Category Archives: General

[Press statement, 7 June 2022] Still no justice for the Moria6

Press statement, 7 June 2022:

Still no justice for the Moria6

Mytilene. Today, Tuesday 7 June 2022, A.A. and M.H., two of the six teenager charged and convicted for the fires in Moria camp in September 2020, stood before the Juvenile Court in Mytilene/Lesvos. In what was once again a very hostile and far from impartial trial, the first instance verdict was upheld despite the fact that there is still no credible evidence. Only the sentence was reduced from five to four years.

The two teenager had come to Lesbos from Afghanistan as unaccompanied minors seeking protection in Europe. They were only 17 years old at the time of their arrest in September 2020. They were arrested after the Moria camp burned down completely on 8 and 9 of September 2020 and have now been in detention for almost 2 years.
On 9 March 2021, they were found guilty of “arson endangering human life” by the Mytilene Juvenile Court in a first trial that disregarded basic procedural standards. Although no credible evidence could be brought against them, both were sentenced to 5 years imprisonment without recognition of mitigating circumstances.(1)

Today’s appeal trial was also riddled with improprieties and procedural errors, even before the trial. As the court forgot to send the first instance verdict to the Court of Appeal, the date for the appeal hearing was set at extremely short notice, leaving very little time for the team of the Legal Center Lesvos to prepare the defence.

While many supporters of the two defendants had gathered in front of the court, the injustices continued in the courtroom: the prosecutor had nominated 26 witnesses – almost all of them are police officers and residents of the village of Moria near the burnt down catastrophic camp Moria. None of them could identify the defendants. At the same time, the two witnesses for the defence, who were supposed to testify about the catastrophic conditions before the fire in the camp, were not admitted by the court.Only one defence witness was admitted, a member of M.H.’s family.
At the end of the trial, the two were found guilty again, but their sentences were reduced from five to four years because of their “good behaviour in prison”.

In the end, the release of at least one of the accused, A.A., could still be obtained today: Already at the beginning of March 2022, the lawyers filed an application for the release of the two teenager, since both had achieved the prerequisites for a reduction of sentence and release according to Greek law through work and school attendance in prison, as well as through proof of a permanent residence. However, the court will not decide on M.H.’s release until 5 July.

Christina Karvouni, CPT Aegean Migrant Solidarity: “We should note once again, two years later, that the crime is that the Moria detention centre existed. Instead of the Greek justice system investigating this crime, it has chosen, with unsubstantiated accusations, to put the burden of its destruction on 6 people, two of them recognized minors.”

Julia from borderline-europe: “While Europe has already forgotten Moria and the fire, two minors have now spent two full years in prison. Hopefully they will be released soon, but Europe has destroyed their lives. Several times.”

Luca Wolf, from the campaign “You can`t evict Solidarity” and part of the Solidarity Campaigne #FreeTheMoria6, which supports the defendants, explains: “We are angry about this renewed injustice. But we will continue to fight and demand freedom for all Moria 6 detainees!”

The appeal hearing against the other four teenager of the Moria6 will take place on the 6.3.2023. The teenager convicted as adults were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in a political trial, also without evidence. Also in this case, the only so-called witness did not appear in court. (2)

(1) On the first trial https://cantevictsolidarity.noblogs.org/post/2021/03/10/untragbares-gerichtsurteil-willkurliche-verurteilung-zweier-gefluechteter-fur-den-brand-im-moria-lager/#FreeMoria6 https://pic.twitter.com/1SAfWzybgS

(2) https://freethemoria6.noblogs.org/post/2021/06/15/13-06-2021-press-release-moria-6-sentenced-to-10-years-imprisonment-after-fire-in-moria-camp/ 

Further information and contacts:
Tina Weiß, spokesperson for #FreeTheMoria6
Phone: +49 152 194 240 14
Email: freethemoria6@riseup.net
Twitter: #FreeTheMoria6
Blog: https://freethemoria6.noblogs.org/

[Free the Moria 6] Appeal court against 2 of the Moria 6 on 7 June 2022

Appeal court against 2 of the Moria6 on 7 June 2022

On Tuesday 7 June 2022, two of the six teenagers charged and convicted for the fires that destroyed Moria camp in September 2020, will stand before the Mytilene Juvenile Court on the Greek island of Lesvos. When they were arrested in September 2020, the two teenagers, who are now 18 and 19 years old, were two of the more than 1000 unaccompanied minors in the disastrous Moria camp.

On 9 March 2021, in a trial that disregarded basic procedural standards, they were found guilty of “arson endangering human life” by the Mytilene Juvenile Court, although no credible evidence was presented against them. Both were sentenced to 5 years imprisonment without any mitigating circumstances being recognized.

The scandal continues: Due to a mistake – the court forgot to send the first instance verdict to the court of appeal, the date for the appeal hearing was set at very short notice.

But that was not all: at the beginning of March 2022, the lawyers filed an application for the release of the two youths. Both have achieved a sentence reduction in prison by working and attending school. They have also fulfilled the proof of a permanent residence. This would allow them to be released under Greek law. A decision on their release should have been made long ago. Incriminatingly, the hearing to decide on their applications for release will also take place on 7 June 2022, but in Athens. A challenge also for the team from the Legal Center Lesvos.

We are standing solidarity!

#FreeMoria6

The Dystopia in form of a camp – The “Closed Controlled Access Centre of Samos”

published first by  Deportation Monitoring Aegean  on 24. March 2022

The Dystopia in form of a camp – The “Closed Controlled Access Centre of Samos”

 

The so-called “Closed Controlled Access Centre of Samos” became operational in September 2021, when people were transferred from the old slum-like camp growing out of Vathy town to a remote prison-like complex between the mountains.

Sterile white containers are lined up behind barbed wire, forming a uniform complex of plastic and metal without any apparent signs of individualized or self-determined living. It is a place of total surveillance and control, yet with air-conditioned ISO-boxes, Wi-Fi and laminated floors inside the containers.

Reminiscent of border checkpoints, the entry to the camp is only possible through an elaborate security gate, guarded by private security companies and police. Camera masts surround the entire area and some are positioned to even film inside the ISO-boxes. The whole setting is the realization of a dystopian panopticon: drones are planned to be used, in addition to a software which analyses movement of people in order to avoid gatherings.

Migrants on Samos who refuse to live under total control have little choice but to to hide in the old and partly burned barracks of the old camp close to the town. In-between broken barbed wire, hills of rubbish, old children’s toys, dirty blankets and clothes, people have neither access to water nor electricity, but at least some self-determination. It leaves the small chance of living as a human being, compared to being regarded as a number in the high-security prison-like camp.

The construction of the camp site had already started at the end of 2019 but was speeded up after the fire in Moria, when the EU provided 276 million Euro to the Greek government to build five so-called “Multiple Purpose Reception and Identification Centers” on the Greek islands. The camp construction site on Samos was financed with 48 million to create the new controlled centre.

The rationality behind the multi-million camp project remains opaque, since the implementation of the EU migration-management technocrats’ wet dreams seems to be rather dysfunctional: in the face of violent pushbacks, hardly anyone arrives on the islands so that ‘only’ roughly 300 people are trapped in the facility that was designed to hold about 2000 people and is still under further construction. Since March 2020, there have been no deportations from Greece to Turkey. Consequently, the specially-designed prison in the back of the camp, the pre-removal section (PROKEKA), also seems to remain useless so far, although it has space for 960 people who can be legally held there for 18 months.

The controlled centre complex leaves no doubts on which path the European migration policies with their double standards are following: while white Ukrainian war refugees are welcomed with open arms, BIPOC racialized migrants are constructed as ‘the others’ and pushed back or locked up in clean, remote detention centers under strict surveillance. They are not only denied protection and a life in dignity, but are actively pushed back and killed in violent operations at sea. Countless fatal pushbacks have been documented, such as a recent pushback operation from Samos leading to the death of two men in February 2022.

[3.3.2022] Press release: Justice for Amir and Razuli!

The organizations Legal Centre Lesvos, Aegean Migrant Solidarity, Borderline Europe e.V., You can’t evict Solidarity and Deportation Monitoring Aegean demand freedom for two young refugees.

The two men from Afghanistan were seeking safety in Europe, but were instead arbitrarily convicted to 50 years imprisonment. The Appeal Trial will take place on 17 March 2022 in Lesvos.

Twitter: @cantevict; #FreeAmirAndRazuli

Amir and Razuli tried to reach Greece on a rubber boat in March 2020. They testified that the Greek coast guard attacked them and tried to push them back to Turkey by force. The attack caused the boat to sink and the coast guard had to take them on board. Amir and Razuli were arbitrarily charged with “facilitating illegal entry” and “provoking a shipwreck”, in addition to their own entry. On the 8th of September 2020 they were sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Amir and Razuli, 25 and 23, fled from Afghanistan trying to reach Europe in search of a life in safety. With Europe’s ever-increasing closure of borders and the lack of safe and legal ways to enter Europe and claim asylum, they were forced to embark on the dangerous journey on a rubber boat across the Aegean Sea. Amongst the other people in the boat was also Amir’s young daughter and his heavily pregnant wife.1

They made their journey in March 2020, the month in which the Greek government announced the suspension of one of the most fundamental human rights – the right to apply for asylum, and consequently charged people seeking protection with their own “illegal entry”, blatantly contradicting EU law and the Geneva Convention.

In their first trial, Razuli and Amir testified that the Greek coast guard attacked the boat as soon as they had entered Greek waters and tried to push it back into Turkish waters using metal poles. In doing so, they punctured the boat, causing water to enter and putting the life of the people onboard at risk.2 As the boat was about to sink, the coast guard eventually took them on board.

Following this deeply traumatizing experience, the coast guard proceeded with heavily beating up Amir and Razuli, arbitrarily accusing the two of being the smugglers. According to Amir’s wife who had to witness all of this together with her daughter, they only stopped when she held up their young child in front of her husband begging the men to stop.

As soon as they arrived at the Greek island of Lesvos, Amir and Razuli were separated from the rest of the group and brought to the police station. The coast guard accused them of their own entry, of facilitating the unauthorized entry of the other people on the boat and of having endangered the people’s lives.

They were since held in pre-trial detention and sentenced to 50 years in prison on 8th of September 2020. Although there is no evidence against them except for the statement of the coast guards, they were only acquitted of the accusation of “provoking a shipwreck”.

The Appeal Trial will take place on 17 March 2022 on Lesvos and lawyers from the Legal Centre Lesvos and the Human Rights Legal Project on Samos will defend Amir and Razuli in the upcoming trial.

Almost every day, people seeking protection are criminalized for their own flight and arbitrarily sentenced to lengthy prison terms and heavy fines. Recently, a survivor of a shipwreck has even been criminalized for the death of his six-year-old son, who died when they tried to cross from Turkey to Greece (see the campaign Free the #Samos2). Suspects, or what we would deem ‘victims’ of this unjust legislation, usually have limited access to legal assistance. Judgments are often pronounced despite lack of evidence and poor quality of translation. In Greece, the average trial in these cases lasts only around 30 minutes, leading to an average sentence of 44 years and fines over 370.000 Euro. According to official numbers by the Greek ministry of justice, almost 2.000 people are currently in Greek prisons for this reason. However, the fates of these people are seldom known. Arrested immediately upon arrival, most of them are locked away unnoticed, without their names known and no access to support from outside.

We demand a thorough investigation, justice and the release of Amir and Razuli, as well as the dropping of all charges against them!

We demand freedom for all those imprisoned for “boat driving” and the end of criminalization of people on the move!

The European Union must stop the arbitrary incarceration of refugees and migrants!

Press Contacts:

Legal Centre Lesvos

lorraine@legalcentrelesvos.org

You can’t evict Solidarity

cantevictsolidarity@riseup.net

——————————————————

1 Amir’s wife has meanwhile given birth to their second child. After the trial, Amir met his two-month-old baby for the first time and as he held his child for the first time in his arms, the police shouted at him to give the infant back to the mother, causing his family extreme distress.

2 In the past months, numerous reports emerged bearing testimony to the Greek coast guard’s illegal and cruel practice of violent pushbacks, destroying the engine of refugee boats, disabling the boats, and then leaving the people to their fate in the middle of the sea. Read more about this in the New York Times, the Deutsche Welle and the Spiegel.

Statement & callout from Calais: We will not let ourselves be taken away!

n short, there is
a huge building being besieged (alongside other occupied buildings), and
we are calling for support inside and outside, now and for the days to
come. Attached are images from the roof of the building, and the two
previous statements. Following is the most recent statement.

Statement – We will not let ourselves be taken away!

Since Friday 4 February, we have been occupying a building in Rue
d’Ajaccio, which has been uninhabited for a year. This occupation took
place within the framework of the commemoraction, an international day
of mobilization initiated by the families and relatives of people who
have died at the border, to denounce the murderous migration policies of
the UK, France and the EU.

In Calais, about 1500 people are living on the streets in unacceptable
living conditions. Displaced people occupy wastelands and have no access
to basic services: housing, sanitation, water, food and medical care.
The state imposes conditions of extreme precariousness and invisibility
through illegal evictions every 48 hours, the theft of personal
belongings by the police, the illegal dismantling of living sites
without the possibility of defense in front of a judge, and recurrent
police violence. The French and British governments, alongside Natacha
Bouchard and all their other friends, have deliberately turned a
political issue into a humanitarian crisis, keeping people who want to
cross the border in a context of survival.

But displaced people are not the only ones experiencing precariousness
and lack of access to housing in the Calais region. The entire housing
estate which the building is part of is due to be evicted and then
destroyed. While some people, including those in the building we
occupied, have already been evicted, others are still opposing their
eviction in the absence of any alternative proposals from the town hall.
It is in this context that, when the first police officers arrived on
Monday 7th, many residents came to show their support for the
occupation. We were thus able to express our refusal of the discourse of
war between the poor. French or foreign, with or without papers, a roof
is a right. Moreover, the police refused, on several occasions, to see
the evidence of occupation.

Since 2pm today, a disproportionate police presence has surrounded the
building. The police are not allowing anyone to enter, nor are they
allowing food, water or equipment to be provided.

We restate our demands: we demand an end to all evictions in Calais. We
demand an end to the harassment of people blocked at the border by the
police. We demand the regularisation of all squats in the city. Finally,
we demand the immediate requisition of all empty buildings in Calais,
and that sustainable solutions be provided to all inhabitants, whatever
their administrative status or vulnerability.

Until our demands are met, we will not leave these premises. We refuse
to be intimidated by this police pressure and remind you that the time
limit for ‘délit de flagrance’ is over: there can be no eviction without
an enforceable court decision. We will not let ourselves be taken away!

We call on everyone who is in solidarity with the people on the street
and those blocked at the border, and on everyone who believes in the
right to housing to come and help us defend the buildings we occupy!

The inhabitants”

Justice for the Moria 16!

 

Justice for the Moria 16!

On 10.07.2018, 16 people were arbitrarily arrested by the police after a dispute escalated in the former hot-spot Camp Moria on the island of Lesvos, with which none of the arrested had anything to do. The arrest was followed by charges of arson, dangerous bodily harm and damaging other people’s property. Now, on 07.02.2022, three and a half years later, the case is being heard on appeal at the court in Mytilini, Lesvos.

This approach of the Greek repressive organs has a system: as soon as refugees protest against the catastrophic accommodation conditions or the inhumanity of the European asylum policy, the police react with fierce violence and arbitrary arrests, as for example in the case of the Moria35 and the Moria8 – also in spring 2018.

Mostly, when there are conflicts or disputes in the camp the police does not intervene, but then, after the fact and in a brutal police operation, arbitrarily arrest people without evidence of their involvement in the incident.

The trials that follow such arrests are downright cynical caricatures of court proceedings: Exculpatory witnesses are not admitted. The defendants do not receive translation at all or only partially, so that they often cannot even understand what is happening. Finally, contradictory statements by representatives of the police, fire department or coast guard and dubious witnesses lead to convictions with extreme penalties. For example, in the Moria6 case in March and June 2021, six young people were accused as scapegoats without any evidence for the fires that finally destroyed the Camp Moria in September 2020 and sentenced to long prison terms.

Also in the first trial of the Moria16, another deterrent example should be made, regardless of what really happened in the camp on 10/7/2018. One of the defendants describes the situation of the arrest as follows:

“There was a fight in the camp between a few people that lasted more than two hours […] The policemen were laughing at the people. For them it was like an online movie. We asked them for help, but they just laughed at us, took pictures and recorded us […] Finally, they rushed into the camp, but to the people who were not involved in this fight, and they attacked the innocent people. We had no possibilities to escape, […]. The police took us to the police station, beat us, treated us very badly and called us attackers. For several hours our hands and feet were tied. We couldn’t communicate with them because we didn’t know their language and they opened a case for each of us for no reason.”

Now the previous verdict may be revised on 07.02.2022. Critical trial observation and a counter-publicity are urgently needed so that the defendants of the Moria16 case finally receive justice. The criminalization and arbitrary court cases in which people are made scapegoats of the failed migration policies and their consequences must be brought into public focus.

We will stand in solidarity with the criminalized people in this case and others, support them as much as possible and work to make their stories visible.

We demand justice and freedom for the Moria16 – and for all others who are sentenced to years of imprisonment in unfair trials, mostly innocently!

no border – no nation – just people: call for donation in December 2021

Dear friends, comrades and everyone out there who cares about the fate of people on the move and the inhumane situation at the borders,

First of all, thank you all for donating so much (again) last winter and showing your solidarity with people on the move. Again and again we are touched by this broad participation and empathy. It shows that we are many and together we can actively do something against the current conditions at the EU borders. In this letter, we want to tell you what happened at the EU borders in 2021 from our perspective, where support is needed and where we were able to support through our work.

The Moria 2.0 camp and court sentences after the fire in the old Moria camp

As you probably noticed, after the fire in Moria, what used to be the largest refugee camp in Europe, on the Greek island of Lesbos in the autumn of 2020, thousands of people lost a roof over their heads and had to live on the streets and were without any supplies in the middle of the pandemic. The glimmer of hope that a terrible camp like Moria would not be repeated after it burned down was quickly crushed when the Greek government quickly built the new Kara Tepe camp on Lesbos. Hard to imagine, yet a sad reality: the humanitarian conditions and repression in the camp, which is located on a former military training ground right on the waterfront and where people live in tents during the winter, are even worse than in the old camp. Thus, the name “Moria 2.0” was quickly born. Nevertheless, even though the solidarity support of the people on the ground is much more difficult now, the No Border Kitchen Lesbos and others support the people wherever it is possible.

After the fire in Moria, six young people from the Afghan Hazara ethnicity were made scapegoats within a few days and declared responsible for the fire. In a very short time and without in-depth investigations, the six boys (five of them minors) were placed in pre-trial detention and finally sentenced to long prison terms lasting years in March and June of this year. There is no strong evidence in their case and the trial is highly politically loaded, so we judge the whole case as unfair and not in accordance with the rule of law. We have accompanied the case together with other groups in solidarity from here and on the ground and are still in contact with the relatives of the detainees.

The situation on the Polish-Belarusian border.

Poland – Belarus – Afghanistan and Northern Iraq. The Taliban takeover this summer is currently forcing thousands of people to flee Afghanistan, after international forces left head over heels this year, leaving behind many desperate people – no matter if so-called local forces or not. The situations for FLINTA (women, Lesbians,Intersexual, Non-binary, trans. and/or asexual People), (human rights) activists, artists etc. is catastrophic and currently there is a general threat of hunger in Afghanistan.
In addition, the situation for many Kurds and Yezidis in Northern Iraq is precarious, even after the defeat of the so-called IS, so that many people from there are also trying to come to Europe, among others, to their families, while the EU is forcibly closing itself off. This desperate situation has been used by the Belarusian dictator Lukachenko to instrumentalize the fleeing people and to blackmail the EU. Thus, thousands were and are being flown visa- and quarantine-free from Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey and other countries to Minsk and brought to the Polish border. Once there, they are stuck at the border and are pushed back and forth illegally by the Polish and Belarusian border guards and military with all force, with tear gas and water cannons being used against children and families at temperatures around freezing point. The EU and Germany deny them the right to asylum and watch people freeze to death in the forests, while at the same time blocking and criminalizing any NGOs, emergency medical care, press or food of accessing. The situation is reminding of the EU leaving people to die in the Mediterranean Sea. But nevertheless also at the Belarusian-Polish border activists are on the ground and try to get in contact with the people who are stuck there and support them, for example the Polish Grupa Granica.

Bosnia: Winter is coming

Heavy rains in Bosnia continue to affect large parts of the country, flooding the temporary camps that People on the Move (PoM) are setting up. Many local people, for example in the regions around Bihać and Velika Kladuša, are in need of assistance with basic needs such as drinking water and food, and medical care. On top of that, the coming winter is becoming more and more present here as well. One of the most important resources is firewood, which is also difficult to obtain here, and for which supporters must always seek new ways of financing.
Violence is made the norm here: Every day, activist groups on the ground support several PoM groups, for whom pushbacks by (border) police are an everyday occurrence. These pushbacks are illegal and make clear that the fundamental right to asylum no longer exists in the European Union. EU border guards systematically carry out this practice on a daily basis. Our contacts report about the violent interventions of the border police, during which they experience psychological and physical violence. Often, they are additionally deprived of personal items on which they are fundamentally dependent, including cell phones and power banks.

Our response is solidarity

Nevertheless, activism and resistance against the brutal border regime are continuing. There are still support structures and practical solidarity in various places where people are stuck. People are organizing together, documenting violence and pushbacks, creating their own publicity when the media stops showing events, and covering very practical things like food for cooking, medical care, costs for lawyers to defend basic rights.

Our solidarity will never end. The situation for people on the move is becoming more and more precarious, access to sometimes simple needs is also severely limited by the pandemic – and the donations are almost exhausted.
Therefore, we turn to you again today with the request to support us (again).

What did we achieve with your donations in 2021?

With your donations and a total of many thousands of euros of donations the No Border Kitchen Lesbos and other local initiatives have supported the people stranded there with hot meals, drinks, blankets and clothing in practical solidarity in 2021. We cannot give them back their dignity, but we can give them the feeling that they are not alone and that there are also people in Europe who show solidarity with them.
We have also used your donations to support the work of social initiatives along the so-called Balkan route, in Greece and Turkey, and on the Polish border with Belarus. We also support places where refugees live, which support people on the move or stand up for the rights of refugees and for freedom of movement.

We have been able to make a difference through your support. In order to be able to realize our plans now and in the future, we ask all our friends, comrades and people in solidarity to support us with donations according to their strength and possibilities or to consider how and where you can raise funds in your surrounding so that we can continue to work together.

Help us to keep the kettle steaming.
Please share this call everywhere.

With Solidarity,
You can’t Evict Solidarity as part of the campaign “No Border – No Nation – Just People”

Information on the situation at the borders:
http://balkanroute.bordermonitoring.eu
https://cantevictsolidarity.noblogs.org
https://noborderkitchenlesvos.noblogs.org

Bank account for donations:
Owner: VVN/BdA Hannover
Purpose of donation: just people
Bank: Postbank Hannover
IBAN: DE67 250 100 3000 4086 1305
BIC: PBNKDEFFXXX
(mind the purpose!)

Press release: Final judgement against the Vial 15

Today, on 29 June 2021, the defendants for the fire in Vial Camp were all acquitted of the felony charge of arson and of the membership in a criminal group! Four people were found completely innocent, eight people were found guilty for resisting arrest and violence in the camp and one person for destroying public goods. One of the defendants was excluded from the procedure on the first day because he is a minor. Another person could not be found and arrested and therefore was not present in the trial. The nine people who were convicted received a 3.5 years suspended sentence, which the lawyers will appeal. All 15 people will now be transferred back to Athens and Chios and then be released, some on probation.

The court procedure followed arrests in the course of riots of camp residents against the disastrous living conditions in the hotspot camp of Vial. The protests took place in April 2020 after a Corona-curfew was imposed on Vial camp without providing sufficient basic supplies to the affected people. The rage of the people in the camp reached a peak when an Iraqi woman died in an isolation container without having received sufficient medical treatment.

All defendants who have now been officially cleared of the charges, had to stay 14 months in prison for minor offenses. Nine defendants are still not cleared of all charges.  Within the entire procedure, the prosecution could not produce any well-substantiated evidence against the accused, basing the conviction of the defendants solely on the questionable identification of a security guard of Vial camp. Even the 15th defendant – who was officially recognized by the asylum service as minor – stayed in prison for 14 months, despite a maximum detention period of six months for minors in Greece. He has been finally released but still awaits his trial before a juvenile court.

The court procedure was riddled with irregularities. At first, the core witness of the prosecution, a security guard of Vial camp did not appear in court. He claimed to have recognized the defendants although it was dark and the people in the camp had their faces covered as a Covid precaution measure and especially because of the heavy smoke and tear gas. When he finally arrived at the court the next day and was questioned, the judges carried out an arbitrary identification procedure, calling the ten defendants that the witness claimed to have recognized out by name and asking them one by one to stand up and take down their medical masks. The witness just confirmed that he would recognize them each time and did not have to identify them on his own. Nevertheless, the witness testified that he had not seen the defendants setting fire. The second witness of the prosecution did not claim to have recognized any of the defendants.

The final judgement has been influenced by the thorough preparation of the defence lawyers who managed to show that the accusations were implausible and poorly substantiated. Also due to the solidarity and efforts of the defence witnesses – migrants who had lived with the accused in Vial camp at the time of the fire and who travelled to Lesvos on their own expense for four times to testify – the felony charge was eventually dropped. Two of the defence lawyers stated:

“We are very happy with this development. Proud that we made the court to hear our plies for a fair trial and hopeful that this is not the exception but it will be the rule from now on. Also we are sad that this people spend a year and a half pre-detained for a crime that they didn’t commit. We wish them a better future in Greece with justice and solidarity.”

Dimitris Choulis, Human Rights Legal Project Sámos and Alexandros Georgoulis 

The trial joins a series of court cases targeting migrants for resistance against the inhuman treatment they are facing on the Greek islands. Only two weeks before the trial against the Vial 15, the Moria 6 were convicted in an unfair trial with flimsy evidence to long prison charges and found guilty of burning Moria camp on Lesvos Island.

While the migrants have been convicted, no one has been held accountable neither for the death of the woman in Vial camp nor the unknown deaths within other camps or at sea. Instead, it is again migrants who are bearing the weight of inhuman and distressing policies of segregation, encampment and incarceration of the EU. The real crime of putting human beings in unbearable living conditions, condoning even their deaths, has not been touched by any court. The problem is not the self-organized protests against this repression and the camp structures. The problem is the existence of the camps!

[Vial 15] Freedom for the Vial 15 on Chios!

(Ελληνικά, Deutsch, Italiano, Español, فارسی, below)

On Tuesday, 22 June, the trial against the Vial 15 will take place in the court of Mytilini, Lesvos Island. 15 people from different countries have been accused for riots and fire within the EU Hotspot Camp Vial on Chios Island on the night of 18-19 April 2020. The arrests followed protests against the inhumane conditions of Vial camp after a women died in an isolation container.

The 15 defendants are charged with arson with risk to human life, destruction of private property, causing injuries to people and forming a criminal group. As we have seen in many cases such as the recent trial against the Moria 6, they have been arrested without thorough investigation.

The only evidence against most of the defendants is that a police officer claimed to have recognized them in the police data base on his computer based on their appearance such as heigh and hair colour. However, the protests happened at night. The police heavily attacked the protestors with teargas and the people had their faces covered – with masks because of the Covid-19 pandemic and scarfs because of the teargas grenades and the heavy smoke coming from the fire. Only few people were arrested on the same day simply based on the fact that they were carrying lighters or knifes – which are commonplace objects in a camp, needed for cooking and smoking.  The majority of the defendants were arrested between two and twenty days after the fire.

At the time, about 7000 people were living in Vial, a camp whose infrastructure is only designed for 1000 people. Most of the people live in an informal area in self-built huts and shelters under fatal hygienic conditions. The 15 people were arrested during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a period of great insecurity how the virus would affect the camp residents. The Greek and European authorities managing the camps reacted mainly by trying to quarantine the residents in the camps through strict curfews and fines. While people were unable to leave the camp, hardly any medical or hygienic precautions were taken within the camps, making the people feel even more abandoned.

After the death of a 47-year old woman from Iraq, the situation escalated and protests broke out. The woman died, reportedly from either a heart attack or an obstruction. She had been to hospital two days previous with bradycardia and arrhythmias where she was tested for COVID-19 and given  medication. Once she returned to Vial, she was locked in one of the new containers outside the camp, as an isolation precaution, and had a panic attack. Her husband found her dead in the container.

No one has been held accountable for the death of the women in Vial camp and all the unknown death within the camps and at sea as well as for the suffering of the people. Instead, 15 people selected on flimsy evidence will now be punished for the destruction of the camp facilities. They have already been punished without any court procedure, being held in pre-trial detention for one year and two months. The court has been postponed twice because of COVID-19, it is the third time that they are transferred in handcuffs to Mytilene Police Station.

Although there is no credible evidence, we are afraid that they will be convicted and criminalized as the scapegoats for the European and Greek migration policies, creating unbearable living conditions in camps on the Greek Islands. We have seen how the Moria 6 were sentenced to 5 and 10 years imprisonment, although the procedure was full of flaws and the only witness of the accusation did not appear in court.

We are tired of watching this senseless destruction of peoples’ lives. The criminalization of migrants’ protests has to stop.

The crime is not that Vial and Moria were burned, the crime is their existence!

Free the Vial 15!


Απελευθέρωση στους 15 της ΒΙΑΛ!

Την Τρίτη, 22 Ιουνίου, θα πραγματοποιηθεί η δίκη εναντίον των ΒΙΑΛ 15, στο δικαστήριο της Μυτιλήνης στη Λέσβο. 15 άνθρωποι από διαφορετικές χώρες κατηγορήθηκαν για ταραχές και πυρκαγιές στο χοτ σποτ της ΒΙΑΛ στη Χίο, τη νύχτα από τις 18 στις 19 Απριλίου 2020. Ως αποτέλεσμα των συλλήψεων, ακολούθησαν διαμαρτυρίες από τους μετανάστ(ρι)ες ενάντια στις απάνθρωπες συνθήκες του καμπ της ΒΙΑΛ, μετά από τον θάνατο μιας γυναίκας που έχασε την ζωή της σε ένα κοντέινερ απομόνωσης.

Οι 15 κατηγορούμενοι κατηγορούνται για εμπρησμό με κίνδυνο την ανθρώπινη ζωή, καταστροφή ιδιωτικής περιουσίας, προκαλώντας τραυματισμούς σε ανθρώπους και για συμμετοχή σε εγκληματική συμμορία. Όπως έχουμε δει σε πολλές αντίστοιχες περιπτώσεις, όπως και στο πρόσφατο δικαστήριο εναντίον των 6 της Μόριας, συνελήφθησαν χωρίς να έχει πραγματοποιηθεί καμία έρευνα.

Μόνο δύο άτομα συνελήφθησαν την ίδια μέρα, απλά με βάση το γεγονός ότι κουβαλούσαν αναπτήρες ή μαχαίρια – που είναι κοινά αντικείμενα σε ένα καμπ που απαιτούνται για το μαγείρεμα και το κάπνισμα. Τα υπόλοιπα 13 άτομα συνελήφθησαν μεταξύ δύο και είκοσι ημερών μετά την πυρκαγιά. Τα μόνα στοιχεία εναντίον των περισσότερων είναι ότι ένα αστυνομικός ισχυρίστηκε ότι τους αναγνώρισε στην βάση δεδομένων της αστυνομίας στον υπολογιστή του με βάση την εμφάνιση τους όπως είναι το ύψος τους και το χρώμα των μαλλιών τους. Ωστόσο οι διαμαρτυρίες συνέβησαν τη νύχτα. Η αστυνομία επιτέθηκε έντονα στους διαδηλωτές με δακρυγόνα, και ο κόσμος είχε τα πρόσωπα τους καλυμμένα – με μάσκες λόγω της πανδημίας covid – 19 και με μαντήλια λόγω της ρίψης των δακρυγόνων, των κρότων λάμψης και τον βαρύ καπνό που προερχόταν από τη φωτιά.

Ο θάνατος μιας 47χρονης γυναίκας από το Ιράκ, ήταν ο λόγος που ξεκίνησαν οι διαδηλώσεις στο καμπ της ΒΙΑΛ. Σύμφωνα με πληροφορίες, πέθανε είτε από καρδιακή προσβολή είτε από απόφραξη. Βρισκόταν στο νοσοκομείο, δύο ημέρες πριν με βραδυκαρδία και αρρυθμίες. Την έλεγξαν για covid – 19 και της έδωσαν φάρμακα. Μόλις επέστρεψε πίσω στη ΒΙΑΛ, ήταν κλειδωμένη σε ένα από τα καινούρια κοντέινερ έξω από το καμπ, που χρησιμοποιούνταν ως χώροι απομόνωσης, και κατέληξε να παθαίνει κρίση πανικού. Ο σύζυγος της την βρήκε νεκρή στο κοντέινερ. Εκείνη την περίοδο, περίπου 7000 άτομα διέμεναν στο καμπ της ΒΙΑΛ, που έχει σχεδιαστεί μόνο για 1000 άτομα.

Οι περισσότεροι από τους διαμένοντες μένουν σε μία άτυπη περιοχή γύρω από το καμπ σε καλύβες με άθλιες συνθήκες υγιεινής. Τα 15 άτομα συνελήφθησαν κατά το πρώτο κύμα της πανδημίας του COVID – 19, μία εποχή που επικρατούσε τεράστια ανασφάλεια για το πως η πανδημία θα επηρεάσει τους διαμένοντας στο καμπ.

Οι ελληνικές και ευρωπαϊκές αρχές που διαχειρίζονται τα καμπ, αντέδρασαν κυρίως προσπαθώντας να βάλουν σε καραντίνα τους διαμένοντες επιβάλλοντας αυστηρές απαγορεύσεις και πρόστιμα. Ενώ οι άνθρωποι δεν μπορούσαν να φύγουν από το καμπ, κανένα μέτρο προστασίας δεν λήφθηκε μέσα στα καμπ, κάνοντας τους ανθρώπους να αισθάνονται ακόμη πιο απομονωμένοι. Μετά τον θάνατο της Ιρακινής, ο φόβος αυτός μετατράπηκε σε διαμαρτυρία.

Κανείς δεν έχει θεωρηθεί υπεύθυνος για τον θάνατο της γυναίκας στο καμπ της ΒΙΑΛ και όλους τους υπόλοιπους θανάτους που δεν γνωρίζουμε μέσα στα καμπς όπως και για τα βάσανα που έχουν υποστεί αυτοί οι άνθρωποι εκεί μέσα.

Αντ’αυτού 15 άτομα επιλέχθηκαν σε μία τελείως τυχαία βάση, για να τιμωρηθούν για την καταστροφή των εγκαταστάσεων του καμπ. Έχουν ήδη τιμωρηθεί χωρίς καμία δικαστική διαδικασία, έχοντας κριθεί ήδη προφυλακιστέοι εδώ και ένα χρόνο και δύο μήνες. Το δικαστήριο έχει αναβληθεί δύο φορές λόγω της πανδημίας, είναι η τρίτη φορά που μεταφέρονται με χειροπέδες στο αστυνομικό τμήμα Μυτιλήνης.

Αν και δεν υπάρχει κανένα αξιόπιστο στοιχείο, φοβόμαστε ότι θα καταδικαστούν ως ο αποδιοπομπαίος τράγος για τις ευρωπαϊκές και ελληνικές πολιτικές μετανάστευσης, δημιουργώντας αφόρητες συνθήκες ζωής στα καμπς στα ελληνικά νησιά. Είδαμε πως καταδικάστηκαν οι 6 κατηγορούμενοι για την Μόρια,
σε 5 και 10 χρόνια φυλάκισης αντίστοιχα, ενώ η διαδικασία ήταν γεμάτη κενά και ο μόνος μάρτυρας κατηγορίας δεν εμφανίστηκε καν στο δικαστήριο. Έχουμε κουραστεί να βλέπουμε αυτή την παράλογη καταστροφή των ανθρώπινων ζωών.

Η ποινικοποίηση των διαμαρτυριών των μεταναστ(ρι)ών δεν μπορούν να συνεχίσουν. Απελευθέρωση στους 15 της ΒΙΑΛ.


Freiheit für die Vial 15!

Am Dienstag, den 22. Juni, findet der Prozess gegen die Vial 15 vor dem Gericht in Mytilini auf der Insel Lesbos statt. 15 Menschen aus verschiedenen Ländern werden beschuldigt, in der Nacht vom 18. auf den 19. April 2020 im EU-Hotspot-Camp Vial auf der Insel Chios randaliert und Feuer gelegt zu haben. Die Festnahmen folgten Protesten gegen die unmenschlichen Bedingungen im Lager Vial, nachdem eine Frau in einem Isolationscontainer gestorben war.

Den 15 Angeklagten wird Brandstiftung mit Gefährdung von Menschenleben, Zerstörung von Privateigentum, Körperverletzung und Bildung einer kriminellen Vereinigung vorgeworfen. Wie bereits in vielen vorausgegangenen Fällen, wie z.B. kürzlich im Prozess gegen die Moria 6, wurden auch sie ohne stichhaltige Ermittlungen und auf der Basis zweifelhafter Indizien verhaftet.

Der Großteil der Angeklagten wurden erst im Verlauf der folgenden 3 Wochen nach dem Feuer verhaftet. Der einzige „Beweis“, der gegen die meisten von ihnen vorliegt, ist die Aussage eines Polizeibeamten, der sie in der Polizeidatenbank aufgrund ihres Aussehens, Größe und Frisur erkannt haben will. Die Festnahmen stützen sich auf diese zweifelhafte Grundlage, obwohl die Proteste bei Nacht stattfanden und die Demonstrant*innen ihre Gesichter mit Schals und Masken bedeckt hatten – einerseits als COVID-19 Prävention, andererseits aufgrund der Rauchentwicklung im Lager und um sich vor dem massiven Tränengasbeschuss durch die Polizei zu schützen. Nur wenige der Angeklagten wurden noch am selben Tag des Feuers verhaftet, einzig aufgrund der Tatsache, dass sie Feuerzeuge oder Messer bei sich trugen – Gegenstände, die in einem Camp alltäglich sind und zum Kochen und Rauchen benötigt werden.

Zum Zeitpunkt der Festnahmen lebten etwa 7000 Menschen in Vial, einem Lager, dessen Infrastruktur nur für 1000 Menschen ausgelegt ist. Die meisten Menschen sind gezwungen in einem inoffiziellen Bereich in Zelten oder selbstgebauten Hütten unter fatalen hygienischen Bedingungen leben. Die 15 Personen wurden während der ersten Welle der COVID-19-Pandemie verhaftet, einer Zeit großer Unsicherheit und Unklarheit, wie sich das Virus auf die Situation der Lagerbewohner*innen auswirken würde. Die griechischen und europäischen Behörden, die die Lager verwalten, reagierten auf die Pandemie vor allem mit Versuchen die Bewohner*innen der Lager durch strenge Ausgangssperren und Geldstrafen unter Quarantäne zu stellen. Während die Menschen über Monate im Lager eingesperrt waren, wurden kaum medizinische oder hygienische Vorkehrungen getroffen, wodurch sie sich noch mehr im Stich gelassen fühlten.

Nach dem Tod einer 47-jährigen Frau aus dem Irak eskalierte die Situation und Proteste brachen aus. Die Frau starb Berichten zufolge an Herz- oder Lungenversagen und war zwei Tage zuvor mit Bradykardie und Herzrhythmusstörungen ins Krankenhaus eingeliefert, auf Covid-19 getestet und mit Medikamenten versorgt worden.  Nach ihrer Rückkehr ins Lager Vial wurde sie als Isolationsmaßnahme in einem der neuen Container außerhalb des Lagers eingesperrt und erlitt eine Panikattacke. Ihr Ehemann fand sie später tot im Container.

Niemand wurde bisher für den Tod der Frau im Lager Vial zur Rechenschaft gezogen. Auch die zahlreichen anderen bekannten und unbekannten Todesfälle in den griechischen Lagern und die Todesfälle auf See kamen nicht zur Anklage.

Stattdessen sollen nun 15 Personen, die aufgrund fadenscheiniger Beweisgrundlagen inhaftiert wurden, für die Zerstörung der Lagereinrichtungen den Kopf hinhalten und als Schuldige markiert werden. Bereits seit einem Jahr und zwei Monaten werden sie in Untersuchungshaft festgehalten. Zweimal wurde die Gerichtsverhandlung wegen der aktuellen COVID-19 Situation verschoben. Bereits zum dritten Mal werden sie nun für den Prozess in Handschellen zur Polizeistation in Mytilini gebracht.

Obwohl es keinerlei glaubwürdige Beweise für die Schuld der Angeklagten gibt, ist zu befürchten, dass sie verurteilt werden. Sie werden als Sündenböcke für die europäische und griechische Migrationspolitik kriminalisiert, die unerträgliche Lebensbedingungen in Lagern auf den griechischen Inseln schafft. Auch in den kürzlich stattgefundenen Prozessen gegen die Moria 6 mussten wir erleben, wie die Angeklagten in einem politischen Schauprozess voller Fehler und mit mangelhaften Beweisen zu fünf bzw. zehn Jahren Haft verurteilt wurden.

Wir sind es leid, diese sinnlose Zerstörung von Menschenleben mit anzusehen. Die Kriminalisierung der Proteste von Migrant*innen muss aufhören.

Das Verbrechen ist nicht, dass Vial und Moria in Flammen standen, das Verbrechen ist die Existenz dieser Camps!

Freiheit für die Vial 15!


Libertà per i Vial 15!

Martedì 22 giugno, presso il tribunale di Mytilini, nell’isola di Lesbo, si svolgerà il processo contro i Vial 15. 15 persone provenienti da diversi paesi sono state accusate di disordini e incendi all’interno dell’hotspot Vial sull’isola di Chios nella notte dal 18 al 19 aprile 2020. Gli arresti hanno seguito le proteste contro le condizioni disumane del campo di Vial dopo che una donna è morta in un container di isolamento.

I 15 imputati sono accusati di incendio doloso e rischio per la vita umana, distruzione di proprietà privata, lesioni personali e di essere parte di un gruppo criminale. Come abbiamo osservato in molti casi, vedi il recente tribunale contro i Moria 6, gli imputati sono stati arrestati senza un’indagine approfondita.

Solo due persone sono state arrestate il giorno stesso e semplicemente per il fatto di avere con sé accendini o coltelli, oggetti comuni in un campo e necessari per cucinare e fumare. Le altre 13 persone sono invece state arrestate tra i due e i venti giorni dopo l’incendio. L’unica prova contro la maggior parte di loro è un agente di polizia, che ha affermato di averli riconosciuti nel database della polizia sul suo computer in base al loro aspetto, principalmente all’altezza e al colore dei capelli. Tuttavia, le proteste sono avvenute di notte. La polizia ha attaccato pesantemente i manifestanti con gas lacrimogeni e le persone avevano il volto coperto – con maschere a causa della pandemia di Covid-19 e sciarpe a causa dei lacrimogeni e del fumo pesante proveniente dal fuoco.

La manifestazione nel campo di Vial è nata in seguito alla morte di una donna irachena di 47 anni. È morta, secondo quanto riferito, per un attacco di cuore o per un’ostruzione. Era stata in ospedale due giorni prima con bradicardia e aritmie. L’avevano sottoposta ad un test Covid-19 e prescritto dei farmaci. Una volta tornata a Vial è stata rinchiusa in uno dei nuovi container fuori dal campo, per precauzione in isolamento, dove ha avuto un attacco di panico. Suo marito l’ha trovata morta nel container.

A quel tempo, circa 7000 persone vivevano a Vial, un campo la cui infrastruttura è progettata solo per 1000 persone. La maggior parte delle persone vive in aree non ufficiali, in capanne autonomamente costruite e in rifugi con condizioni igieniche fatali. Le 15 persone sono state arrestate durante la prima ondata della pandemia di COVID-19, un periodo di grande insicurezza su come il virus avrebbe colpito i residenti del campo. Le autorità greche ed europee che gestiscono i campi hanno reagito cercando di mettere in quarantena i residenti nei campi attraverso rigidi coprifuoco e multe. Non solo non era possibile lasciare il campo ma al suo interno non è stata presa quasi alcuna precauzione medica o igienica, facendo sentire le persone ancora più abbandonate. Dopo la morte della donna irachena, la paura si è trasformata in protesta.

Nessuno è stato ritenuto responsabile per la morte delle donne nel campo di Vial né per tutte le morti sconosciute nei campi né per la sofferenza della gente. Al contrario, 15 persone selezionate in base a criteri sospetti dovrebbero ora essere punite per la distruzione delle strutture del campo. Sono già stati puniti senza alcuna procedura giudiziaria, essendo stati trattenuti in custodia cautelare per un anno e due mesi. Il processo è stato rinviato due volte a causa del COVID-19, è la terza volta che vengono trasferiti in manette alla stazione di polizia di Mitilene.

Sebbene non vi siano prove credibili, temiamo che vengano condannati e criminalizzati come capri espiatori delle politiche migratorie europee e greche, creando condizioni di vita insopportabili nei campi delle isole greche. Abbiamo visto come i Moria 6 siano stati condannati a 5 e 10 anni di reclusione, nonostante la procedura fosse piena di vizi e l’unico testimone dell’accusa non si fosse presentato in tribunale.

Siamo stanchi di assistere a questa distruzione insensata della vita delle persone. La criminalizzazione delle proteste dei migranti non può continuare così.

Il crimine non è che Vial e Moria siano stati bruciati, il crimine è la loro esistenza!

Libertà per i Vial 15!


¡Libertad para los 15 de Vial!

El martes 22 de junio tendrá lugar el juicio contra los 15 de Vial en el tribunal de Mitilene, Lesbos. 15 personas de diferentes países han sido acusadas por los disturbios e incendios ocurridos en el campo de Vial, parte del sistema de “hotspots” diseñado por la Unión Europea, y situado en la isla de Quíos, durante la noche del 18 al 19 de abril de 2020. Las detenciones se produjeron tras las protestas contra las condiciones inhumanas este campo, después de que una mujer muriera en un contenedor de aislamiento.

Las 15 personas están acusadas de incendio con riesgo para la vida humana, destrucción de propiedad privada, causar lesiones a personas y constitución de un grupo criminal. Como hemos visto en muchos casos, como el reciente juicio contra los 6 de Moria, estas personas fueron detenidas sin una investigación en profundidad.

La única prueba contra la mayoría de ellas es la declaración de un agente de policía que afirmó haberlas reconocido a partir de una base de datos policial. Este reconocimiento se basó en elementos de su aspecto, como la altura o el color del pelo. Sin embargo, las protestas ocurrieron por la noche, y la policía había atacado con dureza a los manifestantes con gases lacrimógenos. Por lo tanto la gente tenía sus rostros cubiertos, no solo con máscaras debido a la pandemia de Covid-19, sino también con bufandas, para protegerse de las bombas de gas lacrimógeno y el fuerte humo procedente del incendio. Algunas pocas de entre las personas acusadas fueron detenidas el mismo día por el simple hecho de llevar mecheros o cuchillos, objetos necesarios para cocinar y fumar, y por lo tanto habituales en un campo como el de Vial. Las otras 13 personas fueron detenidas entre dos y veinte días después del incendio.

En ese momento en Vial vivían alrededor de 7.000 personas, a pesar de que el campo está diseñado para 1.000. La mayor parte de las personas viven en una zona informal en chozas autoconstruidas, y las condiciones higiénicas son potencialmente mortales. Las 15 personas fueron detenidas durante la primera oleada de la pandemia de COVID-19, un periodo en el que existía una gran inseguridad sobre cómo afectaría el virus a los residentes del campo. Las autoridades griegas y europeas, responsables de la gestión de los campos, reaccionaron principalmente intentando poner en cuarentena a los residentes de los campos mediante estrictos toques de queda y multas. Mientras las personas no podían salir del campo, apenas se tomaron precauciones médicas o higiénicas dentro, lo que hizo que la gente se sintiera aún más abandonada.

Tras la muerte de una mujer iraquí de 47 años, la situación se agravó y estallaron las protestas. Al parecer la mujer murió de un ataque al corazón o de una obstrucción. Había estado en el hospital dos días antes con bradicardia y arritmias. Le hicieron la prueba de COVID-19 y le dieron medicación. Al regresar al campo de Vial la encerraron en uno de los nuevos contenedores a las afuera del campo, aislándola como medida de precaución. Durante el encierro tuvo un ataque de pánico y su marido la encontró muerta en el contenedor.

Nadie ha rendido cuentas por la muerte de esta mujer en el campo de Vial, ni por ninguna de las muertes que no se conocen, dentro de los campos pero también en el mar.  Nadie rinde cuentas por el sufrimiento de las personas que viven en estos campos. En lugar de eso, 15 personas seleccionadas a partir de una base turbia deben ser castigadas ahora por la destrucción de las instalaciones del campo. Ellas ya han sido castigados sin ningún procedimiento judicial, estando en prisión preventiva durante un año y dos meses. El tribunal ha sido aplazado dos veces por culpa de COVID-19, y es la tercera vez que son trasladadas esposadas a la comisaría de Mitilene.

Aunque no hay pruebas creíbles, tememos que estas personas sean condenadas y criminalizadas como chivos expiatorios de las políticas migratorias europeas y griegas, que crean condiciones de vida insoportables en los campos de las islas griegas. Hemos visto como los 6 de Moria fueron condenados a 5 y 10 años de prisión, aunque el procedimiento estuvo lleno de irregularidades y el único testigo de la acusación no compareció ante el tribunal.

Estamos cansadas de ver esta destrucción sin sentido de la vida de las personas. La criminalización de las protestas de las personas migrantes no puede continuar así. El crimen no es que Vial y Moria hayan sido quemados, ¡el crimen es su existencia!

¡Liberen a los 15 de Vial!


آزادی برای ویال 15!

روز سه شنبه مورخ ۲۲ جون، محاکمه ای به علیه ویال 15 در دادگاه میتیلینی، جزیره لسوس اتفاق خواهد. ۱۵ فرد به تاریخ ۱۸-۱۹ اپریل سال ۲۰۲۰ متهم به شورش و به آتش کشیدن کمپ ویال اتحادیه اروپا در جزیره خیوس شدند. این دستگیری ها تظاهرات علیه شرایط غیر انسانی کمپ ویال بعد از مرگ زنها داخل کانیترهای ایزوله شده را دربر داشت.

۱۵ فرد متهم به آتش سوزی و خطر برای زندگی انسانها، تخریب ملک شخصی، زخمی کردن مردم و تشکیل یک گروه جنایت کار شده است. همانطور که ما دیدیم در موارد زیادی مثل دادگاه علیه موریا 6, آنها بدون کدام تحقیقات دقیقی دستگیر شده اند.

تنها مدرکی که علیه اکثر متهمان وجود دارد اینست که افسر پولیس ادعا کرده که آنها را از روی شکل ظاهری مثل قد و رنگ موی از داخل داده های کامپیوترشناسایی کرده است. اگرچه، این تظاهرات در شب اتفاق افتاده است. پولیس به شدت به تظاهرات کننده گان همراه با گاز اشک آور حمله کرد و مردم صورت شان را با ماسک بخاطر کوید 19 و دستمال بخاطر گاز اشک آور و دود زیادی که از آتش برخواسته بود  پوشیده بودند. فقط تعداد اندکی همان روز بخاطر داشتن چاقو و فندک که اشیا عادی داخل کمپ  که بخاطر آشپزی و سیگار کشیدن است، دستگیر شدند. اکثر متهمان بین دو تا بیست روز بعد از آتش سوزی دستگیر شدند.

و در عین زمان، حدود ۷۰۰۰ نفر داخل ویال زندگی میکردند، کمپی که فقط برای  ۱۰۰۰ طراحی شده بود. بیشتر مردم در یک منطقه غیر رسمی در کلبه ها و پناهگاه های خودساخته تحت شرایط مهلک بهداشتی زندگی می کنند. این 15 نفر جریان موج اول بیماری همه گی دستگیر شدند، یک دوره ناامن در مورد تأثیر ویروس کوید 19 بر ساکنان کمپ. مقامات یونانی و اروپایی که مدیریت این کمپ ها را بر عهده داشتند، عمدتاً با تلاش برای قرنطینه کردن ساکنان این کمپ ها از طریق مقررات منع رفت و آمد و جریمه های شدید واکنش نشان دادند. در حالی که مردم قادر به ترک اردوگاه نبودند، به سختی اقدامات پزشکی یا بهداشتی در اردوگاه ها انجام می شد و باعث می شد مردم حتی بیشتر حس ترک شده گی را داشته باشند.

پس از مرگ یک زن ۴۷ ساله از عراق، اوضاع بالا گرفت و اعتراضات آغاز شد. گفته می شود این زن در اثر حمله قلبی یا انسداد جان خود را از دست داده است. وی دو روز قبل به دلیل برادیکاردی و آریتمی به بیمارستان رفته بود و در آنجا برای کوید 19 آزمایش شد و دارو دریافت کرد. پس از بازگشت به ویال، وی بخاطر احتیاط در یکی از کانتینرهای جدید خارج از کمپ حبس شد و دچار حمله وحشت شد. شوهرش او را در کانتینر مرده پیدا کرد.

هیچ کس در مورد مرگ زنان در کمپ ویال و تمام مرگ های ناشناخته در اردوگاه ها و دریا و همچنین درد و رنج مردم پاسخگو نبوده است. در عوض, ۱۵ نفری که براساس شواهد ضعیف انتخاب شده اند، اکنون به دلیل تخریب امکانات کمپ مجازات می شوند.  آنها قبلاً بدون هیچگونه دادگاهی مجازات شده اند و به مدت یک سال و دو ماه در بازداشت موقت به سر می برند. دادگاه به دلیل کوید ۱۹ دو بار به تعویق افتاد، این سومین بار است که آنها با دستبند به ایستگاه پلیس میتیلینی منتقل می شوند.

گرچه هیچ مدرک معتبری در دست نیست، اما ما می ترسیم که آنها به عنوان قربانی سیاست های مهاجرت اروپا و یونان محکوم و جرم شناخته شوند و شرایط زندگی غیرقابل تحملی را در کمپ های جزایر یونان ایجاد کنند. ما دیده ایم که چگونه موریا 6 به ۵ و ۱۰ سال حبس محکوم شده اند، با وجود اینکه این روند پر از نقص بود و تنها شاهد این اتهام در دادگاه حاضر نشد.

ما از تماشای این نابودی بی معنی زندگی مردم خسته شده ایم.  جرم انگاری اعتراضات مهاجران باید متوقف شود.

جرم این نیست که ویال و موریا سوخته باشند، جرم وجود آنهاست!

ویال 15 را آزاد کنید

 

#FreeTheMoria6 – After the Fire in Moria Camp: Call for a fair and transparent trial for the accused Moria 6 based on the presumption of innocence

 

See the Statement in Deutsch, EnglishελληνικάEspañol, Farsi, Français, Italiano

https://freethemoria6.noblogs.org/

#FreeTheMoria6 – After the Fire in Moria Camp: Call for a fair and transparent trial for the accused Moria 6 based on the presumption of innocence!

On 11 June 2021, the trial against four of the six teenage migrants accused of burning down Moria Camp will take place on the Greek island of Chios. From the moment of their arrest and before any due process of law, they have been presented to the public as the culprits. Two co-accused minors were already convicted to prison sentences in March, despite a lack of evidence and a trial riddled with irregularities.

We are deeply concerned that their right to a fair and just trial based on the presumption of innocence is not guaranteed and that they are instead made scapegoats for the inhumane EU migration policy. We stand in solidarity with the Moria 6 & against the deadly European border regime!

On 8 September 2020, the infamous refugee camp Moria on the Greek island of Lesvos burned down, fanned by a strong wind. The widespread and long-lasting fires, well-documented and almost live-broadcasted via social media, brought the ongoing policy of deterrence through inhumane conditions in Europe’s Hotspot Camps in the Aegean region back into the international media spotlight. (Footnote 1)

Rather than seeing the fire as an inevitable disaster in a deadly camp infrastructure, the Greek state arrested six young Afghan migrants and presented them as the culprits and sole cause for the fire, attempting to stifle further public debate on the living conditions inside the camp and the political responsibility. The fires took place at a time when the number of people living in the camp had reached 12,000, movement restrictions had been in place for almost six months and a growing fear of Covid-19 was spreading inside the camp. One week prior to the fire, the first person had been tested positive. Instead of moving infected people out of the camp and improving the living conditions for the people trapped inside, the government planned to completely seal off the entire camp with a double high-security Nato-wired fence and cracked down violently on any protest. (Footnote 2)

Not only do authorities deny any responsibility, there is also reason to assume that the accused cannot expect a fair and just trial. They were presented by authorities as guilty from the moment of their arrest. The Greek Minister of Migration and Asylum stated – only one week after the fire – that “the camp was set on fire by six Afghan refugees who were arrested”, violating their right to a fair trial under the presumption of innocence. Five of the Moria 6 were minors when they were arrested, but only two of them were recognised as such by the Greek state and consequently treated according to the Juvenile Criminal Code.

Concerns have already come to pass when the two officially recognized as minors stood trial in March 2021. At that time, the two had already been held in pre-trial detention for almost six months, the legal maximum period for minors, and consequently should have been released soon. In a hastily convened court hearing that flouted basic procedural standards of fairness (footnote 3), they were found guilty despite lack of evidence and sentenced to five years in prison.

The case of the Moria 6 is not the first time that migrants have been arbitrarily arrested and charged in Greece (see Moria 35). This practice has long been part of the inhumane EU border regime. However, in the current political environment, the criminalisation of migration has reached a new level, as have the illegal pushbacks of migrants by the authorities.

We call for fair and transparent trial on 11th of June!

We stand in solidarity with the Moria 6 & against the deadly European border regime!

We call on the EU and the Greek state to take responsibility for the inhuman camps they purposefully created and for the human suffering that is resulting thereof!
– Stop the containment of people at the margins of the EU!
– End the EU-Turkey Deal!
– No more Morias!
– Free the Moria 6!

++ Sign the appeal, share the information, organise solidarity actions under the hashtag #FreeTheMoria6 ++

All soldarity groups who want to sign, please sent an email by latest 5 June 2021 to freethemoria6@riseup.net

Footnotes:

(1) The fire had been preceded by many smaller ones throughout the years, e.g. caused by faulty wires or during cooking. They claimed the lives of two Kurdish migrants in November 2016, of Faride Tajik in September 2019, and of a 6-year-old girl in March 2020. No state agency, governing institution or camp management official has been held accountable for these fires resulting from overcrowding and a deadly camp infrastructure until this day.

(2) From March to September 2020, while movement restrictions were imposed on the camp, there was continuous protest: against the lack of public health measures, hunger strikes against arbitrary detention, demonstrations following outbreaks of deadly violence. Police responded by blocking the camp’s communication with the outside world, threatening suspected organisers with arrest, sometimes using tear gas and smoke bombs. The response to the fire was no different. The Greek state declared a state of emergency, sent riot police units from Athens to Lesvos, and used tear gas against migrants who had lost all their belongings in the fire and were scattered in the street, camping on the roadsides. The police also failed to protect people when armed far-right groups harassed them.

(3) For instance, the prosecution’s crown witness, who had caused the arrest of the accused through his testimony, did not appear and allegedly could not be located by the authorities. However, the prosecution was permitted to read out his written declaration, despite lawyers’ objection that this violated the defendants’ right to cross examine any witness against them, a fundamental right confirmed by ECHR.