Ramadhan on Lesvos

Dehydration and hunger are challenges anyone faces who fasts. Nevertheless, millions of people from several religions follow the rules of fasting every year. For many muslim believers fasting – called Ramadhan – is an important part of their religion. Ramadhan started some weeks ago, also on Lesvos. For many believers on the island, it is no option to renounce fasting, because it is part of their religion and their identities.

Even before Ramadhan, people had to deal with too little food on the island and thus their well-being was endangered, especially in the detention camp on Lesvos, Moria, where conditions are hardly to bare. Now, since fasting has begun, the situation is even worse. Since the believers don’t drink and eat during the day, hunger is a problem in the evening, when they have to face long lines and hours of waiting only to get insufficient supplies of food.

In these evenings, when people are forced to cue up, the existing conditions in Moria provoke even more inequality and dissention among the fasting and the not fasting inmates. People are desprate and try to survive. The ones who don’t fast have a possibility to get more because they are stonger and might fight for their food. Since during Ramadhan, believers must not fight, there is no way to express their distress and anger against the conditions and there is no possibility to fight for their right to get some food. The situations seems comparingly calm from outside and thus the inhuman condition can be maintained by the authorities – but silence is no expression of approval.

It is summer and the temperatures rise up to over 35°C on the island. Therefore, many fasting people are too weak to leave the camp. Mytilini, the next city is about two hours away by feet away from it. Thus, fasting on Lesvos means staying in the detention camp, especially for the most vulnerable groups of people, like elderly women and men.

Due to the current situation the No Border Kitchen Lesvos is also facing challenges. We have planed to support protesters with water and demonstration materials at Moria, but due to Ramadhan the majority of the people have decided to stay calm. So the protests failed. We have decided to continue distributing food near Moria, since for many, leaving the camp is not possible. But our minds haven’t changed: The NBK does not consent with the inhuman conditions that are forced about the people trapped at the borders, may it be in Greece or anywhere else. We seek to provide an alternative to the detention and deportation policy of Greece, the EU and their collaborator organisation Frontex.

The fight against borders will continue. Solidarity for everyone trapped at the borders. And keep in mind:


Ramadhan auf Lesvos

Dehydrierung und Hunger sind Herausvorderungen denen sich jeder stellt der fastet. Trotzdem folgen jedes jahr Millionen Gläubige vieler Religionen den Regeln des Fastens. Für viele Moslems ist Fasten – genannt Ramadhan – ein wichtiger Teil ihrer Religion. Ramadhan hat vor einigen Wochen begonnen, auch auf Lesvos. Auf das Fasten zu , ist trotz aller Strapazen für viele Gläubige keine Alternative. Es ist Teil ihres Glaubens und ihrer Identität.

Schon vor Ramadhan mussten viele Menschen auf der Insel mit nur wenig Essen auskommen, weshalb ihre Gesundheit ohnehin gefährdet ist. Das gilt vor allem für die Menschen im Aufnahmelager auf Lesvos, Moria. Dort sind die Verhältnisse sowieso schwer zu ertragen. Während Ramadhan hat sich die Situation noch verschärft. Da die Gläubigen tagsüber weder trinken noch essen, sorgt abends der Hunger für Probleme. Denn dann heißt es stundenlang in Warteschlangen ausharren, um letztlich mit spärlichen Portionen abgespeist zu werden.

An diesen Abenden, an denen die Menschen gezwungen werden, schlange zu stehen, provozieren die Verhältnisse in Moria Ungleichheit und Uneinigkeit zwischen den fastenden und den nicht fastenden Insassen. Denn alle sind verzweifelt und versuchen zu überleben. Wer nicht fastet ist stärker und kann um sein Essen kämpfen. Da Gläubige aber während Ramadhan keine Auseinandersetzungen eingehen dürfen, gibt es weder einen Weg ihrer Notlage und ihrer Wut ausdruck zu verleihen, noch dürfen sie für ihr Recht auf Essen kämpfen. Die Lage in Moria scheint von außen verhältnismäßig ruhig, wodurch es leichter fällt die unmenschlichen Verhältnisse aufrecht zu erhalten. Aber: das Schweigen ist kein Ausdruck von Zustimmung.

Es ist Sommer und die Temperaturen auf der Insel erreichen mehr als 35°C, weshalb viele fastende Gläubige zu schwach sind, um das Camp zu verlassen. Denn Mytilini, die nächste Stadt, ist etwa einen zweistündigen Fußmarsch entfernt. Deshalb heißt fasten auf Lesvos im Camp bleiben. Betroffen sind vor allem die Verletzlichsten, wie ältere Frauen und Männer.

Angesichts der momentanen Situation steht auch die No Border Kitchen Herausvorderungen gegenüber. Wir hatten geplant Proteste vor Moria mit Wasser und Demonstrationsmaterial zu unterstützen. Wegen der Fastenzeit hat die Mehrheit der Menschen im Camp sich aber entschlossen, ruhig zu bleiben. Proteste fanden nicht statt. Wir haben entschieden, nahe Moria Essen zu verteilen, da es vielen nicht möglich ist sich weit vom Camp zu entfernen. Unsere Meinung hat sich dabei nicht geändert: Die NBK verurteilt die unmenschlichen Verhältnisse die allen an Grenzen gefangenen Menschen aufgezwungen wird, sei es in Griechenland oder irgendwo anders. Auf Lesvos wollen wir weiterhin eine Alternative bieten, zur Internierungs- und Abschiebungspolitik von Griechenland, der EU und ihren Handlangern Frontex.

Der Kampf gegen Grenzen geht weiter. Solidarität für alle, die an Grenzen gefangen sind. Und merkt euch:


Arbitrary detentions on Lesvos

Yesterday, 15th of June, 60-80 refugees were arrested on Lesvos. They were grabbed from the streets, even if their asylum process is running or they had a white card to stay on Lesvos. The detained persons were brought directly to the ferry at Mytilini harbour, then they were deported to Athens by boat. During the transfer they had to stay handcuffed. When arriving at Athens they were brought to prison and/or detention centers. We have varified information that they are facing the options of leaving the country by plane or being detained in prison for 6 months. It seems like others are accused of human trafficing. Though the information situation is diffuse right now, it seems like the detentions are arbitrary and do not only defy human rights but also positiv legal standards.

Today, 16th of June, at Moria detention camp, people were caught out of a waiting line and also detained by the police. We do not know up to now, what happend with them.

Please spread the news widely, contact lawyers and keep your eyes open. Solidarity and stay save.


Protests grow 26.05.2016

After three days the protests are growing. Hundreds of people gathered infront of the port in Mytilini and marched the city streets for hours. It was the first protest where many different nationalities marched together under the same slogan, “We want freedom!” and you could see the uniting power of the people.  The demonstration returned to the port where, to everyones surprise, the gates stood open and unguarded. Excited, people started running towards the ferry in hope of going to Athens. Despite their big numbers, they met resistance from the police and military, who forcefully evicted the port. Nevertheless the group continued to the main square of Mytilini where it was decided to keep the action running with more protests in the next days.

After months of repression, frustration and fighting each other the people are uniting, selforganizing and fighting together for their rights. We hope the protests will keep growing and we are looking forward to the next days.

United, the people will never be defeated! No borders! No nations!


Protests for papers continue 25.05.2016

Since the 23rd when people from Pakistan protested for papers there were other demonstrations. For example on the 25th people rose up for freedom of movement and against the conditions in the detentioncenter Moria.

We asked a participant from Afghanistan why they were protesting;

“We come, we want freedom. We look for a new life, we want freedom. They put us in jail, like animals. We are not animals, we are humans! We want freedom. We want to go to Athens, we want a better life. There is no facility, there is no possibility. They put us in a jail, we are not criminals, we are just refugees. This is enough!”



Protest for Papers 23.05.2016

On the 23rd of May over 150 people protested for legal papers, some went on a hungerstrike. In the last few days people of some nationalities (for example; Syrians, Afghanis) have gotten papers allowing them to move to the mainland for interview in their asylum process, while others (for example; Pakistanis, Moroccans and Algerians) are still stranded on Lesvos being denied the right to apply for asylum. For that reason the group marched in the morning from Moria towards Mytilini stopping for a few hours outside a small town, Panagiouda.

Support the struggle! Fight fortress Europe! Freedom of movement for all!

Moria is Hell! 10.05.2016

Report from inside – Inside Moria the conditions for food are worse than hell. We have to wait in lines, our whole day we spend in waiting for food in huge cues.
We have to wait in line for two hours just for tea and we get pushed back and forth. People get hurt, just for a cup of tea and only the lucky ones manage to get it. It starts at 7:00 am in the morning. We have to strive for tea. It is like a jungle. People wake up to get in a cue for two hours just for a cup of tea and two biscuits.

And then people start looking for breakfast. Again people stand in a cue for three hours for a piece of bread and a juice box. S.O.S. Remar people distribute the food and they don’t do a good job because they don’t care. There are a lot of fights and people get injured everyday just for food. It is normal. Not everyone gets food in the end. By the time breakfast is finished at 1:00. And after the breakfast the struggle starts again. The lunch struggle is the same. Some people get food and others wait for hours for food and still don’t get any food.

I just saw a really ugly fight between two Syrians and three Pakistani’s in the struggle to get food. I don’t understand how people can fight just for food. I saw all these people injured really bad all of them were bleeding. I couldn’t stand it and started to cry. It is a circus every day. People get seriously injured and it’s fun for the cops and the military to watch. They don’t break up the fights, they just stand laughing and watch the people fight from a distance. You can see it on their faces that they are happy and smiling during the fights.

This tears me up completely. I could never have imagined this. It is a slap in the face of humanity.
I want to talk about food again. The struggle for food isn’t over and people start striving for dinner.The whole mess starts at 9:00 pm and people are forced to stand in lines again. The whole day just passes like that and at the end not everyone gets food. This pattern of living shocks me. Our whole day is standing in the lines waiting for small portions of food.

This is Hell. Policemen are happy and smiling during the fights.
People are being treated like animals – or sheep to be honest.

Riots in Moria 26.04.2016

On the 26th of April, on the island of Lesvos, there were riots in the detention center of Moria.

This day the Greek vice-minister of immigration, Muzalas, visited Moria to have a look at the situation inside. The minors in Moria are officially not allowed to be kept imprisoned, so they get to go out for half an hour every day. These 30 minutes out is the big thing of the day, what the minors are waiting for every day. On the 26th, they where not taken out at the usual time, assumable because of the visit of the vice-minister, and hour after hours of waiting they became more furious that they where not let outside.

To express there rage they threw water over the vice-minister, who was removed out of the prison wet directly for his safety. A few minors started to rebel further on by setting things on fire, presumably trash bins and other burnable materials. The police reacted by beating up these minors, which enraged more and more minors. Around 4 o’clock they started to rebel at the main gate of Moria, setting trash bins on fire and throwing rocks at the riot police (who is stationed just outside the main gate of Moria 24/7). The riot police went inside but had to pull back after a few minutes, running for there lives together with translators, Frontex officers and people who work in Moria. The riots spread to different sections of the prison, where refugees managed to break down the fence and go outside of Moria to seek confrontation with the riot police. The riot police was clearly outnumbered and unprepared, and the refugees had the chance to seek confrontation with the police for hours. Teargas was shot without effect since there was no wind at all.

The refugees managed to break into the office that has control over the main speakers in Moria, shouting ‘freedom’ over the speakers hear-able all over the camp, and got entrance to the registration center where they destroyed documents and computers. In the night people started to climb on top of the buildings, set up more fires threw the camp and attempt to destroy the buildings itself. Also there were several more attempts to destroy fences on the inside. In the end the police went back inside, trying to desperately break up the riots by shooting several flashbang grenades at short distance, presumably aiming straight at refugees. 5 ambulances where driving on and off the site, unknown whether they were taking wounded cops or refugees to the hospital. What happened after that remains unknown, since the police ordered the last witnesses to leave the area and the police then shut down the complete road to Moria on both sides, making it impossible for anyone to get close. In the morning the situation was calm again.

For us these incidents show that humans can not be kept imprisoned without having an emotional reaction of resistance to it. We support refugees in there struggle for justice, acknowledgement of their situation and existence in Europe and abroad by the European Union, and we support them for their FIGHT FOR FREEDOM!

Freedom for all prisoners now!

Shower in Moria 25.04.2016

These pictures of the conditions in the showers of Moria were sent to us yesterday. Although we know how much the EU “values” human dignity these days, we are shocked and devastated by the conditions humans are forced into by the deportation regime europe and its allies just because they practiced their right for freedom of movement.
We will continue fighting nations, borders, prisons and the criminalization of people refusing to fit into your cages. We will not be discouraged by the repression that is put onto us and we will continue staying with our friends that are deprived of their dignity. We will fight together and we will not stop until we are able to live a live that is worth living for everyone. NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE!