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.
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’
400 migrants are since the morning of August 28th on hunger strike in Fylakio detention center near Orestiada in Evros.
Their protest began when they were informed that their detention duration would get extended to 18 months.
left.gr (in greek)
Immigrants fleeing violence pay people smugglers thousands of dollars to enter Europe through Greece. The exodus includes children, alone and at risk. Their dreams are big, but the reality far different.
Story by: Irene Chapple. Film, Wojciech Treszczynski. Photo, Giorgos Moutafis.
Sisters’ tears for broken family
Arazu has dressed carefully for her morning flight. The petite, youthful 43-year-old wears summery white trousers and Jackie O-inspired cream plastic sunglasses. Her nails are painted deep burgundy and her hair sits in a soft bob above her shoulders. Her earrings are delicate twisted wire balls with little pearls buried inside, gifts from her two daughters at Christmastime.
But it’s the trousers and sunglasses that carry the most powerful memories for Arazu. She wore them the day she left Greece with fake papers more than two years ago. Now, as a legal resident of Europe, she’s wearing them upon her return as a symbol of freedom — and a message of hope.
Continue reading ‘3 Videos / CNN / Europe’s Lost Children: Journeys of pain, despair – and joy.’
On Friday 8th the detainees of Fylakio, near Orestiada, Evros started in the early night hours to protest until the early morning hours. The police reacted with their usual violent repression. Police forces came even from the next town in Didimoticho.
The migrant detainees protested against the extended detention period of 18 months by putting fire on matresses and blocking their cells doors. Eight detainees were arrested. A representative of the police sindicate of Orestiada said: “We demand the symbolic punishment of the arrested so that all detainees stop behaving in this manner.”
indymedia (in greek)
On December 5, 2012 the detained migrants in Fylakio, Orestiada protested against the extended length of detention of up to 18 months. On October 19, the government had published a change of law according to which detention duration would be extended form 6 months to 18. Currently there are 160 detainees in Fylakio.
The protest in Fylakio is only one among many in the past month following Corinth and Komotini uprisings. As in the other uprisings the police of Orestiada announced also for the case of Fylakio to punish the ones “responsible” for the protest and the respective damages by charges for criminal acts.
See video of thrakine here
Skai.gr (in greek)
UPDATE: see new article about Corinth detention center from December 8, 2012 in Efimerida sinadakton (in greek)
On November 1st, the mayor of Orestiada anounced that the detention center Fylakio was going to be expanded for the purpose of improved detention conditions but also in order to offer the capacity to detain person for longer periods.
see local news (in Greek)
Accounts from the Inside: The Detention Centres of Evros
new report by Pro Asyl
Obviously, Europe’s main concern is the creation of »walls« in order to hinder or to prevent the access to its territory. Physical walls like the fence, the moat and border controls in Evros but also invisible walls that are constituted by the lack of protection to those in need, rights denials, systematic detention, detention and living conditions violating human dignity, Readmission Agreements and the Dublin II Regulation. The effects of these heightening walls have their most tragic face in the many lost and dead at border. This is why we chose to speak about walls of shame in this report.
Walls of Shame (download report in English)
In mid October 2011 there was some magic in the air in Evros…
The detention centres for irregular migrants and asylum seekers of Fylakio, Soufli, Ferres and Tychero saw a sudden change. They were painted, toilettes and showers were repaired, new blankets handed out, meal plans stitched on the walls and detainees were released or transferred to other regions of Greece. Within only a few days the whole image of the detention centres was changed for the eyes of a delegation form Europe and the Greek government. Even the detainees were for the first time since their detention (some had been there already 5 months!) allowed to have access to fresh air and walk in the yards.
The Federation of the Borderguards of Evros said in a recent press release that all renovations are of course welcomed, anyway, they insisted, that the delegation should have seen the detention centres under “normal” conditions, the ones the borderguards and the detainees have to deal with daily.
As the announcement of the borderguards said:
Very sudden money was found (for the renovation) and the number of detainees decreased. Within three days the facilities were painted, the plumbing was repaired and release papers were given generously. Why did they not leave things as we live them on daily basis?
Announcement of the Federation of Borderguards of Evros 19th of October 2011 (in Greek)
As announced by a GCR Press Release from the 31st of October 2011 the authorities of Evros and Rhodopi prefectures continue to readmit persons in need of international protection to Turkey where they are exposed to the danger of refoulement to their countries of origin.
On the 25th of September three Iranian detainees from Fylakio detention centre were readmitted to Turkey. They had informed the authorities about their wish to claim asylum. A GCR lawyer had sent a fax also informing the authorities about their cases. However, their claims were never registered.
On the 10th of October two Iranian nationals from Sapes detention centre in Rhodopi and on the 24th of October another two Iranian detainees were readmitted to Turkey although the authorities had been informed also in their cases by a GCR lawyer about their wish to claim asylum. In these cases the police misguided the detainees giving them papers to sign in Greek which they could not understand. The detainees thought they are signing their asylum claims, however, what they really signed was a declaration that they do not wish to apply for asylum.
See: Press Release GCR (in Greek)