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).
Continue reading ‘“Not guilty”, found the Court of Igoumenitsa in the case of migrants who were charged “escape from prison’”’
In the early hours of 5 November, a 31 year-old irregular migrant of Iraqi origin was attacked with a knife by a 50 year-old Turkish truck driver at the new port of Igoumenitsa. The incident occurred when the driver realised that the irregular migrant was trying to hide in the truck in order to pass through the port of Igoumenitsa to Italy. The Iraqi migrant was transferred to the General Hospital of Filiaton, while the driver was arrested by Greek police and prosecuted for grievous physical harm and the use of a weapon.
Source in greek
Eleven of the migrants who were being detained at holding cells in the port of Igoumenitsa have been taken to the hospital to have injuries treated following a protest against the conditions they were being held in.
Authorities said the 11 were injured when they started banging their heads and bodies against the bars of their cells.
Skai TV and radio reported that there is only capacity to detain 30 people but there are currently about 90 being held at the port.
detention centre of the coast guard in igoumenitsa
The detention centre is known for overcrowding under miserable conditions. Minors, families and children are held as well as men. Some minors in earlier days had reported having been closed up there for up to a month.
Watch the short documentary “Hellas-Hell” about Patras and Igoumenitsa (Spanish subs)
Three young Afghans 20-23 years old died due to suffocation when they were trying to reach a port of exit hidden on a truck. The truck was transporting cottonseed and headed most probably towards Igoumenitsa. The three corpses were found nearby Parga. The Coroner Theodoros Bougiouklakis who made the autopsy. The bodies were then transferred to Ianena University Hospital.
One of the Afghans who had been together with the three inside the truck had informed via telephone on the day of the incident the family of one of them about their tragic death. Relatives then informed the Greek police who was searching for the three but could only find them yesterday since they lacked exact information on the place the corpses were left.
news in greek
The Greek police arrested a refugee who is main witness of a murder case, where a coast guard officer from Igoumenitsa is being accused of murdering another refugee.
Sali is a Kurdish Refugee with serious health problems (he has only one lung) and he is the main witness for a murder case, where Greek coast guard shot Arivan, another migrant, to death in the port city of Igoumenitsa. He has to participate in the court case as witness on the 16th of December. Anyway, he was arrested on the 2nd of December in Crete. Originally the police was called to his place by neighbours for some small argument, but when they found the call to the court in his flat which clearly says that he is a witness against the coast guard he was immediately arrested, badly beaten and brought to the public prosecutor who ordered an administrative deportation for Sali. This police action was clearly a revenge. Sali was released on the 3rd, while his brother and another sans-papiers, both arrested together with Sali, remained in prison with the aim of their deportation.
Indymedia Athens in August 2011 (in greek)
Indymedia Athens August 2011 (in greek)
Indemedia Athens December 2011 (in greek)
Patras, August 2011
Two refugees from Sudan talk about their lives in an emptied city. Patra has been the second exit-port after Igoumenitsa that the greek police raided in 2011. In the center of the city one cannot see any immigrants anymore. In repeated sweep operations the authorities destroyed a number of provisory housing sites and arrested hundreds of sans-papiers. In the summer of 2011 only very few refugees remained at the rims of the city marginalised and displaced.
Continue reading ‘I came here to Greece in order to save my life, now, they took even my body away from me’
The following testimony of Amin Fedaii, a 16-year-old afghan refugee, is alarming. More than 20 refugees (mainly from Afghanistan) died while trying to flee from Greece and to reach their relatives and friends in other European countries.
I felt very queasy, I was in the bottom of the ship and tried to sleep. I was not really sleeping I was so afraid. I was drifting away.
Continue reading ‘Dublin-Deaths between Kerkyra/Greece and Bari/Italy (15th of January 2011)’
Interview with the refugee N., from Eritrea
23rd of May 2011, Komunisia
N. spent a very long time in the mountains of Igoumenitsa. With 10 months he belongs to the experienced men on the mountain. He has been deported from Italy several times. Still he never lost his hope that one day he will get out.
The truck to the other Europe
“I promise to see you in a better place,” N. says and his eyes are full of energy.
How long are you in Igoumenitsa?
In Komunisia here? I have longer than ten months. More than ten months here!
What did you expect from coming here to Igoumenitsa?
You know, the reason for my coming to Komunisia, I am suffering too much bad in this country. I need to leave this country. For this reason I came to Komunisia. Unfortunately, during these days we are suffering from a very bad situation: from the police and from the racist people, from the civil society here in Komunisia.
Continue reading ‘“We were persecuted in our home countries, now we are persecuted here!” – Interview’
Interview with the two refugees A. and Y., from Sudan
21st of May 2011, Komunisia
A. and Y., refugees from Sudan talk about their living-conditions in Igoumenitsa, the second largest port from Greece towards Italy. We are sitting in the mountain, looking at the port-area of “Komunisia” how the refugees call it. A few hundred refugees from all war-zones of the world are living on this mountain. Some days ago, at the 3rd of May, the refugees’ settlements in the mountain have been attacked by fascists out of a demonstration.
Waiting room Komunisia: One minute feels like one year on this mountain
Afterwards the police drew an invisible ‘red line’ and prevented refugees from entering the city. More than 450 refugees have been arrested in May 2011 – double than the average monthly arrests of 2010. Police guards the garbage cans and so the refugees are starving from hunger. We are sitting on this mountain in Europe and we hope for their chance to go!
Continue reading ‘“You always wish it’s your last day here in Komunisia.” – interview’