17.4.14 / 09:34:30 > 10:12:11 Parliamentary debate on the:
Prolongation of detention by Member States of illegally staying third-country nationals beyond the 18-month time limit in violation of the Return Directive
Janez Potočnik, Member of the Commission.
− Mr President, I would like to answer on behalf of my colleague, Cecilia Malmström, who is unfortunately not able to attend today’s session.
The Return Directive provides very clearly that, after 18 months, administrative detention must be stopped and only lesser measures, such as residence restrictions or regular reporting can be applied. In our recent communication on EU return policy, we noted that before the Return Directive was adopted the maximum length of detention varied significantly across Member States and in at least nine there was no upper ceiling on how long returnees could be detained.
The Return Directive has contributed to a convergence and overall to the reduction of maximum detention periods across the European Union. While the legal time limits for detention have increased in eight Member States, they have decreased in 12 Member States. All Member States, including Greece, now have legislation in force which respects the maximum periods provided by the directive. The only exception is the United Kingdom, which decided not to opt into the Return Directive and which still allows unlimited detention.
Continue reading ‘Debate in the EU-Parliament on the increase of the detention period in Greece to more than 18 months’
8 dead, 3 rescued wounded and 5 missing. The boat which sank near Menderes district close to Izmir carried 16 refugees.
Among the dead a mother and a small girl of 4-5 years. Most of them were seemingly from Syria.
posta.tr (in turkish)
tellal (in turkish)
hurhaber (in turkish)
left.gr (in greek)
15 April 2014
UNHCR is following with great concern the developments in the policy and practice of administrative detention for foreign nationals for whom a return order was issued. A decision was taken recently resulting in extending detention beyond the maximum period allowed by the European Return Directive (18 months). This is likely to have a direct impact also on persons under UNHCR’s mandate, particularly on persons seeking international protection.
Inside pre-removal centres and other police detention facilities, where foreign nationals are detained with a view to be deported, there are also asylum seekers, some of whom are eventually recognized as refugees. There are also foreign nationals that, according to the authorities, cannot be forcibly returned, such as Somalis and Eritreans. The detention of these persons, pending removal, is unfounded when the return is not possible.
Continue reading ‘UNHCR asks the Greek Government to review the measure for prolonged administrative detention’
Tuesday 15.4.14 in Kos arrived 7 refugees while one man was shot. The police claims he was the smuggler.
Tuesday 15.4.14 in Chios 18 refugees arrived
Tuesday 15.4.14 in Mitilini 15 refugees arrived in a wooden boat, one 22 year old person was arrested being accused of “human smuggling”
Monday 14.4.14 in Kalimnos 8 refugees arrived
Monday 14.4.14 in Kos 10 refugees arrived
Monday 14.4.14 in Mitilini 26 refugees arrived
Continue reading ‘New arrivals in Greece / April 2014′
A man lost his life during the chase of a vessel carrying undocumented immigrants by a coast guard high speed boat. The killing took place this morning near the island of Kos.
According to preliminary information, the vessel had earlier debarked seven immigrants on the beach of Psalidi, Kos. It was spotted by the military watchtower of the island, who notified port police officials. During the chase of the vessel one man was shot dead.
clandestina (in english)
Gazetta (in greek)
The Greek government is about to use a drone to oversee its sea borders in the Aegean, one the of main avenues for immigration into the EU, in a pilot project. Athens’ Ministry of Shipping has issues a competition call for a drone that, according to the competition rules, has to be handed over to the authorities by the end of June.
Greece’s Shipping Minister, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis recently revealed that the country is receiving around 1,000 immigrants a month through the eastern Aegean Sea. Immigration flows have intensified in the Aegean since Greece put up a fence to close off its land border with Turkey alongside the river Evros in the northeast of the country. Immigration flows have also been affected by the deteriorioration of conditions in Syria. Continue reading ‘Ministry announces pilot scheme Greece to use drones to control Immigration’
BRUSSELS – Private security firms are bidding to guard EU-funded migrant detention centres in Greece amid a report by Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF), which says poor conditions in some of the facilities are causing disease.
Greek authorities received EU money to refurbish and renovate Fylakio Oresteiadas, a pre-removal detention centre located in a remote area near the Turkish border.
Greece now wants to outsource its security, along with two other pre-removal centres in Corinth and Paranesti Dramas, to a private security firm for €14 million a year.
Continue reading ‘Private security firms bid on Greek asylum centres’
Source: Global Detention Project
Greece has been ground zero in Europe’s efforts to halt irregular migration for several years. At the same time, the country’s economic crisis has exasperated social divisions leading to increasing violence and hostility directed at foreigners.
With massive financial and operational assistance provided by the European Union, Greece has confronted migratory pressures by emphasizing interdiction, detention, and removal. A 2013 Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) report summarized: “Greece has focused on reinforcing its external borders and started a policy which relies too heavily on detention. Despite the Greek authorities’ determination to improve the asylum system and detention conditions, which in many instances remain deplorable, much still needs to be done” (PACE 2013). Continue reading ‘Global Detention Project: Detention Profile Greece – updated 2014!’
Protests in the big detention centres after declaration of an extension of the detention duration to more than 18 months
Today the authorities of the mass detention centres in Drama/ Parenesti, Komotini, Corinth and Xanthi informed the detained sans-papiers that they might stay even longer than 18 months, up to 24 months, or 36 or for an endless period if they do not co-operate with the authorities according to a new rule. In fact co-operation means here “voluntary return”. The only alternative is an asylum application.
It has to be noted though that according to the European Directive 18 months are the maximum period for administrative detention and this only if the deportation is feasible. Nevertheless, the greek authorities detain many people belonging to nationalities that can not be deported, such as Afghans, Eritreans, Somalis and even people from Syria.
copyright: Ta NEA 2013
The detainees in the so called pre-removal centres that opened with the initiation of Xenios Dias police raid in beginning of August 2012 have been already psychology broken by getting every three months the information of their prolongued detention for another 3 or 6 months. The limit of 18 months seemed already so far but at least gave a hope to an end of their imprisonment. Today the shocking information of even more time behind the bars led to uprisings, self-injuries and hunger strikes.
Yet it will become clear in the next days if the threat of another extension of the detention duration will get real or not when the next detainees complete 18 months. Reportedly a few of them have already received detention decisions that with an extension of the maximum detention period of 18 months for another 6 months – even before they have completed 18 months.