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20.06.2022 International Refugee Day “Breaking Borders to Build Bridges”

Women in Exile Book launching in Potsdam, Charlottenstr. 28 (Sputnik) at 7:30 pm

Women in Exile & Friends together with Frauenkreis, Seebrücke Potsdam, Potsdam Konvoi welcome you to celebrate the International Refugee Day with the launching of our book “Breaking Borders to Build Bridges”. The celebration and launching will be moderated by Patricia Vester and Nouria Asfaha.

“Breaking Borders to Build Bridges is a collection of refugee women´s texts about fleeing, surviving, the situation in refugee camps, and organizing for 20 years as a refugee women`s group for the abolishment of Lagers and freedom of movement.

This publication is a space for voices that are often silenced, voices speaking about 20 years of political activism in a self-organized initiative of refugee women*.

It is collectively written by Women in Exile and includes contributions by members of the group, our friends, sisters, children, and supporters. It is written on smartphones, paper or Laptops, in refugee Camps and safe Spaces.

The publication talks about our history and how we came together as a group. How we have built intersectional bridges within our group and beyond, bridges of solidarity that we keep on building despite our differences.

This book gives insights into issues that have been accompanying the group over the years: Reasons to leave home, the discriminatory asylum process, the situation in the refugee camps and the struggle for the abolishment of camps, the right to health care, freedom of movement, empowerment, self-reflection, cooperation with friends, and about renting our own safer space for refugee women*.

Against camp system and racism! Hearing before the district court

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On 13th June, the trial for a rally in front of the state parliament during the “Tour against Camp System and Racism” of Women in Exile in summer 2021 took place in Schwerin. Activists and friends of the defendant came as visitors to the trial and to a rally in front of the district court. We are especially happy that some of the Women in Exile came all the way from Berlin.

The trial was not finished on that day. On a further date witnesses are to be questioned and fundamental questions clarified. The defendant said today:

This camp system makes me sick. For over 30 years I have been active in voluntary refugee work, professionally as a doctor I have had to experience in many cases that it is only through the living conditions in the camps here that people become psychologically demoralized and ill. Our small action should also be a small encouragement to stand up publicly against this situation of injustice and to bring this situation of injustice to a head, even if it would have consequences.

I ask you as a judge, is our perhaps small violation of rules, which is what Civil Disobedience stands for, not proportionate to the immense suffering and injustice done to the refugees?”

On our homepage you can find the background to the case, as well as the defendant’s plea in court. The defendant is conducting the trial without a lawyer – and he is doing so out of conviction. We believe that law and courts should function in such a way that it is possible for everyone to fight for his/her rights there without having to invest huge sums of money. This means that we actively deal with legal issues, basic but also procedural rights.

Registration is now open for the conference

More information about the conference can be found on this page.

Register now to secure your spot at the conference in August with this Google form.

Our Book

The preview is here from our publisher!


International Women’s Conference – 20 Years Women in Exile

Weaving experiences, building networks. Analysis of the political, economic and colonial causes of forced displacement.

Women in Exile and Friends are celebrating their 20th anniversary!

Over the past two decades, we have broken many borders. As refugee women, we are constantly confronted with visible and invisible borders. At these borders, refugee women’s autonomy and freedom of movement are regimented, their choice of where and how to live is externally determined. Access to health care is precarious and inefficient. Work bans drive people into dependence on arbitrary authority or into irregular employment. Asylum policies foster a social climate in which refugees are dehumanized and devalued. 

As organized refugee women, we encourage each other in the fight against sexism and racism. We reiterate our call for the abolition of all camps. We continue discussions about the political motivations that drive people into exile. We will make it clear that we are not alone or isolated, but that we share struggles and successes. We are part of a global human community. We collected our knowledge and experiences in our book “Women in Exile – Breaking Borders to Build Bridges” which will be published on the occasion of the International Women Conference.  

We invite all refugee women and friends in solidarity to come to the conference!

Let’s build a world without borders, a world that overcomes the effects of colonization and ends exploitation and plunder.   

For the right to come, the right to go, and the right to STAY!

Women in Exile & Friends

2021 was a year full of activities for Women in Exile & Friends!

Thanks to your generous support, we were able to successfully overcome most of the challenges – despite the pandemic.

You and your financial support helped us to advance our campaign “No camps for women and children! Abolish all camps!” to move forward. We made the bus tour this time to the north of Germany with the theme “Women* Moving Against Lagers and Racism” and were able to build and maintain new and old relationships with women and groups.

We demonstrated, organized workshops and did other activities that we shared with you through the newsletter and our info mails. We supported many refugee women* by referring them to, and in some cases accompanying them to asylum process consultations and medical care organizations.

The women who participate in our empowerment workshops realize that they are not alone in facing these problems. This has given them courage and the strength to address the situation collectively and not perceive it as their individual problems.

Continue reading 2021 was a year full of activities for Women in Exile & Friends!

Help refugee women* keep our safe space.

First, we would like to thank all those who have continued donating through this space in solidarity to our safe space in Hermann Straße 22, Berlin.

This is why, we appeal to you and all other well-wishers, to donate again this year to assist us financially to retain the space. This space has become very important to refugee women* in our group, especially those living in the isolated camps in Brandenburg and those in Berlin who are always seeking for advice in one way or the other. It is a meeting place to exchange, learn and getting connected to new women*.

The Refugee Law Clinic (Berlin) meets here once in a week to give legal advice to refugee women* from Berlin and Brandenburg.

Please, donate generously, to assist us to keep the space running.

Human Rights Day: Give back the Mobiles! Right to come, right to go, right to stay!

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During our rally against Lager in Eisenhüttenstadt on the International Day against Violence against Women on 25.11., many reported, that their mobiles had been taken away by german police when crossing the german/polish border in Frankfurt Oder. Refugees – also families with small children – arriving in Frankfurt Oder are send, also in the late afternoon, to a Camp somewhere far away in Germany. Some had to go without a mobile. Taking away their mobiles is a an incomprehensible encroachment on fundamental rights. Flight is not a crime.

So we decided to make a spotanous action on the german/polish border. We wanted to show solidarity with the refugees crossing borders. Accompanied by our friends from Haus des Wandels, Seebrücke, Konvoi Potsdam and other supporters. We stood on the bridge between Frankfurt Oder and Slubice and demanded: Open Borders!

Today we celebrate the Human Rights Day. On December 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In it: the right to asylum.

But who was sitting at the table discussing the definition of a refugee?! Only the Colonial Powers and the very few decolonized countries like India and Pakistan. So this definition was built to exclude us from asylum or give us away to over-exploitation as illegalized.

Continue reading Human Rights Day: Give back the Mobiles! Right to come, right to go, right to stay!

Call for rally against sexualized and racialized violence on the 25.11.2021 at 1 pm in Eisenhüttenstadt

On the 25. November, the “International Day for the Elimination of Gender-Based Violence against Women*Women in Exile&Friends, Haus des Wandels and other local initiatives invite you to join our rally in Eisenhüttenstadt in front of the Erstaufnahmeeinrichtung in Poststraße 72 at 1 pm.

Our rally is meant is to bring attention to the women*s situation on the flight and the situation for us living inside refugee camps. Through these dangerous routes, women and queers are systematically being exposed to violence and sexual exploitation. We end up in receiving camps in Germany with physical maladies and trauma. Not only the flightway, but also the camps are not safe spaces for women*. We and our children are a vulnerable minority in these camps.

On our rally we will also remember our Sister Rita O.. She was brutally murdered while living in a camp three years ago. To date, the proceedings have not been concluded, let alone charges brought. The violence protection concept has not worked and the best concept would be: No Lager!

Continue reading Call for rally against sexualized and racialized violence on the 25.11.2021 at 1 pm in Eisenhüttenstadt

Prosecutor gives new details in death of Kenyan woman

Bis heute ist unklar, wie Rita O. zu Tode kam. 2019 lebte die damals 32-jährige Mutter im Asylbewerberheim Hohenleipisch. Flüchtlingsinitiativen erheben schwere Vorwürfe gegen Polizei und Staatsanwaltschaft. Letztere verwahrt sich dagegen und nennt neue Details.
Die Faktenlage ist auch nach mehr als zwei Jahren dünn. Im Juni 2019 wurden unweit des Asylbewerberheimes Hohenleipisch menschliche Körperteile gefunden. Einer DNA-Analyse zufolge sind sie zweifelsfrei der damals 32-jährigen Kenianerin Rita O. zuzuordnen, die im Heim lebte. Die Mutter von zwei Kindern, damals zwei und vier Jahre alt, war am 7. April als vermisst gemeldet worden.

Der Flüchtlingsrat Brandenburg, Women in Exile & Friends und die Opferperspektive e.V. wiederholen in einer gemeinsamen Presseerklärung erneut ihre schweren Vorwürfe gegen Polizei und Staatsanwaltschaft. “Bis heute ist das Verfahren nicht abgeschlossen, geschweige denn wurde Anklage erhoben. Es entsteht der Eindruck, dass die Ermittlungsbehörden kein Interesse an der Verfolgung der Tötung von Rita O. haben und dass eine Anklageerhebung staatlicherseits verschleppt wird, in der Hoffnung, der Skandal um ihre Tötung und die katastrophalen Ermittlungsarbeiten würde in Vergessenheit geraten.”

Flüchtlingsinitiativen kritisieren “schleppende Ermittlungen” im Fall Rita O.
Oberstaatsanwalt Gernot Bantleon von der Staatsanwaltschaft in Cottbus weist das zurück und sagt: “Wir haben alles getan. Das ständige Wiederholen der Vorwürfe ändert an den Tatsachen nichts.”

Continue reading Prosecutor gives new details in death of Kenyan woman