Category Archives: Report

Court of Mitilini sentenced a 17-year-old Syrian refugee as facilitator

Monday 13 October 2014, Mitilini. 9am, Court of Mitilini. Rabee a young Syrian fleeing from Aleppo, not wanting to take part in the war, arrived in Mitilini with his 2 brothers and his uncle on a boat. The coast guards chose him and his uncle out of the 22 people travelling on that boat and accused them of being facilitators. That was 5 months ago. Since then Rabee has been imprisoned in Athens in Avlona prison for minors, waiting for the trial that will give him his freedom. His older brother left for Sweden to join the rest of the family. He followed their plan to get to Sweden where more family members are. The youngest brother stayed in Athens waiting for Rabee to get free. They all could not believe that this nonsense accusation would last. Today Rabee’s uncle who came specially from Sweden to witness the trial and his small brother M. who waits since 5 months in Athens to continue his journey to his family in Sweden, were present in the court of Mitilini and wanted to be witnesses.
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‘First reception’ practices of refugees in Greece: The example of Moria on Lesvos island

“We didn’t come to Europe to get beaten, insulted and imprisoned.”

In September 26th, 2013 the new so called “first reception center (KEPY)” opened in Moria on the island of Lesvos. It is the second of its kind in Greece following the example of the KEPY in Fylakio, Evros that opened earlier in the same year.
The Pagani of the Troika – as it is called to remind of former prisons and to disconnect it from nearby Moria village, is a prison where only a few selected NGOs have access under the precondition not to share any information with the outside world. Civil society gets presented the term ‘first reception’ that gives a false impression of an open, accessible place while it is nothing else than another new prison in the tradition of Amigdaleza’s fenced containers the only difference being the detention duration – at first sight. As prescribed by law, detention does not exceed 25 days maximum in this place BUT detainees might just be transferred to (pre-removal) detention centers such as Fylakio, Komotini, Xanthi or Chios for example, where they might stay up to 18 months or more if they are not readmitted to Turkey, deported or sign voluntary return in the meanwhile.moria2

Currently the detention center in Moria is being constructed directly next to the “first reception” center, and build within the same fences and with the same containers. It is about to be opened in beginning of July 2014 with a capacity of 750 people while the capacity of the “first reception” screening center is supposed to reach 250 places. Nonetheless, only detention is what has marked the character of Moria since the beginning.

It is our aim to show from the very beginning of its functioning the real face of the ‘first reception’ detention center and to insist that this has to be closed. We do not argue for better detention conditions but for freedom!

We asked refugees having passed through Moria prison one single question:

‘What was your worst experience inside Moria detention?’