About the Port Police control of a member of the Journey back to the border III

By ronja

The other day I went inside a Kiosk in the Port of Mytilini, Lesvos to buy some stuff. A men asked what i want here, why i am here, where I come from and then he requested my passport. He spoke English and Greek with me so I couldn’t really understand him. He was very aggressive and didn’t speak friendly to me at all. He laughed about me and through me out of the shop.I didn’t understood who he is and what he want from me.
Another men came with a women, both of them belonged to the other men. They took a picture of my Passport and wanted to take my bag. I said that i am here with a Group and that i want to all them.I wanted to explain to them but they didn’t listen to me. Then one of the men took my phone. I felt really uncomfortable and i was afraid. Finally i saw one of my friends and i wanted to ask him for help but the people hold me back. But my friend recognized that I was in Trouble and he went to get Help. My friends come and they translate me that it …read more

From:: Lesvos

Children in the Port of Mytilini

By ronja

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There are so many babies and children on there way to a better future too!!

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After a lot of conversations with adults we made a drawing action for
the children.
They shared their experiences with us and draw them on paper. In their
pictures we could see escape and the wish for a calm life, with the hope of a fast arriving.
When they asked us if we come back we answered them:

Yes we are going
to be here tomorrow again. But you will already have to travel further on
For sure we will see each user again and hopefully in a better situation.

…read more

From:: Lesvos

Everybody is in (Alle sind dabei)

By ronja

Renovatio

in the streets, in the port, in the car, at the beach

– Its the song we
dance to everywhere, so it became our soundtrack and we didn’t want to
keep it from you!
So we shake our body and want to tell the politicians that they should
maybe shake their heads to realise that the system of border is not
really working like they want it to. So lets start to say a real welcome
to the new-arriving, take them serious and treat them like human beings
who have the right to move wherever and whenever they want!

Here is the song:
Arash: tekoon bede (Shake)

And for those who are interested the lyrics you find them here.

And we also wanted to share a picture from one of our concerts in the
harbour. The Band you see is “Renovatio” and was with us until yesterday

and gave us and the new-arriving some good music from Renovatio

…read more

From:: Lesvos

Horror in the Port of Mytilini

By ronja

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Tonight in the Port of Mitilini after the ELeftherios Venizelos left,
refugees sleep in front of the ticket offices, hoping to get on the next
boat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This people mostly Syrians and Afghans need human treatment and protection.
The European Union has to react and send immediately the needed help .
Tents, food, water supplies are not so difficult to organize
immediately.What are they waiting for? or does the european union maybe
want all this people to stay under such conditions in greece not to have
them at their central european countries?
Why did the Eleftherios Venizelos change suddenly its route and instead
of going to Thessaloniki and bring like planned the refugees with buses
till the Macedonian border it turned and goes to Pireus?
can it be that the pressure made to the greek government by the european
union is so strong to turn big boats?
The solution to bring the refugees to the nearest point of their
destination, was great. It is clear hat they want to get to other
european countries.

…read more

From:: Lesvos

45 Syrian Refugees arriving at Charamida beach

By ronja

Wow i don’t know how to explain about that night?
It was a Great memory for the night that I got to know new comers refugees in mytilini!
It was great for me because I was waiting and looking for the refugees boats already 3 nights .
It was 3:40 am in the morning that I heard some engine sound from the sea.
I saw a boat and it was coming to the beach.
I listen to their language and realized they were talking in Arabic .
I became sure that they are new refugees and I turned on my light and ran down the hill towards them.
Unfortunately they were scared of me and they turned back towards the sea .
I shouted in Arabic that I’m your friend and want help you,
And in that moment a friend of the camp came and shouted towards the refugees: “assalamualeikum! Assalamualeikum!” Then they finally decided to come to us.
I was helping them with my other friends out of the water. We gave them table water to drink and started to help .
There were 40/48 people in the boat
All of my friends helped and informed to the the other people at our place. We carried the children, women and old …read more

From:: Lesvos

Journey back part III: 1 Day at the port

By ronja

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The people face unbearable conditions here: families even with young children and babies have to sleep outside on the ground in the overcrowded camps and in the harbor, without a tent, without a blanket, often even without anything under them. Some of them lost everything on the boat: Today we met a woman, traveling alone with her three small children. She not only lost her passport, her money, everything on the boat between Turkey and Lesvos. We managed to buy some baby food and pampers, we could offer shoes for the children from our donations. But she is just one of so many people here on the island. Around 80.000 refugees arrived in 2015 on Lesvos. The island as a whole has 86.000 inhabitants.


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Who goes today in the harbor? Who’s heading for Kara Tepe? And who to Moria? These are the finishing questions of our daily plenary. After “using” the midday heat in the shade sitting to reflect on the yesterday, and to plan the today, we head to these the three places – equipped with many info flyers, water, often also medicine, clothing and paper and pens.
To the …read more

From:: Lesvos

Arrival in Mytilini and construction of the camp

By ronja

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The first groups of w2e and JoG arrived in Mytilini (Lesvos) / Greece. The people from Greece, Sweden, Germany and France arrived on different ways. Some of them flew to Athens or directly to Mytilini, others travelled by car and ferry. Some of them already met in Athens where they organized the infoguides in different languages. When the ferry arrived in Mytilini some of the people had to stay in the harbour because the cars were full of material. So they got some first impressions of the situation there. The others on their way to the camp already saw the first refugees who had just arrived.

They were on their way to the harbour where the first registration takes place. Our people went fast to the camp to unload the cars, then they drove back to catch up the refugees because the way from where they arrive to the harbour is very long and the heat makes it very hard to get there. Back in the harbour, they caught up the rest of our group to go back to the camp where the work started. The camping place was really dirty, full of garbage …read more

From:: Lesvos

Journey III: First Impressions

By ronja

The first morning we stay at the beach in
Charamida with a bigger group: About 4AM some of us hear the sound of an
engine, people shouting. Directly at the beach next to us a boat with
refugees from Syria and Iraq arrived. We go to welcome them and bring
them some water and biscuits. It is a group of about 40 people, among
them many families with children, who arrived from Turkey after 4 hours
in the sea. We call the coastguard, we call the police, but without much
hope that they will come and pick them. There are so many arrivals these
days and mostly the people have to walk and walk for hours until they
reach Mitilini where they have to register in the port. The way from
Charamida to Mitilini is long.
But the transport of unregistered refugees is not longer criminalized.
You have to call 100 and tell the police that you will bring refugees to
the port-police to register them, tell them your numberplates, then
there is no risk. Many people on this island transport day by day
newcomers nowadays. So we start to shuttle the families with children
first. When we go to Mitilini we find more people walking on the street
another boat with Syrians, again a lot of …read more

From:: Lesvos

Journey back to the border – Part III

By ronja

Lesvos/ Greece 15.-26. August 2015

Next week, in August 2015 we will return once again to the border– to the places of our first arrivals and encounters, to one of Europe’s gates and transit zones.

We will continue to warmly welcome all newcomers and we want to empower them through our presence. In the very moment as they challenge the European borders we will stand by them.

If the European border regime becomes history it will be washed ashore by the wave of our collective NO; our NO to be exposed to war and repression, our NO to be excluded from education and healthcare, our NO to be exploited and forgotten. Even if our “No” is not always shout out loud, it vibrates in every single step of our journeys.

We feel solidarity and a strong connection with our friends in Greece, who have been confronted with the brutality of the European elites in another way. Their Oxi! gave us hope when most of us, after a long journey, tried to find a place in Europe, tried to figure out the relation to and within the European society. As new European citizens we demand equal rights for everyone. Obviously, not only …read more

From:: Lesvos

Goodbye in the port of Lesvos / Officer kicks Syrian unaccompanied minor to wake him up

By momo

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It is Sunday. For at least two nights no refugee was seen during night sleeping in the port of Mytilene. Today there are again about 100 persons from Afghanistan and Syria mainly but also from Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan and other countries.

“We spent five nights in the detention center in Moria,” they say. “It was specifically over crowded at the outside area where we were in the beginning.”


Everybody is stressed to leave. A handful of families didn’t know they had to get tickets for their babies too even if they were for free. While trying to enter the ferry they were send back to the ticket office. The mothers had already entered with the other children and were not reachable. Two Syrian dads and one Afghan holding all small babies stand beside the ticket shop not knowing what to do. Their women have the documents of the children inside the boat. Only in the last minutes and after discussions with the ticket office they manage to solve the problem and run in the ferry.

A group of kurdish Syrian men is standing aside. They are angry.

“I want to ask you what we can do. In the morning an officer came …read more

From:: Lesvos

Minors separated from their family in Moria / Greek coast guard punctures refugee boat under the eyes of Frontex

By momo

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Two days between Kara Tepe tent camp and the port of Mytilene (24.7.-25.7.15)

A small Afghan boy is sitting outside a blue tent built up just behind the kiosk in the port of Mytilene. On the other side of the tent there are some other Afghan minors sitting on a blanket on the floor and leaning at the walls of an abandoned swimming hall. It is late in the night. His elder brother has fever. He is climbing out of the tent to join us. The two underage boys from Afghanistan are camping there already since four nights. They arrived to Lesvos together with their mother and father and two little sisters. In Moria they registered themselves as adults, as other people advised them to avoid reporting their real ages for the own good. Then the two of them got released alone.

“We fear to loose track of our family if we move away from here,” F. the elder brother says. “My father said we should wait here for them.” He seems exhausted and under pressure carrying all the responsibility of holding his family together on his small shoulders. With an official note ordering them to leave the country within 30 days, …read more

From:: Lesvos

10.06.15/w2eu: Ανακοίνωση σχετικά με τη δυσφήμηση του ενημερωτικού φυλλαδίου του Welcome to Europe

By momo

Το ποιοι είμαστε εντός του φιλαδίου...

Μας ανησυχούν βαθύτατα οι αναληθείς πληροφορίες που διαδίδει η ιστοσελίδα Lesvosnews.gr σχετικά με το ενημερωτικό φυλλάδιο για τους πρόσφυγες και τους μετανάστες, το οποίο εκδόθηκε και δημοσιεύθηκε από το Δίκτυο Welcome to Europe το καλοκαίρι του 2014 και το οποίο χρησιμοποιείται από την Κοινωνία των Πολιτών στη Λέσβο για την ενημέρωση νεοαφιχθέντων προσφύγων και μεταναστών για την κατάστασή τους και τα δικαιώματά τους (στη δική τους γλώσσα).

Το τοπικό blog ειδήσεων με το άρθρο του ποινικοποιεί την παροχή πληροφοριών, η οποία αποτελεί βασικό δικαίωμα και γίνεται στο πλαίσιο μίας πράξης αλληλεγγύης και θα πρέπει να είναι κοινή λογική της ίσης μεταχείρισης όλων των ανθρώπων. Το Blog μέσω αναληθών δηλώσεων υποστηρίζει ότι Τούρκοι δουλέμποροι έφτιαξαν το φυλλάδιο και το διανέμουν σε εκείνους που πληρώνουν τα περισσότερα χρήματα για την μεταφορά τους, ως επιπλέον υπηρεσία. Το άρθρο προφανώς βασίζεται στην έλλειψη γνώσης της αγγλικής γλώσσας, δεν έχει προκύψει κατόπιν δημοσιογραφικής έρευνας και είναι αντιεπαγγελματικό στην προοπτική και την πρόθεσή του. Είναι αυτονόητο ότι μέρος της τακτικής των κυκλωμάτων διακίνησης και μεταφοράς ανθρώπων έναντι χρηματικού ανταλλάγματος είναι η παραπληροφόρηση και οχι η έγκυρη ενημέρωση, όπως αυτή που παρέχει το παραπάνω φυλλάδιο.

Θα προτείναμε ευγενικά στον συγγραφέα του άρθρου:
1. Να βελτιώσει της γνώσεις του στην …read more

From:: Lesvos

10.06.15/w2eu: Announcement concerning the defamation of the Welcome to Europe Info Flyer

By momo

who we are.... in the leaflet

We are deeply concerned about the in-correct information “Lesvosnews.gr” blog is spreading in the internet about the info-flyer for refugees and migrants which was edited and published by the Welcome to Europe Network in summer 2014 and which is used by the civil society in Lesvos to inform newly arriving refugees and migrants in their own languages about their situation and their rights.

The local news blog with its article is criminalising the information provision. Access to information is a basic right and in this frame its provision is an act of solidarity and should be common sense of equal treatment of all human beings. The news blog falsely stated that Turkish human traffickers were producing the leaflet and handing it to the most paying as extra service. The article is obviously based on a great lack of knowledge on the English language, is not investigated journalistically and highly unprofessional in its perspective and intention. As a matter of course usually it is the provision with wrong information which is part of the tactics applied by human trafficking networks and not the provision of reliable and detailed iformation on their rights, as included in the mentioned leaflet. …read more

From:: Lesvos

Thoughts and thanks from the distance: Refugees who lived in PIKPA, talk about the importance of an open welcoming space

By momo

In early March 2015, the mayor of Lesvos Spiros Galinos called on the ‘Village of all together’ to move out all the refugees accommodated in PIKPA. He wanted to renovate PIKPA for a tennis tournament that would take place in May. He seriously proposed the prison of Moria as an alternative that could be turned into an open centre. This is where the refugees could live!

The ‘Village of all together’ responded by saying that a prison would not be an alternative option, even if the fences were to be removed. They demand to be offered a different place, otherwise they would be forced to remain in PIKPA.

Us from w2eu and as part of the ‘Village of all together’ outside of Mytilene want to contribute to the discussion by offering a little story from PIKPA as well as comments from people who made PIKPA their home for some time.

PIKPA was an empty and run-down former holiday camp for children, located near the airport of Mytilene. Since November 2012, in accordance with the mayor at the time, it could be used by the group ‘Village of all together’. The story of this unique and self-organised …read more

From:: Lesvos

New Mytilene Booklet by JOG & w2eu / download in English

By momo

Lesvos documentation 2014/15

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 …read more

From:: Lesvos

Court of Mitilini sentenced a 17-year-old Syrian refugee as facilitator

By riva

Rabee, a 17-years-old refugee from Syria

Rabee, a 17-years-old refugee from Syria

Monday 13 October 2014, Mitilini. 9am, Court of Mitilini. Rabee a young Syrian fleeing from Aleppo, not wanting to take part in the war, arrived in Mitilini with his 2 brothers and his uncle on a boat. The coast guards chose him and his uncle out of the 22 people travelling on that boat and accused them of being facilitators. That was 5 months ago. Since then Rabee has been imprisoned in Athens in Avlona prison for minors, waiting for the trial that will give him his freedom. His older brother left for Sweden to join the rest of the family. He followed their plan to get to Sweden where more family members are. The youngest brother stayed in Athens waiting for Rabee to get free. They all could not believe that this nonsense accusation would last. Today Rabee’s uncle who came specially from Sweden to witness the trial and his small brother M. who waits since 5 months in Athens to continue his journey to his family in Sweden, were present in the court of Mitilini and wanted to be witnesses.

Three people from the Christian Peacemakers Team Mediterranean and me as a journalist wanted …read more

From:: Lesvos

Ο Δήμαρχος της Μυτιλήνης θέλει να κλείσει το αυτοδιαχειριζόμενο κέντρο υποδοχής προσφύγων στο ΠΙΚΠΑ

By riva

Newcomers are welcomed in Pikpa

Αυτήν την εβδομάδα ο Δήμαρχος της Μυτιλήνης κ. Γαληνός ανακοίνωσε ότι θα κλείσει το αυτοδιαχειριζόμενο κέντρο υποδοχής προσφύγων το τέλος Σεπτεμβρίου. Το ΠΙΚΠΑ διαχειρίζεται από το 2012 μία τοπική πρωτοβουλία με το όνομα “Το Χωριό του Όλοι Μαζί».

Newcomers are welcomed in Pikpa

Την νύχτα της 18ης -19ης Σεπτεμβρίου ένα στρατιωτικό πλοίο μετέφερε έναν άγνωστο αριθμό προσφύγων από την φυλακή κοντά στο χωριό Μόρια προς έναν άγνωστό προορισμό, το πιθανότερο σε ένα από τα μεγάλα κέντρα κράτησης της ελληνικής ενδοχώρας, όπου θα έρθουν αντιμέτωποι με μεγάλες περιόδους κράτησης, επίσημα έως 18 μήνες. Στην πράξη μπορούν να κρατηθούν πολύ περισσότερο.

In the “reception center” close to the village of Moria – we call it “Pagani of the Troika”

Η ανακοίνωση του Δημάρχου κ. Γαληνού ταιριάζει απόλυτα σε αυτήν την κατάσταση. Το ερμηνεύουμε ως μία ανακοίνωση, η οποία μας καλεί να μην διδαχθούμε τίποτα από την ιστορία αυτού του νησιού. Να μην διδαχθούμε από το δεινά που βίωσαν οι πρόσφυγες μέσα στη Παγανή, την φυλακή γνωστή και ως “κόλαση του Δάντη». Να μην διδαχθούμε από τους αγώνες που οδήγησαν στο κλείσιμο αυτής της φυλακής. Και να μην διδαχθούμε τίποτα από τα δύο χρόνια της εμπειρίας μας στο πώς να διαχειριζόμαστε ένα πραγματικό κέντρο υποδοχής προσφύγων …read more

From:: Lesvos

Mayor of Mitilini wants to close down self-organised Welcome Center for Refugees

By riva

Newcomers are welcomed in Pikpa

– Press release of Welcome to Europe –

19th September 2014

Mayor of Mitilini wants to close down self-organised Welcome Center for Refugees

Newcomers are welcomed in Pikpa

This week the mayor of Mitilini, Mr. Galinos announced to close down Pikpa, the self-organised Welcome Center for refugees on Lesvos by the end of September. Since 2012, Pikpa is run by volunteers from the local initiative “Village of all together”.

In the night from 18th to 19th of September, a military ship transported an unknown number of refugees from the prison close to the village of Moria to an unknown destiny – most probably to one of the big camps on the Greek mainland, where they will have to face long periods of detention, officially up to 18 months but in practice sometimes even longer.

The announcement of mayor Galinos perfectly mirrors this situation. We read it as an announcement to not learn from the history of Lesvos island. To not learn from the hardships refugees had to go through in Pagani, a prison also known as “Dantes inferno”. To not learn from the struggles that had led to its closure. And to not learn from the two years of encouraging experiences made in running a real …read more

From:: Lesvos

Life not Death, by Efi Latsoudi

By momo

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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 …read more

From: Lesvos

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

By momo

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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 …read more

From: Lesvos

20.08.14 Press Release: “What if it was your child?”

By momo

temporary detention in the port of Mytilene upon arrival / August 2014 / copyright: w2eu

LESVOS: Unaccompanied minors kept in detention for days and transferred to detention in Amigdaleza with plastic handcuffs

On Tuesday 19th of August 2014 we became witnesses when the police transferred 36 unaccompanied minors from Moria “first reception” detention centre in Mytilene, Lesvos Island to the port and on the ferry heading to Athens as some of us were travelling the same day. The children and teenagers – some of which are merely older than 13 years – were handcuffed (with plastic wire straps) and guarded by dozens of uniformed officers and civil police. On the first sight we thought that we would be travelling with penal detainees being transferred to Chios prison. Only on the second sight we recognized minors we had met a few days ago in PIKPA and then again in Moria during our days of action on the island. They were not even allowed to take of the handcuffs when going to the toilette!

temporary detention in the port of Mytilene upon arrival / August 2014 / copyright: w2eu

Unaccompanied children upon arrival to Greece are afraid to say the truth about their age. They are so afraid to suffer more days in detention that they often declare themselves …read more

From: Lesvos

Letter of Protest against inhumane treatment of refugees on the Greek island of Lesvos

By momo

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.

These people, who had crossed the night before the sea between Turkey and the island of Lesvos, – risking their lives in a small crowded boat – deserve humane treatment like anyone else. …read more

From: Lesvos

Traces Back Part II: PIKPA

By ronja

PIKPA is a self-organised welcome center run since December 2012 by the civil society of Mytilene- Specifically the local network village of all together has been offered the former summer camp for youth by the municipality in order to host new arriving refugees. In the beginning the open camp was meant to host the homeless refugees who were arriving on the island and whom the police denied to arrest. When the local authorities started arresting the newcomers and the new first reception detentiuon center in Moria was opened PIKPA changed into a place hosting the ones released from detention who could not reach a ship at the day of release. Meanwhile numbers of newly arriving refugees have increased dramatically and to such a degree that they won’t fit in Moria detention center and again the authorities started transfering them to PIKPA. Refugees are currently first arrested by the coast guard, then transferred to PIKPA and then to to Moria.

Individuals from our group have a long contact and involvement in PIKPA as activists but also some of us have stayed there a year ago upon their own arrival.
“For me Pikpa means … a reminder of the though times!”
When we started the …read more

From: Lesvos

Voices from the Outside of Moria

By ronja

From the outside ...


... on Top ...

In the frame of the second “back-to-the-border”-camp from youth without borders and the network welcome to europe a protest took place at August 10th 2014 in front of the detention center in Moria on Lesvos island.
About 80 people, mainly young refugees and migrants, organized a concert by Renovatio, Open Mike and a DJ in front of the so called “first reception center”.

  • No More Moria!!!!
  • We came here to break the isolation in Moria-prison, hoping that it will be closed soon!
  • It was a very good experience, because we made the people inside the prison happy, at least for that moment! (gr kugel klein)
  • One of us held a speach in front of the detention center and screamed “Azadi” at the end – all the people inside the prison responded with one very loud “Azadi”! I had tears in my eyes!
  • I am very happy that everone came together and united, from inside the detension center and from outside.
  • The only thing I could see when I was standing on the wall of the prison was the laughter of the detainees. That made me very happy and it made me believe that even in prison …read more

    From: Lesvos

Farewell to refugees released from Moria

By ronja

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Wednesday, 6th August 2014, first day at the harbour of Mitilini:

When I started telling the people my own story, that I came here via Greece and have been very long here and than made it out – it changed our relation immediately. I had all the memories from the past – it was exactly this harbour and it was exactly this place of my arrival. But the difference was: when I arrived here, nobody was there to explain anything to me or to say welcome.


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We are now here in Mitilini on our second journey back to the border. In a group of activists from various countries – with many of us having come to Europe via the Greek islands – we decided to go daily to the harbour to meet with people who were released from the refugee-prison in Moria and sought to leave for Athens. On the first day we met 24 people, all of them Afghan refugees. After their arrival on the island by boat they had become imprisoned in Moria. They were brought by a police-van to the harbour directly from the prison. Most of them had been imprisoned for about …read more

From: Lesvos

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

By momo

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 …read more

From: Lesvos

11.07.14 Shipwreck near Samos: 6 dead, 23 survivors and more than 8 missing

By momo

On the early noon of Sunday 11th of July a refugee boat got in distress 10nm North East of Karlovasi, Samos. The refugee boat carrying approximately 35-40 people was a sailing boat according to the testimonies of the survivors.
The causes of the shipwreck are not yet clear. The media speak about bad weather conditions, overloaded boat, panic, sudden movement of the passengers etc as possible causes.

On Sunday there are 15 survivors in the Greek side (9 were brought to Chios, 6 to Samos) and 8 survivors on the Turkish side (2 near the shipreck area and 6 norhernof this area). In Samos Hospital (ICU) there is a minor in intensive care. They were trying to transfer him to Mytilini ICU but his severe health condition made the transfer impossible.

2 corpses were found Friday on the Greek side: a dead man and a dead woman and 2 more bodies (of a man and a boy) were found on Saturday also on the Greek side. Another two corpses were found on the Turkish side.

At least 8 persons are still missing.

The rescue operation was carried out with 4 Greek coast guard …read more

From: Lesvos

LESVOS: VOICES FROM INSIDE MORIA – THE NEW PAGANI OF TROIKA

By momo

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‘First reception’ practices of refugees in Greece: The example of Moria on Lesvos island

“We didn’t come to Europe to get beaten, insulted and imprisoned.”

In September 26th, 2013 the new so called “first reception center (KEPY)” opened in Moria on the island of Lesvos. It is the second of its kind in Greece following the example of the KEPY in Fylakio, Evros that opened earlier in the same year.
The Pagani of the Troika – as it is called to remind of former prisons and to disconnect it from nearby Moria village, is a prison where only a few selected NGOs have access under the precondition not to share any information with the outside world. Civil society gets presented the term ‘first reception’ that gives a false impression of an open, accessible place while it is nothing else than another new prison in the tradition of Amigdaleza’s fenced containers the only difference being the detention duration – at first sight. As prescribed by law, detention does not exceed 25 days maximum in this place BUT detainees might just be transferred to (pre-removal) detention centers such as Fylakio, Komotini, Xanthi or Chios for example, where they might stay up to 18 months or …read more

From: Lesvos