clandestina

Migration and Struggle in Greece

Posts Tagged ‘Crete’

Leaks about planned gigantic detention centers, racist attacks on the rise

Posted by clandestina on 20 November 2011

According to  Eleutherotypia newspaper,  the “Ministry of Citizen Protection”, taking advantage of the new coalition government in Greece, where members of the far-right LAOS party participate, is planning to create two gigantic detention centers for immigrants in Athens. The two new detention centers “should be in the area of Attikovoiotia (close to Athens) with a capacity of about 5-6 thousand people, to offer real relief to the capital city”.
LAOS also demands the withdrawal of the citizenship bill, voted 1,5 years ago.

Meanwhile, racist attacks are on the rise again. Last Saturday, in Mylopotamos in Crete, 3 immigrants from Pakistan were beaten up in their own home and a car owned by another immigrant was set on fire.
In Athens, two Kurds from Iraq were beaten up by 15 policemen while held in custody, awaiting their trial. They were brought back to the prison, where a prison warden, realizing how badly they had been beaten up, ordered their transfer to the prison’s hospital.
(photo here)

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Events in Chania, Crete and Larissa, Thessaly on the new law on Citizenship

Posted by clandestina on 4 March 2010

Chania, Friday 5 March, 8 pm, Technical Chamber Chania, Nearhou str.

Larissa, Thursday 5 March, Trade Union Center, Larissa, 19.00

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Shot by his boss, then threatened with deportation

Posted by clandestina on 4 March 2010

The Indian worker shot by his drunken boss,  who was found when the perpetrator crashed his car while driving to get rid of the half-dead body somewhere… this immigrant is now threatened with deportation, as Athens Indymedia users report.

There is a solidarity demo in support of immgirants today in Rethymno at 6 o clock, and one of its objectives will be to prevent this shame from happening.

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Latest news, Monday 15 – Friday 19 Feb.

Posted by clandestina on 19 February 2010

Monday Feb 15 Tention in the police station of Tripoli, Peloponese after the suicide attempt of a 35 yearold Palestinian who was imprisoned in purpose to be deported. Other migrants prisoners, also under deportation, looted blankets so a small fire was caused. The pigs entered the detention centers and evacuated the imprisoning cells by transfering the prisoners to a room beside. Later, the migrants were also transfered to the Panarcadic Hospital for health checks, where also the Palestinian was transfered whose deportation is planned to take place in two weeks. http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=1133089

Tuesday Feb 16 In Archontiki village, Rethymnon, Crete, an Indian farm worker was shot and heavily injured by his boss – a shepherd himself.   The culprit then took the victim on his car which crushed on the road.  He left the victim there in a horrid condition and disappeared.  http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=1132976

A shoot-out between cops and bank robbers in the neighbourhood of Vironas, Athens saw an innocent passer-by assassinated by the cops: 25-year old migrant worker Nikollas Todi was unfortunate to be at the shooting range of the pigs in uniform. He was executed in cold blood, shot with nine bullets in the back, one going through his head and another one through his heart.  Leuteris Oikonomou, head of the greek police, stated that “nothing went wrong in the operation – simply the 25-year old found himself amidst crossfire”. Trying to supposedly disassociate himself from this provocative statement, Michalis Chrisochoidis (minister of citizen protection) stated that “a crucial battle was won, even if the cost was dear”. Earlier today, Chrisochoidis announced that Athens will see “unprecedented” policing operations after easter. http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=1133637

Thursday, Feb 18 50 Palestinian refugees detained at the Samos refugee center were boarded on a ship to Athens probably to be deported.   They cannot communicate and they have no legal assistance.   http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=1133671

Friday, Feb 19 In Patras, the police  warned earlier today the Sudanis living in the makeshift settlement in an old train depot that they should evacuate it (the plan is to make a parking there) or be arrested and deported. http://patras.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=7337

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About the death of the Indian immigrant worker in Varipetro, Chania, Jan 31, 2010

Posted by clandestina on 3 February 2010

This is a Forum of Migrants in Crete press release.

For the death of the Indian worker in Varipetro, Chania, on Sunday, 31/1/2010

3 FEB 2010
Labour accidents are tragic, shocking events. But what is more than shocking is what these people die of: inadequate protection measures.
One more spectre that should haunt the sleep of state bureaucracies, trade union bosses, and the business world.

Another worker killed, due to inadequate safety measures.

He fell from scaffolds, from a 6 meters height …

We note that many immigrant workers have already lost their lives in a working regime verging on cruelty. We are not only talking about the labour intense and unsafe conditions, but also about the long shifts, the ridiculous wages and of course the uninsured status. It is the harsh reality, which the Greek politicians do not see and nobody refers to now that the new bill on citizenship and immigration is discussed. It is the hard fact that some Greek people refuse to see, entrenched as they are in insecurity and fear and the conviction that they have discovered the “enemy” of their wealth: immigrants. Yet, it is immigrants -uninsured and underpaid – who build their houses, who look after their elderly relatives and their household, who pick fruit from their fields, who do all those jobs that Greeks refuse to do anymore.

We require that the state protects workers and implements the labour law.

We demand that trade union leaders deter further accidents and deaths by having unions’ and associations’ gates wide open for their immigrants colleagues (with or without papers) who should be fully entitled to the rights of membership

Let us not wait passively for the next “accidental death”.
Greek and foreign workers, united, let us claim now everything that is ours.

Let us push with our actions the employers, who we know very well will never show concern for us.

No more deaths, no more crippled workers.

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Young Albanian got killed trying to avoid police documents check in Lasithi, Crete

Posted by clandestina on 25 January 2010

A 26 year old Albanian lost his life when he fell from a height in Lasithi, Crete while running from a police check.  The young Albanian who had no residence permit and would be deported took notice of cops in the night of Wednesday, Jan 20, and started running from them, since he had no residence permit and if arrested he would be deported.  He climbed on a house’s roof but due to darkness he lost his balance and fell.

The deceased  had been for some months  working in farms of the Makri Gialos area.

A similar incident had happened in Heraklion, Crete, in September 2009.  A young Albanian had seriously injured himself by falling from a great height to avoid a police patrol.

sources: candia alternatival, http://filoxenoi.wordpress.com/

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One step forward, two steps back! Forum of Migrants in Crete event on the new Immigration Bill

Posted by clandestina on 25 January 2010

This is a translation of a Forum of Migrants in Crete press release.

ANNOUNCEMENT – CALL
for debate on the  immigration bill
1 step forward and two steps back

The Forum of Migrants in Crete considers that the proposed amendments to the Code of citizenship and the participation in elections of local government indeed are in the right direction – at any case we would be saying the same thing, even if it was about a single immigrant obtaining his/her rights.

The proposal to grant citizenship to second generation immigrants puts partially an end to the chronic hostage status of the second generation immigrants.  However the bill requires 5 years of lawful and undisrupted residence of their parents in the country, attendance of the first three classes of the primary school or 6 years of attendance at a Greek school.   So, we ask:

  • what about the children whose parents had been legally residing but were at some point unable to renew their residence permits (in most cases because they had not adequate work revenue stamps)?
  • what about the children who have no parents (since many minors come on their own)?
  • what about the children of parents without legal documents?

Concerning the proposal for the participation of all long-term foreign residents in the local authority elections, we ask why the boll excludes them from being candidates for senior posts?

We respond to xenophobic voices that they should not worry, since in any case the bill concerns to only a very small percentage of people from other countries, those who live lawfully and continuously for many years in Greece.

As for the acquisition of Greek citizenship by first generation immigrants, we actually wait to see the concrete and final requirements of the bill; under the pressure of racist critics. though, we expect them to be harsch.

We will continue to struggle for the legalization of all immigrants (the draft law does not say a single word about sans papiers, and legal documents is a prerequisite for everything proposed by the bill).

We will continue to struggle for citizenship for all children born, live and grown-up in this place.

We call for an info, discussion and recommendations event on Tuesday, January 26, 6:00 pm at Agora Sq. Chania.

Chania, Jan. 24, 2010.
Forum of Immigrants in Crete

NOTE: this call by the Forum of Immigrants in Crete is in the frame of a AN ANTIRACIST DEMONSTRATION CALL BY VARIOUS ORGANISATIONS IN CHANIA.  SIMILAR CALLS AHVE BEEN MADE IN OTHER CITIES AS WELL (Herakleion, Ioannina etc.) This is the Chania demonstrations poster:


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Fasco-thugs hit once more in Chania, Crete.

Posted by clandestina on 30 December 2009

The fasco-thugs in Chania, Crete made one more hideus, cowardice assault (for the previous ones see this and this).   In the small hours of Dec 27 inside a bar in the city’s Venetian Port area (an area with many bars) they beat with  baseball bats and knuckle dusters two Palestinians and one Moroccan guy, as well as a German woman who was in their company.    They only person in that company they did not beat was a Greek woman.   The “hit squad” of the thugs entered the bar prepared and with the sole purpose of attempting the murderous assault they did attempt, without having been provoked in no way whatsoever.

The male immigrants suffered injuries at their head and face, but were not in immediate need of hospitalisation after receiving first aid treatment.  The German woman is at hospital, with very severe injuries at her head and with face virtually deformed.

source: Forum of Migrants in Crete’s blog.

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Political refugee from Turkey in risk of deportation

Posted by clandestina on 24 December 2009

source: athens indymedia article

Early today the police put on a plane from Crete to Athens the Turkish political refugee Ridvan Celik (Rido), who has been claiming political asylum since 1991 in Greece.
Rido who was persecuted by the Turkish Military  for refusing to join the army and  fight the Kurdish rebels) fled to Greece in 1991 and since then has filed twice political asylum applications.
Rido was arrested on Dec 6, 2009, when riot police attacked a group of 20 comrades who were on the road for the rally point of the march to commemorate the completion of of one year since the murder of Alexis Grigoropoulos and the rebellion that followed.
Until today morning he had been detained at the  Heraklion police headquarters.  The mobilisation for his release and the reinitiation of political asylum processes did not bear fruit.

Apparently this secret transport to Athens and the day the Greek state chose for it (24 Dec) means that they intend to deport without crating fuzz.
UPDATE: according to athens indymedia users, Rido is detained at Petrou Ralli Police dpt.

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From Anti-Immigrant Summer to Zero Tolerance on Election Bait 

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.

Police violence

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:

Para-state violence

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.

Institutional violence

  • 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

Clandestina Network

Group of Immigrants and Refugees, Thessaloniki

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