Sunday, May 1, 2016

Deportations in the Dark: A Report from a Refugee Camp

It's 4:30 am here and I've just spent the last half an hour messaging with a friend who was taken to one of the Greek mainland camps at near Kavala. What he told me is seriously disturbing.

About ten minutes before he messaged me, between 3 and 4 am, over fifty Pakistanis were taken from the camp for deportation. Apparently this is the second middle of the night deportation from the camp at Paranesti Drama, outside Kavala. According to my friend, all those taken for deportation had signed papers requesting asylum, and all of them had been given papers saying they would be there for 6 months to a year. None of those taken for deportation had a lawyer. And since they were at the camp at Paranesti Drama, they arrived in Greece prior to the EU-Turkey deal which began on March 20, and were therefore all eligible to request asylum.

This appears to be in contravention of the policy saying that all who requested asylum would get fair treatment on a case by case basis, as there has not been time for claims to be properly assessed and processed.

Moreover, the paper saying the refugees would/could be there for six months to a year should be the paper they receive after requesting asylum and giving them temporary status for the length stated in the paper.

I am not absolutely certain this paper is that document though because my friend can't send me a photo of the document. None of the refugees at Paranesti Drama have phones anymore. He told me that when they arrived at the camp in northern Greece on March 26 their cell phones were all taken away, and that they were told by the Greek police running the camp that if they wanted their phones back they could have them after they (the Greek police) had broken the cameras.

My friend further reported that they were only fed once a day, that (like in Moria) the food was inadequate, that there were no proper doctors, and that it was like a jail. There are no volunteers, NGOs, or media present.

I have promised to help to the best of my ability, and am writing to every contact I have in various NGOs that were working in Moria, and every press contact I have. If any of you reading this have any good contacts, please pass on the information to them.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, thank You for your article. Do You know if by now there is any organization providing legal help or lawyers in Paranesti Drama?