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No Border Kitchen Lesvos currently supports 450 refugees to cook and subsist autonomously, at a regular cost of 20€ per person per month. We are a self-organized group of activists with and without papers from all over the world, with the shared aim of overcoming the borders and restrictions that impede freedom of movement. We fight together for a world where we all recognized equally as humans. Our project is entirely volunteer run and we do not receive any regular funding. In two weeks our bank account will run empty and we will need your support to continue our work!

Why we are needed

Since the closure of the European borders in 2015, the situation on Lesvos has been deteriorating. The official camp Moria is with nearly 7000 inhabitants more than three times over its capacity. Solely in the last three months, 8000 people arrived by boat to Lesvos. Basic necessities are scarce and people’s basic needs for shelter, clothing and food are not met from the official structures. The quality and quantity of the food in the official camp is absolutely insufficient. Some people have been forced to live in the official camp in this horrible conditions for 20 months now. That’s where we step in, unbureaucratically filling some of the gaps the rotten European asylum system creates.

What we need the money for

Food provision is by far the area in which we spend the majority of our money. Every month we support more than 300 people with food boxes which enable them to live and cook autonomously at a cost of 3,60 € per person per week. For most, our support allows them to live outside the miserable, state-run camp, and making their homes in their own flats and squats instead. The demand for the boxes is huge and we currently have a long waiting list. We always hope to be able to support more people in future, but even continuing to support those we already provide for demands more funds than we currently have!

For the people we cannot currently support with food boxes, and for those who don’t have cooking facilities, we also organise a daily distribution of hot food of 200 meals a day with a cost of 0,30 € per meal. This is also important as an opportunity for meeting each other and chatting over a nice cup of rice and salad, and building networks of solidarity on the island.

To make all of this happen we buy monthly 1000kg potatoes, 600kg onions, 640kg tomatoes, 800kg vegetables, 1000kg rice, 500kg pulses, 1000kg of flour, 500kg sugar, 600l of oil, 80kg of tea, 80kg of coffee and 40kg of salt, plus spices and toiletries.

Delivering food boxes and meals involves a lot of driving which means we spend a lot of money on fuel, car repairs etc. At the moment we are also readying the kitchen for winter and so urgently need to buy building materials.

If you cannot donate yourself, you could help us by spreading the info about NoBorderKitchen and sharing this crowdfunder on Facebook and twitter!

Follow our Facebook (“No Border Kitchen Lesvos”) and our Twitter (“@noborderkitchen”) for information for updates on the work your support will enable.

14 protesters detained and in danger of deportation for putting imaginary tents on saphous square

14 protesters are still detained at the pre-removal center in Moria camp. Only two people were released. Among the 14 detainees there is one cancer patient and one suffering from epilepsy. We are very worried that their health will deteriorate if they are not immediately released and can access sufficient medical care outside of the prison.

All of the 14 arrested protesters are North-Africans and therefore subjected to an accelerated asylum procedure. We expect that they will be detained for the entire course of their procedure and then deported. This accelerated procedure is very biased and does not guarantee that each persons case is considered properly. All of them will most likely be rejected on the prejudice that all North-Africans are “economic migrants” and do not deserve international protection.

In the last days IOM staff has been visiting the people in prison and pressured them to sign for so called “voluntary return”. The choice they are given by IOM is barely a choice though. Either they sign, spend months in prison and will be deported….or they do not sign, spend months in prison and will be deported.

What is most outrageous about all of this is that their arrest itself was based on a lie. They are charged with illegally occupying saphous square by putting tents. Just… there were NO TENTS! We are at the moment collecting evidence that can prove that the accuse is simply wrong.
Will it change anything? Probably not. Even though the protesters arrest is based on a lie, we do not expect them to be released from detention. In the end, on Lesvos, the law is not respected. Human rights are not respected. The only thing that seems to count is to get as many people as possible deported as fast as possible.

We demand the release of the remaining 14 protesters.
We demand that the two sick people can access sufficiant health care outside of the prison immediately.
We demand that the charge of illegally occupying the square is dropped.

We demand freedom of movement and a life in dignity for all!

Nigerian man deported despite serious health condition on November 30th

Two brothers from Nigeria who made the deadly crossing from Turkey to Lesvos in a rubber dinghy were immediately detained in the pre-removal prison inside the so-called “Hotspot camp”, Moria. For almost three months they were isolated from society, adequate legal assistance or support structures. All refugees from countries with less than 33% acceptance rate (which are more than 28 countries including Syrian single men) can currently be detained immediately after their arrival on Lesvos, for the entire duration of their asylum procedure. While the two brothers were held in detention, their asylum application was rejected twice under the fast-track border procedure implemented on the Greek islands since the EU-Turkey statement of March 18th 2016. It has been repeatedly pointed out by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights and lawyers such as those from the Legal Centre Lesbos that the fast-track procedure tramples roughshod over human rights. In practice, individuals are targeted because of their nationality and stripped of their legal right to a fair and proper asylum hearing.

Together with eight fellow detainees, the two brothers were deported back to Turkey on November 30th by ferry from Mytilene. They only experienced Europe from behind the barbed wire and blank walls of a detention centre, guarded by policemen subject to a constant feeling of isolation and suffering inhuman treatment.

“The conditions in the closed Section B of Moria Centre [are] particularly poor and could be considered as inhuman and degrading,” one Council of Europe researcher reported.

Inmates are stripped of their personal possessions, denied blankets and often live among flooded sewage. Some can only be seen by a doctor at the discretion of the prison guards.

Thanks to these conditions and a lack of medical support, one of the brothers got seriously sick. A video of his deportation shows that he was not even able to walk on his own when he was brought handcuffed on the ferry. Obviously, this condition was no reason for FRONTEX and the Police to postpone his deportation – as we have seen in several similar incidents across recent months.

In Turkey, the two brothers will be detained in prison for an unknown period of time under even more inhumane conditions. By law they can be detained up to one year. Experiencing racism as a person of colour will be a cruel inevitability. One brother said: “It’s even better to be in prison in Greece, then to go back to Turkey.”

Many of the people who are deported from Greece to Turkey will, after the detention period, eventually be deported once again to home countries that they fled due to persecution in the first place.. The story of the two brothers is just one example out of thousands, as people flee suffering only to face the brutal detention and deportation politics of this so-called bastion of human rights, the European Union.