When light is withdrawn …

When the light is withdrawn from the refugee camps around Thessaloniki, withdrawn the NGO members too. The only non-refugees remaining, is two three policemen at the post of entry, bored and reluctant to participate-even the role that imposes the suit them- in foursomes.

When light and NGO members are withdrawn from the refugee camps, the shadows and the fear are returning on the faces of their inhabitants. A fear that seems to haunt them forever. While away and try to run. When light and NGO members are withdrawn from the refugee camps, appearing the refugee gangs oppress the lives of others. Young, unaccompanied minors, many of them armed with knives and batons, scatter terror and require more to be shut in their tents. “Do not let children out of the tents,” is the usual instruction of the police when the gangs make their appearance. After they returned to their outpost, they locked the door from inside and they closed the light. But in the canvas tents of the refugees, there is no door to lock and light to hang. There is only hope that you will not become the target of this night.

The refugee camp of Frakapor in Sindos, was always one of the quietest in Thessaloniki. Life flowed without tensions. if someone skinhead appeared, the rest being asked to change camp. Until the gang appeared on bikes, from the camp of Kalohori. The first attack took place two months ago. They came with their bikes in the Frakapor and attacked other refugees, fortunately without injuring them. They are beaten and left. A month later, the attack was repeated. They beat twice. The first of the second attack, there was a dispute about one hous. Three injured in knife was the record. The ambulance arrived, gave them first aid and departed. Before a week ago, it became a new attack on the camp Frakapor from gang Kalohori. They attacked a Syrian with his son. The others just watched terrified. The eyewitnesses describe the armor of the gang: “They have knives, brass knuckles with blades in front and a bat with nails and blades.” That day, a refugee, despite pressure from other refugees not to do, he went to the police canopy, knocked on the door and denounced the attacks. None of the gang members was arrested. Yesterday appeared again in Frakapor. They created a small episode, fortunately without injured and left. The refugee denounced the attacks, seen inside the camp as “the nail”. Yesterday, she and her family were confined to their tent, hoping that he will not be visited from the gang. The courage to denounce the attacks, rewarded with fear. Fear for her, for mother and minor siblings. Following termination of the police, someone gave a knife to 16-year old brother. “Take it to protect your family when they attack you,” he said, and then the little lost his smile.


When the light is leaving from the refugee camps around Thessaloniki, the NGO members are leaving too. When they return the next morning with the light, they do not want to know what happened the night before. They do not want to know what is happening in the refugee camps, where the shadows and fear take their place and the police canopy remains locked with the light off.

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