Thursday, December 30, 2010

Afghan Refugees Hunger Strike with Sewn Lips, Athens

Afghan refugees that are gathered in Propylaia (Academic University) seeking political asylum, went on hunger strike and six of them have sewn their lips in protest. Athens, Greece. 29/12/2010

Afghan refugees seeking political asylum go on hunger strike with sewn lips in Propylaia district (Academic University)

Afghan refugees seeking political asylum go on hunger strike with sewn lips in Propylaia district (Academic University)

Afghan refugees seeking political asylum go on hunger strike with sewn lips in Propylaia district (Academic University)

Afghan refugees seeking political asylum go on hunger strike with sewn lips in Propylaia district (Academic University)

Afghan refugees seeking political asylum go on hunger strike with sewn lips in Propylaia district (Academic University)

Afghan refugees seeking political asylum go on hunger strike with sewn lips in Propylaia district (Academic University)

Afghan refugee with his kid seeking political asylum in Propylaia district (Academic University)

Afghan refugee seeking political asylum inside a tent in Propylaia district (Academic University)

23 years old Sharifi Hasan, gets his lips sewn in an apartment in Keramikos, Athens, to start a hunger strike, seeking asylum

Updates: January 5th 2011: Afghan refugees seeking political asylum continue hunger strike with sewn lips in Propylaia district (Academic University)

Updates: January 5th 2011: Afghan refugees seeking political asylum continue hunger strike with sewn lips in Propylaia district (Academic University)

Updates: January 5th 2011: Afghan refugees seeking political asylum continue hunger strike with sewn lips in Propylaia district (Academic University)

Updates: January 8th , 2011: 23 y.o. Hasan Sharif (asylum seeker on hunger srike) was transfered urgently in hospital Elpis, after he collapsed on the 11th day of hunger strike

Updates: January 9th, 2011: Afghan refugees seeking political asylum continue hunger strike with sewn lips, started on the 29th of December 2010 in Propylaia district (Academic University)

Updates: January 9th, 2011: Afghan refugees seeking political asylum continue hunger strike with sewn lips, started on the 29th of December 2010 in Propylaia district (Academic University)

Updates: January 10th , 2011: 32 y.o. Mohamad Rami (asylum seeker on hunger srike) while he is being transfered urgently in hospital Erythros Stavros, after he collapsed on the 13th day of hunger strike

Updates: January 10th , 2011: 32 y.o. Mohamad Rami (asylum seeker on hunger srike) while he is being transfered urgently in hospital Erythros Stavros, after he collapsed on the 13th day of hunger strike

Updates: January 10th , 2011: 32 y.o. Mohamad Rami (asylum seeker on hunger srike) while he is being transfered urgently in hospital Erythros Stavros, after he collapsed on the 13th day of hunger strike

Afghan refugees that are gathered in Propylaia (Academic University) continue their seeking for political asylum, and from today (December 29, 2010) they decided to continue with hunger strike.
Six men of them, began hunger strike and have sewn their lips facing danger and irreversible damage to their health.

After 37 days of protesting, despite the attacks, the threats, and the unresponsiveness of the Greek state, the refugees are intending to continue their struggle. From a tent set up in Propylaia district (Academic University) they also stated that in case of no immediate and definite response, they intend to increase the participation in the hunger strike and the cruel action of sewing lips.
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Updates: January 8th 2011:
The rightful struggle of refugees in Greece

During the first decade of the 21st century Greece has been grossly violating international refugee law and refugees’ rights.

The situation has deteriorated since 2009 with the practical suspension of the asylum system, the growing impoverishment of refugees and the racist attacks against them.

The government elected in October 2009 announced the reform of the asylum system. However, and despite the ongoing process of legislative changes, so far the situation has remained unchanged. There have been announcements of new institutions (new appeals’ committees, asylum service, screening centers, reception centers), but their implementation requires significant investments. Given the economic problems of the country, the inefficiency of the civil service to absorb and manage EU funds and the weakening of the public sector due to the policy of cutting public expenditure, it is uncertain if and when these institutions will be implemented.

It is reasonable, therefore, that refugees intensify their protests. After many years of harassment and since they feel deceived by all sides, even by those who state that they support them, they turn to hunger strikes as a final resort in order to fight for their fundamental rights.

The state, taking advantage of the allegations that hunger strikers are threatening public order and public heath, deploys the riot police to remove forcibly the hunger strikers with the sewed mouths and their families.

However the refugee problem cannot be solved through violence nor by plans of dubious effectiveness, but only with immediately applicable solutions based on the respect of international refugee law which will ensure the rights of refugees.

The refugees cannot any wait longer. It is the duty of all sides involved (government, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, civil society) to take action for the immediate solution to the problem of refugees in Greece.
http://www.aitima.gr/aitima_files/Press%20Release_03012011.pdf
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Updates: January 13th, 2011

Letter of the Afghan Refugees to Embassies
"….
You might already be aware that we the Afghan political refugees have been at the Propylaea in Panepistimio, Athens, since November 22nd, 2010, in our effort to receive a response from the Greek state on our request for political asylum. Today January 10th, 2011, we complete 50 days here. In early December we sent our formal request to the Ministry of Civil Protection, and there has not yet been any response. On December 20th we decided to request an answer our selves by going to the Ministry of Civil Protection and staying there. With great sadness, however, we have to say that on December 21st at 2.30am the police forcibly removed us from there, hitting us and our wives and children. Some of us were injured and taken to Evangelismos Hospital.
After these events six men from our group took the most difficult decision they have ever had to take. On December 29th they decided to start a hunger strike and sewed their lips together, seeing this as the only way to get a response to our request for political asylum. As time passes, these men are putting their health and even their lives at grave risk because they are determined to continue to the end. The consequences of the hunger strike are already occurring and seriously affecting their health. Two of the six, due to health complications from the strike, have been transferred to hospital on three separate occasions on 4th, 8th and 9th of January, respectively.
Because of the critical situation of the hunger strikers and because more and more members of our group are wishing to participate in the hunger strike, a response to our request is imperative as soon as possible.
We ask for your understanding and we urgently need your support in our appeal for political asylum. Asylum is all we ask for; it is the only hope we and our families have of ever leading normal and decent lives after all the hardships we have experienced in our country and on our journey to Greece. In a world that has enough for everyone and when in essence all people are one, we have the expectation that there will be in others enough understanding and humanity to protect the people who need help.

Sincerely,
The Afghan political refugees
Propylaea Panepistimio
"

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For licensing images of this story, contact me or follow this link:
http://www.demotix.com/node/546906/

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pacific Press Agency links

 1. Greece: Refugees and Migrants protest in Athens 

https://www.pacificpressagency.com/galleries/57775/greece-refugees-and-migrants-protest-in-athens

 

2.  Preparations in Athens for the Bicentenary Independence Day celebrations

 https://www.pacificpressagency.com/galleries/57838/preparations-in-athens-for-the-bicentenary-indepen

 

3.  Greek Independence Day Military Parade

 https://www.pacificpressagency.com/galleries/57845/greek-independence-day-military-parade

 

4.  Greek students hold 'April Fools Day' protest against reforms in education

 https://www.pacificpressagency.com/galleries/58001/greek-students-hold-april-fools-day-protest-agains

 

5.  Greece: Musicians and Art Workers protest in Athens

 https://www.pacificpressagency.com/galleries/58504/greece-musicians-and-art-workers-protest-in-athens

 

6.  Greeks prepare for Muted Christian Orthodox Easter

 https://www.pacificpressagency.com/galleries/58631/greeks-prepare-for-muted-christian-orthodox-easter

 

 7. Greece: Orthodox Easter celebrated by throwing Molotov cocktails

 https://www.pacificpressagency.com/galleries/58662/greece-orthodox-easter-celebrated-by-throwing-molo