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Recent Articles about Greece / Turkey / Cyprus Migration / racism

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Greece: Update on Amygdaleza Detention Centre

category greece / turkey / cyprus | migration / racism | press release author Thursday April 29, 2021 19:02author by Assembly of the Initiative Report this post to the editors

The greatness of misogyny and racism is exercised on her body, soul and mind from birth... This is not the first time she has been arrested by the police because she has no identity... Racist laws of the nationalistic patriarchy lead many Roma people, like Dimitra, in the Aliens’ detention centres, in PRO.KE.KA. Roma are not recognized as Greeks with equal rights.
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We want to thank you all, assemblies, groups and individuals, from Athens and other cities, for your supporting our visits to our detained sisters, in AMYGDALEZA, with materials and in every possible way. Our next visit is scheduled for Holy Thursday, 29/04/21

Immigrants are arrested and stacked there, after first being registered with a number, their identity number. They are being held without knowing for how long. This is the status in all PRO.KE.KA. Imprisoned persons from Russia, Georgia, Moldova, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Albania, Syria, Afghanistan, Morocco, Algeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Kurds from Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Philippines, Eritrea, Indonesia, India, India, Nigeria, Vietnam, China, Tibet, Colombia, Venezuela, even Roma from Greece, without identity, etc. An endless bureaucratic hoarseness, emanating from the inhuman - but profitable for the Greek state and the NGOs - EU immigration policy, which deprives them of their freedom and threatens their physical and mental health.

It is no coincidence that unaccompanied children, young people and adults, every now and then we learn that they get self-injured, and some commit suicide, in detention centres and extermination camps for immigrants. For the last 5 years we have been near to our imprisoned sisters. Starting from Elliniko, then in Petrou Ralli and from August 20΄ in Amygdaleza. We also meet outside, with those who get released and feel like it or need it. We try to build human and equal relationships, that break through the false borders of the different worlds where we come from. We learn from each other. Together we fight for our liberation.

We record their stories, which do not fit in this public information. Stories that repeatedly portray misogyny, sexism, gender-based violence, delinquent behavior, and rape, which many women and their children have suffered, either in their homeland or on their escape route to find a shred of freedom and peaceful land, for survival, financial well-being, studies and whatever else they dreamed of for their lives, before being washed away in this country. In an EU country hoping that their rights and self-determination would be respected. These are their demands (regardless of their country of origin), & ours, because we all live and grow up in patriarchal societies, where they are violated.

Just we are not locked in police cells, which do not even meet the necessary conditions of healthy living, nutrition, care, and do not provide any educational, creative, artistic or sports activity, elements necessary for a person’s healthy growth & human development. They suffer the daily torment of a racist inclusion and social exclusion, as unworthy to live, in a place where time, body and mind are frozen. We do not forget them. They know this and communicate with us in times of need and in times of joy. This is how friendships and companionships are built. Through the relationships we try to build, they realise that they are not alone and they are empowered. Some create mechanisms of resistance and claim, realise the power of collective thought, acquire a common goal and fight, both for themselves and against the patriarchal system that brought them up to here.

Our deeds are not acts of charity. They are acts of solidarity and resistance. We are not there to give them what they lack, materially, but mainly to inform and empower them to be able to escape from this gloomy situation. And some do! There are many of our sisters, during these 5 years, who through struggles, hunger strikes and continuous pressures, and from denunciations with their own testimonies, make themselves visible in society! They have conquered better living conditions in hell, and then they have been liberated. That is why the measures of quarantine, house confinement and social control do not stop us.

Indicative interventions in January had some effect, without this meaning that the abusive and dehumanising nature of the detention centre has changed, where uniformed bodies guard from a position of power prisoners who have no right to choose anything, because they have no papers. During our visit at the end of January, among other things, we met a sick old woman who for 2 and a half months was not given her medication neither for her thyroid nor for her heart. She was in a miserable condition and terrified. She could not express her problem on the phone. She was stuttering. We thought she did not know Greek. We make sure to learn from detainees what needs to be done before we go. There we see them, report them and ask for the obvious to be resolved.

The next day a doctor, who was not responding to the detainee's appeals and sent her only depon, as in hundreds of other cases, met with the patient and gave her medication. It is a coincidence that sometimes some detainees survive, especially those who have no one outside to take an interest in them. When we saw her again in February she was a different person but also on the phones she was calling us, she had recovered and spoke wonderful Greek. She was hoping to leave for her homeland as soon as possible. On March 31, when we went again, she had just flown home, after many years of working in our country. She had asked to be deported…

On the same day, the women expressed very strong complaints about the diet they had been facing for months and it was causing them stomach and intestinal pains, ulcers, diarrhea, and other ailments. Because, after breakfast, they forgot them. They shared lunch and dinner together, after six in the afternoon, frozen with cheap fats floating on it. Most threw them in the trash and those who had nothing from outside to cook clean, ate only bread and suffered. One reason we try to gather food provisions, for our sisters, is this. The diet in all PRO.KE.KA has always been and is unacceptable, and if a serious research was done on this issue, many loopholes would be revealed and many would fall from the clouds again. We complained strongly to the duty officer about this situation and when we went away, we left a written note to the commander, which scolded the way in which the nutrition and health of the prisoners were treated. In the following days something changed. From the testimonies of the women themselves we learned that the food began to be shared in the morning, noon, and afternoon, and to be of better quality and not frozen. It is eatable, we were told, if you do not have something of your own to cook, it is better than before. This has happened again in the Aliens’ Detention Center of Petrou Ralli, after women's fights, but it did not last long. Thus, in Amygdaleza, a week after, the old well-known cheap recipe was repeated and the rotten regularity won. Horrible, icy, lunch and dinner together, very late, and sometimes just one meal. Every day miserable beans, lentils and spaghetti.

On Tuesday 13/4, late at night, a Roma sister of ours, a beautiful person, who since we met was complaining about the food and the discomfort she had in her abdomen, arrived at the amen, screaming in pain. Fortunately, the reflexes of two police officers worked when they saw her to writhe, and she was immediately transported to Konstantinopoulio Hospital of Nea Ionia. So, she saved the worst. She underwent surgery the next day as a matter of extreme urgency.

Today, Monday 19/4, she was returned to the detention centre. She has been imprisoned for 3 and a half months, because she does not have an identity card... Both she and her 4 children were born in Greece. Dimitra Tsakiri is a mother of 4 children, without an identity card. She wants, today, 19/4, that her little son, turns 6 years old, to make all of you know her name. She wants to be free and stand by her children. She has a 15-year-old boy, another 10-year-old, an 8-year-old girl and her little son, who has a birthday today and is turning 6... She wants to continue her work. Dimitra worked every day, so that they would not miss anything, she took her children to school, she stood by them like mother and father. And all these months the children are almost alone, since the Roma father is unable to take on so many responsibilities. Dimitra, all these days did not have contact with her children, since she was forbidden to take a mobile phone with her, but even if she had taken it, she did not have a single euro to buy a phone card. Even today, when she returned to her cell, she could not pick up the phone and talk, because she did not have a Cosmote mobile phone card to top it up.

The greatness of misogyny and racism is exercised on her body, soul and mind from birth... This is not the first time she has been arrested by the police because she has no identity... Racist laws of the nationalistic patriarchy lead many Roma people, like Dimitra, in the Aliens’ detention centres, in PRO.KE.KA. Roma are not recognized as Greeks with equal rights.

We demand the immediate release of Dimitra!

Unwavering support to our sisters, who are entitled to live free!

No person invisible, no illegal!

In the streets, squares and prisons, immigrant women you are not alone.

Quickly issue asylum papers and residence permits

Do not imprison those who do not have.

Immediate release, decent housing, education and work!

Close all detention centres and migrant abuse camps

Open the borders!

Solidarity & self-organisation are our weapons

Assembly of the Initiative: The House of Women, for Empowerment & Emancipation email: spiti.gynaikon@gmail.com

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