PRESS RELEASE “THOSE WHO SURVIVED – Stories of dignity”

January 24, 2017 10:27 am

PRESS RELEASE

“THOSE WHO SURVIVED – Stories of dignity”

Premier of Giorgos Avgeropoulos’s documentary followed by an open discussion on the challenges that refugees – victims of torture are faced with.

The event is co-organised by the Greek Council for Refugees and Babel Day Center on Sunday 11 December at 19.00, at TRIANON cinema.

 

More than 60.000 refugees are now “trapped” in Greece. Many of them carry the scars of war, violence and oppression that they suffered in their respective countries of origin or in the countries they transited before reaching Greece.  Among them there are people who have been expelled and tortured, because of their political or religious beliefs, their race, their gender or their sexual orientation.

“Besides the bare physical violence, there is psychological maltreatment; they do not let you sleep, they forcefully try for you not to get any sleep. You do not see anyone, you see always the same colors. But you hear the torture of the others, this impacts even your dreams. You sleep and you wake up as such.”

A torture survivor testimonial, who has now been granted refugee status in Greece.

“Even today it is an open wound, so when I say this story it is every time difficult for me, every time I mention this subject, every time I discuss it with others, it hurts me. Everyone that has gone through similar experiences with me, knows, it is so hard to explain. The tortures, huge and terrible tortures, nobody can admit even to his closed ones.”

A torture survivor testimonial, who has now been granted refugee status in Greece.

These people are supported by the Greek Council for Refugees and Babel Day Center as part of the project “Prometheus II – Enhancing the Rehabilitation of torture victims in Greece”, by providing psychological treatment, legal and social support. In order to restore their dignity, their safety, their psychological and physical health, the two organizations joint forces with Doctors without Borders. Since April 2015 more than 420 persons, victims of torture and rough violence survivors from different countries, have been supported by the interdisciplinary team of these three organizations.

The well-known journalist/director Giorgos Avgeropoulos captured with his camera the personal testimonials of Murat, Zan and Ali. The half-hour documentary was filmed on May 2016 in Athens, as part of the Project “Prometheus II, – Enhancing the rehabilitation of torture victims in Greece” in order to raise social awareness about the special needs of victims of torture.

The aim of the project is to secure that the victims of torture in Greece, receive holistic and special rehabilitation services by an interdisciplinary team, which has been working for four years with a team of lawyers, social workers, psychologists and doctors.

After the adoption of the EU – Turkey deal, the European Union and Greece, adopted a dangerous approach for the implementation of International Protection Law that sets in doubt the fundamental human rights, which have been established after the two World Wars. Today’s restricted policies have resulted in the arbitrary detention of refugees – including some of the most vulnerable persons, such as victims of torture – in awful conditions at hotspots, in the forced push backs and return of people who are seeking for safety from war, oppression and despair, and the stay of thousands of refugees at deficient conditions.

The current harsh situation for these people and for refugees in general in Greece do not represent only the shortfall in the reception process but also long-term deficits of the asylum system, the health, social protection and integration systems. It reflects also a deep solidarity crisis that leads Europe to a unique obsolescence of humanitarian values.

Amidst this crisis we can be taught by people who have survived over expulsion and rough violence and are struggling every day for their survival and their dignity in an utmost difficult environment, while trying to gain an equal position within the European society.

After the premier of the documentary “Those who survived – Stories of dignity” an open discussion will follow. The participants are:

Giorgos Avgeropoulos, Journalist/director

Katerina Komita, Lawyer. Greek Council for Refugees

Nikos Gionakis, Scientific Director, Babel Day Center

Ioanna Kotsioni, Programme Coordinator for the support of refugees who have been violence victims, Doctors without Borders

Chrysa Hatzi, Special Scientist, the Greek Ombudsman

Renos Papadopoulos form the Centre for Trauma, Asylum and Refugees of Essex University, interferes.

Free entrance

 

We would like to thank TRIANON cinema for the courtesy of the hall.

 

For more information and interviews, you can contact:

Greek Council for Refugees: (+30) 210 3800990, gcr1@gcr.gr / f.barka@gcr.gr

http://www.gcr.gr

Babel Day Center:  2108616266, babel@syn-eirmos.gr, http://syn-eirmos.gr/babel/

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