Your Silence is Killing Us

Guest blog from our partners Refugee Biriyani and Bananas

**There is some devastating news from Chios today**

43 people arrived by boat to the North of the Island in the early morning. 13 women, 21 men and eight children. SMH (the medical group) reported that one Syrian man from this boat drowned in the sea. He was 31 years old. The body was recovered by port police and transferred to hospital. Amongst the women, three are preganant and were also sent for further medical care.

There has been so many new arrivals to the Greek Islands in the last month. The camps are cramped with overspill of people in tents and some without in the surrounding jungle.

A few weeks ago when I was in Chios two men swam from Turkey to Chios. Although it is not clear whether they swam all the way or were picked up by authorities on the way in Greek waters..... you have to think they took this risk! Can you imagine the desperation?

And on the other hand we have those risking their lives trying to leave Greece. Genuine refugees and asylum seekers who face detention and deportation are forced to leave to try and reach safety in another European country. They report of police brutality, no food, no water, lost in jungles, push backs, loss of money to those that exploit them and injuries due to the dangerous journey; having to walk for days on end.

This is torture. There is just no mercy on these innocent people who have already suffered in their homelands.

Why can’t we have better human rights? Why can’t we welcome people with open arms? They have no choice.

Although it is beyond us what our world leaders do, no matter how much we protest, but we still have a choice to help people in need and petition for their rights. We still have the choice to choose humanity.

I remember seeing your words painted on the side of a tent in Idomeni Camp. You wrote ‘Your silence is killing us.’

Our silence really is killing people. And if it’s not killing their bodies, it’s killing their souls whilst they live on in empty shells.

This is happening on our watch.