Since the dirty deal between the EU and Turkey was made on 18th of March the situation in Greece worsened rapidly. Safer formal ways through the Balkan-corridor were closed down already before by the European governments while more than 50,000 refugees are caught up inside Greece. More than 90% come from war torn countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and the majority are women and children. More than one month after the closure of the border to FYROM / Macedonia they are still under shock by the sudden changes unable even to consider alternatives such as relocation, family reunification or asylum. They cannot realize and accept that this is the new reality they have to confront, with everybody being stuck in limbo under inhuman conditions in refugee tent camps all over Greece.
Refugee Protest in Mytilini Port – img © by Marily Stroux
Refugee Protest at Moria Hot Spot – img © by Marily Stroux
Refugee Protest at Moria Hot Spot – img © by Marily Stroux
From Monday, 4th of April, on the return agreement with Turkey will be implemented with more than 500 people being readmitted from the Hot Spots on the islands of the Aegean which have been turned into detention and deportation centres in practice. Only the ones applying for asylum or family reunification and unaccompanied minors will not be deported back to Turkey. Asylum applications since a few days have reached unprecedented peaks while the Asylum Service is not able to deal with the many applications. Statistic concerning Asylum applications in Greece 2016
and Hellenic police statistics illegal migration according to nationalities 2016 first 2 months
: 61022 Syria, 32776 Afghanistan, 21907 Iraq.
Resistance against deportations in the hotspots on the Greek islands started already: in Moria, Lesvos, the Hot Spot that is totally overcrowded with more then 2,000 detainees a group consisting mainly of Pakistani refugees started a hunger strike. They belong to the five nationalities that are already affected by the more than 700 readmissions that were conducted since the beginning of the year. In “Vial”, the Hot Spot on Chios, half of the people escaped after a revolt on 2nd of April from the closed camp and marched to the port of Chios city where they are staying since then. They are protesting and demanding their freedom of movement in order to travel further on. Today again another protest was started in Vial by mainly Afghan refugees against their deportation. In Athens demonstrations for open borders took place already twice with hundreds of refugees most of which were Afghans, a major group within the refugee population who can not take part in the relocation program and who are largely excluded from the few possibilities of adequate reception conditions. In several open camps on the mainland protests within the last week refugees all over Greece demanded open borders as well as for better conditions in the camps.
Already since several weeks solidarity structures are being increasingly criminalized suffering repression by the authorities and exclusion from different official refugee agglomeration sites. We declare our deep solidarity with all the people who have been since months on the ground, struggling for the rights and dignity of those on the way and a lot of times for their mere survival. The example of Lesvos, which was for the last year the island with the highest number in arrivals, shows how an amazing amount of solidarity and the many support structures could create a welcoming atmosphere even in the hardest conditions reacting immediately to emergency situations contrary to the formal structures of the government, UNHCR or many bigger NGOs.
Continue reading ‘Solidarity structures in Greece confronted with criminalization, control and diverse obstacles’
In a press conference on February 18th, organised by the Solidarity Committee for Political Prisoners in Turkey and Kurdistan, the advocates Aleka Zorbala and John Rachiotis spoke about the recent arrest of four more Turkish refugees on February 10th in Gkyzi area in Athens.
The arrest is a continuance of a pogrom the Greek government carries out since all over 2013 against Turkish activists who live as refugees in Greece and during which more than 16 persons have already been prosecuted. The Turkish refugees in Greece have been exposed to threats, house searches kidnappings from the street, arrests, torture and arrests. As the lawyers stated during the press conference in case of a extradition to Turkey the lives of their clients are in immediate danger.
Continue reading ‘Pogrom against Turkish political refugees in Greece continues’
Pushed Back – systematic human rights violations against refugees in the aegean sea and at the greek turkish land border
On the Greek-Turkish land border refugees are systematically refouled with brutal, shocking and systematic violations of human rights: ‘When they left us in the Turkish waters they made waves again and six of us – all men – fell into the sea. The Greeks saw that, but they didn’t help, they just left.’ PRO ASYL documents these systematic pushback in the report “Pushed Back – systematic human rights violations against refugees in the aegean sea and the greek-turkish land border”. With few exceptions, all documented pushback took place in the area of operations of Frontex. PRO ASYL raises the question of the involvement of Frontex on the human rights violations and calls: Frontex must end its operations in Greece.
Download Report (in English)
Summary (in German)
The Monaghan Report on the scandalous death of Jimmy Mubenga during his expulsion from Britain highlighted the broader issue of the inhuman treatment of immigrants in Europe. We become more and more accustomed to their demonisation and dehumanisation; even worse, the recent “Go Home” vans campaign in Britain warns that immigrant-bashing might soon become something like official policy. A system in crisis needs scapegoats, and the immigrants come in handy here, being much sexier scapegoats than bankers. Could this be a prelude to a wider authoritarian turn? Just watch what is happening in Greece.
The plight of the newcomers has often been described in words and in film. It does not lack official sanction. Before the elections, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, whose extreme Right past and affiliations are no secret, decried that “our cities have been occupied by illegal immigrants; we will take them back”. This would actually be an act of charity towards Greek children: “Kindergartens are now full of immigrant children, and Greeks cannot enter. This will stop!” he added. Nikos Dendias, Minister for Public Order, put things into perspective: “Immigration is a problem perhaps greater than the [economic crisis]”. Such declarations are not taken by the police as implying that immigrant rights are sacrosanct. As for the judicial and the administrative system, they protect these rights no better. In all, asylum seekers are systematically detained and face inhuman or degrading treatment. This is not leftist rhetoric, but an official statement of the highest EU Court of Justice, which in 2011 put a ban on the deportation of asylum seekers to Greece for exactly that reason.
Continue reading ‘The new untouchables, An essay by Spyros Marchetos’
ON August 10th detained migrants in Amigdaleza near Athens protested in an uprising against the extension of their detention from 12 to 18 months. 1.620 migrants are currently detained in this prison while it was built only for 820. In the past months different human rights organisations had reported about the inhuman detention conditions, about cases of police violence and forced “voluntary returns”.
Saturday 10th of August: Immigrants imprisoned at Amygdaleza detention center (near Athens) started a revolt around 21.00 o’clock. They protested against the deplorable conditions and the extension of their detention from 12 to 18 months. Many of the detainees face deportation following the negative decisions on their asylum cases and have lost hope. Continue reading ‘Uprising in Amigdaleza’
The Afghan community of Greece denounces about the critical health condition of Mohammad Hassan who has been transferred to hospital on July 2nd from Corinth detention centre and is fighting to survive now. He had been detained more than 11 months. His inmates had protested against the ignorant police guards who were not bringing Mr. Hassan to any doctor despite his strong pains.
afghan community (in english)
afghan community in greece (farsi)
I a recent visit of Elliniko detention centre Javed Aslam form the Pakistani community together representatives of KEERFA spoke with migrants who had been tortured in the Athens airport police. They had been first detained in Amigdaleza, then transferred for forced deportation to the airport.
Now they are detained in Elliniko. The three detainees reported that they had been beaten and electroshocked. One of them reportedly had been boxed in the face, nine times electroshocked and kicked in the stomache. Another detainee had bruises on his back and sholder. The third one reported that he had been hurt with the Teaser’s electricity on his genital organs. He also showed injuries on his arm.
Furthermore, they reportedly were insulted and sexually harassed by police officers who asked them for oral sex.
roz karta (in greek)
Bulut Yayla, a Turkish archaeology student and left-wing activist, says he travelled to Greece in April this year to escape imprisonment and torture he endured under the government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Once in Athens he tried to seek asylum as a political refugee to escape an international arrest warrant issued against him after being accused of having links with an outlawed Marxist organisation.
On 30 May, Bulut, 26, left the restaurant where he worked, in the central Athens neighbourhood of Exarhia, to meet some friends He never made it. At around 9pm, witnesses say they saw five men beating him near the restaurant, forcing him into a car and driving off. Two days later, his family got a call from Turkish authorities, informing them he was in their custody, in a high-security prison. The head of Greek police later confirmed the car’s licence plates showed it was a police vehicle.
“He was seized, handcuffed and shoved by force in a car where they closed his eyes, nose and mouth, and tortured him,”
Continue reading ‘The tortured activist whose fate tells Turkish protesters: don’t seek refuge in Greece’
On Thursday 30.05.2013 at 9.30pm, Bulut Yayla, a 24 years old, Turkish political refugee was detained, beaten and violently abducted by people aboard a private car at the center of Athens – Greece.
Through eyewitness testimonies and research conducted by the victim’s comrades and lawyers, it was revealed that the license plate of the car in question belongs to the Greek Police. However, the police still claim they have nothing to do with the incident, despite the persistent and constant allegations of his comrades, lawyers and political actors.
Yesterday 01.06.2013, Bulut Yayla’s family announced that he is kept in custody at Istanbul’s Antiterrorist Unit. According to the victim’s allegations, a group of people speaking Greek, pushed him inside a car, using extreme violence, shutting his mouth and eyes. Then he was transferred by another car by a second group of people speaking Greek and Turkish and then a third group who spoke Turkish and English. Continue reading ‘URGENT ANNOUNCEMENT CONCERNING THE CASE OF THE ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE OF BULUT YAYLA’
The Movement “Expel Racism” reported yesterday (01 June 2013) that, according to information given by the Turkish police to his lawyers and relatives, Yayla Bulut, a Turkish Kurd asylum seeker in Greece, is now in police custody in Turkey. He was abducted in downtown Athens in the evening of 30 May by five men who dragged him in a car and had been unheard from since.
An urgent press release dated 31 May and co-signed by the Greek Council for Refugees, the Social Support Network for Refugees and Migrants, the Team of Lawyers for Refugee and Migrant Rights and the Solidarity Committee for Political Prisoners in Turkey and Kurdistan describe events surrounding his disappearance as follows:
As Yayla Bulut crossed the street after leaving a Kurdish restaurant in the Exarchia neighbourhood of Athens, five men leapt out of a car that had been parked nearby for several hours, immobilized him, beat him savagely, gagged him and shoved him into the car before driving away. Continue reading ‘Turkish Kurd asylum seeker abducted in Athens and handed over to Turkish authorities’