Tag Archive for 'Detention'

Hungary systematically arrests asylum seekers – including minors!

Refugees from Germany nevertheless to be further deported to Hungary

“No refugees in orbit“ was a central slogan of the so called Dublin II-agreement, meant to regulate the proceedings of asylum applications. But the real effect is exactly the opposite: more and more refugees – including minors – are straying through Europe, fleeing from being deported to the countries of first arrival. They spend months or even years in various EU nations in the search for a country that will recognise their rights, and offer them a decent chance to experience a normal human life. Their first registration via fingerprint in the eastern and southern EU nations often leads to their doom. What at the beginning of the year was suspended for refugees, who entered Europe in Greece, is an ongoing problem with Italy, Malta or also Hungary, despite similar unsustainable conditions: constantly there is a threat of deportation to these nations of first registration when refugees continue their journey. Continue reading ‘Hungary systematically arrests asylum seekers – including minors!’

Young Afghan Refugees in Hungary

Dublin II means they play football with us, shooting us from one country to another, playing with us and wasting our time…

Five stories of young afghan refugees who have one experience in common: they have been detained in Hungary. Some of them have been already deported to Hungary because of Dublin. Some are threatened by deportation… Continue reading ‘Young Afghan Refugees in Hungary’


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’

Hungary imprisons minors after Dublin II deportation

Interview with F. (17) in Zalaergerszeg detention prison

The following interview was taken under difficult circumstances, on the phone of the prison. We had never seen each other before – it was a friend of a friend who brought us in contact. F. was not in a good mood – but he said that he wants to give testimony what happens in Hungary to the deported. He hopes that maybe, if the authorities knew what happens, they might stop the Dublin-system. He says: For me it’s to late now, but maybe all the others, they should not experience the same!

Zalaergerszeg, 13th Oktober 2010 –

There are two conclusions:

  1. In Hungary the current policy is to detain refugees in general and for longer periods of time. Even if they apply for asylum they will be often detained until the first decision. And also all those, who get deported from other European countries, get imprisoned for often until the limit of six months. Hungary built 11 new detention facilities in the last months.
  2. In Zalaergerszeg there are obviously at least three minors imprisoned for a longer time, who have been deported to Hungary according to DublinII. We fear that these are not single cases and that in the other detention facilities you might also find minors.


Continue reading ‘Hungary imprisons minors after Dublin II deportation’

Meanwhile in Australia

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!


Samos is one of the Greek island off the Turkish coast. At the closest point, you have the feeling you can easily touch the other side if you stretch your arm a little. Not surprisingly, many refugees and migrants attempt to cross the border to the European Union here with small boats.

In 2007, a new detention centre was opened on the hills above the island’s capitol Vathy. Before, migrants were detained right in the city centre, behind the main church and the city hall, in the first floor of an old, run-down building. All those that passed this jail said that the conditions were unimaginable and made many people sick. With funding from the European Union, the new detention centre is nothing like that. It consists of 14 buildings made from metal, most of them are used for the detainees while some are administrative buildings. The whole camp is surrounded by a double barb-wired fence, CCTV cameras as well as loudspeakers are everywhere: bidirectional communication to the advantage of the guards. The camp even has a children’s playground as well as a basketball court. Too bad that there are no basketballs available, so the court is mainly used in summer, when the capacity of the camp does not suffice and newly detained migrants have to sleep there, on the bare ground (like in 2009).

Continue reading ‘Samos’

Screening, Detention, Centres

In October 2009, the Initial Reception Centre in Pagani on the island of Lesvos was officially closed, after a wave of revolts of the detained migrants and a worldwide scandalisation of the conditions inside the jail. Despite announcements of the government to build a new detention centre in Lesvos, Pagani is still the only detention infrastructure on the island. The former goods warehouse is used for the interim detention of newly arrived refugees and migrants. Unlike before, when hundreds of migrants where kept for months in closed cells, fewer people stay there for some days only until they are transferred to the reception centre on the closely located island Chios. However, since the closure of Pagani it has become clear that the old system of detention under horrible conditions cannot be continued and will be replaced by a more human rights compatible system of detention in line with the existing models in the European detention landscape.

Indicative of this change in policy, which also stems from the change of the Greek government in October 2009, is the statement of the then newly instated Deputy Citizens’ Protection Minister Spyros Vougias during his visit of Pagani in October 2009, shortly before the actual closing of the detention centre by his ministery. He promised “to upgrade infrastructure and curb bureaucracy so that the migrants are detained for shorter periods of time and with more dignity”.

Continue reading ‘Screening, Detention, Centres’

Next stop Xios

Our faithfull source in Greece just told us a story about going with the ferry trip from Mytilini ( over Xios ) to Athens.

Last night I travelled by ship from Mytilene to Athens. That gave me the opportunity to observe a transfer from Pagani to Xios. On board there were around 50 people that the police was bringing from Pagani to the prison in Xios. The police gathered them outside on deck, guarded by about four or five police men. As I tried to approach them the police told me that I am not allowed to do so. After a short discussion I could at least talk to one man from Somalia. He told me that the police didn´t take their fingerprints until now and that he doesn´t know where the police will bring them. I told them that I think that they will bring them to the prison in Xios.
When we arrived in Xios the police brought the people down to the exit. They tried to hold them all together but they were not separated from the other people. One police man was quite nervous as if he was fearing something would happen. Next to the ship there was a turistic bus waiting for the people.
When I returned inside the ship in order to go to Athens, I met a group of people that I already met in Pagani. Most of them were Afghan families with little children. Two of them told me that the police wrote a higher age on their paper than they are ,  if they are obviously under-age. Like that, they lost the special protection their are supposed to retrieve as under-age refuges.
First time I these people was on Sunday. Probably they have been taken to Xios on Monday. Now the police gave them the deportation decision and let them free. That means that they stayed about two nights in Pagani and another two nights in Xios. In between they have been transferred from one island to another. In a very short time the families were bothered a lot. First by keeping them in Pagani which is in an even worse status after the revolts. Then by bringing them to another prison. For sure it is more expensive to transfer them with police and pay them first one ticket to Xios and then another one to Athens. For sure I could imagine a lot of things better to invest that money


20 acres of military estate to be turned into refugee settlement

… 20 acres of this estate are going to be turned into an “exemplary refugee camp”, as the Minister of National Defence, Mr. Evangelos Venizelos stated in a recent press conference in Athens. This ambitious plan is a cooperation between the Ministries of Citizen Protection and National Defence, and the Hellenic Army National Staff.

read the hole article here

Pagani to be converted to a open centre?

Local newspapers in Mytilini about the situation with pagani:

Yesterday a delegation went to pagani to estimate the demages in the prison complex. it says they will open Pagani again in two month. The question is if it will be a detention or a open centre.

Our demands.

  • Pagani has to stay closed, no more centre in Pagani!!
  • open centre in Mytilini!
  • papers for everyone

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