Tag Archive for 'detention conditions'

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UNHCR asks the Greek Government to review the measure for prolonged administrative detention

15 April 2014

UNHCR is following with great concern the developments in the policy and practice of administrative detention for foreign nationals for whom a return order was issued. A decision was taken recently resulting in extending detention beyond the maximum period allowed by the European Return Directive (18 months). This is likely to have a direct impact also on persons under UNHCR’s mandate, particularly on persons seeking international protection.

Inside pre-removal centres and other police detention facilities, where foreign nationals are detained with a view to be deported, there are also asylum seekers, some of whom are eventually recognized as refugees. There are also foreign nationals that, according to the authorities, cannot be forcibly returned, such as Somalis and Eritreans. The detention of these persons, pending removal, is unfounded when the return is not possible.
Continue reading ‘UNHCR asks the Greek Government to review the measure for prolonged administrative detention’

Private security firms bid on Greek asylum centres

BRUSSELS – Private security firms are bidding to guard EU-funded migrant detention centres in Greece amid a report by Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF), which says poor conditions in some of the facilities are causing disease.

Greek authorities received EU money to refurbish and renovate Fylakio Oresteiadas, a pre-removal detention centre located in a remote area near the Turkish border.

Greece now wants to outsource its security, along with two other pre-removal centres in Corinth and Paranesti Dramas, to a private security firm for €14 million a year.
Continue reading ‘Private security firms bid on Greek asylum centres’

Global Detention Project: Detention Profile Greece – updated 2014!

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Source: Global Detention Project

Introduction

Greece has been ground zero in Europe’s efforts to halt irregular migration for several years. At the same time, the country’s economic crisis has exasperated social divisions leading to increasing violence and hostility directed at foreigners.

With massive financial and operational assistance provided by the European Union, Greece has confronted migratory pressures by emphasizing interdiction, detention, and removal. A 2013 Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) report summarized: “Greece has focused on reinforcing its external borders and started a policy which relies too heavily on detention. Despite the Greek authorities’ determination to improve the asylum system and detention conditions, which in many instances remain deplorable, much still needs to be done” (PACE 2013). Continue reading ‘Global Detention Project: Detention Profile Greece – updated 2014!’

Announcement of new rule on detention duration causes wave of protests

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

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.

Medicines sans Frontiers Greece: End systematic and prolonged detention of migrants

Médecins Sans Frontières holds EU co-responsible for harm inflicted on migrants and asylum seekers in Greek detention centres. European Union must stop turning a blind eye to the unacceptable practice of prolonged and systematic detention of migrants and asylum seekers in Greece, leading international medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières says.

copyright: MSF

copyright: MSF

The prolonged and systematic detention of migrants and asylum seekers in Greece is having devastating consequences on their health and human dignity, a leading international medical humanitarian organisation has said.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said given that Greece currently holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), the European Union must stop turning a blind eye to these unacceptable practices in view of their serious medical and humanitarian consequences. Continue reading ‘Medicines sans Frontiers Greece: End systematic and prolonged detention of migrants’

Police officer hits an immigrant after asking for a painkiller in Amigdaleza detention centre

The allegation is made by KEERFA- movement against racism and fascist threat and the Pakistani Community in Greece. As they mention:

“A police officer in Amygdaleza hit an immigrant when he asked for a painkiller. Huram Bashir Sahzat, detainee number 2663, wing A3, room 6, in the detention centre of Amygdaleza reported to KEERFA and to the Pakistani community of Greece that today at 18:45 he was hit by a police officer in the presence of his fellow inmates. Continue reading ‘Police officer hits an immigrant after asking for a painkiller in Amigdaleza detention centre’

Refugees describe dire conditions in migrant detention centre Corinth

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.

Amigdaleza detention centre (photo: reuters)

Amigdaleza detention centre (photo: reuters)

Continue reading ‘Refugees describe dire conditions in migrant detention centre Corinth’

Second Afghan refugee dies in Corinth detention centre

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

No Access to new Detention Centrers

On Noovember 2nd, a group of human rights defenders – among them memebers of the human rights section of SYRIZA was denied access to Xanthi detention centre in Rodhopi prefecture.

The new untouchables, An essay by Spyros Marchetos

The Monaghan Report on the scandalous death of Jimmy Mubenga during his expulsion from Britain highlighted the broader issue of the inhuman treatment of immigrants in Europe. We become more and more accustomed to their demonisation and dehumanisation; even worse, the recent “Go Home” vans campaign in Britain warns that immigrant-bashing might soon become something like official policy. A system in crisis needs scapegoats, and the immigrants come in handy here, being much sexier scapegoats than bankers. Could this be a prelude to a wider authoritarian turn? Just watch what is happening in Greece.

The plight of the newcomers has often been described in words and in film. It does not lack official sanction. Before the elections, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, whose extreme Right past and affiliations are no secret, decried that “our cities have been occupied by illegal immigrants; we will take them back”. This would actually be an act of charity towards Greek children: “Kindergartens are now full of immigrant children, and Greeks cannot enter. This will stop!” he added. Nikos Dendias, Minister for Public Order, put things into perspective: “Immigration is a problem perhaps greater than the [economic crisis]”. Such declarations are not taken by the police as implying that immigrant rights are sacrosanct. As for the judicial and the administrative system, they protect these rights no better. In all, asylum seekers are systematically detained and face inhuman or degrading treatment. This is not leftist rhetoric, but an official statement of the highest EU Court of Justice, which in 2011 put a ban on the deportation of asylum seekers to Greece for exactly that reason.
Continue reading ‘The new untouchables, An essay by Spyros Marchetos’

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.

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email: infomobile.w2eu@gmail.com

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