Migration and Struggle in Greece

Refugees in Athens prepare for hunger strike – They are at risk, while their political asylum cases in Greece are pending …

Posted by clandestina on 15 February 2009

We translate below the “Kathimerini” article (12 Feb. issue) on this.

Refugees prepare for hunger strike

They are at risk, while their political asylum cases in Greece are pending …

The six men are the definition of political refugee. They possess refugee identities issued directly by the head of the UNHCR in Geneva.

They have spent from 3 to 5 years in the Temporary Protection Facility of the U.S. army in Iraq and they have evidence of this. They are Iranian dissidents who sought refuge in Iraq in the mid-1990s and after the American intervention in the country they were kept «protected» (essentially imprisoned) in prisons and refugee centers. When they arrived in Greece they were beaten and threatened with deportation by the police, although they had shown the authority their refugee identity. Their expectations of the «Gate to Europe» proved false. They applied for political asylum seven months ago and have been hitherto eating at the soup-kitchen of the municipality of Athens. During the same peirod they have been sleeping in public places and their lives have been threatened. Their case became widely known when police forces entered the old building of the Appeal Court of Athens on Socratous Street around seven in the morning last Monday to evacuate it from the homeless refugees and immigrants who found shelter there during the cold winter nights.

Mrs Giota Masouridou from the Group of Lawyers for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants described their desperate situation. «Give me a paper and I ll go back, let them kill me», said a one of them to the lawyer last Monday. «Apart from the problems every homeless person faces, they also have run serious safety risks», says Mrs. Masouridou. «They are hunted by secret services from their countries of origin, and they run risks posed by their former comrades. In several cases murder has been attempted. When you are homeless there are specific places you can go and thus you can be easily identified by the mafia ». The refugees themselves informed the Athens Ofiice of the UNHCR about their cases. The Ministry of Health and the Secretary of the Ministry of Public Order have been informed but … nothing has happened. Those who managed to go to other European states have been granted political asylum. Most live in Switzerland and then in the Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands, few in Britain and Austria. In Greece, the much desired political asylum is still pending …

Hunger strike

The men who spoke to the Kathimerini newspaper, 14 more like-minded, the seven men and women who landed a few days ago in Agathonisi they are all members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran – PMOI. The organization was founded in 1965 in Iran to replace the regime of shah and then the regime of mullahs with a democratic regime. Currently six are preparing to launch a hunger strike and to go until the end, since they have no other choice left…



2 Responses to “Refugees in Athens prepare for hunger strike – They are at risk, while their political asylum cases in Greece are pending …”

  1. I am a transgender person from Ecuador in a hunger and thirst strike started in 17 april in Sweden, i will be probably deported next friday 24 to the Neherlands under the dublin regulation.

    till know i have been denied to have any medical monitoring although i a very deteriorated situation.

    I sympathize with all the people protesting in this pacific way for their rights and i encourage others to do the same.

    The dublin regulation is an aberrant law, that make just sense in a nazi xenophobic system.

  2. After the Dutch migration authorities have accepted my deportation from Sweden to Holland under the dublin regulation to study my petition for asylum they inmediately rejected it letting me on the streets without any medical, economical, or social assistance to wait for a response to the appeal made in the case that could last at least 7 month.

    migration europeans offices and governments are using the asylum prcodures to treat vulnerable people like us, men women and children, as a simple migrants. making victims of the already victimized, detentions, deportations, rejections, and further deportation are common here
    Holland Amsterdam

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