Newsletter #2

Dear supporters of I HAVE RIGHTS, welcome to our second newsletter!
For new subscribers or in case you missed the first issue, you can find all newsletters on our website in the newsletter archive: https://ihaverights.eu/news/newsletter-archive/

The current situation on Samos

Increasing movement restrictions
The movement restrictions on asylum seekers without a valid ID card that started mid-November last year are still ongoing and have been tightened at the end of April. Until then, new arrivals without ID could ask for an exceptional permission to leave for medical reasons or to access legal services. On the 27th of April 2022, the Samos CCAC authorities decided to stop granting these permissions without making an official announcement providing the legal explanation for such detention. The camp authorities confirmed the implementation of this practice based on the 25 days detention allowed until the individual is identified. But they did not explain why this rule was suddenly applied on that day or why it was applying for people who have been in the camp over a period of 25 days. They justify these delays by the number of arrivals in April which would exceed their capacity – although the camp has a capacity of 2040 people and is currently only occupied with 421 people.
New arrivals who are detained inside the camp are indeed not able to get legal support before their “big interview”. Online appointments were set up last-minute but were rarely successful because of the communication difficulties. It seems that this measure is now only partially applied in isolated cases. The absence of the camp manager may be the reason of this sudden detention. The uncertainty of the situation is causing serious barriers for our beneficiaries, both for their mental health and their right to get legal advice and get prepared for their short-noticed interviews.

Rising number of new arrivals
In April and the first half of May, more than 200 people arrived on Samos. Since the emergence of the EU OLAF reports and the serious accusations against FRONTEX being involved in illegal practices, we noticed a clear increase in new arrivals on Samos. We assume that because of these recent events, there are less pushbacks happening at the moment. This development came to a head with the resigning of the FRONTEX chef Leggeri at the end of April.
MSF’s presence during landings to provide medical assistance may also be a reason for the decrease in pushbacks. Although the numbers have decreased, this illegal practice is still hapening and at least 38 people were pushed back to Turkey (Alarm Phone data) since mid-April.
The rising number of new arrivals and people in need of legal preparation for their asylum interviews is also leading to a higher workload for I HAVE RIGHTS.

Lack of water supply in the camp
Since the 6th of May, the water supply in the camp is interrupted. It started with a shortening of the water supply: 2 hours of running water per day – 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the evening. During the day, people got bottled water (6 bottles per person) from the food distribution. Despite the announcement of the Secretary General for Reception of Asylum Seekers, M. Logothetis, to fix the problem on the weekend (15.05.), the situation got even worse in the last days. There is no running water at all and people get only 2-3 bottles of water per day. I HAVE RIGHTS. is working together with the Samos Advocacy Collective to contact the camp authorities and get clear information when the problem will be fixed.

To stay up to date about the situation on Samos at any time, follow us on Twitter.

Our legal work

Over the last two months, the team of I HAVE RIGHTS. met with 44 beneficiaries from more than 15 different nationalities. Most of our current beneficiaries are coming from Sierra Leone and Cameroon.

The majority of people come to our Legal Centre to get prepared for their asylum interviews. But we are also currently supporting people with appeals, family reunifications, and subsequent applications.

Our Advocacy Work

Submission to the Committee of the Rights of the Child
Our latest achievement is the submission
to the Committee of the Rights of the Child regarding Greece’s non-compliance with the Convention. In this report – together with our colleagues from Still I Rise – we raised our concerns about the treatment of unaccompanied minors (UAMs) on Samos. The evidence gathered in this submission proves Greece’s violations of the right of the child.

Read the full report here

Community Newsletter – “The Voice Of The Voiceless”
The community newsletter is a project led by the communities living in Samos who wanted to raise their voices concerning the difficulties they face in the Closed Controlled Access Centre. This newsletter, from title to content, has been written and curated by people who both currently live in and have lived in the Samos CCAC.
I HAVE RIGHTS alongside other organisations on Samos is providing their different communication channels to spread this community project which consists of letters, poems, news and art.

Community Newsletter

Support Us

To keep our project on Samos running, we are relying on donations. If you want to support our work, please visit our crowdfunding campaign!

I want to support I HAVE RIGHTS.

Thank you for reading and see you next month!

Your Team of I HAVE RIGHTS