Dandom Howladar owns a mini market in central Athens. Since the pandemic hit, fewer customers shop at his store – and they don’t always have good intentions.
When multiple fires destroyed Europe’s notorious refugee camp, it became apparent that more than 3,000 asylum seekers were missing already. While authorities remain silent regarding their whereabouts, we met some of them. We witnessed them living in limbo, working under exploitation, and being victims of brutal attacks; crossing borders to reach the “European dream” or failing to do so. We also delved into the government’s practices of fabricating the numbers.
When we got the news of the fire, we knew we had to return to the island.
A logbook was found in the ashes of Europe’s most notorious refugee camp. Written by the workers that were there to protect the unaccompanied minors, but often felt incapable of doing so, its pages reveal the horrific reality that they endured. The logbook of Moria’s safe zone is an indisputable document of Europe’s failure to protect the most vulnerable group of asylum seekers that sought safety within its borders.
Theoretically, “24-hour care and emergency protection” is provided to the unaccompanied minors in the safe zones of the refugee camps. But the cases that Solomon brings to light show that reality is often far from what is expected in theory.
Press restrictions began soon after Moria camp was set up. And they have not ceased − asylum seekers in the new camp are reporting on the deplorable conditions themselves.
The Greek government and major media outlets are presenting the victims of the fire at Moria camp as “immigrants”. However, according to our analysis, the majority will most likely be granted international protection.
Solomon Q&As are in-depth conversations with people from civil society and human rights on current issues, based on their experience from the field.
The Greek government has been trying to relocate victims of the Moria fire to a new temporary shelter. Asylum seekers are reluctant to go there.