Testimonies of professionals of the Greek Council for Refugees, the Babel Day Center and Doctors without Borders who work with torture survivors.

 

“We do not demand them to start talking to us, we try to understand what concerns them today, because they may have suffered (from tortures) a long time ago but they also have needs that are imperative to be dealt with today. For example, to feel safe; safety is connected directly with the refugee status, therefore for them to be recognized as refugees. To find a job, to be integrated in Greek society, provided this is their aim.”

Psychologist, Babel Day Center

 

“These people are not only victims of torture. They are humans who have multiple identities, like everyone. Before being victims of torture, before being arrested and tortured they were human beings who might have had their own families, their jobs, their studies, their dreams. They might have been good in playing football or chess or they might have liked photography. But when they come here, they suddenly lose their other attributes and become refugees – victims of torture.”

Psychologist, Babel Day Center

 

“You cannot take a victim of torture and injure him again by imprisonment in a detention center. These centers, the hotspots, are detention centers, were exit is forbidden.  How can this person open his soul to another person who he meets and in only few minutes needs to write down his story, to classify him into what he is, how he is and decide whether this person will be sent back to Turkey.”

Lawyer, Greek Council for Refugees

 

“Now that the borders are closed, people are forced to ask for asylum in Greece. Indeed, I am impressed by the number of the people who are victims of torture and they are coming to us for help It’s a fact that they are too many. And this is not something obvious. It is not written on their forehead that they are victims of torture. It can be just anyone. “

Lawyer, Greek Council for Refugees

 

“Tortures represent a harsh reality for many. It is something very close to us but we fail to see it. This is now a big part of my reality. This intense pain also comes with a paradox; this pain we face has richness to offer us simultaneously, especially when the strength of our beneficiaries is demonstrated. I have learned to face this pain and my own pain respectively in a similar way.”

Social Worker, Greek Council for Refugees

 

“People who were subjected to torture need a social and legal support and a lot of care. And I see that professionals mainly from the non-governmental sector play this role, although legally, the state structures must provide this care, this is not happening in any way.”

Social Worker, Greek Council for Refugees