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Eleonas Camp / Athens: Open Letter by Camp Residents

To the Minister of Migration and Asylum Notis Mitarachi

To the Municipality of Athens and its mayor Kostas Bakoyannis

To the IOM Greek Chief of Mission Gianluca Rocco

To the Greek political parties, civil society and to the press

We, the people, the families, the asylum seekers of the refugee camp of Eleonas, express in the present letter our demands:

  1. The interruption of any attempt to close Eleonas camp.

  2. The interruption of any attempt to forcibly displace the inhabitants of the camp.

  3. The commitment by the Municipality of Athens and by the Ministry of Migration and Asylum, to ensure that the support activities carried out by the organizations and the social workers operating in the camp are not to be interrupted.

  4. The commitment by the Ministry of Migration and Asylum to guarantee the enjoyment of the Cash Assistance for the inhabitants of the camp, as established by the Estia program.

  5. The commitment by the Ministry of Migration and Asylum to ensure that people transferred from refugee camps to housing projects under the Estia program over the last few months will not be forced to leave their homes before completing their asylum procedures.

When we arrived in Greece, in Europe, we were fleeing conflict, violence, persecution. Here we brought our hope of being able to start a new life, for us and for our children, in peace.

But the Greek authorities do not see in us human beings forced toflee: they see in us a problem to hide, taking us away from the eyes of greek citizens, closing us in camps far from the cities, far from the rest of the society.

The right to health is not guaranteed in these camps, as it is the right to education for our children, as it is the right to live as free human beings. For those whose asylum application has been rejected, their living conditions are even worse, forced to work in conditions of exploitation and blackmail, unable to access health facilities whensick, risking everyday to be deported to the same countries they had to flee because their life was already in danger.

But we know that the Greeks are not racist like their government. We ask them to show their solidarity, and to support our struggle to live together, free and equal.

In order to demonstrate our determination, we therefore call a demonstration on Tuesday 28 June at 6p.m, which will start from the gates of the Eleonas camp and will go to the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum, where we therefore expect to be received.

Athens 25.06.2022

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