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[ 24. May 2016 ]

Personal Observation of The Violent Eviction of Idomeni Camp

Eviction of Idomeni Refugee Camp

Officially the eviction of Idomeni camp has started today, the 24. May 2016. Yet in truth, a forceful eviction has already been going on for several days.


I say forceful, because people have no choice, because police and state policies have slowly but surely dismantled the aid structures in and around Idomeni camp, making life there not just unbearable, but near impossible. In my regard, the methods used are violent.

It is violence when waterlines are cut so the people in camp only have limited access to drinkable water.

It is violence when after days of heavy rain the police deny volunteers entrance to distribute dry clothes, raincoats and blankets. When babies have to endure lying in a flooded tent, because we are no longer allowed in to bring new ones.

It is violence when 4000 readily cooked meals have to be thrown away, while 4000 people starve for the night, because police suddenly need an official registration-form of all volunteers working and supporting people in Idomeni. Although we have been serving food in and around Idomeni since January and were at one point the only source of hot food in camp.

It is violence when volunteers are criminalized for driving Refugees to their asylum appointment or accommodating minors in need, with consequences of a 10-year prison sentence for trafficking.

It is violence because the people’s right to make their own choices and decisions has been taken away and made for them.

It undermines the reality of the situation to state people only remained in Idomeni in hope that the borders would reopen; that they are now leaving because they have accepted the Balkan-route will remain closed.

This view does not capture the bigger picture, that up until now people have remained in Idomeni, because opposed to overcrowded military camps, without sufficient infrastructure covering basic needs nor the right to move freely in and out of these centers, Idomeni had been one of their best options.

Media representation of the eviction has so far completely disregarded these facts, however portraying the eviction as peaceful or even voluntarily is not just false, but also shifting the accountability for this horrendous situation away from those responsible.

Fuck the EU.

Article by The Shorbartisans published first in :: Facebook.