Tag Archive for 'IOM'

Detention conditions in Greece inhuman and life-threatening – IOM enforces “voluntary return”

In Lesvos island dozens of refugees are detained in the port being exposed to the burning sun while lacking water and food supply. Among them are children and even a 2-month-old baby. +++ In Amigdaleza detention conditions have even worsened since November 2012, said Rebecca Harms from the Green Party after a second visit in June 2013. +++ Meanwhile a young migrant (20-year-old) from Cote d’Ivoire committed suicide in Grevena police station because he didn’t want to be deported to his country.

Meanwhile, KEERFA (ΚΕΕΡΦΑ), the Movement “United against racism and the fascist threat” denounces that Greek authorities and IOM use “Gestapo like torture methods” to force refugees and migrants detained in Amigdaleza to “voluntarily” return.

First they are detained for many months without knowing when they might be released, then they are being pulled by force to the airport. A woman employee from IOM escorts them who threatens that if they don’t accept to sign the voluntary return they will wear them head covering masks and bring them by force to the airport. IOM employees enter detention centers to collect signatures for voluntary return in co-operation with some embassies such as the one from Pakistan.
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864 returns of migrants in April 2013 / 9.553 since August 2012

Another 864 migrants were returned to their home countries in April 2013. Since August 2012 a total of 9.553 were returned either forced or “voluntarily”.

I April 410 were deported (Albanian 97, Pakistani 92, Algerian 51, Iraqi 23, Egyptian 20, Georgian 18, Chinese 12, Moroccan 9 and 8 from Bangladesh) and 454 returned “voluntarily” with the support of IOM.

May 2nd 2013 / press release by the greek police (in greek)

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... 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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