[Brüssel] Callout for support – Bericht aus dem November 2019 in Brüssel

Der folgende Bericht ist sowohl ein Bericht zur Lage in Brüssel, als auch ein dringender AUfruf zu Unterstützung der NoBorder NoProblem Struktur.

Quelle:http://nobordernoproblem.org/2019/11/10/bruessel-volunteer-we-are-constantly-looking-for-volunteers-that-can-commit-for-two-weeks-or-more-please-get-in-touch/

Ein warmens Hallo aus einem kalten Brüssel.

Nun sind wir seit zwei Wochen im Kochbetrieb und unser Essen erfreut sich großer Beliebtheit im Park. Wir haben unsere Abläufe optimiert. Einmal die Woche kaufen wir nun ein und planen das Essen für die Woche vor.

Durch die Reflexion der zwei Wochen Dauerkochbetrieb haben wir uns entschieden, einen Tag weniger pro Woche zu kochen. So können wir uns um die Aufgaben kümmern, die wir sonst aus einem Mangel an Freiwilligen nicht schaffen sowie um auch uns mal ein Pause zu geben. Durch finanzielle Einbußen von 3000 Euro pro Monat ist ein weiteres Hindernis entstanden, was das Kochen an 5 Tagen die Woche zusätzlich erschwert. Daher der dringende Aufruf:

Wir brauchen Freiwillige, die uns unterstützen und Verantwortung übernehmen.
In der kalten Zeit ist es umso wichtiger Menschen in Notlagen zu helfen und Solidarität groß zu schreiben. Wir arbeiten gerade mit 5 – 8 Freiwilligen plus solidarischen Genoss_Innen aus Brüssel. Damit wir unsere Küche wieder auf 100 Prozent laufen lassen
können, brauchen wir ca. 12 Freiwillige, die für eine gewisse Zeit Verantwortung übernehmen möchten. Aufgaben, die es zu erledigen gilt, sind u. A.:
Kochen
• Einkaufen
• Finanzmanagement
• Ausgabe von Essen
• Schnibbeln
• Putzen
• Revolution

Wenn du Zeit hast, komm vorbei. Spende deine Zeit und deine Solidarität. Wenn du Geld spenden möchtest, um uns zu unterstützen, dann kontaktiere uns doch per Mail:
zigzagkitchen(AT)posteo.org

Wir Freuen uns auf Dich.

Des Weiteren haben wir uns verstärkt um die Freiwilligenkommunikation in Brüssel gekümmert, um langfristig eine gute Kommunikation und Übergabe der Küche zu gewährleisten.
Wir schauen in eine spannende Zukunft in Brüssel. Schon jetzt können wir sicher sein, dass unser Kochkollektiv dringend notwendig ist. Vor allem in den nun bevorstehenden kalten Monaten.

Solidarische Grüße aus Brüssel. Eure Zig Zag Crew

Zusammengefasster Bericht aus dem Oktober 2019 in Brüssel

Vorweg sei gesagt, dass dieser Bericht ein wenig ausfuehrlicher ausfallen wird, wie die uebrigen sechs. Dies hat jedoch nichts mit den Dingen in Kurdistan und Halle zu tun, die uns hier momentan auch beschaeftigen! (WUT) Wir fangen ab dieser Woche unser “normales Tagesgeschaeft” an. Das bedeutet, dass wir euch einen Einblick geben wollen, was euch erwartet, solltet ihr uns hier vor Ort unterstuetzen wollen. Zudem wollen wir aber auch allen, die uns diese Aktion(en) durch div. Unterstuetzung ermoeglicht haben, einen Ueberblick ueber das verschaffen, was bisher alles passiert ist und wie es wohl weiterlaufen wird. Fangen wir mal mit einem kleinen Rueckblick an:
Als Mitte-Ende August die ersten Aktivistinnen nach Bruessel kamen, war die Lage im Park (Wir nennen die Orte an denen die Menschen sich aufhalten im Folgendem nur noch Park, da dort ein grossteil lebt/sich aufhaelt und dort die Versorgung zum grossen Teil stattfindet.) noch sehr unstrukturiert und kein Mensch konnte uns genauer erklaeren, wie die Lage eigentlich aussieht. Nach einem ersten Koordinierungstreffen zwischen den meisten Akteurinnen in und um den Park, kam die Idee auf, einen Kalender zu erstellen, um uns moeglichst einfach abzusprechen und natuerlich auch um (fuer uns) zu sehen, wann es Versorgungsluecken gibt. Mit sehr viel Arbeit in Form von Gespraechen und Beobachtungen im Park, konnten wir einen Kalender etablieren, der nach und nach besser genutzt wurde. Es gibt zwar noch Gruppen, die trotz eingetragener Termine nicht erscheinen, oder die statt der angegeben warmen, kalte Speisen ausgeben, doch alles in allem ist es ein nuetzliches Tool geworden.

Recht schnell wurde uns von allen beteiligten Menschen das Signal gegeben, dass wir mit unserer Idee, eine weitere Kueche in Bruessel aufmachen zu wollen, sehr richtig lagen.
Nachdem wir dann auf der Suche nach einem Ort fuer die Kueche auf ein grosses soziales Projekt gestossen sind, haben wir angefangen dort an der schon bestehenden Kueche zu arbeiten und uns mit den tollen Menschen des Projektes zu vernetzen. Ein gluecklicher Zufall hat uns dann jedoch auf ein anderen Ort gebracht, der in der Zukunft nicht Reaumungsgefaehrdet ist (so wie leider das soziale Projekt), da eine Gruppe von Antifaschistischen Menschen das Grundstueck gekauft hat, auf dem wir unsere Kueche nun errichtet haben.
Ab dem Moment haben wir fast jeden Tag dort verbracht, um den Ort aus dem nichts zu einer Kueche zu machen. Trotz der Verzoegerungen durch die viralen Infekte, das fehlen eines KFZ und durch die teilweise geringe Zahl an Aktivist*innen, konnten wir dennoch einen eindrucksvollen Platz errichten, in dem wir (so professionell wie sonst selten in unserem Kontext) fuer eine grosse Zahl Menschen kochen koennen.
Die ZIG ZAG KITCHEN ist geboren!

Neben der Unterstuetzung durch Aktivist*innen, die vor Ort mit angepackt haben, verdanken wir diese Kueche auch den Menschen, die uns aus Suedfrankreich und anderen Kontexten mit Geld, Kontakten oder guten Ratschlaegen supported haben.
DANKE!

Ein hoch auf die Antinationale Solidaritaet!

Soviel zu dem, was in den letzten neun Wochen so passiert ist. Wie sieht es nun aus und vor allem, wie geht es weiter?
Wir haben nun alles zusammen, was es braucht, die Menschen mit kraeftebringendem, leckeren Essen zu versorgen. Die Zig Zag Kueche steht, die Netzwerke stehen, die lokale Solidaritaet ist vielfaeltig und enorm, das Besteck ist organisiert, die Versorgung der Zutaten steht, dessen Finanzierung ebenfalls, das Auto ist endlich hier und wir haben gerade (noch) ausreichend Aktivist*innen mit Erfahrung und Motivation.

In Zukunft werden wir jeden Freitag mit dieser Gruppe die Kueche teilen, bis wir uns irgendwann ueberfluessig machen koennen und die Gruppe die Kueche freitags alleine nutzt.
Am Samstag haben wir zu sechst, mit Hilfe eines Aktivisten aus Frankreich 800 warme Mahlzeiten ausgeben koennen, am Sonntag etwas weniger. Die Toepfe waren jedes mal leer nach ca. ein bis zwei Stunden. Wir versuchen mehr zu kochen, jedoch sind langsam die Kapazitaeten der Toepfe erschoepft. Wir experimentieren nun noch ein wenig mit anderen Gerichten herum und geben auch vermehrt Beilagen (Toppings) aus. Der Wagen kommt zwar langsam an sein Zuladungslimit, aber der Platz reicht noch aus.

Wir hatten auch das erste mal einen Kuechentag, in dem auch die betroffenen Menschen selbst mit Schnibbeln. Wir haben sudanesische Aktivistinnen eingeladen, die momentan in einem Squat leben (500m von unserer Kueche entfernt) und denen aehnlich wie uns auch bald eine Raeumung droht. Vielleicht leben wir bald woanders zusammen. Wir werden sehen. Gestern Abend ist zudem noch eine Aktivistin angekommen, der/die uns in den naechsten Monaten unterstuetzen und auch kochen wird. Das ist ein guter Anfang, jedoch koennen wir nach wie vor noch mehr Menschen vor Ort gebrauchen. Morgen ist erst einmal der letzte Kochtag bis zum Freitag. Wir werden die dazwischenliegenden Tage nutzen, um zu reflektieren, den Boden fertig zu stellen und um die Erfahrungen der letzten Tage zum verbessern der Ablaeufe zu zu verwenden. Kurdische und libanesische Aktivistinnen, die uns heute im Park geholfen haben, werden uns morgen in der Kueche helfen.

Da wir versuchen, die (Wissens-)Hierarchien in der Gruppe so gering wie moeglich zu halten, waere es dringend notwendig, dass wir mehr Aktivist*innen vor Ort sind, die lernen wollen, wie fuer ca. 800 Menschen Essen zubereitet wird. Gleichzeitig ist es enorm wichtig, dass Menschen in unserer Gruppe sich um finanzielle Aspekte kuemmern, dass nun
vorhandene Auto im Blick zu behalten, den Kontakt zu anderen Gruppen zu pflegen oder einfach nur dafuer zu sorgen, dass Berichte geschrieben werden etc… Diese Aufgabenbereiche sollen in Zukunft regelmaessig wechseln, um keine Menschen unsersetzlich zu machen und so fuer einen langfristigen funktionierenden Kuechenbetrieb zu sorgen.
Wir organisieren uns selbst und sind komplett unabhaengig. Das ist gut so und damit es auch so bleibt sind wir dringend auf eure Unterstuetzung angewiesen. Wir sind momentan gerade genug Menschen, um die anfallenden Aufgaben zu bewaeltigen. Es gibt unter uns jedoch auch Menschen, die nach einer sehr langen Zeit in Bruessel mal wieder neue Energie sammeln muessen oder die im Winter ihren Aktionsschwerpunkt auf die Unterbringung von Menschen verlegen wollen. Wenn ihr euch also vorstellen koennt, fuer einen kurzen oder laengeren Zeitraum zu schauen, ob euch unser Projekt gefaellt, dann meldet euch bei uns. Wir verstaendigen uns uebrigends in englischer Sprache, koennen aber auch fuer Uebersetzungen sorgen. Wenn ihr euch unsicher seid oder Fragen habt, fuehlt euch frei uns eine E-Mail zu schreiben.

[Lesvos] This was not an accident! Statement about the fire in hot-spot Moria on 29.9.19

Source: http://lesvos.w2eu.net/2019/09/30/this-was-not-an-accident/

This was not an accident!
They died because of Europe’s cruel deterrence and detention regime!

Yesterday, on Sunday 29 September 2019, a fire broke out in the so-called hotspot of Moria on Lesvos Island in Greece. A woman and probably also a child lost their lives in the fire and it remains unclear how many others were injured. Many people lost all their small belongings, including identity documents, in the fire. The people imprisoned on Lesvos have fled wars and conflicts and now experience violence within Europe. Many were re-traumatised by these tragic events and some escaped and spent the night in the forest, scared to death.

Over the past weeks, we had to witness two more deaths in the hotspot of Moria: In August a 15-year-old Afghan minor was killed during a violent fight among minors inside the so-called “safe space” of the camp. On September 24, a 5-year-old boy lost his life when he was run-over by a truck in front of the gate.

The fire yesterday was no surprise and no accident. It is not the first, and it will not be the last. The hotspot burned already several times, most tragically in November 2016 when large parts burned down. Europe’s cruel regime of deterrence and detention has now killed again.

In the meantime, in the media, a story was immediately invented, saying that the refugees themselves set the camp on fire. It was also stated that they blocked the fire brigade from entering. We have spoken to many people who witnessed the events directly. They tell us a very different story: In fact, the fire broke out most probably due to an electricity short circuit. The fire brigade arrived very late, which is no surprise given the overcrowdedness of this monstrous hotspot. Despite its official capacity for 3,000 people, it now detains at least 12,500 people who suffer there in horrible living conditions. On mobile phone videos taken by the prisoners of the camp, one can see how in this chaos, inhabitants and the fire brigade tried their best together to at least prevent an even bigger catastrophe.

There simply cannot be a functioning emergency plan in a camp that has exceeded its capacity four times. When several containers burned in a huge fire that generated a lot of smoke, the imprisoned who were locked in the closed sector of the camp started in panic to try to break the doors. The only response the authorities had, was to immediately bring police to shoot tear-gas at them, which created an even more toxic smoke.

Anger and grief about all these senseless deaths and injuries added to the already explosive atmosphere in Moria where thousands have suffered while waiting too long for any change in their lives. Those who criminalise and condemn this outcry in form of a riot of the people of Moria cannot even imagine the sheer inhumanity they experience daily. The real violence is the camp itself, conditions that are the result of the EU border regime’s desire for deterrence.

We raise our voices in solidarity with the people of Moria and demand once again: The only possibility to end this suffering and dying is to open the islands and to have freedom of movement for everybody. Those who arrive on the islands have to continue their journeys to hopefully find a place of safety and dignity elsewhere. We demand ferries to transfer the exhausted and re-traumatised people immediately to the Greek mainland. We need ferries not Frontex. We need open borders, so that everyone can continue to move on, even beyond Greece. Those who escape the islands should not be imprisoned once more in camps in mainland Greece, with conditions that are the same as the ones here on the islands.

Close down Moria!
Open the islands!
Freedom of Movement for everyone!

Welcome to Europe – http://lesvos.w2eu.net/
WatchTheMed Alarm Phone – https://alarmphone.org/en/
Mare Liberum – https://mare-liberum.org/en/

[Greece] Free Nour – criminalization of refugees as human traffickers

The source of the following article is the petition in change.org: (https://www.change.org/p/european-court-of-human-rights-free-nour-al-sameh) as well as the picture which is taken from this petition too.

Cases of state repression against refugees arriving with boats on greek islands by criminalizing their act of eventually conducting a boat as human trafficking as written below, are no single cases. It is a systematicly policy of deterrence and arbitrariness. We want to make these cases visible. Nour is an exemplary case for this:

Free Nour Al-sameh! 

Nour Al-Sameh is 29 years old ٍSyrian who is unjustly imprisoned in Greece for 4 years now because he flee to Europe for refuge. Just like the Captain of the Sea-Watch Carola Rackete, he acted to save the lives of people on a boat in the Aegean Sea who would otherwise have drowned in the water.

Nour studied Business Management in Syria, he fled his country due to persecution and war that burst in. He stayed in Turkey in an unbearable situation without shelter or job until he managed to leave Turkey, in July 29th 2015. The only possibility for him to seek refuge in Europe was crossing the Aegean Sea in small sailing boat. He was the only person on the boat who could speak English, when the boat was about to sink he called for help using the walky-talky on the boat.

People on the boat were taken by The Greek coast guards accompanied by military forces (according to Nour,this forces were in military uniform, and he thinks that they were speaking in German)
The boat was taken to the harbor of Perya Island in Greece, he was handed to the Greek coast guards. Being blindfolded and handcuffed, Nour was beaten, insulted and humiliated by the Greek police.

He was accused with Human Trafficking and sentenced for 315 years and a fine of 3150000 Euros in June 2016. Similar cases have shown that the court counts prison year by the number of people on the boat. With the support of his friends he managed to get a lawyer and appeal against this decision in November 2017, the judge of  Perya court dismissed the appeal. In another attempt for justice Nour’s lawyer brought the case to the highest court in Greece, the Supreme Court, to win the opportunity for an appeal and to explain his story properly. Since the hearing in the Supreme Court in February 2019 Nour is waiting for an answer on his claim.

Nour’s case is not an exception. Many refugees have been criminalized, arrested and are currently detained in Greek prisons simply because they were fleeing. The Legal Center Lesvos has documented https://legalcentrelesvos.org/category/news/).

“The individuals charged are denied the basic rights to a fair trial, guaranteed under Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights, as they are routinely denied adequate interpretation, are denied a fair hearing, and convictions are based on the sole fact that the individual was driving the boats attempting to reach Europe from Turkey” In Nour’s case it was simply making a call to ask for help. The Christian Peacemaker Team also documented a trial against refugees concluding

“No one in the courtroom supported the business of human smuggling of refugees—making immense profits by charging huge prices for transporting refugees in very dangerous conditions, usually crowding too many people in unsafe boats, often not giving them life jackets that actually work, or not putting enough fuel in the motor to reach the shore of the Greek island. It’s a horrendous crime against these vulnerable and desperate people. But the people being tried in this courtroom were not the people running these illegal businesses and getting rich.”

https://cptmediterranean.wordpress.com/2016/12/01/seeing-in-the-greek-courtroom/

Here is another article tackling the unjust sentencing of many more people, most likely there are many more like Nour that we haven’t heard of.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/241858/article/ekathimerini/news/three-arrested-for-migrant-smuggling-in-as-many-incidents

Nour is still arrested without any help and his case is forgotten

please sign his petition and share it, Nour deserves our solidarity

Saving lives is not a crime!

We demand Nour’s immediate release!

 

[Roeszke11/Ahmed H.] Ahmed is back home!

We are happy to tell you that 4 years after the brutal attack of the Hungarian state on the protests after the closing of the Roeszke border crossing and the arrests of the eleven people, the so called Roeszke 11, the last person Ahmed H. was finally able to leave the country to Cyprus, back to his family, on the 28th of September 2019.

After several years in prison and through the court instances, the Hungarian state ignored the European wide protests and convicted Ahmed in a fake trial of “terrorism” to prison for 5 years in the end in 2018. Since January 2019 he we was meant to be released from prison but had to stay in deportation detention as Cyprus didn`t want to let him return to his family there.

We wish Ahmed and his family all the best!
Thanks to all people supporting Ahmed and his family and the Roeszke 11 – solidarity will win! Lets fight injustice and the border regime!

Read the statement of Amnesty International:
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/09/hungary-syrian-man-unjustly-jailed-finally-allowed-home-to-cyprus/

[Athen] Refugee squats in centre of Athens under attack

The following post is originally published on Infomobile: information with, for and about refugees in Greece, published here: http://infomobile.w2eu.net/2019/09/25/refugee-squats-in-centre-of-athens-under-attack-by-new-government-while-thousands-housed-in-state-run-camps-are-dumped-in-tents-and-containers-under-inhuman-conditions/

In a wave of sweep-operations against refugees and migrants the new right-wing government of Nea Dimokratia (of July 7th) within the last month has evicted five refugee squats and announced more will follow. Meanwhile, nothing is done to improve reception conditions in the official camps – in contrary things get worse. The state literally denies dignified housing and integration to thousands of refugees and their kids. New camps built; old camps re-opened or expanded; more tents set up… this is how the state deals with protection seekers. Not to mention, the undocumented who are threatened by arrest, detention and deportation. 

“They are trying to bury us but they forget that we are seeds, that we are more than just a number, more than an occupied building, we are a community.”

5th schoolOn 23 September, 143 refugees and migrants were evicted from 5th school in Exarchia. During the sweep operation Photoreporter Alexandros Stamatiou got arrested for “breach of domestic peace” during his professional news coverage, as the Greek Union of Photoreporters denounced, “a fact that does not remind anymore of a democracy”. The raid in the building housing many families with kids was based on a complaint filed in 2016 by neo-Nazi and former parliamentarian I. Kassidiaris from Golden Dawn, as EFSYN newspaper uncovered.

“It was this that triggered the prosecutor’s intervention and the recent sweep operation during which nothing was found. As it turns out, the “law and order” doctrine even takes advantage of the neo-Nazis’ racist actions.”

EFSYN

The Greek Federation of Secondary Education State School Teachers (B-ELME) denounced the violent sweep and the arrest of the photoreporter. As they state, many of the 56 kids residing in the 5th school squat had been visiting public schools in the neighbourhood of Exarchia and have now been once again uprooted and out of the educational system since their transfer to distant refugee camps. According to the Federation, the 5th school was closed and left empty for some years by earlier governments, until being turned into a refugee housing space, after the fusion with another school – a procedure which in the year 2013 led to the closure of three schools alone in this area.

“The State must provide decent living conditions within the urban centres for refugees and migrants, the vast majority of whom are victims of imperialist wars, with equal access to health and education. Children – without any exception – have the right to education in public schools. We are opposed to the long-term entrapment of thousands of people who were forced to get uprooted from their countries, through the flagrant EU Turkey “Deal”. We are opposed to the totally unacceptable living conditions in the hot spots on the islands and in the camps in mainland Greece. The “law and order” that the new government is trying to impose on human souls, trampling on labor and trade union rights, is targeting universal human values ​​and achievements.”

Greek Federation of Secondary Education State School Teachers (B-ELME)

Also the parents association of 35th and 36th primary schools publicly demanded their kid’s school mates back.

“In recent days, buildings in downtown Athens have been evacuated where refugees had found shelter, waiting for what law, what government, what bureaucracy will proceed their asylum procedures. Their children were enrolled in the schools of downtown Athens, trying to integrate, learn the language, make their lives a normal one even under these conditions. But while it is the state that should ensure that all children are enrolled and attending school, while having ratified the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, it is the state that most violently deprives them of their rights, it pushes them to the margins, it does not respect their fundamental rights, it does not respect their existence. Because the school year has begun and children are removed from their schools without any notice, without even registering them and transferring them to other schools.

We want our children’s classmates back. Because it is the obligation of all of us to finally ensure a safe environment for them. Thanks to them many of the city center’s schools were actually not closed. Because political games cannot be played on the backs of children and oppressed people!”

Parents Association of 35th and 36th primary schools

On 19 September already 269 people (46 families) had been evicted from the two refugee squats Jasmin School (also known as 2ndschool) and Acharnon22. These raids followed earlier evictions of Spirou Trikoupi 15 and 17 on 26 August where in total another 143 people had been residing. Following the raids, the former “homes” got sealed up with barbed wire; windows and doors locked with bricks and cement and people taken away from their neighbourhoods.

Mostly families with kids but also many homeless single men fleeing from war and conflict areas to Europe to find safety, have been attacked during these raids and were taken away their homes and communities. Protection seekers already traumatised found themselves in early morning hours waking up by the shouting and threats of armed special forces, the massive police presence invading their temporary “homes” supposingly in order to “combat drug trade and lawlessness” – as government and mainstream media propaganda frame it. Refugees and migrants were transferred first to Petrou Ralli Aliens Police Directorate for hours of control. The ones with papers from Trikoupi Squats were temporarily transferred to an empty building, to Schisto camp and then spread to different camps. In Schisto they stayed outside in small tents for days. In Eleonas eight persons shared one room in a container “piled up like animals in a farm”.  Many rejected a transfer to distant camps such as Katsikas in the Northern Greece or Koutsochero near Larissa (also to Eleonas, Skaramangas, Thiva and Lavrio) and are homeless again today. The ones from Jasmin school and Acharnon22 were brought to the newly established state-run tent camp in Corinth from where they will be reportedly divided likewise the others to other camps all over mainland Greece.

People transferred to Corinth reported of miserable conditions as they were placed on a dusty field with 16 rub halls (big tents). Some already returned back to Athens, as they couldn’t follow their daily lives from such distance, with their kids being subscribed in downtown schools, medical cases being followed by doctors in the capital, people having found jobs there and legal cases being proceeded in Athens asylum service and the diverse embassies located in the city. Also residents of 5thschool residents were brought to Corinth. The undocumented from all squats were arrested and brought to the pre-removal detention centre Amygdaleza. (10 from Trikoupi Squats, 14 from Yasmin and Acharnon 22 while two families and 19 persons from 5th school remained in Petrou Ralli for their papers – information by 24. September) Reportedly, some of the detainees in Amygdaleza started a hunger strike.

„Most of us had to move to places around Thessaloniki, over 400 km from here. We don’t want to do that. They are playing with us. They have evicted us from our house and they have destroyed it, but they will not also take away the life we have managed to create here in Athens. Our children are going to the school in Exarcheia and we refuse to make them leave it and have to adapt to a new place once again. We want to stay here. We answered them that we will not go anywhere against our will. We keep strong.“

Trikoupi 17

“We are scared about our lives and our freedom and some of us have chosen to stay on the streets to avoid being chased and arrested one more time. They have tried to divide and separate us, but we continue to struggle together. They destroyed our home, but the family that we have created in Trikoupi’s community remains united. Against their repression, solidarity is our weapon!“

Trikoupi 17

The governments attacks against refugee squats have to be understood in the broader frame of a (re-)introduced anti-migratory policy, increasing police repression, institutionalised racism and right wing populism which is used against any from of solidarity.

With more than 29.000 refugees and migrants trapped in the Aegean Islands, of which 12.000 alone try to survive currently in the hell of hotspot Moria / Lesvos and a 5-year-old boy just lost his life there while playing in a carton box (24. September)…

With 5.000 who could actually officially leave the islands but have nowhere to go…

With more than 88.000 refugees and migrants currently stuck in Greece most of which are dumped in overcrowded camps far from local society and under squalid conditions…

The focus of the state is to impose “law and order” in a hypocritical fight against “crime and lawlessness” while actually sacrificing what has been hardly achieved: peoples’ freedom, dignity and respect.

We denounce the attacks on refugee squats in Exarchia and elsewhere! No Pasaran! Solidarity will win!

Employ teachers, not police officers! 

Close the camps! Open homes!

For freedom of movement of all and the right to stay! 

NO ONE IS ILLEGAL!

W2eu / infomobile greece

 

[Ahmed H.] 4 years after the Röszke11 riots: The Cyprian government denies Ahmed’s return to his family

The Cyprian government denies Ahmed’s return to his family

Today four years have passed since the “Röszke riot”, the attack of the
Hungarian riot police and TEK (counter-terrorism unite) on protesting
migrants against borders and limitation of freedom of movement in
September 2015. During and after this riot eleven people were arrested
and later faced a court trial.

Ahmed H., one of the arrested eleven people was convicted for terrorism
and sentenced first to 10, than to 7 and on the last court instance to 5
years prison.

On the 19th of January 2019 he was supposed to get released on parole,
after he finished two third of his sentence. But instead of returning
home, he was transferred to the immigration prison in Nyirbátor, in the
east of Hungary. He was waiting for months there for Cyprus to renew his
visa, which expired during the time he spent in prison . He used to live
in Cyprus before his arrest for more than ten years together with his
wife and children. He left the country and ended at Hungarian-Serbian
border, because he accompanied his parents from Syria to Europe.
Although the authorities promised him that he can return home with his
renewed visa after the administration procedure is over, after months of
waiting he learnt, that the government of Cyprus refused his return. The
interior ministry of Cyprus stated that he is a security threat and
cannot get visa.

There is apparently no state willing to let Ahmed enter, so he remains
trapped in the Hungarian jail. In the last months we could not publish
anything about the case because his family did not want to go public
with this further developments until now. We were silent, but we did not
disappear.

During the trial, there was very strong criticism against the Hungarian
state. The liberal media, international organisations, and even the EU
parliament were accusing Hungary of not respecting european values.
Cyprus’ refusal to renew Ahmed’s visa prove, that his situation is not
exclusively the
fault of an ‘undemocratic’, ‘dictatorial’ regime. The racist
anti-immigrant and anti-terrorist
discourse is an essential part of the idea of ‘Europe’ and the european
border regime,
that all european states follow.

This is a call for solidarity actions targeting this time the Cyprian
state and its institutions. A strong international public pressure is
needed for Ahmed’s release and return home. The government of Cyprus has
to let him join his family again and be finally free from the
imprisonment! Spread the news, spread solidarity!

Let us not forget the prisoners of the Fortress!
Freedom for Ahmed H.!

“Free the Röszke 11” solidarity group

freetheroszke11@riseup.net
https://freetheroszke11.weebly.com

[Athen] Repressionswelle und Räumungen von Refugee-Squats in Exarcheia

Artikel zuerst veröffentlicht auf enough is enough 14 am 27. August 2017:

Greek territory: #Exarcheia under police occupation!

Athens, August 26. Alert! What we have been announcing to you for a month and a half has just begun this morning (yesterday morning, Enough 14), just before dawn. Athens’ famous rebel and supportive neighbourhood is completely surrounded by huge police forces: many riot police buses (MAT), anti-terrorist untis (OPKE), police on motorbikes (DIAS), members of the secret police (asfalitès), as well as a helicopter and several drones.

Originally published by BlogYY. Written by Yannis Youlountas. Translated by Squat Net.

A unique place in Europe for its high concentration of squats and other self-managed spaces, but also for its resistance against repression and its solidarity with precarious and migrants, Exarcheia has been in the sight of the right-wing government since its election on 7 July. The new Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had made it a personal affair, especially since he had been mocked in early August for failing to achieve his goal of “cleaning Exarcheia in a month” as he had announced with great fanfare.

This morning, 4 squats were evicted: Spirou Trikoupi 17, Transito, Rosa de Foc and Gare. The offensive currently concerns the north-western part of the district, with the notable exception of the Notara 26 squat, which is considered better guarded and very symbolically important for the district as the first historical squat of the “refugee crisis” in downtown Athens.

There are currently about 100 arrests, including than brutal attacks on people trying to film. Only the mass media in the service of power are allowed to cover the event.

In total, there are 23 squats in Exarcheia plus 26 others around the district, for a total of 49 concentrated in a relatively small area. 49 squats to which other types of self-managed sites must be added, including some rented (Espace Social Libre Nosotros, free shop Skoros, etc.) as well as dozens of private homes groups of activists, often near the terraces to allow access above the streets.

On the squats that are precisely inside Exarcheia, 12 are accommodation squats for refugees and migrants and the 11 others are squats of anarchist and anti-authoritarian collectives (although most refugee squats are also obviously very political, starting with Notara 26 and Spirou Trikoupi 17 with direct assemblies and many links with the rest of the movement).

In the squats of Spirou Trikoupi 17 and Transito (on which servants of power are now bricking up windows), more than fifteen children have been torn from a peaceful and happy existence in order to suddenly being sent to camps. These sinister camps are unhealthy and overcrowded, migrants are malnourished and suffer from temperature variations, humiliation, and sometimes torture, and Mitsotakis also demands that they all be well closed and, in the future, completely cut off from the rest of the territory.

The face of Europe is constantly hardening, the same process is happening in other continents. This evolution increasing authoritarian capitalism leads us to question what the coming times will bring: the offensive against the pockets of utopias coupled with the confinement of the scapegoats reminds us of the dark hours of History.

The whole world is becoming fascist and Greece is once again one of them, one of the laboratories.

But nothing is over. September is coming soon. Seasonal jobs are about to end. The social movement gathers and organizes itself again. Places like Notara 26 and K*Vox are under high surveillance. Answers are being prepared, as well as several major events mobilizers. Autumn will be hot in Athens.

Resistance!

Yannis Youlountas, August 26, 2019

Today, Tuesday August 27, there wull be several protests and solidarity actions:

[Balkan] Neues Mapping-Projekt gegen Push-Backs

Dieser Beitrag wurde zuerst veröffentlicht unter www.pushbackmap.org am 18. Juni 2019

Ein Instrument zur kollektiven Bekämpfung des repressiven Grenz- und Kontrollregimes

Zagreb, 18. Juni 2019: Derzeit erleben wir eine Zunahme der institutionellen Gewalt in ganz Europa. An den Grenzen der EU finden täglich Abschiebungen und Zwangsrückführung über die Grenzen hinweg statt. Diese gewalttätigen Praktiken werden als Push-backs bezeichnet. Es handelt sich um eine systematische institutionalisierte Technik, mit der grenzüberschreitende Bewegung unterdrückt wird. Mit unserem neu entwickelten Online-Tool The Push-back Map, (www.pushbackmap.org)  wollen wir diese Praktiken kartieren, dokumentieren, visualisieren und anprangern.

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[Ägäis] Interview on theEU`s fight against “smuggling” – Wieso es nicht nur um Carola Rackete geht

Interview zur Situation der “smuggling cases” – zuerst veröffentlicht von dm aegean:

Not only European sea rescue organizations are criminalized. Hundreds of migrants seeking protection in Europe are immediately arrested after their arrival by boat on the Greek Islands. They are accused of human smuggling.

The police is looking for the people who were driving the boat. These people are either refugees who could not afford their journey in a rubber dinghy and accept to steer the boat or Turkish citizen not knowing the risk they occur.

One trial against a “smuggler” lasts less than half an hour. In nearly all cases, the accused migrants are found guilty. Their average sentence is about 44 years in prison that is to be served for about 19 years. The average fines imposed are over 370.000 Euros.

[Ägäis] The war against smuggling

Artikel zuerst veröffentlicht von dm aegean und V.H.

The following short report is based on data collected by the organization Christian Peacemaker Teams Lesvos (CPT-Lesvos) who has been monitoring smuggling trials since 2014. All graphs have been made by CPT-Lesvos. An in-depth analysis of the data collected will be published in autumn 2019.

Criminalizing Migration and Escape Aid

Many people who reach the Greek islands in rubber dinghies have been travelling for months or years to find freedom and safety in the European Union. But surviving the crossing of the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece does not mean that they eventually reached safety.

On the Greek hotspot islands, some migrants are regularly arrested from their boats and directly detained and accused of human smuggling. The European Union claims:

“Fighting and preventing human smuggling and trafficking is one of the priorities of the European Union and crucial to address irregular migration in a comprehensive way.”

European Union, 15.10.2018[1]

Jamil from Afghanistan (name changed) experienced what this means. He was sentenced to 90 years in prison of which he will have to serve 25 years and was also convicted to a 13,000 Euro penalty. Jamil was captured driving a refugee boat from Greece to Lesvos. He could not afford to pay for his wife’s and his own journey, so he accepted the offer from the smuggler who asked him to drive the boat and return to get a free ride with his wife. He did not know that driving a boat would be considered a crime. While his wife now lives in Germany, he is still imprisoned – he appealed the court decision but was again convicted.

His example shows that the maxim of fighting human smuggling is not only used to criminalize civilian sea rescue as in the cases of the recent accusations against the captain of the Sea Watch 3 and the crew of the rescue boat Iuventa. It however impacts people who do not hold European passports much more directly. Many of them come as refugees themselves, intending to seek asylum in Europe. While European sea rescuers have so far only been accused for crimes but not convicted, hundreds of migrants have been sentenced to decades in prison with excessive charges.

Arresting “smugglers”

The organization Christian Peacemaker Teams Lesvos (CPT-Lesvos) has been monitoring the smuggling trials since 2014. They found that most of the people accused of smuggling are Turkish citizens and some of them migrants from other countries seeking protection in Europe. All people arrested are male. CPT-Lesvos member Rûnbîr Serkepkanî explains:

“What is common among most of them is that they are poor, they are students, they are migrants who couldn’t afford paying for the travel to the Aegean islands. (…) If you are a Turkish citizen – we have many migrants who are Turkish who have applied for asylum here in Greece – you are automatically accused of being the smuggler or the driver of the boat.”

Rûnbîr Serkepkanî, CPT-Lesvos, March 2019

Dariusz Firla from CPT-Lesvos describes how people labelled as “smugglers” are often identified:

“When the Coast Guard or FRONTEX pick up refugees at sea, they usually ask directly: “Who drove the boat?”. Sometimes people even say, “That was me,” because they don’t know it’s a crime. In some cases, it is simply a matter of refugees who paid less and drive the boat for this, but often it is Turks from poor regions who, for example, had no work and were hired by the smugglers for some pocket money to go and return the boat. Sometimes they are beaten bloody after their arrest until they arrive at the port.”

Dariusz Firla, CPT Lesvos, June 2017

The Greek Coast Guards in the port of Mytilene, Lesvos. Photo: March 2018

CPT-Lesvos interviewed Tarek (name changed) from Syria who has been detained in Chios prison for 14 months. He explained: “I was beaten from the moment I was arrested at sea until arriving at the police station. I was bleeding.”

After their arrest, people are held in pre-trial detention. CPT-Lesvos found that migrants are on average detained for 7 months before their first trial. There were also cases where the trial was postponed twice, leading to 29 months of pre-detention.

A farce of a court case

One of the major problems in court is a shocking lack of deep processing. CPT-Lesvos timed the duration of 28 trials and found that the average duration of an individual trial was only 28.5 minutes, while the average duration of a joint trial was 43 minutes. Obviously, this makes a thorough investigation of the question of guilt impossible. Furthermore, the translation within the trials is extremely poor.

Table 1: Duration of Trials

In many cases, the defendants are sentenced even if there is hardly any evidence against them. Dariusz Firla explains:

“Sometimes there is only the Coast Guard as witness. For the judges, it can be sufficient if the witness identifies the defendant as the driver of the boat. In one case, the Coast Guard even stated that he had not been present at the rescue operation himself, but that his colleague had told him that the defendant was guilty.”

Dariusz Firla, CPT Lesvos, June 2017

On top of the lack of deep processing by the judges, the quality of the court-appointed lawyers poses a major problem, especially since most lawyers are only appointed at the day of the trial and have no means to do any investigation for the defence. Sometimes, state or private lawyers also do not appear before the court, as in the case of Tarek (name changed), who had spent 14 months in pre-trial detention. Tarek’s family sold whatever they could to pay for a Greek lawyer, but the lawyer failed to show up on the day of the trial and he was sentenced to 45 years in prison.

Life long sentences

In nearly all cases, the accused migrants are found guilty of human smuggling and in some cases also of entry to Greece without permission and disobedience. Rûnbîr Serkepkanî states:

“The punishment of people who are accused with or charged with smuggling is higher than murder in Greece. So it is more serious to drive a boat which carries migrants to the Greek islands than murdering people.”

Rûnbîr Serkepkanî, CPT-Lesvos, March 2019

The sentences are calculated adding factors such as the number of people transported, transport without life vests, and if their lives were put in danger (e.g. through capsizing of the boat), which is why the sentence can exceed 100 years. Since the maximum period of factual imprisonment in Greece is 25 years, the sentences is then reduced accordingly. In some cases, mitigating circumstances are taken into account, reducing the penalty to about ten years. Sometimes the deportation of the convicted person is ordered directly after the release. In fact, looking at 41 cases between 2016 and 2017, CPT-Lesvos found that the average sentence of the trials they monitored was about 44 years in prison with an expected actual duration in prison of about 19 years. In addition, there are huge fines imposed, on average more than 370.000 Euros.

Charge Average Sentence
(41 cases)
Average time the sentence is to be served (41 cases)
(1) human smuggling (illegal transportation in order to earn money) 48 years 18 years
(1) human smuggling (illegal transportation in order to earn money)
(2) entry to Greece without permission
51 years 19 years
(1) human smuggling (illegal transportation in order to earn money)
(2) entry to Greece without permission
(3) disobedience
32 years 19.5 years
Table 3: Sentence and incarceration
Table 4: Sentence, Incarceration and Money Penalty

The European incarceration of the marginalized

The necessity to prevent human smuggling has been normalized in the European Union. Arrests are supported by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency FRONTEX and hardly any politician would question the necessity to prevent human smuggling at the EU external borders. The actions of the Greek state and courts are either tacitly supported or ignored.

The EU Commission, FRONTEX and interior ministries tend to mention the need to fight human smuggling in one breath with the necessity to save lives and ensure protection of humans. This was especially made possible through the convergence of discourses around human trafficking, human smuggling and escape aid.[4] The EU claims:

“While trafficking in human beings and migrant smuggling are two different crimes subject to different legal frameworks they are closely interlinked.”

European Union, 15.10.2018[5]

Trafficking and smuggling may overlap in some cases, however, they are in fact two completely different issues. Trafficking is a forced transfer of people, connected to kidnapping, exploitation and modern slavery, while human smuggling is a response on the restrictive border policies preventing even refugees to be able to cross borders in a legal way.

For the majority of the worldwide population, there is no safe passage and no legal way to enter an EU country and seek asylum or receive a working visa. People are forced to embark on illegalized deadly routes and have no other option but to use the service of facilitators that are in many cases excessively overpriced and risky. The facilitation of people’s journeys is illegalized even if their right to stay is approved through an asylum decision afterwards. Destroying smuggling networks will not save lives – people rely on them to save their own lives.

As the example of Greece shows, the people who are arrested in the fight against human smuggling are exactly those already suffering most from the EU border policies. In many cases, they had no choice and are themselves seeking protection. The anti-smuggling policies at the external border of Greece only hit the smallest link in a chain. Since people often have neither information on the risks they undergo nor a choice, these policies do not even have a deterring effect and only follow a senseless ideology of punishment. Without any need, the lives of marginalized people are destroyed in devastating ways. It is migrants and refugees seeking protection – unheard and without any lobby – who have to pay with their lives and dreams for these misguided and inhumane European policies.


[1]European Union (2018): The EU’s global engagement to counter smuggling and trafficking networks, 15.10.2018.

[2] For a recent arrest, see e.g.: Ekathimerini.com, 11.07.2019: Three arrested for migrant smuggling in as many incidents.

[3] See also: CPT Europe, 01.12.2016: Seeing in the Greek Courtroom.

[4] For an in-depth analysis see: Bellezza, Sara; Calandrino, Tiziana, March 2017: Criminalization of Flight and Escape Aid. Borderline-europe.

[5]European Union (2018): The EU’s global engagement to counter smuggling and trafficking networks, 15.10.2018.