Archive for the 'Deportation' Category

“Walls of Shame”

Accounts from the Inside: The Detention Centres of Evros
new report by Pro Asyl

Obviously, Europe’s main concern is the creation of »walls« in order to hinder or to prevent the access to its territory. Physical walls like the fence, the moat and border controls in Evros but also invisible walls that are constituted by the lack of protection to those in need, rights denials, systematic detention, detention and living conditions violating human dignity, Readmission Agreements and the Dublin II Regulation. The effects of these heightening walls have their most tragic face in the many lost and dead at border. This is why we chose to speak about walls of shame in this report.

Walls of Shame (download report in English)

Greece: Dublin II deportations suspended for another year

The German Ministry of Interior informed in a letter that deportations to Greece under the Dublin II Regulation will be suspended for another year. The letter states that despite initial changes in the treatment of asylum seekers in Greece the asylum system still does not comply with European standards.
The moratorium is valid until 12th of January 2013.

Declaration of solidarity with the hunger strikers in Greece – Legalisation and equal rights now – Call for a week of action

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.

Hunger strikers in Thessaloniki

Hunger strikers in Thessaloniki


Continue reading ‘Declaration of solidarity with the hunger strikers in Greece – Legalisation and equal rights now – Call for a week of action’

ECtHR front kicks Dublin II

Yesterday (21st of January 2011) was a bad day for the Dublin II system. The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg judged Belgium and Greece for violating European Convention on Human Rights.
Continue reading ‘ECtHR front kicks Dublin II’

Greek parliament approves new migration legislation

Hürriyet daily alerts us to the fact that the Greek Parliament has passed the long announced overhaul of the country’s migration law.

The new law removes control over asylum seekers from the police and hands it over to a new asylum service that will deal with a backlog of some 47,000 applicants, many of them awaiting approval for years. The law will also put in place a procedure for appealing rejected asylum requests.

Citizen’s Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis said the law would allow Greece to set up a screening process under which illegal migrants “will be voluntarily repatriated or expelled.”

We had previously reported on the screening centres: Screening, Detention, Centres

US embassy cables: Greece and migration

The Guardian released two embassy cables provided by the by now well-known wikileaks cablegate that report on the Greek government’s position and strategy on dealing with irregular migration. This article provides a short summary of the contents. Both reports were written shortly after the change of government in October 2009, in December and February respectively. They don’t offer any surprising insight, but sketch some policy lines.

  1. Greece tackles migration and asylum issues. 4th of December 2009
  2. Greece revamps security service and tackles immigration. 1st of February 2010

The first embassy cable, Greece tackles migration and asylum issues confirms that asylum and migration are high priority to the new government, both on a domestic as well as on a European level. From the summary:

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Fylakio

from afghanistan 6 days here what the broblem?

asks young Hamis Abdalah Ghasmi from Afghanistan on a piece of cardboard that was slipped to our delegation in Fylakio. And indeed, it is the question all migrants in detention in the Evros region have in mind: Why am I being kept here?

Yesterday, i.e. Saturday, the 18th of December 2010, saw a mobilisation from the Greek antiracist movement to the Evros region, where most of the border crossings happened the last months and where many hundreds of migrants are being detained under comparably horrible circumstances as in the infamous prison of Pagani.

Continue reading ‘Fylakio’

Jungle of Athens: A small-talk in the rain under umbrellas and trees

It is late in the evening and the small community of homeless Afghans has moved close together to be at least a little bit protected from the rainfalls and the cold of the night. The cardboards used as sofas on the ground are wet. The few umbrellas protect the small children and the women. “It doesn’t matter to me, it matters to the small children. My pullover will become wet, then it will dry. But the babys, the become sick.” A few of the families found some temporary housing solutions, still they come and visit their friends outside in the park. Everybody is just thinking of leaving Greece. But how?

Continue reading ‘Jungle of Athens: A small-talk in the rain under umbrellas and trees’

Iranian refugees continue their struggle for Asylum in Athens

For two weeks around 60 Iranian, but also some Afghan and Pakistani refugees started a protest in the centre of Athens demanding asylum for all refugees. Almost all are trapped for years, even a decade, in the precarious status of the Temporary Residence Permit of Asylum Seekers (red card), without any information on their case, living with the fear of a final negative decision and without the chance to apply for asylum in another European countries due to Dublin II regulation.

Propylaea square is now occupied by the refugees, where they have put banners, distribute information material and stay night and day in the tents. They are trying to press the authorities and to attract the interest of local and international rights organizations and media and they are programming their next steps and the escalation of their struggle forms.

Statement by the Committee of Iranian Refugees in Greece

POLITICAL ASYLUM FOR ALL REFUGEES NOW!

the Commission of Iranian political refugees started its struggle on July 20 2010 [with a hunger strike] outside the UN High Commission for Refugees office in Athens. Our First victory came by gaining political asylum recognition to six Iranian hunger strikers. One of them, Hamid Sadeqi had sewn his mouth. Now we continue the struggle in the center of Athens at Propylaea (University of Athens), demanding asylum for all refugees!

We wait for the announcement of the starting day of the sessions of Asylum Committees by the government, as it was promised: “The transition process for Asylum under the new presidential decree is expected to be operational in September” (06/08/2010). No more fake promises!

There are thousands of refugees waiting in vain without any information on their case. Children born in Greece or came in an early age and now grow as if there is no future! What should the children and their families do to get asylum after 5,6 or even 12 years? Do they also need to sew their mouths?

We fight for the vindication of all refugees. We fight to stop the violation of our rights. We were persecuted by dictatorial regimes and illiberal states like Iran and suffered prisons, torture, death penalty, disappearances and also hunger and poverty. How to live in countries devastated by war such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia? How to survive in Pakistan, where half the country sank beneath the waters and the indifference of the government scatters despair, disease and death? How to live in African countries that have been ravaged by famine?
We urge Greek people, workers and youth, trade unions, student associations, organizations fighting for democratic rights to support the struggle that we start and will not stop unless we take our rights.

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’

About w2eu

This is the blog of the antiracist network Welcome to Europe. It was formerly known as lesvos09.antira.info.

 

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