“Confined like animals”, no water or heating: so is the Greek Guantanamo / Delta World about Corinth

Cramped, without warm clothes, no hot water, no heating, in appalling hygiene conditions, malnourished, without barely access to medicines, in a legal situation uncertain and subject to harassment and occasional beatings.

They are the conditions in which Greece maintains several thousand immigrants and undocumented refugees, in the so-called”detention for foreigners”, which are so degrading to inmates of one of them, of Corinth, ironically call it with the same name of the notorious us base: Guantanamo.

“They kept us locked up like animals. We don’t have rights”, complains Ali Hasan, an Afghan fleeing from their country and who remains detained for two months along with 800 others in the center of Corinth, a former military barracks.

All originate from the raids that has ordered the Greek Government in recent months within the framework of operation Zeus Xenios against irregular immigration in the country hellene, become the main gateway of the ‘sans papiers’ in Europe.

According to police data, during this operation have arrested 4,092 foreigners. “The alleged goal of stopping all those people is preparing the necessary documents for their repatriation, but how they will do it if there is not even translators in these centers?” The sole aim is to make them disappear from public view “, criticizes the lawyer Spyros Kulojeris.

According to this lawyer, in some centres remain locked in the same cells to adults and to minors, which is a violation of the Convention on the rights of the child of 1989.

The official version

The Minister of the Interior, Nikos Dendias, recently said in Parliament that the center of Corinth was chosen by “the excellent state of their dormitories, nursing rooms and canteens”.

“Installations have central heating and water, and have been purchased blankets and towels necessary. The respect for the rules of hygiene and safety is paramount for the Ministry,”he added.

This week, to visit the detention centre in Corinth together with a parliamentary delegation, he could check how aliens are forced to stay locked up for groups of between 60 and 80 people in bedrooms of about 120 square meters.

The rooms are closed with balusters and refugees can only out of them, to the courtyard, for a maximum of one hour per day for three hours according to the direction of the Center.

There is no dispensary and food from very poor quality according to immigrants and lawyers served them through the bars without that there are tables for eating. “Look what they have given us breakfast”, complains Hassan, a bangladeshi who shows a piece of dry bread and a glass of milk diluted in water.

There is also heating no hot water or, because, according to the police director at the helm, Vassilios Stavropulos, “lack of funds”. As wrap, are offered a thin blanket and a sheet while temperatures have dropped below 10 degrees Celsius.

Most takes between two and four months with the same clothes summer and no more shoes than some flip-flops, since at the time of his arrest were not allowed to pick up their belongings.

In recent weeks, three detention centres have experienced protests and hunger strikes to claim decent food and hot water.

In the case of the Corinthian, were repressed with the intervention of riot police and the use of tear-gas inside buildings, as he acknowledged Stavropulos alleging that immigrants “were going to eat” to the policemen.

UN denounces the conditions in centres

The special UN rapporteur for the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, concluded this week a visit to Greece that reported that conditions of detention are “shocking” and that Greek centres are “places where one would not spend more than one hour”.

Only this year, the European Court of human rights has sentenced three times to Greece for violating article 3 of the European Convention on human rights which prohibits “torture” and “punishment or inhuman or degrading treatment” in the conditions of detention.

But the Greek Government, denounces Kulojeris, “no cares for the human rights of these persons or by international conventions”.

Fauzi shows a bruise on her leg: “is the last time that the policemen entered our cell to hit us while we prayed”.

Across the street, locked in another crowded cell, Tunisian Mohamed laments: “Presumably this is Europe, but I have seen terrible things in this place”.