Today Arash Hampay is 19 days in hunger strike. Three imprisoned refugees in Moria (Lesvos, Greece), Amir Hampay (brother of Arash), Arash Bahroz and Hussein Kozhin are 20 days in hunger strike now. Statements by hunger striker Arash Hampay.
Originally published at Arash Hampay Tumblr. Introduction by Enough is Enough
Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.
On the first of July we published a statement by hunger striker Arash Hampay. Today we publish a few statements Arash has published on his Tumblr page and an interview on video. On the same Tumblr page you can also read the persian translations of the statements by Arash.
It is the 15th day of my hunger strike, and the 16th day of the hunger strike of the imprisoned refugees in Moria, who are #AmirHampay, #ArashBahroz and #HusseinKozhin.
We tried to make the UNHCR, the Police and other organisations understand our demands to improve the living conditions for refugees and to put an end to the injust actions being carried out against us. However, these demands have been repeatedly ignored, whereas instead they have imprison us. The UNHCR is indifferent towards these unjust and lawless actions while every day they continually bear witness to these atrocities.
Me, my brother, and all my other dispossessed brothers and sisters migrated to Europe without knowing that we were exiting one hell and entering into another. We escaped from war and various dictatorships. We wanted to come to a place where we could find security in order to protect our lives. The only kind gesture we have received since arriving to Greece is that they have not killed us. Otherwise, our situation would be even worse. An old proverb that resonates with all of humanity states that ‘there is no place like home’. What can we do with such a profound sentiment when our homes have been set on fire and criminals such as Khamanayi have turned our home into a slaughter house?
Fifteen days. I repeat, it has been fifteen days since I began my hunger strike. A strike carried out in front of the eyes of the police, the state, and the UNHCR. Yet there has not been a single reaction to this day. They are probably waiting for one of the captives on hunger strike to die. It is only when this happens that they will think it necessary to respond. A response that will be purely for the sake of sustaining positive public opinion.
We are four very determined people. We are going to continue our hunger strike until the three innocent people on hunger strike in prison are granted freedom.
Today is the sixteenth day of my hunger strike in the city square of Mytilini and the seventeenth day of hunger strike for the imprisoned refugees in the detention center of Moria.
How long can you continue to show no shame? It seems your shamelessness and your empty words have no limit.
Today I visited my brother and the two other refugees who are on their seventeenth day of hunger strike to protest against the injustices they are facing. I wanted to give them Shampoo, some juice, salt and other items but the police did not let me give them those things. The police and UNHCR have incarcerated my brother for three months and kept the other refugees in prison. They were given shampoo and soap when they were first incarcerated, but not at any other time. Today, when I wanted to give them these items of basic hygiene, the police prevented me. Today I was more shocked than ever. I was shocked at such immoral and illogical treatment. Is it because they think that refugees do not need to take care of their personal hygiene, that they do not need shampoo, soap and a toothbrush? Do they think that refugees do not need to drink water and juice more than ever when they are on hunger strike?
When I told the police that my brother has been on hunger strike for seventeen days and he desperately needs to drink liquids and take vitamins, their response was: “It is not our problem that they are hunger striking, it is their own problem”. Dear Police! I would like to make something very clear: it is because of you and your injustices that we started this hunger strike. If you had not oppressed us and put us in prison without having committed any crime, we would not have started this extremely dangerous form of protest.
And at last, after ten months, the UNHCR has recognised my vulnerability and given me the Ausweis that permits me to travel throughout Greece. At last I am able to leave the open air prison that is Lesvos. But I won’t be going anywhere without my brother. They recognised my vulnerablity. My brother and I explained every detail of our vulnerability to the doctor in the camp the very first moment we arrived on this Island, ten months ago. We told them about our physical and our psychological pain. Unfortunately they did not respond until today. I must tell you all that my brother was much more vulnerable than me. If they have to choose which of us should be granted the freedom to leave this island it should be him. He is more vulnerable than me. The Ausweis which gives me the freedom to be anywhere in Greece should be given to Amir more than to me.
So many oppressive, ironic, unjust incidents happen on this Island and within this camp that it is exhausting to write about them or talk about them.
You may read this post and not believe that it is not Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey or other dictatorships where these kinds of situations are happening but in Europe, in Greece the cradle of Democracy, and all states share the crime. The UN is the paragon of human rights protection. The UN, which criticises other states for human rights violations, is itself responsible for this despicable situation. I would never have believed that it could be like this. What we have believed and what we come to experience are so far from each other.
The more oppression I experience, the more determined to continue our hunger strike I become. We do not believe in a life under the burden of oppression and submission. We shall continue our hunger strike in front of the eyes of the people and the state and UNHCR until the day of our freedom.
I am a refugee.
Be kind to me, please.
I am an asilum seeker with no land.
I was separated from my mother, my brother, my house, and from all the things I liked.
My soul saw injurious, sickness and I’m tired.
I’m not dangerous,
I’m not a terrorist.
I have feelings,
Be kind to me.
I didn’t want to become nuisence to your country but I was force to get a shelter from you.
If you’re watching me, don’t get far.
I’m not a threat, I’m an asylum seeker.
My heart, my soul and my emotions have seen many injuries.
Just today I need attention, smile and love.
I wish you like me.
Today has been my seventeenth day of Hunger strike and the eighteenth day for the captives, the refugees who are imprisoned in Moria.
I went to meet Amir, Arash and Hussein today. As always I was unable to touch my brother or even give him a hug. They have not let us, two refugee brothers, hug each other.
Let us go on, I feel very down today. This is not because of the hunger, the thirst, or me and my brother´s suffering, but because of the young Iraqi Kurdish Bahrooz, a very nice young man.
Arash is twenty five years old. He has been in Mytilini for one and half years. During this time he has been helping refugees, UNHCR, and EURO RELIEF. He has been working as a translator. No one has experienced any bad behaviour from this compassionate young man. Even though he has received his AUSWEISS with THE BLUE STAMP, he was arrested and imprisoned. They want to deport him to Turkey and/or Iraq. Everyone knows that Turkey is very dangerous for kurds. Arash Behroz is suffering from KIDNEY and HEART problems, and his psycological condition is very bad. He is suffering. Unfortunately, as a captive, he has not received any medical or psycological support. Today when I met the hunger strikers I saw that Arash Bahroz’s condition had worsened severely. His condition is much worse than the others. I cannot understand why they are doing this to those young men.
What would you think if I told you that in my country (Iran), which is a dangerous and severe dictatorship, I could see my family and touch each and every one of them when I was imprisoned. Why can I not do this here? I was imprisoned in Iran because of my opposition agains the government, even they gave me permission to meet and touch my family, but yet I am not given that privelage here, a country where I sought refuge because of my confidence in the UN and Europe. Why do they treat us like this? Why do they think that Turkey is a safe country for kurds?
The deporation of kurds to Turkey is just like making a wolf the guardian of a sheep.