their merits in Greece. The EU and the Greek government should work together to ensure that people receive timely and accessible information in a language they understand.
In addition, the Greek government should end the containment policy on the islands, including for at-risk groups, and, with EU and UNHCR support, transfer asylum seekers to the mainland and provide them with adequate accommodation. The Greek government should also enroll all children in schools, and provide adults with work visas and an opportunity to work.
“The European Union and the Greek government should work to restore the dignity and humanity of people seeking protection, not foster conditions that cause psychological harm,” Ćerimović said.


Inhumane Policies
The EU-Turkey deal aims to return most asylum seekers from the Greek islands to Turkey under the flawed assumption that Turkey is a safe country for asylum seekers, without considering the merits of their asylum claims in Greece. Since the deal entered into effect on March 20, 2016, tens of thousands of people have been bottle-necked in deplorable and volatile conditions on Greek islands. According to governmental figures published by UNHCR, 12,873 asylum seekers are currently on the Greek islands. Thousands of them are living in extremely harsh conditions in overcrowded facilities while their protection claims are being processed.
An Action Plan between the European Commission and the Greek government published in December 2016 recommended that Greece take tougher measures aimed at increasing the number of returns to Turkey. Those measures included ending exemptions for vulnerable groups and people eligible for family reunification from the requirement to remain on the islands and requiring them to go through a fast-track admissibility process. The commission also recommended expanding detention on the islands and curbing appeal rights.
The Greek government is already carrying out some of these measures, including by increasing detention capacity, and by containing people identified as “vulnerable” on the islands until the first instance examination of their asylum claim under the regular procedure. In April, the government adopted a policy excluding asylum-seekers on the Greek islands who appeal negative asylum decisions from the possibility of participating later in the IOM Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programme, which offers voluntary returns to the home countries of asylum seekers, and forcing those who wish to participate to forego their right to appeal.
In May 2017, Human Rights Watch documented that the EU is inappropriately pressing Greek authorities and medical aid organizations to reduce the number of asylum seekers identified as “vulnerable,” including people with disabilities, torture victims, and other at-risk groups. As a result of not being identified, at-risk people struggle to get the protection and assistance to which they have a legal right.


Factors Causing Psychological Distress
Insecurity and Uncertainty
The insecurity in the camps and uncertain futures, including when the first asylum interview will take place or when the decision will be made, have increased the risk of distress among asylum seekers trapped on the Greek islands.
Nakibullah, a 16-year-old boy from Afghanistan, said: “I’ve been here for 10 months and I am worried about what will happen…. I am not well mentally because I live in insecurity.”
“Hamid,” an 18-year-old Bangladeshi stranded on Lesbos since November 2016, said, “It’s been a while that I live here and every day that passes is worse…. My biggest stress is about what will happen the next day. What tomorrow will bring. Why are you keeping me here?”
Detention and the risk of deportation to Turkey is another catalyst for anxiety, depression, or self-harm. “This is especially the case since [increased] detention and deportations became a reality in the last few weeks,” a lawyer on Lesbos told Human Rights Watch in May. Twenty-two people were deported back to Turkey the week before Human Rights Watch’s visit to Lesbos on May 18. A total of 1,210 people had been returned back to Turkey by June 13, since the deal entered into force in March 2016.
Greek authorities transferred “Ahmad,” a 20-year-old Syrian, in May 2017 from Chios island, where he had lived since August 2016, to the Moria pre-removal detention center on Lesbos. “We came here and we don’t know if we are going back to Turkey or whether we are going back to Chios,” he said. “I’m in a nervous situation. Being between [other detainees] makes me nervous. Yesterday, an Algerian guy hurt himself…. My feelings are dead.” Two other people in separate interviews confirmed that an Algerian man had harmed himself by cutting.
In response to EU prodding, Greece is taking some steps to speed up the asylum process. Authorities recently started to apply a fast-track procedure provided for in a Greek law adopted in April 2016 that entails examining the admissibility or eligibility of international protection claims within 15 days, including appeal.
“More frequently, new arrivals have their interviews scheduled in the first five days of their arrival,” said Lorraine Leete, a lawyer from the Lesbos Legal Centre, which provides legal advice to asylum seekers and other migrants on Lesbos. “They are not given adequate time to prepare for interviews or meet with the lawyers.”
MSF said that it takes time and expertise for experiences of abuse, torture, or persecution to come to light. Reducing the length of asylum procedure should go hand in hand with an improved capacity to detect people’s “vulnerabilities” while maintaining their right to appeal.


Harsh Camp Conditions
Extremely bad living conditions in overcrowded hotspots with little to no access to services is another key factor that contributes to deteriorated mental health. An MSF representative said that on Samos, they see more and more refugees intentionally harming themselves.
“Imran,” a 15-year-old boy from Afghanistan who lived for more than 10 months in overcrowded and volatile conditions at Moria, said:

I’ve been 10 months here [on Lesbos] and the situation is very difficult. I am not well at all here. I have ‘psychological problems’ that I also had in Afghanistan. During my time here, they have worsened because I live under these conditions. I’ve reached a point where I harmed myself three times. Now, I [get counseling and] am on medication.… I also have pain in my stomach. It hurts. I don’t sleep much. I don’t fall asleep easily. I might fall asleep at 3 or 4 in the morning and wake up by 8. I feel awake all the time. I don’t have an appetite and energy.

An MSF representative said that poor conditions in hotspots are especially harmful to people with mental health conditions or torture victims: “For persons who have experienced extreme violence in detention back in their countries of origin, a place surrounded by barbed wire, the presence of police, and violent clashes clearly cannot be a proper place for them.”
Amir, a 26-year-old asylum seeker from Iran who has been detained on Lesbos since mid-April, including for 20 days at a police station cell, said: “I am not good because in Iran I was in a military prison and while I’m here I see the fences and I remember my past […] During the first week I was here, I couldn’t sleep all week […] I had nightmares of the torture I’ve been through in the military prison.”
“Halid,” a 16-year-old boy from Afghanistan who has been living in Moria since December 2016, said harsh camp conditions, uncertainty, and fear of deportation exacerbated psychological distress he felt while in Afghanistan:

When I first came here it was very hard because I didn’t know anyone. Now I see a psychologist. I speak, and I feel a bit better. Back in Afghanistan I did not feel well with everything that happened. Here, the conditions didn’t help. And now, the fact that I don’t know what will happen in the future also makes me not feel well. I am afraid of being deported.

The hotspots were originally designed as registration and transit centers where people were supposed to stay for short periods, not as places of indefinite containment.
An MSF representative said that the treatment of refugees, including being contained on the islands and in camps, not only exacerbates existing mental health conditions but also creates new psychological distress:

There are many people with PTSD, due to violence they have experienced in their home countries or because of trauma they have experienced during the treacherous journey, but the uncertainty of what is going to happen and the living conditions on the island [Lesbos and Samos] further exacerbates the symptoms and creates new mental health conditions. We have new cases of people with anxiety, depression, self-harm, and more people will most likely develop new forms of mental health conditions due to the conditions on the islands.

“Bilal,” a 26-year-old asylum seeker from Syria with a mental health condition, has been detained on Lesbos for more than three months pending return to Turkey. He said he was held for more than two months at a police station cell, where he said he attempted suicide, before being moved to Moria. “All this time [at the police station] I had seen no doctor,” he said. “Then I hurt myself in the police station, and then they [the police] brought me here [to Moria].”
“Anush,” a boy from Afghanistan who was registered by Greek authorities as 20 but says he is 16 and is living with the general population in Moria since the end of August 2016, said:

I feel very bad. Whatever you do, even if you change it [Moria], it is not a place to be. Psychologically I feel very bad. I go to a psychologist and a psychiatrist, every week for a month now. It helps but when you live in Moria it doesn’t help. From the moment I got here, my psychological well-being got worse because of all the situation and whatever happens in Moria. We came here because of a better life but there are lots of problems.

An NGO worker following Anush’s case added: “[He] has lots of psychological ‘problems’. We visited a psychiatrist, we visited a neurologist but as he says, if the conditions don’t change, this doesn’t help. He has lots of anxiety and at least one panic attack per day. His fingers are trembling and he has severe headaches.”
Discriminatory EU and Greek Policies
The discriminatory policy adopted by Greece that is based on nationality, not individual cases, is another source of mental anguish. An MSF representative said:

The procedure is different for nationalities of applicants within the recognition rate [granted protection] below 20 percent. Such discriminatory procedure is not comprehensible. The person rightly believes that their case should be assessed on the basis of their individual claim, not their nationality, but that is not happening on the islands. The system completely destroys the dignity of people.


Asylum Process Stress
Two lawyers providing legal advice to asylum seekers on Lesbos said that the Greek Asylum Service (GAS) has taken some steps to schedule interviews and issue written notices for dates that, if kept, would allow for relatively prompt consideration of claims, but it has not been consistent in keeping those appointments.
For example, the interview for “Anar,” a 27-year-old man from Afghanistan, has been postponed without explanation at least 5 times during the 10 months he has lived in Moria. “It’s made me ‘crazy,’” Anar said. “When I think of the person I was 10 months ago when I first arrived and the person I am today, it’s not the same person.”
Leete, the lawyer providing legal advice to Anar and other asylum seekers on Lesbos, confirmed that Anar’s first interview was postponed without explanation. Leete added that Anar’s experience is not unusual. “Many go there regularly on the scheduled day of the appointment, wait for hours, only to be told to come instead another day,” Leete said. She added that Rohingya from Myanmar, who had been on Lesbos for nine months at the time of our interview, in mid-May, are repeatedly given new dates, because the asylum service says it cannot get interpreters.
Many people also fear having their asylum claim rejected. A member of a Syrian Kurdish family of five who were rejected on both first and second instance hearings said:

We got rejected twice. We were in Kara Tepe [open camp on Lesbos] one month ago. My husband went to renew the [asylum] application card. He went inside the asylum office and the police arrested him. The police then came to my room, inside Kara Tepe and brought us here [Moria]. They didn’t even let us take our stuff. Later the police brought our stuff. For four days I didn’t eat at all, I went on a hunger strike. And they took me to a hospital.  

One of the lawyers interviewed and a representative of MSF confirmed that the family had been denied full examination of their claim in Greece on the basis that Turkey is a safe third country for them, and has been detained in a closed compound inside Moria since April 28. A family member said:

When we arrived here first, the lawyer told us, ‘You will get out in 10 days.’ But, we don’t know how long we are going to stay here. They should tell us. Is it two months, three months? If you killed someone the court would say, ‘you are going to be in jail for six years.’ But to us, they don’t say anything.

Leete said that one of the biggest tragedies of the declining mental health of refugees in Greece is that people who have a right to international protection and who are refugees under EU and Greek law are in fact being denied protection:

Many people have given up and are volunteering to go back to their home countries. They came to Europe seeking safety, they are not finding it here, and are instead trapped on the islands. They don’t know if they will be allowed to stay, or returned back. Will they be rejected as other people who have had valid claims? That’s the biggest tragedy: the system has come to the stage where people ‘volunteer’ to go back to the countries where their lives might be in danger. And when I say ‘volunteer’ that should be put in a quote as I think it is a forced departure. Everyone who came to Greece, and decided to risk their lives, came here for a reason.

A representative of Doctors of the World (MDM), an international organization which operated in Moria until end of June 2017, said: “Not only are we not meeting their needs, but [the system] is doing more harm.”
The feeling of helplessness and lack of activities are other factors that influence people’s mental health. “They have fought for months, nothing has changed,” an MSF representative said. “It is also the feeling of not being able to change anything, of not having anything to do, the feeling of hopelessness and uselessness.”
Nakibullah, the 16-year-old boy from Afghanistan who has been trapped on Lesbos for 10 months, said: “I am losing my time here…. Here time goes by without anything happening.”

El daño psicológico de ser refugiado en Europa

Investigadores de Human Rights Watch han documentado en Lesbos repetidos incidentes de auto-lesión, intentos de suicidio, agresiones, ansiedad y depresión entre los migrantes, que consideran consecuencia de la política de "contención" griega




Una familia de refugiados descansa tras llegar a la isla de Lesbos tras cruzar el mar desde Turquía en el puerto de Mytilene (Grecia) hoy, 9 de marzo de 2016. EFE/Kay Nietfeld
Una familia de refugiados descansa tras llegar a la isla de Lesbos tras cruzar el mar desde Turquía en el puerto de Mytilene (Grecia) en 9 de marzo de 2016. EFE/Kay Nietfeld
La esperanza de los miles de refugiados atrapados en la isla griega de Lesbos de alcanzar un lugar del que no necesiten huir se desvanece un poco cada día. Con ella, se va deteriorando la salud mental de quienes llevan más de un año en un limbo migratorio del que no encuentran salida.
La organización defensora de los derechos humanos Human Rights Watch ha revelado los resultados de una investigación sobre las condiciones psicológicas de los solicitantes de asilo establecidos en la isla, realizada entre mayo y junio de 2017. Los investigadores han documentado repetidos incidentes de auto-lesión, intentos de suicidio, agresiones, ansiedad y depresión entre los migrantes, que consideran consecuencia de la política de "contención" griega.
Human Rights Watch denuncia que las autoridades griegas hacinan a los solicitantes de asilo, muchas veces en condiciones miserables, para tratar de acelerar el procesamiento de sus peticiones y poder enviarlos de vuelta a Turquía.
La aprobación del pacto migratorio entre la Unión Europea y Turquía, en marzo de 2016, marca para Human Rights Watch el inicio de la interminable espera de miles de demandantes de asilo, que permanecen en las islas griegas desde entonces. Con el acuerdo, Turquía se compromete a admitir el retorno de los refugiados a su territorio, a cambio de millones de euros en ayudas económicas, facilidades en la obtención de visas de la UE para los ciudadanos turcos y la reapertura de las negociaciones para su entrada en la Unión.

Faten (i), procedente de Siria, se sienta a la orilla del mar junto a su nuera, cerca de su tienda en el campo de refugiados de Souda, en la isla de Chios. 'Está tardando demasiado. Esta lentitud para traer a toda la familia me asusta', dice Faten. 'No te
Faten (i), procedente de Siria, se sienta a la orilla del mar junto a su nuera, cerca de su tienda en el campo de refugiados de Souda, en la isla de Chios. "Está tardando demasiado. Esta lentitud para traer a toda la familia me asusta", dice Faten. "No tenemos nada que hacer en todo el día, sólo sentarnos al lado de la tienda que comparto con mi nuera, mi hija, y una amiga." /REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra


"No habíamos vivido en una cárcel hasta llegar a Grecia"

El trauma de la guerra puede provocar daños psicológicos que perviven mucho tiempo después de abandonar las fronteras del conflicto.No obstante, el personal médico que trata a los migrantes en las islas de Samos y Lesbos ha asegurado a Human Rights Watch que la sensación de inseguridad y desamparo y la deplorable calidad de vida de los campos han tenido un grave impacto en la salud mental de los refugiados.
"Mi esperanza ha muerto desde que estoy aquí", ha expresado desmoralizada Rabiha Hadji, refugiada kurda detenida en el centro de identificación de Moria, en Lesbos. "Hemos vivido terribles miserias [en Siria], pero nunca hemos vivido en una cárcel [hasta llegar a Grecia]", ha contado a Human Rights Watch.
La incertidumbre acompaña a los refugiados desde su llegada a Grecia. Human Rights Watch explica que, desde la entrada en vigor del acuerdo con Turquía, la calidad del proceso de asilo se ha visto en entredicho, con casos en los que no había intérpretes o asistencia legal para los solicitantes, falta de información sobre los trámites, prórrogas indefinidas de las entrevistas y el constante riesgo de ser detenido o deportado a Turquía.
Representantes de Médicos sin Fronteras han explicado a los investigadores que la dureza de la vida en los campos exacerba los problemas psicológicos que tengan los migrantes y crea otros nuevos. Los oficiales de la organización médico-humanitaria han dicho que la depresión, la ansiedad y la psicosis predominan entre la población refugiada de la zona y han visto un aumento de la auto-lesión y los intentos de suicidio, más agudo desde enero de 2017.
"Voy a un psicólogo y a un psiquiatra cada semana, desde hace un mes. Pero cuando vives en Moria no ayuda", ha dicho a Human Rights Watch un joven afgano que reside en el centro de identificación de Moria, en Lesbos. "Los campos son lugares donde se crea vulnerabilidad", ha apuntado un oficial de la Organización Internacional para las Migraciones.

Políticas inhumanas

La organización defensora de los derechos humanos denuncia que el Plan de Acción urdido entre la Comisión Europea y Grecia en diciembre de 2016 ha hecho que la política migratoria de las autoridades griegas se base en parámetros poco humanos. La Comisión sugirió al Gobierno griego dejar de eximir a los grupos vulnerables de permanecer en las islas durante su solicitud de asilo, limitar los derechos de recurrir la decisión para acelerar la tramitación de las solicitudes y tratar de detenerlos en las islas.
Human Rights Watch alertó en mayo de 2017 de que la UE estaba presionando a Grecia para reducir el número de refugiados a los que identificaba como "vulnerables". Esta categoría se aplica a víctimas de tortura y de trata, personas con discapacidades, menores, mujeres embarazadas y otros grupos más desvalidos y les da derecho a protección especial.
La organización también llama la atención sobre la decisión de devolver a la mayoría de los demandantes de asilo a Turquía, país que no reconoce los derechos recogidos en la legislación internacional sobre asilo a ningún refugiado no europeo. Estas medidas, carentes de compasión, intensifican la sensación de indefensión de los migrantes. 
"Han luchado durante meses y nada ha ocurrido", ha resaltado un representante de Médicos Sin Fronteras a los investigadores. Resume así la frustración de los refugiados retenidos en Lesbos:  "Es el sentimiento de no ser capaces de cambiar nada, de no tener nada que hacer, el sentimiento de desesperación e inutilidad". 

Catástrofe civil en la batalla contra el Estado Islámico en Mosul



Un informe de Amnistía Internacional documenta las violaciones de derecho internacional cometidas por el Estado Islámico y por la coalición dirigida por EE.UU y las fuerzas iraquíes en la lucha por el control de la zona. El estudio destaca que el Estado Islámico empleó a civiles como escudos humanos y que la coalición utilizó armas explosivas muy potentes en áreas densamente pobladas.



Madrid
11/07/2017
enlace


El informe "A cualquier precio: La catástrofe civil en el oeste de Mosul, Irak", de Amnistía Internacional, revela el sufrimiento de la población civil del oeste de Mosul, atrapada en medio de la batalla por el control de la zona. El equipo de investigación de Amnistía Internacional documentó 45 ataques atribuidos a las fuerzas gubernamentales o a la coalición internacional (dirigida por EEUU) entre enero y mayo de 2017, que mataron al menos a 426 civiles e hirieron a más de 100. 
Los investigadores de la organización han constatado que el Estado Islámico (EI) trasladaba civiles de las localidades próximas hasta la zona de combate al oeste de Mosul, donde los retenía para utilizarlos como escudos humanos. Al mismo tiempo, Amnistía Internacional denuncia que las fuerzas iraquíes y la coalición internacional (dirigida por Estados Unidos) no emplearon las medidas necesarias para mitigar el daño a los civiles y llevaron a cabo ataques en condiciones ilícitas. 

Personas corren asustadas después de que un ataque aéreo de la coalición alcance las posiciones del Estado Islámico en Mosul, en noviembre de 2016 REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic/Fotografía de archivo
Personas corren asustadas después de que un ataque aéreo de la coalición alcance las posiciones del Estado Islámico en Mosul, en noviembre de 2016 REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic/Fotografía de archivo
“La magnitud y gravedad de la pérdida de vidas civiles que se ha producido en la operación de reconquista de Mosul deben reconocerse públicamente y de inmediato en los niveles superiores de los gobiernos de Irak y los Estados que forman parte de la coalición dirigida por Estados Unidos”, ha manifestado Lynn Maalouf, directora de Investigación de Amnistía Internacional para Oriente Medio.
La organización ha llamado al establecimiento de una comisión independiente que investigue las posibles violaciones de derecho internacional, algunas de los cuales podrían constituir crímenes de guerra.
“Los horrores que la población de Mosul ha visto y el desprecio por la vida humana de que han dado muestra todas las partes en el conflicto no deben quedar impunes", ha reclamado Maalouf. "Han sido aniquiladas familias enteras, muchas de las cuales yacen todavía bajo los escombros. La población de Mosul merece saber, de boca de su gobierno, que habrá justicia y reparación, para abordar debidamente así los horrorosos efectos de esta operación", ha subrayado la directora.

Personas desplazadas que huyen de los militantes del Estado Islámico cruzan el puente del barrio de Al-Muthanna en Mosul REUTERS/Ahmed Saad/File photo
Personas desplazadas que huyen de los militantes del Estado Islámico cruzan el puente del barrio de Al-Muthanna en Mosul REUTERS/Ahmed Saad/File photo


Desplazamientos forzados y uso de escudos humanos

El Estado Islámico comenzó en octubre de 2016 una campaña de desplazamientos forzosos de civiles hacia las zonas que continuaban bajo su control. Su propósito era defenderse de la ofensiva exterior usando a estas familias como escudos humanos. 
“[Los miembros del Estado Islámico] te decían que tenías que marcharte o te mataban. Nos trajeron para utilizarnos como escudos humanos. Nos trajeron para ponernos entre ellos y los misiles", explicó a Amnistía Internacional “Abu Haidar”, habitante del pueblo de Tel Arbeed obligado por el Estado Islámico a mudarse a Mosul.
Para evitar que intentasen huir, el Estado Islámico soldaba las puertas de sus casas, colocaba explosivos en las salidas. EI ejecutaba sumariamente a cuantos trataban de escapar, para infundir miedo al resto. Muchos civiles esperaban a que los combates estuviesen en su punto álgido para cruzar el frente y llegar al amparo de las fuerzas del Gobierno iraquí. 
“No teníamos opción. Si te quedabas, morías en tu casa a causa de los combates. Si intentabas escapar, te atrapaban, te mataban y colgaban tu cadáver de un poste eléctrico como advertencia. A cuatro vecinos nuestros, los atraparon al intentar escapar, y vi colgarlos del poste eléctrico. Los dejaron días allí colgados. Colgaron a entre 15 y 50 personas de los postes", relató “Hasan”, habitante de Mosul, a los investigadores de la organización.
Un miembro de las fuerzas iraquíes levanta una bandera del Estado Islámico sobre un edificio destruido en la batalla en Mosul REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
Un miembro de las fuerzas iraquíes levanta una bandera del Estado Islámico sobre un edificio destruido en la batalla en Mosul REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani


Ataques "indiscriminados, desproporcionados e ilícitos”

Las fuerzas iraquíes y la coalición dirigida por Estados Unidos no aplicaron las precauciones exigidas por el derecho internacional para atenuar el impacto de los conflictos bélicos en la población civil. Pese a la presencia de numerosos ciudadanos y desplazados en su zona de operaciones, el ejército iraquí y la coalición utilizaron armas explosivas poco precisas, con efectos en una amplia superficie.
“El uso de personas como escudos humanos por parte del EI no exime en absoluto a las fuerzas partidarias del gobierno de la obligación jurídica de proteger a la población civil. Los encargados de planear las operaciones militares debían haber puesto especial cuidado al determinar el modo de utilizar las armas para garantizar que los ataques no eran ilícitos”, ha afirmado Lynn Maalouf.
El uso de armas excesivamente potentes y la ausencia de las debidas precauciones provocaron pérdidas innecesarias de vidas civiles
El informe de Amnistía Internacional relata numerosos casos en los que los ataques iraquís y estadounidenses no alcanzaron los objetivos militares previstos y, en su lugar, causaron muertes y daños físicos y materiales en la población civil. Incluso en los casos en que los objetivos militares fueron conseguidos, el uso de armas excesivamente potentes y la ausencia de las debidas precauciones provocaron pérdidas innecesarias de vidas civiles, señala la organización.
“Los ataques iban dirigidos contra los francotiradores del Estado Islámico. Un ataque destruyó una casa de dos pisos entera. Bombardearon de noche y de día. Alcanzaron muchas casas. Daban en una casa y destruían también las dos casas de los lados. Mataron a muchísima gente", describió Mohamed, vecino de Al Tenak, barrio del oeste de Mosul,a Amnistía Internacional.
“Los Estados que participan en esta batalla no deben centrarse sólo en su aspecto militar, sino que tienen también que desplegar conjuntamente los recursos necesarios para aliviar el sufrimiento increíble de la población civil atrapada en medio del conflicto y sometida a abusos por el Estado Islámico”, ha añadido Lynn Maalouf.