Migration and Struggle in Greece

Pagani detention centre in Lesvos to close down (for now?)

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…

Since the NoBorders camp in the summer, however, the detainees of the centre seem to have been building up strength and courage to take things in their own hands. A series of revolts shook the centre and it quickly became apparent that it could not go operating in the same way for much longer. It has now been announced that Pagani will be closing town for the time being; the last few remaining detainees will be transferred to the detention centre of the nearby island of Chios.

Some excellent support work has been put in by the people behind the “Close Down Pagani” Campaign and this blog continues to provide up-to-date information on the situation in Lesvos.

As an after-word: There should not be any illusions really about any “humanitarian” instincts dictating the closing down of Pagani. The government of PASOK must have decided on what was an administrative question (if they really are to move most migrant detainees to Chios) and a question of its image that Pagani seemed to be damaging so badly. Plans for fingerprinting all incoming migrants, giving them a short time and “incentives” to go “back where they came from” reveals the true face of authority, its desire for order, for control and repression of people’s ability and freedom to move and to live where they wish. And still, if Pagani does close down, we can mark it down as a small victory of people over power, of what happens when we take situations in our own hands, when we take on authority. No borders, no nations…

Posted on Saturday, October 31, 2009, at 4:06 pm.

One Response to “Pagani detention centre in Lesvos to close down (for now?)”

  1. […] closure of Pagani Detention […]

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