Five refugees dead in Greek camps since last week due to inadequate reception conditions. Several others tried to commit suicide. Does life still matter in Europe?
– On Monday 30th of January a 20-year-old refugee from Pakistan died in Moria Hot Spot.
– On Saturday 28th of January a 46-year-old Syrian passed away in Moria Hot Spot detention centre reportedly from hypothermia. He was staying in the same tent as another man who died only four days ago.
– Meanwhile the same day in Ritsona camp in mainland Greece a two-months-old baby was transferred to hospital in Chalkida due to a cystic fibrosis and later on passed away in the ambulance which was taking it to Athens. While the parents had to deal with tremendous problems in finding help for their sick child since it was born, and were under shock of its sudden death authorities and media chose to accuse them for minor neglect and bring them to the local police station. Read here: Announcement of the solidarity group in Chalkida
– On Wednesday 25th of January a 42-year-old refugee named Benjo Massoud, father of three children, passed away in the overcrowded Hot Spot on Samos Island. According to Greek media the Kurdish refugee from Iraq had visited on Wednesday morning the camp doctor suffering reportedly from pain in the chest. He reported to have Diabetes and blood high pressure. A cardiogram was made and he got referred immediately to the hospital of the island, where he died while waiting to be examined. An employee of the camp said that the refugee had received already some days ago a letter of a doctor asking for heart exams in the hospital of the island. Despite this fact, he remained in his tent with his family the days that was very cold. Few days ago he had found by himself an empty container and settled in it together with his family. When he informed the camp managers, they just registered the transfer to the prefabricated house. The refugee had arrived on December 7th and went through first reception procedures without anyone noticing any heart problem. Already back in October Medicines Sans Frontiers reported the inadequacy of the system to screen new arrivals for vulnerability in the Hot Spots of the Aegean.
-One day before, on Tuesday the 24th, a 21-year-old Egyptian refugee was found dead in his tent by a friend in the Hot Spot in Moria on Lesbos Island. The cause of his death is still unknown. While reportedly his death was caused by the kerosine heaters’ gas he had inhaled while trying to keep himself warm.
“Support our demands. Please, don’t leave us alone.”
The survivors and relatives of the victims of the Farmakonisi shipwreck are shocked as Greek authorities closed the investigations on the shipwreck of 20 January 2014, where eight children and three women died. Their vessel sank near the Greek island Farmakonisi while being towed by the Greek Coast Guard, which seems had been a pushback operation in breach of international law. As the investigation into the case has been closed a court procedure will not take place.
With this statement, the family members of the victims, including the surviving fathers and husbands, appeal to the European public. They demand clarification and justice for the dead:
Farmakonisi, 20.01.2014: Why?
We are very sad and shocked about the outcome of the so called investigation. The closure of the file is a slap in our faces.
The public prosecutor put the death of our love ones to archives. But our wives and our children are not a file, you cannot put them in the archives.
The Greek government promised a full investigation. The responsible politicians stressed, that they want to find out the truth. The outcome is a shame and humiliation for us. We want justice.
We demand a reopening of the investigations. The persons who are responsable for the death of our love ones have to be held accountable.
We appeal to the citizens of Europe, to the European institutions Support our demands. Please, don’t leave us alone.
Nothing will bring back our wives and kids. But without a reopening of the investigations and justice, the truth will be blurt and the human Rights violations in the aegean will go on. Many refugees died since the tragic event of farmakonisi.
We want justice.
Please, support us. Leave nothing undone to bring the death of our loved ones to justice.
On the early noon of Sunday 11th of July a refugee boat got in distress 10nm North East of Karlovasi, Samos. The refugee boat carrying approximately 35-40 people was a sailing boat according to the testimonies of the survivors.
The causes of the shipwreck are not yet clear. The media speak about bad weather conditions, overloaded boat, panic, sudden movement of the passengers etc as possible causes.
On Sunday there are 15 survivors in the Greek side (9 were brought to Chios, 6 to Samos) and 8 survivors on the Turkish side (2 near the shipreck area and 6 norhernof this area). In Samos Hospital (ICU) there is a minor in intensive care. They were trying to transfer him to Mytilini ICU but his severe health condition made the transfer impossible.
2 corpses were found Friday on the Greek side: a dead man and a dead woman and 2 more bodies (of a man and a boy) were found on Saturday also on the Greek side. Another two corpses were found on the Turkish side.
At least 8 persons are still missing.
The rescue operation was carried out with 4 Greek coast guard boats, 1 helicopter and 5 boats that were sailing in the area that day.
8 dead, 3 rescued wounded and 5 missing. The boat which sank near Menderes district close to Izmir carried 16 refugees.
Among the dead a mother and a small girl of 4-5 years. All of the refugees were from Syria.
Shortly after midnight, in the early morning hours of the 18th MArch 2014 two refugees were saved from a Turkish Cargo near Lesvos island. As they reported their boat had half sank despite the good weather conditions. Two boats of the Greek coast guard, one helicopter, a fisherboat and a search and rescue boat started searching for the other refugees. There were 17 persons on board among them also babies. A girl and a man were found dead already and later another 3 women, one boy and a man were found inside the boat near Korakas beach. Another 8 men were saved around 2:30 in the morning. Two men are still missing. The refugees are from Syria.
At least one refugee was killed and seven others are missing as their boat capsized near Kuşadası coast of Aydın province.
Coast guards could save 11 passengers of the boat, which was carrying 19 refugees.
Aydın Governor Erol Ayyıldız said in a statement that the adverse weather conditions could cause the incident and that coast guards as well as a helicopter and four rescue boats are looking for the missing passengers.
Ayyıldız said they still couldn’t identify the nationality of the immigrants.
Eyewitnesses accuse the Greek Coast Guard of drowning migrants off the coast of the island of Farmakonisi on January 20th, 2013. 9 children and 3 women died!
survivors arriving in piraeus on 23.1.14
“I am shocked and distressed by the new tragedy which occurred near Farmakonisi in which a number of migrants, including possible asylum seekers, have drowned or have gone missing in what appears to be a case of a failed collective expulsion,” Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press.
“The Greek government has pledged last week to put an end to the illegal practice of collective expulsions and effectively investigate all such cases. I urge them to implement their promise.”
As UNHCR reports: “According to survivors’ testimonies, the Coast Guard boat towing their vessel was heading, at high speed, towards the Turkish coast, when the tragic incident happened amid rough seas. The same witnesses said people were screaming for help, since there was a large number of children on the boat”.
International organisations have condemned, several times, the refoulement policy against migrants entering Greece without papers. Video showing how the survivors arrive on LEros with coast guard escort while being in a devastated state
When the boat got in distress the reguees called the Hellenic coastguard. Upon arrival the boat had turned already around, 12 persons were found dead until now – among them four children. 15 persons could be saved. They informed the authorities that more people are missing. iefimerida (in greek)
Referring to the “accidental” death of Lamis Abounahi and her two children, 3-year-old Undai and 9-month-old Layal, due to a fire on the mountains of Samos.
Early in the morning of the 21st of July, an inflatable boat heading from Turkey to Greece abandons Syrian refugee Wasim Abounahi, his wife Lamis, their two children, Undai and Layal and their friends Jihad Kelani and Mohammad Basis on a rocky shore on the island of Samos.
The refugees climb up the steep mountain side and hide in a near-by forest until dark. Lamis is very sick and worn out, so they decide to use their only cellphone, to call the emergency number of the Turkish authorities (7777) and ask for help -Kelani speaks very good English. The Turks trace their cellphone signal and answer back soon after to inform them on their position, giving them the emergency number of the Greek authorities (112). The refugees fail to reach 112, so they ask the Turks to contact the Greek authorities for them. Indeed, after a few minutes they receive a call from a Greek cell, Kelani explains to the woman on the other side of the line the dire straits they’re in and they agree to light a small fire on the edge of the rock so that the lifeboat can spot them. Continue reading ‘Chronicle of a state crime: The death of a Syrian mother and her two children in Samos’
... 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.
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: The EU-Turkey refugee deal has left thousands of refugees and migrants in squalid and dangerous living conditions, and must not be replicated with other countries, Amnesty International said today ahead of the deal’s one year anniversary.The deal aimed at returning asylum-seekers back to Turkey on the premise that Turkey is safe for them, […]
Statement of the network “Welcome to Europe“, 6th of August 2013 Since Sunday night, 5th of August, the tanker “Salamis”, whose crew rescued 102 boatpeople is blocked on open sea by Maltese maritime forces. The refugees came in distress while fleeing via Libya in direction of Europe. Since more than 34 hours the ship is […]