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stranded in Samos camp, migrants demand justice

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I was not aware of what was going on there. It was families in France who entrusted me with the files of two men in the camp. But remotely, it was difficult to follow their files. On the spot, in the camp, there are offices of the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) but they cannot be reached.

When the migrants arrive in Greece, after having been rescued at sea, they are heard in a police station before being taken to this camp which is only akin to a vacant lot. At the police station, they are given a card on which can be read a date, which corresponds to their interview for filing their asylum application. On the card of one of my clients, who arrived at the end of 2019, it says “December 2021”. They are then released into the camp, where everything is written in Greek, and they walk around. It’s up to them to figure out how this place works. They have to go get some cardboard boxes to build a tent made of bits of wood, of plastic.

As a lawyer, I failed to get my clients’ files, that is, their testimony upon arrival in Greece. It is unthinkable to detain people without access to their files. The two migrants that I am are also sick. However, there is no medical follow-up. Some have scheduled medical appointments that are canceled at the last moment. At will, I don’t know. Shortly after my stay there, the migrants went on “strike” by doing a sit-in in front of the UNHCR offices following the death of a Cameroonian, left untreated and died of cancer. It’s so common that it has become commonplace.

As a lawyer, I failed to get my clients’ files, that is, their testimony upon arrival in Greece. It is unthinkable to detain people without access to their files. The two migrants that I am are also sick. However, there is no medical follow-up. Some have scheduled medical appointments that are canceled at the last moment. At will, I don’t know. Shortly after my stay there, the migrants went on “strike” by doing a sit-in in front of the UNHCR offices following the death of a Cameroonian, left untreated and died of cancer. It’s so common that it has become commonplace.

These images, I took them myself. The living conditions in this camp are in violation of the laws of the European Union. It is a no-go zone. Asylum seekers live in tents. Winter and summer. Medical visits are only granted when people are dying. During my entire time in Samos, I didn’t see any real food distribution. The children do not go to school. These people are in prison even though they have not been tried. It takes two to three years before we are finally heard.


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