Tag Archives: press release

Press Release / w2eu (28.0814): 73 refugees transferred from Moria to unknown destination on vessel of the Hellenic Navy (Α/Γ Ροδος L-177)

Mytilene, 28.08.14

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!

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Email: contact@w2eu.info

Press Release: Unaccompanied minor severely self-injured himself in Moria “first reception” detention centre in Lesvos

PRESS RELEASE 21.07.14 Lesvos

Unaccompanied minor severely self-injured himself in Moria “first reception” detention centre in Lesvos

On 17/7/2014 a 17-year-old Afghan who had been detained for many days in Moria awaiting his transfer to a special reception centre for minors cut his arms in an act of despair and protest as he could not stand anymore being closed up for many days and under such conditions. He was transferred to the psychiatry department of the local hospital.

In Greece there are 10 reception centres for unaccompanied minors with about 330 places in total that need to cover the needs of thousands. At the same time that a vast number of reception places are lacking many minors fear long detention upon arrival in Greece in so called First Reception Camps (detention centres) if they register with their real age and register themselves as adults. The background: Unaccompanied minors arriving in first reception centres have to undergo a number of medical examinations and then wait for a place in one of the overcrowded reception centres in order to be released. The detention duration varies and can reach one month or more months, while delays depend on the crowdedness in the reception facilities.

As a consequence hundreds of unaccompanied minors register as adults. They are being transferred to Pre-removal Detention Centres at the mainland, such as Amigdaleza, Corinth, Komotini, Xanthi, Fylakio or Drama / Parenesti where legal aid is not existing. When they realise that they end up facing 18 months detention or more due to their changed age all of them try to find ways to proof that they are minors.

Anyhow, if age-assesment has taken place already in First Reception Detention it is unlikely if not impossible (without the help of a lawyer) the authorities will approve a second age-assesment later. Age-assesment procedures have been recently defined in a Ministerial Decision for First Reception but not for Pre-Removal Detention Centres. As a result the procedures vary in the different places and more than that the ways and methods carried out are highly questionable. For this reason among others many unaccompanied minors end up in 18 month detention.

We demand for the immediate creation of sufficient special reception centres for unaccompanied minors. In this frame the Reception Centre for Unaccompanied Minors in Agiassos, Lesvos, which was closed earlier this year despite the huge need should be re-opened with the necessary funding to allow for its functioning.

And we demand for the immediate release of all unaccompanied minors in first reception detention centres, pre-removal centres or any other form of detention. As provided for in the Guidelines on Policies and Procedures in dealing with Unaccompanied Children Seeking Asylum from UNHCR (1997) “(T)he child should be given the benefit of the doubt if the exact age is uncertain” and “the main guiding principle in any child care and protection action is the principle of the ‘best interest of the child'”.

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210714 Press Release (in English and Greek)

Kayiki Press Release: End death at border now! Respect human life and death!

KAYIKI Press Release


End death at border now! Respect human life and death!

We, the inhabitants of both sides of Aegean Sea, express our anger and our shock about the thousands of deaths of refugees and migrants in their effort to cross Europe. They are a direct result of the Europe Fortress policy: The sealing of the borders and the lack of any other way for these people to seek protection.

Dozens of tragic shipwrecks have taken place on both sides of the Aegean Sea since August 2012 after the completion of the border fence in Evros, the land borders between Greece and Turkey: In Farmakonisi, in Lesvos and in Samos, near and some along the border river Evros.

Small children, women and men; refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia and Eritrea died in the Aegean Sea and in Evros trying to escape war, poverty and political persecution in their effort to cross the European borders. Their dead bodies were either found near the coastlines either they disappeared in the Aegean. Many of them were never identified, buried in unmarked graves in remote cemeteries and not according to their cultural and religious traditions. Family members who survived are weeping silently for the loss of their beloved. Others are still trying desperately to locate their missing ones. Continue reading Kayiki Press Release: End death at border now! Respect human life and death!

Press Release: Lesvos/ Greece the new European cage for migrants

Lesvos/ Greece the new European cage for migrants

The recent tragedies in Lampedusa have highlighted, once again, the prevailing indifference of the EU toward the fate of migrants. At the gates of Europe, in Italy as well as on the Greek islands, migrants are subjected to arbitrary and dangerous border controls and security measures that put their lives at risk.

In the last days more than 80 migrants succeeded in reaching the island of Lesvos despite the numerous illegal push backs that take place in the Aegean Sea. These women, children, and men, fleeing war-torn countries, dictatorial regimes or unsustainable socio-economic conditions, are subjected to violence and the indifference of the Greek and European authorities. In absence of any clear regulation, police and coast guard authorities keep the migrants who survive the dangerous sea crossing in a legal limbo, without any form of protection, care, and information.

Migrants who arrive on the island of Lesvos have to be registered in order to be able to leave the island. However, this registration is currently only happening after having been arrested and detained in a newly constructed detention facility near the village of Moria. Opened on the 25th of September 2013, the detention centre is officially described as a “first reception centre” but is de facto a closed camp, surrounded by fences and barbed wire. In the end it shall provide also about 600 places for longterm detention. The local police, assisted by the European agency Frontex, is responsible for identifying migrants, trying to obtain information concerning migration patterns. These procedures are not meant to offer protection for migrants but instead constitute strategies for further control, surveillance and deterrence. Applying for asylum is currently impossible. Continue reading Press Release: Lesvos/ Greece the new European cage for migrants

press release / village of all together: Morias’ prison in Lesvos has opened

Morias’ prison in Lesvos has opened
The first migrants have already been transferred there!

When you take a closer look you are stunned, you can’t get used to it. A naked space, that has been recently digged up,with four turrents around, crammed wth containers and with a high fence that seems to compress everything further more. The scenery of interdiction even here it’s made of the same, identical materials likewise in Amygdaleza, Corinth, Orestiada and in Pagani before.

Cement, wires, raised outposts, guns pointed at helpless people. Refugees and migrants sentenced to deprivation of their liberty for having committed no crime and without being taken to trial, are called to cope with their detention for an unspecified period of time.

The Minister of Public Order had already pre-announced the “work” in many occasions; in his last statement he precised that it will be completed by the end of 2013, but it will partially start operating in the end of August 2013. So, here we are in the end of September, where only some days before, workers were still trying to close up the holes in the empty prefabbricated and obviously used containers, from where water was already puring into them after the first rain of the season. There are 14 containters, of 33 square meters each, with 7 bunk beds, a small toilet and a small kitchen area. Till now, no aircondition or any other heating system was installed.

The outdoor space, which would serve as a courtyard, practically is a long corridor of 3X4 meters infront of each cointainer. There’s not a shelter to protect people from the sun or the rain. The temporary solution with the olive sheets raised in front of the containers, does not make things any better.

With some quick calculations we come to the following conclusions:

Interior spaces

7 bunk beds = 14 persons

33 sq.m – 3 sq.m for the kitchen and the bathroom = 30 sq.m

14 persons / 30 sq.m = a little more than 2 square meters for each person.

In this space, the refugees or migrants who will have the “luck” to be transferred there, will have to figure out how to cover all their needs and endure these conditions for weeks or even for moths.

Outdoor spaces

3X4= 12 sq.m for 14 persons, that is 0,85 sq.m of outdoor space for each person.

Based on the aforementioned elements, it is clear how Morias’ prison will function from now on. Even if the numbers improve, the policy of repression won’t change.

There’s only one demand, shared by even more people nowadays

NO to closed detention centers – YES to open reception centers with a short stay for migrants and free access for the volunteers

P.s The palestinian family shown below, stayed in Pikpa Lesvos for 11 days without being registered by the police or the port authorities. They just remembered them on Wednesday 25/9 when they emptied up PIKPA. Together with 8 afghans they are the first persons to be detained in Morias prison.