Detention conditions in Greece inhuman and life-threatening – IOM enforces “voluntary return”

In Lesvos island dozens of refugees are detained in the port being exposed to the burning sun while lacking water and food supply. Among them are children and even a 2-month-old baby. +++ In Amigdaleza detention conditions have even worsened since November 2012, said Rebecca Harms from the Green Party after a second visit in June 2013. +++ Meanwhile a young migrant (20-year-old) from Cote d’Ivoire committed suicide in Grevena police station because he didn’t want to be deported to his country.

Meanwhile, KEERFA (ΚΕΕΡΦΑ), the Movement “United against racism and the fascist threat” denounces that Greek authorities and IOM use “Gestapo like torture methods” to force refugees and migrants detained in Amigdaleza to “voluntarily” return.

First they are detained for many months without knowing when they might be released, then they are being pulled by force to the airport. A woman employee from IOM escorts them who threatens that if they don’t accept to sign the voluntary return they will wear them head covering masks and bring them by force to the airport. IOM employees enter detention centers to collect signatures for voluntary return in co-operation with some embassies such as the one from Pakistan.

In detail:
– On June 21st police officers pulled Itzaz Houssein together with another detainee into a car. They brought them to the airport where they denied to sign the voluntary return even though they were beaten.

– On June 24th Mohammad Sabir and Naim Saa were beaten in a similar attempt to force them to leave Greece and insulted with racist comments concerning their religion.

– On June 25th Bahit Mourat and Montaser Bakas were also ill-treated because they refused to sign.

At the same time other detainees who for family reasons asked to be returned are caught in detention for 4 months and more even though he requested his own return.

Today there are several detainees with severe injuries resulting from ill-treatment by law enforcement officers. One of them is almost blind now.

– See more at:

the press project (in greek)