Live Ticker: 15.04.2016

Doliana: An isolated mountain camp

The camp in Doliana is close to the Albanian border in the very northwest of Greece. Around 200 people stay in a former music college, which is very secluded in the forest. It´s a 10 minutes walk to the tiny village of Doliana with 140 inhabitants. Without registration no visitor is allowed to enter it, but the people can come and go as they want. However, there is nowhere really to go to. The Greek army from a nearby base is enforcing this procedure.

Talking to Kurdish women in front of the main gate made clear once again what the main problem is: They do not have any information about their rights; no information about how to claim asylum; no information about their right of family reunification if they have their husbands, wives or underaged children in Germany. As in most other camps, a lot of people in Doliana qualify for family reunification under the Dublin III accord. People have not yet tried to get an appointment with the asylum service via Skype, as they had no information how the procedure works. Applying for asylum and family reunification is only possible if one gets an appointment via Skype. The Skype line however, is only open for one hour per week. In other camps we were told that it is nearly impossible to get through.

Doliana is exemplary for the very random standards of the Greek camps. In Katsikas an hour drive away, people have to sleep in tents on the rocky ground, have miserably sanitary installations, no shade, but a lot of snakes. In Doliana people stay in the old boarding school. Although 4 families – around 20 people – have to share a room and have no privacy, the living conditions are better than in many other camps in Greece.