Rally outside the camp in Horst | 23rd September 2010
11 days ago, a young refugee decided to go on a hunger strike to protest against the inhumane conditions in the camp in Horst. Other refugees joined him, and together with supporters from the outside, the pressure on the camp management has been increased. So yesterday, the camp management invited government officials, political parties, the refugee council and selected journalists to visit the camp in order to counter the images the public have seen in recent days with their propaganda.
It soon became obvious that the journalists who were invited were those who had written negatively about the camp. A photographer and a reporter from the magazine “Spiegel”, as well as other major news agencies had to obey the ban on visits that had been in force since the hunger strike began and had to wait outside.
Solidarity groups had organized a rally outside the camp to make sure that the journalists would see and hear the messages of the refugees. Immediately the refugees joined them, children drew pictures on the ground and others put up banners. Their demands were read out in Farsi, Serbo-Croatian, English, French and Arabic. Hearing their demands through the PA system gave people strength and as soon as the music played, the children started to dance. It didn’t take long for the rest to join and all the people who had told us their stories in the last few days were able to dance away their worries for a moment. People were singing, the fence was covered with banners and all that was missing was the delegation.
Continue reading ‘Hunger strike in Horst (Germany) II’
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’
Yes, we have arrived on Lesvos island, and we are preparing out first reports, discussing our timetable and meeting with local activists. Expect updates soon.
But right now, we would like to turn your attention to Australia, where more than 80 Afghan refugees whose asylum claim had been rejected and who were detained in a privately run detention centre in Darwin have broken free and staged a protest in order to halt their deportation. They have now been arrested and are being taken to another detention centre.
From an article in the The Australian:
Immigration Department spokesman Sandi Logan earlier said the men had broken through two electrified fences – an interior fence and a perimeter fence, both carrying 11,000 volts – at about 6.30 this morning.
Followups: here, here and there generally seem to be tensions at Darwin detention centre: Indonesian fisherman who are charged with people smuggling and face a 20-year prison sentence have been rioting.
We send our solidarity to all those imprisoned in Australian detention centre! Freedom! Azadi!