Introduction in the fight of Sanaa Taleb

Sanaa Taleb in colours μ.μ.

Sanaa Taleb, a woman who resists forced deportation

The trial against Sanaa Taleb was postponed a month ago. Sanaa was handcuffed, accompanied by 6 police officers back to women prison cells for undocumented migrants Elliniko in Athens. (See our earlier coverage here

She decided to continue with her hunger strike, and resist the food given to her by prison staff. As a consequence she was sent to psychiatric clinic Dafni (located south of Athens), and shortly after again back to prison cell Elliniko. After her release from hospital doctor warned: “prolonged detention will have serious consequences for her health”.

The group of supporters who were regularly visiting her decided to made further legal step: they submitted request for release from prison which is still under examination.

Sanaa Taleb’s detention is now 8 months and 2 weeks.



“Solidarity with the migrants,” written on the walls of Elliniko prison cells

Yesterday, 20 more detained migrant women joined Sanaa Taleb – the women that rejected forced deportation, and have now decided to join this hunger strike for solidarity, in what is essentially snowballing to a major crisis.

The official statement stated, “… rooms cold; no hot water for drinking tea or coffee is provided, and they are offered cold food with bread like stone.”

“The migrants have everything what they need. Yes, maybe the coffee machine doesn’t work or food is not what they would like but this doesn’t mean they are not treated well,” the policeman sardonically told me when I visited the prison cells Elliniko.

Inside I finally meet her, the Sanaa Taleb. Visibly exhausted she admited to me: “I don’t understand why I still need to be here.” While are her fellow prisoners shyly hid behind the doors she explained: “We are 23 at the moment here. Women are from everywhere: Vietnam, Georgia, Ethiopia, Albania, Russia etc.”.

“I am living in Greece for last 16 years. I worked here and raised my daughter here. I found it humiliating I ended up here in such a conditions,” one of the Russian woman explained to me.

“The group in solidarity with prisoners in South cells” that took the most notable initiatives in supporting detained women explained to me: “Mental conditions of women living in such a conditions is the most worrying here. Elliniko prison became a type of closed prison cells even if inside are mainly woman who did not committed any crime.” According to them the lack of legal service and uncertainly and psychological abuse of detained women are just some of the most serious problems, particularly in Greek prisons.

In the meantime the movement continues to grow, with banners in support spreading all over Greece: “Solidarity with Sanna Taleb and other detained migrants.”

Unfortunately Greek media doesn’t think these snowballing human sufferings worthy enough to cover. Bitter stories of women migrants are still trapped behind cold Elliniko prison bars; unheard and ignored.


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