The situation in the pre-removal centers in Greece is becoming more and more tragic. While the big NGOs focus on helping refugees in the open camps, about 2,000 other refugees – most of which are asylum seekers – are suffering inhuman conditions in silence as they do not receive sufficient aid and have to endure inhuman and degrading detention conditions. Recent photos from sick persons lacking proper treatment inside the pre-removal center of Corinth are shocking.
Corinth pre-removal detention centre is a 1 ½ hour drive from Athens an has a capacity of 768. While it had been used extensively in the past and was considered by the new SYRIZA-led government in beginning of 2015 as closed for a while, it was “re-opened” in December 2015 with the re-use and transfer of more than 150 Morroccans planned to be deported. On the background of a closing Balkan corridor, the government at that time chose return to all infamous policies of systematic detention starting with the Maghreb nationalities who as a total were not considered to belong to the classical refugee producing nations, but are generally seen as migrants.
Continue reading ‘Detained refugees and migrants in pre-removal centres in mainland Greece left to survive’
In Samos hot spot and corinth pre-removal detention center refugees are protesting devastating living conditions and lacking access to asylum procedures as well as long waiting periods.
copyright: Hessam Ghafelpour
On 31st January refugee from Iran and Afghanistan in the hot spot in Samos
started a hunger strike protesting against the long lasting asylum procedures, inhuman detention conditions and the restriction of their freedom. On the second day, one of the strikers
watch the strike here
copyright: Generation outside of Afghanistan
Yesterday detained refugees in Corinth
pre-removal detention centre denied to eat lunch and dinner in protest against the bad detention conditions and lack of access to the asylum procedure. According to refugees, some of the detainees have been more than six months in detention. They suffer from bad food and the lack of warm water amongst others. Mainly people from Pakistan and Algeria are detained in Corinth these days. The refugees on hunger strike demand first of all their freedom.
interview from Corinth
On June 9th, 2014 refugees detained in Corinth detention centre began a hunger strike to protest against indefinite detention. In February 2014, the Greek authorities had announced a policy of indefinite detention until repatriation, based on an opinion of the Legal Council of the Greek State. Only recently Athens court considered in an appeal-case of an Afghan refugee that the detention of more than 18 months is against national and European legislation and asked for it to be revoked.
Letter from the detainees:
Many undocumented refugees were arrested by the Greek authorities since a year and a half (August 2012). The massive controls and arrests were realised in a very racist and cruel way. People were brought in detention centres all around Greece. Without going into a lot of details about the bad situation that we, all these refugees, went through, our only fault was that we didn’t have a piece of paper.
When the detention centres were opened the Greek government published a law where the maximum detention period of a refugee was 6 months. Then they increased the detention period to a 1 year, then to 1 1/2 years and this is the maximum period that the Greek law allows today.
But then suddenly some weeks ago they even increased the detention duration to open end periods!!!!! This step was a racist decision. It is injustice. The aim of this is only to stop us refugees from coming to Greece, us whom we left our countries due to our suffering. Now we are forced to suffer in Greece.
With the systematic and open end detention the Greek government is massacring us. They are wasting our lives and killing our dreams and hopes inside the prisons. All of that while none of us has committed any crime.
Most of us are having severe health problems: both physical and
psychological. Specially those who stayed already more that 18 months are in a devastating state and desperately need support.
Today on 9.6.2014 we people detained in the detention centre of Corinth have started a hunger strike. We feel an immense pressure due to our unknown destinies. We protest against the illegal extension of the detention duration to more than 18 months! Continue reading ‘Hunger strike against 18+ detention in Corinth detention centre’
Members of the antiracist initiative of Corinth report that they were not allowed to enter the detention centre as “the was an incident” on May 2nd. Shortly after police cars and fire brigades arrived at the place where a young man was threatening to throw himself from the roof of a building. It was the second time this man tried to commit suicide. He could be finally hindered from jumping after a long period. He was in a miserable state of health as he had also tried to cut his veins being full of blood al over his legs and arms.
antiracist initiative corinth (in greek)
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.
GlobalPost documentary shows footage recorded inside Corinth camp
Granted political asylum in December, Farhad, detained for 14 months at the detention centre in Corinth, said detainees were packed scores to a room and often beaten by police. In protest at the appalling conditions, he and others sowed their mouths together and went on hunger strike
“We didn’t have any choice so we started a hunger strike, we sewed up our mouth and we stopped eating and drinking. Anyone will do whatever it takes to get his freedom. Some people have tried to commit suicide to get free, others went crazy in there,” he told Anna Giralt Gris, who made the documentary.
Former detainees have spoken out about the appalling conditions inside the government’s migrant detention centres, in a short documentary that offers a rare glimpse into what the government calls migrant pre-removal facilities.
Continue reading ‘Refugees describe dire conditions in migrant detention centre Corinth’
Amigdaleza detention centre (photo: reuters)
According to the Afghan community in Greece, Nezam Hakimi died on November 4th, 2013 after four months of detention. His cancer had not been treated during that period. He is another victim of the new mass detention centers for migrants.
Only four months earlier, in July 27th, Mohammad Hassan had died after 11 months of detention in Corinth.
facebook of the afghan community in greece (in farsi)
tvxs (in greek)
for more information on the new detention centers in Greece see:
AI 2013: Frontier Europe
for more information on the arbitrary arrests during police raid Xenios Dias operation see:
HRW 2013: Unwelcome Guests
On August 24th, 2013 an Afghani migrant jumped out of the window of the detention center in Corinth. He was seriously injured. Earlier, the detainee had climbed the iron bars of the windows, threatening he would jump, to protest his prolonged and inhuman detention. Only recently authorities in Corinth had announced to extend detention from 12 to 18 months. The injured man has been transferred to the General Hospital of Corinth. At the moment there is no further information about his health condition.
Around 5,000 immigrants have been arrested and detained in Greece since the launching of “Xenios Dias” police operation in August 2012.
Bridge to nowhere: Syrian refugees in Greece
Abuse and a cash-strapped government make it a difficult destination for those fleeing the war.
fotos: anna psaroudakis
Athens, Greece – Passage to Greece was probably easier for Daoud Abdo and his family than for most Syrian refugees. It took the family of five just two weeks to travel by bus to Istanbul and cross the Evros river, which forms Europe’s southeastern-most land border. But the journey was still fraught with danger.
Daoud said he and his wife fell off a platform over the river that they were walking across and into the marshes. It was raining and the swamp surrounding the Evros was deep. Daoud is convinced they would have drowned that day, were it not for a group of refugees from Bangladesh.
Continue reading ‘al jazeera / Bridge to nowhere: Syrian refugees in Greece’
The Afghan community of Greece denounces about the critical health condition of Mohammad Hassan who has been transferred to hospital on July 2nd from Corinth detention centre and is fighting to survive now. He had been detained more than 11 months. His inmates had protested against the ignorant police guards who were not bringing Mr. Hassan to any doctor despite his strong pains.
afghan community (in english)
afghan community in greece (farsi)