Arrests and Beatings in Souda Camp – A Statement

18 November

On 16th November, at approximately 1130pm in the night, I was in Souda Camp in rubhall 2. I was with two volunteers as well as a Syrian guy.

I heard fireworks at the back of Souda camp and twenty minutes later, I heard fireworks again. At the first burst of fireworks they started getting nervous.

The fascists burned the back rubhall. I dont need to witness it to see it. Why would the Algerians burn their own residence? I was in the tent 2 hours prior treating them. They are young and highly tense yes but it was the fascists.

Many refugees probably confront the facists so it is an excuse for the police to enter the camp. Everything happeend so fast in one hour. All the young refugees, Syrians, Algerians and Iraqis came into our cubicle. The anti riot police entered in with someone wearing a sash. He was tiny.

It is not arrest. They allowed us to put on our shoes and take our backpacks. When we went outside, they pushed me to the ground, handcuffed me and put their knees at the back of my neck. One of them sat on my back. My chest felt compressed.

They took my friend too. He was crying. I told him not to resist and cried out “I am Spanish. I am the nurse of the camp.” Suddenly two men – one with the sash and walkie talkie across his chest, and one police took me towards the Shell gas station. I saw 50-60 people. I dont know. A small crowd. Two of them took the police baton and started hitting me. I was hit on my head, my arms. My backpack protected me. The police was hurrying me after they handcuffed me but while walking towards the Shell station, they took their time. The mob was angry. The rage on their faces was unbelievable. They shouted and pointed at me in Greek. They brought me to the police station in a jeep. They drove really fast. I had to lean sideways to preserve my balance in the jeep.

I was the first to be brought to the police station. Refugees started to arrive after me. I counted approximately 30. They then brought two other volunteers. They didnt hit me because I maintained my composure. But another man was hit because he said “i am from Spain.” I heard him shouting. I also witnessed the police kicking the refugees randomly. Only the three volunteers were handcuffed.

30 minutes later, they brought me to another part of the passage. My handcuffs felt tight and asked them to remove the pressure. They started hitting two Algerians nearby and said “we’re going to fuck all of you. Fucking Algerians.” They commanded me and Raul to look the other way but through the reflection in the glass, i could see them slapping the Algerians. Two police on two algerians.

They then brought us three to the other side of the police station where we were brought to an office. They checked our IDs and took me to another office with 8 policemen. They tipped all of my stuff onto the ground and checked everything. Meanwhile, I was forced to do a strip search. He simply said “take off.”

They then brought me back to the passage where the Algerians were. By the time, they were gone. We were then put in a cell without an explanation. There was nothing in there. We were not provided water or blankets. The cell smelled horrible. There was no water supply. There were 4 refugees (2 Syrians, 1 Afghan, 1 Greek, 1 Algerian) and 3 locals from Chios. I didnt know what time it was as they took my cell phone too. But I was guessing it was 2.30am – 3am.

At 9am, a lawyer from Advocate Abroad came to ask for us sent by the refugees. I gave her 10 Euros to ask for her help in buying water, coffee and tobacco. At 10am, she told me that we would walk free at 12pm after the police is done with paperwork.

We were taken to an office upstairs and we were asked questions – family details, my parents names, their occupations, when I was in Chios, and where I stayed in Chios.  We were then released with no explanation or papers, just our belongings.

Not once were we explained what was going on, nor our rights being read. They just barked orders.

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