How to be Granted Asylum: Just be a white celebrity

The always insightful Flavia Dzodan (if you don’t follow her already, you should do so now) has pointed out on Facebook that while the whole world is concerned with one white dude’s asylum decision, hundreds and thousands of refugees are constantly dying trying to reach the EU, and no one pays attention. Their bodies remain mostly anonymous.

Just a couple of days ago, the body of a refugee was found after she tried to swim from France to Britain. She couldn’t simply walk into an embassy and request asylum. She didn’t have millions of supporters behind her and she won’t be remembered because she doesn’t even have a name…

That is why about a month ago, Flavia launched her European Union Undocumented Death Calendar to honor those often nameless persons who die every day trying to reach the “Fortress Europe”. The numbers are simply horrifying, and what’s even more concerning is that none of this ever sparked any outrage.

She’s right, of course, but it also takes a good bullshit detector to be able to critically analyse these sources. What Flavia is referring to in her tweet is the latest stunt of Frontex – the usage of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, also known as drones – which they describe on their own website as a means “to reduce the death toll of illegal immigrants by rescuing more lives at sea”.

I mean, that sounds great, right? New technology that will make things easier and safer for everyone. Well, this would be easier to believe if Europe didn’t already have a reputation for knowingly and negligently leaving migrants to die at sea.

The irony does not escape me: While thousands of migrants from the Global South risk their lives every day to make it to European soil, one man desperately wants to leave it, and is fed, entertained and courted in an embassy building before being granted clemency.

To Julian Assange I say: Good riddance!

In light of the true human rights violations that are happening here every day, can we focus on something else now?

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