Blog

Dalia’s Words

22Nov2016 PEACE in Souda.jpg

  1. Peace wasn’t born in conferences but in the hearts of humans.
  2. The principle of an eye for an eye is fair but if we use it the world will become blind. We should forgive and go on.
  3. The difference between hunger and satiety is a loaf of bread, and the difference between love and hate is as thin as a hair, so why don’t we just choose to love?
  4. Why do you lower your gaze on me? The difference between us is… just try to see me near you. l am like you, a fellow human.
  5. Give us a childhood, give us safety. I would say: We want to give our children a childhood, and our elderly a home. We just need safety and peace.
  6. Those who live to deprive others of light, drowns himself in darkness of the shadows.
  7. The true peace is to learn and educate people to conduct themselves according to morality and principles. I would put it this way: True peace is to learn and educate people so that they can respect the essential values of life and love.
  8. In times of peace the sons bury their fathers, but during war the opposite happens. Until when will violent death continue?
  9. We should fill our mind with a candle that we should always light.
  10. We escaped from violence and mass murder.
  11. We ask for help and safety, peace and international protection.
  12. We thank all volunteers and organizations and every human support to refugees.
  13. We left our countries after we lost everything. We came here with tears of kids and worries of women and the wounds in the hearts are far from healing yet.
  14. We were obliged to come here because of war and hard times in our countries.
  15. I would like to live in this: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” This is the first article of the declaration of human rights.

By Dalia Algariby

Background:

Dalia is a refugee from Syria. She was in the process of organising a peaceful protest this Friday 25/11 after the recent attacks on Souda camp, however, she received a call this morning that she and her sister will be going to Athens on tonight’s ferryboat.

It came as a surprise she had to leave so soon and was disappointed she couldn’t carry out the peaceful protest that would have included banners of her words. Then came the inspiration to organise a photo with children at Souda camp forming the word PEACE and to include her words above – a heartfelt plea for peace.

We hope Dalia’s Words will help raise awareness of the situation here and inspire peace and acceptance in all.

 

Advertisements

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.

A Statement from Humanitarian Organisations of Chios

Refugees Attacked by Far-Right Extremists: A Statement from the Humanitarian Organisations of Chios

We, the undersigned voluntary organisations of Chios, have been providing humanitarian aid on the island for over a year and have witnessed a steady deterioration of conditions within the camps. We address you now as a matter of absolute urgency.

Following a meeting of far-right extremists on Chios on Tuesday evening (15/11/2016), the island has witnessed a series of violent attacks on refugees and volunteers, as well as the arbitrary arrest and detention of refugees, international volunteers, and journalists.

Volunteers and refugees have documented the following events and attacks which took place on Wednesday night (16/11/2016): large boulders were dropped onto tents where families, including young children, were sleeping, which resulted in one refugee suffering a fractured skull. Additionally, several containers, serving as accommodation, were damaged. The entrances and exits of Souda camp appeared to have been deliberately blocked by police, while refugees were beaten by extremists without intervention from the police. This was followed by the arbitrary arrest of refugees, volunteers, and journalists. Two nurses volunteering on the island were dragged from a tent in Souda, beaten and strip-searched by the local police. Without being provided with any information as to the reason for their detention, they were held for 13 hours and released without charge.

The following night (17/11/2016), extremists threw petrol bombs at tents in which refugees were sleeping, setting fire to parts of the camp. Abandoning their shelters out of fear, approximately 120 people slept outdoors, with babies as young as 3 months old. Some were subsequently targetted and beaten by extremists. On Saturday (19/11/2016), a pregnant woman, whose shelter had been attacked in Souda, miscarried, losing her twins.

Multiple witnesses amongst both volunteers and refugees can attest to the violence outlined above and to the lack of intervention from the police.

The events that have taken place on Chios since last Thursday constitute serious breaches of the rights to human dignity, life, physical integrity, liberty, shelter and freedom of press. The lack of police intervention in securing those rights violates the obligation of the state to protect all people within its territory regardless of their legal status. Therefore, we request that

  • the authorities of Chios shall, as a matter of the greatest urgency, guarantee the physical safety of all refugees;
  • the authorities of Chios shall guarantee the physical safety of all aid workers and journalists on the island;
  • national authorities shall, in cooperation with the UNHCR and other organisations, promptly provide safe accommodation for the refugees;
  • national authorities shall conduct a thorough investigation of these incidents whose findings will be made publicly available, prosecute those responsible for the violence outlined above, and provide appropriate redress for the victims.

This is an emergency situation and it must be responded to as such.

Signed:

Action From Switzerland

Be Aware And Share

Dråpen i Havet [A Drop in the Ocean]

The People’s Street Kitchen of Chios

Zaporeak Proiektua