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PM:Women* on the move against Lagersystem and racism from 21.07 – 04.08

Women in Exile & Friends

Women in Exile is an initiative of refugee women founded in Brandenburg in 2002. As refugees and women* of this society we want to fight for our rights. Our main focus is the abolishment of Lagers. Madeleine Mawamba: „We believe the shared and isolated accommodations work as a catalyst to sexual violence, traumas and depressions leading to (attempted) suicides. That is why we say: No Lager for women and children! Abolish all Lager!“

Women in Exile & Friendshave been making summer tours to different German federal states to connect with other refugee women*, especially those living in lager. This summer we will move to Hamburg, Bremen and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Elizabeth Ngari: „We will be a group of 40 refugee women and children on tour with the Solibus (Solibus e.V. Gemeinsam mobil für eine solidarische Welt). We will camp or sleep at our hosts. We will visit the Lager, do demonstrations against racism and Lager, encourage each other and facilitate empowerment workshops. We will encourage and network with other refugee women*, groups and individuals working with refugee women*. On this tour we will bring into public the isolation, racism, sexism, reports on traumas on those experiencing sleepless nights for fear of deportation and the effects of the corona pandemic. To abolish this racist Lagersystem, we will break borders preventing our participation and build bridges to connect us to other communities. So that refugees will be given the opportunity to choose where we want to live in dignity.“

Women in Exile will Kick off the Bustour in Potsdam on the 21.07. at 11:00 in Front of Brandenburg Parliament with a rally against Lager and racism. Everybody is welcome to join and support the fight for freedom of movement, for the abolishment of all Lager and against racism. We know: Solidarity wins. On the 4.8. we will come back and held a standing rally at Oranienplatz in Berlin. There will be a press conference and food will be served. Warm welcome to join us there too and hear of our experiences.

We ask for your finacial support and solidarity for our Tour. So that we can work for the empowerment of refugee women*, bring the systematic violation of our rights to the public and work together with other communities for an open and solidarity society. Abolish all Lager! Freedom of movement is everbodys right!

PR: International Women’s Day: Against the Racist and Sexual Violence of the Lager-system in times of Pandemic

The Covid 19 pandemic is being felt throughout society. On the one hand, it’s easy to generalize: it’s a virus we all have to deal with. On the other hand, we have to be realistic: Living in isolation, with no prospect of residency, hoping the police don’t come to enforce deportation, is not only stressful and traumatizing, it compounds the stress of the pandemic. Elizabeth Ngari, co-founder of Women in Exile & Friends, says, “We are not only targeted by the virus, but also by everyday sexism and racism, migration policies and police controls. For example, it is obvious structural racism when in the former deportation detention center in Eisenhüttenstadt only “people of non-German origin” were detained for violating quarantine measures” (the MAZ reported on 10.2.2021).

Elizabeth Ngari: “The way the pandemic is being handled is exacerbating our structural and social exclusion in this society.” For many, it’s easy to work from home, attend online meetings, discuss their problems and try to find solutions. A year of social distancing, online meetings, and wearing masks has shown us all the importance of participation and social contact. But in the isolated refugee camps, access to the Internet is poor or non-existent. The Foreigners’ Registration Office, the BAMF and the German Red Cross in the initial reception centers, just a few meters away from the accommodations, naturally have good Internet. “Digital exclusion not only mirrors spatial and social exclusion, but reinforces it,” adds Madeleine Mawamba of Women in Exile & Friends. Many of the women in the camps are excluded from digital conferences and digital organizing and participation. In addition to digital exclusion, “social distancing is a privilege” in the canteens, where up to 400 people eat or share toilets.

This year, we received reports of rape and sexual harassment in Brandenburg’s initial reception facilities against straight women and lesbians. We organized a rally on November 25, 2020, the “International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women” in front of the Eisenhüttenstadt camp. The Eisenhüttenstadt camp is the initial reception center of the state of Brandenburg. The sexualized assaults happened even though the camp has a so-called “shelter” block where refugees in need of protection are supposed to be housed. One of the affected women volunteered to give an interview to a journalist from Taz about her experience. It is possible to read about it in our blog: Refugee Women in Initial Reception Facilities: Escaping Violence in Violence ” Women in Exile & Friends (info@women-in-exile.net).

On March 8, 2021, the “International Women’s Struggle Day” we will demonstrate in Cottbus – in memory of our murdered sister Rita – against feminicides and camps.

May Rita Ojunge rest in peace and strength.

We will continue to demand justice, even in times of pandemic!

We demand justice for the women who were raped!

We demand justice for our murdered sister Rita! And we repeat loud and clear: camps are not a safe place for women and children!

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?

Continue reading PM 25.11.20: Eisenhüttenstadt Lager – hotspot for sexual assaults

Von Politik zweiter Klasse – Niemand darf zurückgelassen werden!

Die Landesflüchtlingsräte, PRO ASYL und die Seebrücken-Bewegung legten heute am 11. Mai 2020, um 10 Uhr in einer Pressekonferenz dar, dass es gerade jetzt gilt, niemanden zurückzulassen und Lager zu schließen – ob in Moria oder Halberstadt. Vertreter*innen der Organisationen berichteten von Problemlagen, Maßnahmen und Perspektiven.

Während Menschen weltweit mit den Maßnahmen durch die Covid-19-Pandemie zu kämpfen haben, sind besonders jene, die erzwungenermaßen in Camp Strukturen untergebracht sind, enormen Gefahren ausgesetzt. Schutzsuchende leben teils zu tausenden in Lagern, in denen Infektionsschutz und persönliche Bedarfsdeckung zwangsläufig nicht möglich ist. Mit Blick auf die Elendslager in Moria auf Lesvos oder weiteren Inseln, auf das Leid der Menschen in den Folterlagern Libyens, dem Schicksal der Menschen auf der Balkanroute und auch in Massenunterkünften in Deutschland lässt sich feststellen: Schutzsuchende werden dem Virus schutzlos ausgesetzt oder mit freiheitsentziehenden Maßnahmen belegt.

„Wir beobachten derzeit eine bewusste Gefährdung der Gesundheit, nämlich dass eine Durchseuchung in Kauf genommen wird,“ so Helen Deffner vom Flüchtlingsrat Sachsen-Anhalt. Zu Hunderten werden Geflüchtete auf engstem Raum untergebracht und dadurch zwangsläufig dem gefährlichen Virus ausgesetzt. „Das Corona-Virus macht noch einmal deutlich: Es ist längst an der Zeit, dass die Landesregierungen Konzepte für die Unterbringung von Geflüchteten in Wohnungen erarbeiten und ausbauen und nicht weiter auf Massenunterbringung setzen. Es bedarf jetzt eines Richtungswechsels: Abkehr von Sammelunterkünften hin zu Wohnungen!

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Covid-19 Pandemic & refugee camps

Events are being cancelled all over the country, schools are closed, authorities advise people to move away from crowded rooms to keep away.

But this information and discussions are in German language. Refugees who have only a limited understanding of the German language are dependent on social media or friends in order to be informed. The refugees from the camps in Eisenhüttenstadt, Wünsdorf, Doberlug-Kirchhain and of course from all others, smaller homes in Berlin/Brandenburg, don´t get the seriousness of the situation from reliable sources.

To date, the authorities have not provided the refugees with any information about the handling of Covid-19 in the camps. In dealing with the pandemic in the camps, the refugees have neither a say nor is their transparency from the officials.


The Covid-19 pandemic will affect refugees in the camps on a massive scale.

Refugees in Germany, access to health care is hindered by the Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz, that discriminates them: first
social authorities are consulted on whether medical bills are paid.
In Suhl/Türingen, the entire initial reception facility
quarantined after one confirmed case of corona infection
(about 500 people). This will be fatal to the health of many people.

Economic health crises can increase authoritarianism and the Scapegoat search – the racist attacks on us Refugees will rise if no intervention is made. Do European governments think about the consequences that arise when someone from these vulnerable groups tested positive for Covid-19?
Refugees live in mass accommodation throughout Europe. Despite the pandemic there are still deportations to some European countries.
Police and right wing groups at the border between Turkey and Greece shall use all means necessary to remove refugees from crossing the border.

Government politicians – instead of talking about the immediate evacuation of the camps and access to statutory health insurance – think first about the economic Consequences of the pandemic. Europeans complain that Trump does not allow them to travel to the USA, but only allows the to permit the movement of goods. That’s what we refugees from the global south experience from the global north for a long time. We are denied freedom of movement, but the free flow of goods is approved.

It it’s time to widen the #neighborhood challenge. Not only white, German neighbours* have the right to care and Health, also refugees.

Therefore we, Women in Exile & Friends demand:

  • Multilingual information, transparency of the authorities and the right of the refugees to have a say in initial receptions centers and other camps.
  • As fast as possible, decentralized accommodation and closing of the camps
  • access to the statutory health insurance
  • unconditional basic income.

All this would change the current situation to the better.

Press contact: Women in Exile
Phone: 01521 3070280 / info@women-in-exile.net

Dissolve collective accommodations – redistribute now, before it is too late!

Joint press release from

Flüchtlingsrat Brandenburg, We`ll Come United Berlin Brandenburg, Handicap International e.V, International Women* Space, Women in Exile & Friends, Refugees Emancipation, KommMit e.V., Asyl in der Kirche Berlin-Brandenburg e.V., Refugee Assembly Brandenburg, Wir packen’s an e.V. – Nothilfe für Geflüchtet, Jugendliche ohne Grenzen Brandenburg, Refugee Law Clinic Berlin, Barnim für alle, Seebrücke Potsdam, Flüchtlingsberatungsstelle des ev. Kirchenkreises Oberes Havelland, ESTAruppin e.V, Geflüchteten Netzwerk Cottbus, Migrantenbeirat der Landeshauptstadt Potsdam, Vorstand des Aktionsbündnis Brandenburg, Bürger*innenasyl Barnim, SV Babelsberg 03, Brigade Konrad Wolf, Doberlug-Kirchhain VerEin, Alternatives Jugendprojekt 1260 e.V., S, Strausberg, Netzwerk neue Nachbarn Werder, Theater X, Aktionsbündnis „Offenes MOL“ Märkisch Oderland, Space2groW, colaborative Reichenow e.V., Kultur in der Alten Schäferei e.V. Reichenow, Haus des Wandels e.V. Steinhöfel-Heinersdorf, Demokratisches Jugendforum e.V., Dr. med. Nora Wawerek, Fachärztin für Allgemeinmedizin, Lunow, Dipl.Med. Almut Berg, Fachärztin für Allgemeinmedizin und Psychotherapie, Lunow, Dr. Verbena Bothe

In the large initial reception centre for refugees in Doberlug-Kirchhain there are the first confirmed Corona cases, in Potsdam all 116 residents* of a shared accommodation are quarantined after several infections and Oberhavel also reports a positive tested person in a shared accommodation, as well as more than 200 residents* in quarantine, who are to be tested today.

Continue reading Dissolve collective accommodations – redistribute now, before it is too late!

PM “We fight together” Demonstration for International Women’s Day

We invite you to our Demonstration on 07.03.2020 celebrating International Women`s Day in Potsdam. The meeting point is at Hbf Potsdam Nord / Babelsbergerstr. at 13.30h – from there we head towards Filmmuseum, Luisenplatz, Nauener Tor until Platz der Einheit

We from Women in Exile and Friends, together with our alliances in Potsdam, will be marching on the streets on Saturday the 07.03.20 with the motto „We fight together”.

We are many and fight together: we are refugees, black and women* of colour,lesbians, inter*, trans*, non-binary people and  take the advantage of the international women`s days  to go to the streets and fight for our rights against all kinds of discrimination and violence.

We will get loud for all the injustices and inhuman treatment as we witness the physcial violation of refugee on the Turkey, Greece border while the politicians from both sides are talking of deals and money.

Continue reading PM “We fight together” Demonstration for International Women’s Day

PM: 03.01.2020 – Call for support during “Paper-aircraft Process”

On the 03.01.2020 at 10 a.m. in Nuremberg District Court the “Paper-Aircraft Process” will continue. We expect the Nuremberg District Court to give a favourable judgement. “This Process is another attempt to bring our supporter to court and to criminalize our movement”, says Elizabeth Ngari. “They try to distract our focus away from our fights against discriminative refugee laws.”

This process came about after, our rally on the 27.07.2018 in front of BAMF Nürnberg was part of the “Women* Breaking Borders Bus Tour”. It was a strong, creative and proud rally. Women* & children came from a Ankerzentrum in the area and from other refugee camps. One after the other came to the microphone and talked about traumas, fears and spoke up against sexual and physical violence. But since 2016 the demands of Women in Exile to this BAMF were ignored, this time we send them on the air way: with paper planes.

Our Ally, in her role as rally leader, did not forbid us and our children to direct political demands by paper plane to the BAMF. This is why she is accused of “violation of Bavarian assembly law” (see also https://www.women-in-exile.net/gerichtsprozess-in-nuernberg-aufgrund-unserer-papierflugzeuge-ans-bamf-was-sind-die-wirklichen-verbrechen/#more-5274). “Instead of investigating the mentioned human rights violations against refugees, the prosecutor is focusing on paper planes of refugee women* and children”, says Elizabeth Ngari. “But repression will not make us tired or loose our focus. Women in Exile and Friends will not stop to fight for our refugee women* rights. Stop criminalizing us, our friends and supporters! We are demanding human basic rights like No lager for women* and children; Abolish all lagers; Stop deportations and open borders!”

The process on the 03.01.2020 starts at 10 a.m. in session hall 126 of the Nuremberg district court at Fürther Straße 110. To show solidarity with the accused, we call to accompany them to the court room.

Pressekontakt Women in Exile:info@women-in-exile.net

PM Einladung zur Women in Exile & Friends “Gerechtigkeit für Rita”-Bustour am 25. November, dem Internationalen Tag zur Beseitigung von Gewalt gegen Frauen.

Am 7. April 2019 verschwand Rita Awour Ojunge. Zwei Monate später wurde ihre Leiche in der Nähe des Lagers in Hohenleipisch gefunden, in dem sie lebte. Die Gründe für ihren Tod sind nach sieben Monaten noch ungeklärt.
Am Montag, den 25. Mai, fahren wir nach Herzberg, Hohenleipisch und Potsdam, um “Gerechtigkeit für Rita” und die Schließung aller Lager zu fordern.

Am 27.08. demonstrierten wir in Potsdam vor dem brandenburgischen Innenministerium und forderten “Gerechtigkeit für Rita” und die Schließung des Hohenleipisch-Lagers. Wir versprachen, immer wieder zurückzukommen, bis wir Antworten auf unsere Fragen haben. Deshalb machen wir am 25.11. eine Bustour durch Brandenburg mit den Forderungen “Gerechtigkeit für Rita”, “Kein Lager für Frauen* und Kinder”, “Abschaffung aller Lager”!

Continue reading PM Einladung zur Women in Exile & Friends “Gerechtigkeit für Rita”-Bustour am 25. November, dem Internationalen Tag zur Beseitigung von Gewalt gegen Frauen.

PM: Gerechtigkeit für Rita! – Kundgebung für die Rechte von geflüchteten Frauen in Brandenburg und gegen Gewalt an Frauen

Wir laden Sie herzlich zur Kundgebung “Gerechtigkeit für Rita!” am 27.08.2019 um 14:30 Uhr vor dem Brandenburgischen Innenministerium in Potsdam, Henning-von-Tresckow-Straße ein.

Die Kundgebung wird anlässlich des Mordes an Rita Awour Ojunge aus der Flüchtlingsunterkunft in Hohenleipisch von Women in Exile & Friends mit der Unterstützung vom Flüchtlingsrat Brandenburg, FIBB (Flüchtlingsinitiative Berlin/Brandenburg), ISD (Initiative Schwarzer Menschen in Deutschland), Refugee Emancipation und Solidarity City Berlin organisiert.
Wir wollen gemeinsam Rita gedenken und fordern eine Aufklärung des Falles sowie die Schließung des Lagers in Hohenleipisch!

Continue reading PM: Gerechtigkeit für Rita! – Kundgebung für die Rechte von geflüchteten Frauen in Brandenburg und gegen Gewalt an Frauen