Monthly Archive for November, 2009

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Open day in Pagani


Tuesday morning: The local newspapers reported that Pagani would be reopened after a period of two or three months as a open centre with no police guards. This is at least what local politicians and police authoities stated officially. The damages have been estimated, it is being cleaned thesedays and if or when the reparation is funded by the ministry works will go on.

living in the dark

Tuesday noon: Pagani has open doors.inside cleaning staff is trying to fullfill wonders for the prefecture. Empty rooms full of clothes, dirt, abandoned beds covered with black plastic bags some days ago the only method for some “privacy”, a cat playing freely inside the former prison. Former? The last cell is already clean. Matrasses a prepared. It looks as if Pagani was expecting “guests” again.


Outside three FRONTEX employees inspect carefully the closed???? prison.

cell "cleaned up" for the newcomers of today

Tuesday afternoon: The weather forecast foresees rain and wind. The sky is grey. Pagani has turned on some lights in one of the cells. A police car is controlling the outer area. Clothes hanging on the fence. Tomorrow there should be a ship leaving to Chios in the morning. Tuesday end of the day: Is Pagani now closed or isn`t it?! We will read it in the newspapers of tomorrow.

Continue reading ‘Open day in Pagani’

Pagani to be converted to a open centre?

Local newspapers in Mytilini about the situation with pagani:

Yesterday a delegation went to pagani to estimate the demages in the prison complex. it says they will open Pagani again in two month. The question is if it will be a detention or a open centre.

Our demands.

  • Pagani has to stay closed, no more centre in Pagani!!
  • open centre in Mytilini!
  • papers for everyone

Final party in Pagani

It was the last night of Pagani when a group of imprisoned refugees started singing again.

The conditions inside had changed within the last days. Police had slowly given up to control the situation, they just locked the people inside and stayed outside. Since the doors were broken the refugees could move inside the yard and to all the cells. Some of the cells were burned, each revolt inside had left it’s signs on the building. It looked as if the building was breathing its final breath. Burned mattress were just thrown in front of the door. The yard was used to play football in these last days. And there was the singing in the night.
freedom for all! empty pagani!
The final night in Pagani on Friday turned into a real party-night. It began with question that would not sound crazy in any other place: “Do you need anything? I will just go, shopping.” Although he
didn’t belief it, our friend who was narrating about the party gave five Euro (“because it sounded crazy enough for me”). The guy jumped over the fence and came back with cigarettes, whiskey and beer.
in and out They started drinking and telling each other their stories of migration and what they are missing and about their life. “When I told my story it was so and I started crying myself about it.” When the beer was finished they wanted some more and so the guy jumped again. The police came to him and said he can not leave. “But I have to go shopping!” he said to them. “If you don’t want me to go I can make a list with our needs and you go get it for us.” Obviously the policemen didn’t want to go and said to him: “Okay go, but you have to return, you know!” He went himself and returned again with more beers. A real party started with a lot of songs in various languages. A lot of sad songs about the things people left behind – but also dancing and the hope to go further.
In the next morning there the first deportation from newcomers to Xios took place. It happened silent. They brought one bus with families a second one with men and boys and in the last minute a smaller one to the harbour of Mytilini. All in all about 50 people were brought to the detention camp in Xios.
A lot of things to be done to stop these deportations to another prison, to prevent the old Pagani-building to be renewed and reopened — and to fight for open centres and of course papers for everyone!!!.
Maybe, Pagani could be used as a memorial place.
bad weather
The ferry that was supposed to leave Mytilini on Sunday at 6:00 pm could not go because of the weather. Today, three days and two nights later, the ship with the released people has left the harbour of Mytilini.
Pagani is abandoned – looking ancient already.

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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