How Africans fight for papers, education and work – and how Europeans deal with migration

I am 30 years old, originally I come from Guinea Conakry and now I live and work in Basel. Ten years ago I have been forced to leave my country because of the dictatorship and family problems. My journey from Guinea to Switzerland took almost eight years – here I can draw a rough sketch:

I left Guinea in December 2006 to Senegal, and then went on to Mali, Niger and Libya, where I did arrive three months later. It was a journey through the dessert and through hell – not every- body of our group did come through. Arriving in Libya I realised, that there were a lot of problems with the police. People could not go out how they wanted. My passport was ripped and I was put in prison for 3 months near Tripoli. In this time I was tortured and abused – I and many other Africans were suffering a lot. But going back through the dessert was not an option; I would not survive it again.

When I was out of prison and arrived in Tripoli it was so hard to get a job and also to get a help when you are sick. Because if you try to go to the hospital they will call the police to arrest you. That’s why many migrants were suffering a lot. Sometimes in the night the police tried to come also into the houses to arrest people. I saw a lot of men, women and children, who always got abused. This is why I think, that Europe doesn‘t have the right to send back people to Libya. And since I was there, it got even more dif cult than before, when Gadha had the power.

I decided to leave Libya and the only possible way was by boat. The rst attempt did end in a disaster – many people died. The second journey took us ve days on the sea. I arrived in Malta on the 18th august 2007 with other 28 people. In Malta the police arrested us and brought us to a detention-center called Alhalfar. In this prison I had to stay for one year, some others were there for one and a half year. Only Africans are treated like this in Malta – others are deported directly back to their countries, others are allowed to live in a camp. The official statement to justify imprisonment is that west Africans can be vectors of infectious diseases and therefore they have to be isolated. The bad thing in the detention-center was that we were not informed what’s going on with us, how long we have to stay there and why we were arrested.

To organize ourselfs is something which is positive, if it‘s happening. But it‘s not easy. Because we as groups are being separated.

I had the very big problem that I couldn’t sleep at night because of worst nightmares. But when I could meet the doctor and tell him about my problem, he always gave me a sleeping tablet. That was not good at all, because even with medicaments you wake up with horrible pictures, you cannot sleep anymore but however you feel weak and powerless. There was also another big problem; there was no translator at all. In that center there was more than one at and every at had three rooms. There were two toilets for over 500 people and we had one TV.

After leaving the center I was working in a hospital for nine months. Because I realized, that I will not get help in Malta to be- come healthy again, I decided to go to Italy. Arriving in Italy they did let me know, that I have to go back to Malta, because I had my rst ngerprints over there (Dublin contract within the EU).

So I had to continue the journey and in November 2009 I did ar- rive in the Netherlands. That was the rst time I discovered that I had a trauma. They did send me to a psychologist doctor and I got the help I needed. I was given medicine and I was sent to school – I learned how to read and write. After two and half year stay in Holland they evaluated me to be a healthy person and sent me back to Malta on the basis of the same Dublin contract.

Arriving in Malta I was put in prison again, because I went out of the country without a passport or any permission. I was im- prisoned another 6 months. After all of this I decided to learn from the past and to share my experience with other migrants, to help them to orient in the new culture, system and society. Ano- ther aim is to inform young people in Africa about migration to Europe and not to leave the school and study a lot to get a good education. So they can grow up in their own countries, change their country for the better and do not have to risk their lives and dignity on the dangerous ways to Europe.

To organize ourselves is something which is positive, if it’s hap- pening. But it’s not easy. Because we as groups are beeing se- parated. For example the Senegalese and the Guinean, or the Nigerians and the Ghanaians, they will not go together. This is a big problem. If you will be able to break this problem between these groups, things could go better. In Malta three main categories of migrants are made – people from

Near-East countries, from East-Africa and from West-Africa. Everyone has different chances to get a legal status. So the East-Africans (who has better chances) will not join the West-Africans (who have almost no chance) to fight against the problems. Only West-Africans are trying to organize themselves. And also within the West-Africans
maybe there are five out of thousand, who know the situation, the people, the country,
so they will not join because they’re afraid to lose their benefit. Furthermore you need to have a specific place where to stay. I remember for example when we were trying to organize a meeting to discuss the humanitarian temporary. We were in a stadium where you can play football. The first meeting was good; we had a lot of people joining in. During the second and third time, there was already police there. Since the police showed up, people didn’t come to the meeting.

In Europe, I was educated; I learned about my rights, I learned that here is some more equality and that one can fight for ones rights. In Malta I went about setting up a Facebook page under the name “R. Know More Network” and then proceeded to roam the open centers, speaking to migrants about the importance of educating themselves and learning about the local culture. The ‘R’ stands for my mother’s name, Ramatah. Many Africans have a tendency of keeping inside the feelings, problems and troubles they have and do not speak about their experience. But we need to tell the Europeans who we are and why we left our home country for them to understand.

How weapon dealers are profiting from the tragedy of refugees

The arms industry is profiting in two major fields from the current conflict in the Middle East: war and border militarization. The Middle East is in need for weapons for its conflicts and at the same time the borders are being closed and „protected“ from the consequences of war: Refugees.
The so called „flow of refugees“ is the result of violence and civil wars that were made possible by the support of the arms industry.
International players in the weapon business (weapon-producers) have an interest in keeping the Middle East an instable region, because this provides them work for the future. European policies support the producers and help them to reach their goal. Many groups in border-regions are getting money from the EU, to militarize or close their borders and therefore make it impossible for migrants to find a way to Europe. A report by the UN confirms that between 2005 and 2014 weapons worth more than 82 billion Euros were sent to the Middle East and Northafrica. The report shows that the wirepullers of this weapon-game are neither situated in the Middle East nor getting harmed by the consequences. (keyword: Syria)

Despite restrictions and embargos, the weapon-producers feed the war with technically advanced weapons and ensure, that the war continues. Most informaiton about the weapon trade doesn‘t reach the public sphere and many deals are made in an illegal way. Thus it is evident that this trade is only possible because it gets supported by the governments in Europe and by the military institutions in the war regions. The weapon-dealer alone wouldn‘t be able to participate in this business without the support mentioned before. The militarized borders are forcing the refugees to take ways to Europe that are getting more dangerous. This fuels human trafficking and makes the prices rise. Human rights are irrelevant and only serve for the purpose of advertising.  The politicians abuse the situation to push through their national interests and they camouflage their actions with the disguise of human rights. This does not rescue any Refugees. The EU has always been really good at passing on guilt to human trafficking. This has led to a situation in which the EU isn‘t being criticized.  For many years, experts and human rights organizations have been pointing out that this is a problem. This has been ignored by the public. The number of casualties and the people who were being forced to migrate because of the enduring conflicts is rising. In this context governments and the arms industry are not only playing with weapons but also with the fear of the people.

The author of this text wrote what he experienced while he was fleeing and what he found out from different social networks.

Construction start of the new Bässlergut-prison

In February the construction of the new Bässlergut prison in Basel has started. Beside the existing building a second one will be built. The old prison will then be used only for immigration detention, whereas the new one will serve for the penal sentences. This means, that there will be more places for both kinds of detention. This construction represents a concentration and expansion of repression and control by the state. The construction is conducted by Implenia and it has been planned by the architects Bollhalder Eberle.

The deportation business

An angry knock at the door of his cell in Bässlergut Prison tells him that they’ve come to deport him. Aren* prepares to resist. The four policemen have to drag him out of the small room when he refuses to leave, kicking and beating him in the process, until he finally submits and is cuffed at his hands and feet, cutting off the blood flow. They put a helmet on his head and bring him to a car waiting in front of the prison. The car takes him from Basel to Geneva Airport where a level-4 special deportation flight to Liberia is waiting for him.

The second deportation

Once he arrives at the capital Monrovia, Aren is taken to an interview with the Liberian department of immigration. In a last-ditch effort to avoid deportation, he says that he is not a Liberian citizen at all. He says he’s actually from Nigeria. The ambiguity of his statements cause confusion in the tiny office, which apart from Aren comprises only one representative from the Liberian department of immigration; the Swiss officers are barred from sitting in on the talks. The representative finally refuses to accept Aren without clear identification. The officers, denied the opportunity of deportation without the necessary documents, fly him back to Switzerland. Once they touch down in Geneva they tell him he’s free to go. He is taken to the refugee center in Sissach where a doctor gives him a checkup. Injuries on ear, leg, knee, and hands lead the doctor to request an examination at the hospital nearby. But that will never happen: Aren is woken once again by a knocking on his cell and they bring him back to Bässlergut Prison. He is told that this time he’ll be deported to Nigeria. A second deportation in such a short time is unrealistic, Aren is sure of that. He is almost past the 18-month deportation time limit. According to Swiss law he’s allowed to go free after this period. And he is sure that no one believes that he really is Nigerian, because when he applied for asylum he clearly stated that he is Liberian. The Swiss department for immigration did not believe him and initiated an inquiry with a Nigerian delegation of experts who stated that they did not believe Aren to have Nigerian citizenship.
Aren’s hopes were disappointed; a week later Aren is deported to Nigeria in a joint flight commissioned by Frontex. There is no further interview with the Nigerian embassy, but replacement documents (Laissez-passer) were issued all the same based on third party statements.

Migration partnerships

According to the asylum statistics by the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), Aren is one of 101 persons who were deported to Nigeria in 2016. Compared to other African countries Nigeria ranks highest, followed by Tunisia with 59 deportations.

2011 Switzerland and Nigeria concluded a migration partnership. The contract binds Nigeria through a readmission agreement to accept also involuntary deportations.

2011 Switzerland and Nigeria concluded a migration partnership. The contract binds Nigeria through a readmission agreement to accept also involuntary deportations.
The Swiss Government has already signed similar partnerships with Tunisia, Kosovo, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina and last October negotiations have begun with Sri Lanka. The aim of these partnerships is “to improve cooperation in the field of migration as well as to reduce illegal migration and its negative consequences.” (Art. 100 FNA). Accompanying this definition, the Foreign Nationals Act includes potential agreements, border control, deportations and job-related further trainings.
How these agreements are going to be implemented is unclear. Applications for scrutinizing the several thousand documents concerning the migration partnership agreement between Switzerland and Nigeria are still in progress. The few press releases by the Federal Council give scant insight into the partnership.One example is a pilot project aimed at cooperation between police forces which enabled stage-deployments of Nigerian police officers on Swiss soil. Furthermore, the migration partnership between Switzerland and Nigeria is being lauded for facilitating “innovative migration projects” in cooperation with the food company Nestlé. A statement released by the Federal Council on July 2, 2014 says: “The cooperation between the FOM (now called State Secretariat for Migration SEM) should be named as a good example. This private- and public-sector partnership supports the professional education of thirteen young men and women. The best five will be accepted for an internship in Switzerland in the summer of 2013.” When compared to the amount of deportations, that number seems like an absurd nuance with which the migration partnership and it’s cooperation with Nestlé is being legitimized.

Nestlés profit with water

Nigeria’s water resources are dwindling and the droughts caused by climate change make the land less and less arable. The consequences of these developments are growing conflicts surrounding the extant areas and migratory shifts from the countryside to the cities, which often do not have adequate infrastructure or enough work.
It is exactly from this scarcity that Nestlé profits. For years now, the Swiss company has been buying the rights to water supplies in Nigeria. In the official statement for “Pure Life”, a brand of bottled water they produce, it says that with their help jobs are created and access to clean drinking water is made possible. The fact that most people in Nigeria cannot afford to buy bottled water is omitted. The privatization of water supplies does not assist the access to clean drinking water it denies it.
Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, former CEO and current president of the board of directors of Nestlé, said in reaction to allegations of profit oriented water productions: “Water is a grocery item. It should have a market value like any other. I personally believe that to appreciate water, it should have a market value so that we aware that it costs something.”
It is significant that the cooperation with Nestlé whose privatization of water supplies in Nigeria is well documented, and who disregards all existential realities, would be mentioned as an example for success of the migration partnership. It’s distinctive of an endemic hypocrisy to give privileges such as free movement, protection, and job opportunities to a select minority while repressing a majority that goes along with it. The migration partnership between Switzerland and Nigeria does not only institutionalize an inhumane deportation policy, much worse it supports the logic of a for-profit economy that endangers the daily lives of a large part of the population, which in turn results in migration.

Art. 28 from the force application law provides the following steps of enforcement:
Level 1: The person to be deported has agreed to return voluntarily. He/she is accompanied by the police to the airplane; the return takes place without accompaniment;
Level 2: The person to be deported has not agreed to a vountary return trip. Generally he/she is accompanied by two plainclothes police officers. If necessary handcuffs are used;
Level 3: It is to be expected that the deported person is going to physically resist, but the transport with a regular flight is possible. The deported person is accompanied by two plainclothes police officers. During the deportation handcuffs and other captivation-resources as well as physical force can be used;
Level 4: It is to be expected that the deported person is going to perform heavy physical resistance; A special flight is necessary for the transport. Each deported person is accompanied by at least two police officers. The same compulsion-resources as in level 3 can be applied.
Level 1 conforms to the colloquial „voluntary departure“, Level 2 to the „controlled deportation“ and Level 3 plus 4 to the „special flight“.


This text was written after an encounter in the deportation-prison with the person mentioned. The author of this text doesn‘t know about the conditions of the person who was being deported: After the deportation all contact got interrupted.

For further information about Nestlés water investments:

Arriving in Migration. A Manifesto.

On Passports, Borders and Nations

A person’s birth is normally linked to a nationality and to a passport. Through the nationality, a person is granted, or refused, rights.
The number of persons in the last category increases as long as there are states that cannot grant protection nor sufficient opportunities for life.
Despite their political marginalisation and their lack of representation in national state structures, all those people without passport, without rights, without residence permits as well as those, who do have a residence permit, but no full access to political and social participation, play an ever larger role in political, medial, cultural and social debate. The pictures of catastrophe relating to refugee and migration movements that are communicated in this debate are reminiscent of natural catastrophes. This type of association opens up an imaginary space that nourishes a siege mentality, which asks for frontier protection measures and provides these with political legitimacy.
The collapse of the public welfare system, and the threat to the state, implied by the dictum of the so-called mass assault justify the restrictions to the freedom of movement for those who depend entirely on this very freedom. Security, and order within these systems, are the criteria used to restrict the freedom of movement and the right to personal freedom. We believe that these criteria cannot justify the current system of dealing with people in distress.
The nation, in its definition as a unified people with state power and a territory marked by border lines, and state sovereignty, is presently undergoing critical change. Inside states, there is no homogeneous people anymore. Supranational institutions take over responsibilities of western national states. Market mechanics replace administrative functions and globalisation removes borders.
These changes influence territorial borders. Take Europe as an example; within, borders are annihilated, while outer borders of the EU are tightened. Borders move; from lines they develop into networks. New border situations develop ever more often also inside states (identity controls in cities; use of services like Sim-cards, internet, hospital, housing, libraries restricted to holders of valid personal identity cards, etc.)
The concept of linear borders, national states and the concomitant handling of security and supervision are ultimately a temporary construction, a historic development. The structuring and organisation of belonging, of exclusion and of inclusion has developed into the scheme we now know, which means that it represents just one among a multitude of possibilities. The construction is subject to continuous change and can alter completely in the far future. All that there is constitutes just one version of how it could be.
We would like to express a thought. We dare make a proposal. We consider a possibility.

What if rights, opportunities and value of a person were not tied to his or her passport?

If national citizenship in the traditional sense, or membership in a rigidly defined cultural, social and political community, were replaced by citizenship, or affiliation, in the sense of a relationship.
Relationship to the location, to the people and to the developments around the person concerned.


Hereby we take leave of hospitality. Its aim was to do good. As a supreme law of mankind, it wished to give strangers shelter, food and protection. It intended to provide learning and exchange, both for guest and host. It had no intention of asking anything in return. Rather it could have served to offer a means for exchange and onward development during the migration movements of mankind. But the regulation of these intentions has resulted in exclusion and inclusion, in legal rules and power constellations. Is the stranger in fact a guest, or an enemy? Should he be given shelter and welcome, or rather checked and supervised? Whoever does not keep to the rules of hospitality as a guest runs the risk of being classed as an enemy. Hospitality implies rules and hierarchies, by prescribing the respective rôles and appropriate behaviour of guest and host.
The ensuing power gap is being questioned, more or less intensively, in governmental handling of migration. The state determines who is allowed to stay, turns people away at the border and returns them by force to their home country. This power gap persists also in the process of integration. Hospitality imposes conformity, because the guest has to comply with the customs of the host. Also, he or she who subscribes to the idea of a welcome culture becomes trapped in these hierarchies and tends to harden cultural stereotypes on the basis of differences found, rather than bringing them up for discussion. Welcome culture starts from the idea that arriving in a place presupposes a need to be welcomed there. The concept and the concomitant practice are tied to a definite relation of rôles. Arriving persons, newcomers, guests – hosts, long-time residents, receiving persons. There is giving and taking. The relations between the two sides are tied by expectations.
Hospitality is the regulation for a temporary stay. The guest is expected to leave again. In view of the present conditions of migration and flight from war and persecution, hospitality does not provide an answer to reality.
Let us therefore take leave of hospitality and welcome culture, for they do not allow us to open up a space in which new interpretations of cultural identity can be discovered.
Next, let us take leave of integration. As a tool of supervision and regulation of who has to conform and how, and who has the capability of conforming, this concept as a whole is little more than a demand to assimilate. This demand is acutely present in the Swiss debate on integration. The demand is for submission, with differences hardly tolerated. Integration is one-sided, demanding and dominating. It was never intended to promote plurality.


/ Cultures of arrival aim at making life worth living for all.

/ Through cultures of arrival people learn how to arrive and how to let others arrive.

/ Cultures of arrival enable every individual to arrive.
Arriving is a process, which develops from geographic arrival to a sense of well-being.
No matter how long this takes.

/ Cultures of arrival stand for self-determination, self- organisation and the responsibility of those who are part of this process.

/ Cultures of arrival imply encounters.
Thereby, relationships develop. Relationships with people, places and the environment.

/ These relationships shape social, political and cultural processes.

/ Cultures of arrival bring about unconditional access to orientation, rights, learning and health,
which all help to make self-determined participation possible.

/ Culture stands for habits and practices common to all.

/ CulturES stand for differences linked to locations, but also for the differences related to individuals.

/ Cultures of arrival set the stage for a society, which stands for all pluralities together.
It is composed of several cultures, which bring together an array of different cultural features.

/ Cultures of arrival mean living together in a way that is not determined by territorial standards.

/ Cultures of arrival demand and promote communication and the coexistence on a par of all interest groups in society.

/Arriving means learning of, and with, one another, in mutual respect.

State-violence in a democratic robe

In Switzerland thousands of people are held in immigration detention. Affected people have to stay in prison up to 18 months. In comparison to usual prison the immigration detention is not based on a crime, but just on the suspicion, that someone wants to elude his/her deportation. The migration office can‘t just impose the imprisonment on a person, but has to verify it by the court for compulsory measures (Zwangsmassnahmengericht), which is the idea of a democratic division of powers. But in practice the court almost always confirms the requests of the migration office, which always has to renew the order of imprisonment after three months. An analysis of processes shows, how the courts and the court practice legitimate the degrading and psychically devastating immigration detention in democratic und juridical terms.

Justifications for the immigration detention

The law is put in a way, that the court has an enormous discretionary power to justify the suspicion, that a person will elude his/her deportation:

«Even though an accused person has the right to a free attorney, this is rarely ever provided. Most of the hearings are held without any advocate.»

  • If the person mentioned in any protocolled conversation, that he/she would like to stay in Switzerland or doesen‘t want to go back to her/his homeland is enough a reason to put her/him in immigration detention.
  • The judgement most of the time points out, that the person in question up to present never followed official directives. It‘s enough to not follow the official directive to leave the country.
  • Another common accusation, is that the person doesen‘t have a passport. As most of refugees don‘t have a passport, or have lost or hid it, this point is made almost in every case.
  • The imprisoned people are expected, that they help the authorities in providing the travel passport, as the deportation can be executed much easier with the passport. If a person doesen‘t help, the judgement accuses her/him for not having cooperated in organising the papers. No matter that it is almost impossible to organise the papers from within the prison. And who wants to help to authorities organise his/her own forced deportation?
  • The immigration detention has to be reaffirmed all three weeks by the tribunal, when the deportation has not been executed in the meantime. This can be done up until a maximm of 18 months of detention, which is quite often the case for persons, whose home countries don‘t cooperate with the swiss authorities.

Demands for the Migrations Office

Also the Migration Office has to fulfill some requirements, to make the detention permissible. But the tribunal also has a big discretionary power to acknowledge the adherence to this requirements:

  • The execution of the deportation has to be conceiveable within a reasonable timeframe. But the only requirement is that the swiss Migration Office could do the deportation within the time. If the deportation is blocked by the authorities of the homeland, or because the imprisoned person doesen‘t have a passport, the detention is permissible anyway. The practice however shows, that deportation to e.g. Northern African countries can be executed only rarely, and often after a very long period of detention. But for the tribunal this is no reason to classify the detention as disproportional.
  • If the Migration Office is inactive for more than two months in a case, the detained person has to be released. That‘s why the Migration Office every two month sends a collective demand to the embassies to get travel papers for all people waiting for deportation.

The court hearing

The first thing in the court hearing is the questioning of the accused person. The judge asks questions in order to get statements that justify the suspicion of going underground. E.g. if a person would like to stay in Switzerland. A harmless, „yes, I like it here“ can reach for three months of prison.
If the detained person doesen‘t speak german, the hearing will be translated. But the translation is oftenly not made to the mother language of the person, but in any language that the person is supposed to understand. If an arabic speaking person understands some french, the hearing can be translated to french. The authorities don‘t care, if the person has no chance to understand the juridical wording and the text of the law in this language.
Even though an accused person has the right to a free attorney, this is rarely ever provided. Most of the hearings are held whitout any advocate. For Basel there is one single advocate who is responsible for everyone who is in immigration detention.

Pseudo-democratic play

That is how a complex apparatus of juridic and democratic instruments is put to work, to legitimate the imprisonment and violent deportation of thousands of people. The Swiss State affords these prisons, tribunals and processes to justify this xenophobic practice in a pseudo-democratic framework. The multilayer bureaucracy takes the responsability of single persons und transmits it to institutions, so any person involved in the system, can deny any responsability for human tragedies.

Bässlergut - Tear It Down!

The immigration detention also serves to demoralise people. In many countries the Swiss authorities can‘t deportate people by force, that‘s why people have to stay for months behind bars, until their morale is so low, that they prefere to leave „voluntarily“ to their homelands, instead of staying any longer in Swiss prisons without knowing why. Often one can hear the sentence, „here in Switzerland it is even worse, than in my country.“ This the exact goal of the authorities. To establish this tactics of demoralisation and the imprisonment of undesirables in a so called society of western values, the above described juridic-democratic play is needed.
For the imprisoned it must feel like in a novel by Kafka. They are being imprisoned for months without understanding what for, by a huge bureaucratic complex, in which everyone fulfills his/her function as a matter of course. Interrogated and listened to, but no matter what one says, at the end there are three months of imprisonment, whitout knowing what for – and without any possibility to avert the inevitable prolongation of the detention.

 Altough not affected himself, the writing person got to know the deportation bureaucracy in direct contact as well as from the experiences of affected people. Because of these experiences, he doesen‘t think, that it‘s worth to fight deportation on juridical level, because the deportation machinery and the border regime must be brought to an end in their entirety. This includes the laws that legitimise them.

Another deportation from Basel to a third-country

In mid November 2016 a young man was deported from Switzerland to Guinea by plane. Besides him were twenty other individuals who were all being evicted to Guinea or Gambia. During the whole flight every single person was handcuffed and tied to a wheelchair. The flight was accompanied by an entourage of 40 people: police officers, the staff of the Swiss department of Migration and the staff of the anti torture commission. This particular procedure is called „Sonderflug“*.

Oumar lived in Switzerland for many years as a delegitimized individual. He was arrested during an identity check because he could not provide any ID. During his time in prison he repeatedly tried to resist against his deportation. In his home country he will be facing torture and imprisonment. On the day of his displacement, Oumar had spent over 17 months (with interruptions) in prison. The maximum duration of detention pending deportation in Switzerland is limited to 18 months, so this was the last opportunity for the Swiss officials to deport him.

* Art. 28 (Zwangsanwendungsverordnung) leads to following levels of execution:
Level of execution 4 (Level 4): If it is to be expected that the person who is to be deported will offer great physical resistance the transport is conducted with a special flight. Every person is accompanied by at least two police women or men when being deported.

Source [de]

** 1. The preparation and deportation custody according to articles 75-77 as well as the custody of enforcement according to article 78 are not allowed to exceed 6 months in sum.
2. The maximal length of custody can be prolonged by the canton’s juridical authority for a determinate time, yet at most for another twelve months, for minors between 15 and 18 years at most for another six months, if:

a. the concerning person does not cooperate with the responsible authority;
b. the conveyance of the required documents for the departure is deferred through a state which is not part of the Schengen.

Source [de]

Hello europe, hello!

In november 2016 i went to Lesvos, Greece. Thats why i was asked to write a text in this paper about the situation there. To be honest: I don’t have much to say. Yes, the situation is fucked. But i met amazing people from different places in the world on Lesvos, which all were trapped there because of the european border regime. Some of them are experts in questions of asylum, migration, routes, refugees selforganization, police brutality and so on. Thats why i asked M., a young guy from Aleppo, if he could write something.
Here is what i got:

Hello europe, hello.

(No response.)

I think you are sleeping, because you are not doing anything for what the refugees are facing here. It‘s time to wake up.

A lot of people flee their countries seeking safety and peace. We left our children, the dreams and memories and came here to the land of dreams, but we figured out its not the land of dreams but the land of nightmares. We have been driven to detention camps, sleeping under hundreds of people in only shity tents.

Dear europeans, imagine this please.

Refugees have lost their hopes. You have closed your borders in our faces. Because of fear. What fear, i don’t know. What danger can our present bring? This person that is only seeking security. You don’t know us. Thats why you are afraid of us. Please try to communicate with us. It’s not that hard and you will see: We are humans, just like you. Try to hear us, only one time. We are all humans, we are all brothers and sisters.

It‘s time to wake up.