After visitin Lesvos Island, Special Rapporteur on the Human rights of Migrants Francois Crepeau commented on the solidarity camp in PIKPA run by activists and volunteers on the island:
Just before my visit to Lesvos, the local authorities provided facilities (a summer camp close to the airport) to house some migrant families. While I greatly appreciate this initiative, it is run by volunteers from the local community, and is not sustainable without support from Greek authorities. I thus urge the Greek government to support this important initiative, as well as the construction of more open shelters for migrants, which could be used as an alternative to detention, particularly for families and children. The Greek government should cooperate with NGOs in this respect.
Samos 07.12.12 – Movement for the Human rights – Solidarity to Refugees
Following the visit of members of the Movement in the coast guard facilities where 41 persons – among them eight newly arrived women and seven children mainly coming from Syria – are hold, and where we were asked to offer our support with clothing and hygiene articles, we noticed the following:
In this informal detention place of the Samos coast guards’ special forces men, women and children are closed up together with three penal detainees and one unaccompanied minor who is waiting since long time to be transferred into a special reception centre for minors.
The detention place is absolutely unsuitable and the detention conditions are miserable. There are no matresses, blankets, hygiene articles and there is only one toilette. The newly arrived Syrian refugees came wet and exhausted without being offered dry clothes or food.
The treatment by the authorities and the abolute lack of protection that the Greek government is encountering them with are reminding of darker periods when the informal detention centre of Kapnokoptiriou was still in function – a warehouse of souls.
The coast guard – the responsible ones for the detention – told us that they had requested support from all local authroities without receiving any responds.
SILENCE IS COMPLICITY
LETS NOT LOSE OUR HUMANITY DUE TO CRISIS
Civilians’ Initiative: “The village of all-together”
Within the last days the drama of hundreds of fellow citizens, which is already touching the limits to a humanitarian crisis once more evolves in Lesvos in front of the eyes of thousands of fellow citizens. Two months ago approx. active inhabitants of Levos, collectivities and NGOs, decided to build a network, to unite their powers and co-ordinate their actions with the aim to offer help to the ones really in need, when they recognised in time the catastrophic consequences of the crisis for all fellow citizens – migrants and non-migrants. In this way the «Village of all-together» was born. Our first demand towards the authorities was a few months ago to grant a place of shelter for the homeless migrants who until then were either wandering around our city desperately or being stuffed into overcrowded unsuitable places of detention. This demand was never answered at that time.
Today we, the members of the initiative, run a open reception shelter for migrants in the former tent-camp PIKPA, struggling daily with all our energy for securing food, covering basic needs, clothes, legal and medical aid for more than 60 migrants. Of course nothing could have been done without the massive solidarity of hundreds of fellow citizens who support until today this prototypical effort by cooking food, bringing warm clothes and other things they might lack themselves.
Continue reading Civilians’ Initiative: “The village of all-together” / Opening of PIKPA →
MOVEMENT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
SOLIDARITY TO REFUGEES
In 2010 members of the Movement continued to visit the detention centre of Samos on a weekly basis. Following serious allegations we received by detained refugees and given their inability to address the competent authorities by themselves, we gathered all acquired information and wrote a letter to the Ministry of Citizen Protection requesting to be informed about the manner in which deportations are carried out.
The letter was communicated to other humanitarian organizations as well as the Police Headquarters of Vathi town in Samos. The authorities not only refused to answer our questions concerning the treatment of the detained refugees, but they also forwarded our letter to the prosecutor, asking him to press charges against the member of our movement who had sent the letter in question for alleged defamation and false statements.
Subsequently, the Prosecutor ordered a preliminary examination, in the context of which all Board members of the Movement were asked to testify about this jointly drafted document. Even though the allegations of the Hellenic Police against our Movement were proven unsubstantiated, the judicial authorities nonetheless pressed criminal charges against the specific member of our Movement who had sent the document and ordered her referral for trial on 6/12/2012 on grounds of “false reporting to the authorities”. Continue reading Criminalisation of activists in Samos island – Press Release Group of Samos →
CALL FOR SOLIDARITY
Since yesterday (28.11.12) the civil society has managed to temporarily win the struggle for an open first reception centre with the authorities agreeing to transfer all the unregistered to PIKPA – a place also used once before during noborder Lesvos 2009 for the same purpose. About 70 refugees – among them pregnant women, small children and even a 10-day-old baby. Immediately both police and citizens started bringing even a few more freshly arrived. PIKPA is a summer camp construction, which is now not in a condition to be inhabited, thus, the local population together with the refugees try to make it more comfortable, to re-store the water connections etc. and to bring food for the persons hosted there. This ad hoc solution still needs a lot of support in order to become an official open reception centre, now still being a temporary solution.
There is a great need of support of any kind!
Continue reading Call for Solidarity →