Tag Archive for 'greece'

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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


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.

Swarming Noborder in Greece

Last year a noborder camp took place in Lesvos, one of the main arrival islands in the Aegean Sea. The pictures of the totally overcrowded island prison Pagani and the deeply inhuman internment practices have not been forgotten. However, the revolts and campaigns that led to the closing of Pagani prison, were just as impressive, and in many refugee camps in the whole of Europe the stories of ‘noborder’ is still being told.

Europe is intervening. As if to quickly patch the situation, Frontex, the European border agency is involved in establishing a system of selection and deportation, which is equivalent to European ‘standards’. ‘Screening centres’ will be the new name for the detention centres in Greece. They target what has been possible despite all the repression and chaos in Greece: freedom of movement, the ability to continue the journey to the countries in the centre of Europe.

From the 27th of August to the 11th of September 2010, the Network Welcome to Europe will once again travel to Greece. Join us, come along, be part of it, or simply follow our activities and findings in this blog. If you want to know more, read all details of the Swarming Noborder Greece 2010.

We have to sleep in 3 hour shifts

11.11.2009 Athens
M. is an Afghan unaccompanied minor who was released from Pagani.
He was in the group of 130 refugees released the last day and who left for Athens with the boat and since then he is in Athens trying to survive. Actually M. like most other minors in Pagani,got released with a paper saying that he is staying in the villa Azadi the minors house in
Mytilini. But he has never been informed about this ,he has never been brought up to the villa and he doesn’t know his right to be protected as a Minor. Most minors that have been in Pagani the last two months have been release with this paper without having been informed about their right to be taken to the minors house.

Continue reading ‘We have to sleep in 3 hour shifts’

Birds of immigrants

We are reporting on this blog since several month about the no border actions and the situation for refugees and migrants on the island of Lesvos. There is a blog written by under-age refugees on their way to Europe. It is a good opportunity to read about this topic written in a different perspective, the on from the refuges themselves.
Birds of immigrants

Noborder Newspaper

exegermena#4 People from the squat in Mytilini published a newspaper about the noborder actions in August 2009. It is only in Greek but for those who speak Greek, enjoy: download the pdf.

Brief report from the field: Pagani emergency

The European elections, that took place during June 2009, brought the ultra right wing party “LAOS” to the fourth place for the first time in the recent Greek history. “LAOS” made a very open anti-migrant campaign based on the national security and immigration control. The support of this movement by the Greek media was and still is very obvious and, consequently, after the elections, the agenda that “LAOS” has set, has been adopted by several institutions and politicians across the political spectrum and mostly from the governmental parties, called “New Democracy” and “PASOK” (Greek Socialist Party).

One of the outcomes of the above mentioned conservative and xenophobic campaign was the very recent presidential decree 81/09, which assigns the examination of asylum claims exclusively to police directors. It further deprives asylum seekers of the right to have their asylum claim examined at second instance, in violation of European standards.

Continue reading ‘Brief report from the field: Pagani emergency’

Klephtes! Thieves!

On Friday 17/07 8 packages with printed material for the no border camp were sent with a ship to Mytilene. The packages had specific recipient, the name and telephone number of whom appeared in the packages, and for transporting them was cut bill. When Saturday 18/07 we went to receive the packages the staff of the ship told us that the stores were closed and the receipt should be made on Sunday. Finally we went to collect the packages on Tuesday when officials of the ship told us that they considered the material as humanitarian assistance and called the coast police to receive them. The coast police admit that they took the material from the boat but no one knew about the fate of the material. The harbor master was seemed to ignore the issue completely. Two days later part of the material found in a store room of the coast police in the port.Of the 8 packages, 3 were missing, all packages were opened and some of the material found in a nearby trash bin. To the questions why the material received by coast police as there was specipic receiver and why they didn’t inform the receiver, no one was available to respond. In a publication in a local newspaper reported the following:

According to secure information, law enforcement authorities have identified and blocked quantity of printed material of anarchists for the event no border camp, which arrived by ship in the harbor. Impression is caused by the fact that the material, which identified by the authorities, was hidden in packages that were sent from Athens (by people who work until recently as a body of government on refugees) and intended as a “humanitarian assistance for refugees”! The material unloaded from the ship with the assistance of Coast Guard men, but upon unloading one package was opened, so to determine its content.

It is obvious that there is a trial to create atmosphere against the no border camp and the authorities are ready to use all methods. The fact that newspapers like “empros” are carrying false reports disseminated on porpose by the authorities,is expected. The material for the no border camp that will take place from 25 to 31 August in Mitilini was sharing already in various towns and villages of the island. No one is illegal. Come to discuss in the squares of the island.

900 people detained in Pagani

On the ship, you are traveling, refugees are beeing doported against their free will.  Refugees what are one the way to be deported, are held in handcuffs. Beeing deported bevor having the chance to express their wish for asylum.  You can do something against it. Talk with the captain, talk to the company. Show loud and clear that you disagree. Smash Borders, now!New refugees are arriving in Mytilini every day. Currently 900 people are inside the “welcome center” (= detention centre) Pagani. The intended capacity of the prison is 250 people. Since the new act from June 2009, the refugees are held inside Pagani for at least 6 month. The only “way” to get out of the prison is to be deported. Because the prison is that crowded, a deportation is expected this weekend.

Greece belongs to ?

Somewhere on the way out of Mytilini, fascists wrote “Turks. refugees, anarchists. Greece belongs to the Greek.” And then some hours later, it said “Greece belongs to Siemens”.


20 min past midnight

Frontex boat leaves Mytilini habor, fast and almost without light. Only one dim little light signalizes the present of the boat.

frontex 2-30.07

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