Nasimgul spent 18 hours in the rough sea near Lesvos without knowing if she’d survive and having lost track of her small baby girl in August 2014. This is her story.
We came back to Lesvos in August 2014. We returned once again to the outer border of Europe which was for many of us the place of our first arrival here. Again it was a journey that was full of memories, full of new encounters with people who experience today what many of us have been facing in the past. In this boobklet you will find many impressions from these days.
This year we were a very mixed group: There were young people who have already received a right to stay in Germany
and Sweden and who came back to meet with those who didn’t yet find a way out of Greece. From Athens a whole group of refugees came who currently live in the ´Welcome Island and some who are friends we knew from our camping last year in Lesvos or from the tours in Greece and Turkey. The trip was organized once again by Youth without Borders (JOG) and´Welcome to Europe (w2eu), together with many local friends.
We experienced incredible days on Lesvos, days full of memories of our own suffering but also our own success stories.
We welcomed the newly arrived and we had many encounters at the harbour of Mytilene when people left to continue their
journeys. We mourned those who didn’t arrive but died at this border. We protested against the prison close to the village of Moria and we overcame the fence with music. We had some incredible parties in PIKPA, the self organised welcome centre. …
We promise to come back again! Until this border becomes history.
29th of August 2014
We received the information that there is a rescue operation in Nees Kydonies Lesvou. A 38-year-old woman has gone missing. Strong winds in the area. The coast guard boats are not sailing only a helicopter flies for a while over the area.
At noon 25 Afghan refugees arrived at PIKPA. Two dingy boats had arrived early that morning. Strong winds and waves can’t stop smugglers but also can’t stop the need of people escaping war. Among the survivors of the first boat there is a five year old girl with her uncle. Her mother is missing. The child is resting in PIKPA. PIKPA is overcrowded again. More than 150 people arrived yesterday. No available beds and the families taking care of the girl give her their own beds. We inform the Doctors of the world in Moria detention camp about the tragic incident as well as Red Cross International. The child has a sister and her father in Belgium and they talk on the phone when the child is transferred in Moria to be examined and supported by the doctors. Continue reading Life not Death, by Efi Latsoudi
On Wednesday night (27th August 2014) a group of 73 refugees most of which were Afghan was transferred from Moria first reception detention centre in Lesvos to the port of Mytilene. When the last load of people reached the port it was already dark. They were then brought on board discretely and in the shadow of one Greek officer at a time. During this seemingly secretive operation the port was full of civil police and coast guards.
As the refugees thought they would be released – similar to the previously detained refugees all the other days, they were shocked and in panic when they found themselves in the port facing a 116 metres long ship of the Greek Navy. They were not informed about what was going to happen. They didn’t know where they would be brought. And their biggest fear was that they were being send back to Turkey.
Many of the persons transferred are relatives of families who were released shortly before, there are unaccompanied minors among them who were afraid to register with their real age as they heard the underage stay longer in detention and there are others who have family members in other European countries. All these persons have escaped war and conflict to find security and protection in Europe.
• We demand to know where these people were brought as to inform their relatives and lawyers! Transparency to all official procedures concerning refugees instead of secretive operations!
• Stop the transfer of refugees on Navy Boats that terrifies and retraumatizes them!
• Stop the arbitrary and discriminative treatment! We demand freedom for all refugees! Stop the detention of protection seekers!
• We also demand to know the whereabouts of the 36 unaccompanied minors who were seemingly transferred from Moria on August 18th to Athens/ Amigdaleza!
Welcome to Europe
Berlin / Hamburg / Mytilene in August 2014
Dear Madams and Sirs,
We witnessed recently how refugees were exposed after their arrival on the island of Lesbos by an inhumane treatment by the Greek coast guard. With this letter we are protesting against this approach.
On Wednesday, 06th of August 2014, we planned, as part of our summer camp on the island of Lesvos from Youth Without Borders and Welcome-to-Europe (two anti-racist solidarity networks), to celebrate a party with and for refugees and migrants. We chose as the place the PikPa, an empty children’s camp, which had been converted by activists from Lesvos with the consent of the mayor to a welcome-center for providing the newly arrived refugees with a roof over their head, the first legal informations and food. As well on this Wednesday refugees from Turkey had arrived and spent the time waiting to be registered by the Greek authorities, in Pikpa. Finally, a Coast Guard bus arrived and about 35 of the refugees were to be picked up.
Continue reading Letter of Protest against inhumane treatment of refugees on the Greek island of Lesvos