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We are in danger (vom 15.03.2010),
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[15. Mar 2010]

We are in danger

Letter from the Odessa Association of African Refugees (OAAR) in Ukrainian, March 15, 2010


Letter from the Odessa Association of African Refugees (OAAR)

To: The Regional UNHCR office Kiev
Copy: Representatives of humanitarian organizations
Ambassadors and consular Representatives of international and national mass Medias
For all people, who respect the principles of human right and Democracy,

We are in danger,

By the request of the non-governmental organization - the Odessa Association of African Refugees (OAAR) and the residents of the Center for Temporary Accommodation of Refugees (CTAR); a mission of the Regional UNHCR office had arrived in Odessa and held a meeting with recognized refugees, asylum seekers and former refugees, who have neutralized in the Ukrainian society on 25 February 2010. This meeting was led by the commission of the Regional UNHCR office Mrs. Kate Pooler - a protection advisor and Mrs. Anna Kuznyetsova - resettlement service assistance. This meeting has been recorded on six video discs and can render you at any time.

For a period of six years, me as a general secretariat of the OAAR informed the Regional UNHCR office, the authorities of the Ukrainian government, national and international humanitarian organs and diplomatic sector in Ukraine and around the world about what is going on here in Odessa. Odessa is ruled by Mafia model.

We understand very well, that Ukraine is a week country to give an asylum for those, who arrive here. Understanding this we tried to live here searching appropriate circumstances, but even though we closed our eyes, mouth and ears for the xenophobia, racial discrimination and hating the so highly corrupted authorities of Odessa didn't give us the possibility to survive as a human being. We are considered here as wild animals. To mention some points:

- Asylum seekers are forced to pay a large amount of bribe for the interpretation service, which they are supposed to get. For this, the administration of the migration department established a mafia structure. The main intermediaries in this structure are recognize refugees and neutralized former refugees, who are living in the CTAR. Money is rendered to this people and will be transferd to others later.

- Asylum seekers are forced to pay for the dormitory where they live.

- Asylum seekers are punished with food, since the authorities announced that the country is poor and has no means to feed them. After so many months of famine the UNHCR decided to fund the food consumption, but the authorities of the CTAR aren't cooperative to supply this. Food supplies are distributed only when a delegate or a commission arrives in the CTAR - for show.

- Asylum seekers Are asked to collect money for deliberately broken water pipes, toilet and kitchen device and even for repairing the building. On this meeting residents of the CTAR have informed the representatives of the regional UNHCR office how the staff of the CTAR remove a working device and implanted it later the old one, when the residents collect and give the asked amount of money.

- Asylum seekers are subjected to travel four hours by foot every month (only one way) - to reach the court, where their cases are supposed to be hear. This is because almost all didn't have an income.

- Asylum seekers are not able to renew their residence, because the visa and registration department is too far and it is madness to start to go by foot to reach it.

- Asylum seekers, who are women even didn't have a possibility to buy hygiene materials during their menstrual period.

- Asylum seekers who are Africans are subjected to free and frequent work in the territory of the CTAR and out of it.

- Asylum seekers are subjected to live in darkness, since the light is working only from 6:00 to 10:00 morning and 16:00 to 22:00 night. All the rest of the day, light will be put-off.

- Asylum seekers complained repeatedly, that there is no supply of hot water even in the winter time, thus the rooms are too cold and aren't even able to take shower.

- Asylum seekers complained repeatedly, that the heating device, which they are using to heat water are usually collected by the administration of the CTAR and destroyed. The representatives of the regional UNHCR office Mrs. Kate Pooler - a protection advisor and Mrs. Anna Kuznyetsova - resettlement service assistance have been a witness on an occasion (25 February 2010), when the deputy director of the CTAR broke a heater of a resident.

- Asylum seekers complained that the electrical device, which they used to cook food are deliberately broken down by the staff of the CTAR, since this is a way how they are able to ask a financial assistance from the government and the UNHCR regional office. Even after getting assistance they will fix the old one and will never buy a new one. Individual device are not allowed, thus families with children and residents who have a job are subjected to wait too long time to send them to school and go to their job in time respectively.

- Asylum seekers and recognized refugees complain that there is no futurity in this country, since the possibility to marry a Ukrainian woman is zero. The ultimate goal of life is to found a family and give a generation, but this goal became only a vision because we are considered in the society like garbage; and no woman wants to be a wife for garbage. Even those Ukrainian women, who have found a family with African citizens, are very sorry of their decision. Many fled leaving their children with their father. This is because most of the population didn't accept their decision; often they hear insult on their children and their address.

- Asylum seekers who used to complain are asked to reach the commission, which determine whom to live and whom to evict and are warned, terrified and even evicted. The laws of Ukraine on refugees, which propose that refugees and asylum seekers have the right for individual and collectively complain, fail to work, because the law of the state committee on migration, nationality and religion, which declare that an asylum seeker has a right to live in the CTAR only for three months of time. Residents, who close their mouth and live are allowed to live an infinite period of time, whereas people who insist their right are asked to leave the CTAR.


Dear Sir/Dear Madame,

Countries, which signed the human right convention and convention of UNHCR on refugees and its protocol, did many things for the adaptation of refugees and asylum seekers. Refugees got the appropriate respect. Even in this period of crisis refugees and asylum seekers are able to survive in these countries. People, who are trying to change their life, have enormous possibilities for survival. In most of these countries law and regulations are practical. People have a guarantee in their life. Even though there are some problems, the society in these countries is welcomed for refugees and asylum seekers.

Ukraine became a week country. This weakness came not because the country didn't have the potential, but mainly because of the authorized personals. They deliberately form a mafia network. Especially in towns like Odessa this network is highly sophisticated. The human right convention and convention of UNHCR on refugees and its protocol are not practical at all. There is no integration of refuges. African citizens didn't have respect at all. It is impossible to survive in this country. We are not able to survive here, because we are supposed to pay everywhere bribes; especially for the police forces. Law and regulations of the country are practical only if you have money. We don't have a guarantee not only in our future life, but also in the present time. We and our children might become a victim of a skinhead attack or any other bandits. Since the society fall in a deep poverty they are looking us like an enemy, as if the causes of all these problems are foreigners.

In this period, even those neutralized compatriots of ours are very sorry, because they took the citizenship of Ukraine . Being a citizen they are supposed to expense all in all from their pocket and which is impossible. Looking them, many refused to be neutralized. There is a reported case that an asthmatic man, who has been neutralized and have an asthmatic child fall in a great problem, since the father is not able to buy even a flacon for asthmatic attack both for him and for his 14 years daughter. This man was not able to come on a very serious meeting, because he wasn't having 4 UAH (Half a Dollar). We are very sorry that being a Ukrainian; people fall in such a great problems. The authorities, who were supposed to build a suitable circumstance for the better integration of refugees in the Ukrainian society didn't do that, because they are running to make a large mount of money. By their concept a refugee itself is money, thus especially in Odessa some refugees are not able to get a decision in a court for even 14 years; whereas it is permitted to stay in the CTAR only for three months. Where asylum seekers can stay 14 years in Ukraine, where you can't get a job or any other income? This is a corrupted system, where every member of this system is supporting each other or blackmailing those, who are dangerous for them. The court system itself is well corrupted with the migration department. There is a conspiracy in between them not to reject an asylum seeker more than two times. If an asylum seeker got a rejection three times, then he has a great possibility to be resettled to a third country. That means the number of asylum seekers might fall dawn and the income will be minimal. Very sadly to recognize that we became commodities.


Dear Sir/Dear Madame,

Again a mission of the Regional UNHCR office had arrived in Odessa and held a meeting with recognized refugees, asylum seekers and former refugees, who have neutralized in the Ukrainian society on 12 March 2010. This meeting was led by the commission of the Regional UNHCR office Mrs. Kate Pooler, Meliha Hadziabdic and a representative of the state committee of Ukraine in refuges, minority and religion Mrs. Natalie. This meeting has been recorded on four video discs and can render you at any time.

On this meeting residents openly declared for whom they rendered money as a fee for interpretation, how they arrive in Odessa, How they have been attacked by skinheads and the criminals all released paying a money for the police, about the corruption in the police departments, humiliation in the CTAR, how the administration, mainly the deputy director violate their human right and about all what was stated on the meeting, which was held on 25 February 2010.

Even though the representative of the state committee of Ukraine in refuges, minority and religion Mrs. Natalie announced that the administration of the CTAR will not evict anyone in the future 2 months of period; arriving the CTAR after the meeting, some residents are asked to leave the CTAR today, however many are informed to be on the commission, which will be held today on 15 March 2010. This must not be done. The residents of the CTAR and other refugees are very depressed, exhausted, distorted and with out any good sense inside, thus potentially they are very dangerous. They can do what ever a person can't imagine. Their expressions were very serious and notable and before a tragedy came we must hear what they want and change all in all the staff of the migration department starting from its director Mr. Suprunovsky Ivan Petrovitch and all of the administration of the CTAR. If this will not be done this family business which is run by these people may cause a very serious damage.

Even though refugees and asylum seekers are trying to close their eyes, mouth and ears for the xenophobia, racial discrimination and hating the so highly corrupted authorities of Odessa didn't give us the possibility to survive as a human being and to integrate in the Ukrainian society. The concept integration is used to close our mouth and no more. There might not be integration in a country, where recognized refugees and even neutralized former refugees with a Ukrainian passport are hurrying to be accommodated in the accommodation center for refugees. We are in danger because we are organized; we are in danger because we are blacks; we are in danger because we talk to insist our right: we are in danger in all aspects.

There is a necessity to resettle all Africans from this country, since it is impossible to integrate here.

We are waiting your cooperation and no body must be evicted from the CTAR today.

Sincerely,
Asheber Bekele

Soruce :: thevoiceforum.org, 15. Mar 2010