Report from a refugee camp

We have received a report from residents of a camp near Speyer, Rhineland-Palatinate, which we would like to share here. The residents report about the ignorance with which the needs of refugees with handicap are not taken into account. They have therefore written an open letter to the responsible authorities. They also report on other problems, lack of transparency and disrespectful treatment. The report is in line with what we hear again and again from other refugee camps.

The ADD is the “Aufsichts- und Dienstleistungsdirektion” of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, which is responsible for the accommodation and the transfer of refugees.

„This morning I went with my roommate, his name is M*, to ADD (ADD is the responsible for management and transfer department  in the camp). M* and me decided to make a Hunger-strike. Here is the story of what happened:

My roommate has special needs, he has a sickness and he will be blind, he already can see only 20% and he has a hope that he can find a treatment in Germany, this is why he decided to apply for asylum in Germany.

A few months ago, he has been transferred out of the camp to a village at the border, and the ADD never considered he has special needs. M* found himself alone in the village, so his abilities to survive by himself all alone was very little.
M* have decided to come back to the camp again, where he can find some help for Cookinseln food, and familiar people and environment.

So, he came back to the camp, and he knew that he needs someone that he trusts from the camp, to go with him on transfer, which would fix the problem. M* prepared a list of 3 or 4 names. Some people that he know from the camp he trusts. Then, he asked ADD if that was possible to accept, one of the 3 or 4 names to go with him on transfer and they said it is possible.

A few weeks later, M* has got a date for transfer, on the 15th of June, but he didn’t recognize anyone from the name he recommended to go with him.

So, he and me went again to the ADD asking, why they didn’t choose anyone from names to go with him on transfer. Then one of the ADD’s employees met us and he said „we can not give you one of the names that you
The Employees of the ADD are the most racists humans that you can ever meet in Germany, beside the employees of the foreigners office. The ADD’s employee is very famous in the camp being rude and racist, i don’t remember his name.

He stressed many many times in the conversations, that WE ARE GERMANS and YOU ARE EGYPTIAN, people have to be in the camp up to 18 months, and it seems like we are in a jail. I asked him very politely, can you be clear with us and stop giving us the painkiller saying ” we don’t have information about the decision of transfer, on what it is based?????” This what i asked; make it clear about the procedures of the transfer, then we will stop complain and bother you asking questions regarding transfer.
He said: Non of the list you gave us has a positive decision, so they can not be transferred. And he stressed in case of rejection of the asylum application, especially Egyptians have to be in the camp up to 18
months, although it´s a big lie, because 1000 of Egyptian and none Egyptian people got transferred from  the camp and the have negative decision regarding the asylum application.

Some facts:
Every wednesday, the ADD is open from 10 am til 11:30 am, for questions regarding transfer. This is a strategy what i call  “PAINKILLER”, they have prepared answers
1- we don’t know
2- the law is saying you can not complain, because you are her up to 18 months
3- if you have a positive decision, then its possible to go on transfer.

Me and M* are going to continue our Hunger-Strike until we find a clear answer regarding my question
“The decision of transfer on the camp is based on what?????”

If you can help us to get our voice to the German media, this will be so much appreciated.“

S* & M*

Wuppertal – 24 hours against forgetting

Permanent vigil and reading of the #Seebrücke Wuppertal

Saturday 19.06. from 12:00 to Sunday 20.06. 12:00, Utopia City, Wuppertal-Elberfeld

For 24 hours, the names of people who died while fleeing to Europe are read out. During the day, texts by refugees and experience reports from sea rescue and refugee work at the EU's external borders will be heard in a half-hour rotation.

Outside there is an information stand of the pier during the day and the possibility to set up candles for the deceased.
The reading will be streamed via the Internet and broadcast outside on site.

The permanent vigil is initiated with a conversation with Dr. Achim Stein, who reports on his work in sea rescue as a Wuppertal doctor.
The readers come from the Tanztheater Wuppertal, the TalTonTheater, the Verein für die Förderung der Städtepartnerschaft Wuppertal – Matagalpa / Nicaragua, from the refugee counselling, from the Else-Lasker-Schüler-Gesamtschule, from the Infobüro Nicaragua, from the party and council factions of the Left and the B90/Greens, from Tacheles and Mampferando, from Amnesty International.
With his own contributions, the author Christiane Gibiec for the Association of German Writers and the Authors' Association in the Valley, the musician and composer Uli Klan, Chairman of the International Armin T. Wegner Society, Olaf Reitz, language, acting, directing, intervention and committed Wuppertalers and of course members of the Seebrücke Wuppertal are involved.

The campaign is the prelude to a campaign on "Safe Harbour Wuppertal". We want to draw media attention to the EU's isolationist policy and start a discussion about what it means to be a 'safe haven'.
Our plan to set up a permanent memorial on the forecourt of Mirke station for those who died fleeing to Europe also serves this purpose. Der 20.June is World Refugee Day and an action weekend of the pier, where actions are planned nationwide.

Human rights are #unverhandelbar.
The victims of the EU's refugee policy are #unvergessen


Social work zw. institutional constraints & political aspirations

It will continue to be deported. Despite the corona pandemic, collective deportations to Afghanistan, Albania, North Macedonia, Pakistan, Serbia and Tunisia, among others, have been announced for June 2021. Regardless of the political, economic and health situation in the countries of origin, the Federal Republic continues to force people back into persecution, poverty and discrimination.
When people are threatened by this sad reality, social professionals and volunteers in particular seem to have their hands tied. When accompanying refugees, they repeatedly experience a contradiction between their own (professional) ethos and state constraints: on the one hand, they want to support people and help them to a self-determined perspective, on the other hand, they have to follow legal and official requirements. In some cases, they are urged by employers to act against their own convictions and, for example, to cooperate in the execution of deportations or similar. How can employees behave in this field of tension? What should be done if, for example.B, the rejection notice or the request to leave the country has been received? What can professionals do during a deportation from the property to protect the rights of residents? What is the police allowed to do, what are they not allowed to do?
The critical social scientist and social worker Sebastian Muy advises refugees in Berlin and will give technical input on these questions. During the event there will be the opportunity to ask questions and discuss together.
The event is aimed in particular at people who accompany refugees for work or on a voluntary basis.

When: Tuesday, 22.06.2021, 6.00 pm – 7.30 pm
The event will take place via Zoom. Registrations until 21.06.2021 by e-mail at [nicht über facebook] . The access link will be sent by e-mail shortly before the event.

An event of the AG Bleiben
in cooperation with DBSH (Deutscher Berufsverband für Soziale Arbeit e.V.)

The organizers reserve the right to deny persons who belong to extreme right-wing parties or organizations, are assigned to the extreme right-wing scene or have already appeared or have already appeared through racist, nationalist, anti-Semitic, sexist, anti-lgbtiq*-class, ableist or other inhumane statements to access or exclude them from the Zoom event."

PM #2 on the "No-Lager-Aktionswoche"

"The forced isolation in the camps must be broken"

Press release #2
June 18, 2021

Tomorrow, Saturday, June 19, the No-Lager Action Days will start in several NRW
cities: Around the World Day of Refugees (June 20),
there will be numerous demos, actions, exhibitions and discussion rounds around the reception of refugees in general and especially in NRW until June 27.

The Antira-Vernetzung NRW calls for a
humane reception of refugees, decentralised accommodation
and the closure of all large collection camps.On Friday, June 25, there will be
a NRW-wide demonstration in Düsseldorf.
"Public attention in recent months has
focused, for good reason, on the inhumane conditions in camps such as
Moria on the EU's external borders.But the isolation and the locking away
also takes place here in NRW.There is political calculation behind
this: it is easier to deport people who do not yet
have work colleagues, neighbours and classmates here.
We want to break through this politically forced isolation," says Franka
Schmidt from the Antiracist Network NRW.

The following events will take place in the next few days:

Sat. 19.6.- Aachen, from 3 p.m., On the market
For the evacuation and closure of all refugee camps; for
safe and legal escape routes _ _

Sat.19.6. to Sun.20.06.- Wuppertal, from 12 to 12 o'clock, Utopia
Stadt/Mirker Bahnhof
Reading and rally
24-hours against forgetting
_ _
Sun.20.6.- Münster, from 2 p.m., Münster confesses color meadow
vigil in memory of all victims of the racist
migration system on the occasion of the World Day of Refugees _ _

Mo.21.6.- Siegen, downtown
info booth _ _

Mo.21.6. to 27.6.- Düsseldorf, Kiefernstr.4 (K4)
Exhibition "Leben in der ZUE" (Opening 21.6. at 6 pm)
Installation of a multi-bed room from a ZUE (Central
Accommodation Facility) _ _

Tue.22.6.- Online (ZOOM), 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Webinar Deportation from accommodation – Social work between institutional

coercion and political entitlement"
Registration at:
_ _
Wed.23.6.- Münster, from 12 noon – Münster confesses color meadow
tent installation with information walk to the camps at the external borders and the accommodation facilities in NRW
and in Münster.
Rallies between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
_ _
Fri.25.6.- Düsseldorf, start 17:00 – DGB Haus (near the main station)
Central demonstration of the NoLager action week with speeches by
activists & refugees and the
"Mediterranean monologues"
_ _
So.27.06.- Cologne, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., start at the Heumarkt
inforundgang and course
_ _
Sun.27.06.- Münster, beginning 2 pm, Aaseekugeln
bicycle demo followed by a rally in front of the ZUE Münster

Views and further information on all events and activities
can be found on our website:

Contact and interview requests:

PM #1 on the "No-Lager-Aktionswoche"

Close camp, accommodate refugees decentrally!

Press release #1
June 13, 2021

In numerous cities in NRW such as Aachen, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Münster, Siegen and Wuppertal, there will be a variety of protest actions from 19 to 27 June 2021 against the accommodation of bred people in camps. The "No Lager-Aktionswoche" is being called for by the Antiracist Network NRW, in which anti-racist actors from NRW have joined forces. The action week is directed against the isolation and systematic unequal treatment and disenfranchisement of refugees by camps at the EU's external borders and in NRW.
In addition to the decentralized customer meetings, art actions, lectures, etc., there will be a central NRW-wide demonstration entitled "Close the camps – break isolation!" in Düsseldorf on Friday, 25 June 2021 to draw attention to the situation in the collective accommodations.

The call of the action week states: "Massive tightening of the law makes it possible for the people in the camps to be systematically denied fundamental rights to privacy, schooling, regular medical care or job opportunities, among other things.
Many people are exposed to the cycle of tightness, permanent controls, monotony, fear of deportation and violence for up to 2 years. In the remote camps, contact with the rest of the population is made virtually impossible for them, and political and social networking with other refugees is made more difficult.
Their isolation is politically desired. It is intended to enable the deportations, which mainly take place from NRW state accommodation, to run smoothly and at the same time to prevent the public debate about the camps that are isolated from society.
This self-evident disenfranchisation and isolation of refugees must be broken. There must finally be a social debate on the subject of the reception and humane decentralised accommodation of refugees."
With the "No Lager Action Week", the Antiracist Network NRW wants to publicly address the disenfranchousing of refugees, network anti-racist actors and send a solidarity signal to the people in the camps.

Information on the "No Lager Action Week" from 19 to 27 June 2021 and the planned activities can be found online at:
Twitter: @AntiraNRW

Contact and interview requests:

Düsseldorf – 24/7 Exhibition "Life in the ZUE…"

Installation of a multi-bed room from a central accommodation facility

Mon. 21.6. to 27.6.- Düsseldorf, Kiefernstr. 4 (K4)
Opening 21.6. at 6 pm

Six strangers in one room. Not for a few days in the hostel in Berlin or Lisbon, but for several months or even years. This is how asylum seekers have been living in NRW since the state government introduced the asylum phased plan in 2018. We show what this can look like in an impressive exhibition at Kulturbureau K4.

No-Lager Action Week

Call for No Lager action week from 19 to 27 June 2021

The corona-pandemic is another factor escalating the situation inside refugee-camps at the EU-external borders as well as those in Germany. 

While for the public the main strategy to fight the virus has been social distancing and the reduction of personal contacts meanwhile people living in refugee camps are continuously being forced to live together on very close quarters, and have to share spaces for sleeping, eating, and washing with other inhabitants. To contain any occurring infections inside the camps NRW also ordered so called “Ketten-Quarantänen” (chain quarantine). Rather than protecting refugees through decentralized housing, they are continuously exposed to the risk of getting infected and due toincubation time and following up infections, they can be locked up for several weeks. 

This procedure drastically demonstrates the systemic discrimination of refugees who are denied their right to health and life during a dangerous pandemic.

This is not only due to the challenges of the corona crisis, for years this unequal treatment is institutionalized in the so called “system lager”. Massive tightening of the law has made it possible to systemically keep camp inhabitants from exercising their fundamental rights to privacy education, medical standard treatment or job opportunities.

Many people face up to two years of confinement, constant restrictions and control, monotony as well as fear of deportation and violence. In the secluded camps the inhabitants have factually no means of contact with the general public, political and social networking with other refugees proves to be very difficult. 

Their isolation is politically desired and designed to enable a smooth process of deportation from mainly NRW-Landesunterkünften (NRW-state camps) as well as preventing a public discussion about the camps that are isolated from society.

This routine, of deprivation of rights and isolation of refugees, must be stopped. It is due time for a public debate about reception and humane accommodation of refugees.

Our goal with the “No-lager-week-of-action” is to get public attention, to bring together and organize antiracist activists and groups as well as to show solidarity with all people inside the camps.

Take part in the actions!
Right to stay for all!

Close the camps – break isolation!

Refugee camps in NRW and the coronavirus

Tightness, isolation and poor infrastructure make you sick. Not only, but especially during a pandemic.

Anyone who submits an application for asylum in Germany will not be punished with camp detention for less than six months. In NRW it is sometimes up to two years. This is provided for in the phased plan of the state government.From this regulation, which is intended to relieve the municipalities and facilitate deportations, but above all to deter them, the state government does not deviate even during the corona pandemic.

While crowds of people everywhere else are to be avoided, six people in collective accommodation have to share a bedroom and hundreds of other showers and dining rooms. As might be expected, many became infected under these conditions. At the height of the second wave, practically half of all state accommodations in NRW alone were under quarantine.

The situation was exacerbated at the beginning of the pandemic by both poor communication and a lack of infrastructure. Almost nowhere were there protective masks, almost everywhere too little disinfectant. The state government in NRW tried to accommodate particularly vulnerable people in youth hostels more safely due to age or pre-existing conditions and thus to equalize the occupancy overall. On the other hand, transfers to municipalities were suspended until June 2020, so that the regular facilities became fuller rather than emptier.
An Iranian refugee reported that although the meal times in his camp were extended so that not everyone was sitting in the canteen at once, at the same time there was only stable Wi-Fi in a single room in the facility, so that all residents were snubbing there when they wanted to find out about COVID-19 or know how their relatives and friends were doing. 

Onur Şahin, who himself contracted coronavirus during the second wave, reports on the question of whether the situation in his refugee shelter in Kassel has changed in the second wave:

“Nothing has changed in micromanagement. They have only hung pieces of paper on the walls: keep your distance, cover your mask, nose and mouth. And wash hands. That was the only measure. They had no structured plans for the various camps. When there was a corona case in October, they didn’t tell us anything about it.”

And Mariama Jatta remembers:

” When Corona started, they announced in the city: “Okay, there is this new regulation in Germany that only a few people are allowed to come together. If there are more, you have to come from the same household.” I thought to myself, “Okay, this law was made, and they completely forgot about us.” You have not considered at all that this is a budget of 700 people. Because this is a budget. We share the kitchen, we share the bathroom, we have contact, the children play together. And no precautions have been taken. We had no disinfectants, no information. We weren’t properly informed about the Corona rules and anything else. There was no communication whatsoever.”

Quotes from: Endangered life. Everyday life and protest in refugee shelters during the corona pandemic

Also in the vaccination campaign, refugee residents of concentration camps in NRW run the risk of getting out of sight and out of mind: Although they are listed in the prioritization group 2 of the vaccination ordinance, the state government of NRW had not even managed to agree on a concept for the information and vaccination of the residentsby April 2021. 

It was only through public pressure that the relevant ministries started to move the matter. But even at the end of May, very few residents of state accommodation received a vaccination offer, let alone full vaccination protection. 

The isolation of the residents has been significantly exacerbated by the corona pandemic: the visit of volunteers or friends to the facility is prohibited, and in the event of quarantine, it is no longer possible for those affected to leave the premises. Even in “normal” times, the situation is characterized by massive isolation: school attendance for children, training to learn the language, get to know friends, find work, start therapy, arrive and come to rest…. everything that would actually be urgently needed and important after an often traumatic escape is not possible from the camp or almost not. 

At the same time, deportations are repeatedly taking place from the camps, which were also never interrupted during the pandemic. For all other residents and especially for children, witnessing early morning raids and deportations is an enormous stress. Many suffer from insomnia and develop psychological problems. 

We are therefore of the opinion that the obligation to camp refugees should be abolished. Collective accommodation for refugees can only be a place to stay in the first few weeks for those who otherwise have no accommodation. However, the purpose of camps beyond this first accommodation is solely to simplify the administration and control of people, to simplify deportation measures and to provide deterrence. This must not be a reason to force people in isolation and in sickening and dangerous conditions to rob them of months and years of their lives in which they cannot build a future for themselves.

If, at the end of the day, mentally worn-out people come to the communities, no one is helped. 

Call to participate!

Invitation for the inhabitants of ZUE

We are from different anti-racist organisations, who oppose the big, centralized camps and fight for the humane accommodation of refugees. Everyone should have a place to stay and a future here.

Between the 19th and 27th of June 2021 there will be events in several cities (Aachen, Bochum, Düsseldorf, Köln, Münster…) For example, a demonstration in Düsseldorf at the 25th at 5pm.

If you want to share how life in the camp is from your perspective, you can send your texts, drawings and photographs or videos (no recognizable faces uf possible) to us using the following email address:

The material will be published on our website: There you will also find all the information about the different events in the cities.