Tag Archive for 'repression'

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’

A little strand of self-organised freedom

Today a number of events around Pagani where reported by our NoBorder activists in Lesvos.

Some good news arrived today. During the night, the prisoners opened the locks of the cells. Until now the police did not close them up again. At present there are at least able to move around the detention centre an the prison yard. It was the first time that we saw little children in the prison yard.

pagani at noon,does a foto help me go to europe

The six prisoners who where beaten by the police in Pagani where broad to the police station again, it was the fourth day they hat to spent there, being questioned over and over again. Today they where looked in to a cell for 6 hours, also the one with asthma. A open assembly took place in Mytilini this afternoon. a Press conference on Thursday and a demonstration on Friday are planed to against this Repression towards the refugees

In the afternoon, 90 people where released from pagani and where broad to the harbour. This time every on was able to go on the ship, nobody has to spent the night at the harbour.

kind in pagani Continue reading ‘A little strand of self-organised freedom’

Police repression in Pagani increasing

Unlike the Noborder Camp in Lesvos 2009, the revolts in the Detention Centre of Pagani have not stopped jet. Almost every day we are informed about new revolts and also about new discharges. Police Brutality is increasing in the same manner. The Greek newspaper ΕΛΕΥΘΒΡΟΤΥΠΙΑ (= Free Press) published an article today about one case of police brutality and bribery:

burned cell of minor refugees

A 17 old boy from Palestine was beaten up very badly three days ago in the Detention Centre of Pagani. That happend during the Revolt after the Vice Ministers visit. They did not stop hitting the refugee until he lost his consciousness. He was lying on the ground behind the Medical container for more then two hours. As it is known now, all 40 witnesses of the beating were among those released yesterday.
Since the beating the 17 old boy and five other prisoners are being brought daily to the Police station of Mytilini. They have to spent the whole day there, being interrogated and threatened over and over again.

For the time being they are back in their cell in Pagani. They are very frightened and thus announced that they will not leave their cell at all, only if the vice minister him self would come to escort them into freedom.

The Vice minister on his side declared his aim was to close down Pagani as fast as possible and that he expects the respnsables to submit a report about the events after his visit by the end of the week. NGOs like RED (Rights Equality and Diversity), the network Raxen and FRA are worried about the increasing police brutality against refugees and human rights activists in Greece.

Our faithful source in lesvos also reports about another development concerning the police repression in Pagani.
hands reaching for welcome to europe information

Activists who wanted to distribute leaflets containing Information about legal rights of refugees and aslyum assistance serives in Europe, were hindered by the police. The police forbid the the contribution of flyers, talking to the underage or other imprisoned refugees and even standing in front of Pagani.

Good news followed by bad news

Some 200 people where released from Pagani today. While those at the harbour are missing their ferry, another revolt started in pagani.

We will give everyday revolt to you to come here!

After yesterdays good news about the release of 100 prisoners, we discovered there is also a bad one. They where brought to the harbour a little to late, as a consequence they missed the ferry and had to spent the night in the harbour. What seemed like a coincidences yesterday was continued today. 200 people where released from the detention center of Pagani. Again to late so they will also have to spent the night outside. The release papers are supossed to legalize them for 30 days, the problem is that most of the papers are predated 10 days. Altogeher it is far away from justice.
day at the beach!?
Another incredible news has reached us today.

All the witnesses from the police brutality where kindly released today. That implicates that there will be no one left to witness. A coincidence?

plenum nach dem sturm

There was also another revolt in Pagani. Yesterday one of the cells was on fire, today another cell burned. The underage refugees are very angry. Since along time, no minors where released. One of them was injured during the fire and he was not brought to the doctor.

There is a rumor inside Pagani that it will be closed down on Wednesday, maybe because all of the cells are destroyed.

As the Vice Minister turned his back

A few days ago, news arrived about the vice Minister visiting Pagani, describing it with the words “Dantes Inferno”. Today, our faithful source in Mytilini reports about new revolts in the Detention Center of Pagani.

Today the revolts in Pagani started again. After the Vice Minister of internal affairs visited Pagani two days ago, the violent habits returned to Pagani. Prisoners reported about a huge police brutality after the visit. Some of the prisoners where calls out, one after the other, to the prison Jard. There they where badly beaten by the police. The prisoners felt save, telling the vice Minister about there situation, but in the end there where punished for there statements in front of the visitor. A complain against the police was made by the prisoners.

Continue reading ‘As the Vice Minister turned his back’

Potemkin village and Dante's Inferno

Your faithful chronicler on the island Lesvos told us today:


Yesterday night, the riot cops were beating prisoners since they refused to get back into their cells. The cops also threatened them not to talk about these beatings, or otherwise they would be beaten again.

Today, there was a visit from the newly formed “ministry for the protection of citizens” (the former ministry of public order). So at ten o’clock am, the yard of the prison looked differently altogether. The two broken cars and all the rubbish had been disposed of, three cops in blue uniforms were seen taking pictures (for the white paper?) of under age refugees, which looked funny since the pictures were taken in front of the wall with graffiti.

It is not exactly clear who of the ministry came, it was either the vice minister or the secretary of state. He came with a lot of NGO representatives, journalists, media people, about 30 in total. They were brought to the yard, where a lot of refugees were sitting/standing around, talking to each other, while others were behind bars. One could have the impression that this was a normal situation. But if you know there are at most 10 minutes of yard for a prisoner in one week, you know that it was a fabrication today. However, this was used by many today to be reunited with their other family members (who they usually cannot see at all!).

familien trennug wahilis

Check the pictures for example. There is a mother with a newly born baby, another mother with her two young girls, and the husband in front of the cell. He will later go and see his under age sons and to show to the ministerial visit what the situation is like for families: separation. This is not a singular case, mother and daughters separated from the father separated from the sons.

familienzusammenführungs wunsch suleyman walahi

The politician did actually go into each cell and listened to the stories. In the women’s cell, the floor was still wet (like we saw it in summer), due to a leak. The matrasses are wet because of this, and the women and children turn sick. Nothing has changed since our visits during the noborder camp.

frauen zelle mit nassen fussboden

gebrochene hand

At least three men hat bandaged hands. Perhaps it was from the beatings the riot cops gave during the last revolt. All over Greece, bandaged hands are a visible proof that people had “contact” with the ministry for the protection of the citizens.

The prisoners used the visit to roam more freely than normal, and to visit their family members. The slogan of “freedom” was shouted again and again, and you could see hope for change in many faces.

After he had visited the last cell (of the under age prisoners), the politician talked to the media present (TV channels, radio, newspapers). He said that that cell was worse than the Inferno of Dante. That this “detention centre” was unbearable. That it needed to be closed. And that most of the prisoners didn’t want to stay in Greece anyway [so what? if they wanted to, would that be a valid reason to treat them that way?]


Round noon, there was another meeting at the prefecturate with all people involved in Pagani. We’ll find out what was the outcome.

Faces and Fates

A friend in Lesvos collected the fates of people in Pagani. We document five of them here:


Zaher Hostin has been imprisoned in Pagani four months. He is the longest staying prisoner so far.


Daudze Zohra from Afghanistan, 12 years old, has already received the white paper, however, he has not been released so far. His father is also in Pagani, but they won’t release him either.


Abdula Satari from Afghanisten, his got an injured leg and is in urgent need of medical treatment.


Khan Shzad from Afghanistan has been imprisoned for 26 days. His right hand and arm is red and blue from infections, and he has several injuries. He is also in urgent need of medical treatment.


Husein Hadar was injured during the revolt: the riot cops were beating him, but he was not brought to hospital for treatment.

These are only five stories. This day-to-day brutality needs to stop. Close Pagani, stop detention.

Yet Another Revolt [1 Update + Photos]

This report about a new revolt just reached us:

DSC09207 Kopie

Today (19.10.2009) around 3 o’clock pm, prisoners in Pagani set fire to at least two cells. They protest against their continued detention, and especially against the principle that some prisoners are released after a few weeks while other are imprisoned for much longer. They also continue to protest against the unbearable living conditions inside the prison.

They say that right about now, 900 people are imprisoned in Pagani, including youth. There is the case of a young afghan boy of about 12 years who received his release papers while his father is still imprisoned. So he also needs to stay inside. More youth have been spotted amongst the prisoners.

The fire was quite strong, which made a large intervention of the fire brigade necessary. Two refugees fainted, and another six were beaten so badly by the notorious anti-riot police that they need to be admitted to hospital. We’re trying to organise photos documenting this.

At about 6 pm, the fire was out, the injured had been brought to the hospital, and supporters started to arrive. The prisoners were still inside the yard, telling a lot of stories. One of them explained that he had been imprisoned for over four months. Others told that they mothers, wives and sisters had been released earlier and have gonbe to Athens, so they are worried about them being well. It seems that the prisoners will spend the night in the yard.

We also saw two prisoners who had been injured during their flight and who have not received any treatment so far.

DSC09189 Kopie

Update 1: Another friend wrote to let us know:

After the previous revolt, the police told the prisoners that in any revolt they were going to arrest two prisoners each time. They don’t care if these prisoners have any relation with the revolts or not. And they did it the previous time: they arrested two prisoners in the previous revolt. They kept the one of them for some days in the jail and then they sent him back to Pagani, but until now we don’t know where is the other one. About today’s revolt, I don’t know if they have arrested any people or not yet…

DSC09202 Kopie

We have an image gallery:

Continue reading ‘Yet Another Revolt [1 Update + Photos]’

Revolts, revolts

After the last revolt, we didn’t receive much news from Pagani. But now, there is this bit which we would like to share with you:

Last Saturday there was a revolt in Pagani. The prisonners set fire in their cell and the police was forced to open the door and put out the fire, so that the prisoners would not suffocate. 3 prisoners had to be brought to hospital. The prisoners’ demands are to be registered and to be set free and not to be kept imprisonned some more and some less long.

went tolast night 14/10 there was once more a revolt in pagani. Women and men started it. The prisononers said that the police hit two prisoners and took them away, probably to the police jail. The policemen told the prisnoners that everytime a revolt starts they will take two
people out of them to prison. Even if they did not take part in the revolt.

Last week a woman was brought to Pagani after giving birth, and was set free after three days only because of the pressure from outside.

Today the jungest prisoner is a mere30 days old.

The police together with the local authorities is responsible for the punishing attitude towards the prisoners, responsible for the imprisonment of minors and women and children.

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.

Continue reading ‘Of lies, more lies and some successes’

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Voices from the Inside of Pagani (2009)

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