Since today, Wednesday the 9th of March 2011, 6pm, the hunger strike is over. The hunger strikers feel that their demands have been met by the Greek government. More information soon!
Today, Saturday, was the designated Frontex action day in Samos. We scored our first victory in the morning when all coast guard and Frontex ships withdrew from the port, disappearing somewhere. Up to now, they have not returned. The image below shows where they usually park their ships during the day… it is empty. We demilitarised, de-frontexisised Vathy, at least for a day.
It was the last night of Pagani when a group of imprisoned refugees started singing again.
The conditions inside had changed within the last days. Police had slowly given up to control the situation, they just locked the people inside and stayed outside. Since the doors were broken the refugees could move inside the yard and to all the cells. Some of the cells were burned, each revolt inside had left it’s signs on the building. It looked as if the building was breathing its final breath. Burned mattress were just thrown in front of the door. The yard was used to play football in these last days. And there was the singing in the night.
The final night in Pagani on Friday turned into a real party-night. It began with question that would not sound crazy in any other place: “Do you need anything? I will just go, shopping.” Although he
didn’t belief it, our friend who was narrating about the party gave five Euro (“because it sounded crazy enough for me”). The guy jumped over the fence and came back with cigarettes, whiskey and beer.
They started drinking and telling each other their stories of migration and what they are missing and about their life. “When I told my story it was so and I started crying myself about it.” When the beer was finished they wanted some more and so the guy jumped again. The police came to him and said he can not leave. “But I have to go shopping!” he said to them. “If you don’t want me to go I can make a list with our needs and you go get it for us.” Obviously the policemen didn’t want to go and said to him: “Okay go, but you have to return, you know!” He went himself and returned again with more beers. A real party started with a lot of songs in various languages. A lot of sad songs about the things people left behind – but also dancing and the hope to go further.
In the next morning there the first deportation from newcomers to Xios took place. It happened silent. They brought one bus with families a second one with men and boys and in the last minute a smaller one to the harbour of Mytilini. All in all about 50 people were brought to the detention camp in Xios.
A lot of things to be done to stop these deportations to another prison, to prevent the old Pagani-building to be renewed and reopened — and to fight for open centres and of course papers for everyone!!!.
Maybe, Pagani could be used as a memorial place.
The ferry that was supposed to leave Mytilini on Sunday at 6:00 pm could not go because of the weather. Today, three days and two nights later, the ship with the released people has left the harbour of Mytilini.
Pagani is abandoned – looking ancient already.
As it was to suspect yesterday, the detention centre of Pagani became the ghost town of today. Pagani is know empty, except of four refugees. It is not clear jet what will happen with them.
Today they released five buses from pagani. When the buses left eight people remained in Pagani, a family with four members was released short after the others. Now, there are still four single men inside. One of them a unaccompanied minor, the other on is Abdul Hadi Otman Zahi. He has a red card and lives in Mytilini. A few days ago he was controlled by the Police who take his red card away and brought him to Pagani.
The released refugees are in the harbor of Mytilini right now. The ferry to Athens was supposed to leave at six o’clock to day. Because of the stormy weather it will not leave before midnight. Anyway, the atmosphere in the harbor is cheerful. Every one got a ticket and there is enough food for all.
The prefecture announces the release of the last 130 refugees from the detention centre of Pagani for tomorrow. The newspapers report that it might be renovated from Monday on but leave also the option that it might be closed down forever. Temporarily new arriving refugees will be temporarily hosted in the hotel Zaire until their transfer to the detention centre of Chios island. The revolts of the detained refugees and their constant pressure together with the constant support from antiracist groups resulted in a small success. The short term aim is to keep this detention centre closed, while the real success roots in a future without detention centres!
On Saturday, we reported about the action of prisoners in Pagani, getting out of their cells, demanding their release. Then, there were ongoing negotiations about the release of people, and conflicting numbers. Since the situation was so unclear, we took the article offline, in order to go and find, what was really happening.
The passion for freedom is stronger than any prison!
We now have an account of a noborder activist who was present: 29th of August at Pagani detention centre: refugees organise hunger strike for release, no-border-activists occupy prison yard
About 100 NoBorder activist met this morning in front of the Prefecture of Lesvos to squat it. The matter of the squat is to point out the responsibility over the horrible circumstances in the detention center of Pagani to the Prefect and to increase pressure: we want the unconditional closure of Pagani detention centre.
Although they could not get inside the Prefecture, the Prefect responded to some demands of NoBorder. 22 Afghans, mainly families, that recently arrived and were hosted by noborder where brought directly to the open refugee camp, without being detained in the detention center of Pagani.
This is an important achievement for noborder: the standard procedure of unconditionally detaining all refugees intercepted in Pagani was finally broken. The families also received their traveling papers, although they needed to buy a ferry ticket to Athens themselves. At present there are about 180 refugees, mainly women with children in the new refugee camp.
The NoBorder Radio is online. There will be a 24 hour stream. Music and information around the No Border camp.
After the first successful prevention of the deportation of 23 refugees
in Evros on the 4th august 2009 in Samos, their was a second even
stronger action made by refugees themselves and not by organisations and
On the 10th August there was the probably second time that
refugees were supposed to be transported to Athens and from there,
“only God knows”, where they would be brought. But the refugees in
Samos got organized and made a hunger strike on the 5ht of august. They
refused loud to enter the police prison cars screaming out loud, that they
need help and screaming: no deportation – freedom. Some solidary
people went in front of the center but the transport was cancelled.