Migration and Struggle in Greece

Posts Tagged ‘Germany’

Released from Pagani, now trying to survive Athens…

Posted by clandestina on 15 November 2009

Published on 13. November 2009 at

We have to sleep in 3 hour shifts

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!!!!!

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Of lies, more lies and some successes [about Pagani]

Posted by clandestina on 2 October 2009


Of lies, more lies and some successes

Last week, we reported about the revolt going on in Pagani. In the immediate days after the revolt, there seemed to be some development favourable to the situation of refugees. Some friendly observers from Lesvos reported that on the very Tuesday of the revolt, there were

700 prisoners in Pagani, around 150 women and children and 150 unaccompanied minors. The minors living on the first floor set fire to matrasses in their cell, which produced a lot of smoke. To escape from the smoke they broke the bars of the window and went on the very small balcony in front of their cell window. They screamed for their freedom, some were very upset and the situation was very dangerous. The policemen of the prison managed to extinguish the fire. More policemen, fire brigades, journalists and observer in solidarity arrived. The tension spread to the other cells.

The prisoners broke the door with the iron bars and went out into the yard. They were absolutely peaceful and the police didn’t react. Around 400 prisoners were in the yard. The negotiations between the prisoners and the police and the prefect lasted until late in the night.

The outcome were promises such as:

  • All minors would be released until the Friday (25.9.09)
  • Some men imprisoned for longer than 2 months would be released, too
  • Pikpa open camp at the airport would be reopened, and families arriving on Lesvos would be sent there straightaway, without detention.

That was the last word we heard over last weekend. On Monday, nothing had happened yet, but it was somehow blamed on a strike going on in the port of Piraeus, stopping all ferry traffic and thus impeding the transfer of migrants from Lesvos to Athens. But it already sounded like a bad excuse. So finally yesterday, we learnt that all three promises were nothing but blatant lies. Pikpa open camp has not been reopened, no minors or families were released and the only change is that by now, about 20 riot police of the notorious MAT are stationed at Pagani prison in order to suppress any new ensueing revolt.

Y’all know that that means: we have to continue our campaign on Pagani prison and detention in general, and we hear that first actions all over Europe are already in preparation. So for one stay tuned, and for the other: Can you think about organising a local action where you live? We will be providing a set of material to support such actions, like we already started providing our videos.

On the other hand, there are good news, too. Other friendly observers from Lesvos report that the attitude of the population towards refugees and migrants is turning, and that numerous acts of practical solidarity with refugees can be observed. Even the site of the noborder info-point in Mytilini still seems to function as a meeting point for refugees, migrants and people interested to get in touch with them. Noborder left behind a new social space.

Meanwhile in Germany, concrete effects of the scandalisation of the detention conditions of refugees in Greece can be observed. The german constitutional court, i.e. the highest court in Germany, made an express decision stopping an Iraqi refugee from being deported to Greece under Dublin-II. At first the newspapers reported that it was a rather formal decision, they said he needed to remain in Germany since in Greece, he would be homeless and thus, the court would not be able to serve correspondence to his postal address. However, in a press release some days later, the court was tentatively questioning the legality of the whole Dublin-II regime, announcing that it would evaluate it and audit whether it was compatible with the german constitution. This is the first time since 1996 that the constitutional court is thorougly auditing a main pillar of the german asylum system. As a first reaction, refugees imprisoned at one airport after having been arrested coming from Greece have been freed, and the local authorities stopped the imprisonment of all further refugees coming from Greece. It is expected that the lower courts will follow the ruling of the constitutional court. So: deportations to Greece under Dublin-II seem difficult (the authorities still try to do it, and they manage if there is no legal fighting back), but there are first ideas about a serious campaign against Dublin-II. Again: stay tuned, and join the resistance.

Another serious development is that the German interior minister made a complete u-turn in his talking about the Greece asylum system. Before, it was always stated that Greece had a propoer asylum system, and that refugees sent back to Greece would live under proper conditions. Clearly, after all the media attention the issue attracted over the summer, such a lie could not be upheld. So at the EU interior ministers’ meeting in Brussels on the 21.9.09, a statement was issued by the german interior minister denouncing the living conditions of refugees in Greece, stating that human rights standards had to be adhered to all over Europe and implying that Greece was in fact threatening the whole Dublin-II regime. We concurr insofar as that we also believe that Dublin-II is ripe to fall, but we believe that putting the blame on Greece alone is wrong: Germany is profiting very much from Dublin-II, in fact the whole german asylum system rests on Dublin-II, and it is a European issue, not just a Greek one.

By the way, after the destruction of the refugee camps in Calais, some refugees were deported Greece, also under Dublin-II (although apparently not as many as first announced). There is still a strong solidarity campaign in Calais, so if you have some time and are willing to help:

Calais is turning into a hell with all the jungles being destroyed – the Hazara and Iranian jungles were destroyed, this moring the Eritrean squat was evicted and a fence put around it; security with dogs are preventing people to retrurn and collect their few belongings!

As a result some migrants have initiated a hunger strike and they need support.

There are some people coming to Calais on Friday [last week] from London and from the Netherlands: if you need a lift from London there is possibility of a minibus, call the communication phone 0033 6348 10710, or to take stuff from London to Calais.

You can always follow the development at their blog calais migrant solidarity, and there is a call for a direct solidarity action on the 28th and 29th of November.

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EU group deportations by charter flight

Posted by clandestina on 25 June 2009

“Sweep operations”, mass arrests, mass detention, group deportations with charter flights.  The Greek Government seems determined to turn this cascade of events into a routine this summer.  This is an article about the last step – charter flighsts – we found at no-racism-net.


EU group deportations by charter flight – Hamburg as forerunner

On the 29.4.2004, the European council decided to organise group flights for deporting migrants and refugees who “are required to depart”. The “rehearsal” for flights like this took place from 25 to the 26.5.04 in Hamburg-Fuhlsbüttel.

The ban on night flights was lifted, the airport turned into a prison and at around 2am eight refugees from four different states were flown to Amsterdam in a KLM plane to be deported to Togo and Cameroon along with 44 other refugees from five EU countries. Since then, there has been at least seven such group deportations to Africa, not only to Togo and Cameroon but also to Guinea, Ghana, Benin and Nigeria. Further charter flights took place from Düsseldorf (see overview at :: Flüchtlingsrat Hamburg)
In July 2005 at a meeting in Evian, the so-called G5 states (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Great Britain) reaffirmed that they would plan deportations together in future. Shortly afterwards the airports in London and Paris were the setting for the joint deportation to Afghanistan. Further flights followed.

Saving costs and business

Such deportation flights are carried out with chartered aeroplanes from different airines e.g. Hamburg International (see box), Aero Flight (the company has since registered concourse), Hello (Swiss company), LTU, Westtours or the Austrian airlines Asylum Airlines founded especially for this purpose. They fly from country to country to round up detainees without valid residency permits, usually in late-night stings and with brutal violence. Or refugees are brought to the place of departure with loading planes, sometimes in small private jets. Around 140 000 euros is what a group deportation costs, and around 70 percent of this is reimbursed by the EU. “If I get the machine full, one deportee costs around 1000 Euros.
From 20 people and up, the cost per head sinks below the price of a scheduled deportation flight”, explained a leading employee of the Hamburg Immigration Authorities to the magazine “Leben” in the newspaper :: “Zeit”. But saving costs through a large number of deportees is not the main reason for carrying out group deportations. An example: In March 2008 the first charter deportation flight from Ireland took place – with only six refugees in the 110 seat machine. What is essential, is that a charter flight carrying only deportees is occupied with more than twice as many policemen, a doctor as well as employees of the involved immigration authorities and the European border protection agency Frontex, and so publicity is completely excluded and resistance is hardly possible.

Protests on charter flights with inhumane measures

In charter flights in recent years it often came to protests from passengers and some of them are on trial, for example in France. If passengers refuse to sit down then a flight cannot take off due to safety reasons. It is also possible for flight attendants to refuse to
carry out deportations. Air France had a one such a campaign with union workers in Summer 2007. The German pilot union, Cockpit, recommends its members to ask people affected by deportations whether they want to fly and if they answer “no” to refuse to transport them because otherwise, in case of death or injury from deportees, the pilot could be sued. Specialty deportation charter flights cannot expect such problems since the staff is specially chosen and mistreatment could occur unnoticed. Only afterwards, in reports from deportees, facts about the operation like medication used to “calm” them, being tied up, gagged, and hit and other illegal measures on board the charter machines were leaked to the public. The authorities justified this mistreatment by claiming that the deportees were “criminal offenders” and “violent”. It’s a fact that for authorities, “illegal” residency is a criminal act and cries of protest or resistance against being tied up or gagged are labelled as “violence” – but not what is done to the refugees.

Dieser Artikel ist mit leichten Änderungen dem :: Camp08 Reader entnommen.

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Arslan Tayfun Özkök is still in prison and threatened with deportation to Turkey…

Posted by clandestina on 4 May 2009

OZKIOK2We have already posted about the Turkish leftist and political refugee Aslan Tayfun Özkök here. His case, a case of sentencing a man to immidiate danger by deporting him to the Turkish authoriatarian regime, no matter how outrageous it sounds, has not been resolved yet.   On April 30 his appeal to be released was rejected.  Now the Turkish state has to present by the 8th of May the Greek authorities with sufficient evidence for its claim to have Aslan repulsed.  In the case Turkey fails to do so, he must be released.

We know very well how Greece tries to downgrade and devalue the very notion and idea of political asylum.  All the Greek state strategically plans to be offering in the future  is “humanitarian” asylum, according to its own geopolitical calculationsas, as a kind of exceptional benefit and in the current extremely low numbers or even less if possible.

Aslan’s and Haydar’s cases are only straws in the wind and the wind is already blowing.

Publicity for the issue is crucial.   We must not let this happen.

Hands off the political refugee Aslan Tayfun Özkök!


blog in Greek about Arslan:

Posted in Calls to Action, Campaigns, Appeals & Petitions, Group of Immigrants and Refugees / Clandestina Network Texts & Announcements, Undeclared War news | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »