05 April 2016

Ibrahim behind the detention centre fence in Samos, Greece. Photo: Mohammad Ghannam

Ibrahim left Syria in February this year thanks to his brothers, who live in Germany. His brothers saved up enough money to pay for the 18-year-old to join them in Germany. 

He survived the perilous boat journey from ‪‎Turkey to Greece, but he is now stranded on ‪Samos Island with anxiety of what his future holds. Ibrahim suffers from a rare disease which has caused facial disfigurement. 

“In my village in Hama province, there are no hospitals that can deal with my condition. And I can’t go anywhere near the regime-controlled areas for treatment, because one of my brothers was detained and tortured to death. There is no way back to Syria for me, I am wanted by the security forces. I don’t want to face the same fate my brother faced,” Ibrahim says.
“I have four brothers in Germany who will help me settle in and get the treatment I need. That was my plan and I was happy with it.” 

But Ibrahim arrived on Samos on March 21 — a day after an EU-Turkey deal aimed at stemming the migrant flow into ‪Europe became enforced. 

“I thought that my suffering would be over when I reached ‪Greece and that was what had kept me going, but it’s worse here than in Turkey,” he said.

Now, he and hundreds of others are stuck in one of the hotspots that were originally intended to serve as registration centres for asylum seekers, but which have now been turned into detention centres.

“I am so sad and lonely in this prison,” he told MSF from behind the metal fences. “I can’t be with my brothers. I hope that human rights organisations will look into our situation and talk to the police here, to try to convince them to set us free. “I have some money and I won’t be a burden to anyone. I will buy my own ticket to ‪Germany. I just hope they let me go. All I want is somewhere to call ‪home. Nothing more.”


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