Quotes & Impressions

What can we do? We have to leave Greece. You know, I was always afraid of talking to the Greek people here. I actually never talked with anyone. Greece is shit!

  • Police repression and All-day life in Igoumenitsa
  • When people arrive here, you know, they have really run out of everything. They don’t have even a Cent to feed themselves. The situation is tragic! Sometimes police takes us to the mountains near Albania and leaves us in a place in the middle of nowhere. The ones who have money wait for the bus. Actually nobody has money so we walk for 110 km to return back to Komunisia.

    They arrested me here. I stayed about fifteen days in the prison of Komunisia. After that I was transferred to another prison in Evros where I was for three months. One day they took 64 of us, put us into a small boat and pushed us to the other side of the river – the Turkish side. They waited for another fifteen minutes to be sure that we arrived then they started shooting in the air in order that the Turkish police comes and gets us. Every five minutes a police car patrols the street. Once to the one direction once to the other. They have petrol for free!

    We live back there behind the last house. But the police came yesterday night and they burned our shelters, they took our clothes. We don’t have where to sleep now and no clothes left. They come and arrest people every day, so we always have to hide. Could YOU live there even if it was only for one night?

    What can I do? I cannot stay here. They don’t give anything here, no support for refugees. I cannot return. Where should I go now?

    It has become very difficult for us to enter the port. There are a lot of controls. The truck drivers sometimes become very angry when they find us. Some of them beat us. They are stressed out because they are in danger too. If the police catch them, they might imprison them for smuggling – just like us.

  • About crossing and staying
  • In the worst case, if they catch me, I will be in prison for a month. At least I will have a roof protecting me from the rain and the cold. I will have a rest for a while – like small vacations.

    I was in a truck which wasn’t going to Italy but towards Turkey. When I understood what was happening, I tried to jump of the truck and fell on my arm. The police brought me to the hospital and now I just arrived back! Twenty-two days later I will be fine the doctors said, but I wants to remove the cast now. I cannot go to the port with this. I think it is fine now!?

    I was trying to climb up the rope on to a ferry. The police saw me and tried to hinder me. They were throwing different things on me. Finally, they managed to make me fall. As I was falling I hurt my leg on a piece of iron. I stayed in hospital for ten days, then the doctors told me I was ok and I should leave. They didn’t give me any hospital paper or any medicine prescription. I feel a lot of pain especially during the night.

    I will only stay one more week. I am too tired. I will go and look for work to collect some money and then I will try to leave again. I have to make it. Ii try to convince myelf. As usual I am waiting. I will not make it. I am so tired!

    We all sit around the fire now. We have cooked, but we cannot eat. I cannot stay here in the cold with this problem. I was an interpreter for the American soldiers in Iraq. This put me in a very dangerous situation. I was attacked with arms. My home was bombed. There isn’t anything left to me.

    You know, even if they would give me a Greek passport, I wouldn’t stay! They treat us like animals here. There is no support – nothing for us!

    It was too difficult in Igoumenitsa, in the mountains! I have been arrested. The police came early in the morning to the mountains. I was brought to a small prison close to border to Albania! I am afraid they might deport us back to Turkey!

    They brought us to Arta now. I feel sick. I need medicine and I am on hunger strike since today. They made us sign a paper which they didn’t translate or explain. I am afraid that they will deport us to Turkey.

    I am still in Komunisia. We cannot go to the port these days. Too much police! I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if I manage to leave from here. I also have no money to go anywhere else. I am stuck here in the mountains. Can I get asylum here? Do I have a chance in Greece?

  • Dublin II
  • I have been deported from Germany on March 2009. I have been arrested ten times since then and police always gives me the same paper with the same date, what can I do? Every time they arrest me, they keep me a few days and then they let me go.

    I was caught in Italia and deported back to Komunisia. They found me in the port of Ancona and sent me back with the next ferry. They locked me in a toilet together with other two refugees and gave us a cardboard to sleep on. When we reached Komunisia I was kept in the detention centre of the port for fifteen days. I had a paper that proved that I am underage. They transferred me in the prison of Kosani where I stayed for one month. Upon release they kept all my money – about 100 Euro – and my mobile phone. Then they sent me to the reception centre for minors where I stayed for one month. There it was ok. In the prison the situation was really bad. Almost everybody was sick. We had scabies. We couldn’t go outside and whenever we were complaining they were kicking us.

    I forgot to be hungry, I forgot to be thirsty, I forgot to be tired! I have lived several years in Europe as a student. Then the Palestinian government ordered me to return and work for them. Now the situation has become very difficult for me. I had to flee my county in order to escape imprisonment. I just wants to go back to France. My memories keep me alive. I had a car, I had a flat!

  • Igoumenitsa Detention Center
  • This young woman who stands aside. Her gaze is absent looking into nowhere. She doesn’t react nor does she accept tea or food. We tell her to eat, but she doesn’t, she just crying all day. When we come closer she looks intensely at us and asks for a cigarette. Her eyes are filled with tears. She takes the cigarette to smoke it hidden from the police. We convince her to take a cup of tea at least. Then she starts smiling. She tries hard. «Thank you! »

    We always ask the gards how many days do we have to stay here? There are twenty persons in the cell of the women with children, nine minors and twenty-six men. The cells of the men are much too small. One of them asks for his wife and his children.

  • Working …
  • My first night here was very bad! My trousers they became teared apart within one day. I was working in Vrahati in the grape harvest. I was getting 15-20 Euro for fourteen hours work per day.

    I was in Filiatra. I was working in the harvest of watermelons for fourteen days. It is hard work with low payment, but we need the money, you know, we need
    money to move on, to survive.»

    I was working in a village of Crete. Ah, it was really difficult in Kasteli, people there, don’t like migrants. Most villagers were treating us like animals. They came and put fire to our shelters while we were inside sleeping and the police was just watching and doing nothing.

  • Medical and physical Situation

    I became blind when I was already three years in Greece. Now I am six years here. I applied for asylum, but I didn’t receive any answer yet. I have no family in Europe. One sister of mine is in Lebanon and one brother I have in Iraq, but he went crazy. I don’t care where I will live, where I will go. I don’t even care anymore about receiving asylum. I just want to get my eyes operated and they told me it is impossible here in Greece. This is why I want to leave.
    A friend of him: It is impossible for him to leave from here. He cannot see anything. We feed him and he sits day by day in his hut. Even if nobody of us could be helped, we just ask you to help him!

    It is so cold here. I wear three Pairs of trowers and pulovers. If I stay for another month here I will maybe also wear three pairs of shoes! Everybody here is sick. We search garbage bins for food. There is no hot water, no place to charge our mobile phones to contact our families. When I reach France I will bring myself to a hospital and stay there for a week to check all my body! I have severe problems with my stomach, because I was hit by a bomb in Palestine!

    I just bought that for 3 Euro. We don’t have any money. This is for twelve persons. It is dangerous here for me. Police always hunts us when we try to go and buy something. Even the supermarkets they did not. Within one day theylet us buy anything for a while. They didn’t allow us to enter even when we told them that we had money! Now, some of them allow us to buy something. But you can only go if you have money. If you don’t have money, you don’t have any rights. This is why a lot of us have to search in the garbage bins for food.

    You know, it is unbelievable. People throw food in the garbage. Like these apples.

    When I was in Africa I saw Europe from far away and I saw democracy. Now I am in Europe and when I look at it from close everything turns upside down!


...The Schengen Treaty gives some people the possibility of free movement in Europe but for others it makes it more difficult if not impossible to travel... Dangle we call it when we hide underneath a lorry, between the tires – we the unseen of Europe...
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