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25 mai 2013 6 25 /05 /mai /2013 21:12

Greek interior minister, Nikos Dendias announced that surveillance of  Greek retention camps would be entrusted to private security companies. Border surveillance and security measures in ports and airports are a huge business, both for the equipment manufacturers , equipments which are sometimes simple and everlasting such as barbed wire, sometimes more sophisticated, and for security companies. When you know the EU's sensitivity to lobbying , it is likely that the lucrative border closure has a bright future ahead.


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Published by exilesingreece
21 mai 2013 2 21 /05 /mai /2013 10:23

Following the increase in racist crime, the government proposed a new law tightening sanctions. This text had raised doubts, the existing legislation is not enforced anyway.

But it also contained some ambiguities, such as "inciting hatred and struggle" formulation, which might as well target the many social struggles in the current context. Or offense for refusal of recognition of genocide, the Golden Dawn could use about the expulsion of Greeks from Asia Minor after the First World War.

The government has finally decided to remove the text.


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12 mai 2013 7 12 /05 /mai /2013 15:46

On the blog of Le Monde diplo, an article on the district Kumkapi, crossroads of migration in Istanbul




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10 mai 2013 5 10 /05 /mai /2013 19:30

Following numerous reports on the alarming increase of xenophobic violence, the Greek government announced the passing of a new law increasing the penalties against racist remarks and actions.

But legislation already exists: it is simply not applied.

An analysis on the blog Okeanews (in French):




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9 mai 2013 4 09 /05 /mai /2013 19:11

A beautiful photo reportage by Alessandro Penso on adolescents migrants in Greece:




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3 mai 2013 5 03 /05 /mai /2013 14:22

The report of a witness about the situation in the police station Drapetsona in Piraeus :


" I feell totally obliged to speak about the things I witnessed with my very own eyes at the Police Station of Drapetsona, a close-to- the city- port neighborhood in Piraeus. I really have no idea of how I could possibly help my fellow men and so I expect each one of you to contribute to this by making widely known what I saw:


The immigrants who are being imprisoned on the basement of the Drapetsona Police Station have been beaten up by the policemen in order to discontinue their hunger strike.  This behaviour  made  the 28-year -old Palestinian imprisoned refugee Ibrahim Farat to attempt suicide . These events has made us, the active citizens of Piraeus to organize a protest march to their support. Once we arrived outside the Police Station the Chief Officer Police appeared right in front of the Specially Equiped Police Forces called MAT-   to tell us that a team of 5 individuals could go in and talk to the imprisoned immigrants. These immigrants have been detained simply because they could not provide employment documents as they have lost their jobs owing to the continuously deteriorating economic crisis or because they didn’t have entrance documents in the first place. They haven’t committed any other offence…


The picture I saw was really shocking. In the inferno of the Police Station 100 people were piled up in 70 square meters and have been detained there for more than 9 months, right after the beginning of “Xenios” Dias, this especially setup force organized by the Ministry of Public Order and acts upon the commands of its Minister Mr. Dendias, badly-reputed for his humanitarian methods-which sweeps from the squares poor homeless Greek people and foreign immigrants. (Ironically, Xenios Dias – Zeus was the God of hospitality in ancient years. It was the God that protected the foreigners and every ancient Greek was obliged to take care and offer hospitality to every foreigner. Xenios Dias wasn’t the God who imprisoned, beat and tortured the foreigners). The people have been held up there under unbearable and unspeakable conditions driving these people to despair . The complete lack of hygiene has allowed the spread of contagious skin diseases among them and in combination with the complete absence of natural daylight have made these unlucky people sick , physically and mentally, forcing them to attempt suicide. Even mice may die in these conditions. The picture is impossible to depict. The kind of picture that’s rare even in movies. I’m really outraged at the State of which I’m a citizen. I’m deeply ashamed and outraged against the policemen who beat up these people as the imprisoned revealed to me, something which the Police Station Chief totally denied.


I managed to co-op with the sadness and the despair expressed in their eyes. I managed to have a dialogue with the chief who was trying, in vain, to find excuses, saying that he is trying to balance out between humanitarian principles and dehumanizing orders by Mr. Dendias, who is exclusively responsible in the chief’s opinion for the situation of the PS.


I collapsed when I saw right in front of me  a man tearing his own flesh causing bleeding as the only solution to attract our attention to his problem as soon as he saw us hoping that this will get him out of this inferno in which he is being detained and tortured for 9 consecutive months…


While tears filled my eyes, I got out of their cells so as not to be seen  as this would further cause to them more pain and grief. These people experience the conditions of hell while alive. I began to scream my head off at the policemen and  their accompanying state pschychologists. 


You are no human beings I cried. You are violating every sense of what we call human rights and you talk to us about the bureaucracy which prevents you from fixing the toilets – only 2 for 100 people- and for your effort to balance out between humanism and the orders you get. Had you been human beings with any sign of sensitivity you would have spoken out for what happens inside here, and you would have resigned in order to stop this crime. I was beginning to lose control and so I moved out of the station .


Those who happen to read what I am writing must reconsider their responsibilities. They must react. We are the people who have the power.We are the State. But if the state is heartless it is because we who make it we are inhuman.


The Police Chief announced to the imprisoned man who had wounded himself that he would be set free. The same was said to the Palestinian who had earlier attempted suicide. The message that has been passed: You will get out of here only if you commit suicide and if you are lucky you may be promptly saved at the hospital…


Ι wish each one of us had the chance to get into this inferno of Drapetsona and see, speak and look into the eyes of our fellow men who experience this torture, one breath away from our homes. Then, they would all be out in the streets protesting.


Events of this kind take place everywhere in our country, being the result of the operation 'Xenios Dias". We must do everything we can in our capacity to put an end to this dreadful operation which is insulting us, our tradition and our civilization. Mr. Dendias, the minister of the so called ministry for the protection of the citizen(!) really or deliberately ignores our history  and he should be reminded of the meaning of hopitality these very ancient Greek words convey.


We demand that these imprisoned ill-fated victims of his cruel policy be immediately released and set free.


We demand the immediate termination of the inhuman operation “ Xenios” Dias that insults our Culture and Democracy and makes expiatories victims the most weak part of our society, the immigrants and the refugees.


Giorgos Karistinos"


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Published by exilesingreece
30 avril 2013 2 30 /04 /avril /2013 21:42

Following news evictions of Roma people, the European Roma rights centre publish a press release which present the situation :



"Serbia: Romani Families Face Uncertain Future One Year After Forced Eviction of Belvil Informal Settlement

26 April 2013

Budapest, Belgrade, 26 April 2013: A number of Romani families are still living in unsanitary and degrading conditions a full year after being forcibly evicted from their Belgrade settlement. Praxis and the European Roma Rights Centre are highlighting the situation of many of the Roma evicted from Belvil, who do not have adequate housing and do not have any support in the process of integration. The NGOs are also calling on Serbian authorities to halt forced evictions and to find positive and sustainable solutions for all those evicted to date.

One year ago, approximately 1000 Roma were forcibly evicted from the Belgrade settlement near Belvil. Roma with an address registered in Belgrade, approximately half of those evicted, were resettled in metal containers in the city. The other half (133 Romani families) were forced to return to their previous places of permanent residence. Most families returned to small, impoverished municipalities in the south of Serbia.

In Niš, local authorities provided three families with accommodation in an abandoned warehouse, where they faced three months without water, and eight months without electricity. The families continue to live in very difficult and unhygienic conditions incompatible with international standards on adequate alternative accommodation, as highlighted by the Commissioner for Equality Protection last year. In addition, all of the affected families in Niš lack security of tenure; none of them have received any formal document regulating their stay in the facilities provided by local authorities. This makes them vulnerable to potential new evictions.

Roma resettled in Belgrade have generally fared better than those who were sent to the south, however some have faced attacks. On 1 May 2012, around 15 to 20 masked individuals attacked the settlement in Jabučki Rit, where some Belvil residents were moved to. The masked men shouted racist slogans including "Serbia for Serbs, Roma out of Serbia" and drew a swastika on one of the metal containers where the Roma were living.

Forced evictions continue to take place in Belgrade, contrary to international human rights standards. Since April 2012, at least 27 families (101 Romani men, women and children) have been evicted from informal settlements in Belgrade, including the eviction of residents of the container settlements based on criteria that the Commissioner for Equality Protection found to be discriminatory.

The ERRC and Praxis welcome the efforts of the City of Belgrade and the European Commission to find sustainable and adequate housing solutions for the evicted Roma who were placed in container settlements in Belgrade. Authorities must also act to provide adequate accommodation for Roma who were sent to the south of Serbia.

The government and local authorities should halt forced evictions, adopt the legal framework on evictions in line with international human rights law and, with the assistance of the international community, secure sufficient resources to guarantee fulfillment of the right to adequate housing especially for vulnerable groups, including Roma.

The press release is also available in Serbian.

For more information:

Sinan Gökçen
Media and Communications Officer
European Roma Rights Centre

Danilo Ćurčić
Legal Analyst


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29 avril 2013 1 29 /04 /avril /2013 19:31

Readmission agreements between the EU and Serbia provided the framework for the return of nearly 9,000 people in the last seven years, mainly FROM Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark. Much are Roma. Some have spent more than ten years in the host country, some have gone to school there and do not speak Serbian. Some have nothing when returning to Serbia, and find themselves precariously hosted by family or friends, or in the street. Returns are often made indiscriminately, since unaccompanied minors have been sent back, or sick people who have left the airport by ambulance.


This figure of 9,000 people in 7 years is actually very small compared to the hundreds of thousands of Serbs left to work abroad, mainly in the European Union. As for Romanian and Bulgarian Roma, we put the spotlight on visible minorities - Roma, asylum seekers renamed "bogus asylum seekers" - to mask the reality of precarious workers without status from the Balkans exploited in Northern and Western Europe.


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Published by exilesingreece
29 avril 2013 1 29 /04 /avril /2013 10:27

Romania not really aware that it has become a country of immigration, it is already experiencing turpitudes.

78 women from the Philippines and assign their employer to court. Recruited in the Philippines by an intermediary, they signed a contract to work there including in terms of pay and working time. Arrived in Romania, they signed a new contract with their direct employer, written partly in Romanian language they did not understand. Lower pay half hourly volume inflated, non-payment of overtime, they are exploited in a country they do not know. Congolese taxi drivers recruited in Kinshasa, found themselves in a similar position. These two cases are known because migrant workers were able to access to justice.

More than 2 million Romanians have left the country to work abroad. Some sectors have therefore resorted to immigrant labor, sometimes in questionable circumstances. With the worsening of the economic crisis, immigration opportunities were however severely restricted in the past few years.


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Published by exilesingreece
28 avril 2013 7 28 /04 /avril /2013 17:01

There are two main ways to enter Greece from Turkey. The first Greek islands are just a few kilometers from the Turkish coast. This was the main route to the exiles until the coastguard of Frontex are deployed there to reinforce the Greek border guards. And the land boundary between the European part of Turkey and eastern Greece. Border marked by the Evros River, except twelve kilometers near Edirne, where it is possible to go on dry ground.

An anti-migrant wall was built on the twelve-kilometer border last year. The passage became much more dangerous crossing the Evros river more to the south. And the passage of the Turkish coast to the Greek Islands returned. Between 20 and 30 people every day and arrive on the island of Lesbos.

But then, it is impossible to leave the island without money for the crossing to the mainland, it is not possible to submit an asylum claim, go to Athens for that.

PIKPA, a small center which hosts thirty people in a home made ​​available by the Municipality of Mytilene, is run by volunteers. Most exiles are in the street.

Some are locked and packed for weeks and sometimes months in the cells OF the police station. Twelf Afghans are on hunger strike there to demand freedom and papers.


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