SolidarityNow together with other civil society organisations sends a letter to Europe’s leaders on the occasion of the 3rd anniversary of the EU-Turkey deal

Giorgos Moutafis for SolidarityNow

We escaped from war and came to a worse war. Moria was the most difficult part of our history. Only fear. You cannot do anything by yourself, move around, stand up in the queue for food, go to the toilet, sit at your tent that you share with strangers. You are afraid that someone will attack you at any moment, that a rage, fire, fight will break out. You live permanently with fear. You get sick, it is impossible not to get sick. And there is no way out. Moria or Turkey. Female, 28 years old, Afghanistan.

Many of the people we support through our work in Athens and Thessaloniki describe in a similar way their experience of being stranded in reception and identification centres (‘hotspots’) on the Greek islands.

For the past two years, our organisations have been repeatedly stating that the EU-Turkey Deal is not only undermining human rights and Europe’s very fundamental principles but it has also led to ineffective and dangerous policies and practices with great human cost. Today, around 12,000 people are still living in inadequate reception and identification centres, forced to sleep in unheated tents or overcrowded containers with limited access to running water and electricity, and often exposed to ongoing violence, harassment and exploitation.

With this letter, we urge European leaders to take immediate action to end the unfair and unnecessary containment policy which is preventing asylum seekers from leaving the Greek islands. We also call on them to urgently reach a common responsibility-sharing agreement for hosting asylum seekers across EU Member States.

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