Justine sought safety - and was detained in handcuffs


Justine is a survivor of sexual violence - once on Kos she was handcuffed and taken into custody. There she was detained with men, the doors to bathrooms and showers did not close. After her release, she became homeless, sleeping in a cardboard hut completely exposed to the weather. Equal Rights’ Intervention provided appropriate housing.
Justine Webseite (2)
Justine Webseite (2). Our Visual Policy

32-year-old* Justine arrived on Kos some time ago. Because of her homosexuality, she was persecuted, imprisoned, physically and sexually abused countless times in her country of origin.

Immediately after her arrival on Kos she was handcuffed and detained. She remained there for four months and was detained together with men, the door to the toilet could not be closed, shower rooms were not separated.

She complained of severe pain. She did not receive medical, nor psychological care. Justine was desperate and tried to kill herself. Even today, the lack of medical treatment has a negative effect - she can no longer bear children.

After her release, she lived on the street, in a self-made cardboard hut that would fall down when the wind blew and ceased to exist after rain.

At her asylum interview, she was denied legal counsel. At the hearing, she complained of severe pain - she felt unable to attend the hearing. Photos she could present from her country of origin proving the abuse she reported were not accepted by the authority.

After the hearing, she traveled on to Athens, even though she was not legally allowed to. By this time she had lost perspective and had been morally broken.

When she contacted us, many things had already happened - that should never have happened. We addressed the Greek authorities, who did not see themselves in a position to change the situation. The European Court of Human Rights saw it differently and within a day ordered humane accommodation and obliged the Greek State to acknowledge that Justine is particularly vulnerable and in need of special protection.

*Name and age have been changed. Our Visual Policy
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