Monthly Archive for November, 2009

We have to sleep in 3 hour shifts

11.11.2009 Athens
M. is an Afghan unaccompanied minor who was released from Pagani.
He was in the group of 130 refugees released the last day and who left for Athens with the boat and since then he is in Athens trying to survive. Actually M. like most other minors in Pagani,got released with a paper saying that he is staying in the villa Azadi the minors house in
Mytilini. But he has never been informed about this ,he has never been brought up to the villa and he doesn’t know his right to be protected as a Minor. Most minors that have been in Pagani the last two months have been release with this paper without having been informed about their right to be taken to the minors house.

Continue reading ‘We have to sleep in 3 hour shifts’

Next stop Xios

Our faithfull source in Greece just told us a story about going with the ferry trip from Mytilini ( over Xios ) to Athens.

Last night I travelled by ship from Mytilene to Athens. That gave me the opportunity to observe a transfer from Pagani to Xios. On board there were around 50 people that the police was bringing from Pagani to the prison in Xios. The police gathered them outside on deck, guarded by about four or five police men. As I tried to approach them the police told me that I am not allowed to do so. After a short discussion I could at least talk to one man from Somalia. He told me that the police didn´t take their fingerprints until now and that he doesn´t know where the police will bring them. I told them that I think that they will bring them to the prison in Xios.
When we arrived in Xios the police brought the people down to the exit. They tried to hold them all together but they were not separated from the other people. One police man was quite nervous as if he was fearing something would happen. Next to the ship there was a turistic bus waiting for the people.
When I returned inside the ship in order to go to Athens, I met a group of people that I already met in Pagani. Most of them were Afghan families with little children. Two of them told me that the police wrote a higher age on their paper than they are ,  if they are obviously under-age. Like that, they lost the special protection their are supposed to retrieve as under-age refuges.
First time I these people was on Sunday. Probably they have been taken to Xios on Monday. Now the police gave them the deportation decision and let them free. That means that they stayed about two nights in Pagani and another two nights in Xios. In between they have been transferred from one island to another. In a very short time the families were bothered a lot. First by keeping them in Pagani which is in an even worse status after the revolts. Then by bringing them to another prison. For sure it is more expensive to transfer them with police and pay them first one ticket to Xios and then another one to Athens. For sure I could imagine a lot of things better to invest that money


Birds of immigrants

We are reporting on this blog since several month about the no border actions and the situation for refugees and migrants on the island of Lesvos. There is a blog written by under-age refugees on their way to Europe. It is a good opportunity to read about this topic written in a different perspective, the on from the refuges themselves.
Birds of immigrants

“We really didn’t feel like refugees!”

Athens, 25th of October 2009 | Reflections on Lesvos two months after Noborder:

Hello, my name is Milad. I am 17 years old. I was for 23 days imprisoned in Pagani in Mitilini and first I want to define how was the situation inside this prison and how was the behaviour of police and doctors with us.

Some guys were sick for weeks, they were calling for a doctor, but nobody was ready to listen to our voices. There was no treatment for sick persons and the drinking water had a bad smell. If we asked for a doctor, for clean water or anything, mostly nobody was even listening.

They also did not have a good behaviour to the families with the small kids. One day I saw the kids had their ten minutes time to go out. They were playing football and one policeman was beating a small kid, he was about 8 years old, his mother was crying.
Continue reading ‘“We really didn’t feel like refugees!”’

20 acres of military estate to be turned into refugee settlement

… 20 acres of this estate are going to be turned into an “exemplary refugee camp”, as the Minister of National Defence, Mr. Evangelos Venizelos stated in a recent press conference in Athens. This ambitious plan is a cooperation between the Ministries of Citizen Protection and National Defence, and the Hellenic Army National Staff.

read the hole article here

Hunger strike in Pagani

We will not eat in a place like here!!

The 30 people in Pagani are angry. Most of them are families with a lot of kids. The people refused the food because of the horrible ambiance. One woman is disgusted about the circumstances inside the “open centre” of Pagani.

Our close are all wet, we have nothing dry to wear. The sheets and beds are used, dirty and hideous. They will not give us fresh sheet our dry clothes. It is ridiculous, they bring us to the hospital to check f we are ll or something but they let us sleep in sheet full of virus and with wet clothes!?

Close down Pagani and every detention centre, now and all about!!!

Out of the frying pan into the fire

News from the “Open Centre” in Pagani:

Today 60 people were n Pagani, all together in one cell. The cells are still open but the atmosphere does not seem very open. The people were transported today at 6:00 pm to the detention centre in Xios, of course accompanied by the police. The refugees have now arrived in Xios. Obviously the end of pagani is only the begnnng. As it seems now the plans are pointing in the direction of a new detention centre will be opening n Lesvos in the one or two years. Until then, Pagani will be used as a open transit centre.

There is only one thing left to say:

  • No Detention Centre! Not n Pagani, not in Xios and nowhere!!!

steigen auf lissos 07
mitilini harbours flags are no more greek

… into a new odyssey

From behind the bars into the ship. The stories of a family, a young girl and a baby.

Family infront of Pagani

A family on their way to Europe

baby behind bars

Is it allowed to put a three-year-old in prison???

young girl behind bars

This young girl from afghanistan is 12 years old. She spent 20 days in the detention centre of Pagani and is now on her way into a unknown future.

42 new people in pagani

A building collective memory can not be erased through cleaning or repairing the building.

Pagani has been “closed” few days ago. All refugees that where part of the revolts have been free and could leave Mytilini. Probably that was one of the reasons to close Pagani , the hope that all the knowledge about the revolt would disappear together with the refugees. But also buildings have a collective memory.and no repair or cleaning can take away from the walls of Pagani the history of the revolts. the walls will all the time talk to the newcomers and tell them the stories they heard, and they will all remember! 42 neue

40 people spent night in Pagani

Pagani is not been shut down. Last night 40 people slept there with open cell doors, possibly open yard doors and one (or few) cops guarding outside. These people are beeing transfered right now to Mersinidi, Chios.

There are a lot of speculations about future developments regarding detention. Today (4/11) local newspapers are writing that Pagani will be functioning as a transit registration center. The renovation will be finished at the end of December and on the mean time one cell will “host” migrants overnight in cases there are no ferry. Maximum number of detained migrants will be 150 (rmk: when they first opened Pagani the official maximum number was 70-80!).

On Monday at the Global Forum on Migration and Development Vougias (Deputy Citizens’ Protection
Minister) declared an agreement with the Defense Minister for using an 8 hectares military area to build a new camp. Local newspapers are refering to it as “model” camp “for adults and minors”, with “police guarding just outside”. The new camp will be located at ‘Kata Tepe’ (Black Hill, this is turkish) that is about 10 km north from Mytilene.

About the deputy’s statements and report from the GFMD (in english)
The report about the new camp (in greek)
(*) by the way: a student’s union denounced last weekend occupation of Paparisva building because they  haven’t been informed and  haven’t discourse with university authorities first. Of course they declare their absolute solidarity to migrants.

About w2eu

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The name Welcome to Europe expresses the discontent and anger we feel when looking at the fatal realities of the European external border: the long documented deaths and suffering have continued for years, and no end is in sight. We stand for a grassroots movement that embraces migration and wants to create a Europe of hospitality.


We maintain our focus on the European external border in Greece, but will not limit ourselves to that geographical area. The right of freely roaming the globe has to be fought for everywhere. Join us!


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Voices from the Inside of Pagani (2009)

Watch the video