Open letter from a mother in Sjælsmark
This letter was delivered as a speech at a demonstration for better conditions for children in deportation camp Sjælsmark on December 4, 2018.
By Eden Girma, mother and rejected asylum seeker
Hello everyone good morning.
Thanks for coming to support us, and to all different organizations who have joined to organize this demonstration I would like to say thanks.
First of all, no matter how we are still suffering in Denmark. Our hope did not die yet and we will continue our fight for our right to get protection and residency in Denmark.
Our question is, what have we done? What fault do we have to be jailed in Sjælsmark prison? Have we committed any crime in Denmark?
Our asylum case is rejected. Is that a crime?
Why are we kept by prison guards? Why must our kids cry? Why are our children scared by the everyday life in Sjælsmark? We have a right to seek asylum in Denmark and we also have the right to live a normal life until solutions are found for our cases.
This is Denmark not USA. This is Denmark where human rights should be respected. Denmark should not be inspired by Trump policies by making children prisoners. We believed Denmark to be one of the most powerful protector of especially children rights. We believed our children would have the right to education and health care in Denmark.
But we are not excited with the Danish society any more. We are kept in isolated prisons like Sjælmark and most Danish people are afraid of us because the government presents us as criminals. Do you think this is a best solution, no it's not. We are parents and we carry a big responsibility for our children. We want them to have a better life, safety, health care and good education.
We are fighting for the future of our children and we resist any attempt to force us back to our home countries because our lives are in danger there. No one runs away from home without a reason. We are here to escape danger and find safety. None of us one chose to die on his or her journey to Europe but that decision to die comes when we are no longer fighting our bad government or decide to follow the rules of the dictators.
Please listen to our voices. We do not want our loved children crying every day because of the horrible living conditions. Our children are asking, why are we living here? Asking, what shall we eat? We, parents have no answers but to cry also ourselves. We don't want our kids to suffer any more.
Fix the problem! Shut down Sjælsmark! Fix the problem! Shut down Sjælsmark! Fix the problem! Shut down Sjælsmark! Fix the problem! Shut down Sjælsmark!
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“Please listen to our voices. We do not want our loved children crying every day because of the horrible living conditions. Our children are asking, why are we living here? Asking, what shall we eat? We, parents have no answers but to cry also ourselves. We don't want our kids to suffer any more.”
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“If someone would ask what I miss the most from home, I would tell them I missed the smell of my mother and my brother. And the voice of the man I loved.”
“Before I started coming to Trampoline House, I was just in Roskilde. Sometimes I went shopping for maybe half an hour, and then I returned home to watch TV.”
“There’s a different atmosphere out here. It’s not about learning Danish or getting help with your legal issues.”
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