Tag Archive for 'refugee stories'

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Fylakio in September 2011

Yesterday we received a phone-call from relatives of Syrian refugees, who have been prisoners in Fylakio (Northern Greece) since a few days:

Today I talked with somebody who was released a few days ago from Fylakio prison about his experiences there. He didn’t want to talk about it first. He said he didn’t want me to feel sorry for something that happened to him, and make me suffer, me and my family. But I said to him: “Tell me the whole truth. The people have to know what happens in there!” Continue reading ‘Fylakio in September 2011’

I came here to Greece in order to save my life, now, they took even my body away from me

Patras, August 2011

Two refugees from Sudan talk about their lives in an emptied city. Patra has been the second exit-port after Igoumenitsa that the greek police raided in 2011. In the center of the city one cannot see any immigrants anymore. In repeated sweep operations the authorities destroyed a number of provisory housing sites and arrested hundreds of sans-papiers. In the summer of 2011 only very few refugees remained at the rims of the city marginalised and displaced.

Continue reading ‘I came here to Greece in order to save my life, now, they took even my body away from me’

Dublin-Deaths between Kerkyra/Greece and Bari/Italy (15th of January 2011)

The following testimony of Amin Fedaii, a 16-year-old afghan refugee, is alarming. More than 20 refugees (mainly from Afghanistan) died while trying to flee from Greece and to reach their relatives and friends in other European countries.

I felt very queasy, I was in the bottom of the ship and tried to sleep. I was not really sleeping I was so afraid. I was drifting away.

Continue reading ‘Dublin-Deaths between Kerkyra/Greece and Bari/Italy (15th of January 2011)’

John missing Jen

John is missing Jen.
Jen got lost when she tried to cross the border to Greece. Maybe she drowned in Evros, the river between Turkey and Greece. We will mourn Jen and all the refugees that died during the attempt to overcome Fortress Europe on the 30th of August 2011 in Evros. We want to give back a piece of dignity, to those whose death disappeared — right here — into the senselessness of the European borders. And we will gather for giving back a piece of dignity to those who survived. We will create a memorial space.
In the year 2010 more than 50 persons lost their lives in the border space of Evros. In 2011 the numbers of dead have reached already more than 20. The creation of a 12,5 km long fence in Evros that started in July 2011 will increase the danger at this border even more but it will not stop people from fleeing to Europe.

A better healing will only come by actually knowing what happened

Interview with John, Athens, 11.05.11.

Continue reading ‘John missing Jen’

“We were persecuted in our home countries, now we are persecuted here!” – Interview

Interview with the refugee N., from Eritrea
23rd of May 2011, Komunisia
by infomobile

N. spent a very long time in the mountains of Igoumenitsa. With 10 months he belongs to the experienced men on the mountain. He has been deported from Italy several times. Still he never lost his hope that one day he will get out.

The truck to the other Europe

“I promise to see you in a better place,” N. says and his eyes are full of energy.

How long are you in Igoumenitsa?

In Komunisia here? I have longer than ten months. More than ten months here!

What did you expect from coming here to Igoumenitsa?

You know, the reason for my coming to Komunisia, I am suffering too much bad in this country. I need to leave this country. For this reason I came to Komunisia. Unfortunately, during these days we are suffering from a very bad situation: from the police and from the racist people, from the civil society here in Komunisia.

Continue reading ‘“We were persecuted in our home countries, now we are persecuted here!” – Interview’

“You always wish it’s your last day here in Komunisia.” – interview

Interview with the two refugees A. and Y., from Sudan
21st of May 2011, Komunisia
by Infomobile

A. and Y., refugees from Sudan talk about their living-conditions in Igoumenitsa, the second largest port from Greece towards Italy. We are sitting in the mountain, looking at the port-area of “Komunisia” how the refugees call it. A few hundred refugees from all war-zones of the world are living on this mountain. Some days ago, at the 3rd of May, the refugees’ settlements in the mountain have been attacked by fascists out of a demonstration.

Waiting room Komunisia: One minute feels like one year on this mountain

Afterwards the police drew an invisible ‘red line’ and prevented refugees from entering the city. More than 450 refugees have been arrested in May 2011 – double than the average monthly arrests of 2010. Police guards the garbage cans and so the refugees are starving from hunger. We are sitting on this mountain in Europe and we hope for their chance to go!

Continue reading ‘“You always wish it’s your last day here in Komunisia.” – interview’

letter from the hunger strikers of Soufli 09.05.11

soufli: letter of hunger strikers (in Greek)

NEW poster: detention letter

in English:

in Greek:

under the sky – unaccompanied minors in Greece

We were just released from the prison in Evros, where we stayed for more than one month. We were in one cell with more than 30 adult men, some of them penal detainees. It was very hard. We had to argue with them to be allowed to sleep inside. The first days we were sleeping outside. Just one of us stayed in the yard in the end. He could not sleep inside, because of the smell, the dirt and the noise so he preferred the cold. We were released an brought to a reception centre for minors. We only stayed there for 2 days. We didn’t come to Greece in order to stay here. So we came to Athens 2 days ago. We just know the park. Where can we get something to eat. We didn’t eat since yesterday. I don’t know any place here.
In this park there are many people sleeping. Also families. Every night we sleep in some other corner. Most people don’t sleep in the night, but they walk up and down and smoke all the time. It is scary to sleep here in the night. Better to sleep when the sun comes out! We have nothing. Only the clothes on our body. It is ok. Actually it is not ok. It is cold in the night, but what can we do?
In some days we will try to leave Greece. Inshallah!

letters from the prisons of Evros

To whom it may concern

This is to inform the authority of UN that the female prison of Alexandra police Ferix (Ferres) need freedom, because most people here are due to be free. Most of them are three months and two months plus. And the environment we are is not good, example, the toilette and bathroom are attached to the room where we are sleeping, so when the water stopps running and there is no water to clean the toilette, it becomes impossible to sleep the room. In that case we all go outside to sleep.
We desire to know the reason why we black Africans are not released on time, while the white Africans are been released on time.
So therefore we have decided not to eat, because we need freedom, if they don’t free us, something terrible will happen. But all the same, we need freedom.
May god bless you. Amen.

I am talking as one of the detainees of this prison:

1. There is no freedom of speech here
2. We can not sleep in silence and safety
3. There is not enough food for all
4. There is no clean place to pray.
5. We want food that respects our religious restrictions on eating pork
6. The toilettes and shower are not clean, no humans can use them
7. The police officers does not respect religions in fascists way both muslim and christian and they don’t allow us to pray
8. There is no doctor and proper farmacy to take care of the sick
9. The cells are dirty, it smells, we are all sick. We all have skin problems and psychological problems

We all demand from the government to free us, to let us go to work in Europe.
We all came to Europe for work. We didn’t come here to cause trouble. We all left our countries because we were poor and hungry; there was no democracy in our home. We left because of the fascism we faced in our countries.

Please see our problems with a human eye and with mercy

In the name of god

Everybody knows that the reason why all the young people leave from their home countries is that they cannot live without freedom and justice.
This is why we chose this road.
This is why we are suffering. We regret our choice. The reason? Here in prison we are not fine. They violate our rights; there cannot be human rights within four walls. I don’t know what to think. We have been injured and our wounds teach us to flee to Greece – for the freedom. They teach us to live and claim our rights. But it is worse than we thought. I don’t know what to think; I don’t know which other road to follow. I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know where I will be.
Return, Europe or prison.
We had smiles and hope, but Greece embraced us with racism and with hate. A bitter hate and anger. My asylum is no sin. Why do we have to be here? The prison has burned our minds. I am sorry that I cannot describe all my life to you, but only I can write a small letter. Because I hate myself so much, I cannot even speak. Thank you for your co-operation, your help and for reading this letter.

From the detainees

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.

Get in touch

email: infomobile.w2eu@gmail.com

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