'If my life weren't in danger in Afghanistan, I would go back in a minute'
Aziz* was 10 when he witnessed his father's murder in Afghanistan. Aziz, his older brother, sister and mother, had to run for their lives. Aziz and his brother went to Iran. Here, he tells his story.
The day we left, we cried and cried but we couldn’t stay in Afghanistan any more. At the time I thought we would return one day. I didn’t expect my life would take this turn.
We lived in Iran for three years, paperless, penniless and experiencing intense racism. My brother then decided to send me to a European country where he believed things would be ‘better’. I crossed the sea to Lesvos Island, Greece, and then travelled to Athens. During that journey, I lost my most valuable possession: my father’s ring which was the only thing I had to remind me of him.
How many years can a person live without a future?
I am now 23 and have been living in Greece for seven years. My life gets worse day by day. How many years can a person live without a future? I applied for asylum in 2008 and never received any response.
I have no papers, no home, no job. I have tried to leave but without success. I don’t expect anything anymore. The problems have made me lose my mind.
As if all this wasn't enough, in late May this year, I got beaten up on the street. I had just arrived in Athens from Igoumenitsa port after another failed attempt to reach Italy. It was 3.30 a.m. and was heading to a friend’s house. Five men suddenly surrounded me and started hitting me on the face. I got dizzy and fell down but they kept kicking me. When they saw I was not moving, they took off. My nose was broken and my eye was swollen. At the hospital they said I was lucky they didn’t draw a knife.
I can’t stay here anymore. I want to go somewhere where there are laws. If they killed me that night, nobody would do a thing.
What despairs me the most is that I cannot help my mother. I hear she is sick and very worried for me. My brother is still in Iran unable to help. If my life weren’t in danger in Afghanistan, I would go back in a minute.
*Name changed for protection reasons.
The assault against Aziz took place in May 2014 and has been recorded by the Greek Racist Violence Recording Network.