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Eisenhüttenstadt's Chronicle: News from the Deportation Factory

published in the newspaper "The VOICE of Refugees and Migrants" issue 7, March 2014

Eisenhüttenstadt's Chronicle: News from the Deportation Factory
A chronicle of illegal deportations from Eisenhüttenstadt

Deutsch: Chronik aus Eisenhüttenstadt:
Neuigkeiten aus der Abschiebefabrik
Eine Chronik illegaler Abschiebungen aus Eisenhüttenstadt

more info about the struggle of refugees in Eisenhüttenstadt on:

I am a Refugee. I spent two and a half months in the open Lager of Eisenhüttenstadt. Now I am part of a solidarity group against this Lager.

I want to share with you my point of view on and experience of Refugees' situation in Berlin and Brandenburg. How one day I felt that my freedom was over: I was in the German asylum system. End of freedom means that you can't choose the city where you want to live. The first step in the asylum system is to apply for asylum in the city where your friends live, but they separate you from them and put you wherever they want.
It was the same with me. I was in Eisenhüttenstadt. First I wanted to make clear that this is one of the worst Lager in the world. Inside the Lager there is the Bundesamt, a police station, the Ausländerbehörde, a deportation prison and security services, which behave like police. We, the Refugees, initially we thought that security was also Police.
Let me tell you about the life of Refugees in the Lager: They cook fresh food only every three days. Refugees do not have the right to cook themselves.

There is no direct access to medical treatment.

There is a repressing system of social isolation from the outside world. It is very difficult to receive a visit from friends.

The rooms and toilets are dirty.

You are not allowed to leave the Lager before you had your asylum interview. Even then, you may not go farther than 14km away. Also, you are not allowed to leave the Lager for more than six hours without permission - and it is impossible to get this permission. We tried it several times, but they never gave it to us. Even when we provided a lawyer's invitation.
You have no access to any legal advice. You do have the right to have a lawyer, but in reality this is nearly impossible, because we cannot go out and in Eisenhüttenstadt there are no lawyers. That means: We do not have lawyers.
There are children, families, pregnant women, no right to clothes or shoes. Children don't go to school. This is the situation Refugees have to face in the camp.

Also, it is necessary to recall the illegal deportations that occured since May 2013.

What happend on 20th of May 2013? Let me tell you:

One family from Kurdistan was forced to be deported. This day the family father took twenty sleeping pills and tried to commit suicide. Doctors came and saved his life. We, Refugees, tried to find out what had happened to him but nobody would tell us. They took his family away and they disappeared. We do not know what happened to them. All we know is that they deported them. This is not all. There were more suicide attempts:

Next comes the 28th of May 2013:
One guy from Chad - D.I. - received his deportation letter and hanged himself. He was tired of getting deported to other countries because of Dublin II. He killed himself because he didn't want to get deported again to Italy. Again, we Refugees tried to find out what had happened and tried to talk to the security services and police, but they did not answer: they said that everything is normal and there is no big problem. For them it is daily business that people kill themselves and they do not see any problem in this. We then decided to organize a demonstration against this system of police, Bundesamt, Ausländerbehörde, the security company BOSS, Court of Justice and Lager. All these organizations that violate human rights.

The demonstration took place on 3rd of June. Refugees attacked the deportation center inside the Lager. We broke the doors, the gate and the barbed wire. We went to the city of Eisenhüttenstadt to demonstrate and then we came back to the Lager and some refugees in the deportation center asked us for help and we started to follow their cases. We found lawyers for them. Then we began to understand how this system works like a deportation machine. The Police just writes something and the Court signs it. The police pressures the doctors in the Hospital to get people deported.

Many of the Refugees who took part in the demonstration they were put under pressure of the Security BOSS and the Police and criminalized. For example, to one woman who gave interview to the TV of Brandenburg the security stop to give food to her and to her children (afterwards she and her family was deported to Serbia). As they recognize me as organizer, after the demonstration they went to my room and took all my stuff and told my friends that I was not allowed to stay anymore in Germany. Through my lawyer I understood that they were not allowed to do that, and they wanted only to put fear on me, but they didn't success.

On 5th of June there was another suicide attempt:

A Refugee from Somalia M.D. hung himself in his room. Myself and another Refugee saw him from the window, went to cut the rope and saved his life. We informed the private security company BOSS. That time we thought still that they were police forces. On the following day we set an appointment for M.D. at a medical NGO and informed the security. But the security took him away from the Lager after spending the night giving him alcohol to drink. We asked the security where he was. They pretended that he just walked away. We do not know where he is.

On 8th of June, P.M. from Kenya, got deported from the Deportation center. He had been in Germany for 20 years, he was married to a German woman and had three children, one of them minor. The Ausländerbehörde refused to issue a German passport which he was entitled to, according to the German laws. We failed to prevent the Police from deporting him.

On 20th of June was fixed the deportation to Hungary of U.M. from Pakistan because of Dublin II and some Refugee and non-Refugee activists from Berlin came to Tegel airport and spread flyers. The guy also stood up in the AirBerlin airplane and shouted that he does not want to get deported. Some of the passengers stood up and supported him in order to prevent the plane from taking off. So the deportation was stopped. The Police brought him to Court again without his lawyer. The Police said to U.M. that a lawyer was needless because he would be deported anyway three weeks later and the Court would merely sign the paper. And the court did so. It is illegal to take a Court decision without a lawyer! Around the same time, the deportation machine wanted to deport a woman from Chechnia and her four children to Chechnia. She hung herself in her cell. The children started crying and she was saved. We could not find out what happened to this family. They disappeared.

The deportation industry doesn't stop in front of anything. They wanted to deport a family from Serbia with a pregnant woman. But you cannot deport a four-month pregnant woman in an airplane. Security forces and Ausländerbehörde put so much pressure on her until they forced her to have an abortion. They said: "You already have two children and you do not have enough money for them, so you cannot afford a third child." Afterwards, when she and her family were ready to be deported, they disappear. We lost contact with them.

On 8th of July, 14 refugees started a hungerstrike in the deportation center of the Lager. We informed fellow activists in Berlin and together we set up a Solidarity camp right in front of the Lager so as to prevent all vehicles from entering and from deporting Refugees to the airport. After 4 days, some Refugees even stopped drinking. Four days later, some of them had to be taken to hospital. 17 days after the beginning of the strike, our campaign could no longer control both the Lager and the hospital so they started deporting Refugees to other countries. G.K. was deported from the hospital to Georgia although he had not eaten for 17 days. U.M. and two other Refugees got released from the deportation prison to the open Lager. But the 11 other striking Refugees got deported.

After the hunger strike we organized parties for the Lager's children, played music and tried to offer them a normal life. Ausländerbehörde and Bundesamt they don't let them have one, so we did it in an act of Solidarity. Then we planned a Solidarity party to celebrate the end of Ramadan, 9th of August. Indeed, most refugees in the camp are Muslim so we wanted to cook for them. But the security and Police refused to let us do it because of hygiene standards.

One of the Refugees who took part in the hunger strike is J. E. from Nigeria. He had arrived in the deportation prison on 28th of June after 11 years in German Lagers. He had Hepatitis C and diabetes and urinated blood. On the 29th of July he got deported because it was so expensive to provide his medical care. But I think that, since one person had been for in Germany 11 years, he should be entitled to get a legal residence status.

On 22nd of December, a guy from Afghanistan, after being arrested on the train Warsaw-Berlin at Frankfurt Oder on the way to apply for asylum, attempt suicide in deportation prison. He spent 2 months in the Psychiatric Hospital of Eisenhüttenstadt before they allowed to make his asylum application.

January 2014. After experiencing many trouble with the Ausländerbehörde officers putting obstacles to visit the people in detention a group refugees and non-refugees activists decided to write an open Letter to the director of the deportation prison. They demand free access to the people in detention and told him clear that the prison for refugees has no reason to exist and it has to be closed.

End of the month. Another guy Z.A. tried to commit suicide in the deportation prison. He was taken to hospital, and then to the deportation prison in Grünau, Berlin. Then, unfortunately, we lost track of him.

On February, 12th 2014, a woman from Chechnya was deported to Poland. She had fled from her country because he suffered violence inside her family. First, she had come to Poland where her relatives live and had asked for asylum and medical care. But there the Chechnyan community threatened to kill her. She fled to Germany where she was arrested and put into the deportation center of Eisenhüttenstadt. The Court decided that she was not entitled to apply for asylum in Germany. In the night before her deportation, she cut both her wrists. They just bandaged her wrists but did not provide further medical care. She refused to enter the deportation van. Because of her wounds, handcuffs could not be used, so they wrapped her into a bed sheet and carried her by force into the van. A group of Refugee and Non-Refugee activists tried to impede the deportation, but failed.

All these events happened within only a few months! But, sadly, this is daily life in the camp.
Therefore we want to close this deportation center!!!

From 27 August to 1st September come numerous to Eisenhüttenstadt to our STOP DEPORTATION CAMP.

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