“Not enough food, bathrooms, or healthcare services,” says Ramin, an Afghan returnee

Ramin*, 22, is one of the many Afghans who have been returned home this year after attempting to migrate irregularly to Europe. His migration plans were thwarted when he was apprehended between Turkey and Greece. He met with The Migrant Project to share his story.

For the journey across the Aegean sea to Greece, the smuggler had asked Ramin for almost EUR 2,000. But his boat did not make it to Greek shores: “We stopped just few kilometres away from Greece,” he said, “Police stopped us.”

“We were a group of 40 persons who were trying to reach Greece,” he said. The authorities took Ramin and the rest of the group to a migrant camp in Osmaniye. The conditions there were dire: “we had no access to what is necessary for living, there were not enough food, bathrooms, and healthcare services.”

He felt ignored and suppressed by the authorities in charge: “we didn’t even have the right to protest against these inhumane conditions.” Even Afghan authorities, who would occasionally visit the camp, were no help to them. He explained: “they didn’t hear our problems, they even didn’t talk to us in Dari or Pashto.” 

Ramin spent almost three months in the camp. He told The Migrant Project: “Finally, I was transferred to some other camp for five days and then deported back to Kabul.”

Ramin’s story is not unique. Indeed, many Afghans have been arrested by the Turkish police this year. In recent months, Turkey has reinforced its efforts to stop the irregular migrants from reaching Greece. So far in 2019, at least 337,000 migrants have been arrested in the country while attempting to reach Europe, compared to 268,000 in the entirety of 2018.

*This name has been changed to protect the person’s privacy.

TMP – 18/12/2019

Photo credit: alexreynolds / Shutterstock.com

Photo caption: Afghan man from behind with black hair in gray traditional clothes from Afghanistan standing overlooking a dry mountain valley underneath a bright blue sky with no clouds