Posted by clandestina on 20 December 2009
Text in Greek available here.
On the occasion of the International Migrants Day
From Anti-Immigrant Summer to Zero Tolerance on Election Bait
Just over a month and half ago Prime Minister Papandreou used the Global Forum on Immigration & Development proceedings in Athens to sketch government measures which would stand for a humanitarian turn compared to the policies and situation of the recent months . He described as necessary
“[T]o stimulate the participation of immigrants in the political life of the country, through the possibility of Greek citizenship acquisition, particularly of course for the so-called ‘second generation’, in which we are suggesting the acquisition of citizenship by birth for the new person born in our territory.”
For people in Greece, though, the announcement of the Secretary for Home Affairs Theodora Tzakri two weeks later, which made clear that Greek citizenship would be granted only to children born to legal immigrants, came as no surprise.
The doctrine of “Zero tolerance to illegal migration” goes hand in hand with this government’s humanitarian turn… As for what this turn is all about, it aims at incorporating immigrants mostly from Albania, after two decades of overexploitation, and in exchange for votes. A phony exchange indeed.
Along with this, the dividing of immigrants into ‘good’ and ‘bad’, ‘useful’ and ‘superfluous’, ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ becomes more intense, and the system of exploitation grows deeper roots .
As we wrote in our above linked text on the Global Forum on Immigration & Development:
“The aim of developmental policy is to control migration flows (through the FRONTEX patrols and detention centres) as well as to regulate them (through 5-year rotating work permits, the annulment of asylum rights), in order to keep a stable proportion of productive inhabitants within the increasingly ageing, unproductive populations of Europe. In other words, recycling the migrants will keep the indexes of development in check, development being the systematic and bloodthirsty pillage of lives and resources, time and space.
According to the “UN Population Division report on replacement migration”, if the Europeans want to keep their ratio of older people to active workers at the 1995 levels, the Union will need 135 million immigrants by 2025.
This demographic issue is only part of the story, and maybe not the most important. Neoliberalization inside Europe has meant a weakened, destabilized labor force. It’s not just that capital wants selected migrants because it needs more workers, it wants migrants because they are powerless, unorganized, low-paid workers for whom there will be no job security, no health care and no pensions.In other words, they are far cheaper and less troublesome workers”.
Illegal immigrants are necessary because through them the rights of the legal ones are suppressed (there is of course rotation of people in these roles). At the same time, illegal immigration helps governments maintain a useful xenophobic atmosphere to impose authoritarian policies. ”Migration management” includes both authoritarian hysteria and humanitarian logistics. The two seemingly opposite positions are the two sides of the same coin of subjugation.
So let’s outline against this backdrop the government’s humanitarian turn after the elections of October 2009…
The Doctrine “Insulated Greece”
The new doctrine was introduced by Minister of Citizen Protection (= Public Order) M. Chrisochoïdis on Tuesday, December 15, at his meeting with the FRONTEX Executive Director J.Laitinen. The construction of the Southeast Mediterranean FRONTEX Headquarters at the U.S. base of Aktion or at Piraeus has been a permanent request of the Greek government, which proudly stated that 75% of illegal entry arrests at the sea borders of EU for this year took place in the Aegean sea.
A few days earlier in the frame of FRONTEX operations (on Saturday, December 12) officers in Samos island, on no notice whatsoever and violently, carried out with utmost secrecy the transfer of over 85 Afghan refugees from the local detention center to the island’s airport at Pythagorio. There the refugees were boarded on an airplane which departed for an unknown destination.
The slaughter in the Aegean Sea continues
In less than two months, 16 migrants have died in the icy waters of the Aegean. Most of them were children.
- On Tuesday, October 27, 8 immigrants, three adults and five children, drowned in the east part of the Aegean Sea.
- On Saturday, November 7, the lifeless bodies of six children from Palestine, aged 2 to 12 years, washed up on shore near Bodrum (Alikarnasos), Turkey. The boat in which 19 Palestinians – half of them children – squeezed themselves on an effort to pass from the Turkish town of Turgutreis to Kos island overturned 500 meters from the shore.
- On Friday, December 11, a boat carrying undocumented migrants sank near the island of Leros. Fishermen found 25 migrants perched on a rocky island and two more lifeless bodies in the sea.
Incidents of abuse and humiliation by the police amount to dozens, and most of them never reach the public attention. We report the following characteristic cases:
- In the afternoon of October 22, immediately after the visit of Secretary of State Vougias the detention center in Pagani of Mytilene, police officers responsible for guarding the center abused and beat prisoners, including a 17-year boy, who was evacuated to the Vostanio Hospital, where lesions were diagnosed on his head, back, waist and arms. According to the interpreter, the police promised 350 euros to the victim to buy his silence.
- On the 19th of November in the afternoon a 35-year old immigrant was beaten by two officers serving at the infamous Aghios Panteleimonas Police Station in Athens. Her two year old child witnessed the beating and the arrest, and along with her mother remained under custody at the Kypseli Police Station for four hours! The incident became known only because the woman is married to a famous Greek musician.
- On Friday, November 20 , immigrant detainee Mohammed bin Taher collapsed in the courts of Evelpidon street in Athens. His condition was such that he was taken to hospital by ambulance. As reported by the his fellow detainees (and he later confirmed) Mohammed bin Taher had been savagely beaten by police at the Omonoia Police Station.
- On the 9th of October Mohammed Kamran dies after the treatment he received by the policemen who had raided the house where he and fellow Pakistani workers resided in Nikaia, Athens.
The para-state mechanism was launched last summer against immigrants and since then it has been working relentlessly despite the supposed change of policy.
Para-state organized violence encourages and feeds the diffuse social one.
- Thus, on November 8, four immigrants who had been working at olive fields in Messolongi, Western Greece, were attacked with crowbars and clubs and beaten savagely by circa 15 people. The immigrants were transferred to the emergency dept. of the Messolongi hospital. The immigrants had been asking their wages from the owner of the fields in which they had been working. They were ambushed and beaten in an old warehouse, where they had an appointment with their employer to get their money.
- In late November the trial of 25 immigrants (mainly Arabs and one Afghan) took place; they had been arrested during the events of December 2008 and had been detained ever since. All this period they were considered missing. All of them were sentenced to imprisonment from 7 months to 3 years. It is characteristic for the fairness of the trial that only one interpreter had been assigned , who translated simultaneously for 24 defendants who were divided in three groups in the court’s room. The Afghan who did not understand Arabic was seated on the last bench of the room…
- On Friday, December 11, in Thessaloniki, a report was issued by the Hellenic League for Human Rights, about the detention centers in Evros and Rodopi. The survey took place from the 25th to the 29th of November 2009 and states:
In many cases there is inadequate lighting, ventilation and heating (…) At virtually none of the premises visited have the possibility to go outdoors on some yard. Even in detention centers where there is an adequate yard, the large number of detainees on the one hand and the lack of personnel on the other allows usually only for some prisoners to have outdoor breaks for a minimum period and not on a daily basis (…) Food in many cases is inadequate, the quantity and quality in general varies (..). The care taken for sanitation and hygiene conditions varies from inexistent to inadequate (…) The availability of medical and nursing staff is poor and at all cases occasional (…) The detainees were in total confusion regarding their rights, the time of their detention and ill-informed as to asylum procedures; interpreters were not available.
December 18, 2009
Group of Immigrants and Refugees, Thessaloniki
Posted in Group of Immigrants and Refugees / Clandestina Network Texts & Announcements, Publications, Long Reports, Analyses, Reviews & Research, Undeclared War news | Tagged: Afghan immigrants, Aghios Panteleimonas, Albanian immigrants, Arab immigrants, Athens, border war, Chania, Crete, deaths, December's revolt, deportations, detention, Evros, far right, farm labourers, FRONTEX, Global Forum on Migration & Development, immigrant abuse, immigrant children, immigrant women, Kos island, legislation & policies, Leros, Lesvos Island, Messolongi, ministry of public order (citizen protection), Neos Kosmos, Nikaia, Omonoia police station, oppression & control, Pagani, para-state, police, police brutality, port & coast police, refugee camps, Rodopi, Samos Island, second generation, surveillance & control, system of (in)justice, workers' rights | Leave a Comment »
Posted by clandestina on 15 November 2009
M. is an Afghan unaccompanied minor who was released from Pagani.
He was in the group of 130 refugees released the last day and who left for Athens with the boat and since then he is in Athens trying to survive. Actually M. like most other minors in Pagani,got released with a paper saying that he is staying in the villa Azadi the minors house in
Mytilini. But he has never been informed about this ,he has never been brought up to the villa and he doesn’t know his right to be protected as a Minor. Most minors that have been in Pagani the last two months have been release with this paper without having been informed about their right to be taken to the minors house.
We met in the centre of Athens . He came with a little Afghan boy of about 7 years with whose family they share a room. We sat in a coffee place and orders something to eat. M. eat very little and very slowly and explained to me that he had not eaten since two days and that when you have no money for food ,but you get food you have to be careful to eat little otherwise your stomach is hungry soon again because it got used to food. He also mentioned that he doesn’t go out from the place he stays,one room shared by 36 persons among them two families. They have to sleep in a 3 hours shifts on the mattresses. They are lucky that the family of one of them gives them shelter. Most others from Pagani are sleeping in the scare in Athens in the park. He doesn’t go out because when you are in the treats you all he time see people eating and drinking and this makes you even more hungry and thirsty. I asked him if he could speak about the situation after they came out of Pagani:
What happened when you arrived in Athens?
M: When we arrived we were 190 persons ,we went to the ministry and the ministry told us go to the gsr (Greek council of refugees) but gsr did not pay attention to us. After that we come to Attiki park and we pent two days there.
After those two days we find some relatives we are living together we are sleeping 36 persons, four families are with us and twelve boys, minors,like us.
All people from Pagani. All refugees.
We are just sitting after one, two days we are eating little bread. Its bad for people. That they pay not attention the government to us.
I told them in the GSR. I said they want to give us food? They said no!
We don’t have enough home to give you If you want you can only be in the Pagani. We said no! we don’t want to be in the Pagani! We want to live in the centre. Because of that we are here.
What do you think to do now?
I am thinking that after two days I want to left this place but I cant because I don’t have money I don’t have anything to go.
Where do you want to go?
I want to go to Germany,all the people want to go to Germany you ask them where you want to go all of them want to go to Germany. There was a family here they where deported from Austria they where deported. They where with us in the church . So one day we go to the church and eat something the other day we don’t go. Because the police is coming taking our papers,we have a lot of problems,they beat us.
You know their are places you can go to eat?
Yes! the church.But the police is beating us saying :go! its finished food! Its a lot of problem.
They beat us when we go for food!
The Greek government is not giving attention to any refugee. Some guys have been here 4 months 6 months. So they have red card. But the Greek government don’t give attention to them they just leave us like this and our families don’t know where we are, they are saying if we are alive or we are dead they don’t know. Its very difficult.
A., also a unaccompanied minor in Greece is in Athens six since months, trying to get out of Greece. He is registered by the Greec police about five or six times now.
A. is trying since half a year ,M. just starts now, thousand others unaccompanied minors who should be protected and families, single men and women are only wishing to be able to leave Greece as soon as possible and to arrive in some european country where their rights being refugees are respected.
But Greece doesn’t let them go!!!!!
Posted in Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Interviews and Testimonies, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases, Short Reports | Tagged: Afghan Refugees, Athens, Germany, Greek Counsil for Refugees, Pagani, unaccompanied minors | Leave a Comment »
Posted by clandestina on 13 November 2009
This a translation of this Nov 11, Avgi article, about this recent case of immigrant abuse in Pagani and the legal developments on Kamran Atif’s death . Thanks to Efi for her work.
stapsa for clandestinenglish
The assault on the 17-year- old refugee is a “cold case”.
The assault on the 17-year-old refugee Mr. Mohamed Hussein Khantar by police guards in the Pagani refugee camp last October is considered a “cold case”. The same applies for the case of the death of the Pakistani immigrant Mohamed Kamran- who had been allegedly tortured in the police department of Nikea in Athens
According to newspaper Avgi’s sources, during the preliminary investigations conducted with regards to the assault case, Mytilene’s state attorney could not find sufficient evidence leading to possible prosecutions of police guards in the Pagani refugee camp. Thus, the case is considered cold, and all preliminary investigations regarding police officials are going to be archived.
The manner in which the case is concluded, confirms the fears of various bodies and organizations that an abuse case would be covered- up by the police forces. It is claimed that witnesses in the Pagani camp were offered “pink cards” in return for their silence, and were sent to Athens, where it is impossible to be traced.
Moreover, questions arise with regards to the contradictory conclusions after Mr. Khantar’s examination. According to his attending physician’s statement, injuries and traumatic lesions were found on his head, back area and hands; however, the medical examiner concluded that his injuries were older than the day of the alleged police assault.
The police assault has allegedly taken place in the afternoon of October 22nd, in the Pagani refugee camp, just a few hours after Mr. Spyros Vougias, who is the undersecretary of the Ministry of Citizen Protection, visited the camp. After the event was made public, the Ministry of Citizen Protection ordered a preliminary investigation of the case, which was conducted by Mytilene’s state attorney.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has made an announcement, pleading for an in-depth investigation of the case and a subsequent prosecution of the people involved. The Greek political party SYRIZA is planning to bring the topic in parliamentary discussion.
With regards to Mohamed Kamran’s case, leaked information from the Ministry of Citizen Protection reveal that toxicology tests show Kamran intoxicated; according to the same leak, the post mortem toxicology investigation found Kamran using alcohol and other substances before his death.
However, Mr. Fragiskos Ragoussis, Kamran family’s attorney stated that there are no official toxicology test results yet, and that in any case his clients are going to ask for a test re-run, since according to the Greek law the family has the right to appoint an external medical examiner during the autopsy.
Posted in Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Short Reports, Undeclared War news | Tagged: deaths, Lesvos, ministry of public order (citizen protection), Mohammed Kamran Atif, Pagani, police, port & coast police, refugee camps, system of (in)justice, torture, UNHCR | Leave a Comment »
Posted by clandestina on 11 November 2009
Athens, 25th of October 2009 | Reflections on Lesvos two months after Noborder:
Hello, my name is Milad. I am 17 years old. I was for 23 days imprisoned in Pagani in Mitilini and first I want to define how was the situation inside this prison and how was the behaviour of police and doctors with us.
Some guys were sick for weeks, they were calling for a doctor, but nobody was ready to listen to our voices. There was no treatment for sick persons and the drinking water had a bad smell. If we asked for a doctor, for clean water or anything, mostly nobody was even listening.
They also did not have a good behaviour to the families with the small kids. One day I saw the kids had their ten minutes time to go out. They were playing football and one policeman was beating a small kid, he was about 8 years old, his mother was crying.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Interviews and Testimonies, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases, Publications, Long Reports, Analyses, Reviews & Research, Undeclared War news | Tagged: Aegean, Athens, health, human rights, hunger strike, immigrant abuse, Lesvos, Mytilene, no border, Pagani, refugee camps, resistance, Samos, solidarity, unaccompanied minors | 1 Comment »
Posted by clandestina on 10 November 2009
source, adapted from: http://www.enet.gr/?i=news.el.article&id=100563
Improved Detention Conditions promises Minister of Citizen Protection
Deputy Minister of Citizen Protection Spyros Vougias went to see for himself the places of detention for foreigners. The aim of the ministry according to Mr. Vougias is to relieve the overcrowded detention facilities of the Immigration Police Service.
[clandestinenglish note: these facilities ]
Vougias welcomed the eclipse of violence and abuse at the detention centers, but appeared concerned about the large number, larger than the permitted, of the illegal immigrants concentrated in them.
At the same time, he noted that the detention center in Pagani of Lesvos will reopen when prison conditions improve and in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense, in Mytilene, a new site immigrants, who was destined for housing officers, will be used.
He also said that patrols on land and sea will be strengthened so that traffickers be identified and severely punished. Mr. Vougias said that he has informed the EU on the problems of migrant smuggling, and that there should be negotiation with Turkey, so that the centers are in the neighboring country and not in Greece.
Posted in Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Short Reports | Tagged: border war, Lesvos, ministry of public order (citizen protection), Mytilene, Pagani, Petrou Ralli, refugee camps, Turkey, Vougias | 2 Comments »
Posted by clandestina on 9 November 2009
We will not eat in a place like here!!
The 30 people in Pagani are angry. Most of them are families with a lot of kids. The people refused the food because of the horrible ambiance. One woman is disgusted about the circumstances inside the “open centre” of Pagani.
Our close are all wet, we have nothing dry to wear. The sheets and beds are used, dirty and hideous. They will not give us fresh sheet our dry clothes. It is ridiculous, they bring us to the hospital to check f we are ll or something but they let us sleep in sheet full of virus and with wet clothes!?
Close down Pagani and every detention centre, now and all about!!!
Posted in Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases, Short Reports, Undeclared War news | Tagged: Aegean, hunger strike, Lesvos, Mytilene, Pagani, refugee camps | Leave a Comment »
Posted by clandestina on 1 November 2009
source: After the Greek Riots blog
#119 | One Less Prison: Pagani detention centre in Lesvos to close down (for now?)
The “migrant welcoming centre” (that is a prison in the government’s doublespeak) of Pagani in Lesvos was one of the main targets of the No Borders camp that took place in the island last August, with activists calling for the immediate closing down of a detention centre in which, “living” conditions were a disgrace, even by greek prison standards… On 22.10, a government official (Sp. Vougias) visited the prison to inspect living conditions there. Astonishingly, only hours after his visit, a 17-year old migrant detainee was severely beaten before being offered 350 euros by police, to keep silent about the attack…
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases, Publications, Long Reports, Analyses, Reviews & Research, Undeclared War news | Tagged: Aegean, Chios, Lesvos, Pagani, PASOK, refu, revolts, solidarity, Spyros Vougias | 1 Comment »
Posted by clandestina on 30 October 2009
Solidarity with Immigrants march
Today, Friday, October 30, 18.00
Sapphous Sq., Mytilene, Lesvos
Posted in Calls to Action, Campaigns, Appeals & Petitions, Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases | Tagged: Lesvos, Pagani, solidarity | Leave a Comment »
Posted by clandestina on 28 October 2009
Report from Lesvos antira ’09. Links to posts of this blog with frequent updates and photos on Lesvos situation are on the right sidebar.
Published on 27. October 2009.
A boat with 18 refugees drowned tonight close to Lesvos, Greece. This is what the Media reports about.
18 refugees crosed the sea between Turkey and Greece with a Boat. The sea was very stormy tonight. The boat crashed against a rock and the boat drowned. Some fisherman rescued them, for eight people the rescue came to late.
The Media makes it look like there has been a storm tonight. But in fact the sea was very calm around Lesvos.
Our source in Lesvos reported that some of the survivors are still in the hospital, the minors are accommodated in a Hotel in Mytilini, Lesvos and one man is in Pagani.
My name is Arif Khani Soldier. My wife, my daughter and me survived the accident. My family is in the hospital but they brought me here to the prison. I can not see or talk to them.
Posted in Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases, Undeclared War news | Tagged: Afghan Refugees, border war, detention, Lesvos, Pagani | Leave a Comment »
Posted by clandestina on 25 October 2009
source and more photos here
A few days ago, news arrived about the vice Minister visiting Pagani, describing it with the words “Dantes Inferno”. Today, our faithful source in Mytilini reports about new revolts in the Detention Center of Pagani.
Today the revolts in Pagani started again. After the Vice Minister of internal affairs visited Pagani two days ago, the violent habits returned to Pagani. Prisoners reported about a huge police brutality after the visit. Some of the prisoners where calls out, one after the other, to the prison Jard. There they where badly beaten by the police. The prisoners felt save, telling the vice Minister about there situation, but in the end there where punished for there statements in front of the visitor. A complain against the police was made by the prisoners.
A group of estimated 70 people was freed today. It was upsetting for some who are imprisoned in the detention Center of Pagani for more then 25 days. Another revolt started. on one point one of the cells was set on fire. for a long time none, aside from the prisoners,reacted in direction of turning off the fire. Not the Gard not the police. Fireman arrived around one hour after the fire started.
The Atmosphere in the detention Center is very tense. The people inside are serious about there demand to be freed. They will continue with there protest for freedom until the Detention Center is finally closed.
Also, a little video.
Posted in Action & Struggle Reports, Calls to Action, Campaigns, Appeals & Petitions, Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases, Photos, Videos, Audios, Publications, Long Reports, Analyses, Reviews & Research | Tagged: deportations, detention, Lesvos, Pagani, regfugee camps, unaccompanied minors | Leave a Comment »