Σάββατο, 15 Αυγούστου 2009

The Greek Guantanamo and the right to pee

By Afrodite Al Salech
Photos: Iakovos Hatzistavrou
The translation belongs to Teacher Dude

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On Sunday 9th August, 30 foreigners, the majority of them asylum seekers where force to board a ferry and taken in secret from the island of Chios to an unknown destination. This happened as part of a series of “curious” transfers that have taken place lately, as August offers the perfect conditions for such moves(1).

The NGO LATHRA (http://www.lathra.gr) has informed us that 16 of those who sailed from Chios are being held in the Petrou Ralli police station (2), Athens. Other have been sent to Lamia, while some have gone missing.

Those recently brought to Petrou ralli have been kept on the rooftop of the building which is open to the elements. They have been kept out in the open without any form oif protection from the August sun or the sudden downpours. The have only minimal amount of food, no beds nor any toilet facilities.

We have been informed that the tensions which have understandably built up given the conditions were “neutralised” in the usual manner when two police officers armed with batons beat people protesting. The reason for the complaints was the request that the people on the rooftop be allowed to use the building’s toilets instead of having to relieve themselves in front of every one else.

It is definite that those being held on the roof will not remain there for long. The question however, remains where they will be taken next and to which country?

August and especially on the eve of the day of the Madonna(3) offers the ideal cover for every kind of barbarity and the swift “solution” to many problems. I call upon everyone who hasn’t decided to go on holiday to spread the news of these events.

If you wish to join us we will be outside Petrou Ralli police station tomorrow.

Thank you.
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1 - Traditionally, August is the time when most Greek employees take their summer vacations. This means that many state organisation remain closed.

2 - The police station houses the Athens Aliens Bureau.

3 - A public holiday.

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Note: I am informed that the authorities have freed the 16 foreigners. The main problem is that they will be absolutely destitute, sleeping at abandon edifice at the center of Athens, without papers and without any way to survive. That means more workers for the black market.
Profoundly that has nothing to do with migration policy and is totally against not only the human rights but also the Greek state itself.

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