This statement, is an answer to the attempt by the government, to criminalize solidarity with the hunger strikers by saying that “those who are responsible for these processes we will search for with the prosecutor’s intervention and those who participated will be held accountable”.
Below is an email address for you to support this performative statement!
Continue reading ‘Performative statement of civil disobedience!’
The 25th of January is the day on which 300 migrants in Greece started a hunger strike. Their demand is a collective legalisation of all the people excluded from Greek society based on their status – be it asylum seekers, not recognised refugees, illegalised people, exploited migrant labourers. It is not the first hunger strike in Greece where human beings are forced to use such a drastic measure to fight for their rights.
Continue reading ‘Declaration of solidarity with the hunger strikers in Greece – Legalisation and equal rights now – Call for a week of action’
Hunger strikers in Thessaloniki
Our friends from Clandestina alert us to the fact that…
…last Tuesday (4th of December), a riot broke out, one of the most serious to date, at the detention centre at Fylakion in the Evros region, near the town of Orestiada and the FRONTEX headquarters at the Greco-Turkish border. According to the policemen guarding the centre, the sans papiers immigrants short-circuited the electricity network causing a blackout, blocked the sewer system causing the overflow of waste and caused minor damages to the centre’s building.
Special police forces were called in from Orestiada and the sans papiers welcomed them by throwing chlorine detergent at them. They had been supplied bottles of chlorine so that they keep the prison clean by themselves, since no cleaning service is provided for the 3-year old detention centre, where up to 1000 refugees, including families with small children, are being held in a building designed to temporarily host 350 people at a time – with bad water, few toilets, no showers, and no medical or legal help.
During the riot, four sans papiers are said to have escaped.
picture credit: image of Fylakio detention centre taken from wikipedia
Day 10 | 17th September 2010
Ten days after the start of the hunger strike in the refugee camp in Horst (a small town approximately 100 km east of Hamburg), the refugees gathered again in the canteen to emphasize their demands.
Although the hunger strike has left its mark on the refugees, they are still determined. The camp management is trying to break their resolve with repression, threats and isolation. While at the beginning of the hunger strike, the management started to cancel the work opportunities for the refugees and closed the common rooms, they now resort to taking down the details of those who speak to the press. They also openly threaten with deportation. Despite all this, a lot of people have been showing solidarity with their struggeling neighbors. Also ctivists from various cities are among the supporters.
During the past year, the refugees have managed to draw attention to their disastrous situation. More and more media are arriving at the camp to get a picture of the situation. On Saturday, Mehmed Yildis, a member of the Hamburg Parliament from the party “Die Linke”, visited the refugee camp together with journalists. However, they we were denied access, and so far no journalists or anyone else have been allowed in.
Continue reading ‘Hunger strike in Horst (Germany) I’
Forgot to buy postcards from Lesvos last summer? Some of the images you see in the postcards might look familiar, others where taken a long time a go but on the same spots, at a alike stituation… . Please feel free to print and distribute them in your town, if you like so.
Continue reading ‘Souvenir from Lesvos’
The prefecture announces the release of the last 130 refugees from the detention centre of Pagani for tomorrow. The newspapers report that it might be renovated from Monday on but leave also the option that it might be closed down forever. Temporarily new arriving refugees will be temporarily hosted in the hotel Zaire until their transfer to the detention centre of Chios island. The revolts of the detained refugees and their constant pressure together with the constant support from antiracist groups resulted in a small success. The short term aim is to keep this detention centre closed, while the real success roots in a future without detention centres!
Unlike the Noborder Camp in Lesvos 2009, the revolts in the Detention Centre of Pagani have not stopped jet. Almost every day we are informed about new revolts and also about new discharges. Police Brutality is increasing in the same manner. The Greek newspaper ΕΛΕΥΘΒΡΟΤΥΠΙΑ (= Free Press) published an article today about one case of police brutality and bribery:
A 17 old boy from Palestine was beaten up very badly three days ago in the Detention Centre of Pagani. That happend during the Revolt after the Vice Ministers visit. They did not stop hitting the refugee until he lost his consciousness. He was lying on the ground behind the Medical container for more then two hours. As it is known now, all 40 witnesses of the beating were among those released yesterday.
Since the beating the 17 old boy and five other prisoners are being brought daily to the Police station of Mytilini. They have to spent the whole day there, being interrogated and threatened over and over again.
For the time being they are back in their cell in Pagani. They are very frightened and thus announced that they will not leave their cell at all, only if the vice minister him self would come to escort them into freedom.
The Vice minister on his side declared his aim was to close down Pagani as fast as possible and that he expects the respnsables to submit a report about the events after his visit by the end of the week. NGOs like RED (Rights Equality and Diversity), the network Raxen and FRA are worried about the increasing police brutality against refugees and human rights activists in Greece.
Our faithful source in lesvos also reports about another development concerning the police repression in Pagani.
Activists who wanted to distribute leaflets containing Information about legal rights of refugees and aslyum assistance serives in Europe, were hindered by the police. The police forbid the the contribution of flyers, talking to the underage or other imprisoned refugees and even standing in front of Pagani.
Some 200 people where released from Pagani today. While those at the harbour are missing their ferry, another revolt started in pagani.
We will give everyday revolt to you to come here!
After yesterdays good news about the release of 100 prisoners, we discovered there is also a bad one. They where brought to the harbour a little to late, as a consequence they missed the ferry and had to spent the night in the harbour. What seemed like a coincidences yesterday was continued today. 200 people where released from the detention center of Pagani. Again to late so they will also have to spent the night outside. The release papers are supossed to legalize them for 30 days, the problem is that most of the papers are predated 10 days. Altogeher it is far away from justice.
Another incredible news has reached us today.
All the witnesses from the police brutality where kindly released today. That implicates that there will be no one left to witness. A coincidence?
There was also another revolt in Pagani. Yesterday one of the cells was on fire, today another cell burned. The underage refugees are very angry. Since along time, no minors where released. One of them was injured during the fire and he was not brought to the doctor.
There is a rumor inside Pagani that it will be closed down on Wednesday, maybe because all of the cells are destroyed.
A few days ago, news arrived about the vice Minister visiting Pagani, describing it with the words “Dantes Inferno”. Today, our faithful source in Mytilini reports about new revolts in the Detention Center of Pagani.
Today the revolts in Pagani started again. After the Vice Minister of internal affairs visited Pagani two days ago, the violent habits returned to Pagani. Prisoners reported about a huge police brutality after the visit. Some of the prisoners where calls out, one after the other, to the prison Jard. There they where badly beaten by the police. The prisoners felt save, telling the vice Minister about there situation, but in the end there where punished for there statements in front of the visitor. A complain against the police was made by the prisoners.
Continue reading ‘As the Vice Minister turned his back’
Your faithful chronicler on the island Lesvos told us today:
Yesterday night, the riot cops were beating prisoners since they refused to get back into their cells. The cops also threatened them not to talk about these beatings, or otherwise they would be beaten again.
Today, there was a visit from the newly formed “ministry for the protection of citizens” (the former ministry of public order). So at ten o’clock am, the yard of the prison looked differently altogether. The two broken cars and all the rubbish had been disposed of, three cops in blue uniforms were seen taking pictures (for the white paper?) of under age refugees, which looked funny since the pictures were taken in front of the wall with graffiti.
It is not exactly clear who of the ministry came, it was either the vice minister or the secretary of state. He came with a lot of NGO representatives, journalists, media people, about 30 in total. They were brought to the yard, where a lot of refugees were sitting/standing around, talking to each other, while others were behind bars. One could have the impression that this was a normal situation. But if you know there are at most 10 minutes of yard for a prisoner in one week, you know that it was a fabrication today. However, this was used by many today to be reunited with their other family members (who they usually cannot see at all!).
Check the pictures for example. There is a mother with a newly born baby, another mother with her two young girls, and the husband in front of the cell. He will later go and see his under age sons and to show to the ministerial visit what the situation is like for families: separation. This is not a singular case, mother and daughters separated from the father separated from the sons.
The politician did actually go into each cell and listened to the stories. In the women’s cell, the floor was still wet (like we saw it in summer), due to a leak. The matrasses are wet because of this, and the women and children turn sick. Nothing has changed since our visits during the noborder camp.
At least three men hat bandaged hands. Perhaps it was from the beatings the riot cops gave during the last revolt. All over Greece, bandaged hands are a visible proof that people had “contact” with the ministry for the protection of the citizens.
The prisoners used the visit to roam more freely than normal, and to visit their family members. The slogan of “freedom” was shouted again and again, and you could see hope for change in many faces.
After he had visited the last cell (of the under age prisoners), the politician talked to the media present (TV channels, radio, newspapers). He said that that cell was worse than the Inferno of Dante. That this “detention centre” was unbearable. That it needed to be closed. And that most of the prisoners didn’t want to stay in Greece anyway [so what? if they wanted to, would that be a valid reason to treat them that way?]
Round noon, there was another meeting at the prefecturate with all people involved in Pagani. We’ll find out what was the outcome.