November 22, 2012

Movement for Human Rights of Samos: criminalization of demonstrated solidarity towards imprisoned refugees


Briefing report

Samos, 20 November 2012

In 2010 members of the Movement continued to visit the detention centre of Samos on a weekly basis. Following serious allegations we received by detained refugees and given their inability to address the competent authorities by themselves, we gathered all acquired information and wrote a letter to the Ministry of Citizen Protection requesting to be informed about the manner in which deportations are carried out.

The letter was communicated to other humanitarian organizations as well as the Police Headquarters of Vathi town in Samos. The authorities not only refused to answer our questions concerning the treatment of the detained refugees, but they also forwarded our letter to the prosecutor, asking him to press charges against the member of our movement who had sent the letter in question for alleged defamation and false statements.

November 11, 2012

Announcement about the victims of racist violence

Last weekend was marked by a series of new incidents of racist violence which has by now taken on dramatic dimensions.

In one of these incidents, in the area of Agios Panteleimonas, where racist violence threatens to turn into a pogrom, organised groups indiscriminately attacked migrants, their stores and their houses.

In another incident in Palaio Faliro, an unidentified group stabbed a passerby migrant sending him to hospital.

In the third and most chilling incident, a bakery owner in Salamina, together with his son and two more accomplices, tortured a migrant working in their bakery and abandoned him after chaining him to a tree.

What was the reaction of the State to these incidents? 

November 2, 2012

For the untimely loss of our member Sarantis Theodosiou

On the evening of Sunday 21 October we lost our colleague and friend Sarantis Theodosiou. Sarantis had been fighting for his life for 13 days at the Intensive Care Unit after a car accident, losing ultimately the battle.

We now have to cope with his absence. Even more, however, we have to come to terms with the absurdity of the arbitrary loss of a person so young.

In the face of such a difficult yet primordial and overpowering human condition, words cannot convey our feelings and thoughts. Perhaps our silent sorrow or tears are of richer content than any consoling narrative could be.

Nonetheless we do wish to speak - even briefly- about the comrade who left us. We have to talk about Sarantis, a young lawyer who was quirky enough to enjoy teaching Greek to migrants in the Sunday School of Migrants; who decided to learn Albanian, the language of yesterday's scapegoats, of the inferiors of this country, in order to better understand them or maybe to even imagine himself as this 'Other'. Sarantis also supported from the outset our venture, the Group of Lawyers for the Rights of Migrants and Refugees. He supported our collective effort to form a separate existence, different from the mainstream exemplar in our field, and to denounce the exploitation of the “weakest of the weak”, of migrants and refugees. He shared with us 6 adventurous years of collective effort, of a struggle to save our “basic principles” within an environment of multifaceted decay. His path was joined with ours, the bonds we created are and will remain strong.