Hicham, is a North African-born migrant, living in Athens for the past 10 months. He is a member of our squat community of Exarchia, and an active participant in the free public bath initiative. Hischam was arrested in June this year on Kallidromiou st. in a police control check.
He has been held in the dungeon cells of Kallidromiou police station ever since. Hicham, who is a Europe-wide organizer of unions and activists of unregistered refugees, was held completely incognito for the first ten days, and denied any contact with the outside world, including his Belgian wife and child. Like so many migrants he gets no regular access to visitors, no legal advice, no translation, no information about his case and future. Instead he gets constant humiliation, violence and psychological torture from the repressive, racist organs of the state. Conditions in these police cells are inhuman, more like lightless, airless underground pits, conditions that are designed to crush the prisoner, leading to severe depression and mental illness.
Combined with denying them any information about the length of detention, this amounts to torture. Though Hicham has legal papers in Belgium, he is caught in the trap of the state judicial system. Indefinite detention means what it says – indefinite.
The state’s fascist politics unfolds in its full magnitude in its treatment of migrants. They are the scapegoats, stripped of all dignity. The scope is international, the borders of Europe now an untold war. Daily killings, torture, mass imprisonment and abducted deportations have all become commonplace. New concentration camps are planned outside of Europe, without regard for the humanity of their inmates.
Hicham’s case is only one example of thousands of migrants and refugees imprisoned in administrative detention around the country. The only reason, not having the right papers! This is the fascist nature of the system which categorizes and criminalizes people in order to exploit them. Only solidarity can make these people visible, and their cases known. This occurs in Exarchia at a time when the state is implementing a plan for total control and subjugation of this neighborhood, because it is a neighborhood of resistance!
Renewed police sweep operations have become a weekly routine, and many refugees and members from our squat communities have been controlled, beaten and detained. Exarchia is and should remain a place of direct political action, of self organization of the oppressed, a site of diversity and freedom. Militants, migrants and prisoners alike, we can only defend our community through unified action against the state. Solidarity is our weapon, and our key.
Comrades from New Babylon, Gare , Rosa de Foc, Koukaki squat community , Clandestina and other squats of Exarchia