Letters to the world from Ritsona (No.6)

Enough is Enough

I am Parwana Amiri and at this moment where I’ m writing to you.
I’ m sitting back against the wall located in the middle of nowhere, between factories that produce different gases that cause various breathing problems to children and elder people.
Here is Ritsona, the refugee camp, where responsibility is absent, vulnerable s are ignored.
We are those refugee individuals and groups that could be moved away from the Aegean islands to the mainland, due to being highly vulnerable, but what we are faced with despite our vulnerability is being at the bottom of the care list, even now, during the pandemic.
Having the fundamentals is an unquestionable right for those, who are in quarantine, yet we, the people locked down in Ritsona are far from that!

However, we should have the chance to get sufficient and proper meals, not just baskets of dry food, where the most necessary things are missing (flour, diary products, meat, vegetables, fruits, bread, eggs, powder milk for babies in some ages…).
We had the chance to buy our necessaries from the shops, that are inside of the camp before, but now as we don´t have access to ATM machine we can´t buy or we may borrow the money from our friends and be lucky if they could save from previous month.

As a vulnerable population, we need to be attended by a medical department and to not be totally left to our own fate, like it happened in the last days, where neither any doctor nor even any nurse has been present in the camp.

As we suffer every day, I want to write down all of our problems the way they are:

  1. Many refugees that arrived recently in Ritsona camp from the islands do not dispose any personal identification documents and haven’t placed an asylum application yet. Therefore, they are excluded from the distribution of goods.
  2. While we are asylum seekers we are supposed to have access to free medicines. Yet, in fact, whenever we need medical care we have to pay. The prescriptions are given by doctors of the camp , but as the medical department has limited space and medicines and there is no pharmacy – so we have to give money to nurses and have them for next days.
  3. We are getting increasingly further away from the bright future we dreamed of when we fled from our countries. Injustice makes part of all aspects of our lives. Especially, in education, several generations of children will be sacrificed, as they are absolutely deprived of the right to education, just as the rest of the children that live in this country.
  4. And the list doesn’t end here! During the quarantine, even we, the healthy ones are not supposed to communicate with people from outside. We are treated as a source of contamination even in case where we need to receive our post form the ‘outer world’ and therefore we can receive none.

I feel that I must ask you the following questions:

  • Why should we be called ‘a hygienic bomb’ by the national population? And why should we be called a ‘health risk’ from all sides?
  • Why should we be always judged by everyone?
  • Why should we be ignored and stay trapped in here, hidden from the face of the world?
  • Why can’t we be respected as human beings?
  • Why can t we live a life in dignity?
  • Why aren’t we allowed to communicate with the locals?
  • Why can’t we have even minimum attention to our problems?
  • Is it because we are refugees? Because we’re Migrants? Because we’re the displaced ones? Can it be because we are the most affected ones from wars and insecurity?
  • I believe, we should have an equal right to life and happiness, because we are also human beings.

Enough is enough!

by Parwana Amiri