Posted by: Dr Churchill | June 5, 2014

State of Fear

Greece has been going through a tough time the last few years…

Yet as the real poverty bites — the harshness is never shared from those who merit this austerity due to their own complicity in the opaque affairs of the Failed State of Greece, but is directed towards those lesser human beings, the weakest and the poorest ones, the citizens who are unemployed and defenceless, the refugees, the illegals, the ones without strong passport, and all those clearly innocent of any wrongdoing.

The injustice of it all make me want to cringe in sorrow and pain, because I remember from Civics class that “How we treat the vulnerable is how we define ourselves as a People.”  And how we affect the well being of others who “don’t matter” or who are weak enough to not be counted — is ultimately how we define ourselves as a species and what kind of divine retribution we should expect.

This last month saw at least 17 people dead when an overcrowded boat sank on the crossing from Libya to Italy, with many more still unaccounted for. This is just one of the many horror stories we hear & see where refugees drown in the dark wine-blue waters of the Mediterranean sea. We don’t know their names or their stories. They join the grim toll of perhaps 20,000 people over the last decade whose lives have ended trying to reach Europe for protection, aiming for a better life. But because of Italy’s free press we hear about all the sea tragedies that take place and involve refugees. In Greece with a muzzled press that is not the case …  Far too many cases of refugees perishing in the vast Aegean sea with the ten thousand islands, go wholly unreported.

With its conscience pricked by the deaths of more than 360 migrants near the island of Lampedusa (deaths that Pope Francis called “a disgrace”), the Italian Navy has begun a massive rescue operation called “Mare Nostrum” that is saving thousands of lives. It is criticized in some quarters as a “pull factor,” presumably because it removes death by drowning as a deterrent. And the European Commission has used its money and political clout to try to fix Greece’s broken asylum system, with some success, although abusive and prolonged detention remains the norm there.

But the basic philosophy of EU migration policy can be expressed simply: to keep them out, make life as unpleasant as possible for those who do arrive, get rid of them quickly if you can, and if you can’t, then detain them for as long as possible.

Thus Europe’s general stance offers plenty of “the spectacle of compassion” but nowhere near to a real adherence to Human Rights. A superficial adherence to European values concerning respect for rights, access to asylum, and humane treatment, masks a brutal reality driven by base politics and nowhere is this more evident than in poor Greece, where systematic abuses are the norm and represent the official policy of the country towards the lesser ones.

In this ancient country of hospitality and respect for the inviolate Right to Asylum — we’ve become modern barbarians under the pretence of protecting Europe from unwanted migrants. Enforcing Berlin’s policies the Greek government does the dirty work. It’s a form of extraordinary rendition with a summary sentence to a watery grave. Bad Policy for people who have met the nemesis of fates time and again.And if any people have experienced this they are the Greeks.

But it seems to me that their leaders now are not following these ancient norms. Well … rest assured we are watching and keeping score of the grim tally. Rest assured … Karma, and the laws of Fate & Nemesis, are also doing their bit. And you should know they are tough bitches — not to be trifled with.  Retribution stemming from your actions cannot be avoided any more than the laws of nature can be escaped. You can never find succour and comfort when You have denied that to others weak enough to fend for themselves. Try as You may, and see if you can escape the merited punishment, because when your actions negate Human principles, justice is always rendered. Your actions cause reactions in the physical world, and are as certain of attracting retribution — regardless of your station in Life — as jumping out of a skyscraper will certainly result in a mud-puddle with your name on it.  Try this and see if your exalted government position will allow you to defy the laws of Gravity.

But You’ve also got Free Will and the option to Be Great. Try this and see the wonderment and Joy flood your Being, and giving purpose to your Life. Do this because at the end of the day — that is all the Humanity we have…

And yet we squander it each and every day in ways big and small through the incessant Corruption that rules everyday Life in Greece.

Today the Greek government, the ministers, and the police make life “unlivable” for all refugees and political asylum seekers, in a clear & direct criminal violation of Human Rights. They must be called to Account at the Court of Human Rights promptly. This much is certain…

The head of the Greek police was secretly recorded recently as saying that “Asylum seekers who land in Greece must be made to reside in “unlivable” conditions before being “repatriated.”

The issue of migrants dying in the seas around Greece gained global attention in January, when a boat carrying asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Syria capsized in the Aegean while being towed by a Greek naval vessel. Twelve migrants drowned, and those who survived alleged that the Greek coastguard was attempting to tow them back towards Turkey instead of to a nearby Greek island, and that the naval officers purposefully allowed migrants to drown. The Greek navy denies the migrants’ allegations, but the UN, the EU and Amnesty have released statements expressing deep concern about the incident. 

This sad and fully preventable event happened again and again in the months before and since. But it happened again in those few months that followed in one terrible instance having drowned more than 70 people in front of the boats of the Greek Coast Guard that was offering no help but stood by watching idly…

Murder by any name is still murder.

[Above is a photo of a Public Protest in downtown Athens from citizens gathered in order to defend the rights of asylum seekers in Greece. This protest was organised after the “Farmakonisi” asylum seekers’ boat tragedy where scores of children and women drowned under the eyes of the Greek Coast Guard…}

Greek People gathered to demonstrate against the practice of torture by police wearing hoods, immigrants with toddlers in their arms drowning in the sea while the Port Authorities stand by enjoying the “spectacle” floodlit by the spotlights from their boats, and against the organized terror of the government against those weak enough to “swim” on their own — in sea or dry land alike.

It is in these evil terms reminiscent of Nazi Germany that “State Security” is defined in modern day Greece and it is not the result of isolated decisions made by those serving in the Security Forces. The orders come directly from the political leadership in Greece of 2013. A computer and video file that Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the UN and AJ4JD, have now on hand, reveals that all the torture suffered by political asylum seeking refugees, & immigrants — although denied by the Minister of Public Order, Nikos Dendias — not only happen regularly, but are the result of Government Policy and direct orders from the Head of the Greek Police, Nikos Papagiannopoulos. While the Greek Police General Nikos Papagiannopoulos was issuing the direct order ‘make their life unlivable’, the political leadership, along with the Prime Minister of the country, claimed that the torture chambers they have set up are simply centres for the repatriation of illegal immigrants.

In the last year at least 130 immigrants and may be as many as 700, have drowned in the Aegean under the eyes of the Coast Guard. Many more have drowned undocumented. Suddenly the Greek seas have filled with corpses, even though for years immigrants and Asylum seekers have taken the same route to Greece.

Why is it that more and more the persecuted people who are leaving their country due to bloody conflict, internecine war, civil, war or persecution, arrive dead in Greece?

Why is it that the 5 or 6 immigrant deaths in previous years have now become at least 130 and maybe 700 as many claim?  In many cases we  have received reports denouncing the Port Authorities and Coast Guard, for just standing by and watching them drown, having received orders not to intervene in order to create the image of a new harsh stance towards illegal immigration in Greece which will act as a deterrent for others who might try to enter the country…

Sadly amongst the dead there are always the children. The heavy halogen spotlight from the Port Authority’s craft illuminates the Coast Guard crews watching them drown in several mobile phone video clips we have on record. Those who are able to swim, and manage to survive and make it to dry land, are then tortured by hooded police, who plunder whatever they find. Gold, money, mobile phones are said to be the booty for those police officers who carry out ‘repatriation operations’.

There are hundreds of such incidents, but the response of the Ministry of Shipping and the Ministry of Public Order is: ‘Such things don’t happen. They are simply the accusations of those who want to give Greece a bad name.’ In the incidents we have kept track of, the facts are irrefutable and are confirmed by police officers who believe that the Police Force is no longer adhering to democratic means and legal procedures and encourages torturers and racists who are held up as carrying out ‘a national errand to save Greece from immigrants.’

That torture rooms for immigrants do exist is confirmed by a conversation between the Head of the Security Forces and some of the top men of the Greek Police. The meeting between Lieutenant General Papagiannopoulos and his men took place so that he could be informed about the problems that have arisen in the Greek Police, and the border guards — particularly with regard to the immigrants. Some of his men point out the inhumane and illegal treatment of immigrants, and demand that action be taken. The Head of the Police rejects what they say about civil rights and urges the police to make their lives hell. He says the following: ‘We must make their lives unlivable, in other words, so that whoever comes to this country knows that he will stay inside. He will not get out, so that when inside he will give us details of where he’s from, his identity, so that we can send him back, and not after three months outside, because otherwise we don’t do anything. We become the perfect destination for illegal immigrants.’

What is of particular interest is that the Head of the Greek Police appears to consider immigrants “en masse” as thieves and robbers, a theory adopted by the German Nazi party and recently also adopted by the criminal gang masquerading as a neo-Nazi political party “Golden Dawn” of Greece. This is the Nazi ideology which the head of Greek Police claims to reject, yet in his speech it is clearly evident as He states that detaining immigrants in camps is not absolutely necessary, but a political decision with the aim of mistreating those retained so that they won’t come back. The Lieutenant General says in a formulation that Nikos Michaloliakos (Leader of the neo-nazi fascist Golden Dawn party) might envy: ‘and me too, if they told me that in the country I went I’d stay three months there because I’ve got nowhere else in the world to go, and you’ll stay three months inside and then you’ll be free to steal, rob and do whatever you like, fine. That’s what we were after, further detention, because they can’t be kept for more than three months. It used to be nine months and then they made it eighteen months, for what reason? We must make their life unlivable.’

The Head of the Greek police explained this government policy to police officers in a calm & assured manner, without hesitation. He went on to state the Policy clearly, even when some of the officers objected on grounds of human rights violations. During the meeting a young police officer asks: ‘Sir, we are not only racists, we are also criminals. Sir, let me ask you, what have these people done to have to spend a year inside? Have they killed anyone? Have they committed a crime? These people are to be repatriated and they spend one year in detention centres without having killed anyone or committed a crime. If the worst criminal spent more than one month inside, he’d have eaten us alive.’

The Head of the Police is not put off by the protests and at some point simply repeats: ‘so what it boils down to is that with so many of them we have to build more detention centres. It’s a simple logic.’

By citing such racist and illegal tactics so openly in favour of making life unlivable for those who are protected by international agreements signed by Greece, even though he is not talking to a close circle of officers but to a wider group, it is evident that the Head of Police has political backing and is carrying out political decisions. Nor is it coincidental that the Port Authorities use the same methods of torture against immigrants even though they are not under the administration of Nikos Papagiannopoulos. Clearly there is a common political agenda from which orders are being issued, including denial and cover up of any incidents of torture that come to light.

The recent report by Amnesty International fully confirms the recent revelations. The government has indicated that it intends to establish another ‘legal system’ in place of international and Greek law. This ‘legal system’ is introducing Greeks to racist views, perceptions of ‘bad’ immigrants and is flirting with the idea of ‘Greek superiority and racial purity’. The Prime Minister himself said in a recent speech before the passing of the Budget in Parliament: ‘And I remind you that until recently, no one in European circles dared say the words illegal immigrant! Now along with other countries in the southern Mediterranean, we have made it a priority. And also by using deterrent tactics, which until today was also forbidden.’

Antonis Samaras is proud of the fact that he is implementing tactics that ‘until today were forbidden’, while he and his party systematically speak about ‘illegal immigrants’ and not just ‘immigrants’, creating the impression that it is foreign invaders and not immigrants who have left their homelands to escape danger to their lives. And he does this in a country that has sent immigrants all over the world and continues to do so today when scores of Greek immigrants flood the European capitals in search of work…

In the 2012 elections, Antonis Samaras was elected on the main slogan ‘let us go forward and take back our cities from illegal immigrants.’

In October 2013, after his meeting with the Prime Minister of Malta, the Greek Prime Minister said, ‘In Greece there are as many unemployed as there are illegal immigrants and that cannot continue.’ He openly echoed what Adolf Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, and many other fascist leaders in Europe have also said, that unemployment is a result of immigration and unwanted elements of society.

The fact that Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, and of Nikos Dendias Head of Public Order as an accessory before the fact — does not exonerate the Head of the Police from moral and criminal responsibilities with regard to the State Policy of torture of immigrants and encouraging his subordinates to commit barbaric and illegal acts. The same goes for all Police personnel and Coast Guard officers who engage in the criminal activities in violation of the law of the land and sea, and in clear subjugation of Human Rights.

Executing crimes while claiming to follow orders is no defence of country nor principle. It certainly does not constitute a defence for any police officer to follow an illegal order. German officers found this verily in the Nuremberg trials. It goes without saying that a police force that functions outside the law and humanitarian principles, using violence as a tool, a police force using habitual violence will not restrict its violence to the bodies of immigrants, even if this torture is extended in the name of so-called righteousness. Sooner or later, they will find other villains or internal enemies to afflict.

And that has become evident when they turn their attention to Greek Citizens whistleblowers against the Public Corruption who have been attacked, tortured and jailed in prisons and asylums under chemical lobotomy conditions. Conditions so harsh that these Greek Citizens were given Political Asylum from other countries of the European Union who have seen Greece devolve into the least Democratic and most Authoritarian State of Fear in the Union. A sad day indeed when Greece has reached the nadir of it’s loss of DIGNITY.

One may ask: What other terrible ignominy will follow? What ghosts will rise up and demand retribution? And whose head this karma will fall upon?

Pontius Pilate answered this some time ago clearly: ” May the blood of the innocent be upon you and upon Your children and your children’s children…”

Is that what we want?

But there is another way to deal with Crisis…

It’s the way to protect One’s DIGNITY by protecting the Human Rights of others…

One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized, and cruelly mocked — but it can never be taken away unless it is voluntarily surrendered…

I want you to learn to think, to ponder life, to make discoveries, to create. You have been gifted by God in unique ways. I want those to bloom. They can’t bloom in the shadow of fear.

They need life, real life, to bring them to light.

I want you to be confident in who you are. I want you to be able to look people in the eyes and speak life into them.

I want You to be able to look into the eyes of the people — the strangers and to see their soul. The common soul we all share. Look in their eyes and you can’t hate them because eyes are a window into their heart. You see what can’t be seen in the colour of the skin or in ideologies of hate. You can even see God if you try. The Indians say “Namastay…”

When I tell you say “No” to Hate, indifference, and terror — am giving you a gift. And I’m giving me a gift. It’s a gift of relationship. True human connection. It’s a precious treasure, because we only have each other.

This connection means everything to us. The Human Capital. The Human Rights. The Human Family. And all those people mean so much to me that I don’t want to miss another person going down in the dark sea…

I want all of you. The fullness of your humanity. I want to experience all the gifts that you will bring to this world. I want to truly experience your progress through Life and your innovations and contributions to our Common Future and our Shared Destiny. I want to see you making a family…

I want You and your children alive, and I can’t do that with you when there is an implicit murder between us.

You see it acts as a barrier of consciousness.

Instead, I want to see you animated with Joy of Goodness and purpose. I want to see your Life-force and see what brings life to those eyes. I want to watch the wonder and magic dance across your face as you discover the wonders of this world. In Peace. In Contentment. In Brotherhood. I want to watch you as you figure things out in your new country. I want to watch you process life, develop your thoughts. I want to know you, and I want to know your passions.

And maybe I’ll be given the right to watch you as you discover your God-given talents and gifts to make immense contributions to your new country.

That’s what I want…

A country made richer because of it’s immigrants.

A country made safer because of your safety.

A country made more human because of your humanity.

That’s what I want.

Yours,

Pano

PS:

Yet when you hide behind a electric fence, or in a watery grave, or buried in a shallow tomb — I miss seeing your eyes.

I miss seeing your face… your beautiful faces — all of you.

And that’s Why am fighting for your RIGHTS, because my time with you….

— well —

it will be over in the blink of an eye.

 

 


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