[ 25. Aug 2015 ]

Back to Austria after years of struggle and deportation troubles

We are here, we will stay, we won't give our rights away - Refugee Protest Vienna 2012

What had happened? J. came to Austria as a refugee from Pakistan. In 2012, he joined the refugee protest movement: the march from Traiskirchen to Vienna and then the protest camp in Votivpark and the occupation of Votiv church end of December 2012.


J. was also one of those who settled down in Serviten monastery when the refugees were forced to leave Votiv church under heavy police threats. J. and his friends had hoped to find a safe place in Serviten monastery, protected by the influence of the catholic church and Cardinal Schönborn. The reality was different: End of July 2013, the police arrested 8 refugees from Serviten monastery to deport them - one of various attemps by Austrian Interior Ministry to destroy the movement through repression and criminalisation.

For several days, people tried as hard as they could to stop the deportation of the 8 people, but they would not succees: 7 friends were deported to Pakistan, while J. was deported to Hungary under Dublin rule. In Hungary, J. had to spend several months in Nyirbator detention center, one of the places that stand symbolically for the persecution of refugees through EU border regime.

After finally being released from Nyirbator, it still took more than one year until he could finally return to his dear ones in Vienna with a regular, legal stay. This happy end of a painful story was only possible through the efforts of J., together with his wife and solidary friends, who were ready to face all the difficulties imposed by system.