15 December 2020

'My Brother was put & left on the Streets' - Interview

In a small ongoing series, we would like to present our work a little more others. Today Ayden tells us what his brother Ramin went through in Greece. We have changed both names.

Can you briefly introduce yourself?

Hello, I've been in Germany for over five years, I live in Bielefeld and I'm originally from Afghanistan. My brother is finally living with me for about three months now.

What happened when your younger brother arrived in Greece?

My brother fled across the Turkish-Greek land border. He has never been to one of the islands, like Lesvos. There, in the north of Greece, he wanted to apply for asylum at a police station. My brother spoke no English, there was no translator. Although my brother is a minor and it shows, it was recorded in his papers that he is over 18. After one day he was just put on the street.

What happened then?

He lived on the street for several months, often commuting between Thessaloniki and Athens at night to have a roof over his head. He often ate only once a day, he always felt hungry. He could only shower sometimes. Most of the time he slept outside at night. He was really in a very bad condition, had foot injuries and was in a very difficult situation overall. He tried very often to contact the asylum authorities, but it never worked.

Only with legal help did my brother get an appointment. However, that would have meant another two months of homelessness. We therefore filed a complaint and a court* fortunately decided that my brother had to be accommodated because he was still a child after all.

With the court decision, my brother went to the police. But he was not taken to any institution or home, but arrested and locked up for several days. He was unbelievably unwell then, he just didn't know what was happening.

How did you end up coming together?

Equal Rights Beyond Borders pulled out all the stops legally, lobbied the authorities and the police, and so my brother was finally placed in a proper home. The conditions there were good. We then waited almost a year until my brother finally came to Germany via family reunification. Then he had to be quarantined for some time because of Corona. Fortunately, it finally worked out in the end.

Now we are happy that we could finally meet again after years!

*Equal Rights Beyond Borders has filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights.

The enforcement of Ramin's rights was only possible through donations. We would be very happy if you would support us to protect human rights.

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Equal Rights Beyond Borders consists of two seperately registered entities in Greece and Germany.

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