Since last week the imprisoned immigrant women in Elliniko Detention Centre initiated new struggles for their freedom. On Friday 16/9 all women (which are 56 presently) went to the yard with their mattresses. The following day, an official from the immigration centre on Petrou Ralli street announced that he will have examined their case files by Tuesday, the 20th of September. But the women never received an update on their case, so, on the same day, they again took their mattresses to the yard and spent the night outside.
We were informed that reasons behind these mobilizations are beyond the deplorable conditions of detention the women are facing:
*The three-month upper limit of detention is not enforced since many women have been in detention for longer than that, many reaching 6 months.
*The women do not receive any updates on their asylum application process. Instead, the only official document they hold is a paper on deportation which was not translated to them. Moreover, they were recently forced to sign documents in Greek which of course they have no knowledge of and could not understand the content.
Since Friday we were only able to contact the detained immigrant women through the phone, since the manager of the detention centre has urgently restricted visitation rights, a right fought for by people in solidarity two years ago. It was us in particular who were banned from visiting anyone (which is a right of prisoners and visitors) following a phone call between the detention centre manager and the police. When the detained immigrants realized we could not visit with them, they reacted and climbed on the bars screaming ”Freedom” and encouraged us to demand our entry. Only when a member of our assembly reacted intensely and asked to see the prohibition in writing, was this member allowed to visit with one of the immigrant women.
It is now clear that the state officials are trying to isolate and repress the struggle of immigrants who actively fight for their rights. On our part, our support is very obvious in that we amplify their struggle and carry its message to the outside world and we are determined to fight for visitation rights anew.
From Moria to Elliniko, immigrant men and women fight back, resist and demand their freedom. We are determined to stand by them in this struggle.
FREE IMMIGRANT WOMEN
BURN DETENTION CENTRES