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PM 25.11.20: Eisenhüttenstadt Lager – hotspot for sexual assaults

Last year during the international “day against violence against women” we were mourning about our sister Rita in Hohenleipisch and demanding justice in front of the authorities in Herzberg and Potsdam. This year women living in the receiving centre lager in Eisenhüttenstadt report to us: Eisenhüttenstadt Lager is not only a dangerous corona hotspot, but also a hotspot for sexual assaults and harassment against women particularly lesbians. Lesbian and trans feel discriminated and not protected from the authorities.

This is not only happening in Eisenhüttenstadt, but also in Wünsdorf and other lagers. M., a 21-year-old lesbian from Georgia narrates, what it means living in the so called “protection house” in Eisenhüttenstadt. She was harassed by other refugees, who knew she was a lesbian. Some wanted to beat her and wanted to force her to have sex with them while others insulted her. She got depressed and had to see a psychologist.  The officials and the security know of her risk, but only tell her to stay in her room, in order to keep safe. The so called “protection house” is not at all a safe place for vulnerable refugees, rather one of homemade crisis and her room a prison. Realizing this, M. requested to be transferred to Wünsdorf, hoping things could be different. In Wünsdorf she is facing the same problems. She is now looking for support to move out of the lager and meet LGBT community.

We, from Women in Exile and Friends, have for a long time been fighting for women and children to be removed from the lagers and to abolish all lagers. It is because we know and share what is happening inside these lagers. When a man assaults a woman, he is transferred to another lager where of course, he will continue assaulting others. Update reports on Rita`s murder, is that the suspect was moved to another lager. These continuous acts make us angry. Why is the system so silent about these assaults and letting women suffer these atrocities?

We demand protection for refugees and respect of our dignity, especially for the women, lesbian and children who are a vulnerable group when it comes to lager accommodation.

That is why on the 25.11 we are going to be loud and clear in front of the lager in Eisenhüttenstadt. To demand justice for Rita and to show that lagers are not a safe place for women and children.

On 25 November, the day against violence against women*, we also want to show solidarity with those who have been fled at Europe’s external borders. Women*, minors and people from the LGBTIQ* community are particularly vulnerable to violence. We therefore call for the immediate evacuation of all people from the overcrowded camps on the EU’s external border and for dignified accommodation in host countries and municipalities.

25.11.- International Day against violence against women!


25.11.20 @ 12:00 – 15:00 Rally in front of the BAMF and Eisenhüttenstadt Lager, Poststraße 72, 15890 Eisenhüttenstadt (Brandenburg)

We, Women in Exile & Friends organize a Rally at midday in front of the BAMF and Eisenhüttenstadt lager (first-receiving center) condemn:

that Eisenhüttenstadt is not only a dangerous corona hot-spot but also a hot-spot for sexual assaults and harassment against vulnerable women particularly lesbians. The number of unreported cases is very high. This summer there were two rapes and one attempted rape in the Brandenburg “Reception Centers” – also in Eisenhüttenstadt. In addition, there is sexual harassment and assault, bodily injury of all kinds, domestic violence, psychological violence and stalking. We cannot close our eyes to this violence, which is also caused by the racist asylum system.

Last year on the 25.11., during the international “day against violence against women” we were mourning about our murdered sister Rita in Hohenleipisch and demanding justice in front of the authorities in Herzberg and Potsdam – this year we are going to be “loud and clear” in front of the lager in Eisenhüttenstadt, still demanding justice for Rita and showing again and again that lagers are not a safe place for women and children.

The health magazine is now accessible online!

Health magazine

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Our remarkable health magazine is now available online, and with just one click to the above link “Health magazine“, you’ll have access to it. However, one can possess the hard copies from our space at Hermannstr.22 Berlin on Tuesdays from noon or email us.
Have fun by reading!

Lager visit at Seelowerstraße in Müchenberg on 2.10.20

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The camp at Seelower Straße Müchenberg is a four-floor building run by International Bund. This company is the largest player in the Lager business in Brandenburg. From the outside it looks well-kept with bright paintings. From the inside it is like every other camp not caring about the residents but the profits. The refugees are sharing small spaces. The only three showers for the women are on the first floor, this means every woman including those with children have to move up and down to access the shower. The three shower cabins are separated by a transparent plastic, so it is not possible for women to have privacy while showering.

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The only three showers for the women are on the first floor, this means every woman including those with children have to move up and down to access the shower. The three shower cabins are separated by a transparent plastic, so it is not possible for women to have privacy while showering. There is no rubbish bin, only a small plastic bag hanged at the door and all the men go to the ground floor for their showers.

The two cookers in a small room are shared by more than 20 people, some of whom have families, that means waiting until your neighbours finish cooking because the kitchen is only enough for two people at a time. One woman who is already depressed with the accommodation situation; is living in a small room with her five month old baby. The room is enough only for her single bed, the baby cot and a cupboard. This leaves only a small space in between to move from one corner to the other. For her to access the kitchen and bathroom, she has to go through several doors like the rest of the residents. These doors are closed and everyone has to keep on opening them including women and children from other floors who come to the first floor to shower.

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There is no concept of hygiene rules in relation to the Covid-19, a virus which is on the rise again. Just some simple notes explain that hands should be washed between 20-30 seconds. She is constantly worried about what is to become of her and her baby despite of her being a young, energetic and educated woman.

In our campaign “#social distancing is a privilege”; we made it very clear what it means to live in a camp during the corona virus pandemic. It is a pity that the authorities have not seen the need at least to improve the refugees living conditions especially the vulnerable groups with a long aim of closing camps completely.

A little teaser from our demands and who we are from our health magazine:

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Distance and hygiene rules for W.i.E.& F – meetings

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1. if you or your child has cold symptoms (cough, fever, sore throat, diarrhoea…), has tested positive for Covid 19 or has had contact with someone who has tested positive, please do not attend the meeting
2. maintain a minimum distance of 1,5 metres
3. if the minimum distance cannot be maintained, please wear a mask
3. indoor areas should always be adequately ventilated
4. sneeze or cough into the crook of your arm or into a handkerchief – and then dispose of the handkerchief in a waste bin
5. wash your hands for 20 seconds: a) when you come in from outside, b) after blowing your nose / sneezing / coughing, c) before going to the kitchen, d) before eating, e) after going to the toilet
6. please use the disinfectant provided
7. All participants* must leave their name and contact details
8. With my signature I confirm that I have read and accept the rules
Stay healthy!

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Camp Moria is on fire! Abolish all camps!

For months, camp residents, activists and migrant organisations have been warning of a catastrophe in the camp in Moria. The warnings were ignored. The EU has preferred to sit back and try(!) to make the people into minor roles in its dirty theatre of deterrence. But they will never manage that! So last week the open-air prison went up in flames – without major injuries to people!An end with the camp system! Now the press is talking of “arsonists”. Have you ever wondered why people who have already risked their lives once are willing to risk their lives again?
Many are severely traumatised and suffer from depression because they had to go through hell for a better life. LGTB and women suffer additionally due to the lack of protection against sexual violence. Children are not allowed to live out their childhood. For several days they have been surviving completely homeless on the streets.


The arsonists? These are the EU’s desk criminals, that is Seehofer and co. For months, years, people have been living in the camp in Moria. A camp that is designed for 3,000 people, but almost 13,000 people are squeezed in. Accordingly, there are not enough medical supply stores, no hot water, electricity or internet. The people have to live under appallingly unhygienic conditions, in airy tents, no matter what the season. Endless queues to go to the toilet or shop.


They are not only isolated from the world, they feel at all levels that they are made second-class people. Since the pandemic, nothing has changed in Moria, no measures have been taken for the people, quite the contrary! In fact, it has been decided that almost 13,000 people are not allowed to leave this small, unhygienic place – an open-air prison!
How is the Greek government dealing with the current situation? Yes, they are building new tents (for another prison?!), but at the same time they are throwing tear gas into the crowd to prevent them from scattering too much. The press is being denied access to the city area so that the world doesn’t have to know any more.
There are people who would rather stay on the streets than go back to the newly built camp. They know that another prison will not change the situation.

Continue reading Camp Moria is on fire! Abolish all camps!

OUR HEALTHCARE PROJECT

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In memory of the murdered people in Hanau: Anti-Racist Demonstration in Potsdam

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On Saturday, August 22, 600 people demonstrated in downtown Potsdam against racist violence. On the occasion of the racist attack in Hanau six months ago, they drew attention under the motto “Remembering means changing” to the fact that refugees and migrants in Brandenburg are also repeatedly exposed to racist attacks. In addition to Seebrücke Potsdam and the initiative Opferperspective, several migrant organizations such as the group “Women in Exile” had called for action. There were protests nationwide on this day, the largest of which were to take place at the central memorial demonstration in Hanau, which was banned due to the rise of the Corona numbers.

The protests tie in with the worldwide protests against racist violence, which received new impetus with the violent death of George Floyd three months ago in the USA. Jane Wangari of the Brandenburg group “Women in Exile” says: “Thanks to the worldwide Black Lives Matter movement, police violence is finally becoming an issue. Also in Germany. Fugitives and migrants who have lived in Germany for a long time experience racist attacks every day”.

Racism is not only a problem of security authorities and Nazis, but comes from the middle of society. “Racism has divided our society for centuries, with deadly consequences,” Wangari said. Since reunification, at least 82 people have been murdered for racist motives.

Continue reading In memory of the murdered people in Hanau: Anti-Racist Demonstration in Potsdam

Rally and Picnic at Wünsdorf Lager

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On the 22.07, as part of our summer action bus tour in Berlin and Brandenburg we organised a rally and a picnic outside the lager in Wünsdorf. This is the same lager where after 6 hours absence from the lager, refugees are tested for corona and sent straight into quarantine where they have to wait for 3-5 days for the result.

The breakdown of the soli bus that we were supposed to use did not deter us. A group of more than 20 of us used the train to travel to the camp. The weather was good and many refugees joined the rally to condemn the conditions they are living in, especially sharing of the rooms even with those who are suspected of being infected with corona. Temperature checks are done on those who go out even briefly, which makes them have a feeling of being in prison. This makes people afraid of going out and prefer to stay in the lager compound because they do not want to go through all these inconveniences.

During the picnic and rally, we tried to ask the refugees from inside to keep the „social distancing rule“, they said for the them it does not apply and it does not make any difference because they cannot pretend since the accommodation concept itself cannot allow them to keep such rules. Women complained that their children are becoming traumatised by the situation of being lockdown. In spite of the social distancing rules lockdown, their families are still sharing rooms without enough space for all of them. They demanded that they should be moved out and accommodated in dignity because they are getting psycho problems when being in the camps without any perspectives.

“No lager for women and children, Abolish all lagers!!!”