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”’
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’
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’
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 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)
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’
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’
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)
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’