Surviving in Greece: 'What about human rights?'
Fire in Camp Moria
‘When we arrived in Moria at the end of 2019, it was cold and rainy. We were given a summer tent and had to look out for ourselves. I never expected this situation: no shelter, no heating, no basic human rights.
When Moria burned down months later, I rushed to save my mother and could take only her and the wheelchair. Her dentures were lost. I can’t even get her new dentures, so my mother hasn’t been able to eat normally for a year.’
‘Initially, there was only one toilet in the new camp. My mother was knocked to the ground in the crowd. At the hospital, they said she had fractured a lumbar vertebra and needed to have a full body scan on the mainland, but she never got it. I have a statement from the hospital saying that my mother must be transferred, but that has not happened either. They don’t care whether you’re sick, pregnant or a newborn baby.
Recently, an NGO set up a small playground for the children in the camp. The kids flew over there... there’s nothing else here for them. Sometimes we get support from an NGO for a while, but then that stops.’
‘Now my mother’s asylum application has been granted and mine has been rejected. They think that as a single man I can go back to some parts of Afghanistan or to Turkey. But my mother depends on me, both physically and mentally. Moreover, Afghanistan is not safe, and we suffered a lot in Turkey.
We slept under bridges and in parks there. You have to wait a very long time to apply for asylum there, and in the meantime you’re not entitled to anything, no provision whatsoever. I have seen many people deported from Turkey in handcuffs. They make us suffer and kill our hopes. What about human rights?’
* Due to their vulnerable situation, the names Ali and Zena have been changed.