…in Greece within the last year:
But people do fight back | 26th September 2010
More school-age children have been sent from Hamburg to Horst, despite an agreement to the contrary. A fascist attack occurred on a refugee who is forced to live in Horst. It is the second week of protests in Horst, where the refugees are still waiting for an opportunity to finally talk about their demands with the camp management.
On Wednesday, the camp management and the interior ministry invited politicians and selected journalists to visit the facilities in a desperate attempt to silence the 300 people who live there. No attempt has been made to talk to the refugees about their demands.
On Saturday, 25th September several people and solidarity groups from various cities visited the refugees to reassure them of their support. The attempt to visit them was stopped at the gate, due to a general ban on visits. Whenever we asked in the past why the IDs of everyone wanting to visit were checked, we were given the excuse that told that the camp was open, the people were free and the checkpoints were only for the protection of the refugees.
Continue reading ‘Hunger strike in Horst (Germany) III’
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’
A video from the demonstration on Friday, 2. July. It was organised by the Migrants Solidarity Network and ESF’s migration network at Kumkapi Detention Center, right in the center of the City.
On April 12, 2010, 126 migrants detained in the samos detention camp started a collective hunger strike. Their demands are
- Freedom, immediate release with the “white paper” (allowing them to travel within Greece for thirty days)
- An end to the transfers to detention centres close to the greek-turkish land border in the north, where numerous illegal deportation to Turkey are taking place. Such transfers happen between two and three times a month in Samos, the last one happened on April 9, when 40 migrants were taken.
- Transparency about the work of so-called translators in the camp. As it turns out, these often are officiers employed by Frontex, who offer their translation services, but abuse the trust of the refugees and use the access to the refugees to determine their identity and prepare their deportation. There is a particular problem with the Frontex officers who in the process of identification often change the country of origin of the migrants on paper.
In the last days, as many as 14 Frontex officers were in the detention centre. There is also talk about migrants being beaten up, some cell phones were taken, while the phones in the camp also don’t work, making it hard to communicate with the hunger strikers. No laywers seem to be present at the time.