It is not “fresh news” that anti-migration policies promote death and despair, the very devaluation of human life and dignity. However, the war against migrants is becoming deadlier and deadlier, trying new methods to terrify, discipline and subordinate the migrants. Because what awaits those who a. do not drown from crossing the sea or the land border, b. are not detained in detention centers or police stations, c. do not die from car accidents when the police chases them down, is homelessness or the already overloaded “open camps”, and in order to stay there they have to be totally obedient and invisible.
More than 28 dead bodies have been found at the river of Evros during this year, at the border of Greece with Turkey. Τhe number of actual deaths cannot be calculated since most of the dead bodies disappear at the bottom of the river and are never found. 4 deaths have been also reported of people walking by the train railways. And let’s not forget the shipwrecks in the Mediterranean killing more than 1890 people this year, nor the EU-Turkey deal that has sent to Turkey hundreds of people without even examining their asylum case.
Besides deaths at border crossing, more and more migrants are dying in car crashes the highway of Greece that connects Evros with Thessaloniki. During the last 11 months at least 5 car accidents have happened, killing 26 migrants. In all the cases the police was chasing down the car carrying the migrants and even in some cases the police was shooting against the car with the migrants, ending up in horrible car accidents.
At the same time, hundreds of migrants arrive in the city of Thessaloniki and remain homeless, with the government’s only concern not to molest the city with their presence. So they try to send as many as possible to overloaded open camps, under dehumanizing conditions. And those who rebel against those conditions are dealt as dangerous for the social order, penalized and persecuted.
The example of Moria, Lesvos, needs to be mentioned here as one of the most characteristic practices of anti-migration policies. Moria has been named as the worst camp internationally, consisting of a danger to human integrity itself. 9 migrants died last year by the extreme weather conditions, while daily and up until now torture and ill-treatment of all kinds take place there. In July 2017 the migrants revolt against these degrading conditions, claiming their freedom and dignity. After heavy police intervention, 35 migrants were detained, charged with serious criminal offenses and dispersed to the prisons all over Greece. At the day of the trial, their rights were not defended and they were rendered guilty, facing deportation and years of prison.
And this practice is not only a “greek symptom”, but is applied by all governments; in 2016 in Bulgaria 21 migrants were arrested and accused of participating in a violent riot in the so-called „open camp“ of Harmanli. The riot broke out when the camp was put under quarantine after pressure from the far right’s anti-immigrant propaganda. The migrants were sent to court despite clear evidence of police brutality and of random mass beatings after the riot. They continue to be held in the detention centre, facing the threat of deportation or years of prison sentence in Bulgaria. The whole trial is totally absent in most of the media and society in general.