Archive for the 'Featured' Category

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UN demands to stop Dublin II-deportations to Greece

The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak says all Dublin II associated countries need to stop all transfers of asylum seekers back to Greece under the Dublin II-regulation. He calls on the European Union to fundamentally rethink its asylum and migration policy.

The jungle of Athens [2 Updates + pictures]

This is an ongoing story. Click here to go straight to the first update, second update.

Since five days the fascist neighbourhood movement of St. Panteleimon and Attiki is occupying and defending the Attiki Square from the “unwanted” refugees living in that area. Even members of the movement are entering migrants shops shouting at people and threatening them. This reality has become daily life.

Continue reading ‘The jungle of Athens [2 Updates + pictures]’

From Lesvos to Kabul

About the readmission agreement between Turkey and Greece leading to direct refoulement to states that practise torture

The readmission protocol between Greece and Turkey was signed in 2001, but hasn’t entered into force yet. Instead Greece carried out illegal push backs to Turkey via the northern border in the Evros region. In May 2010 Greek and Turkish authorities met and discussed the concrete implementation. They declared their will to implement the readmission protocol in the near future and agreed that at least 1000 requests per year will be accepted by Turkey. More detailed negotiations concerning the protocol are ongoing at the moment. On our journey from Samos via Izmir to Mytilene we found out that parallel to the negotiations first steps are taken to start a one year pilot project, which is expected to start in two to three month from now.

The sign reads: Izmir Police Management, Foreigners department Deportation Center

Continue reading ‘From Lesvos to Kabul’

Pagani – Last Good Bye

On Monday we took our exhibition Traces from Lesvos through Europe to Pagani and turned the space where refugees and migrants have been detained and humiliated into a museum – a place that belongs to the past.

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Memorial for the drowned refugees of October 2009 [+speech]

Survivors of the accident with the rescued baby

On Sunday, 5th of September, Welcome To Europe installed a memorial for the drowned refugees of October 2009. It reads:

We mourn the refugees that died during the attempt to overcome Fortress Europe on the 27th of October 2010.

Yalda 8 * Neda 10 * Mehdi 4 * Zakia * Tsima * Sonia 6 * Abdulfasl 3 * Zomaya

We thank the heroic fishermen who saved the lives of the survivors.

The Speech

We came together today, here in Korakas. A horrifying name – Raven is its meaning. A messenger of death. Today we gathered in Korakas for remembering the dead.

We gathered for giving back a piece of dignity to those who survived. A piece of dignity that was lost on the way to Europe, like the passports or the photographs showing the faces of the beloved ones that disappeared in the water. We gathered to give back a piece of dignity to those who might even feel that having survived is a betrayal to those who died. We want to give back a piece of dignity, also to those whose death disappeared – right here – into the senselessness of the European borders.

Here and today, at this place of failure, we want to pause and create a space for all those who lost their lives. Remembering here means to save the stories of the uncounted faces of those who lost their lives at the borders of Europe from the tremendous arrogance of the posterity.

Their death is the death in search for freedom. And that concerns all of us. So let us speak together.

Yalda – She lives!
Neda – She lives!
Mehdi – He lives!
Zakia – She lives!
Tsima – She lives!
Sonia – She lives!
Abdulfasl – He lives!
Zomaya – She lives!

We shall never forget them.
We shall tear down the borders that killed them.

Pagani – Relict of an old system

The migrant prison of Pagani near Mitilini, Lesvos stood at the centre of the activities of last year’s noborder. During the noborder, the refugees imprisoned in Pagani started hunger strikes, while noborders stages actions outside, which together led to a significant number of people being set free immediately. September saw numerous revolts inside Pagani, cells were set on fire and the police ultimately withdrew. Pagani was declared as officially closed at the beginning of October.

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“Please don’t paint…”

Today, Saturday, was the designated Frontex action day in Samos. We scored our first victory in the morning when all coast guard and Frontex ships withdrew from the port, disappearing somewhere. Up to now, they have not returned. The image below shows where they usually park their ships during the day… it is empty. We demilitarised, de-frontexisised Vathy, at least for a day.

Continue reading ‘“Please don’t paint…”’

A Dublin II Deportation Diary

Why did you want me back in Greece?, ask the refugees being returned due to the Dublin II regulation from different other European countries. The deportation diary carrying the same name evolved out of a short visit in Athens, where activists from the newly founded infomobile project conducted interviews with refugees affected by this European regulation.

The findings, based on interviews with the people affected, are shocking and deeply disturbing. For although every story of flight to and within Europe is different, if we were to summarise, there are two main conclusions that need to be drawn.

Continue reading ‘A Dublin II Deportation Diary’

Mass grave of refugees in Evros uncovered (1 Update)

During the first seven months of the year 2010, 38 human beings died while attempting to cross the heavily guarded Turkish-Greek border. The corpses of the dead are being transferred to the department of forensic medicine of the university clinic of Alexandroupoulis. Since they can often not be identified, only a DNA-test is being carried out so that relatives can still gain certainty.

Mass grave in the Evros region

On 25th of June 2010 19 people drowned in the river Evros/Meriç. 14 corpses washed ashore on the Greek side and were brought to the university clinic by an undertaker from Orestiada. After the dead had been examined and registered, the undertaker brought them to a village of the Turkish minority on the mountains above Souflí for them to be buried on muslim cemetery.

cemetery of the illegal immigrants - muftia evros

cemetery of the illegal immigrants - muftia evros

Continue reading ‘Mass grave of refugees in Evros uncovered (1 Update)’

w2eu all new

Summer is coming, we are again going to Greece, you might want to join us. In the meanwhile, we updated this blog and put more information and analysis into it. With this post, we will provide a short overview (Blogs are so messy…)

Swarming Noborder: From the 27th of August to the 11th of September 2010, the Network Welcome to Europe will once again travel to Greece. Join us, come along, be part of it, or simply follow our activities and findings in this blog. If you want to know more, read all details of the Swarming Noborder Greece 2010. And of course, you can follow all our activities on this site.

Screening Centres: Apart from establishing an asylum agency, the Greek state also plans to introduce so called screening centres in the quest to reform and modernize the system of migration control. In this analysis, we look into the proposal.

Frontex in the Aegean: The Europe of Schengen strikes back. If Greece cannot stop the migration flow, the European Union has a dedicated agency most happy to step in: Frontex, the European border agency. What are doing, what are they up to? Find out in our analysis.

Interviews: Milad, a friend of ours from last year’s noborder tells us how his situation is in Sweden, how Dublin II pushed people all over Europe and continues to do so, and what he thinks needs to happen. In another interview, we talk to M., a 17-year-old Palestinian youth that was framed by Frontex in Samos. They had taken a picture of the boat he was using to cross over from Turkey and boldly claimed that he was the driver and hence smuggler. A court saw this differently.

Pagani – Villa Azadi – Dikili: Many questions reached us concerning the state of Pagani and other things that are going on in Lesvos. We put together a short update. Another update gives a longer report about what is going on in Lesvos these days.

Samos: w2eu will take to Samos. Why? What is happening there? What is the significance of the new detention centre there, and what is Frontex doing on the island? Find out!

Discourse Space: Amnesty International released a report about the detention of migrants and refugees in Greece, and it sheds not good light on the state of affairs. The European Court of Human Rights condemned Greece for the detention and maltreatment of a Palestinian refugee, while Greece itself calls for a suspension of Dublin II. This is the other website of the network welcome to europe, providing information about the state of Dublin II, Asylum, Migration in the different countries of the European Union and beyond. It is meant as a direct resource for all border-crossers out there that need to know where to go best, and what to do there.

About w2eu

This is the blog of the antiracist network Welcome to Europe. It was formerly known as


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