Category Archives: Iraq

We Are Here


Who are we

We are refugees. We have applied for asylum in this country. Our claims have been rejected. Now we are called ‘illegals.’ But we prefer to call ourselves refugees. Wars, international conflicts and systematic violence have devastated our countries. So you understand why we don’t like being called illegals. We are refugees. And now we live on the streets. We barely have rights. We have no means of subsistence.Here we are together. Here we are more safe. Here we keep hope. For a normal life.



Why we are here

We came here because our lives and freedom are in danger in our countries. That’s why the right to leave your country is a fundamental human right. We have no right to stay in Holland. We have been denied the right to move to another country. We cannot return to where we came from. Sometimes the governments of our countries refuse to take us back in. Sometimes our country does not even have a government. And sometimes we don’t want to go back because we fear it is not safe. We don’t agree with the decision of the Dutch government to deny our refugee status. We claim that asylum procedures are not always fair and just. And many practitioners and scholars in law agree with us. We are not allowed to live here but we can also not go back there. We are suffering the drastic consequences of an unfair and unjust asylum system and a failing return policy.



Where we go

We want to have a normal life and a future. We want to make ourselves a home, work, raise our children, learn, love and laugh. We want the insecurity and despair to end. We claim the basic human rights that have been denied to us. We have been pushed back to the margins of society. But now we are in your face. And by becoming visible we have made visible the severe shortcomings in Dutch asylum and return procedures.



We are here. And so are you. If you want to bestow dignity, freedom and justice upon your country, raise your voice with us. Support us in our struggle to emancipate ourselves from this misery. As a citizen you have the power to stand up and say ‘No’ to your government. Come and talk with us. Many have done so before you. Citizens, academics, lawyers, journalists, artists, photographers, local politicians, and human rights activists support our cause. We kindly invite you to join in.



Facebook: Wij zijn hier
Twitter @wijzijnhierNL @vluchtkantoor

We are here


images from the camp of refugees in Ter Apel, Holland May 2012

Refugees without rights created a protest camp in The Netherlands
from May 8 until may 23rd, when they were evicted.

The pictures that were taken by themselves and by professional photographers will be brought together in an
exposition that will circulate through Holland and on the Internet.

M2M made the first presentation on UN International Day of Refugees.

Wednesday 20th of June

Barth Chapel, Brouwersgracht
2K, 2512 ER The Hague

Ter Apel Camp Radio records

M2M’s Open Camp Radio in Ter Apel happened from May 14th till the end on May 23rd. We publish the  recordings in four languages. English, Dutch, Arab and Somali.
We start with the high lights:

Doctor Co van Melle recording his own detention. (Dutch) click

The opening of the live radio with Ahmed Al Obaidy and Sam Saeed (English, Arab, Somali) click

An Eritrean woman telling the mayor , Mrs. Leontien Kompier, why she is here in the camp. click


M2M joins action camp in Ter Apel


First radio M2M announcement from the Action camp Ter Apel by Mohamed Alsaid Salman from Bagdad, in Arab

Thursday 17th of May Open Air Day in the Camp with live radio M2M!!


M2M’s director Jo van der Spek drove to the action camp of undocumented migrants in Ter Apel on Monday 14th of May to give communication support to the growing movement of refugees on the street.  The camp is now a week old and is growing to hundreds of people including women and children. As soon as we have power and connectivity we can start streaming and publishing the news directly from the action site.

More than 200 people from Iraq, Somalia, Iran and other countries have come to the common ground next to the deportation complex in the North of Holland.

They demand the right to live a decent life in the Netherlands, at least as long as they cannot return to their country for security reasons. The current government believes they can return safely and voluntarily. To force them they are denied all basic human rights like shelter, health care, etc.

You can support this movement by:

– spreading the news

joining on line:

– joining M2M on  facebook at

or making a donation for communication:

Bank account: St. M2M, Amsterdam
Triodos Bank, Postbus 55, 3700 AB Zeist
IBAN: NL03 TRIO 0390 2719 18


Brian Conley: Alive in Baghdad, Arrested in China

Brian Conley is one of the persons behind the information project , which brings weekly authentic videos from Iraqis in Iraq, Syria and Jordan.

Brian is also one of the people arrested in China after protests.

“Brian went to China to document pro-Tibet protests taking place concurrent with the Olympics. He was not participating in political actions, only documenting them as any journalist would. On August 19, 2008, he was arrested by Chinese authorities for this work, along with 5 others working with , Jeff Rae (who also works with Alive in Baghdad), James Powderly, Jeff Goldin, Michael Liss, and Tom Grant.

Under China’s repressive government it is illegal to record expressions of free speech and work as a journalist without state supervision.

Listen to a conversation between Brian Conley and Jo van der Spek of Streamtime.
more on

A meal with Pooja and Sonia

We reproduce the sound of a TV report on the way undocumented migrants are treated in Dutch prisons. NOVA They spoke with a guard who reveals the violence and humiliation of innocent detainees in Dutch detention centers for undocumented migrants. And Mohamed Boumedine appears in front of the prison boat in Rotterdam, where he started his hungerstrike after the death of an inmate in february. See

Our guests are Pooja, a video-theatre-radiomaker from Nepal and Sonia Boyce, mixed media artist from London. We talk about how undocumented migrants and knowledege workers live in Holland. A round table on migration, repression and human beings, with Sakho, Tati and Jo.
Sonia and Sakho about their art work.

Agury has a new house! Now how do we furnish it? A house warming party!

Andre`Haazes live from AZC Musselkanaal. Thanks to Mustapha!

Fighting for life, food and expression

IJBURG Bang voor een vreemde man die op je vader lijkt

Zara en Zerin wonen op de IJburglaan en kwamen vanavond het Blauwe Huis binnenwandelen met hun vader en moeder. That was fun! En ze vertelden een spannend verhaal. En ze zongen samen een lied over de ZON en de MAAN. Zelf gemaakt en ze wonnen er de grote prijs van IJburg mee!

: DIE-IN in Ministry of Justice (see below)

laatste nieuws:
Mohamed Boumedines bewaring is opgeheven! Dat is ingegaan om half 5 vanmiddag, vertelde zijn advocaat. Het is maar de vraag of hij vandaag nog vrij komt, maar in elk geval een dezer dagen.
De rechter is gezwicht voor de verklaring, die de vertrouwensarts heeft bijgevoegd.
Die vertrouwensarts werd overigens alleen in Schiphol-Oost toegelaten; Alphen aan den Rijn weigerde hem binnen te laten.

Groeten van Inge

Lees over de hongerstaking op vrijheid van beweging

SPAIN: Undocumented migrants on hungerstrike against inhuman treatment in prison. reports in Spanish

IRAK: Alive in Bagdad

Last Monday Brian Conley visited Amsterdam to tell us about the project Alive in Bagdad.
This project gives ordinary Iraqis the chance to produce video reports on their daily reality in Bagdad. They send their material with DHL to Damascus or even to the US, where they edit the material and put the films on the internet. Every week a new film, to be seen on the web site

In Amsterdam is a similar project called Streamtime, so there was good reason to have a conversation between Brian Conley of AliveInbagdad and Jo van der Spek of Streamtime.
More about streamtime on


Video from Cairo
Arabic Blog from Cairo