Tag Archive for 'detention conditions'

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Amigdaleza: “When the Great Wolves eat the Light”

by Vasiliki Katrivanou, Parliamentarian of Syriza

“Are you kidding?” I ask the director of the detention centre Amigdaleza with a feeling of indignation and despair when he describes us how normal the centre is functioning despite “individual” problems.

How ‘individual’ are the problems? Hearing for example that you will be held there over 18 months, for “indefinite” periods (following the opinion of the Legal Council of State, which was issued upon request of Mr. Dendias). Young people, who have nothing to do all day, who are detained just because they have no papers, indefinite detainees. And they get crazy! So when there are riots, hunger strikes, suicide attempts, let us not wonder why, let’s not be surprised. The causes, if we want to close our eyes, we know already.
Continue reading ‘Amigdaleza: “When the Great Wolves eat the Light”’

Hunger strike against 18+ detention in Corinth detention centre

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’

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.
Continue reading ‘IPS News: Immigrants Face Indefinite Detention in Greece’

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)

Communication from the Greek Council for Refugees (28/04/2014) in the case of M.S.S. against Belgium and Greece and reply from Greece (06/05/2014)

read communication and answer here (in english)

LAWYERS’ GROUP ANNOUNCEMENT / Greece: A legal diversion

A declaration by the Group of lawyers for the rights of migrants and refugees regarding the recent Opinion of the Legal Council of the State, in Greece, by which the detention of the aliens, whom are under deportation to their county of origin, could be extended until the alien is removed from the country.

The recent No 44/2014 Opinion of the Legal Council of the State, by which it was granted that the detention of the aliens, whom are under deportation to their county of origin, could be extended, by imposing on them the measure of mandatory stay in a detention area until the alien is removed from the country, is unfortunately a legal diversion that not only institutionalises the long-term detention of migrants under deportation, but also holds the migrants indefinitely until the deportation is achieved. Continue reading ‘LAWYERS’ GROUP ANNOUNCEMENT / Greece: A legal diversion’

Minister urged to stop detention of migrants beyond 18 months

Nikos Dendias’ decision is a ‘clear violation’ of EU directives, organisations assisting refugees say
Two migrants have already been told that if they don’t agree to their ‘voluntary’ return by an 18-month deadline, the will remain in detention until they do
(comment by infomobile: any more than two migrants have already received this paper!!!)

Author: Damian Mac Con Uladh in ENET (in english)

The public order minister has been urged to “immediately withdraw” a decision he signed in February that empowers the authorities to prolong the detention of migrants indefinitely, beyond the 18-month limit set down in European Union directives, if they don’t agree to their “voluntary departure” from Greece.
Continue reading ‘Minister urged to stop detention of migrants beyond 18 months’

ECRE, GCR and ATIMA urge European Commission to call for a immediate withdrawal of the decision on more than 18 months detention

On 20 March 2014, Legal Opinion 44/2014 of the State Legal Council of 11 February 2014 was published, which concerns persons who are already in detention on the basis of a return order, and whose removal cannot be carried out because of their lack of cooperation. The Legal Opinion allows for those persons to be asked, shortly before the expiry of the maximum period of 18 months of detention, to depart voluntarily to the country of return. If the person fails to cooperate and there is a risk of absconding, the authorities can issue a new detention order without a specified time limit. Thus, the person will be required to stay in the detention centre until the moment he or she cooperates with his or her return.1 Although not public, a Ministerial Decision of 28 February 2014 seems to endorse the Legal Opinion as it is explicitly referred to in the first individual decisions applying such continued detention beyond 18 months (…)
Such practice, as well as the Ministerial decision, as far as it endorses the Legal Opinion is in clear violation of Article 15(6) of the EU Returns Directive as interpreted by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU – C-357/09, PPU Said Shamilovich Kadzoev (Huchbarov)).
The Court’s ruling is clear and allows no exceptions to the maximum duration of detention for the purpose of removal under any circumstances. Any contrary interpretation, opinion or ministerial decision is a direct infringement of EU law and the national law transposing it. (…)
ECRE, GCR and Aitima strongly urge the Commission to raise these concerns with Greece; to call for the immediate withdrawal of the Ministerial Decision insofar as it endorses the illegal practice of detention beyond the maximum period of 18 months as well as any individual decisions taken in violation of the EU Return Directive; and launch an infringement procedure should no immediate action be taken by Greece to stop such breaches of EU law.

Read the whole letter to Cecilia Malmström here (in English)

Refugee tries to commit suicide second time 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.
image002-7

antiracist initiative corinth (in greek)

Debate in the EU-Parliament on the increase of the detention period in Greece to more than 18 months

17.4.14 / 09:34:30 > 10:12:11 Parliamentary debate on the:
Prolongation of detention by Member States of illegally staying third-country nationals beyond the 18-month time limit in violation of the Return Directive

Janez Potočnik, Member of the Commission.

− Mr President, I would like to answer on behalf of my colleague, Cecilia Malmström, who is unfortunately not able to attend today’s session.

The Return Directive provides very clearly that, after 18 months, administrative detention must be stopped and only lesser measures, such as residence restrictions or regular reporting can be applied. In our recent communication on EU return policy, we noted that before the Return Directive was adopted the maximum length of detention varied significantly across Member States and in at least nine there was no upper ceiling on how long returnees could be detained.

The Return Directive has contributed to a convergence and overall to the reduction of maximum detention periods across the European Union. While the legal time limits for detention have increased in eight Member States, they have decreased in 12 Member States. All Member States, including Greece, now have legislation in force which respects the maximum periods provided by the directive. The only exception is the United Kingdom, which decided not to opt into the Return Directive and which still allows unlimited detention.
Continue reading ‘Debate in the EU-Parliament on the increase of the detention period in Greece to more than 18 months’

The infomobile

... 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.

Get in touch

email: infomobile.w2eu@gmail.com

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