Letter from the migrants demonstrating in the Sapfo Square.
In the name of ‘The One’ who created freedom,
The European Union has yet to provide the very safety for us refugees that it has become famous for. We have journeyed from famously unsafe places to seek refuge here. We came here seeking a safe harbor and to be respected, and ultimately have yet to experience any such safety in Europe.
WE are free, and no country can dispossess us from our freedom. According to the Refugee Convention that was signed in 1951, freedom is a fundamental right for every refugee, and as a result we have been granted that right to go anywhere we choose in Europe. No country has the right to deport refugees back to their respective country or to another similar unsafe country. No country has the right to torture or imprison refugees. No law permits the violation of human dignity and continuous humiliation. All the self-declared ‘civilized’ countries seem to see themselves as protectors and observers of both human dignity and human rights, with a particular emphasis on the rights of women and children. However reality tells different story. The reality is that from the very first moment we came to Lesvos, a Greek island that is part of the European Union; we have been systematically humiliated and have had to deal with the most grotesque fascist treatment. However, we do not need to write about the happenings inside Moria Camp. A simple search on Google or YouTube will grant you access to whatever information you need. From this you will understand what we are talking about. We consist of men, women and children who have fled from bombs and have ended up in Moria where we are treated like captives in a Nazi-like concentration camp.
We, the refugees without refuge, have fled from Moria and will not return there or to any other camp on Lesvos, for we want Freedom. We want respect for our own human dignity and we want you to follow your own laws. We want you to follow the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and The Refugee Convention of 1951, which you Europeans wrote yourselves.
With all this in mind a number of us have decided to start a hunger strike. The others amongst us are going to give the Greek government and the UNHCR four more days to grant us our freedom before they join those on hunger strike. Within this cradle of so-called democracy you are forcing us to sew our lips together and to start a hunger strike, although we are only doing this to defend our dignity and our freedom.
People of Europe, we are talking to you. WE have come here to seek refuge from you. We have fled from countries that have been haunted and destroyed by authoritarian regimes, exploitation and wars. We considered you to be the prime example of a collective love of civilization and peace. Shockingly however, we have merely been hosted by your cold desolate streets as opposed to your warm embrace.
Have you not seen us these past 9 days? If not, then you should know that we are a group of men, women and children who sleep outside exposed to the rain and cold.
You must accept us as refugees, if not then give us back our freedom of movement. To repeat again, a number of refugees are going to start a hunger strike tomorrow, after another four days a larger number of men and women are going to join if you do not accept our demands.
WE leave you alone with your conscience.