Tag Archive for 'new arrivals'

Goodbye in the port of Lesvos / Officer kicks Syrian unaccompanied minor to wake him up

It is Sunday. For at least two nights no refugee was seen during night sleeping in the port of Mytilene. Today there are again about 100 persons from Afghanistan and Syria mainly but also from Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan and other countries.

44a

“We spent five nights in the detention center in Moria,” they say. “It was specifically ver crowded at the outside area where we were in the beginning.”

22a

Everybody is stressed to leave. A handful of families didn’t know they had to get tickets for their babies too even if they were for free. While trying to enter the ferry they were send back to the ticket office. The mothers had already entered with the other children and were not reachable. Two Syrian dads and one Afghan holding all small babies stand beside the ticket shop not knowing what to do. Their women have the documents of the children inside the boat. Only in the last minutes and after discussions with the ticket office they manage to solve the problem and run in the ferry.

A group of kurdish Syrian men is standing aside. They are angry.

“I want to ask you what we can do. In the morning an officer came on a motor bike. He parked and came over to the place we were sleeping on the street. Then he kicked this 16-year-old who is traveling alone twice and shouted ‘stand up’. We are no animals! If we had more time we would go to report this at the police station. We are not afraid, we have honor. We want you to publish this somewhere. The number of the motor bike was MTZ 415. It was around 5:30 in the morning of Sunday 2.8.15. Thank you.”

21.7.15: W2eu / Infomobile Greece: Call for Solidarity for refugees in Greece

UNHCR estimates that currently 1,000 refugees reach daily Greece. Most of them arrive on the islands of the Aegean, at the sea border to neighbouring Turkey. Lesvos, Chios, Kos, Samos, Leros only to name some of the islands with high numbers of newcomers face a humanitarian crisis that cannot and shouldn’t be dealt with solely by the Greek government. European solidarity is needed.

Homeless Afghan families sleep in public parks

Homeless Afghan families sleep in public parks

Despite the current political and economic crisis nowadays solidarity has emerged mainly from the civil society with local people together with tourists trying to support where needed. Yet there are hundreds if not thousands of refugees spending days and weeks under devastating conditions in provisory tent camps, detention centres or on the streets exposed to the weather and unprotected. There is no sanitary infrastructure that can suffice the real needs. Hygiene is getting more and more a serious issue leaving many persons with skin diseases or infections i.e. of the stomach. There is not enough food, clothes, hygiene products, medicine, cleaning products, tents etc. Everything is needed.

Also in the main urban centers such as Athens, Thessaloniki and Patras as well as in border regions such as Eidoumeni / Kilkis in the North refugees are concentrating while in transit for days if not longer. They stay often homeless in public squares and parks or simply on the streets, fields or forests. Their situation is getting more and more critical every day.

What is urgently needed:

– Money donations, so that needed products (specifically fresh ones like food) can be bought in Greece for refugees. We want to support the Greek economy too, which has been exhausted by European austerity measures.
– Sun crèmes, sun hats (specifically for children) and mosquito sprays (for children)
– Baby milk powder, pampers, baby summer clothes and shoes
– Tents, light sleeping bags and towels
– Sandals and sport shoes for women, men and children
– Soap, shampoo, washing powder for clothes, skin crèmes
– Medicine (which should be send to the social clinics or social farmacies in Greece preferably though)
– Any support in men force is wanted too if self-organised, self-financed and independent. Please contact local NGOs or solidarity groups if you plan to come for help.

Please send monetary donations to:

Wohnschiffprojekt Altone e.V.
Keyword: Infomobile
Banc: Hamburger Sparkasse
IBAN: DE06200505501257122737
BIC: HASPDEHHXXX

For sending any other donations contact us, tell us what you want to send / bring and we will discuss where it makes more sense to address the donations as situations change over time locally.

http://infomobile.w2eu.net/ and http://lesvos.w2eu.net/

Contakt: lesvos.w2eu@yahoo.gr

Greek authorities mark arms of in Crete stranded Syrian refugees with registration numbers

In the night of the 12.05.2015 a refugee boat by the name of “M/S Sula” carrying 192 refugees got in distress near Palaiochora, Crete. The mainly Syrian passengers were saved and brought to a closed gym. According to testimonies of refugees the police authorities wrote registration numbers on their arms while they were sleeping. Representatives of local NGOs explained, this was a common practice during massive arrivals on the island.

registration numbers marked on the arms of the refugees

registration numbers marked on the arms of the refugees


It’s the second arrival of a refugee boat in Crete within one month. The “M/S Sula” had reportedly started in Antalya, Turkey and was heading towards Italy when the bad weather conditions forced the refugees to send SOS to Greek authorities. Most of the passengers were Syrian protection seekers while there were also some Palestinians. There were also 70 children among them as well as five unaccompanied minors. All refugees were first brought to a closed gym. The minors were then transferred the next day to detention in the police station of Souda/Chania awaiting a free place in a reception center for minors. UNHCR and IOM representatives visited them the first day of arrival. On May 14, 2015 most of the newcomers were transferred to Athens with an official note that allows them to stay for six months in Greece.
"M/S Sula" - 12.05.15

“M/S Sula” – 12.05.15

In the meantime, six persons were arrested and charged as smugglers. One of these arrested was traveling with his wife. She had to be brought to emergency department of the Hospital of Chania because of a panic attack on May 14, 2015 and following the arrest of her husband.

R. from Syria:

“We went to Lebanon and from there to Turkey. We wanted to go directly to Italy. Our boat was only 35 meters long while we were more than 180 persons. It was in a very bad condition being rusty and old and the waves were getting very high. We were four days on the sea. It was very dangerous. Some people got crazy of fear and started screaming. All people in the boat vomited. We were alone in the sea. No other ships. We called for help. Then the Greek authorities came and brought us to Crete. The police wrote registration numbers on our arms. They called me with the number. That is horrible. It’s not my name.”

M. from Syria:

“I am from Damascus. I lost everything in Syria. I just have my family. A lot of friends are dead. Some of my friends escaped to Europe. Others stayed in Syria fighting. I want to go to Germany to save my family. (…) When no NGOs and no journalists are here in the gym during night, they start shouting on us. They also don’t allow us to go out. The first night while I was sleeping, they came and wrote on my arm this number. I feel horrible about this. Why they put a number on me? Why they call me by a number? We are humans. We have names. Even they wrote numbers on small children arms.”

See also: Hellenic Coast Guard Press Release

Press Release: Unaccompanied minor severely self-injured himself in Moria “first reception” detention centre in Lesvos

PRESS RELEASE 21.07.14 Lesvos

Unaccompanied minor severely self-injured himself in Moria “first reception” detention centre in Lesvos

On 17/7/2014 a 17-year-old Afghan who had been detained for many days in Moria awaiting his transfer to a special reception centre for minors cut his arms in an act of despair and protest as he could not stand anymore being closed up for many days and under such conditions. He was transferred to the psychiatry department of the local hospital.

In Greece there are 10 reception centres for unaccompanied minors with about 330 places in total that need to cover the needs of thousands. At the same time that a vast number of reception places are lacking many minors fear long detention upon arrival in Greece in so called First Reception Camps (detention centres) if they register with their real age and register themselves as adults. The background: Unaccompanied minors arriving in first reception centres have to undergo a number of medical examinations and then wait for a place in one of the overcrowded reception centres in order to be released. The detention duration varies and can reach one month or more months, while delays depend on the crowdedness in the reception facilities.

As a consequence hundreds of unaccompanied minors register as adults. They are being transferred to Pre-removal Detention Centres at the mainland, such as Amigdaleza, Corinth, Komotini, Xanthi, Fylakio or Drama / Parenesti where legal aid is not existing. When they realise that they end up facing 18 months detention or more due to their changed age all of them try to find ways to proof that they are minors.

Anyhow, if age-assesment has taken place already in First Reception Detention it is unlikely if not impossible (without the help of a lawyer) the authorities will approve a second age-assesment later. Age-assesment procedures have been recently defined in a Ministerial Decision for First Reception but not for Pre-Removal Detention Centres. As a result the procedures vary in the different places and more than that the ways and methods carried out are highly questionable. For this reason among others many unaccompanied minors end up in 18 month detention.

We demand for the immediate creation of sufficient special reception centres for unaccompanied minors. In this frame the Reception Centre for Unaccompanied Minors in Agiassos, Lesvos, which was closed earlier this year despite the huge need should be re-opened with the necessary funding to allow for its functioning.

And we demand for the immediate release of all unaccompanied minors in first reception detention centres, pre-removal centres or any other form of detention. As provided for in the Guidelines on Policies and Procedures in dealing with Unaccompanied Children Seeking Asylum from UNHCR (1997) “(T)he child should be given the benefit of the doubt if the exact age is uncertain” and “the main guiding principle in any child care and protection action is the principle of the ‘best interest of the child'”.

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LESVOS: VOICES FROM INSIDE MORIA – THE NEW PAGANI OF TROIKA

‘First reception’ practices of refugees in Greece: The example of Moria on Lesvos island

“We didn’t come to Europe to get beaten, insulted and imprisoned.”

In September 26th, 2013 the new so called “first reception center (KEPY)” opened in Moria on the island of Lesvos. It is the second of its kind in Greece following the example of the KEPY in Fylakio, Evros that opened earlier in the same year.
The Pagani of the Troika – as it is called to remind of former prisons and to disconnect it from nearby Moria village, is a prison where only a few selected NGOs have access under the precondition not to share any information with the outside world. Civil society gets presented the term ‘first reception’ that gives a false impression of an open, accessible place while it is nothing else than another new prison in the tradition of Amigdaleza’s fenced containers the only difference being the detention duration – at first sight. As prescribed by law, detention does not exceed 25 days maximum in this place BUT detainees might just be transferred to (pre-removal) detention centers such as Fylakio, Komotini, Xanthi or Chios for example, where they might stay up to 18 months or more if they are not readmitted to Turkey, deported or sign voluntary return in the meanwhile.

Currently the detention center in Moria is being constructed directly next to the “first reception” center, and build within the same fences and with the same containers. It is about to be opened in beginning of July 2014 with a capacity of 750 people while the capacity of the “first reception” screening center is supposed to reach 250 places. Nonetheless, only detention is what has marked the character of Moria since the beginning.

Moria in April 2014 while the construction of the fences was not yet finished

Moria in April 2014 while the construction of the fences was not yet finished

It is our aim to show from the very beginning of its functioning the real face of the ‘first reception’ detention center and to insist that this has to be closed. We do not argue for better detention conditions but for freedom!

We asked refugees having passed through Moria prison one single question:

‘What was your worst experience inside Moria detention?’
Continue reading ‘LESVOS: VOICES FROM INSIDE MORIA – THE NEW PAGANI OF TROIKA’

New arrivals of refugees on the Aegean islands April (16-30) and May 2014

1-31. May 2014

31.5. Mytilini 18 refugees and one alleged facilitator were arrested
30.5. Mytilini 48 refugees were arrested
29.5. Limnos 36 refugees and 2 alleged facilitators were arrested
29.5. Chios 15 refugees were arrested
29.5. Aghios Efstratios 66 refugees were arrested
28.5. Samos a group of 32 and a group of 25 refugees were arrested
28.5. MYtilini a group of 32 and a group of 22 refugees were arrested
28.5. Rhodes 6 refugees and one alleged facilitator were arrested Continue reading ‘New arrivals of refugees on the Aegean islands April (16-30) and May 2014’

At least 22 refugees dead after boats capsize off Samos in Greece

The Greek Coastguard has rescued 38 people and a 2-year-old boy who were among more than 60 on board two dinghies when they sank 4,5 nautic miles off Samos

Twenty two migrants have drowned and among them 4 children … are missing after their boats capsized in the Aegean sea, Greece’s coastguard said on Monday.

More than 60 migrants of unknown nationality had attempted to cross the sea from neighbouring Turkey when their two dinghies capsized near the Greek island of Samos, the coastguard said.

It has so far picked up 39 survivors and twenty two dead, and the operation is ongoing.

“Two drowned bodies were found and 36 migrants have been rescued … ” an official told Reuters.

Authorities said they did not yet know the nationality of the migrants. Two air force helicopters, assisted by two coastguard vessels, one navy warship and a cruise liner were searching for the missing, the coast guard official said.
Continue reading ‘At least 22 refugees dead after boats capsize off Samos in Greece’

147 refugees saved between Malta an Greece transferred to Athens; 69 saved near Samothraki

The tank ship «Southern Spirit» flagged Maltese brought the 147 saved refugees that had been saved after calling 112 on May 2nd on Sunday to the port of Piraeus. Among them are 5 women and 7 children. JCCR Greece in cooperation with RCC Malta saved them when they had lost control of their boat. The refugees coming mainly from Syria and Egypt who had started their trip from Egypt will be hosted in the School for Coast Guards in Piraeus for as long as their registration takes place and then they will be transferred to the police for being either released or detained (with the aim of deportation).

The same day a small boat with about 60 refugees was detected north of Samothraki island. They were first brought to the island and then transferred to Alexandroupolis. The refugees had send SOS.

efymerida ton syndaktvn (in greek)
efymerida ton syndakton (in greek)

Two migrants dead in Evros Delta

The bodies of a man and a woman were found on May 2nd in Evros Delta. They were transferred to Alxandroupoli general hospital.

thraki today (in greek)

Statistics of the Hellenic Coast Guard on arrivals (Jan-Mar)

Statistics on arrests for illegal entry

download: statistics arrivals 150414

source: hellenic coast guard

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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