Police controlling people at Social Center

Yesterday evening the Social Center got a very unpleasant visit. Around 11 pm three cars of police showed up at the squat. They went to all the rooms and took the people outside to the front of the building. Then the people were made to kneel down with their faces to the wall and their hands behind their heads. Some had no shoes or sweaters and were forced to kneel like this in the cold for around one hour. The cops checked the papers of everyone. When asked why they check the papers and why they treat the people like this they refused an answer. After some time two people were taken to the police station and the others could go to inside the building again. The two people that were taken were luckily released after their papers were checked inside of the station.

After the incident we learned that people escaped the prison in Moria the same night and the police were searching for them. While this is a reason for the control it is no excuse for entering peoples living spaces and treating them in this humiliating and disrespectful way. We are angry about the racism and violence of the cops here on Lesvos (and everywhere else).

What happened yesterday is not a single event. Instead it is one of many, many incidents of humiliation and violence of the Greek police towards refugees. Every week refugees in Lesbos are controlled, arrested and beaten. Most of them without any reason other than them being refugees here on Lesvos. Hopefully the people that escaped prison are hiding well…and find a way to leave the island soon.