“The police tried to frighten us!”, M. from Afghanistan (13)

The 13 year old unaccompanied minors M. from Afghanistan spent more than 80 days in the detention centre of Fylakio / Evros upon arrival in Greece. He was arrested in the end of 2010 and released in January 2011. We meet shortly before his departure to Patras.

I want to go to Sweden,

he says. The shy boy is horrified by his experiences in Greece.

We were more than 90 children in one cell. It was so crowded that we were sleeping two persons in one bed and we were constantly falling out of the loft beds because there wasn’t enough space. We could not understand why they did not let us go. For 30 days they did not release any of us, so we started to protest. I think the police did not like that. They took 7 of us into the room with the telephones. From outside they threw petrol onto the floor of the room and lit fire. They wanted us to be afraid so that we stop protesting but we were not afraid! They also beat us with brooms.

I am from Bamyan state in Afghanistan but I grew up in Qum, Iran. I was working in a manufactory where we were producing slippers.

Where is your family?

“I don’t have so much family,” he says in a silent voice so I don’t ask any further questions.