Moria, Lesvos: Refugee protest against Readmissions to Turkey

copyright: Marily Stroux

copyright: Marily Stroux

Refugees are stuck the islands of the Aegean as Greek government forbid them moving on to the mainland in order to control the distribution of thousands to different mass camps. Currently more than 4,000 persons are caught up in Piraeus port at different gates in warehouses and tents outside. There is no more space for newcomers. Among the refugees in the port are many who were transferred to new mass camps in the periphery but denied to stay in these nowhere lands and returned.

On Lesbos island nearly 5,000 refugees are waiting to depart and continue their quest for security in Europe. Some of them are already registered and wait inside Moria Hot Spot, others still wait to enter procedures while sleeping in the informal and completely volunteer run tent camp outside of the Hot Spot.

But not all refugees are kicking their heels to complete identification and registration in Moria. People from Morocco, Algeria, Tunesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan have been declared typical migrant nationalities and are detained and readmitted upon arrival. 608 persons were sent back from Greece since the beginning of 2016 based on the Readmission Protocole with Turkey, the majority of which were from Pakistan (125 persons).

copyright: Marily Stroux

copyright: Marily Stroux

On Wednesday 16th, approx. 500 refugees protested outside of Moria against the selections EU migration policy that doesn’t give them even the right to be heard. They call: “Thank you Greece! EU sleeps! Please let us stay!” Only a day earlier police forces had entered the informal tent camp arresting 18 individuals form inside their tents and later another 10 from different points on the island, transferring them to the ferry towards Kavala. This was the third raid within the last weeks leading to a readmission of dozens of people via the land border crosspoint in Kipoi. Others had been first brought to detention centers in Northern Greece before being sent back to Turkey. The first two months 2016 4,429 Pakistanis were registered by the Hellenic Police to have newly arrived.

The infomobile

... is like a “paper boat”. We chose this as a metaphor for what we want to create and for the situation of refugees and migrants in Greece. The paper boat is a folded boat able to swim – for a while. Then you have to build a new one to go on travelling. A paper boat is symbolic for the journey of life, vulnerable but in your own hands and to be recreated again and again. It is simple, but it carries many hopes and dreams. It can dance on a turbulent sea. It belongs to everybody. And it might become the small version – like a first draft – of a welcome-space.

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