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MESSAGES FROM THE REFUGEE PROTEST CAMP ORANIENPLATZ TO THE UNHCR

“I don’t tell my story to receive compassion but because it’s the truth.  No doubt about that I’ll still continue to fight.”

Seif Ibrahim had built his life in Lybia. As the uprising came he was kept in Bir el Ghanam by the Lybian governmental troops and like many Sudanese, was forced to enroll to fight the rebels. After he denied he was tortured for 22 days. During that time all the inmates were threatened by the soldiers to be raped. He was every day repeatedly drowned in water and beaten on every part of his body. The consequences of this torture continue to affect Seif today. He has broken teeth and often collapses and looses consciousness. On June 22, 2012 he succeeded to take a boat to Lampedusa, Italy. “This was not the end for my problems but the new beginning of them”. Through the Refugee Camp of Manduria (Taranto) Seif was transferred to an improvised camp for refugees managed as a family business in Ceccano (Frosinone). There he spent months only sleeping and eating, not being allowed to go out, to learn language or to receive medical care. Accusing heavily the physical problems coming from the torture he had suffered, Seif protested by starting a hunger strike. After three days he was taken the first time to a hospital. There he was provided with no interpreter. The only translations were made occasionally by a nurse from Maghreb. Exasperated by the impossibility of receiving proper treatment for his sufferings, Seif started to protest which ended him two weeks in psychiatrical confinement, without any kind of other therapy other than tranquilizers. The end of Seif’s experience in Italy came about when the person in charge of the home said to him: “you are expelled”. She then gave him a ticket to Milan telling him to leave the country.

Yasser Abdullah, Mawda, Montasir (12), Miaad (5), Mohamed (1) have been 5 years in flight. Yasser has been a soldier in North Sudan. In 2007 he receives a letter from the Sudanese army to go to fight the rebels in Darfur. He did not accept it. To refuse would result in imprisonment and maybe torture, and therefore decided to escape with his family. He made a living in Lybia until the conflict in 2011 began. He sold his car and jumped with his wife and two children into a boat with 450 persons. They landed in Lampedusa and through the camp of Manduria, they were sent to an asylum managed by a cooperative of social service. After 5 months not satisfied with the accommodation and the long wait for answers for their asylum case, him and his wife started protesting with a hungerstrike. Then something inexplicable happened. While Yasser was called to the police station, social workers took his wife and children away from him and bring them to a catholic center for women. For two weeks he was deprived of any chance to communicate with them, and then was only allowed to see them two times a month under surveillance of a social worker. The reason alleged: he wouldn’t be a good father for having put the family in danger crossing the sea. After 4 months he decided to organize their escape, he gathered his family and fled to Germany

Mohamed Abdien escaped from Dwem through the desert, due to political persecution. He took part in 2010 in a social opposition movement against the Sudanese Government. He was arrested once and tortured, so when the security forces of the Government came looking for him again he did not wait for them and he left the country.
First destination was Tripoli, in Lybia. For 10 months he received support from the Sudanese community and was able to make a living, until the civil war began making it impossible to live there for anyone.
Abdien arrived to Italy in Lampedusa on June 22, 2011. He had a first identification interview where photos and fingerprints were taken. Immediately he was transferred to the Refugee Camp of Manduria (Taranto). For one month Abdien was living in tents without the possibility to have a shower, insufficient meals and no interpreter: “treated as animals”. After he started a protest together with some other inmates of the camp he was then transferred to Monza in the former Hotel “Fantello”, now vacant and used as a refugee camp by the cooperative “Aeris”. He remained there 3 months before his asylum case even began. He then had his first interview, followed by another appointment in 7 months to go on with his asylum procedure. He describes the life during these months; “just eating and nothing more”. This means only 2 meals: breakfast and lunch, no money at all, no language courses and no health care.
At the end of the 7th month he succeeded to have his asylum procedure completed. He finally received refugee status and a permit of stay for 5 years. He asked what are his rights now. The answer was: no school, no housing program, no social income, no job for you. He was suggested to go to night shelters for homeless people, only open from 8 pm till 7 am. For meals he had to go to the soup kitchen in the Caritas. He decided to leave Italy and to try to open a new asylum case in Germany.

Ahmad escaped in 2003 from a Refugee Camp in Darfur, through the desert to Lybia. After 8 years of living a worthy life working in agriculture, he was then forced to escape again from the Lybian war in 2011. Ahmad arrived in April in Sicily. Arrested without documents, the police brought him to CIE (Identification and Expulsion Center) in Crotone, where he spent 9 months in detention without reason. Post his request for asylum, he only had 2 interviews, receiving no answers. From this point onwards he started to suffer psychological stress. He escaped to Rome asking for asylum again, without success. He then began living on the streets for 3 months. As he continued to pursue his rights to asylum, medical care, accommodation, he only received answers: to sleep on the street and to eat at the soup kitchen of the Caritas. When he realized the Italian Foreign Office was preparing to bring him back to the detention center in Crotone he decided to escape. “What’s unacceptable for me is that the European Countries , after waging and profiting the war in Lybia, don’t accept us to come here. I’d never have come to Europe if my life if Lybia had not been destroyed by that war.”

We Asylum Seekers and Refugees from the Protest Camp of Berlin Oranienplatz we are here to put to the UNHCR our questions and demands. As was already acknowledged in the case of the violation of the asylum rights in Greece:

Why the UNHCR refuse to take position against the entire Dublin 2 System? Is only Greece the problem? Do asylum rights in Hungary, Poland and Italy exist?

It is well known, and the Asylum seekers better then any other, that there is no “THIRD SAFE COUNTRY”. Are we living safe in Germany under constant threat of being deported?

TIME TO STOP WITH DEPORTATIONS

TIME TO FINISH WITH DUBLIN 2, 3 AND

WITH ANY OTHER PERSECUTION OF REFUGEES

Refugee Protest Camp Oranienplatz


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