Tag Archive for 'court decision'

IPS News: Immigrants Face Indefinite Detention in Greece

by Apostolis Fotiadis

ips news (in english)

ATHENS, May 28 2014 (IPS) – The evolution of immigration and border control policy in Greece and its interdependence with European funding suggests an agenda which has been decided above national legislatures with strong coordination between European political actors and economic interests, while ignoring the human suffering it produces.

Since February, the Greek authorities have taken another step towards harsher treatment of irregular immigrants by announcing a policy of indefinite detention until repatriation. Indefinite detention has been based on an opinion of the Legal Council of the Greek State and will be implemented even in cases where repatriation is not feasible.

Earlier this week, a Greek court considered the premises of this decision to be against national and European legislation and asked for it to be revoked. Authorities have yet to react to this decision.
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Athens court rules more than 18 months detention of migrants is illegal!

The appeal against detention that was brought to court by the Greek Council for Refugees is of broader significance as it was the first case of its kind against the “endless detention duration. The decision 2255/23.5.2014 says that the endless detention defined as measure of compulsory stay in a detention centre by the states Legal Council Opinion 44/2014 is not according to law.

It states:

“it is not founded on any legislative provision”
“the compulsory measure imposed on the affected person is actually a continuation of his detention”

The case affects an Afghan refugee who was detained until May 5th 2014 a total of 18 months. Three days before that date (not even three months before as the Councils Opinion had defined) he received a documented informing him that his detention would be continued until he would “cooperate” to his “voluntary” deportation. The court decision was ruled on May 23rd and the refugee was released.

koutitispandoras (in greek)
efimerida ton syndakton (in greek)

GCR Press Release (in greek)

STATEWATCH: Greece/Italy. Detainees’ rights overrule absconding and rioting charges, courts rule 21.01.2013

by Statewatch

Two recent judgments in Italy and Greece have found detainees innocent of the charges that were brought against them by the local authorities following escape from one migration detention centre and rioting in another. Courts ruled that the actions of detained migrants in opposing their detention conditions were legitimate.
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“Not guilty”, found the Court of Igoumenitsa in the case of migrants who were charged “escape from prison'”

Today, the single-judge formation of the Criminal Court of First Instance of Igoumenitsa in northwestern Greece (Μονομελές Πλημμελειοδικείο Ηγουμενίτσας) has returned a remarkable decision (Nr 682/2012) in a prosecution brought against a number of immigrants awaiting expulsion who escaped a local detention centre. The decision was taken in November 2012 for the case of almost 15 migrants who had escaped from Igoumenitsa prison only one month earlier (September 30th). As the judge ruled: “You escaped from humiliation and this is why you are free now!” Many of the in Greece detained migrants try to escape the up to 18 months reaching administrative detention but are caught sooner or later then finding themselves charged with “escape” and other criminal categories, that might put them behind the bars for even longer periods.

The facts of the case are as follows: On the night of 30 September to 1 October 2012, fifteen immigrants detained in Thesprotia Police Headquarters (for having illegally entered Greece) wrestled the guards who had entered their cell to remove the garbage and escaped. They were later apprehended and charged with escape under the Greek Criminal Code (Article 173 para 1).
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... is like a “paper boat”. We chose this as a metaphor for what we want to create and for the situation of refugees and migrants in Greece. The paper boat is a folded boat able to swim – for a while. Then you have to build a new one to go on travelling. A paper boat is symbolic for the journey of life, vulnerable but in your own hands and to be recreated again and again. It is simple, but it carries many hopes and dreams. It can dance on a turbulent sea. It belongs to everybody. And it might become the small version – like a first draft – of a welcome-space.

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