March 31, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Center for Migrant and Refugee Women in Athens – a transit point for Afghan women

The Greek capital has become a transit point for Afghan women and their families, who fled Afghanistan after the Taliban came to power. Most of them are former journalists, judges, activists.

They arrived here on planes sent for them, in accordance with a specially designed evacuation program. Women were provided with housing and food. All concerns about them were taken over by the association “Melissa”. Correspondent euronews talked to Afghan refugees and learned about their plans.

Hasina was the judge. She says that she and her children were threatened by the criminals she sentenced – the Taliban released everyone from their places of detention.

Homa Ahmadi – Member of Parliament. For five long weeks she hid from the Taliban. She believes that no country should recognize the Taliban government until it becomes inclusive and does not recognize the rights and freedoms of women.

Nilofar is 26 years old, she is a graduate political scientist and lawyer, she worked as a journalist. The woman says bitterly that she and other women who have been educated and started their careers have lost everything that the country has been able to achieve in the past two decades.

Fariba is also a judge, but she did not begin to remember the past – it was too hard. But she showed a traditional women’s dress brought from her country, one of the main Afghan symbols.

Most women do not intend to stay in Greece, some have already received permission to resettle in Spain, Germany, Canada. Nadina Christopoulou, the founder of the Melissa Center, considers the main task of the association to be the creation of a safe space for these women, where they can continue their professional activities. They have time to calmly think about their future life and make the right decision.

Nadina says that the main feature on which these women were selected and taken to Greece is their active life position, participation in the social and political life of the country. Some of them took part in the Athens Democracy Forum, sharing bad experiences in building a democratic society in Afghanistan.

One hundred Afghan women decided to stay in Greece and applied to the migration service. Apparently, they are much more likely to obtain a residence permit than migrants scattered throughout Greece camps.

Recently, Greece has stepped up security measures on the borders with Turkey, i.e. on the way of migrants from Afghanistan. At the same time, double standards are openly recognized by the Greek government. Here is what Patroclus Georgiadis, Secretary General for Migration Policy, says in an interview with a correspondent:

“In the last 2 or 2.5 years, Greece has been pursuing a tough but fair migration policy. We have tightened the rules within the framework of EU directives and rules, but this does not mean that our country has abandoned the standards of humanity.”


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