Athens. Greek territory. Our last visit to Petrou Ralli detention center, 16/1/2020, was different from all the others. We were not allowed to meet on the terrace, but only in two dark visiting rooms, while at the same time in the adjacent rooms women were having their personal visits from 16.00-18.00. The lights, as in the past, were by chance burnt out, again. We got the permit 10.45 am the same day, with the right for only six (6) people to visit instead of twelve (12) people as requested, and between 15:00-18:00 instead of 18: 00-21: 00, for security reasons, as was written on the document.
Originally published by Athens Indymedia.
For us, what comes first is the contact and human relationship that we are developing and we want to give a voice to illegally excluded migrant women in the inhumane conditions of the dominant policy of exterminating those who are left behind; so despite the new facts that overturned what we had planned, we succeeded to go over all practical barriers and get to the second floor of the detention center at 15:45pm with lots of warm clothes, bed linen, chocolates, coffee, teas, books, etc. plus 45 bags with sanitary and hygiene products, telephone cards, hats, gloves, woolen socks, towels, new pyjamas, notebooks, and pens, for each prisoner, separately.
It was another thrilling meeting with as many women that they managed to come, in little groups one after the other as they were brought down to the small suffocating space during the short time we had. All six of us were able to slowly forget the darkness of the chambers with the light of hope and solidarity that tore the bars apart, one by one.
From the day that the, cry for help, denunciation letter below of, the then prisoner, Ceylan, was written, conditions remain the same in the building. Dirt and constant germination of microbes and viruses is incredible. They clean the space themselves with few cleaning materials and are at constant risk of getting sick at any time. The water pump that was placed in the inner corridor, next to their cells, so that they do not knock on the iron door until a policewoman opens to let them out to get water, there is only cold running water, they have yet to fix it so that hot water runs, as well. That is still something. However, there is still no heating and it is very cold. The washing machines do not work and they have to wash everything by hand. The food is horrible, but at least, now it comes up to their floor warm and not cold.
We were shocked to see Ceylan’s photos and await the results of her biopsy, which was done at Atticon Hospital, for the virus she had caught in the gutter where they throw people to “live”, with the help of uncontrolled indifference, racism, sexism and xenophobia of some salaried police officers. The hospital doctor told her that she had to have surgery after the biopsy first came out. This is how the beloved to all Ceylan left our country. How many others have suffered much worse and have never dared to report them because, simply, they have no papers or even if they still get papers they are so scared in such a xenophobic society? We have met several. The people in power have to provide every detainee with proper and timely medical care and treatment. Respect their dignity and their humanity, religious and political rights, on the basis of the existing regulations concerning the rights of prisoners in pre-removal detention centers, which daily are being violated.
English translation from Turkish
‘There is a letter from Allodapon!!!
“Damn Allodapon’s unscrupulous doctor. These words are for you. What kind of woman are you? I am ashamed of you as a fellow. You have a woman who has melted in front of you for a month, she is tired of coming to your room every day and saying “I don’t feel good”. You did not get tired of giving her ridiculously irrelevant drugs? Shame on you!!! The name of the woman I’m talking about is E. from Er. I remember the day she came. Her color was like chocolate. But now she is like a corpse, it turned to ice color. Vomiting every day. It gets worse and passes by itself. We sprinkle water on her face. She opens her eyes a few hours later. Usually, we hold her with our arm to walk. Every day she goes to the doctor. What the doctor says does not match each other. She says: ” You will drink this medicine twice a day.” The next day she says I did not say that. Nobody listens to E., who is telling them: “ Take me to the hospital or I will die here”. If you come and visit her, you will notice that this is out of humanity.
Let’s come to Cr. Ethiopian. An asthma patient is forbidden to stay in a closed and damp place. She can’t sleep from continuously coughing next to us. Using a spray is inconvenient for her heart. She was previously in Turkey. She used a syrup there and the syrup was good for her. But she does not remember the name of it. The doctor says nothing but uses a mask. We cannot do anything other than feel sorry.
Things started to change thanks to the organization of the House of women. Α water pump was put inside. But the machine is very dirty and some dirt comes out. They also started serving breakfast bagels. This is very special for us. Even if we do not get enough, this change was good for us. We are grateful to X and her crew, who with their efforts have made it possible to change the way we get our food and stop some policemen’s harassment. At least no longer our friends have to go down to the kitchen.
However, the problems are not over. The washing machine has been out of order for ten days. Everybody washes with her hands. There is no heater. It is cold. The beds are marble and stone. The blankets are thin and inadequate. It’s still extremely dirty. We got infections. We try to stop them with cream and suppositories.
The police named Vivi (Big Mama) is still here. Nothing has changed in her; she keeps challenging us. She makes sounds that shouldn’t come from a person. Insults and intolerance are the same.
Let’s come to other cops (to the harassment policemen): Dimitrios, Andreas, and the blue-eyed Yorgos. They are still here and on duty. When we go down for our visa we see them. They look very comfortable. For sure, they have never received a warning. You can see this from their grins. The only thing which has changed is that they do not come up to our floor anymore after our denunciation was published.
Aisha from Somalia has not yet returned to the island. Everyone else went, but Aisha and Esraa. remained. A policewoman explained to us that “whoever gives information about Allodapon outside Allodapon, will have to stay there for a long time”. Her chief had asked her to convey this to us, as she told us.
Let’s come to me. I was taken to the hospital after my name had been published on internet pages. Three weeks after I had got a virus. A biopsy was performed. The results will be obtained twenty days later.
However, this is not the only problem. Huge handcuffs are worn while we are being taken to the hospital. What a shame this is. People’s gaze, humming. We enter under the bottom of the ground until we leave the hospital; we are very embarrassed. We are not murderers or thieves. Some are waiting for the asylum papers, some for their visa and some for deporting transactions. Sometimes doctors warn. “Untie the clamps so that I can examine her.” Believe me, this is a very embarrassing situation. What have we done to deserve this?
In fact, there are too many things to write about, but isn’t that alone enough for someone to tell: That’s enough! Stop it! Close Allodapon (Aliens detention center)! Isn’t it enough? The comment is yours and decision is yours…
Date: 20.01.2020 I just mentioned on the first page of E. from Eritrea who was feeling bad. She just started to vomit blood. We notified this to the policewoman on duty to take her to the hospital. Nobody has done it. She informed the manager. Thank you, dear Marina. However, the head of the police who came as police director was the guy who had pulled the headscarf of a Syrian girl, Alaa, some time ago, shouting at her: “This is a Christian country, which means you can’t wear it here”, and scratched Alla’s forehead while doing this. After fifteen minutes of crying and pleading and begging him: “please E. will die here. Take her to the hospital”, and although we showed him her blood in the container, he, just shouting, said: “Are you crazy asking me to go to the hospital at night?” And again shouting, in Greek, he went away. As for E., she keeps vomiting and is in her room, and we expect the cops to feel mercy. By the way, be good to Marina, Evi, Zoi, Krisa, and Dimitra (the policewomen). One of the rare cops trying to be a cure for each of us is MARINA, although we could not get any results.
(24/1/2020) NOTE: We would also like to thank the excellent lawyers of the House of Women, who came to see us and help us.”
We are not doctors and we do not know the causes of E’s illness, however, it is worth listening to the voice of comrade P, who was with us and recorded her story in the dark, behind bars on the 16 January. She spoke to her several times over the next few days on the phone, when E desperately sought help:
P: “Her colour, which is mentioned in the letter, has shocked me because when I saw it in the darkness, I could only see clearly that her hands were white and I remember that it made an impression on me, but I did not associate it with her situation. Until I read the letter I thought E was a white person from Er. it seemed strange to me then. Maybe it is some kind of projection (I recall she had told me on the phone that the prison doctor told her that her suffering was being caused by psychological reasons) and the coughing up of blood was due to some abrasion from high pressure. Why is it strange that they can’t find anything wrong with her at the hospital? But yet again, shouldn’t they have hospitalized her to give her serum and vitamins? Whatever the reason, her dehydration and weakness are a fact. ”
According to the information we have, she was taken to the hospital three times (two of them after our last visit and after we highlighted her condition to the service commander) and they did not find an organic explanation. Doctors attribute her illness to psychological reasons.
To make it clear once and for all, these mere inhumane conditions of incarceration, where you forget that you are a human being, are enough to mentally and physically disrupt a healthy body, let alone people with trauma from war zones, in which children and women are the first victims of verbal, mental, physical abuse, of any patriarchal “warrior…” There is no end to their abuse in the family, in the trenches, in society, in their attempt to escape to a piece of land with freedom and dignity. We have seen it, heard it and recorded it many times over the past few years we have been meeting those detained women. In the first month, they are strong women, in the second they start becoming pale, they have inflammation all over their body from insect bites and bed bugs, they lose weight from poor nutrition, they have problems with their stomach, heart, they fall into depression and in the third month they have suicidal thoughts and in extreme cases, they even try it… We receive countless phone calls from women in despair.
Our question is, why was E not treated with a different diet for her weakness, which was prevalent? Why did she not remain in hospital care? Why was she not supported as needed, psychologically, beyond a diagnosis and pills? Why wasn’t she helped with some serum since she was not able to take anything orally since she vomited anything she ate?
Today, we have been informed that E is better, even though she has refused to take any pills for stress. The human relationship with her fellow detainees, who did not leave her alone, in this inhumane environment, became her medicine, and she slowly began to eat something ... We repeat that we are not doctors, but we know that under normal circumstances no human would live under these tragic conditions for so long…
ON THE STREETS IN THE SQUARES AND PRISON CELLS
WOMEN MIGRANTS YOU ARE NOT ALONE
CLOSURE TO DETENTION CENTERS AND DEPORTATION CAMPS
PUNISHMENT OF POLICE OFFICERS WHO ABUSE AND HARASS DETAINEES
FREEDOM TO DETAINEES
JUSTICE AND FREEDOM TO 56 HUNGER STRIKERS AT PETROU RALLI
THOSE WHO REVOLT ARE IN THE RIGHT
THE PASSION FOR FREEDOM IS STRONGER THAN ALL KINDS OF PRISONS
SOLIDARITY AND SELF-ORGANIZATION ARE OUR WEAPONS
The House of Women, for the Empowerment & Emancipation
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