Voices from Inside VIAL / Chios: Unaccompanied minor detained since 49 days

On the March 19, 2016, one day before the implementation of the EU-Turkey deal, Hamid* and his three friends arrived in a boat with 46 people on the shores of Chios. They where transferred to detention in VIAL. From that day on they suffer mostly from the lack of freedom and protection. They have expressed fear and anxiety due to a lack of information on their rights and growing tensions among inmates. According to the teenager many refugees in VIAL suffer severe psychological problems due to the detention conditions, the violence (also by law-enforcement officers) and the fear to be the next returned to Turkey.

„If every one gets to know about our problems in VIAL it will be good. I don’t have any one in this world. I swear. There is no one but God I can rely on.

The frist day I arrived to Turkey a taxi driver picked me up at the airport and took me to Taksim. In the car he told me to give him all my money or he would hurt me and tell the police that I am going to rub him. I was afraid, so I gave him everything I had. He was holding a gun. He also took my bag. There was my passport and my ID card and all my documents from my country. He told me to get out of the car. It was snowing. I was feeling very cold. Then I saw another refugee and I asked him for help. I told him I had been rubbed and I didn’t know where to go. He asked me where am I from and I told him my story. He said he knew some people from my country, and he would take me there. I met them. They said what happened to me was common in Turkey. Since then we stayed together. I started working during the nights. Again I got robbed a night in Tarlabashi and I even got beaten. They threatened me with guns. I couldn’t stay any longer in Turkey. I was very afraid. I didn’t feel safe there. So I travelled on to Greece.

On March 19, 2016 I arrived on Chios island. In the detention camp they gave papers to 42 persons of our group. Four of us stayed. I feel discriminated.

So that’s why I am still here. No one gives us advise here. The police doesn’t allow people to access and help us. The horrible situation here hurts me more as I can’t go back anywhere. I don’t have any family. My mom died when during my birth and my father passed away 2 years ago. I stopped going to school 4 years now. I was trying to help my dad. I slept on the streets for 2 years. I wanted to earn money to pay for a doctor to help my dad. But God did not help us to save my dad. When my dad died his brother said he would take care of me. He took me to the village, but he didn’t like me. He even wanted to kill me. He hurt me. I cried every day and night. And my tears never dried.“

* name anonymised

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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