Afghan detainee of Xanthi in protest

An afghan refugee who is being detained in the new detention centre in the former Xanthi police academy sew his lips in protest against the new maximum detention periods. The authorities immediately called state run KELPNO doctors who examined the health condition of the Afghan and opened the stitches.

The background: Until October 19, 2012 detainees who applied for asylum within detention had to stay a maximum of three months in the prison (counted from the day of registration of the asylum application). The government then passed a new Presidential Decree 116/2012 changing this period to one year. The new law is already in function. Also the period of maximum detention for irregular migrants (who did not apply for asylum) can today exceed the former six months and reach 12 months or even in specific cases 18 months – as prescribed by the European directives. Most of the thousands of detained sans-papiers in new or old detention centres lack any information on the reasons of their detention and on the detention period they have to stay in prison. Detention conditions have been condemned repeatedly by national and international organisations for their inhumanity and devastating state.

The detainees of Xanthi detention centre were in their majority arrested in the beginning of the massive sweep operation Xenios Zeus in Athens (August 4th), thus, already being detained for more than three months. Although they had been told that they would be released after three months, their detention is continuing and has been prolonged for another three months. There are more than 500 sans-papiers detained in Xanthi now. Some of them have been transferred there from other detention centres in Evros prefecture.

source: Athens Voice (in greek)
see: the new presidential decree 116/2012