Tag Archive for 'dublin 2'

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.
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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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Dublin II returnees victims of police violence in Greece

One of the victims of the police beatings yesterday after the antifascist demonstration (of the 8th October) is H.

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Meanwhile in the discourse space…

new report on detention in Greece by amnesty international +++ European Court of Human Rights +++ Greece calls for a suspension of Dublin II

Amnesty International published an new report about the detention of migrants and refugees in Greece on the 27th of July. The full text can be downloaded here, it contains some 60 pages and contains descriptions of many detention centres in Greece.

The introduction is rather outspoken about the need for a decisive and immediate change in Greek migration policy.

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Interview with Milad in Sweden

Milad, 17, is from Afghanistan. We met the first time in summer 2009 in front of the Infopoint, a circus tent in Mytiline at the island of Lesvos. It was the time of Noborder, when Milad had just done his first step on European ground. His shoes were still salty from the trip with the small boat. Some days later he was captured in the harbour when he tried to save his fingerprints and to escape unregistered from the island. They brought him and his friends to Pagani, the big detention centre. He was part of the revolts that gave the last kick to shut down this place and was released after their cell got burnt down, after 2 months of prison. His narration on Noborder and the revolts in Pagani have been published.

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

Four days after this talk, he was deported back to Greece from Italy. He even did not have the chance to leave the ship. He was then imprisoned in Arta/Greece for another 10 weeks. He was still on his way to Norway and so he went directly into the next truck after his release. One day later he was imprisoned again. This time in Macedonia. He hurt himself very badly to get out of there after another 10 weeks of prison. He was captured again in Hungary in a very cold night in February. It was in Hungary when he said the first time that he feels a little bit tired of all this. It was the first time that his trust to reach Norway and to be safe there was shattered. He had applied for asylum in Hungary. He said he felt too powerless and too tired to stand the prison for another unknown period of time, although he feared now that his deportation to Hungary was even more risky than to Greece. He felt the Dublin II trap for the first time. He was not able to stay in Hungary, where as he says: The conditions to have less than nothing drives the people to rob the one besides him. He finally reached Norway some months ago. When he got to know that he would be deported to Hungary he fled to Sweden. The interview was made via telephone in June 2010.

w2eu: Hey Milad, how are you? And: where are you?

Milad: I’m in Sweden now. Near to Orebro in a camp for refugees. It is a very small camp for minors and the people here are kind. Nice place, television and everything. We are only 10-11 guys here, all of them underage. It is really nice for one week, two weeks. But actually we are wasting our time here. And it is very far from the city – far from society. We are not in fact imprisoned. We can go to the city. But it is 20-30 kilometre far. Too far to walk every day.

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Of lies, more lies and some successes

Last week, we reported about the revolt going on in Pagani. In the immediate days after the revolt, there seemed to be some development favourable to the situation of refugees. Some friendly observers from Lesvos reported that on the very Tuesday of the revolt, there were

700 prisoners in Pagani, around 150 women and children and 150 unaccompanied minors. The minors living on the first floor set fire to matrasses in their cell, which produced a lot of smoke. To escape from the smoke they broke the bars of the window and went on the very small balcony in front of their cell window. They screamed for their freedom, some were very upset and the situation was very dangerous. The policemen of the prison managed to extinguish the fire. More policemen, fire brigades, journalists and observer in solidarity arrived. The tension spread to the other cells.

The prisoners broke the door with the iron bars and went out into the yard. They were absolutely peaceful and the police didn’t react. Around 400 prisoners were in the yard. The negotiations between the prisoners and the police and the prefect lasted until late in the night.

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Current Situation

This came from people still in Mytilini (slightly edited):

92 new minors arrived in Mitilini yesterday and where brought to Pagani. That means 140 minors and around 500 people all together are detained in Pagani at this stage.

Two days ago all refugees from one cell refused to return into the cell. But after a while they where forced to do so. Unfortunately there where not more infos about it and noone knew while this happend.

People say that every now and then the prisoners scream FREEDOM and AZADI.

A newspaper is being prepared about the noborder and the other actions around it and more local news to be distributed widely and to be the beginning for an open discussion
in town and further campaigning.

The Frontex boat is still not around. [It might actually have left]

Local people told us that many did not know or did not hear about the actions and they asked for more information. The interest is big to know what they missed.

And the sky is grey since two days.

In the meanwhile, we finally got around to include a form for signing our Dublin-II call. Since the whole idea with signing through the comment function didn’t work so well, we adjusted and now invite you again to support the cause.

There is actually movement on the Dublin-II issue, at least in Germany. The highest court i.e. the constitutional court, ruled yesterday that they would decide on a case brought forward by an Iraqi refugee in Germany. Since he had been registered in Greece before, the german authorities wanted to deport him to Greece so that he could seek asylum there, in accordance with Dublin II. This deportation was now stopped by the constitutional court, and they will have a hearing on the issue.

Stop deportations to Greece – suspend Dublin II!

Please read, spread and sign this Communiqué from activists of the international No Border Camp 2009 on Lesvos concerning the Dublin II regulations and deportations to Greece. You can sign using the form below (introduced due to popular demand). Let’s build pressure!

As activists of the international No Border Camp 2009 on Lesvos, we are witnessing a policy of systematic human rights abuse against migrants and refugees. As a crucial symbol for this policy stands Pagani, a detention centre, situated in the outskirts of the city of Mitilini, for migrtants and refugees, women, men, minors and children, who arrive in Greece without documents. People are imprisoned in Pagani for many weeks, even months. They are forced to share a room with approximately 100 people. About 1000 people are constantly locked up in a place normally designed for only 280 people. Sanitary and medical conditions are beyond any possible imagination. It is not even necessary to describe the further consequences of forcing people to under these circumstances, since the absolute lack of human rights is all too obvious.

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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