Migration and Struggle in Greece

Stop deportations to Greece – suspend Dublin II! campaign

Posted by clandestina on 11 October 2009



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Stop deportations to Greece – suspend Dublin II!

Published on 7. September 2009 i

Please read, spread and sign this Communiqué from activists of the international No Border Camp 2009 on Lesvos concerning the Dublin II regulations and deportations to Greece. You can sign using the form below (introduced due to popular demand). Let’s build pressure!

As activists of the international No Border Camp 2009 on Lesvos, we are witnessing a policy of systematic human rights abuse against migrants and refugees. As a crucial symbol for this policy stands Pagani, a detention centre, situated in the outskirts of the city of Mitilini, for migrtants and refugees, women, men, minors and children, who arrive in Greece without documents. People are imprisoned in Pagani for many weeks, even months. They are forced to share a room with approximately 100 people. About 1000 people are constantly locked up in a place normally designed for only 280 people. Sanitary and medical conditions are beyond any possible imagination. It is not even necessary to describe the further consequences of forcing people to under these circumstances, since the absolute lack of human rights is all too obvious.

During the week of the No Border Camp, partly as a result of the political pressure created by solidarity actions and media reports scandalising the terrible situation, one part of those detained in Pagani have been released and a temporary open camp set up next to the airport of Mitilini. International pressure is vitally important now to force the Greek state to release all the Prisoners at Pagani, to close down the detention centre and to provide a permanent solution where refugees and migrants can stay as free persons when they arrive in Greece. Furthermore, the problem doesn’t end there. Even if they are released from the horrors of Pagani, the futures of the Migrants passing through Lesvos are often bleak. The reason is: The Greek state strictly excludes the great majority of refugees to get asylum or a regular stay. For those who claim asylum, the rate of success in asylum procedures is almost zero. Most refugees don’t receive any support for housing and daily survival. Released from detention in Lesvos, the refugees receive nothing but a ticket for the next ferry to Athens and a white paper telling them that they have 30 days to leave Greece. After this time, many of the refugees end up in Athens, Patras or other Greek cities, as undocumented and homeless people, living in unbearable conditions in slum camps or in public parks, always in danger to be arrested and detained again by the Greek police. The white paper doesn’t offer any possibility to travel further to other European Union countries.

Having no chance to find living conditions in human dignity in Greece, the refugees are also excluded from claiming asylum or settling down in other European Union countries under the “Dublin II” convention. The determining factor is that they are very often digitally fingerprinted after the first contact with the Greek authorities. As these fingerprints are stored in the Europe wide “EURODAC”-database, the authorities in any other European Union country will immediately find out if a person who claims asylum has been in Greece before. Who the Greek authorities chose to fingerprint and who they do not is completely arbitrary, it is a kind of human rights lottery. Under “Dublin”-rules, migrants must be returned to the so-called “safe first country” of the European Union, which means that people whose fingerprints have already been taken in Greece will be deported to there.

The “Dublin”-rules mean that the borders are truly carried everywhere with the migrants, haunting him or her at every turn. This means for the migrants that their fingers, their own bodies, become their enemies. As the most extreme consequence of this situation, some migrants in Calais, who make their last attempt to get to Britain after having been chased away from all other EU-countries, go as far as to attempt to burn off their fingerprints with hot knives or acid so as not to be identified. Similar examples of self mutilation have also been reported from the Netherlands.

So we can see that the “Dublin” system is built to exclude migrants and refugees from Europe, starting in Greece with its zero tolerance asylum policy. “Dublin”-rules are built so that the migrants’ rights and their possibilities of living a decent life are destroyed and they are left to the mercy of unscrupulous employers who exploit the situation of undocumented people. Greece has the role of watchdog for the European Union, “Dublin II” serves the racist agendas of the more powerful states of the European Union who, while claiming to respect asylum rights, never cease to fund externalisation projects to prevent refugees from entering their territory. In this sense, the European Commission provided funds for the Greek system of handling asylum and migration control. While there is criticism from human rights organisations like Amnesty International and even the UNHCR has criticised the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers in Greece after considering how the Greek government, instead of improving its asylum system, dismantled it, the European Commission has remained silent. The Commission, in fact, also accepts that a lot of money has been syphoned off by the Greek state. Crucially, the Greek state is paid 4000 Euro for each person returned through the Dublin II agreement. This means that the European Union is in effect sponsoring a policy of the total refusal of asylum and daily human rights abuses, with Greece playing a core role in implementing the conditions of the “Dublin II” – convention.

Moreover, a core part of EU migration control policy is blackmail: In return for possible accession to the European Union, Turkey is obliged, under the “6 point plan” which it has signed with Greece, to accept readmission agreements. Thus, “refoulement”, the systematic return of people without being given the opportunity to claim asylum, even if their lives and human rights are put in danger, has become the official mechanism for the deportation of refugees.

As activists of the No Border Camp 2009, the aim we are struggling for is global free movement for every person living on this planet and the end of any form of migration control.

As first necessary steps, considering the systematic human rights abuse against refugees and the total denial of asylum right taking place in Greece, we demand:

  • The immediate stop of all deportations to Greece based on the “Dublin”-convention
  • The right to return for all people who have been deported to Greece from other European Union countries based on the “Dublin”-convention
  • Shut down Pagani and all detention centres in Greece!
  • Suspend the “Dublin”-convention!
  • An end to the EU’s blackmailing of poorer neighbouring states to inforce readmission agreements and externalised migration control

We don’t accept little improvements and modernisations of legal standards as a legitimation to continue the externalisation of border controls and deportations based on the “Dublin”-convention. We want an end to all forms of repressive border regime!

Some activists of the No Border Camp in Lesvos, 31st of August 2009

11 Responses to “Stop deportations to Greece – suspend Dublin II! campaign”

  1. fugu said

    iam one of theos who have finger print in greece and as like most off my friends igate chanse at least to leav greece but the worst whill i was travaling to norway the netherland government cach me and put me in apreson for three and have month because i hade finger print in greece , and i do notknow still now they are saying you have to go back to greece , and for surprise when i tell them the cituation they say we know so , if they know why they do so

  2. said said

    it is great issue if impossible to stop deporation to greece,iam one of those fingerprinted in greece i have been in greece about 1year,i was living like animal there,when i got chance to leave greece i travelled to sweden i request asylum.then without charging my case they got my finger print in greece and they told me that i will go back to greece cause greece is responcible my asylum case,and it is hard for me to go back to greece,then i came to norway i told them my situation,and after they let me live in peace and dignity live in norway about 1 year,again they told me they will send me back to greece under the dublin ll,is that justice? they said that they care about humanity.any way if impossible to suspend the dublin in greece i will be happy and get my right protection asylum in any european country.

  3. ruhba said

    i live in NORWAY or NO WAY, i come from Greece before 9 month ago .i have finger print there but i didn’t apply asylum because the Greece asylum situation is very bad.they don’t want to give resident permit .even they don’t care about us thats why am here Norway. but Norwegian rejected my asylum application and cause of finger print now they are decide to return back me greece .what can i do i dont have anybody there .am confused

  4. Anonymous said

    i have been arested for 4 month her in holand becauuse i have finger in greece , they were diceded to turn me to greec , i was very termitized and demorlized at least i do not they sudenly came to me and say you are free , and now iam her in acomb i do not what do they do for me but this realy realy bad to play with some minde and this the case all overe europ
    not even her in holand , we have no power no one to help us and we have nothing to do just we are praying for God to help us

  5. BECKNONE said

    my life is deep more in danger than my country of origin Angola because of my own part of body. i left my country arrive at greece. i was brought with a group of Somalia.we couldn’t talk with them. the group was full of somalia. they are took my fingerprint. i told them ” me Angola, me Angola” means i am from Angola they are tell me “NO, NO, Somalia”it’s mean i lied i am from somalia and put in my paper i am from somalia and tell me to walk away, anywhere in the country. 2 days later i came back to tell them i am not for somalia, they are lock me up for 3 days. greece is a hell. STOP DEPORTATION IN GREECE. NO HUMAN RIGHT. REMOVE GREECE FROM E.U I BEG.

  6. sabah said

    i am iraqi..i was in greece ..29.5.2007 i was turture victim in chios island…with another 25 refugee… the unhce office told me..we support your case…nothing…cause they have no chance to do what they should to do…

  7. Dareinggar Johnson said

    Its nice to see this article on the web and also to make a contributional reports on it as definitely fate will take it course, a wise person will not stay in the cold without covers or welly clothed to keep him\her warm, so the case is made to somebody that leaves Greece where the government are begging European Union for finacial assistant then consider an immigrant in greece. There is no assylum facility in Greece,There is no job in Greece absolutely nothing is happening in Greece even Greeks are suffering because they have no job. My case is that i was fingerprinted in greece and because of being sent back there i told them that i was never fingerprinted so if the find out then be it but if they not then let be it, i was sick couldnt walk,couldnt talk and was less 5% living fron the average living of a normal humal being assume its 98%. I bgg food to eat on the street and uncounted many days of sleeping in the cold at platya Amerikis…Greeks do not care for you and they are not to be blamed because they do not have the income to help but i think immigrants from these countries where there is no care for immigrant should not be send back but verify if the immigrant committed grieviance offences then the immigrant will be sent back to face what he\she must have committed and serve it punishment but without any criminal record then Dublin Laws should not be applied to such people. let us be wise and think of a better way of helping our fellow human beings, we are here because to stay means to risk ones life and that is why we come….is it now that white will think of this way against black or other race…i was not there but they came to Africa highly welcomed and they pay us back by forcing us into slavery…bringing a system that will give guns to others..hatred to be the other of the day…killings becomes everyday witness..Run to Europe to seek for cover then enter into a wrong place and seek to reverse the course by seeking a greener pasture….THEN DUBLIN AGREEMENT WILL BE A STUMBLING BLOCK STANDING IN YOUR WAY…This is just idiosyncranicities created by fellow human to discriminate.

  8. tariq said

    hello for those who knows the value of humans
    i have finger in greec now i live in they told me to go to back to greec now iam waiting for my asylume the europian court justice center is in holland if they dont give my rights then no one can give it to me hope they understand us

  9. tariq said

    ilive in holland

  10. sebastian said

    im here in greece now for 4 years no way to go no money no work no help even have some money police always search you and they take whatever you have such as mobile phone money want to go other eu country but what can i do there they send me back here


  11. hassan ahmed libax said

    j s8 un jeune somalien de 19 ans j vecu en gercee pendant 1mois kome un animale because j avais ds doigs en grece et j venis en norvege pur demand l asil mais la norvege en retouve mes empreinte puis ils snt decides k il mon renvoye en gercee et j px ps vivre en grecee car j vx le droit d humain j envis en paix ps kome ls animaux

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