At the Greek-Turkish border, politicians play with people’s lives

People trying to enter Europe in search of protection face brutal repression in the Aegean region. Although this is not new, we currently see an escalation of violence as Turkey and Greece play a dangerous game with people’s lives. The survival instinct and hope of many for a better future is exploited and manipulated for cynical political stunts. Greece has now declared a state of emergency and to remove people’s right to claim asylum.

On the Greek side the situation is devastating, every day: Overcrowded detention centres and camps where thousands are forced to survive the inhuman conditions. Riot police forces secretly transferred to the Greek islands to crack down on local inhabitants with tear gas and clubs. Riot police forces along with soldiers and anti-terror squads firing tear gas and water cannons at refugees who attempt to enter through the land border. Those who do succeed in reaching Greece face imprisonment merely for crossing the border. Boats attacked by masked men in the Aegean Sea and prevented from disembarking by fascists at Greek harbours. 

In Turkey, on the other side of the border, the situation is equally cruel: As a response to the Turkish fatalities in Idlib, President Recep Erdoğan announces the ‘opening’ of borders and thousands of people follow his call and move toward Greece, in the hope of finally finding safety. They enter white busses, reportedly provided by the Turkish government, but end up trapped in the border-zone between Turkey and Greece stopped by armed forces and army vehicles. 

Despite this current escalation, it is clear that push-backs and violent excesses along the border are daily phenomena, not exceptions. But commonly, they target smaller groups, not such a large crowd. Usually, civil society is not able to see how these human rights violations unfold, how police and army officials stand in people’s paths, preventing them from stepping on EU soil and exercising their right to ask for asylum. 

Europe enacts a ‘closed door’ policy, enforced by the right-wing government in Greece which sends riot police and special forces to deter people escaping war, conflict, and hunger, and aims to temporarily suspend their right to claim asylum and immediately deport them to countries of origin. We have already seen images of NATO war ships patrolling the Aegean Sea along with border guards from all over Europe in Frontex missions. 

We will not accept this European war against people who seek protection! We will not remain silent, when repressive anti-migration policies give space to fascism!

We have seen people being violently pushed back to Turkey where they are detained or even deported from to places where they face war and persecution. We have seen people drowning in the Aegean Sea or Maritsa river. We have seen dehydrated, frozen, and unrecognizable bodies of mothers, fathers, children. We have seen also people dying in Europe’s ‘hotspot’ camps due to inhumane conditions – babies dying of dehydration, lack of adequate medical aid and desperation leading to people committing suicide. 

But we have also seen people ‘on the move’ claiming their rights and standing in solidarity together with locals against these repressive policies. We have heard their loud voices shouting united for freedom. We have seen people marching across borders against all odds and against the violent European border regime. 

We will stand united against this cruelty! We will raise our voices to tell the stories that are not told, show the images that are hidden away from the world! We will not stop denouncing the violent excesses at Europe’s borders and we will not stop struggling for another world of freedom of movement! 

Equal rights for all! No one is illegal!

Stop the border deaths! Stop racist policies and fascist violence!

Close detention centres, hotspots and other camps and open homes!

No borders! 

w2eu – infomobile Greece and WatchTheMedAlarm Phone 

Sea-Watch 3 rettet 194 Menschen und kommt in Quarantäne

Wir haben zwei sehr anstrengende Wochen hinter uns. Bei unserem zweiten Einsatz in diesem Jahr konnten wir innerhalb weniger Tage 194 Menschen von drei Booten retten. Gestern durften die Geretteten endlich von Bord der Sea-Watch 3 in Messina sicher an Land gehen. Und so kam es dazu: Am 14. Februar sind wir mit der Sea-Watch…

Der Beitrag Sea-Watch 3 rettet 194 Menschen und kommt in Quarantäne erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

Fire in protest at horrific conditions in Amygdaleza pre-removal immigration prison, Athens Greece – footage and words from those detained inside

I am a young man from Syria, detained in Greece. Amygdaleza.  I escaped from the war in my country in order to obtain safety, but I was detained in Greece for a long time. I no longer feel safe, reassured and stable that I was looking for here in the camp. There is nothing and they do not offer us any help. We hope for your help. There is someone who tried to commit suicide because of the difficulties he is facing here.

How I wished and how much I looked. I left my homeland and looked for safety. I looked for freedom. I looked for an alternative homeland. I needed help, but no one gave me a hand. No one comforted me. I dreamed a lot of things and big dreams, but dreams were awake, and now I have fallen again.  Whoever says to me will realize your dreams that I had built when I arrived in Greece I have said this is the beginning of my career and from here I will fulfill my dreams but unfortunately it was not what I expected but the worst was my dreams were broken in front of me I no longer want to achieve those dreams but rather I want to live in peace and security  And stability, I just hope to be a cat that lives in the house with its owners or a dog that lives  I have a private house and its owner takes it on a short walk or I am a rose that grows on the balcony of a house and the owner of the rose takes care of it every day, but I found myself flying in a cage and could not fly as I had dreamed, it was only my fault that I was born in my country where the war broke out and because I no longer  I can dream, I can no longer think. The sun rises every day to increase my suffering again and every night I say Is this what I was looking for Is this life that I had hoped for but I could not answer my question I started dying from all empty promises I can no longer search for myself I wonder  Every day, why does this happen to me? I did nothing but dreams, screaming loudly, I did nothing  Why am I here but nobody hears my screams searched among my papers my numbers books but I did not find myself can I dream again or that dreams not present in the human language dictionary searched and did not find myself

I will write but I do not know what to write. Should I write about the war in my country, or the war in my country? I do not know about it except the smell of blood, the screaming of children, the tears of women, the sadness of youth, the loss of young dreams, or write about the war in me, but I will not be able to describe that war and that outrage, or write  What I feel, but I no longer feel anything, I no longer feel for myself, I no longer feel the spirit that inhabits my body, I no longer find my thinking, I can no longer think of things that I was thinking about before. Has the stage of thinking ended for me or am I thinking that has become restricted? I did not know about  What do I write? Do I write about the freedom I searched for and did not find it or write about the vine  My time is no longer human dignity or write about humanity that I did not find her presence Soh with animals I can not find what you should write about Soh meanings experienced by humans do not know what to write and did not promise I want to write something will just read what they write.

What happened?

What happened Why am I here Why am I in this place that looks like a swamp Why did I become alone in this place What led me here I began to feel tired and I am trying to leave this place I no longer have even a glimmer of hope Will my life end here I no longer dream about a light I have started my life  By fading before my eyes, I no longer see anything but sadness. I see with everyone’s eyes. There is only a question, why are you here. I did not realize that I would be every animal placed inside a cage. Unfortunately, the animal has some rights until it has a name, but I only became a number. I am called through that number.  What happens to human beings as if they do not see it and avoid hearing our screams? Is this it for man?  Why is this life? I don’t think that’s what I was looking for. What happened? Why am I here?

What happened?

Deadly cold

  It was raining and strong winds I tried hard to get to my brother’s bedroom. The suffering of reaching it was dark. The darkness prevailed over the atmosphere of the place, and the land of each swamp had a lot of wetness on the road. I was falling from that to another that I got up and completed my career. I reached my brother’s fortune. It was lightening quickly and quickly closed.  The door was few, the door was not closed with provisions that were as if all kinds of rain and wind were permitted to enter a worn ship taken by the waves. My worn-out coat was removed from me, my worn out coat and I looked at my brother, he was trembling with the freezing cold.  Know how I can comfort myself  My brother just stayed silent. He wrapped himself in a blanket that did not protect him from anything from the cold. My brother embraced me in my arms. I was warming him, even a little. I wanted to burn myself to warm my brother. My tears were falling on my cheeks from pain.  I want something, just save my brother.

drinking water supply in Amygdaleza
food in Amygdaleza
18 people sharing a room in Amygdaleza

Aufruf nach Hanau zur bundesweiten Demonstration am 22.02.20

Nachdem Björn Höcke am vergangenen Montag zum Umsturz aufgerufen hat, ist Tobias R. in Hanau in sein Auto gestiegen und hat zehn Menschen ermordet, die in seinen Augen nicht-deutsch waren.

Diese Gewalt ist grauenvoll, aber nichts Neues, auch nicht, dass migrantische Menschen, Familien, Communities getroffen und nicht geschützt werden. Das kennen wir von den NSU-Morden, wir wissen es, seit Angehörige der Mordopfer 2006 eine Demonstration in Kassel organisierten und vom Staat ein Ende der rassistischen Mordserie forderten. Das milde Urteil im NSU-Prozess war dagegen eine Aufforderung an alle Nazis, weiter zu morden. Seitdem gab es unzählige weitere Anschläge und Morde gegen migrantische und jüdische Menschen.

Schon in Kassel, in Köln, in Frankfurt, in Duisburg, in Halle.. wussten wir, dass wir uns nicht auf den Staat verlassen können, sondern uns selber verteidigen müssen. Gegen eine Politik, die zwar nach Anschlägen betroffen ist, aber trotzdem nicht im Entferntesten soviel gegen den rechten Terror tut wie gegen Migrant*innen – die Toten im Mittelmeer sind die Brüder und Schwestern der Toten in Hanau.

Wir wissen, dass wir nicht auf die bauen können, die damals von Döner-Morden und heute von Shisha-Morden reden und von Fremdenfeindlichkeit statt Rassismus – oder die wieder einmal von verwirrten Einzeltätern fabulieren. Dass wir uns nicht auf eine Sensationspresse und die Politiker*innen verlassen werden, die jetzt wieder zum Spektakel nach Hanau anreist, aber die Warnungen und Erfahrungen nicht ernst nehmen, nicht hinhören und nicht handeln. Und es ist mehr als klar, dass die Hufeisentheorie eines Hans-Georg Maaßen nur dazu dient, rechten Terror und Hetze zu verharmlosen und antifaschistischen Widerstand dagegen zu schwächen.

Wir nehmen uns das Recht, uns selbst zu verteidigen. Wir fordern die solidarische Gesellschaft auf, mit uns für die Unversehrtheit unseres Lebens und unseren Zusammenlebens zu demonstrieren und uns dafür stark zu machen, dass den Nazis und Rassist*innen das Handwerk gelegt wird. Mit diesen Taten sind alle gemeint, aber getroffen werden wir.
Wir sagen aber auch, dass uns der Rassismus nicht vertreiben wird, sondern wir diese Gesellschaft für immer geprägt und verändert haben.

Für eine migrantische, jüdische, schwarze Perspektive. Für die Gesellschaft der Vielen. Das Problem heißt nicht Migration, das Problem heißt Rassismus.
Wir rufen und fordern alle dazu auf, auf die Familien und Angehörigen der Opfer zu schauen, ihre Stimmen zu hören, die Namen der Opfer zu nennen. Wir sind bei ihnen.
Migrantifa jetzt!

Samstag, 22.2. um 14 Uhr bundesweite Demonstration in der Hanauer Innenstadt. Startpunkt: Hauptpost am Kanaltorplatz (nähe Westbahnhof).
Wer nicht nach Hanau kommen kann, ist zu gleichzeitigen dezentralen Protesten aufgerufen.
Mehr Infos auf https://www.facebook.com/events/557536291639934/

Hanauer Initiativenbündnis „Solidarität statt Spaltung“ lädt zur Kundgebung am Freitag und zur Demonstration am Samstag ein.

In der Nacht zum Donnerstag wurden zehn Menschen in Hanau getötet. Viele weitere wurden schwer verletzt.

Wir trauern mit den Familien und Freund*innen um die Opfer dieser rassistischen Morde.

Wir sind wütend, dass so etwas in unserer Stadt passieren konnte.
Wir sind wütend über die rechte Stimmungsmache, die solche Taten möglich macht.

Wir kämpfen weiter um gleiche soziale Rechte für Alle, gegen jede rassistische Hetze und Ausgrenzung und gegen jede Abschiebung.

„Die Gesellschaft der Vielen stellt sich dem Rassismus auf der Straße wie auch in den Ämtern entgegen“, betont Newroz Duman von der Initiative und hält fest: „Wir werden diese Menschenverachtung überwinden.“

Wir laden dazu ein:

1) am Freitag, 21.2., um 17 Uhr zur Mahnwache und Kundgebung am Heumarkt zu kommen, dem ersten Tatort. Ab 16.30 laden wir am Heumarkt zum Pressegespräch mit FreundInnen der Opfer ein.

2) am Samstag, 22.2., um 14 Uhr zur bundesweiten Demonstration in der Hanauer Innenstadt zu kommen. Genauer Ort wird noch bekannt gegeben.

„Die Öffentlichkeit schaut jetzt auf Hanau. Für uns alle heißt es aber: Es ist Zeit für Migrantifa. Überall. Kommt zur bundesweiten Demonstration“, schließt Duman.

Wer nicht nach Hanau kommen kann, ist zu gleichzeitigen dezentralen Protesten aufgerufen.

Präsidentschaftswahlen in Togo am 22. Februar 2020 – Die Menschenrechtslage in Togo ist weiterhin äußerst angespannt

Pressemitteilung von Afrique-Europe-Interact
Download deutschEnglish versionversion francaise

31. Januar 2020: Präsidentschaftswahlen in Togo am 22. Februar 2020 +++ Afrique-Europe-Interact fordert Öffentlichkeit und Bundesregierung zu kritischer Begleitung des gesamten Wahlprozesseses in dem westafrikanischen Land auf +++ Die Menschenrechtslage in Togo ist weiterhin äußerst angespannt +++ Trotz massiver Proteste hat sich Präsident Fauré Gnassingbé durch Veränderung der Verfassung die Möglichkeit zu einer vierten und fünften Amtszeit verschafft +++

Bereits 1963 – drei Jahre nach der Unabhängigkeit Togos – wurde der erste demokratisch gewählte Präsident Sylvanus Olympio bei einem Militärputsch ermordet. Seitdem befindet sich das westafrikanische Land im eisernen Griff einer einzigen Familie: Zunächst errichtete der ehemalige Kolonialoffizier Gnassingbé Eyadéma eine skrupellose Diktatur – auch mit tatkräftiger Unterstützung seines Duz- und Jagdfreundes Franz-Josef Strauß, dem langjährigen CSU-Ministerpräsidenten Bayerns. Nach Eyadémas Tod im Jahr 2005 übernahm dessen Sohn Fauré Gnassingbé die Regierungsgeschäfte. Erst durch internationalen Druck erklärte sich dieser zu Wahlen bereit, bei denen es allerdings zu massiven Fälschungen gekommen ist. Bei den anschließenden Protesten wurden über 800 Menschen von staatlichen Sicherheitskräften getötet. Gleichwohl galt Fauré Gnassingbé fortan auf der internationalen Bühne als legitimer Präsident Togos.

Hierzu passte, dass Deutschland 2012 nach knapp 20-jähriger Unterbrechung die staatliche Entwicklungszusammenarbeit mit Togo wieder aufgenommen hat. Begründet wurde dies damit, dass das Land unter Fauré Gnassingbé einen „Demokratisierungs-, Versöhnungs- und Reformprozess“ angestoßen habe. Doch diese Einschätzung ist hochgradig fragwürdig. Denn auch wenn Fauré Gnassingbé weniger brutal als sein Vater regiert, müssen Oppositionelle weiterhin mit gravierender Repression rechnen. So schreibt Amnesty International in seinem letzten (bereits 2017 erschienen) Bericht zu Togo: „Die Sicherheitskräfte wandten auch 2016 exzessive Gewalt gegen Demonstrierende an. Nach wie vor kam es zu willkürlichen Festnahmen und Inhaftierungen sowie zu Folter und anderen Misshandlungen, und die Straflosigkeit für Menschenrechtsverletzungen bestand fort.“ Ganz ähnlich die Togoische Liga für Menschenrechte: In einem im November 2019 veröffentlichten Bericht zu Folter und Polizeigewalt in Togo werden schwerste Menschenrechtsverletzungen geschildert – etwa am 21. Juli 2019 in Lomé im Quartier Hédzranawoé, als mehrere Dutzend Menschen von Sicherheitskräften ohne Anlass verprügelt und festgenommen wurden.

Vor diesem Hintergrund ist es zwischen August 2017 und Januar 2019 immer wieder zu Massenprotesten gekommen. Die Menschen demonstrierten nicht nur gegen die desolate soziale und ökonomische Lage im Land. Sie forderten auch den Rücktritt von Fauré Gnassingbé und die Rückkehr zur Verfassung von 1992. Denn diese (bereits 2002 außer Kraft gesetzte) Verfassung sieht lediglich zwei Amtszeiten für Präsidenten vor, was für Fauré Gnassingbé bedeutet hätte, dass er bei den kommenden Präsidentschaftswahlen nicht mehr hätte kandidieren dürfen. Die Regierung reagierte auf die Proteste mit brutaler Repression und Gewalt: Über 20 Demonstrant*innen wurden getötet, darunter auch Kinder und Jugendliche. Tausende wurden verletzt, hunderte (zum Teil bis heute) inhaftiert. Zudem haben Sicherheitskräfte Privatwohnungen und Büros der Opposition verwüstet, zwischenzeitlich flüchteten auch zahlreiche Menschen in die Nachbarländer Benin und Ghana.

Ungeachtet dessen akzeptierten Regierung und Opposition Anfang 2018 eine Vermittlungsinitiative der westafrikanischen Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft ECOWAS. Diese sah grundlegende Veränderungen bei der Organisation zukünftiger Wahlen vor (unter anderem bezüglich der Zusammensetzung der Wahlkommission und des Verfassungsgerichts, das die Wahlen überwacht). Doch diese Vorgaben wurden seitens der togoischen Regierung nicht umgesetzt. Und selbst das Gesetz, das die Zahl der Amtszeiten regeln sollte, wurde an entscheidender Stelle entschärft. Denn das Parlament (in dem gerade mal sechs Abgeordnete der Opposition sitzen) beschloss zwar im Mai 2019 die Beschränkung auf zwei Amtszeiten, dies jedoch mit dem Zusatz, dass die bisherigen Amtszeiten von Fauré Gnassingbé nicht mitgezählt werden. Zudem beschloss das Parlament, dass ehemalige Präsidenten nicht für Vergehen angeklagt und verurteilt werden dürfen, die sie im Rahmen ihrer Präsidentschaft begangen haben.

Umso mehr muss es beunruhigen, dass togoische Sicherheitskräfte weiterhin brutal gegen die Opposition vorgehen, wie drei Beispiele aus der jüngsten Zeit zeigen:

Am 25.08.2019 wurde in Lomé eine reguläre Parteiversammlung der ANC unter fadenscheinigen Gründen von Sicherheitskräften aufgelöst. Die ANC ist die Partei von Jean-Pierre Fabre, der als einer der aussichtsreichsten Oppositionskanditaten bei den anstehenden Präsidentschaftswahlen gilt.
Am 14.11.2019 berichtete der ehemaligen Erzbischof von Lomé, Phillippe Kpodzro, dass er Morddrohungen erhalten habe, nachdem er sich am 12.11.2019 mit den Führern des Oppositionsbündnisses „C 14“ getroffen hat. Ähnlich muss Tikpi Atchadam aus Angst um sein Leben im benachbarten Ausland leben, er ist Präsident der Parti National Panafricain (PNP), einer der wichtigsten Oppositionsparteien.
Am 25.01. und 26.01.2020 wurden zwei prominente Parteikader der PNP bei nächtlichen Razzien ohne Angabe von Gründen festgenommen – unter anderem der Generalsekretär Acoubou A. Moutawakilou.

Angesichts dieser und ähnlicher Vorfälle scheint es absolut erforderlich, dass der gesamte Wahlprozess seitens der internationalen Öffentlichkeit genau beobachtet und etwaige Unregelmäßigkeiten ungeschminkt benannt und ggf. auch sanktioniert werden. Zu den drohenden Unregelmäßigkeiten gehören nicht nur Einschüchterungen und Benachteiligungen im Vorfeld der Präsidentschaftswahlen, sondern auch Wahlmanipulationen am Wahltag selbst. Und das umso mehr, als sich die Regierung weigert, selbstverständliche Standards in Punkto demokratischer und transparenter Wahlen umzusetzen – beispielsweise die Bekanntgabe der Wahlergebnisse getrennt nach Wahlbezirken (eine Maßnahme, die Wahlmanipulation deutlich erschwert). Laut verschiedener Umfagen will eine Mehrheit der Bevölkerung, dass Fauré Gnassingbé als Präsident abgewählt wird. Zu ihren wichtigsten Forderungen zählen daher: Die Freilassung aller politischen Gefangenen, das Ende jeder Repression, die strafrechtliche Verfolgung all jener, die Gewalt gegenüber friedlichen Demonstrant*innen ausgeübt bzw. verantwortet haben und eine transparente, faire und gewaltfreie Organisation der Präsidentschaftswahlen.

Afrique-Europe-Interact unterstützt diese Forderungen und bittet die (internationale) Öffentlichkeit, die Wahlen in Togo kritisch und wachsam zu begleiten. Diese Bitte richtet sich nicht zuletzt an die Vereinten Nationen, die ECOWAS, die Afrikanische Union und die EU. Zudem möchten wir die deutsche Bundesregierung auffordern, sich gegenüber der Regierung in Togo für die Durchführung transparenter, fairer und gewaltfreier Wahlen einzusetzen. An die Medien appellieren wir, Meldungen aus Togo sorgfältig und kritisch zu prüfen. Das Land ist keine Demokratie im eigentlichen Sinne des Wortes, der aktuelle Präsident ist 2005 lediglich durch massive Gewaltanwendung ins Amt gelangt. Insofern sind vor allem die Stimmen von Menschenrechtsorganisationen, von unabhängigen Wahlbeobachter*innen und von Vertreter*innen der Opposition zu beachten – vor allem nach den Wahlen.

Bei Interesse vermitteln wir auch Kontakte zu Mitgliedern der togoischen Diaspora in Deutschland.

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Auf der Webseite von Afrique-Europe-Interact finden sich in der Rubrik „Kampagnen“ unter dem Stichwort „Togo/ Solidarität mit ATE“ zahlreiche Hintergrundinformationen zur Situation in Togo.

Presidential elections in Togo on 22 February 2020 – The human rights situation in Togo remains extremely tense

Press release from Afrique-Europe-Interact (pdf-download)

31 January 2020: Presidential elections in Togo on 22 February 2020 +++ Afrique-Europe-Interact calls on the public and the German government to critically accompany the entire electoral process in the West African country +++ The human rights situation in Togo remains extremely tense +++ Despite massive protests, President Fauré Gnassingbé has managed to secure a fourth and fifth term in office by amending the constitution +++

As early as 1963 – three years after Togo’s independence – the first democratically elected President Sylvanus Olympio was assassinated in a military coup. Since then, the West African country has been in the iron grip of a single family: First, former colonial officer Gnassingbé Eyadéma established an unscrupulous dictatorship – also with the active support of his personal friend Franz-Josef Strauß, the long-time CSU Prime Minister of Bavaria. After Eyadéma’s death in 2005, his son Fauré Gnassingbé took over the affairs of state. Only through international pressure he did declare himself willing to hold elections, which, however, were subject to massive fraud. During the subsequent protests, more than 800 people were killed by state security forces. Nonetheless, Fauré Gnassingbé was henceforth regarded as the legitimate President of Togo on the international stage.

Fittingly, Germany resumed state development cooperation with Togo in 2012 after a break of almost 20 years. The reason given was that under Fauré Gnassingbé the country had initiated a “process of democratization, reconciliation and reform”. But this assessment is highly questionable. For even if Fauré Gnassingbé governs less brutally than his father, opposition members continue to face severe repression. In their last report on Togo (already published in 2017), Amnesty International writes: “The security forces continued to use excessive violence against demonstrators in 2016. Arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture and other ill-treatment continued, and impunity for human rights violations persisted”. Very similar the Togolese League for Human Rights: A report on torture and police violence in Togo published in November 2019 describes severest human rights violations – for example on 21 July 2019 in Lomé in the Hédzranawoé district, when several dozen people were beaten and arrested by security forces with no apparent reason.

Against this background, mass protests have repeatedly occurred between August 2017 and January 2019. People demonstrated not only against the desolate social and economic situation in the country. They also demanded Fauré Gnassingbé’s resignation and a return to the 1992 constitution. For this constitution (which had already been repealed in 2002) only provides for two terms of office for presidents, which would have meant that Fauré Gnassingbé would not have been allowed to run in the coming presidential elections. The government reacted to the protests with brutal repression and violence: More than 20 demonstrators were killed, including children and young people. Thousands were injured, hundreds were imprisoned (some to this day). In addition, security forces destroyed private homes and offices of the opposition, and in the meantime many people fled to the neighbouring countries of Benin and Ghana.

Regardless of this, the government and the opposition accepted a mediation initiative by the West African Economic Community ECOWAS at the beginning of 2018. This initiative provided for fundamental changes in the organisation of future elections including the composition of the election commission and of the constitutional court that monitors the elections. However, the Togolese government did not implement these provisions. Moreover, even the law that was supposed to regulate the number of terms of office was softened at a crucial point. In May 2019, the parliament (in which there are just six members of the opposition) decided to limit the number of terms of office to two, but this was done with the addition that Fauré Gnassingbé’s previous terms of office are not counted. The Parliament also decided that former presidents should not be charged or convicted for offences committed during their presidency.

That is why it must be all the more worrying that Togolese security forces continue to brutalise the opposition, as three recent examples show:

+++ On 25.08.2019, a regular party meeting of the ANC was dissolved in Lomé for flimsy reasons by security forces. The ANC is the party of Jean-Pierre Fabre, who is considered one of the most promising opposition candidates in the upcoming presidential elections.

+++ On 14.11.2019, the former Archbishop of Lomé, Phillippe Kpodzro, reported that he had received death threats after meeting with the leaders of the opposition alliance “C 14” on 12.11.2019. Similarly, Tikpi Atchadam has to live in neighbouring countries out of fear for his life. He is president of the Parti National Panafricain (PNP), one of the main opposition parties.

+++ On 25.01. and 26.01.2020 two prominent party cadres of the PNP were arrested during night raids without giving any reasons – among others the Secretary General Acoubou A. Moutawakilou.

In view of these and similar incidents, it seems absolutely necessary that the entire election process must be closely monitored by the international public and that any irregularities must be named and, if necessary, sanctioned. The impending irregularities include not only intimidation and discrimination in the run-up to the presidential elections, but also electoral manipulation on the day of the elections itself. This is all the more so because the government refuses to implement self-evident standards in terms of democratic and transparent elections – such as announcing the election results separately according to electoral districts (a measure that makes election manipulation considerably more difficult). According to various surveys, a majority of the population wants Fauré Gnassingbé to be voted out of office as president. Among their most important demands are the release of all political prisoners, an end to repression, the prosecution of all those who have committed violence against peaceful demonstrators and a transparent, fair and non-violent organisation of the presidential elections.

Afrique-Europe-Interact supports these demands and asks the (international) public to critically and vigilantly monitor the elections in Togo. This request is addressed particularly to the United Nations, ECOWAS, the African Union and the EU. We would also like to call on the German Federal Government to make a strong plea to the government in Togo for the holding of transparent, fair and non-violent elections. We appeal to the media to examine reports from Togo carefully and critically. The country is not a democracy in the true sense of the word; the current president came to office in 2005 merely through massive use of violence. In this respect, the voices of human rights organisations, independent election observers and representatives of the opposition should be given particular attention – especially after the elections.

For questions: Lukas Meyer (Afrique-Europe-Interact), Mobile: 01521 750 055 0

If requested, we also arrange contacts with members of the Togolese diaspora in Germany.

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On the website of Afrique-Europe-Interact, under the heading “Campaigns” in the section “Togo/ Solidarity with ATE”, there is a variety of background information on the situation in Togo (but only on german).

Elections présidentielles au Togo le 22 février 2020 – La situation des droits de l’homme au Togo reste extrêmement tendue

Communiqué de presse de Afrique-Europe-Interact (pdf Download)

31 janvier 2020 : Elections présidentielles au Togo le 22 février 2020 +++ Afrique-Europe-Interact appelle le public et le gouvernement allemand à accompagner de manière critique l’ensemble du processus électoral dans ce pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest +++ La situation des droits de l’homme au Togo reste extrêmement tendue +++ Malgré des protestations massives, le président Fauré Gnassingbé a réussi à obtenir un quatrième et un cinquième mandat en modifiant la constitution +++

Dès 1963 – trois ans après l’indépendance du Togo – le premier président démocratiquement élu, Sylvanus Olympio, a été assassiné lors d’un coup d’État militaire. Depuis lors, ce pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest est sous l’emprise d’une seule famille : l’ancien officier colonial Gnassingbé Eyadéma a d’abord mis en place une dictature sans scrupules – également avec le soutien actif de son ami personnel Franz-Josef Strauß, le Premier ministre bavarois de longue date de la CSU. Après la mort d’Eyadéma en 2005, son fils Fauré Gnassingbé a pris en charge les affaires de l’Etat. Ce n’est que sous la pression internationale qu’il s’est déclaré prêt à organiser des élections, qui ont cependant fait l’objet de fraudes massives. Lors des manifestations qui ont suivi, plus de 800 personnes ont été tuées par les forces de sécurité de l’État. Néanmoins, Fauré Gnassingbé est désormais considéré sur la scène internationale comme le président légitime du Togo.

Il semblait donc normal que l’Allemagne a repris sa coopération avec le Togo en 2012, après une interruption de près de 20 ans. La raison invoquée était que sous Fauré Gnassingbé, le pays avait entamé un “processus de démocratisation, de réconciliation et de réforme”. Mais cette évaluation est très discutable. Car même si Fauré Gnassingbé gouverne moins brutalement que son père, les membres de l’opposition doivent s’attendre à une forte répression. Dans son dernier rapport sur le Togo (déjà publié en 2017), Amnesty International écrit : “Les forces de sécurité ont continué à faire usage d’une violence excessive contre les manifestants en 2016. Les arrestations et les détentions arbitraires, la torture et les autres mauvais traitements ont continué, et l’impunité pour les violations des droits de l’homme a persisté”. Un constat très similaire à celui de la Ligue Togolaise des Droits de l’Homme (LTDH) : Un rapport sur la torture et les violences policières au Togo publié en novembre 2019, fait état des plus graves violations des droits de l’homme – par exemple, le 21 juillet 2019 à Lomé dans le district de Hédzranawoé, lorsque plusieurs dizaines de personnes ont été battues et arrêtées par les forces de sécurité sans raison.

Dans ce contexte, des manifestations de masse ont eu lieu à plusieurs reprises entre août 2017 et janvier 2019. Les gens ont non seulement manifesté contre la situation sociale et économique désastreuse du pays, mais ils ont encore exigé la démission de Fauré Gnassingbé et un retour à la constitution de 1992. Car cette constitution (déjà abrogée en 2002) ne prévoit que deux mandats pour les présidents, ce qui aurait signifié pour Fauré Gnassingbé qu’il n’aurait pas été autorisé à se présenter aux prochaines élections présidentielles. Le gouvernement a réagi aux protestations par une répression très brutale : plus de 20 manifestant.e.s ont été tués, dont des enfants et des jeunes. Des milliers de personnes ont été blessées, des centaines ont été emprisonnées (dont certaines encore à ce jour). En outre, les forces de sécurité ont détruit des maisons privées et des bureaux de l’opposition, et entre-temps, de nombreuses personnes ont fui vers les pays voisins du Bénin et du Ghana.

Malgré cela, le gouvernement et l’opposition ont accepté une initiative de médiation de la Communauté économique des États de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO) au début de 2018. Cette initiative prévoit des changements fondamentaux dans l’organisation des futures élections (notamment la composition de la commission électorale et de la cour constitutionnelle qui supervisera les élections). Cependant, le gouvernement togolais n’a pas mis en œuvre ces exigences. Et même la loi qui devait réglementer le nombre de mandats a été désamorcée à son point le plus important. En mai 2019, le parlement (dans lequel il n’y a que six membres de l’opposition) a décidé de limiter le nombre de mandats à deux, mais avec l’ajout que les mandats précédents de Fauré Gnassingbé ne sont pas comptés. Le Parlement a également décidé que les anciens présidents ne devraient pas être inculpés ou condamnés pour des infractions commises pendant leur présidence.

Il est donc d’autant plus inquiétant que les forces de sécurité togolaises continuent de brutaliser l’opposition, comme le montrent trois exemples récents :

+++ Le 25.08.2019, une réunion régulière du parti de l’ANC a été dissoute à Lomé pour des raisons peu convaincantes par les forces de sécurité. L’ANC est le parti de Jean-Pierre Fabre, qui est considéré comme l’un des candidats d’opposition les plus prometteurs pour les prochaines élections présidentielles.

+++ Le 14.11.2019, l’ancien archevêque de Lomé, Phillippe Kpodzro, a rapporté qu’il avait reçu des menaces de mort après avoir rencontré les dirigeants de l’alliance d’opposition “C 14” le 12.11.2019. De même, Tikpi Atchadam, président du Parti National Panafricain (PNP), l’un des principaux partis d’opposition, doit séjourner dans les pays voisins craignant pour sa vie.

+++ Les 25.01. et 26.01.2020, deux éminents cadres du parti de la PNP ont été kidnappés lors de raids nocturnes sans donner de raisons – dont le secrétaire général Acoubou A. Moutawakilou.

Au vu de ces incidents et d’autres similaires, il semble absolument nécessaire que l’ensemble du processus électoral soit étroitement surveillé par l’opinion publique internationale et que toute irrégularité soit dénoncée et, si nécessaire, sanctionnée. Les menaces d’irrégularités comprennent non seulement l’intimidation et la discrimination à l’approche des élections présidentielles, mais aussi la manipulation électorale le jour même des élections. Et ce d’autant plus que le gouvernement refuse d’appliquer des normes évidentes en matière d’élections démocratiques et transparentes – par exemple, l’annonce des résultats des élections séparément par circonscription électorale (une mesure qui rend la manipulation des élections considérablement plus difficile). Selon différents sondages, une majorité de la population souhaite que Fauré Gnassingbé soit évincé de la présidence. Leurs principales revendications sont donc les suivantes : la libération de tous les prisonniers politiques, la fin de toute répression, la poursuite de tous ceux qui ont commis des violences contre des manifestants pacifiques et une organisation transparente, équitable et non violente des élections présidentielles.

Afrique-Europe-Interact soutient ces demandes et demande à l’opinion publique (internationale) d’accompagner les élections au Togo de manière critique et vigilante. Cette demande est adressée notamment aux Nations Unies, à la CEDEAO, à l’Union Africaine et à l’UE. En outre, nous voudrions demander au gouvernement fédéral allemand de faire des démarches auprès du gouvernement togolais pour la tenue d’élections transparentes, équitables et non violentes. Nous appelons les médias à examiner avec attention et un esprit critique les rapports en provenance du Togo. Le pays n’est pas une démocratie au vrai sens du terme ; l’actuel président est entré en fonction en 2005 par un simple recours massif à la force. À cet égard, les voix des organisations des droits de l’homme, des observateurs électoraux indépendants et des représentants de l’opposition devraient être prises en compte – surtout après les élections.

Pour toute question complémentaire : Lukas Meyer, 01521 750 055 0

Si vous êtes intéressé, nous pouvons également organiser des contacts avec des membres de la diaspora togolaise en Allemagne.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Sur le site Afrique-Europe-Interact, sous la rubrique “Campagnes” de la section “Togo/Solidarité avec l’ATE”, vous trouverez de nombreuses informations de fond sur la situation au Togo (mais seulement dans la version allemande).

Schiffstaufe von United4Rescue in Kiel: Sea-Watch 4 soll bereits im April Menschen im Mittelmeer retten

Das zivilgesellschaftliche Bündnis United4Rescue hat gemeinsam mit Sea-Watch ein zusätzliches Seenotrettungsschiff in Dienst genommen. In Anwesenheit des Ratsvorsitzenden der Evangelischen Kirche in Deutschland, Landesbischof Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, taufte Aminata Touré, Landtagsvizepräsidentin des Landes Schleswig-Holstein, das Schiff am heutigen Donnerstag in Kiel auf den Namen “Sea-Watch 4”. Das Logo von United4Rescue am Bug zeigt prominent, dass das…

Der Beitrag Schiffstaufe von United4Rescue in Kiel: Sea-Watch 4 soll bereits im April Menschen im Mittelmeer retten erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

Offenens Plenum! Open plenary! Join SleepingplaceOrga, 12.Februar 2020, 20 h

english below***

Macht bei der Schlafplatzorga mit:
Schlafplätze organisieren sich nicht von selbst! Werdet Teil von der Schlafplatzcrew und macht mit uns möglich, dass etwas weniger Menschen draußen schlafen!
Bei uns fällt einiges an:


• bei unseren Schichten die Suchenden an die Angebote zu vermitteln


• Unterstützung für Suchende


• Vernetzung mit anderen Gruppen


• Veranstaltungen vorbereiten


• Küfas organisieren, und schnabulieren


• Die Schlafplatzorga vorstellen, überall wo wir eingeladen werden


• Kohle organisieren! Mit allen Mitteln von Glühwein bis Finanzantrag!

Alles kann, nix muss, und vielleicht fällt euch noch was anderes ein, was der Schlafplatzorga schon immer gefehlt hat – also: kommt zu unserem offenen Plenum am Mittwoch den 12. Februar um 20:00 Uhr, Oranienstr. 159, 10969 Berlin-Kreuzberg oder schreibt uns einfach eine Mail!

sleepingplaceorga@systemli.org

Wir freuen uns auf jeden Fall auf euch!

*****************************************************************

Participate in the sleeping place organization’s (Schlafplatzorgas) work:
Sleeping places don’t organize themselves! Become a part of the sleeping place-organization crew and help create a situation where fewer people have to sleep outdoors. We do the following:


• During our shifts we mediate offers of sleeping places to searchers.


• Support searchers in finding housing/sleeping places.


• Networking with other groups/organizations


• Organize events


• Organize Küfas (donation based kitchens), and schnabulieren (snacks?)


• Represent the sleeping place organization, at all events where we are invited


• organize coal (does this mean resources, funding etc?)! By various different means, from Glühwein to funding applications!


Everybody can, nobody must, and perhaps you can also think of something else that the Sleeping Place Organization can provide, that we’ve been lacking – SO: Please come to our open meeting on Wednesday the 12th of February at 20.00 (8 PM), Oranienstr. 159, 10969 Berlin-Kreuzberg or write us an email!

sleepingplaceorga@systemli.org

We are definitely looking forward to meeting you!

Letter to the World from Moria (No. 13)

Author: A migratory girl

Note: This photo is not showing the persons described below in the letter.

I am the mother of two sick babies

Every mother raises up her baby being proud of it from the first day. When she kisses her baby, her baby kisses her back, and this is the absolute happiness for her. When the child grows, she is watching how it plays with others. She watches it grow and develop. These are the joys of a mother. 

I have raised my two children under the hardest conditions of life. I spent everyday praying for them. But while the body of my four year old girl grew, her brain did not follow along. And the same happened to my boy.

I love my children. But society humiliated us for them being different. I will never forget that everybody expected my husband to get married again, because I gave birth to mentally disabled babies.

I didn’t even know that I was getting married. I was so small, getting married was for me was like playing with my dolls, and it was the same for all other girls of my very young age.

When I started to learn about life as a couple, I realised that I was pregnant and when I hugged my Mariam* (names changed) for the first time, I became also aware of people’s talk – mostly the nearest persons around me. They called my baby “handicapped”, “abnormal”, and those words aggrieved me.

To find medical help for the growth problems of our child and escape their stigmatisation and the painful talks around our family we decided to escape, first to Iran and after to Turkey.

We tried to find appropriate treatment for our daughter for four years. For the first three years, no one could tell us the reason of her illness. Finally, they found out, that she had a brain damage.

My Mariam … she is full of emotions, full of love and affection, full of innocence. Her world is simple, but pure. Her view on life is different. Even when humiliating hands rest on her shoulders, she feels that they are innocent, hands full of sympathy.

When I see that she goes near flowers, I become happy that maybe she is getting pleasure from her environment, but then she becomes aggressive to them. Observing her in such scenes feels like thorns piercing my eyes.

Every mother wishes to see her baby crawl, but I couldn’t see it, since she was like a dead body in a corner until she became two years old. Every mother wishes to hold her baby’s hand and teach her how to walk, but I touched her weak joints and she whined and cried in pain.

Hey mothers on this earth! Hey you who have children!

I swear that I raised this girl 9 months in my belly. I swear that I desired death while giving birth. I passed a long period after her birth, eating dry bread with water, praying that she becomes better, that she becomes a happiness for us and happy herself.

I have lived with such pain. The Turkish doctors told us that there was no hope to treat Mariam.

And, then, in Turkey, another seed was planted and started growing. I have grown Amir* full of hope. Although looking at Mariam made me cry every day, my husband, cleared away my tears, put his hand on my belly and gave me hope. How many nights didn’t I cry for the health for my kids… but in this inhumane world, my souls screams haven’t been heard.

This mother, after 9 months of carrying her baby and 6 days of labor pains, was told once again the same news: She is having an unhealthy baby.

I passed two years full of hope, telling myself that maybe it was not true, that things may change. The doctors in Turkey told us that he had the same problem as Mariam. His brain will not grow and the muscles of his body will not work well. However, there was a treatment for him, especially because he was smaller that Mariam, but that treatment was not possible in Turkey. For that we needed to move on to a European country.

We had been living as refugees in Turkey for four years. We were beggars on everybody’s door. Every day we visited the doctors. However, we didn’t know their language, and we didn’t have an interpreter. We wandered for hours and days to find the hospitals as we didn’t know the addresses, only to understand, in the end, that we were in Turkey for nothing. We saw that all doors were closed to us. So we gathered everything, held our children’s hands and started our migration towards Europe.

Now we ask ourselves: Is this really Europe? Is this the continent of hope? Where is that bright light that we came here to find for our children?

No! Here our heart’s light didn’t turn on. Europe turned our hopes off and we are trapped in darkness.

For four months now every day we go to the doctors in Mytilene. It seems that our babies are pictures, that can be diagnosed by a quick look. Without having carried out any test, they tell us that our babies don‘t have any problems. It is as if you go to the doctor and tell him that you have a headache and the doctor tells you, “where is your pain, I cannot see it”.

No one answers our questions. We are like ping pong balls for them. They throw us from one hospital to another for nothing.

If you have parents, if you are a father or mother, if you love someone around you, you will understand us. You will understand how hard it is to see a seed of your body, growing to become a human that is just alive but doesn’t live. Every day looking at our children’s situation we wish to die.

We didn’t come here for money or luxuries but for the doctors. For us just having a nest to protect us from the cold and to live with our healthy children would be enough.

In search of just a nest…

Parwana

p.s. Thanks to my friend who shared her story with me. I wish she will find what she is seeking for!

Das Bündnis United4Rescue hat ein Rettungsschiff

Die „Poseidon“ wird bald im Mittelmeer Menschenleben retten In einem verdeckten Bieterverfahren konnte das Bündnis United4Rescue mit der Seenotrettungsorganisation Sea-Watch das frühere Forschungsschiff „Poseidon“ ersteigern. Der Hashtag des Bündnisses #wirschickeneinSchiff soll noch im Frühjahr Realität werden. Bis Ende 2019 war die „Poseidon“ als Forschungsschiff im Einsatz. Sie ist hinsichtlich ihrer Größe und ihrer technischen Daten…

Der Beitrag Das Bündnis United4Rescue hat ein Rettungsschiff erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

Letter to the World from Moria (No. 13)

Author: A migratory girl

Note: This photo is not showing the persons described below in the letter.

I am the mother of two sick babies

Every mother raises up her baby being proud of it from the first day. When she kisses her baby, her baby kisses her back, and this is the absolute happiness for her. When the child grows, she is watching how it plays with others. She watches it grow and develop. These are the joys of a mother. 

I have raised my two children under the hardest conditions of life. I spent everyday praying for them. But while the body of my four year old girl grew, her brain did not follow along. And the same happened to my boy.

I love my children. But society humiliated us for them being different. I will never forget that everybody expected my husband to get married again, because I gave birth to mentally disabled babies.

I didn’t even know that I was getting married. I was so small, getting married was for me was like playing with my dolls, and it was the same for all other girls of my very young age.

When I started to learn about life as a couple, I realised that I was pregnant and when I hugged my Mariam* (names changed) for the first time, I became also aware of people’s talk – mostly the nearest persons around me. They called my baby “handicapped”, “abnormal”, and those words aggrieved me.

To find medical help for the growth problems of our child and escape their stigmatisation and the painful talks around our family we decided to escape, first to Iran and after to Turkey.

We tried to find appropriate treatment for our daughter for four years. For the first three years, no one could tell us the reason of her illness. Finally, they found out, that she had a brain damage.

My Mariam … she is full of emotions, full of love and affection, full of innocence. Her world is simple, but pure. Her view on life is different. Even when humiliating hands rest on her shoulders, she feels that they are innocent, hands full of sympathy.

When I see that she goes near flowers, I become happy that maybe she is getting pleasure from her environment, but then she becomes aggressive to them. Observing her in such scenes feels like thorns piercing my eyes.

Every mother wishes to see her baby crawl, but I couldn’t see it, since she was like a dead body in a corner until she became two years old. Every mother wishes to hold her baby’s hand and teach her how to walk, but I touched her weak joints and she whined and cried in pain.

Hey mothers on this earth! Hey you who have children!

I swear that I raised this girl 9 months in my belly. I swear that I desired death while giving birth. I passed a long period after her birth, eating dry bread with water, praying that she becomes better, that she becomes a happiness for us and happy herself.

I have lived with such pain. The Turkish doctors told us that there was no hope to treat Mariam.

And, then, in Turkey, another seed was planted and started growing. I have grown Amir* full of hope. Although looking at Mariam made me cry every day, my husband, cleared away my tears, put his hand on my belly and gave me hope. How many nights didn’t I cry for the health for my kids… but in this inhumane world, my souls screams haven’t been heard.

This mother, after 9 months of carrying her baby and 6 days of labor pains, was told once again the same news: She is having an unhealthy baby.

I passed two years full of hope, telling myself that maybe it was not true, that things may change. The doctors in Turkey told us that he had the same problem as Mariam. His brain will not grow and the muscles of his body will not work well. However, there was a treatment for him, especially because he was smaller that Mariam, but that treatment was not possible in Turkey. For that we needed to move on to a European country.

We had been living as refugees in Turkey for four years. We were beggars on everybody’s door. Every day we visited the doctors. However, we didn’t know their language, and we didn’t have an interpreter. We wandered for hours and days to find the hospitals as we didn’t know the addresses, only to understand, in the end, that we were in Turkey for nothing. We saw that all doors were closed to us. So we gathered everything, held our children’s hands and started our migration towards Europe.

Now we ask ourselves: Is this really Europe? Is this the continent of hope? Where is that bright light that we came here to find for our children?

No! Here our heart’s light didn’t turn on. Europe turned our hopes off and we are trapped in darkness.

For four months now every day we go to the doctors in Mytilene. It seems that our babies are pictures, that can be diagnosed by a quick look. Without having carried out any test, they tell us that our babies don‘t have any problems. It is as if you go to the doctor and tell him that you have a headache and the doctor tells you, “where is your pain, I cannot see it”.

No one answers our questions. We are like ping pong balls for them. They throw us from one hospital to another for nothing.

If you have parents, if you are a father or mother, if you love someone around you, you will understand us. You will understand how hard it is to see a seed of your body, growing to become a human that is just alive but doesn’t live. Every day looking at our children’s situation we wish to die.

We didn’t come here for money or luxuries but for the doctors. For us just having a nest to protect us from the cold and to live with our healthy children would be enough.

In search of just a nest…

Parwana

p.s. Thanks to my friend who shared her story with me. I wish she will find what she is seeking for!

Sea-Watch 3 rettet 119 Menschen in drei Rettungen innerhalb 24 Stunden, auch heute wieder Boote in Seenot – Über 150 Menschen von EU-Partnern illegal nach Libyen zurückgeschleppt

Am gestrigen Donnerstag wurde die Sea-Watch 3 über mehrere Seenotfälle alarmiert und hatte unverzüglich die erfolgreiche Rettung von 60 Menschen an Bord eines Schlauchbootes durchgeführt. In einer zweiten Operation konnten weitere 17 Menschen aus Seenot gerettet werden. Die Suche nach einem dritten Boot in Seenot wurde in der Nacht von Donnerstag auf Freitag abgeschlossen und…

Der Beitrag Sea-Watch 3 rettet 119 Menschen in drei Rettungen innerhalb 24 Stunden, auch heute wieder Boote in Seenot – Über 150 Menschen von EU-Partnern illegal nach Libyen zurückgeschleppt erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

STOP WAR ON MIGRANTS

Clandestina participates in the ‘Stop War On Migrants’ campaign. The campaign was initiated on October 2019, after the announcement of the new anti-immigration policy in Greece.

This is the text that presented the new governmental policy on migration and called for launching the campaign (Oct. 2019): StopWar_leaflet_EN

This is a presentation of the assembly of the “Stop War On Migrants” campaign in English, French, Arabic, Farsi and Urdu: Who_we_are_5_languages

This is the facebook page of the “Stop War On Migrants” campaign:

https://www.facebook.com/StopWarOnMigrants/

4_Posters.indd

Sea-Watch startet nach sechsmonatiger Blockade in erste Rettungsmission unter deutscher Flagge

Das Rettungsschiff Sea-Watch 3 hat am heutigen Montag den Hafen von Licata (Sizilien) verlassen und ist auf dem Weg in die Such- und Rettungszone. Zuvor hatte die Organisation die Berufung vor einem italienischen Zivilgericht gegen die unrechtmäßige Beschlagnahmung des Schiffes gewonnen, das nach der Rettung von 53 Menschen durch Kapitänin Carola Rackete und Crew seit…

Der Beitrag Sea-Watch startet nach sechsmonatiger Blockade in erste Rettungsmission unter deutscher Flagge erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

Sea-Watch Sonderbeilage 2019

Taz-Beilage: 701 Tonnen Solidarität – Für das Recht zu bleiben, Für das Recht zu gehen Auch dieses Jahr haben wir wieder eine Sea-Watch Sonderbeilage für Zeitungen entworfen. Nach einem Jahr mit viel Aufmerksamkeit für die Seenotretter*innen, beschäftigt sich diese Beilage mit den Geschichten derer, die sonst nicht auf der Titelseite landen. Lest hier die Geschichten…

Der Beitrag Sea-Watch Sonderbeilage 2019 erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

Letter to the World from Moria (No 12)

Author: A migratory girl

copyright: Hinrich Schultze

I am mother Earth

I have existed for billions of years. Every century I raised new generations, but I have never been at the same time as proud of myself as I am today and as sad and disappointed as I am today.

Today, I stand tip-top on some incredible advances and discoveries achieved in this world. Yet, it looks like my residents are returning back to old false thoughts, thoughts thousands years old. Thoughts of egoism, thoughts of greed, thoughts that make you fight between each other, that made you built borders in order not to share between your kind or other creatures.

I am mother of you all. I am equally belonging to all people. You can all live on me. So what are these borders for that you created? Why don’t you open your doors to each other? Why don’t you get rid of racism and come together sitting on one table?

We are a family. Didn’t you realise? Is it possible for one child to ask another child to give him back his mother? Is she mother to just one child? Which mother can be happy to see one of her kids happy and wealthy and another poor and miserable? Which family can draw borders between its members? You are all earths people, how can one be more and another less?

You want to conquer other people, other countries, other planets. Have you pleased me, to now think that you will please other planets? Did you look after me so now you think that you can look after other planets?

Today, more than any times in the past, I need protection from you people and people need protection from each other. Instead of looking after me, you want to conquer me, you think that I belong to some few of you. You don’t want to care and to share…

Don’t you need me all in order to survive? I am soil and water for you, and if the goal is to live and not to turn others into slaves, get a piece of land for yourself and give a glas of water to others.

Every day, with your growing greed I fall into more trouble and you loose yourselves. Your attempt to conquer me burns forests into ashes, forests that have grown over thousands of years nurturing us with oxygen. Seas turn red with human blood, and more lands with their thousand years old history, turn into dry sand.

Your pressure on me is ever growing. With every century of your “progress”, I get closer to the end of my life. You want to exploit me, but don’t you realize that you deplete me every day, that you end my days and yours.

Why don’t you content with what you already have? Why don’t you protect the treasures in your hands? Your life would be terribly short if I belonged to one man only, if you were alone. If you continue the same way, you won’t be able to have me for more than 100 years more. I will die. You will die.

So let the people see the grasses also in future, let them touch the lawns, let them smell fresh air, let them climb the mountains and swim in the seas. Don’t force the future generations to spend all their days and lives with masks! My ozone layer is being destroyed. I cannot escape harmful radiations anymore, all because of you! Every day by making more nuclear power, by building more factories, I come closer to the end of my life.

…This is only an Abstract of the letter.

One can wander to the East or the West, to the North or the South, but where home is, it is the best.

Parwana

Letter to the World from Moria (Nr. 11)

Author: A migratory girl

Life of a Transgender

I am in Moria Camp.

Being a transgender means not to be of female or male sex, neither man nor woman – but of transgender sex. In a society like Afghanistan, being a transgender person is like being an extra-terrestrial, landing on earth from outer space. In Afghanistan people think of sex binary: only female and male are considered as “normal” genders.

In Afghanistan I used false names. I am Mina. This name gives an understanding that I am a girl. Yet, every day, during my whole being, my soul screams: “I am not a girl! Don’t cover your self with these clothes.”

I was born, in 1992, in Mazaresharef, the western province of Afghanistan. Being a girl in such a society carries guilt. Being a transgender born as a girl carries double guilt. So when I realised that I was not really a girl, my life became a nightmare. I felt myself separate from everyone, not belonging to any of the dominant sexes. Although I had a female body, I wanted to be with boys, behave like a boy. Playing with them, learning with them, speaking with them was pleasant for me.

While I was little, my family allowed me to do more or less what I wanted. But as soon as my female body developed, they didn’t allow me to be what I wanted to be, as I wanted to be. They were always thinking about their reputation and honour and not about what I wanted. When I became 18, I felt like a prisoner in the jail of my female body and I couldn’t tolerate anymore wearing girl’s clothes. So, I decided to take off my hijab and be what I wanted to be.

I loved one of my classmates and I was all the time with her. She didn’t know everything about me. She just knew my deep feelings for her and she thought that I was like all girls. Sometimes, she felt uncertain and would ask if I was ok. Soon, I decided to speak with her and with my family.

First I told her all my feelings, that I really loved her and wanted to be with her all my life. She was shocked, but she accepted me and wanted me to be what I wanted to be, not what others wanted me to be.

When I then spoke with my family, they told me that they would kill me if I did not do what they wanted. They also told me that there was a suitor asking for me and that he and his family were coming the next day to visit to ask for my hand. I should just dress like a lady and that was it!

I thought ok, I will do what they ask me to do. I will get married, but I won’t have any relation with him. Relations need feelings and I had no such feelings for him or any men. I thought, I will divorce him after two months, I promise!

I did the opposite. I went to a barber and cut off my hair like a boy. Then I wore a t-shirt with a pair of jeans and went home.  

I did all of that in order to live in freedom, and I will continue my struggle until I achieve my freedom. Freedom for ever.

I hope that here I will be free!

Parwana

…This is only an Abstract of the letter.

Letter to the World from Moria (10)

copyright: Salinia Stroux

Author: A migratory girl

Seeking for protection in a world of war

Where is safety?

In a camp with 14,000 refugees coming from different places of earth living under inhuman conditions one piled upon the other, the authorities can do very little to protect us. In fact, the miserable conditions they force us to live in, the inhuman laws and rules they subject us to create a small world of violence – a form of systematic violence against all of us.

If you live this violence day by day, you become part of it. In the end we humans, who are currently refugees in your Europe, must defend ourselves, our tents and our families against a generalised violence from above, but also from all sides. This violence can come come from any side now.

Where is safety?

If you live under conditions not worth for animals, violent conditions, then you can become violent any time yourself even if you share the same pain.

I feel powerless against this violence. I feel it crawling in our veins. I don’t want to become a part of this. I feel shame, when I see anger growing between people who suffer the same pain and shame when I feel anger rising inside me.

Instead of establishing friendly relations between each other as oppressed people that face the same discrimination, we become part of the reasons of fear. We escaped war, but it seems we are in war again. There is no way out. This is the war to survive the jungle called Europe.

Where is safety?

How long are we going to search for safety by holding guns in our hands? These hands, which long for a pen not a gun!

Open your doors for our lives’!

Parwana

…This is only an Abstract of the letter.

Letter to the World from Moria (No 12)

Author: A migratory girl

copyright: Hinrich Schultze

I am mother Earth

I have existed for billions of years. Every century I raised new generations, but I have never been at the same time as proud of myself as I am today and as sad and disappointed as I am today.

Today, I stand tip-top on some incredible advances and discoveries achieved in this world. Yet, it looks like my residents are returning back to old false thoughts, thoughts thousands years old. Thoughts of egoism, thoughts of greed, thoughts that make you fight between each other, that made you built borders in order not to share between your kind or other creatures.

I am mother of you all. I am equally belonging to all people. You can all live on me. So what are these borders for that you created? Why don’t you open your doors to each other? Why don’t you get rid of racism and come together sitting on one table?

We are a family. Didn’t you realise? Is it possible for one child to ask another child to give him back his mother? Is she mother to just one child? Which mother can be happy to see one of her kids happy and wealthy and another poor and miserable? Which family can draw borders between its members? You are all earths people, how can one be more and another less?

You want to conquer other people, other countries, other planets. Have you pleased me, to now think that you will please other planets? Did you look after me so now you think that you can look after other planets?

Today, more than any times in the past, I need protection from you people and people need protection from each other. Instead of looking after me, you want to conquer me, you think that I belong to some few of you. You don’t want to care and to share…

Don’t you need me all in order to survive? I am soil and water for you, and if the goal is to live and not to turn others into slaves, get a piece of land for yourself and give a glas of water to others.

Every day, with your growing greed I fall into more trouble and you loose yourselves. Your attempt to conquer me burns forests into ashes, forests that have grown over thousands of years nurturing us with oxygen. Seas turn red with human blood, and more lands with their thousand years old history, turn into dry sand.

Your pressure on me is ever growing. With every century of your “progress”, I get closer to the end of my life. You want to exploit me, but don’t you realize that you deplete me every day, that you end my days and yours.

Why don’t you content with what you already have? Why don’t you protect the treasures in your hands? Your life would be terribly short if I belonged to one man only, if you were alone. If you continue the same way, you won’t be able to have me for more than 100 years more. I will die. You will die.

So let the people see the grasses also in future, let them touch the lawns, let them smell fresh air, let them climb the mountains and swim in the seas. Don’t force the future generations to spend all their days and lives with masks! My ozone layer is being destroyed. I cannot escape harmful radiations anymore, all because of you! Every day by making more nuclear power, by building more factories, I come closer to the end of my life.

Your egoism and greed is my death. But my death will be your destruction. It will affect all of you. Every day more species of herbs, plants and animals become extinct. More humans lose their lives fighting in front of the borders of your greed and pride.

People were all born with many hopes, but not feeling the joy of life, they lost everything. When I see that in one part of me, people die from hunger and children are threatened by malnutrition, and in another part of me, people go under surgery‘s blades to lose weight, I feel anger.

I am sorry for the countries where people live below the poverty line. I should also say: I am sorry for the residents, of those parts of a country, living under the poverty line, while just next to them others live on top of joviality. I feel pain for those who work in their own territories for other people and give their own natural wealth away for a few cents.

It pains me to think that, millions of years from now, the inhabitants of other planets would call Earth “the planet of the greedy species”, and amazed from the horror, they will look at the destruction caused by atomic wars and missile weapons.

You have closed the borders, when in one of my hemispheres population density is low, while in my other hemisphere it is very high. The rich eat more, the poor face hunger more.

Are not the rich countries of the world responsible for that? The nations, the presidents, the politicians, the businessmen? Have they not taken away all natural resources? Should they not feel shame? They don’t. Instead the rulers, the real thieves, just give “development aid” and present themselves as benefactors to our world. They interfere in politics of other countries, they throw down governments and start wars to “save” others.

In a period when Europe has decreasing birthrates and schools and universities close down because of a lack of students, in Asia and Africa and in most other continents, thousands of schools are destroyed under bombs and students are deprived of education.

In an era when generations should deliberate together to get to know and understand each other, people have raised borders higher and thousands die as a result, including children, pregnant women, old men.

One day from the Aegean Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the North Sea terrible screams will rise — screams to break down the borders. I have never raised borders to hold someone out. Nature has always stretched a friendly hand to all – so hold it tight.

In an era when you still want to visit Mars, I have never constructed a border. You were created as free people and freedom is what you deserve. I need life not borders. No one needs borders.

Come together to find new ways to protect life and dignity. I am getting old and I cannot tolerate fumes of chemical factories, atomic power’s gases, missiles, atomic bombs.

Let one day of life be a gift for yourself and give one day also for all the others.

I turned centuries around the sun to give your life, but, today, when I need you to listen to me, don’t turn your back on me. Earth don’t want no borders. Earth want people united.

One can wander to the East or the West, to the North or the South, but where home is, it is the best.

Parwana

Letter to the World from Moria (Nr. 11)

Author: A migratory girl

Life of a Transgender

I am in Moria Camp.

Being a transgender means not to be of female or male sex, neither man nor woman – but of transgender sex. In a society like Afghanistan, being a transgender person is like being an extra-terrestrial, landing on earth from outer space. In Afghanistan people think of sex binary: only female and male are considered as “normal” genders.

In Afghanistan I used false names. I am Mina. This name gives an understanding that I am a girl. Yet, every day, during my whole being, my soul screams: “I am not a girl! Don’t cover your self with these clothes.”

I was born, in 1992, in Mazaresharef, the western province of Afghanistan. Being a girl in such a society carries guilt. Being a transgender born as a girl carries double guilt. So when I realised that I was not really a girl, my life became a nightmare. I felt myself separate from everyone, not belonging to any of the dominant sexes. Although I had a female body, I wanted to be with boys, behave like a boy. Playing with them, learning with them, speaking with them was pleasant for me.

While I was little, my family allowed me to do more or less what I wanted. But as soon as my female body developed, they didn’t allow me to be what I wanted to be, as I wanted to be. They were always thinking about their reputation and honour and not about what I wanted. When I became 18, I felt like a prisoner in the jail of my female body and I couldn’t tolerate anymore wearing girl’s clothes. So, I decided to take off my hijab and be what I wanted to be.

I loved one of my classmates and I was all the time with her. She didn’t know everything about me. She just knew my deep feelings for her and she thought that I was like all girls. Sometimes, she felt uncertain and would ask if I was ok. Soon, I decided to speak with her and with my family.

First I told her all my feelings, that I really loved her and wanted to be with her all my life. She was shocked, but she accepted me and wanted me to be what I wanted to be, not what others wanted me to be.

When I then spoke with my family, they told me that they would kill me if I did not do what they wanted. They also told me that there was a suitor asking for me and that he and his family were coming the next day to visit to ask for my hand. I should just dress like a lady and that was it!

I thought ok, I will do what they ask me to do. I will get married, but I won’t have any relation with him. Relations need feelings and I had no such feelings for him or any men. I thought, I will divorce him after two months, I promise!

I did the opposite. I went to a barber and cut off my hair like a boy. Then I wore a t-shirt with a pair of jeans and went home.  

My older sister was shocked to see me like that and told me to change my clothes immediately and wear a scarf. “Otherwise”, she told me, “our father will kill you”.

I put a scarf over my short brown hair and wore a skirt over my jeans.

The guests came and I got married, but I had no relation with him. We were together for two months and then I divorced.

When my father learned that I divorced, he beat me up. My eyes became black and purple.

“What is this,” he shouted. “Do you want me to kill you? What did I do wrong to you that you behave like this? What did you want, that I didn’t give you”, he shouted and continued to beat me.

“You didn’t give me my right,” I answered. “Did you ever ask me what I wanted? Did you ever ask how I felt? Did you ask anytime how I wanted to be? You know nothing about me,” I went on. “You were always thinking about your reputation and honour, not about your child.”

And as I was speaking my voice stopped. I was sobbing. “Your crying won’t change anything,” he cried, “I will decide about you.” He threw me out of the house and that was the last time I saw him.

It’s about six years that I have not had a single contact with my family.

My mother died some years ago and my two sisters got married. I went to them.

I couldn’t stay a lot with my sister. Her husband, my brother in law, was not happy with me and his behaviour towards me became worse and worse. I understood that I could not stay there any longer.

One day, my bother in law called me in the room and told me: “We are taking a decision about you. As you know, our financial situation is not good and we cannot spend money for you. We will tell you our decision tomorrow.”

I felt totally stressed out. I didn’t know what he was going to decide and how it was going to be. That night was like a nightmare for me. I couldn’t sleep. Yet, I was pleased with my new style. I was day-dreaming all night long in front of the mirror, brushing my short hair and changing my parting hair line.

The next day, the sun was shining and I was still day-dreaming. I wanted to become a lawyer to protect the rights of people, make the world a just world. But they burned my dreams, they burned my child and my adult dreams. They burned my hopes.

In the morning my brother in law asked me: “Will you change yourself?”

“No”, I replied.

“Won’t you change your decision?”

“No!!!”, I insisted. “I know who to be and how to be. Everyone has the right to chose.”

“We are not in Europe, never forget it”, he shouted. “I live in society, with many other people. Every day I hear them speak about you. Their words bother me. I don’t have any problem with you working in the municipality, or you going to university, but I cannot tolerate that people speak about you and us.”

I was living with my sister for 3,5 years. But, after this conversation with my brother in law, I decided to leave them and not to make them uncomfortable anymore.

I was sad, hopeless, upset and disturbed. I realized that I was alone. Alone in all respects. Totally alone in the whole world. I didn’t know what to do and where to go. I cried, and cried. I cried continuously.

I went to my classmate who had promised to give me money to escape from Afghanistan and become free — free to spin in the air for all to see me. No need to hide anymore.

I found a family that also wanted to go Germany. So I took the money from my classmate and I went with them to Farah, then to Nemroz, the nearest city to Pakistan’s border. Then we went to Pakistan, to a city of thieves, war and deception. When we were there, I didn’t know that I should dress like a girl and wear a hijab. I thought it would be more tolerant and open-minded than Mazar-e-Sharif. But when we arrived at Nemroz, I understood that I should cover all my body. Even then, however, everyone was looking at us as if we “women” were guilty of a crime. Then I understood that they were looking at us, because our men wore t-shirts and trousers, clothes very different from theirs, since they were all wearing long dresses and Tomban (traditional trousers). So our men changed their style and borrowed a Pirahsn and Tomban for themselves.

We were eight nights at the Pakistan border and this was the most difficult part of our journey. One night three men wanted to invader our tent while we were sleeping, but fortunately our men stopped them and had a fight with them. They left, but, after that, we couldn’t sleep all night.

We reached Iran, a country of racism and hatred, between Shiites and Sunnis, Iranians and Afghans. When we were there, we spent three days in the mountains. The weather was very cold, but no one of the smugglers helped the families that had children. I felt very sorry for the family of that baby who fell from the mountain and died.

Finally we arrived to Turkey.

The UNHCR helped me a lot in every respect. When they learned that I wanted to change my gender, they tried to collect money for the operation. Unfortunately there was no doctor to perform such an operation. They suggested that, I should go to Europe.

I spent two and half years in Turkey. After six months, I got a money card, and every month, I took 7 hundred and fifty Lire from PTT. But as I had to pay for rent, water, gas and electricity that money wasn’t enough for me. So I was peddling everyday at the corners of the streets. I do the same here too, just to earn 5€.

It’s so hard when somebody asks me, how many siblings I have. How can I say 6, when I have not been with them for so long? I share nothing with them.

Isn’t it wrong?

It’s very hard when somebody is looking at me strangely and I sense that he or she wants to ask me who and what I am.

I cannot say anything. I just hide myself, hide my gender, because of my feelings and I hide my feelings, because of others.

I passed the borders not to be hidden!

I risked my life not to be hidden!

I lost everything not to be hidden!

I did all of that in order to live in freedom, and I will continue my struggle until I achieve my freedom. Freedom for ever.

I hope that here I will be free!

Parwana

Letter to the World from Moria (10)

copyright: Salinia Stroux

Author: A migratory girl

Seeking for protection in a world of war

Where is safety?

In a camp with 14,000 refugees coming from different places of earth living under inhuman conditions one piled upon the other, the authorities can do very little to protect us. In fact, the miserable conditions they force us to live in, the inhuman laws and rules they subject us to create a small world of violence - a form of systematic violence against all of us. If you live this violence day by day, you become part of it. In the end we humans, who are currently refugees in your Europe, must defend ourselves, our tents and our families against a generalised violence from above, but also from all sides. This violence can come come from any side now.

Where is safety?

If you live under conditions not worth for animals, violent conditions, then you can become violent any time yourself even if you share the same pain. 

I feel powerless against this violence. I feel it crawling in our veins. I don't want to become a part of this. I feel shame, when I see anger growing between people who suffer the same pain and shame when I feel anger rising inside me. 

Instead of establishing friendly relations between each other as oppressed people that face the same discrimination, we become part of the reasons of fear.

We escaped war, but it seems we are in war again. There is no way out. This is the war to survive the jungle called Europe.

It is so painful to witness women and children unable to sleep, afraid of violence. Their men must stay awake to guard in front of the tents, to protect their families all night. A pi8ece of nylon, a zipper separates them from any intruder.

Today when, more than ever before, we need each other, we are afraid of each other. We don't know from which side we could be attacked. We don't know who is a friend. We have lost trust in life and people because there is no system to protect us and to make us feel like humans among humans. 

Today instead of curing our wounds hand in hand, we put salt on each other’s wounds.

We are trapped in a desert where no one will help us and no one will ask about our whereabouts.

I am responsible of myself. Within this violence, I have to do the first step to not become part of this. I have to criticise me first and start the change from inside myself, as no help will ever come from outside. We have to start from ourselves, from our families, our communities, to stop the violence and to raise up against this system. 

I don't want to brake. I don't want to feel shame for my actions. I will stand firm against you violence and answer it with raised head and open fists. 

We crossed thousands of kilometres to find a life in safety, but it seems that there is no security here for us. I stopped believing that we will find a place in peace. We have to find peace inside us and withstand the war going on outside.

When violence erupts in Moria, when the police beat us, when people riot or even fight, we cannot count for protection by anyone. We have to find the solution to beat the monster.

Can you imagine yourself living in these conditions, having survived war, facing daily violence... Could you control yourself, stay calm and start peace if after all your fate was unclear for months and years while trapped in Moria?

Living under such anxiety and insecurity, we people are under permanent shock; we experience panic and trauma daily. We inflict injuries to ourselves and others. There are even kids hurting themselves and trying to commit suicide.

Where is safety? 

Clubs, tear-gas, wooden sticks, stones and knives... Fists and kicks.... 

Our shields of protection are naked hands and our dignity. All our wealth is our blankets and our few warm clothes. Fear of losing even these keeps us near our tent 24 hours a day. But even if we decided to move away, where could we go?

During the day, the knowledge that darkness is always near and fear of violence shakes our body.

For how long?

Wolves hunt in the darkness of night and the shepherds look after their flock. But here the wolves are the shepards, the shepards are the sheep and sheep turn into wolves. 

No sleep. No dreams.

Where is safety?

How long are we going to search for safety by holding guns in our hands? These hands, which long for a pen not a gun!

Open your doors for our lives'!

Parwana

Sea-Watch 3 seit heute unter deutscher Flagge 

Seit heute ist das Schiff Sea-Watch 3 nicht mehr unter niederländischer, sondern unter deutscher Flagge registriert. Sea-Watch sah sich gezwungen die Flagge zu wechseln, da die Niederlande ihrer Verantwortung als Flaggenstaat nicht nachkamen und bewusst eine Situation schufen, die weitere Rettungsmissionen unmöglich machen soll. Nach internationalem Recht sind die Niederlande als Flaggenstaat dafür verantwortlich, dass…

Der Beitrag Sea-Watch 3 seit heute unter deutscher Flagge  erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

Sea-Watch 3 seit heute unter deutscher Flagge 

Seit heute ist das Schiff Sea-Watch 3 nicht mehr unter niederländischer, sondern unter deutscher Flagge registriert. Sea-Watch sah sich gezwungen die Flagge zu wechseln, da die Niederlande ihrer Verantwortung als Flaggenstaat nicht nachkamen und bewusst eine Situation schufen, die weitere Rettungsmissionen unmöglich machen soll. Nach internationalem Recht sind die Niederlande als Flaggenstaat dafür verantwortlich, dass…

Der Beitrag Sea-Watch 3 seit heute unter deutscher Flagge  erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..

Letter to the World from Moria (No. 9)

Author: A migratory girl

copyright: Salinia Stroux

I am a mother

I am mother of three children and& and wife of a sick husband. He has a hernia on his backbone. He cannot walk. Neither should he get tired. So, I must look after my entire family on my own.

I am a woman, softer than flowers, but this life makes me harder than rocks.

Every day, as the sun rises, my mission starts. I wake up at 5am. I spread the blanket over my children. Then I go to get food. I walk 800 meters to the food line. The line starts at 6:30am, but I want to be up front, the first one among a thousand women.

All this waiting for just 5 cakes and one litter of milk, which I suspect is mixed with water.

My boy has a kidney infection for five years now. He cannot tolerate hunger. I must go back as fast as I can.

When back, I gather all the blankets and spread them on the tent’s floor.

I sweep in front of my tent. With my own hands I made a broom from tree branches. I wet the soil with water to prevent the dust and dirt from coming inside.

I hardly finish and, once again, I must run to the food line for taking lunch. The queue starts at 11:30am although they distribute the food only at 13:00pm. So the whole waiting process, under unbearable conditions, starts for me again. In the line for hours, I do not know what happens to my children: Are they well? Are they safe? Has my son’s pain started?

We have been here for 200 days. And every week, we eat the same food – repetitive, tasteless, with no spices, little salt and oil. Three times a week beans, once meatballs, once chicken and once rice with sausage, which we don’t know for sure if it is Hallal. But I force my children to eat so they won’t stay hungry.

Parwana

p.s. For all the mothers!

…This is only an Abstract of the letter.

Letter to the World from Moria (No. 8)

Author: A migratory girl

My pen won’t brake, but borders will

I didn’t know that in Europe people get divided in the ones with passports and the ones without. I didn’t know that I would be treated as ‘a refugee’, a person without papers, without rights. I thought we escaped from emergencies, but here our arrival is considered an emergency for the locals. I thought our situation in the camp is an emergency, but in Europe the meaning of emergency for people like ‘us’ is to be dead.

Under the conditions we live exposed to heat in summer and rainfalls in winter, in the middle of garbage, dirt and sewage water, unsafe in permanent stress and fear facing the violence of the European Asylum System in this small world of 15,000 people – we are all emergency cases.

In fact in Moria, most arrived already with injuries in their souls and sometimes on their bodies. But here everyone gets ill, also the healthy, and our situation let our sicknesses turn to emergencies very fast.

Consider the story behind life in Moria hotspot: Having spent days, weeks or months walking up and down hills, over rocks and in between trees while living in a forest. Standing in queues for hours. Lost between what we think of as protection and what they create to hinder us reaching it.

…This is only an Abstract of the letter.

My pen wont brake unless we won’t end this story of inequality and discrimination among human kind. My words will always brake the borders you built.

Parwana

Letter to the World from Moria (No. 9)

Author: A migratory girl

copyright: Salinia Stroux

I am mother

I am mother of three children and  wife of a sick husband. He has a hernia on his backbone. He cannot walk. Neither should he get tired. So, I must look after my entire family on my own.

I am a woman, softer than flowers, but this life makes me harder than rocks.

Every day, as the sun rises, my mission starts. I wake up at 5am. I spread the blanket over my children. Then I go to get food. I walk 800 meters to the food line.  The line starts at 6:30am., but I want to be up front, the first one among a thousand women.

All this waiting for just 5 cakes and one litter of milk, which I suspect is mixed with water.

My boy has a kidney infection for five years now. He cannot tolerate hunger. I must go back as fast as I can.

When back, I gather all the blankets and spread them on the tent’s floor.

I sweep in front of my tent. With my own hands I made a broom from tree branches. I wet the soil with water to prevent the dust and dirt from coming inside.

I hardly finish and, once again, I must run to the food line for taking lunch. The queue starts at 11:30am although they distribute the food only at 13:00pm. So the whole waiting process, under unbearable conditions, starts for me again. In the line for hours, I do not know what happens to my children: Are they well? Are they safe? Has my son’s pain started?

We have been here for 200 days. And every week, we eat the same food – repetitive, tasteless, with no spices, little salt and oil. Three times a week beans, once meatballs, once chicken and once rice with sausage, which we don’t know for sure if it is Hallal. But I force my children to eat so they won’t stay hungry.

Securing meals is only one of my tasks. I must also wash my family’s clothes. As my children are all the day outside, their clothes get really dirty. Trying to clean the stains my hands get all chapped, the skin cracks. I need to rub them with oil every night.

I hang the clothes and, tiredly, I walk, once more, to the line for dinner—dinner only by name. Dry bread, one tomato and one egg. We must wet the bread to chew it. This is no dinner. When we have nothing to eat, we have to eat onion with bread (it’ s hot for children but we try to eat it cheerfully).

When my day finishes, I am really exhausted. But I do not want my family to notice. I fix my face. It should show no sadness, no fatigue. I hide my chapped hands from my husband and my children.

Sometimes, I don’t make it to the food line, because of the long queues, which I have to stand in to visit the clinic. I go there at 7:00am, but the process is very slow and, usually, every patient takes about 20 minutes inside. Then, the situation of my child gets worse than it normally is, because of his exposure to the sun and the polluted air outside. We need a specific permit to go get some drinking water.

Waiting in queue for four hours, without any toy or game, is very hard for children. It is equally hard for pregnant women like me. I know my husband is not happy when he sees me trying to manage on my own every day. But there is no other way. We don’t have anyone to help. Only ourselves. And he cannot.

I am my family’s strength, their courage, their hope. If I lose hope, who will stand by them? Who will help them? No one.

When the sun sets and darkness spreads, I am filled with fear. I fear also when it becomes cloudy and it rains. I fear the wind, I fear the cold. How will I protect my family? With what will I protect them, when we do not have anything?

When you don’ t have any resources, what are you going to do? I collect the blankets from the floor and spread the cardboards instead. The blankets are our covers at night and the carpets during the day.

I am a mother and wife. My children are the pieces of my heart and my husband is my blood. They are all I have in my life. But who am I for myself?

I don’t have time to even see myself in the mirror. I don’t have time to comb my hair once a day. I don’t have time to brush my teeth in 24 hours.  I can’t take care of my skin. I can’t be a woman .

I am content to sacrifice myself to make a comfortable life for my children and my love, my husband. Because I am a woman. It is my choice to be like this. Life is hard here and there is nowhere good to go.

I was given the documents to go to the mainland. But I canceled my ticket. On the mainland, the authorities will put us in a hotel, far from hospitals or clinics that we depend on. What am I going to do there with my sick child and my husband and myself pregnant? We need (specialised) doctors. We need protection and care. 

I am sorry that I don’ t have time to speak with my family as a mother, as a wife and as a friend. Because I don’ t have more power. I can’ t do more in 24 hours, than bring food, go to clinics, stand in lines.

I have had enough. I can’t continue anymore. Truly, if I didn’t have my children, I would have committed suicide. I live only because it is worth living for them. And now, I am pregnant and I carry one more life in me.

I am one for myself, but four for my family. Soon I will be five…

Parwana

p.s. For all the mothers!

Letter to the World from Moria (No. 8)

Author: A migratory girl

My pen won’t brake, but borders will

I didn’t know that in Europe people get divided in the ones with passports and the ones without. I didn’t know that I would be treated as ‘a refugee’, a person without papers, without rights. I thought we escaped from emergencies, but here our arrival is considered an emergency for the locals. I thought our situation in the camp is an emergency, but in Europe the meaning of emergency for people like ‘us’ is to be dead.

Under the conditions we live exposed to heat in summer and rainfalls in winter, in the middle of garbage, dirt and sewage water, unsafe in permanent stress and fear facing the violence of the European Asylum System in this small world of 15,000 people – we are all emergency cases.

In fact in Moria, most arrived already with injuries in their souls and sometimes on their bodies. But here everyone gets ill, also the healthy, and our situation let our sicknesses turn to emergencies very fast.

Consider the story behind life in Moria hotspot: Having spent days, weeks or months walking up and down hills, over rocks and in between trees while living in a forest. Standing in queues for hours. Lost between what we think of as protection and what they create to hinder us reaching it.

In Europe we become like ping pong balls. The authorities shoot us from one office to another, back and forth without ending and without understanding what, where, why – which makes our situation worse and worse. Even the ‘success story’ of receiving finally a residence permit can’t end the discriminating looks we have to live with every day.

We are not another quality of people; another class of humans; another kind. We are different people with thousand different stories. What unites us is just that we had to leave our homes.

So stop treating us different. Stop lying and pretending that people are safe here. Stop saying Europe was a better place, when it is only better for some and not even accessible for others.

We are not treated like being a part of Lesvos’ population, like Greeks, like Europeans. Our destiny depends on a bureaucrats decision, on the economical value of a political decision in favour of migration or not, on the political mood dominant in the continent, on European strategies and plans. It is not build on the foundation of ‘us’ and ‘you’ being one kind.

I am a girl in a tent and I am thinking about this world as the days won’t pass by and I am waiting for the permit to leave this place.

My pen wont brake unless we won’t end this story of inequality and discrimination among human kind. My words will always brake the borders you built.

Parwana

Update: Sea-Watch-Aktivitäten im Überblick | Ringen um Sea-Watch 3

Auch fünf Monate nach der Festsetzung der Sea-Watch 3 durch italienische Behörden geht der juristische Kampf um die Herausgabe des Rettungsschiffs weiter. Während unsere Anwält*innen den Standpunkt vertreten, dass unser Schiff seit Ende Oktober grundsätzlich frei sei, da der Präfekt eine Frist zur Beantwortung unserer Beschwerde hat verstreichen lassen, teilten die Behörden uns zu Wochenbeginn…

Der Beitrag Update: Sea-Watch-Aktivitäten im Überblick | Ringen um Sea-Watch 3 erschien zuerst auf Sea-Watch e.V..