CALL FOR DONATIONS of the campaign Cant evict Solidarity: Solidarity without borders
Repression against the protests of refugees in Greece during the COVID-19 pandemic
Violence and repression against people on the move is becoming increasingly brutal and repressive. The exit restrictions imposed by the pandemic are hitting these people particularly hard. In addition, the pandemic legitimises even more brutal repressive measures on the part of politicians and executive bodies. Exemplarily three spotlights:
– The rage of people locked up in the lockdown due to Covid-19 unleashed itself in protests in Camp Vial on the Greek island of Chios after a 47-year-old woman who had fled Iraq died of a heart attack on April 18, 2020.
Two days earlier, she had been taken to hospital with cardiac arrhythmia, tested negative for Covid-19 and given rudimentary medication. Afterwards she was locked up in a container outside the camp as preventive isolation, where she suffered a panic attack and was found dead the day after. When the police arrived to break up the protests, they used tear gas and batons. Some protesters reportedly defended themselves by throwing stones. Hundreds of people tried to flee from the police units and the fire into the surrounding fields, but did not dare leave the camp too far, as the Greek government has introduced a 150 euro fine for violations of exit restrictions since the Corona pandemic. Dozens of people were injured due to the brutal police action. Above all, nine fugitives are now in custody on remand and are currently charged with arson, damage to property, breach of the peace and violations of the weapons law. For a further six persons, remand pending trial has been requested. They are all now facing several years in prison.
– At the beginning of April, a hunger strike by detained refugees against the conditions in the deportation prison in the Moria camp on Lesbos and in the deportation prison Paranesti in northern Greece was ended by police violence.
With the hunger strike, prisoners protested against the unfounded imprisonment, the inhumane accommodation and the lack of protection against Covid-19. On the Greek islands, people are not only detained after refusal of the asylum procedure, but many people are imprisoned immediately upon arrival after the dangerous crossing on the basis of their respective nationality. Although deportations from Greece are indefinitely restricted by Covid-19, people are not released from deportation detention. On the contrary, people continue to be detained on purpose.
– After Turkish President Erdogan suspended the EU-Turkey deal at the end of February 2020 for power-political reasons and brought people to the border, the wave of racism and right-wing violence against refugees escalated further. In the process, EU border officials* fired deadly shots at the border river Evros. Here, too, there was mass indiscriminate detention of people seeking protection.
Now the government is stirring up a negative mood among the population with fears and additionally justifying its anti-migration policy with preventive measures against the pandemic. In recent weeks, there have also been increasing reports of illegal push-backs by the Greek coast guard on their way to and from the Greek islands.
A violent fight against the protests of refugees in the Greek camps, as well as their subsequent often arbitrary imprisonment and criminalisation, is an integral, structural component of the inhuman migration policy of the EU. This general approach is once again increasingly evident during the current pandemic.
Previous cases of repression against protesters have shown that individuals are arrested and charged in exemplary fashion, often completely independently of any actual involvement in the protests. This should prevent any protest in the camps against the catastrophic situation. In recent years, protests by residents* of the Moria camp on Lesbos have been violently suppressed several times and, as in the case of Moria35 , imprisoned for months without any evidence.
The response of the “You can`t evict Solidarity” campaign to the increasingly brutal repressive policies is a solidarity campaign. This includes public relations work and financial support for the trials of the detainees.
Donations in solidarity are welcome on this account:
Rote Hilfe e.V. / OG Hanover
IBAN: EN42 4306 0967 4007 2383 57
Intended use: Cant evict Solidarity