This may be common practice but it must stop!
It’s degrading and dehumanising.
Refugees are people.
No matter what the circumstances are or how they arrived.
Human beings have names.
“Why did they put a number on me? Why did they call me by a number? We are humans. We have names.”
192 mainly Syrian refugees who arrived on Crete, near Palaiochora, on the night of May 12, 2015, were packed into a gym after they were saved. The refugees state that the police authorities marked registration numbers on their arms while they were asleep. Representatives from NGOs state that this is a common practice when there are massive arrivals on the island.
The boat that brought the refugees to the island, the M/S Sula, had started its voyage in Antalya, Turkey, and was headed towards Italy when bad weather conditions forced the mainly Syrian and Palestinian asylum seekers to send an SOS signal to Greek authorities. There were 70 children, including five unaccompanied minors, on the boat. The newcomers were then transported to the gym and numbered. “The police wrote registration numbers on our arms. They called me with the number. That is horrible. It’s not my name,” said one of the refugees.
Another refugee spoke about the bad treatment that the refugees received at the gym where there were no journalists or NGO members at night. “The first night while I was sleeping, they came and wrote on my arm this number. I feel horrible about this,” he says. “Why did they put a number on me? Why did they call me by a number? We are humans. We have names. They even wrote numbers on small children’s arms.”
Via Proto Thema