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Teaching Personnel at the University of Aegean: we will not contribute to the policing of refugees

Since the end of July, a 35 metre-long zeppelin type of aircraft was placed above Karlovasi, on Samos island, containing high-tech surveillance systems. The zeppelin is owned by a German company and has been rented by FRONTEX which gave it to the Greek Port Authority and the Coastguard in order to, according to the announcement of the deputee minister of Citizen Protection, surveil and record the refugee influx in the greater area of Samos and the Turkish shores. Also, according to a statement made by the Port Authority to effectively guard the external borders of the E.U. and to tackle every form of criminal behaviour.

Originally published by mplokia. Translated by Black Cat.

The arrival of the zeppelin is in accordance with the context of the EU-Turkey deal which leads to the continuation of the entrapment of refugees in hotspots and prisons, the increase of deportations and the intensification of repressive measures, policies which continue to be expanded by the New Democracy administration. With the coming of the zeppelin not only the democratic and individual freedoms as well as the democratic rights of citizens become restricted but the area is now getting involved in a generalized antagonism in a period where the tensions seem to climax.

Within this political context, according to information collected by our Union, the Services of the University of the Aegean decided, following a request, to give permission to the Port Authority and Frontext and therefore the German company, to transfer data collected by the zeppelin and place their equipment on university grounds.

This decision, which is very important from a political and an academic vantage point, was never made known to the university community and was not taken by the University Senate. Questions are raised regarding the reasons behind this decision and the identity of the people who took it. The University of the Aegean cannot assist with border patrols and the policing of citizens, immigrants and refugees. These are not in accordance with the purpose of academia and the educational and research missions of an institution such as a public university.

We call on the administration of the University of the Aegean to cancel immediately the permission to use the network, the grounds and the facilities of the university by the Port Authority, Frontex and German company. This demand for immediate removal of the zeppelin, and every other device of surveillance must be considered as matter of responsibility of all the democratic world.

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