Evros, Greece testimony: I live in hell and all I see is nightmares

Testimony of a migrant detained in a border police station in Evros, Greece

“It's been 64 days now that I am detained in this border police station and the conditions are unimaginable.

“In the cell right now, we are 124 people. The cell is very, very small; it can only fit 35 people. There is no space to lie down and sleep, you cannot walk to go to the toilet, you cannot do even the simplest things. When the food is distributed, it takes two hours for everyone gets their share. People fight with each other, we are so many in there that we cannot move,  cannot breathe. Every night we dream of having a good night's sleep, but we wake up in the morning and all our body is in pain.

“All the people who are detained in this place are reaching a point where we don't know how all this will affect our body and our mental health. I don't know how we can cope with these conditions and how we will end up. We are afraid that we will get crazy in here.

“We are treated like animals, worse than animals, and this is making us very very tired. They don't care if we are humans. A free human being has two meters free space to walk, can go out in the yard, can have his space. Why should we be treated like animals? I know that I came here without papers, but why do I have to pay for this with this inhumane way? I have never done anything like that to another person. They should not judge me; they don't know me at all.

“The living conditions here are very bad, but what really kills me is the treatment. Nobody talks to us, nobody gives us any information about when we will leave from this place, when we will be released. They only tell us: ‘I don't know, maybe today, maybe tomorrow...’ What I really want to know is, where is the person who can tell us, who knows what will happen to us here?

“We have lost all hope in here. A few months ago I was dreaming of leaving my country because the situation there was very, very difficult. I was dreaming of going to France to be with my family. I was hoping to be with them, but now I have lost every hope.

“I did not want to come and stay in Greece. It was just a passage for me to reach France. When I was in my country I have tried to apply for a visa to different European countries, but I did not manage to get one, although I have paid thousands of euros. Then I heard from friends that some people were going to Europe through Greece and it took them only two days to enter the country. So I decided to do this trip myself. But I could not imagine how bad the situation would be here.

“Now, whenever I call my family in France I cannot tell them what I go through, I cannot tell them what is happening here. What should I tell them? That I am living in this hell? And when I hang up the phone, I want to forget that I have a family, I want to forget about everything, because if I think about the past and about my family I fear I will get crazy and lose myself.

“I cannot have any dream for my future. I live in hell and all I see is nightmares. Things must change now, I don't know how I can cope with this situation. I cannot see any future, I only want to be with my family, nobody can see his future, nobody can think of anything else but this hell that we are living. When I am going to be released?

“The only thing that gives us hope in here is the presence of MSF. If MSF was not here, I don't know what I would have done. The psychologist of MSF has helped me a lot to cope with this situation. That's why I wrote this letter to MSF, to thank the psychologist and the MSF team and show my appreciation to their work here.  But it took me four hours to write that letter. I could not think of the words, I have forgotten of the words. When you are locked up in here you cannot find yourself, you have lost every sense of yourself, you have lost the words. And the only words that I could write in the beginning were the words: Help us, help us, help us, help us.”